TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Kim Dotcom is one of those people that I liken to the gunslingers of wild west legend, or something like Zoro or RobinHood even. Even though he faces very serious allegations that could land him in prison for quite a long time, he never gives up and continues to champion for internet freedom, and net neutrality.
Dotcom's latest venture is not a new file-sharing website, or even attempting to dominate the latest first person shooter style video game. In fact, Dotcom has decided to move into a more political world where he can influence the path that government's take when it comes to internet legislation. Today Kim Dotcom officially launched the new political party which he named the "Internet Party," and has released a few videos detailing the party's new mission, and goals.
You don't have to go far to see someone walking around and texting on their iPhone. you also don't have to wait long to see some of these people run into something or someone while looking at their phone instead of what's going on around them. Apple has a patent application that shows a system called transparent texting.
The idea is that the rear camera of the smartphone would be used to grab a live video image of what is behing the smartphone. That way the person texting and walking could see what is behind the phone as they move around. Naturally, this would require the person texting to hold the phone straight up in front of their face.
Most of the people I see are walking and looking down at the phone. In that instance, having what is behind the phone in the background behind a text conversation would do no good. The Apple patent app was field with the USPTO on Thursday of this week according to reports.
There is no shortage of LED light bulbs on the market today. Some of them are nothing more than a replacement bulb for a normal incandescent that will last longer and use less power. Other LED bulbs have smart tech that allows you to control the brightness and sometimes the color using a Wi-Fi network.
Samsung has announced a new LED bulb that is called the Smart Bulb. Rather than using Wi-Fi to control the brightness, the Smart bulb uses Bluetooth. Owners of the bulb can connect to it using an application on a tablet or smartphone and directly control the bulb.
The Smart Bulb has the ability to be dimmed down to 10% brightness and is CCT tunable from 2700K to 6500K. That means you can control the color of the white light it produces. It doesn't product colored light like some others on the market.
Facebook announced it was acquiring Oculus VR yesterday for some $2 billion in cash and stock, but the founder of the company, Palmer Luckey, took to Reddit to fan some of the flames that have burst out over the acquisition. Palmer talked about Facebook's market, and whether it would lose control of Oculus:
When it comes to the timing of the announcement itself:
Yesterday, Facebook announced it was acquiring Oculus VR, the startup behind the VR headset, Oculus Rift. Well, there were some 9,522 backers for the Oculus Rift on Kickstarter, where Oculus VR was asking for $250,000 in funding to get its vision of a VR headset off the ground.
Without those nearly 10,000 people, Oculus VR would not be where it is now, right? None of these people will benefit from the acquisition by Facebook, but could this change? Could we see these backers benefit financially from the acquisition? On Oculus VR's Kickstarter page, some backers are voicing their anger.
One backer, Sergey Chubukov, said: "You selling out to Facebook is a disgrace. It damages not only your reputation, but the whole of crowdfunding. I cannot put into words how betrayed I feel by this." You can read more of the reactions on the Kickstarter page.
The wearables market is booming be it fitness tracking bands or smartwatches. The market will continue to grow as well as time goes buy and technology matures. Intel has reportedly purchases a company called Basis Science that produces a product called the Basis band.
The device is a health tracking wristband that is able to keep track of sleep, activity, and more. The terms of the deal are unannounced so it's unclear exactly how much Intel paid. The chipmaker has said that the Basis band will continue to be sold and supported via existing channels.
Basis is being wrapped into the Intel New Devices Group and the former CEO of Basis will head that group as general manager. By purchasing Basis, Intel gets access to the health tracking device market straight away. It's interesting that Intel plans to continue selling and supporting Basis hardware.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today said it would treat bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies as property, instead of monetary currency, so bitcoin supporters can expect to see the government try and cash in with taxes.
Unlike US currency, which is issued and regulated by the US Federal Reserve Bank and printed by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, bitcoins are not backed by gold or any commodities - and only exists in the digital world.
"Virtual currency that has an equivalent value in real currency, or that acts as a substitute for real currency, is referred to as 'convertible' virtual currency," the IRS notes. "Bitcoin is one example of a convertible virtual currency. Bitcoin can be digitally traded between users and can be purchased for, or exchanged into, U.S. dollars, Euros, and other real or virtual currencies."
The IRS was expected to weigh in for quite some time, as the federal government wants to avoid an electronic black market from being created - and adds clarity for investors.
Nokia has been operating its own music streaming service and trying to compete against the big dogs in the market like iTunes and Spotify. Nokia's service is called MixRadio and it has now launched in China.
With the Chinese launch, Nokia has become the first global music streaming company to launch in the country. The launch gives Nokia access to half a billion internet users that access the web via a mobile device.
With the new launch, MixRadio is available in 31 countries around the world. To localize the service for Chinese users a bit, Nokia has teamed with Chinese musicians to create curated playlists. The artists include Khalil Fong, Tia Ray, and DJ Wordy.
Security is a big deal for users of all sorts of services and applications online. When those services are blogging and photo platforms like Facebook, tumblr, and others, security is even more important since a hacker could gain access to information and images that could be harmful to the user. Tumblr has announced that it is introducing a new form of authentication.
Users of Tumblr can now choose to activate two-factor authentication for their accounts. With the two-factor authentication activated, before you can access your account you need a password you type in and a code sent to your mobile device. If a hacker learns your password somehow, they will not be able to access your account without the ability to get the cell phone auth code.
If you aren't worried about hackers getting into your account and writing embarrassing things or stealing your photos, you can leave the new authentication method off. The downside is if you lose your mobile or leave it somewhere, you won't be able to get into your Tumblr account.
Electronic Arts was in the running to win The Consumerist's Worst Company of America award for the third year in a row, but the company has been voted out of the running.
Time Warner Cable is now in EA's position, with the company winning out the race bracket with 51.2% versus EA's 48.8%. The Consumerist explains: "Despite its cock-up of the Battlefield 4 and Titanfall releases, EA just didn't have the all-out support that it had received in the previous two tournaments. And while Time Warner Cable has always merited a spot in the WCIA brackets, the company's pending merger with former WCIA champ Comcast undoubtedly played into readers' voting decisions."
The Consumerist continues: "Judging by the absolute crushing that Comcast brought down on Yahoo in its first round match, there is a lot of hatred out there for the nation's largest cable/Internet provider, and today's TWC result confirms that voters are more than happy to spread that hate around."