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Mobile Technology News, January 20, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Nintendo shares fall on loss warning
    Shares of Nintendo plunge as much as 18% on Monday after Japan’s gaming giant issues a profit warning.
  • From Gandhi To MLK, History's Giants Have Become Marketing Tools
    When Google honored African American author Zora Neale Hurston with a custom logo — a Google Doodle — on its homepage earlier this month, the company won praise.

  • Rethinking Microsoft's tablet: Surface Pro 2 succeeds
    With Surface Pro 2, Microsoft has made a tablet-hybrid that works. It’s powerful, portable, and well-made.
  • 3 Ways To See The True Self In Others And In Yourself
    Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

    My first experience of seeing more of people than usually meets the eye was in medical school. After saying hello, the first thing we said to patients was “Would you kindly disrobe?” They then removed all raiment denoting class, profession or authority to don a flimsy backless gown, leaving a half-naked person ready to share the vulnerability he had been hiding up until this meeting.

    Surgery was an even more intimate reminder of humanity. For example, once you open the abdominal cavity, all people look remarkably alike. There’s the liver, the spleen, kidneys, stomach, and intestines, with nowhere to hide. Feeling the heft of someone’s live, pulsating organs can be a profound exercise in compassion: this could be me, you think, knowing that your insides kind of look like this, too.

    However, it’s not always practical to increase compassion by reaching inside someone’s belly for a kidney grab. Perhaps there’s an easier way that would work at, say, a dinner party. And although Nick Veasey’s impressive X-ray apparatus can see straight to the core of people (not to mention cars, tractors and planes), perhaps there is a more portable method.

    With these practices, over time you may be able to see what even giant X-ray machines can’t access: the true self inhabiting another body, which could just as easily be your own. — Dr. Ali Binazir

    To that end, I propose the following methods which use something weightless (and underutilized!) which you carry around all the time: your imagination. These mental tricks have been working for me for some time, and perhaps they will work for you, too.

    1) Do the time warp. Two big blocks to feeling real compassion for others is imagining that they’re different from us, and they have power to harm us. A solution to both is to re-imagine folks as cute little 5-year old kids. We’ve all been kids, and what’s there not to love about this bundle of energy, curiosity and cluelessness? And by now you’re strong enough to take on any 5-year old, which should take care of the intimidation factor, too.

    You can also time-warp this person to age 90 – a kindly grandpa or grandma who can be easy to love (and outrun). Hey, someday that’s going to be your fate, too, so this should improve fellow-feeling.

    Whether you perceive someone as rich, poor, smart, dumb, pretty, ugly or somehow different from you and somehow less deserving of your compassion, time warping them to childhood or old age should make it much easier to make the connection.

    2) Activate galaxy consciousness. Recently, I was walking back to my car in Marin County late at night, far from city lights. I looked up to the sky and saw more stars than I had seen in years: billions of pinpoint suns arrayed in lakes, rivers and oceans of unimaginable vastness. It boggled the mind to imagine that some of those lights dots were entire galaxies, with about 100 billion stars in each.

    You know what else has a mind-boggling number of tiny things? Your body. It’s made of about 70 trillion cells, which is about 700 times more than the stars in a galaxy. And the miracle is that they all work together – so well that they got you through the night with you asleep the whole time and continue to breathe and beat your heart for you without any conscious effort on your part even as you read these words. 70 trillion things all working in unison to get stuff done is particularly impressive compared to something like, say, 535, the number of members of the US Congress who can’t get anything done.

    So when you see another person, instead of seeing them as big, small, stylish, frumpy, fat or skinny, think of her as something as majestic and miraculous as a galaxy, since that’s who she really is. Of course, you are that galaxy, too, so now you can be friends.

    3) Get metta. One of the Buddhist practices that I’ve found most useful is a form of meditation called metta, variously translated as loving-kindness or compassion. Basically, you visualize the person in front of you, send love in their general direction and say silently, “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be safe.” That’s it. Studies show that if you do this kind of thing regularly, your brain remodels itself to make you a calmer, kinder, smarter just plain better version of you. And you’ll get on better with folks.

    To do advanced metta, pick five specific people and direct your compassion at them. In my sequence, the first person is one who’s easy to love (e.g. my adorable niece); the second is more challenging (e.g. a family member); the third is a downright difficult person (coworker perhaps); the fourth is someone you actively dislike (Putin, I’m looking at you); and the fifth is the toughest one of all: yourself.

    In the end, I remind myself of the lines of Antoine de St-Éxupery from The Little Prince: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” With these practices, over time you may be able to see what even giant X-ray machines can’t access: the true self inhabiting another body, which could just as easily be your own.

    For more by Dr. Ali Binazir, click here.

    For love advice for smart, strong women, get The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon for 157 weeks. Now available as book, audiobook, and Kindle ebook™.

    For more good stuff for both men and women, visit the Tao of Dating blog or write to me directly

    Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today’s most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com to learn about future weekend’s ideas to contribute as a writer.

  • Firmware fix rolls out to Microsoft Surface Pro 2 users
    Microsoft update will fix problems introduced by a faulty December 2013 update to the company’s newest Intel-based tablets.
  • Briefly: Mixvibes' Cross 3.0 released, News Republic's Smart News
    DJ software producer, Mixvibes, has released its new flagship Mac and PC video mixing software Cross 3. Used for video clip playback, or for more experimental productions. DJs can choose their level of complexity, take control of the video mixing or let the software follows the music automatically. Featuring two audio and video players, a large video output bar, 35 video transitions and 18 video effects, users can create synced visuals with a music playlist, with the flexibility of live selection.


  • Mike Rogers Investigates Russia's Involvement In Edward Snowden Leaks
    WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Sunday he is investigating whether former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden had help from Russia in stealing and revealing U.S. government secrets.
    “I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands – the loving arms – of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” U.S. Representative Mike Rogers told the NBC program “Meet the Press,” referring to the Russian intelligence agency that is a successor of the Soviet-era KGB.
    Snowden last year fled the United States to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was granted at least a year of asylum. U.S. officials want Snowden returned to the United States for prosecution. His disclosures of large numbers of stolen U.S. secret documents sparked a debate around the world about the reach of U.S. electronic surveillance.
    Rogers did not provide specific evidence to back his suggestions of Russian involvement in Snowden’s activities, but said: “Some of the things we’re finding we would call clues that certainly would indicate to me that he had some help.”
    Asked whether he is investigating Russian links to Snowden’s activities, Rogers said, “Absolutely. And that investigation is ongoing.”
    Senator Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on “Meet the Press” that Snowden “may well have” had help from Russia.
    “We don’t know at this stage,” Feinstein said.
    Feinstein said Snowden gained employment at the National Security Agency “with the intent to take as much material down as he possibly could.”
    On the ABC program “This Week,” U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, also expressed his belief that Snowden had foreign help.
    “Hey, listen, I don’t think … Mr. Snowden woke up one day and had the wherewithal to do this all by himself,” he said.
    “I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did,” McCaul said.
    Asked whether he thought Russia was that “foreign power,” McCaul said, “You know, to say definitively, I can’t. I can’t answer that.”

    Rogers indicated that the nature of the material that Snowden obtained suggested foreign involvement.
    “When you look at the totality of the information he took, the vast majority of it had to do with military, tactical and operational events happening around the world,” he told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”
    Michael Morell, the former deputy CIA director, said he shared Rogers’ concern about what Russian intelligence services may be doing with Snowden.
    “I don’t have any particular evidence but one of the things I point to when I talk about this is that the disclosures that have been coming recently are very sophisticated in their content and sophisticated in their timing – almost too sophisticated for Mr. Snowden to be deciding on his own. And it seems to me he might be getting some help,” Morell said on “Face the Nation.”
    Other U.S. security officials have told Reuters as recently as last week that the United States has no evidence at all that Snowden had any confederates who assisted him or guided him about what NSA materials to hack or how to do so.
    Snowden told the New York Times in October he did not take any secret NSA documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June 2013. “There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents,” Snowden told the Times.
    In remarks aired on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” President Vladimir Putin discussed Snowden’s freedom of movement in Russia and that the American would be free to attend the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.
    “Mr. Snowden is subject to the treatment of provisional asylum here in Russia. He has a right to travel freely across the country. He has no special limitation. He can just buy a ticket and come here,” Putin said. (Reporting by Will Dunham, Toni Clarke and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Jim Loney and Chris Reese)

  • Teen Battling Cancer Permitted To Play High School Basketball Amid #LetTimPlay Campaign
    With his peers calling — and tweeting — for school administrators to #LetTimPlay, Tim Monette learned that he would be able to continue playing high school basketball this week.

    Monette, a 17-year-old high school senior in Northville, N.Y., had been sidelined after being diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare, fast-growing cancer, in November. His treatment, involving heavy doses of chemotherapy, kept him off the court and from attending school regularly but he hired a tutor to keep up with his work. After being cleared by his doctor, Monette made an emotional return to the team in December.

    But Monette feared his return had been cut short on Wednesday, reports the Times Union, when school administrators told him that he would no longer be able to take the court for his team’s games. The reason given? According to Monette, he was told that his school attendance record made him ineligible to participate in sports.

    “When he said he couldn’t play, my heart just dropped,” Shawna Monette, Tim’s mother, said to the Times Union. “His basketball and his sports are everything to him.”

    As word of his potential ineligibility spread, students picked up the hashtag #LetTimPlay and protested across social media, briefly trending the term on Twitter, reports WNYT. The protest culminated with a sit-in of around 200 students in the school gymnasium Thursday morning.

    #LetTimPlay pic.twitter.com/QRsk4tVFvG

    — MiTcH (@Mitchy7165) January 16, 2014

    To the delight of his supporters, school administrators soon announced that Monette could play after all. In a statement on the affair, Superintendent Debra Lynker framed the entire incident as a misunderstanding:

    High School principal Mariah Kramer questioned Tim Monette’s eligibility to play basketball, given that the district policy requires a student be in attendance on the day of the game to be eligible to play. She responded fairly and properly by letting him play last night and telling his parents that she needed to investigate this further in the morning. Never did she say definitively that he could not play. After consulting me and the school’s attorney first thing this morning it was decided that the home tutoring he is receiving constitutes the requisite attendance and as long as he has a doctor’s clearance for each game, he may be eligible to play. It is unfortunate that misinformation circulated through social media before it could even be resolved properly.

    The statement prompted Monette to let loose one more missive on Twitter. “There was no misunderstanding,” he wrote. “They told me I couldn’t play because it was policy #NiceTry.”

    There was no misunderstanding they told me I couldn’t play because it was policy #NiceTry

    — Timmy Monette (@NextBGriffin_23) January 16, 2014

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