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Mobile Technology News, April 30, 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.

  • Jet Cycle Is A Street-Legal Cross Between A Motorcycle And A Fighter Jet (VIDEO)
    It looks like it’s ready to take off at any moment.

    A video being shared across social media this week shows what appears to be Ron Gallops’ F-106 Jet Cycle, with many wondering if it’s real or if it’s even street legal.

    The Jet Cycle is both — just don’t expect it to fly.

    Called Freedom 1, the Jet Cycle is a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle that’s been modified by Gallops to look like an F-106 Delta Dart, complete with a glowing afterburner.

    The result? A street-legal fighter jet with a top speed of 80 mph.

    Gallops told the St. Petersburg Times in 2005 that the biggest challenge isn’t driving a winged motorcycle, complete with a cockpit and landing gear. It’s watching out for everyone who’s watching him.

    You have to be paying attention because the people are looking at it, and they’re running all over the lane,” Gallops said.

    Seems like that’s still true today. In the video above, you can hear a horn honk as cars maneuver to get a look at Freedom 1.

    The Quail Run RV Resort posted some up-close photos of the Jet Cycle on its Facebook page, including this exterior shot:

    It even has a cockpit:

    Gallops writes on his website that the cockpit contains all the gauges and controls you’d find on a fighter jet. And somehow, underneath it all, is a 1500cc 6-cylinder motorcycle engine.

  • Piracy sites are 'rife with scams'
    Most popular pirate sites contain credit card scams, malware and/or other unwanted programs, says a media industry group.
  • Xbox One console to launch in China
    Microsoft says its Xbox One gaming console will go on sale in China in September, months after a 14-year ban on consoles was lifted.
  • New photos of 'iPhone 6' mock-up appear online
    As we live in the age of the 3D printer, it was just a matter of time before the dubious computer-rendering of an “iPhone 6″ based on rumor reports would be produced as a model that reflects those measurements and rumors, but provides little convincing evidence that the next iPhone will actually resemble it. The dummy model, which like the “iPhone 6″ cases seen in and outside of China recently are based on the current iPod touch, with a thinner profile and more rounded corners than the current iPhone.



  • Clippers 'We Are One' Message Takes Off Online
    It was a simple message from a team to its fans: WE ARE ONE.

    The words were posted on the website of the Los Angeles Clippers, a public repudiation of the racist comments made by team owner Donald Sterling — comments that earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA.

    Those words grew in power throughout the day as the rest of the league joined in. At least a dozen teams posted “WE ARE ONE” messages on their websites. Teams and players also took to Instagram and Twitter with the #weareone hashtag.

    Even the team’s current playoff rivals, the Golden State Warriors, posted a message of unity:

    As the #Warriors prepare for tonight’s playoff game, we share in the spirit of this league-wide message. #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/k07HbGS1r3

    — Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) April 30, 2014

    The message reached across sports, with the Los Angeles Kings NHL team — locked in a playoff battle of its own with the San Jose Sharks — posting a #weareone message:

    #WeAreOne #LAKings pic.twitter.com/VqcMXDAB0A

    — LA Kings (@LAKings) April 29, 2014

    See the slideshow below for more #weareone messages.

  • Twitter Tries Out A New Definition For Twitter
    When Twitter filed for its initial public stock offering last year, it clumsily described itself as a “global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time.” This tagline was used by approximately no one.

    As Twitter faces investor pressure to show its can attract more mainstream members, the social network has come up with a new definition of what Twitter does.

    “We think of Twitter as a companion experience to what’s happening in your world,” Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday. Costolo repeated the line several times during the question and answer session with investors and analysts, while also asserting that Twitter, which has about a fifth as many active users as Facebook, is “incredibly mainstream.”

    Twitter no doubt hopes the new “companion experience” nomenclature will prove a friendlier, more memorable mantra that convinces holdouts to get Twitter handles of their own. The catchphrase is a kind of catchall that attempts to cover the many possible uses for Twitter, ranging from sourcing stories and getting news to catching celebrity gossip and talking about TV shows.

    The company does need to convince people that it has something to offer. (User growth, already sluggish, has slowed .) In a sense, the fact that Twitter is already very familiar to mainstream audiences points to a deeper problem confronting Costolo and co: The challenge for Twitter isn’t that it’s unknown. The challenge is that people — many, many people — know Twitter and know they don’t want to join.

    Reflecting concerns over Twitter’s success attracting users, the company’s stock price plummeted in after-hours trading Tuesday, even as Twitter reported strong gains in advertising revenue.

    Twitter’s new slogan may try to address the people problem by shifting Twitter’s emphasis from speaking to listening. The tagline suggests that Twitter doesn’t have to be a place where you self-express and share information. It can just be that screen you flick through while watching the Grammys. The line tries to reassure you it’s totally okay to be a passive consumer, rather than conversing creator.

    This is a point Twitter has been trying to make for several years. The biggest misconception about Twitter, Costolo said in a 2012 interview, is that “you have to tweet to Twitter.” For the past four years, Costolo and his predecessor have presided over a series of redesigns that have shrunken, squished and de-prioritized the tweet box, as if to tell silent Twitterers it’s fine to stay mute. The tweet box once sat on top of people’s timelines, making it the first thing they saw when they logged on. Now, it’s been reduced to a fraction of the size and slid to the left side of the screen. As it stands, 44 percent of existing Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet, according to a report released earlier this month by the analytics firm Twopcharts.

    Convincing Twitter holdouts to reconsider the site is likely to require more drastic changes to Twitter’s offerings, which risk alienating the old-timers. Costolo has already introduced a more visual, image-heavy look, one that he said helped increase Twitter’s base of users in the most recent quarter. He also noted that Twitter had simplified its signup process on mobile phones, and was better at suggesting Twitter accounts for new members to follow.

    Coming next: A move toward private conversations. Costolo told investors Twitter has plans to “[make] it possible for people to more fluidly move between the public conversation and private conversation.” There’s a chance the embrace of private messaging will woo the never-adopters. But it’s a certitude that this will be a change in focus for the social media site. The first word in the first image Twitter included in its initial stock offering filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission? “Public.”

  • eBay to repatriate $9bn cash to US
    E-commerce giant eBay says it is repatriating almost $9bn (£5.3bn) of its cash held overseas back to the US, for potential acquisitions.
  • Slow user growth hits Twitter shares
    Shares in Twitter dropped to their lowest levels since the company’s stock market flotation, as it reported slower than expected user growth.
  • Apple-Samsung patent trial now in hands of jury
    The trial portion of the second Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit is over, with lawyers for both sides giving final closing arguments both offensively and defensively in a case that saw Apple suing Samsung for copying five of its patented inventions, while Samsung countered that Apple had infringed on two patents it bought from others. The jury began deliberations immediately, and will work on the complex jury form assigning guilt and damages from 9:30AM to 4:30PM each day until it arrives at a conclusion.



  • Government PC made Muslim wiki edit
    The charity that represents Wikipedia in the UK has condemned edits made from government computers after more insults and vandalism emerged.
  • Most Powerful Marketing Tool of the 21st Century
    2014-04-28-powerfulmarketing.jpgWhether you recognize it or not, all successful organizations regardless of what they do or sell-have one thing in common: their owners, senior management and front line staff know how to build and maintain relationships. Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success in business.

    We’ve all heard it before: it’s not what you know, but who you know. But what we should be thinking is: “Its not who you know, but its about who knows you”

    I would also goes as far as saying: “Its not who you call but who calls you”And thanks to LinkedIn’s powerful platform, reaching out and building your network has never been easier with over 80 percent of Australia’s five million professionals now on LinkedIn.

    With one click of a button you can connect with millions of new potential customers, find new potential partners to help grow your organization, connect with the media to build your personal or company brand and even hire new staff. And best of all every connection you make is targeted.

    Gone are the days where you need to spend countless amount of hours implementing marketing strategies in order to get in front of key decision makers for your product or service. LinkedIn allows you to search, connect and develop relationships in real time with anyone around the world 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

    I am getting excited just writing about it. Take a moment now, stop and think about the possibilities this creates for you and your organization. No longer will you have to pay high recruitment fees to find new potential employees, simply use LinkedIn’s powerful recruitment features to search, find and connect with talent all over the world.

    No longer will you have to spend hours and hours traveling to networking functions, in the hope that you will make a valuable contact. With LinkedIn you can connect with 100′s of targeted business professional every week. In a business world that is rapidly changing all the time, learning and implementing the latest sales and marketing strategies is not a choice it is a necessity if you are to stay relevant.

    Whether you are a newbie, have an account but not active or would like to further your education here are my top three tips in order to plan, connect and ultimately profit through LinkedIn:

    1) First and foremost you need a compelling LinkedIn profile

    In fact if you are ‘NOT’ on LinkedIn, I recommend stop everything you’re doing right now and create a profile.

    Your profile is one of if not the most important aspect of building your personal and professional network. Unlike five to 10 years ago, nowadays people buy into you, before they even look into your company let alone your product.

    “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters

    2) Once you have completed your profile step two is all about creating a plan

    I am sure you have heard of the saying: In life people don’t plan to fail they fail to plan. Well business is no different; planning gives you a sense of purpose and direction.

    Think about some of the goals you would like to achieve within your current role over the next 3, 6, 12 months. Once you have written this down, now start to think about all the people you need to connect with in order to help you reach those milestones.

    For example if you are looking to increase your personal or company profile you may want to start connecting with journalists and editors in business. If your aim is to increase revenue you may want to start connecting with potential joint venture partners.

    The point of the matter is, make sure that the connections you make are meaningful and targeted in helping you achieve your goals.

    3) And finally add value

    To be successful on LinkedIn and in business overall you have to think about WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) rather then WIIFU

    (What’s In It For You) initially. Just because they accepted your connection invite doesn’t mean they are interested in what you have to say, remember: to be interesting you have to be interested.

    Building relationships through LinkedIn is no different to dealing with people in a network function, through a friend or colleague, it’s all about adding value and creating a win-win scenario.

  • VIDEO: Nod smart ring aims to rule them all
    The computing controller with sky high ambitions
  • 9 Moms Spill What They Really Want For Mother's Day This Year
    From “don’t get me anything” to “something from the heart,” it seems that every year when we ask mom what she wants for Mother’s Day, we get the same coded answers.

    Mom, we’re on to you…

    That’s why we partnered with Best Buy and enlisted real Moms to share what they’re eyeing this year. Oh, and as it turns out, “don’t get me anything” didn’t make this list.

  • We Can't End April Without This Important Message From Justin Timberlake
    New month, old meme.

    justin timberlake meme

    There are no bones about it.

    A new month is imminent.

  • 'Dinner and a Movie,' Not Dinner and an OTT Stream
    “Dinner and a movie” is one of the last affordable, middle-class family outings and has served as the venerable date night for countless romantic relationships both new and old. The American middle class has been losing ground for decades, and last week’s news that it is no longer the world’s richest is just the latest blow. We’ve already lost baseball to luxury boxes and Disneyland to premium passes, we now risk losing one of the last great escapes of the American middle class: Going to the movies.

    Last year George Lucas and Steven Spielberg warned that the film industry is headed for financial implosion. They think movies will be like Broadway shows with ticket prices eventually settling around $150 each. Ron Howard echoed this opinion last week at Tribeca suggesting we accept the change and embrace new technology. This doesn’t just mean more revenue for Netflix and more creepy ghost-theaters on Main Streets in towns across America.

    It means each parent, kid, girlfriend and boyfriend will abscond away to a different place in the house with his/her own personal laptop or TV set. And now with the coming ascension of virtual reality like Oculus Rift, the dystopian day we are literally oblivious to the person sitting next to us on the couch may not be too distant.

    Sociologists have well-documented the impact the advent of television had on American society. Our neighborly visits and door-stoop chats of the 1950s gave way to today’s “Armed Response” security signs and silent, isolated vegetating in front of the boob tube.

    Going to the movies is one of the few remaining reasons we get out from behind our TVs, laptops and cellphones. In fact, now that we can instant message from takeoff to landing on airplanes, it’s one of the last places we are admonished to surrender our Internet handcuffs (and how painful the withdrawal symptoms for those 90 minutes!).

    Movie theaters are also one of the few public connecting points that bring diverse parts of the community together. Given the increasing tendency for elites to buy their way out of public places, the people in the popcorn line on any given Friday night is one of the most middle-class melting-pot manifestations we have left.

    Saving the movie-going experience won’t save America’s middle class, but letting it go will lead us deeper down the hole of Internet isolation and greater separation from each other at a time when Americans need more real-world, interpersonal connections, not fewer.

  • Putin's Diatribe Against Google
    When Vladimir Putin launched into a diatribe about the internet and called it a CIA project, the rant got plenty of coverage. Unfortunately though, the West perceived the rant as just another of Putin’s megalomaniacal outbursts aimed at them. Little or no real analysis went into the question of why, while at a conference on media in St. Petersburg, the president of Russia would say those things or what he hoped to achieve by saying them.

    So, why did he do it?

    Everyone already knows about PRISM, the NSA’s program that collected a googolplex of information which is stored in cavernous secret facilities constructed expressly for that very purpose. Did he do it for the reason he gave for doing it? When Putin told the Russian people to stop using Google because the CIA was spying on them, and when he told them that they should instead use the Russian search engine Yandex, he should have expected that foreign investors would panic and that Yandex would drop the nearly five percent in value that it devalued. Putin is savvy. He understands the impact his voice has.

    Vladimir Putin had a very different purpose in mind for his announcement. And not surprisingly, the impact was felt around the world.

    His purpose was to move every single Russian into his sphere of influence. And the best way to do that is to be in control of social media. Up until now, Putin has successfully controlled and silenced all opposition because of his influence on almost every single traditional Russian media outlet. In Russia you never see an opposing figure on television, hear a dissenting voice on radio or read an unfavorable opinion piece in the traditional print press — which is still very powerful in Russia. The opposition has been barred from the media.

    The only place that the opposition has any freedom to operate without control, censorship or Big Brother is on international servers like Google.

    Voices in opposition of Putin send announcements and broadcast messages and conduct discussions through video and audio posts. They announce their protests and rallies on social media. Putin wants to clamp down on that outlet for access to the public. He want to stymie his dissenters. And, this is crucial, he wants to listen in.

    The Russian parliament passed a law, only several days before Putin spoke out in St. Petersburg, forcing all Russian social media websites to use Russian servers. Ostensibly, the reason for the law is for Russians to “Buy Russian.” But it is clear that there is far more to the law than simple patriotism. The law also demands that Russian servers keep a record of all internet activity and store that record in a way so that it is totally accessible to the authorities. The records must be stored for six months. And it is no coincidence that Russia’s leading social media outlet, VKontakte, is controlled by a group with extremely close ties to the president.

    The real reason for Putin’s diatribe at the media conference had far more to do with galvanizing internal Russian interests than the ostensible and obvious slap in the face to Western corporations like Google and arch enemy the United States of America.

    Vladimir Putin is far more sophisticated than he appears. He acts like a bully and behaves like a thug all in order to intimidate. It is when he changes his persona that we need to worry. Putin can be subtle and illusive. And he is always manipulative. And this time around, he manipulated the West with ease.

    Never underestimate President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

  • Men, These Skinny Jeans Won't Squash Your Junk
    When Patrick Woloveck moved to New York City from his hometown in Ohio a few years ago, he wanted to update his style. First step: transitioning from the staid straight-cut denim he had worn for years to a fashion-forward pair of skinny jeans.

    He was, however, in for a painful surprise.

    “It was the same story everywhere,” Woloveck, 26, told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “The jeans I was trying on were all too constraining, too skinny and uncomfortable. I wanted to transition from the straight-leg pants I was used to, but there was no happy medium.”

    Specifically, he said he was alarmed by how most skinny and slim-fit jeans squeezed and squashed his family jewels. “What was available was just too tight in the crotch region,” he said. “That’s every guy’s biggest fear. It’s not what they want.”

    Sensing a business opportunity, Woloveck joined forces with a couple of fellow graduates from Ohio’s Miami University and set to work designing a new line of slim-fit jeans. Slimbs jeans — which launched its Kickstarter campaign this week — was soon born.

    “Most of [the skinny and slim-fit jeans] available in stores are in a European cut,” Woloveck said of the idea behind Slimbs. “But based on market research, these are usually too skinny and uncompromising for [most] American guys. We’ve created slim fit jeans that aren’t a pain to your manhood. These are pants that are comfortable, functional and aren’t constraining.”

    slimbs jeans

    Designed and manufactured in Los Angeles and made from premium denim imported from Japan, Slimbs jeans — which currently come in three washes — have been designed to have more room in the crotch region and around ones’ calves. The denim also has a touch of stretch to allow for easy movement.

    “We wanted to create something more than just a pair of pants,” Woloveck said. “We want to change the idea that guys have about slim fit and transitioning to slim fit. Guys should feel comfortable, mentally and physically when they’re transitioning.”

    Woloveck said he also wanted to ensure that his jeans — which are being sold for a little under $100 — were affordable, so they wouldn’t “break the bank or your balls.” Slimbs also throws in one free repair service for every pair of jeans bought, so if the crotch area rips (a big worry for wearers of skinny jeans, according to Woloveck), customers are covered.

    So far, it seems people have welcomed the idea of slim-fit jeans that allow the nether regions to breathe. Slimbs’ Kickstarter campaign reached its goal of $10,000 in less than 24 hours and Woloveck says the response they’ve received has been very positive thus far.

    “All my expectations have been exceeded,” he said.

    Slimbs isn’t the only American denim startup that has generated buzz in recent days. Earlier this month, Nevada’s Barbell Apparel made headlines for launching a line of denim made specifically for people who have muscular legs and butts; and last week, RPMWEST, a California-based company selling limited-quantity selvedge denim jeans, made waves after the successful launch of its own Kickstarter campaign.

  • Here's What It Actually Takes to Make It as an Entrepreneur

    A young male who was born to be an entrepreneur drops out from a computer science program at a prestigious university. He meets a powerful venture capitalist who is so enamored with his idea that he gives him millions of dollars to build his technology. Then comes the multi-billion-dollar IPO.

    That’s the Hollywood version of Silicon Valley. But it is as far from reality as is Disneyland. Entrepreneurship is never that easy and the stereotype of the startup founder is not representative of the technology world. Yes, there are a few, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who made it big. But they are the outliers — and they too don’t fit the stereotype. Here are six myths about what it actually takes to make it:

    1. Entrepreneurs are a product of nature.

    A common belief is that entrepreneurs are born and cannot be made. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson once said that he was shocked when a professor told him you could teach people to be entrepreneurs. He explained, “I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for almost 25 years now and it is ingrained in my mind that someone is either born an entrepreneur or is not.” Venture capitalist Mark Suster, with whom I once had a fierce debate on this topic, maintained the same.

    They’re wrong. My research team found that, of the 549 successful entrepreneurs that we surveyed in 2009, 52 percent were the first in their immediate families to start a business; about 39 percent had an entrepreneurial father and 7 percent had an entrepreneurial mother. (Some had both.) Only a quarter of the sample had caught the entrepreneurial bug when in college. Half didn’t even think about entrepreneurship then, and they had had little interest in it when in school.

    This sample doesn’t necessarily prove my point. But look at some of most successful entrepreneurs that we know: Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Jan Koum. They didn’t come from entrepreneurial families. Their parents were dentists, academics, lawyers, factory workers, or priests. I doubt they were writing business plans while in kindergarten or selling lemonade in grade school.

    I know many ordinary entrepreneurs who also didn’t sell lemonade. I myself come from a family of government bureaucrats and teachers. I started my career as an I.T. professional and never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. But when I was 33, the opportunity presented itself to me to start a company that could impact the world. I made the leap and helped build a business that generated $120 million in annual revenue.

    Silicon Valley luminary Steve Blank, who moderated my debate with Suster, adds another perspective. He says “Change the external culture and environment, and entrepreneurship can bloom regardless of its source — nature or nurture.” He’s right. Entrepreneurship flourishes in places where people can learn from and inspire one another, such as Silicon Valley and New York City.

    2. The best entrepreneurs are young. If you’re over 35, you’re over the hill.

    Silicon Valley investors openly tout their preference for younger entrepreneurs. One famous investor said, “People under 35 are the ones who make change happen … people over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.”

    My research teams documented that the average and median age of successful technology company founders when they started their companies had been 40. We learned that as many had been older than fifty as had been younger than 25; twice as many had been over sixty as under twenty. Seventy percent were married when they launched their first business; an additional 5.2 percent were divorced, separated, or widowed. Sixty percent had had at least one child, and 43.5 percent had had two or more children. The Kauffman Foundation also researched the backgrounds of successful entrepreneurs and found similar results.

    On a post on Quora, Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp — the most expensive technology acquisition ever — wrote “i incorporated WhatsApp on the day of my 33rd birthday. i had no idea i only had 2 years left.”

    Look closer at the technology industry, and you will realize that VCs who say that older entrepreneurs are over the hill are misguided. For example, Marc Benioff was 35 when he founded Salesforce.com and Reid Hoffman was 36 when he founded LinkedIn. Reed Hastings was 37 when he founded Netflix; Mark Pincus was 41 when he started Zynga. Pradeep Sindhu was 42 when he founded Juniper Networks and Irwin Jacobs was 52 when he founded Qualcomm.

    3. Dropping out is the way to go; education is merely a distraction.

    PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel made headlines when he announced four years ago that he would pay students $100,000 to drop out of college. He wanted to prove that higher education is overpriced and unnecessary; that budding entrepreneurs are better off in building world-changing companies than in studying irrelevant courses in school.

    His effort proved to be a dismal failure. Some Thiel startups received big media attention and adulation — such as one that announced it would be producing caffeine spray. But none were the successes that had been promised.

    The Thiel Foundation quietly refocused its efforts on providing an alternative form of education to college dropouts, and several of its sponsored dropouts returned to school. That’s because there is no substitute for education. Yes, there are good alternatives to universities, but entrepreneurs need to learn the basics of business and management in order to succeed.

    Indeed, my research team found that, on average, companies founded by college graduates have twice the sales and employment of companies founded by people who hadn’t gone to college. What matters is that the entrepreneur completes a baseline of education; the field of education and ranking of the college don’t play a significant role in entrepreneurial success. Founder education reduces business failure rates and increases profits, sales and employment.

    4. Female entrepreneurs don’t have what it takes to cut it in the tech world.

    Women-founded firms receive hardly any venture-capital investments; they are almost absent in high-level technology positions; they contribute to fewer than 5 percent of all I.T. patents and 1.2 percent of open-source software programs. This is despite the facts that girls now match boys in mathematical achievement; that 140 women enroll in higher education for every 100 men; and that women earn more than 50 percent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees and nearly 50 percent of all doctorates in the United States.

    Do female founders receive less VC backing because women are different? Not at all. Research by National Center for Women & Information Technology revealed that there are almost no differences in success factors between men and women company founders. Men and women are equally likely to have children at home when they start their businesses, though men are more likely to be married. Both sexes have exactly the same motivations; are of the same age when founding their startups; have similar levels of experience; and equally enjoy the startup culture.

    It’s also not that women can’t cut it in the rough and tough business world. Women-led companies are more capital-efficient, and venture-backed companies run by a woman have 12 percent higher revenues, than others.

    5. Entrepreneurship requires venture capital.

    Many would-be entrepreneurs write business plans in the hope of finding a venture capitalist to invest in them, believing that, without this funding, they can’t start a company. And that view reflected reality a few years ago. Then, capital costs for technology were in the millions of dollars. But that is no longer the case.

    A $500 laptop has more computing power today than Cray 2 supercomputers that cost $17.5 million in 1985. For storage, back then, you needed server farms and racks of hard disks, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and required air-conditioned data centers. Today, one can use cloud computing and cloud storage, costing practically nothing.

    Sensors such as those in our smartphones cost tens of thousands of dollars a few years ago. Now they too cost a few dollars or cents. Entrepreneurs can build smartphone apps that act as medical assistants to detect disease; body sensors that monitor heart, brain, and body activity; and technologies to detect soil humidity and improve agriculture. And they can participate in the genomics revolution. It cost $100 million to sequence a full human genome a decade ago. It now costs $1,000. Genome data will soon be available on millions of people, and then billions — allowing entrepreneurs to research the causes of disease.

    There are similar advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and many other fields. These technologies too require no major capital outlays. Venture capital follows innovation. If entrepreneurs build new technologies that customers need or love, money will come to them. They don’t need to wait for venture funding to start.

    6. The tech world is for techies.

    A common belief is that startup CEOs need to be engineers. Bill Gates argues that liberal-arts degrees don’t correlate well with job creation and that the humanities should be defunded in favor of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. In Silicon Valley, there is a general bias against liberal arts and humanities. It is very hard for an artist or an English or psychology major to break in.

    But note what Steve Jobs said when he unveiled the iPad 2: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.” He taught the world that, though good engineering is important, what matters the most is good design. It takes artists, musicians, and psychologists working side by side with engineers to build products as elegant as the iPad. You can teach artists how to use software and graphics tools, but it’s much harder to turn engineers into artists.

    My research at Duke and Harvard looked into the educational backgrounds of 652 U.S.-born chief executive officers and heads of product engineering at 502 technology companies in 2008. We found that only 37 percent held degrees in engineering or computer technology, and that just two percent held them in mathematics. The rest had degrees in fields as diverse as business, accounting, finance, health care, and arts and the humanities.

    Critical thinking, communication, and scientific validation are skills that are in short supply in the tech world. And these are skills that are abundant in the humanities.


    Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke’s engineering school and distinguished scholar at Singularity and Emory universities. His past appointments include Harvard Law School and University of California Berkeley.

    This post first appeared in the Washington Post.

  • (VIDEO) Microsoft Touts Computing Power of Xbox as Media Appliance
    Microsoft unveiled a slate of new programs for its Xbox gaming console at its NewFront event yesterday and several of shows provide user interactivity.   At the event, we spoke with Scott Ferris, GM of Video Advertising at Microsoft about the new slate, its anticipated appeal for a gaming-oriented audience and the opportunities for advertisers.

    You can find this post on Beet.TV.

Mobile Technology News, April 29, 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.

  • AAPL rockets to year-plus high ahead of stock split
    Apple’s stock closed on Monday at a year-to-date high-water mark, closing in on $600 as the repeated message of last week’s earnings call — Tim Cook’s “we believe the stock to be undervalued” mantra — appeared to sink in on the back of better-than-expected iPhone sales, an expansion of the stock buyback program and an announced 7-to-1 stock split taking place next month. The stock has jumped almost exactly $70 since last Thursday.



  • Apps combat phobias and anxiety
    Can a smartphone prevent an anxiety attack?
  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum Game
    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft–which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and taxes.

    With a virtual parade of high-profile security breach stories in the news–nevermind the terrifying Heartbleed bug and its unknowable and incalculable repercussions–the problem of data security and identity theft is getting more attention than ever, but increasingly it’s difficult to know who’s to blame, and what, if anything, you can do to protect yourself.

    While consumer advocates and politicians argue (rightfully) for greater protection of consumer data; better, faster and more in-depth explanations regarding data breaches; and tougher penalties for thieves and sanctions for compromised organizations, it can be easy to forget that in the data breach blame game, other than the bad guys, everyone else loses, particularly consumers.

    Forget the Stats, Your Data Is Everywhere

    It’s easy to blame ‘Big Business’ for data breaches, but the fact of the matter is that government agencies, educational institutions and medical organizations are also culpable in exposing millions of Americans’ data.

    The Identity Theft Resource Center compiles a rolling list of breaches per calendar year and the number of records exposed in them. They’re broken down by category: Business, Banking/Credit/Financial, Medical/Healthcare, Government/Military and Education.

    According to the ITRC, there have already been about 8.3 million records exposed in 250 breaches so far in 2014.

    More than half of those 250 breaches fall under the rubric of Medical/Healthcare, suggesting that health care data is some of the most vulnerable. However, with a reported number of 1.38 million records exposed at medical or health care institutions (the actual number could be a bit higher), businesses — with a total of 5.85 million breached records thus far in 2014 — are actually to blame for compromising more consumers, even though they’ve experienced fewer actual breaches.

    Now let’s consider that of the 12 recorded data breaches at educational institutions, more than 820,000 records were exposed. While educational breaches represent less than 5% of the total number of breaches so far this year, those breaches are very fruitful for identity thieves since they account for roughly 10% of the total records exposed.

    The point is, there is a staggering assortment of ways and schemes to get got by the bad guys. While the name-brand breaches make for splashy headlines and lead the evening news, a huge number of data breaches happen in public institutions and government agencies that make less news but possibly contain more of the information fraudsters need to open new lines of credit, steal health care coverage or claim tax refunds.

    We live in a world where our personally identifying information travels everywhere and anywhere in the service of everything from paying our taxes to voting to getting medical care to making everyday purchases. The result is a form of information chaos.

    What You Can Do

    So instead of playing the data breach blame game, you need to take control of the situation. Do a few simple things every day and make yourself a tougher get, have the tools to quickly determine if you are in harm’s way and have a solution in place to deal with the fallout. You just need to follow the three Ms.

    Minimize your risk. If you learn that your data has been exposed as a result of a compromise, check your credit and put a fraud alert on your file. If the breached organization offers free credit monitoring, sign up. It’s not a solution, but it can be helpful. If you are very concerned, put a freeze on your credit so that no one can open a new credit account unless and until you thaw it.

    Monitor your credit and accounts. Get your free credit report at least once a year. Check your credit scores every month. This is a good way to see if someone is using your data to commit fraud. If you have any unauthorized credit accounts that have gone delinquent, it’s highly likely that your credit scores will reflect that. Any unexpected drop in your scores should be treated like a red alert, and are a sign to check your credit reports for accounts that are not yours. (You can monitor two of your credit scores every month through Credit.com for free.)

    If you use email, or spend any time at all on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, chances are good that a few minutes (or hours) a day get frittered away. Take a few of those minutes and check your credit card statements online to make sure everything is as it should be. Check your bank accounts, as well. While you may not want to be reminded of how much money you have in the bank (and/or owe), by making this part of your daily online routine, you will know when you’ve become the victim of identity theft far sooner than you would otherwise.

    Enroll in free transactional monitoring programs. Banks, credit unions and credit card companies offer free account activity notifications by text or email.

    Consider buying more sophisticated credit and fraud monitoring products and services. Remember, you can’t begin the process of solving a problem until you know there is a problem. Since you have a day job and can’t spend every minute of your life on high alert, you need someone watching out for you.

    Manage the damage. Contact your insurance agent, financial institutions as well as the HR department at work. Many offer programs at little or no expense to assist policyholders, clients, customers and employees through crisis situations such as identity theft.

    When it comes to breaches and identity theft, we are all in this together. Just as government and business must do their part, as consumers we must do ours as well.

  • Nokia names Rajeev Suri as new boss
    Nokia has named Rajeev Suri, until now the head of its network equipment division, as the new chief executive officer.
  • VIDEO: Watch a mobile payment app in action
    A university campus has become the first in the UK to allow students to pay for goods using a mobile app.
  • Facebook Messenger Update Brings Instant Video and Photo Sharing

    Facebook has released a significant update to the Facebook Messenger app for iPhone.  The new 5.0 version for iPhone brings a host of new features, mostly around instant photo and video sharing and keeping the sharing of that media right within the app itself.
    Facebook Messenger – Free – Download [...]

    The post Facebook Messenger Update Brings Instant Video and Photo Sharing appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Apple vs Samsung, Day 12: Samsung tries shenanigans
    The last day of testimony in the second Apple-Samsung patent dispute — which only became necessary due to an Appeals Court ruling that changed the definition of one of Apple’s contested patents — was intended to be fairly quick. The two sides were allowed just one hour each to put back on the stand some experts to explain how the new interpretation might affect jurors’ deliberations , then there were to be some judgements on legal matters, and jury instruction.



  • Yahoo announces original TV series
    Yahoo has announced two original TV series that will be shown on its website and mobile app, becoming the latest tech firm to join the digital video content race.
  • Samsung's mobile phone sales decline
    Samsung Electronics reports a 4% decline in sales at its mobile phone division in the first quarter of 2014.
  • FreedomPop to sell iPhone 5, offers free voice and text app on iOS
    Alternative telecom FreedomPop has announced that it is now selling the iPhone 5 (not the 5s or 5c, just the original iPhone 5 from 2012) and offering a free wireless plan with 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data per month, the first time the Sprint MVNO has carried the iPhone. It will also support the CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 and 4S on its 3G network going forward, and has launched a new iOS app that offers free voice, text and voicemail to all iOS users on other carriers.



  • Slow web speeds stifling small firms
    Slow web speeds are stifling small firms’ growth prospects
  • Millions shut out of mobile payments
    Twenty million bank account holders will have no immediate access to the new Paym mobile payment technology, which officially launches on Tuesday.
  • Is the American Dream a Dream Deferred?
    So, last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley Summit (ASU+GSV 2014) in Arizona. It’s known as the “Davos in the Desert” and is an amazing opportunity for those with a commitment to education and creating success for students.

    There was a lot of talk at the summit about the American dream and creating opportunity for all. In fact it was the theme of the conference. I heard a lot about fears that the American dream is dying.

    As I heard about these themes throughout the event and thinking about what we can do to make a difference, I began to notice interesting things. First, glancing around the rooms revealed to me what seemed like a lack of significant diversity among attendees.

    Perhaps by working in the higher ed/ nonprofit space I have become used to attending events that reflect a higher percentage of women as attendees. It was curious to me that there was never a long wait for the ladies’ restroom at breaks. In addition, I was literally one of a handful of individuals of color participating in this amazing opportunity. Why?

    So I began to examine my own road to ASU+GSV. First, were it not for the fact that ASU+GSV offers a special nonprofit rate, (which is less than a third of the regular registration price) and also the ability to secure lodging at a more reasonably priced hotel than the conference venue, my nonprofit employer probably could not have afforded to be represented here.

    I started to wonder if there’s a missed opportunity to make this event even more accessible to the masses committed to success for students. Or maybe there needs to be a shift in priorities for said individuals to realize the importance in investing in opportunities like this?

    The sessions were engaging and valuable. During one, Michael Crow, ASU’s president, championed the need for “culture change” in families, in societies and in education in order for us to see any real improvements in learning outcomes. Sentiments I am in agreement with.

    I also listened to Governor Jeb Bush as he passionately spoke about his “tri-lingual” granddaughter who is of Mexican, Iraqi and, of course, “Texan” descent. He spoke about understanding the importance of access and the opportunities afforded by immigration and that education is the key to true social mobility.

    I recalled that Columba, Bush’s wife, is a distinguished member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and our founder Steve Loflin always reflects fondly that she actually came to her NSCS induction ceremony and served as a positive example to the undergraduate members.

    Something jelled for me listening to the governor as I realized the reason he is able to speak so passionately about these issues around immigration, access and diversity because he lives it. He relates to it.

    I think it’s difficult for most people to embrace the importance of these issues if they haven’t lived it or don’t have a point of reference. That’s why I thought that having an increased representation of diverse groups at the conference could have had an amazing and substantial impact. Especially with the abundance of opportunities to network and connect.

    As an immigrant who became a citizen as a teenager, I have no choice but to understand and embrace these issues. However, real change and real difference will not happen until those who can’t relate or don’t understand decide (or are forced to) embrace the core issues plaguing our education system.

    As to the questions and fears that the dream is dying, in my book I think we can create the opportunities to bring back the dream but it will require equity in addition to equality; it will require equal opportunity for outcomes and not just access. In order for that to really take place we need everyone to be part of the conversation.

  • Disney Tried To Buy BuzzFeed
    The merger conversations happened several months ago, but fell apart over price.
  • Police Officer Undresses To Perform 'Skin To Skin' Treatment On Man With Hypothermia
    One police officer in Canada went beyond the call of duty in a desperate attempt to save a man’s life, last week.

    After high winds caused a 23-year-old man’s canoe to capsize on the St. Lawrence River near Montreal on Thursday, he swam through the freezing waters to get to the people he spotted from a distance, QMI Agency reported.

    Fortunately, he was wearing a life jacket and made it to shore where he used the little energy he had left to climb up to them, RightThisMinute reported.

    One of the bystanders was a nurse and promptly called 911. When Police Officer David Jutras came to the scene, the nurse recommended using a “skin to skin” technique. So Jutras took off his bulletproof vest and shirt, and lay down on the man to give him as much body heat as possible.

    Paramedics later came to the scene and took the 23-year-old, who was showing signs of hypothermia, to a hospital. He was released on Thursday night, according to QMI Agency.

    This isn’t the first time that police officers have come to the rescue after a canoe capsized. Last summer, officers rescued four people in northwestern Alberta after their boat capsized. Two of them were stranded in the middle of a river, and were forced to cling to a rock for 16 hours until they were found.

    h/t RightThisMinute

  • Mobility Is the New Black
    Wearable technology is not just the latest fashion statement; it is becoming one of the biggest tech trends of the decade. From sports bracelets that can access Facebook and monitor your pulse while you are running, to wearable computers like Google Glass, the trend is growing fast.

    It makes sense. We human beings are active creatures. We walk and run and play sports. We go to museums and hockey games and restaurants. At the same time we have a love affair with our computers — whether it is emailing, Googling, instant messaging or Tweeting, we don’t like to be too far away from them.

    So when cell phones began to offer email and internet capabilities, they became our de facto mobile computers. So much so that the average person checks their mobile phone about 110 times per day!

    It was only a matter of time before mobile technology became part of your wardrobe. Google Glass offers streaming data onto your eyeglasses via a mounted display box, accessible at the flick of a glance. (They are even talking about contact lenses that can monitor your blood sugar!)

    Smart watches use Bluetooth to link to your phone, allowing you to Facebook and email while tracking your fitness levels on your wrist.

    Wearable technology gives you instant gratification while offering retailers, information providers and other companies the ability to personalize your every experience. And personalization is the future of mobility. Thanks to GPS, your mobile device knows where you are at any given time. Mobile applications give you a wide range of choices that can help you to map out a route, read a newspaper, shop online or play a game. Combining the capabilities of mobile apps with personalized services and intelligent business process management means that service providers can have a new level of business agility; able to proactively respond to customer needs, changing markets, competitors and regulations.

    Technology means service providers can filter the world for you — and you only.

    For example, imagine you are at a hockey game watching your favorite team play. A player scores and you wonder how many goals he has had this season. You pick up your smartphone to Google the answer.

    Behind you is the VIP box, where the lucky guests are sipping cocktails and wearing unusual-looking glasses. One of them yells out that your player has had 11 goals this season. How did he know that so quickly? This is the capability of personalized mobility using Google Glass.

    In fact, the Washington Capitals hockey team will soon be launching Skybox Google Glass for their home games, a service for VIPs that will offer hockey stats and graphics and replays.

    Sports are only one area where personalized mobility is useful. Medicine is also embracing it. New Jersey cardiologist Jordan Safirstein video-streams surgical operations using Google Glass to his students who can view it live on their smartphones or tablets. His cardiac fellows can learn about tricky situations as he encounters them in surgery.

    There is more to wearable computing than meets the eye. All of the data that streams out of wearable technology — and into the Internet of Things — is of use to service providers in making your customer experience even more personalized.

    Various reports indicate that more than 2 billion mobile devices will ship globally in 2014 and, as this market continues to grow exponentially, application developers need an efficient way to create dynamic apps. It will be important for developers to build single, cross-platform apps, plus test and manage them from a single platform. Equally importantly, they will want to build a single version of a native, mobile application that can be used across any iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile device.

    Wearable technology, and in particular computing, is the future. Living in a filtered world, driven by personal preferences and based on our GPS coordinates, will give all of us more of what we want — and only what we want and when we want it.

  • A Song for the FCC: Don't Blow Up Net Neutrality
    If you think explaining tech policy is difficult, try putting it to music and lyrics. That’s exactly the challenge faced by musician and artist Jonathan Mann, who last week composed a song urging the Federal Communications Commission to ditch its plan for a payola Internet.

    For the last five years, Mann has been composing a song a day. “Don’t Blow Up the Internet” is his 1,939th. In it he asks the FCC’s five commissioners whether they work for the public — or for Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

    “Don’t blow up my home. History will judge. Are you going to kill creativity, or help give it a nudge?”

    Mann, who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2006, says the open Internet is “integral” to his work as an artist. He submitted “Don’t Blow Up the Internet” to the FCC last week and is hoping the commissioners will listen in — and maybe even sing along.

    I caught up with him over the weekend:

    Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile Technology News, April 28, 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.

  • Microsoft warns of Explorer security
    Microsoft warns consumers that a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser could let hackers gain access and user rights to their computer.
  • Review of WritePad Pro โ€“ Note Taking App Taking It To Another Level

    There are a wide range of note taking apps available to iPhone and iPad users in the App Store but one of the newest, WritePad Pro, is one that has got our attention.  The app is developed by PhatWare and it brings all of the benefits of the original – and still available – WritePad for iPad – but [...]

    The post Review of WritePad Pro – Note Taking App Taking It To Another Level appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Bloodhound Diary: A car festooned with sensors
    World’s first 1,000mph car to be covered in sensors
  • US security firm creates 130 jobs
    A US cyber security company is to set up its European HQ in Cardiff and a UK data centre in Newport, creating almost 130 jobs.
  • VIDEO: Mills & Boon romance the app
    Mills & Boon ebooks get pulses racing
  • Microsoft Rushes To Fix Major Internet Explorer Security Flaw
    By Jim Finkle

    BOSTON, April 27 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is rushing to fix a bug in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser after a computer security firm disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in attacks on some U.S. companies.

    PCs running Windows XP will not receive any updates fixing that bug when they are released, however, because Microsoft stopped supporting the 13-year-old operating system earlier this month. Security firms estimate that between 15 and 25 percent of the world’s PCs still run Windows XP

    Microsoft disclosed on Saturday its plans to fix the bug in an advisory to its customers posted on its security website, which it said is present in Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11. Those versions dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 percent of the PC browser market, according to tech research firm NetMarketShare.

    Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc said that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed “Operation Clandestine Fox.”

    FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps companies respond to cyber attacks, declined to name specific victims or identify the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter is still active.

    “It’s a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors,” FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza said via email. “It’s unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”

    He declined to elaborate, though he said one way to protect against them would be to switch to another browser.

    Microsoft said in the advisory that the vulnerability could allow a hacker to take complete control of an affected system, then do things such as viewing, changing, or deleting data, installing malicious programs, or creating accounts that would give hackers full user rights.

    FireEye and Microsoft have not provided much information about the security flaw or the approach that hackers could use to figure out how to exploit it, said Aviv Raff, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Seculert.

    Yet other groups of hackers are now racing to learn more about it so they can launch similar attacks before Microsoft prepares a security update, Raff said.

    “Microsoft should move fast,” he said. “This will snowball.”

    Still, he cautioned that Windows XP users will not benefit from that update since Microsoft has just halted support for that product.

    The software maker said in a statement to Reuters that it advises Windows XP users to upgrade to one of two most recently versions of its operating system, Windows 7 or 8.

    (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Diane Craft)

  • The Perfect and the Good on Network Neutrality
    Network neutrality is in jeopardy — just not in the way you might have heard.

    At this moment, with the exception of one company subject to merger conditions, broadband access providers in the United States aren’t legally prohibited from blocking competitors’ content, arbitrarily degrading unaffiliated services, favoring their own content artificially or offering prioritization deals solely to favored partners. Any of these practices would cause damage to the innovative dynamism and openness of the Internet. And there’s reason to think that, without regulatory oversight, those harms might be realized. After all, they have been before.

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler recently circulated a proposal to his colleagues that reportedly would ban all of these practices. (As of this writing, the proposal is not public, although Wheeler gave a general overview in a blog post.) The proposal reportedly would establish ongoing FCC review of agreements between broadband and content providers, to ensure that better performance is offered on reasonable terms. And it would beef up transparency obligations to shine a light on attempts to create an artificial slow lane or manipulate network management anti-competitively. It would do all this on a legal foundation recently validated in court. (The agency’s two prior attempts in this area were overturned on jurisdictional grounds.)

    In short, the FCC is apparently considering a proposal to make a form of network neutrality the law of the land. So why is there an explosion of outrage that the FCC is gutting, killing or abandoning net neutrality?

    The answer has to do with that old saw about the perfect and the good. The FCC proposal doesn’t prohibit one category of business agreements that could be abused. And it doesn’t use the simplest and most expansive legal theory. That has network neutrality advocates up in arms. On the other hand, Wheeler’s approach has something significant going for it: It might actually stick. In the political morass of today’s Washington, that factor shouldn’t be minimized. And it could be an effective model for protecting ongoing Internet-based innovation.

    The concept of network neutrality (or in the FCC’s preferred parlance, the open Internet) draws upon technical and economic insights about the amazing success of the Internet as a catalyst for innovation, free speech and economic growth. The basic idea is that network operators should not discriminate against certain content, applications, services, or devices. The significance of this principle for protecting innovation and tomorrow’s upstarts is increasingly evident — the growth of Internet companies over the last twenty attests to its importance. In the words of Internet Protocol co-creator Vint Cerf, network neutrality means “the creators of new Internet content and services need not seek permission from carriers or pay special fees to be seen online.”

    Net neutrality highlights vitally important aspects of the way the Internet works today. Other than the FCC’s recent, failed attempts, however, it has never been a legal mandate, let alone a technical requirement. Thanks to the extraordinary work of scholars and public interest advocates over the past decade, the basic principle of network neutrality is now embraced by the technology industry, the FCC, and even many broadband providers.

    To be sure, there is still disagreement at the edges about how to implement network neutrality: How should the FCC balance the benefits of network neutrality against the risks of excessive involvement in business decisions, and the potential to chill capital investment in infrastructure? How exactly should it write and enforce the rules to ensure that tomorrow’s upstarts have the necessary freedom to innovate without permission?

    In implementing network neutrality, some differentiation of traffic must be allowed on the Internet, even encouraged. Network operators should be able to block malware and denial of service attacks, for example. And companies like Akamai and Limelight should be able to offer content distribution network (CDN) functionality to improve delivery of certain content. There are many thousands of interconnection agreements among network operators, backed by massive amounts of traffic engineering, caching overlays, and other mechanisms to meet business and technical parameters. If the Internet story is one of a neutral network, it’s also one of private firms negotiating arrangements and managing their networks as they see fit.

    Network neutrality advocates acknowledge all this. They propose various rules that distinguish reasonable from unreasonable discrimination, just as the FCC is doing. So the real question is whether Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rule is so much worse than what came before. Under what we understand the FCC proposal to be, access providers can’t block, can’t degrade, can’t arbitrarily favor certain applications, and can’t favor their own traffic. If you read the past decade of network neutrality literature, those are the dangers usually mentioned. So what’s everyone so mad about?

    The major change in the new proposal concerns so-called paid prioritization agreements. In other words, the new rules appear to allow a broadband provider to offer content providers the option of faster or more reliable delivery for a supplemental fee. Under the old rules, the FCC didn’t prohibit such deals, but said it was skeptical they would meet its discrimination test.

    In the new proposal, the FCC appears to mandate that paid prioritization offerings be “commercially reasonable.” This requirement presumably would insist on the availability on the same terms to all, with the FCC reviewing such offerings on a case-by-case basis. Such a requirement might also include the condition that any paid prioritization offerings are only reasonable when the broadband provider offers a sufficiently robust level of non-prioritized broadband. (Comcast is already subject to such a requirement through 2018 under its NBC Universal merger conditions.) And we should emphasize that “might” is the operative word here because we are talking about a proposal (or even sets of proposals) that have yet to be approved by a majority of the FCC Commissioners, and put out for public review, comment, and discussion. Nothing has been decided yet, in other words.

    Calling paid prioritization “discrimination” is a matter of semantics; one wouldn’t say that FedEx discriminates because it offers the choice of one-day and two-day package delivery. Indeed, the traditional “Title II common carrier” model (which some network neutrality advocates favor) has allowed different levels of service — paid prioritization in other words — as long as the prioritized service level was available to all comers.

    As for the FCC’s apparent proposal, it does not encourage or require paid prioritization. At most, the proposal would allow some commercial offerings — subject to negotiation between the two firms — to allow for a higher level of service. This same opportunity exists today in other parts of the Internet ecosystem, including Internet backbone networks and content delivery networks. It’s unclear whether paid prioritization will succeed as a business model in the broadband context, however. Network operators and engineers have been pitching “differentiated quality of service” techniques on the Internet for nearly twenty years, with little to show for it. And if broadband providers offer adequate levels of non-prioritized bandwidth, such offerings won’t prevent tomorrow’s upstarts from taking root on the Internet, which is the core concern that network neutrality needs to protect.

    Saying the FCC action will “force companies to pay tolls” or “create a two-tier Internet” makes it seem as though companies such as Netflix and Google currently use the Internet for free. They don’t. They pay access providers; they pay intermediaries called transit providers; they pay CDNs; and they pay to build or buy their own infrastructure. Some pay more than others. Big players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple spend billions every year to speed the performance of their services to end users. They would like to pay less, and network operators would like to charge more; that’s the way business negotiations work.

    Unlike the original focus of network neutrality, which was network operators favoring their services over others, the objection to Wheeler’s proposal is that it favors big players like Netflix and Amazon over startups who can’t afford to pay for priority delivery. That’s a legitimate concern, but new and small providers are always at a disadvantage compared to their larger and more established competitors. The real policy concern — and the one network neutrality advocates should analyze once they see the details of the proposal — is whether the playing field will allow for new innovators to enter and compete against today’s incumbents.

    The reality of today’s Internet environment is that building a business costs money. Even YouTube felt the pressure of skyrocketing bandwidth bills, which reportedly contributed to its decision to seek an acquirer with existing infrastructure. YouTube had a very successful outcome, but it wasn’t guaranteed. For policymakers, therefore, the relevant question is whether tomorrow’s YouTube will face insurmountable obstacles in getting started and launched. As long as innovators can still use the same baseline connections as before (and such connections remain adequate to support new business models),they need not “seek permission from carriers or pay special fees to be seen online,” to use Cerf’s language.

    Are there downsides and risks to Chairman Wheeler’s rule? No question, and there should be a vigorous debate on the details of the proposal in the public comment period. Most notably, startup investment could be chilled if entrepreneurs and venture capitalists decide it’s not worth entering a market where paid prioritization exists — let alone necessary to obtain access to adequate levels of bandwidth or service quality. And content providers may feel compelled to pay the supplemental fees if network operators starve the regular Internet pipe and don’t provide adequate levels of basic broadband service, making it structurally deficient as a means to reach customers.

    These concerns, however, are ones that the FCC’s proposed rules could address — whether as proposed or as modified after public comment. The FCC could conclude, for example, that deliberately degrading basic connectivity runs afoul of the relevant non-discrimination and transparency requirements. Or the FCC could conclude that offering paid prioritization options depends on an adequate level of broadband service to those using the regular Internet pipe. It’s simply premature to conclude based on a few leaked highlights of the Chairman’s proposal that the FCC has abandoned its commitment to network neutrality.

    The effectiveness of the FCC proposal in protecting the open Internet thus depends on how it’s enforced, which is an often overlooked point in these discussions. The dirty little secret is that enforcement is a key challenge for every variant of network neutrality, even the most expansive version under “reclassification” of broadband as a regulated Title II telecommunications service. The rules get all the attention, but the real question is what the FCC does with them.

    It should also be emphasized that the reason network neutrality is important to begin with is that broadband access in the U.S. is a heavily concentrated market, especially for fixed high-speed connections. So the importance of the FCC doing what it can to encourage more competition in that marketplace should not be lost. The FCC can promote a more competitive broadband market, for example, by preempting excessive restrictions on municipal networks and fees for access to poles and conduits; making more wireless spectrum available on both a licensed and unlicensed basis; managing the transition from the legacy public switched telephone network to an all-Internet Protocol communications world; and supporting disruptive entrants. It’s looking at all those areas now.

    The surest way to stop progress towards real broadband competition is if the FCC’s work grinds to a halt in a miasma of political and legal opposition. That’s quite possible if it reverses a decade of precedent and reclassifies broadband. And that would be just the beginning of the process.

    How to defend and implement network neutrality is not as simple as banning all forms of paid prioritization. After all, the FCC’s old rule left the door open to such service offerings, and even the reclassified Title II framework traditionally allowed different levels of service as long as they were offered to all comers. What really matters is ensuring that the broadband environment continues to provide space for tomorrow’s innovators to develop new, disruptive offerings. When the FCC releases the proposed rules for comment, we should all focus on that criterion to evaluate whether they are sufficient and effective.

  • Flaw Found In Internet Explorer Browser
    A serious flaw has been found in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser which has allowed cyber criminals to impersonate known websites to steal user data.

    Microsoft warned that the vulnerability had already been used in “limited, targeted attacks” against people and networks using Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11, which make up over a quarter of all web browsers.

  • RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal Fired Following Domestic Violence Conviction
    The embattled CEO of RadiumOne has been fired in the wake of a horrific domestic violence incident, Kara Swisher of Re/code reported.

    The company’s board of directors fired Gurbaksh Chahal on Saturday night, Swisher. The company confirmed the news in an email statement on Sunday, TechCrunch reported. According to Swisher, Chahal did not offer to step down.

    The company said that Chief Operating Officer Bill Lonergan will be taking over as CEO.

    Chahal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges last week and paid a $500 fine. He ducked 45 felony charges and jail time.

    Chahal defended himself in a blog post on Sunday. In it, he denied the severity of the abuse but admitted that he “lost [his] temper.” He lashed out at allegations that he beat his girlfriend 117 times, despite the fact that there’s a video of the incident. He called the video “bullshit” and accused the media of spreading misinformation.

    Chahal also accused his girlfriend of “having unprotected sex for money with other people” and explained that when he confronted her about the discovery, they had a “normal” argument. He claims he only attacked her after she called 911.

    As a result of the crimes, TechCrunch is dropping the online ad network as a sponsor of an upcoming tech conference.

    TechCrunch is owned by AOL, which also owns The Huffington Post.

  • 4 Must-Have Digital Marketing Core Competencies
    Marketing is undergoing a dramatic transformation. According to enterprise technology analyst and best-selling author Paul Greenberg, popularly known as “the Godfather of CRM,” the battle for customers has gone from competing against other competitors to competing for customer’s attention. Marketo‘s CMO, Sanjay Dholakia noted that this change, coupled with the fact that the way people buy has changed, is forcing marketers to rethink the way they market and the tools they market with. As a result, marketers are spending increasing amounts on technology, digital marketing and sales and marketing automation.

    2014-04-27-PaulGreenbergSanjayDholakia.jpg
    Paul Greenberg and Sanjay Dholakia (CMO, Marketo)

    The different type of world we live in involves going to where consumers are congregating, listening and responding, engaging them with useful content and using data to make marketing personal. To help marketers navigate this new digital marketing age, we brought these two experts together to give us some insight into what is required to effectively market under these new conditions. To succeed in the digital age, you’ll want to make sure these four tools are in your marketing repertoire.

    Four must have digital marketing competencies: engagement strategy, content, data and automation

    1. Customer Engagement Strategy: it’s about conversations, not campaigns. The fact that 60-70 percent of the buying process takes place before the consumer even speaks to the vendor sheds light on the fact that there is so much information available to consumers today. According to recent surveys, CIOs spend half of the time of their buying journey doing independent research, 30 percent of their time collaborating with peers and only 20 percent in conversation with the vendor. With all of this information available, marketers need to shift their mindset to think in terms of conversations, not campaigns, if they are to stand a chance at being heard by the empowered consumer.

    According to Dholakia, “All campaigns do is make the noise louder and yelling louder does not work. Marketers need to figure out how to engage the consumer in that conversation.” This information shift is an opportunity for marketers — it’s their ticket to play and engage in that conversation. But how do you get invited to the conversation? In a word, content. You need to have something useful to contribute, and content, according to Dholakia, is the new job of the marketer.

    2. Influence marketing: interesting, timely and useful content – The job of the marketer has changed. Because of the change in the buying process, it can no longer be about finding the customer, but making sure that their company is found. That empowered buyer is going to go out looking for information and if you don’t have content that is interesting and useful, you are not going to get invited into the conversation. This requires marketers to invest in a whole new world of content in order to have relevant things that can go where the conversation goes.

    According to BtoB Magazine “Content Marketing” is one of the top priorities for marketing in 2014. Content marketing was listed as the top priority by the Altimeter Group . In a recent survey, 78 percent of CMOs think content is the future of marketing.

    Greenberg says that marketers need to use tools in a way that appeals to the 21st Century digital customer and that means using visual content to capture and engage your audience. “We all respond to things that are the most attractive, so the use of things that are visual, the use of humor and the use of storytelling will keep consumers looking,” says Greenberg.

    3. Data driven marketing and the power of contextual intelligence - The long sought-after “segments of one” is finally achievable thanks to data. As world-class “segmenters”, Pandora, Netflix, and Amazon take it to another level by creating “segments of one”: micro-segments that target each customer uniquely, allowing the companies to convert visitors into long-term, high-value customers at very high rates. The fact that the technology exists to allow for companies to have these individual and personalized relationships with customers is one of the biggest shifts in marketing, and it is made possible because of data.

    Data allows marketers to know people and engage in an authentic relationship with them. The metadata surrounding your contacts is what will allow you to create very fine segments. You can then nurture your prospects with helpful, timely emails and helpful, timely Web content that will dramatically improve your customer conversion ratios. The other piece of data, the measurement, allows marketers to know exactly what is working and not working, and allows them to prove the effect of what they are doing.

    4. Marketing automation: lead nurturing, marketing campaign influence, and sales enablement — Greenberg says that it would be very hard to do segments of one without social listening skills that come from integrating social CRM and social listening technologies into marketing automation tools. How do you respond to customers in real (or near-real) time without tools that can access millions of conversations that are going on? “You’re odds are vastly improved with the various tool sets to do it,” says Greenberg. Marketo allows all companies to market on a one-to-one basis, similar to Amazon, and allows companies to very quickly and easily start this one-to-one customer engagement.

    Sales and marketing automation tools have also done much to dramatically improve the adversarial relationship that existed for a long time between sales and marketing due to the fact that neither side had the tools to take the customer conversations and relationships to the next level. With sales and marketing aligned and finally being able to get on the same side of the table, they can focus on questions like, ‘Do we have the right content?’, ‘Do we have the right skills to market in this new world?’ and ‘How are we integrating this process throughout the entire organization (beyond sales and marketing)?’.

    If you are an enterprise who is not yet doing marketing automation, the time is now. Dholakia says that we are still in the very early innings of this game with just five to 10 percent penetration in the world and the maturity curve of this new way of marketing is well ahead of us. As a Marketo customer for a few years now, I don’t understand how any company can consider themselves a digital marketer without sales and marketing automation. This critical tool is something you need to consider, otherwise, as Dholakia says, “you’ll be spending half your marketing budget, but you won’t know which half.” Get started on your journey by visiting Marketo’s online resource center, which is intended to help educate people on what marketing automation is.

    You can watch the full interview with Paul Greenberg and Sanjay Dholakia here. Please join me and Michael Krigsman every Friday at 3PM EST as we host CXOTalk — connecting with thought leaders and innovative executives who are pushing the boundaries within their companies and their fields.

  • Think Dirty App Reveals Just How Toxic Certain Beauty Products Are
    From Mother Nature Network’s Starre Vartan:

    I’m really not sure why we live in a world where living healthfully is so difficult and complicated (wouldn’t making healthy choices easy save us the time, pain, and money illness causes?). But we do. For now, if you want to avoid toxins and chemicals in your food or beauty products — and choose effective natural ingredients instead — you are going to have to take extra time and energy to do so. I know, it’s frustrating.

    As is often the case, technology has answered consumer demand for information more quickly than the companies that manufacture the products can produce the info we want. This time it’s an app that will break down what exactly is in your cosmetics and personal care products.

    This info can be hard or impossible to find, since many products don’t include ingredients listings (they aren’t required to by the government, and claim ‘trade secrets’ are more important that you and me knowing exactly what’s in the stuff we slather on our bodies every day). Products that aren’t ingested aren’t held to the same standards as food or drugs, and many of the chemicals used in everyday products have never been tested for safety — they are on the GRAS list, which stands for Generally Recognized As Safe (which only means that they haven’t been proven to be harmful to people, but they also haven’t been proven to be safe).

    We want you to Think Dirty. from Think Dirty on Vimeo.

    If you are looking to avoid chemicals like phthalates, parabens and synthetic fragrances, the Think Dirty app is a guiding hand through the confusing world of beauty product labeling. You can input a product name, and you can also scan a product’s barcode. It will give you information about chemicals in the product, as well as suggestions for similar products that are ‘cleaner.’

    Lily Tse developed the app herself out of frustration in the cosmetics aisle, and the app’s information and recommendations are based on information from a number of sources, including the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which has long kept track of the known and potential impacts of personal care products.

    Tse said in a press release, “Three years ago, I was moved by a short animation produced by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I had the ‘Aha!’ moment when the story resonated with my personal experience of not able to understand cosmetics labels. Then I realized there’s a need for a tool like Think Dirty. Fast track 3 years later, partnering with the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign is a dream comes true. They inspired me to take daily actions to shop for my health and the environment.”

    This useful app can help us all make informed decisions about the products that we breathe and absorb into our skin every day; is it so much to ask that we want to know what we are putting on our bodies and down our drains (into our water supplies)? I think not, and now we have an (easier) option.

  • Supreme Court Weighing What Privacy Means In The Digital Age

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device.

    Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home?

    How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday. A drug dealer and a gang member want the court to rule that the searches of their cellphones after their arrest violated their right to privacy in the digital age.

    The Obama administration and California, defending the searches, say cellphones are no different from anything else a person may be carrying when arrested. Police may search those items without a warrant under a line of high court cases reaching back 40 years.

    What’s more, said Donald Verrilli Jr., the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, “Cellphones are now critical tools in the commission of crimes.”

    The cases come to the Supreme Court amid separate legal challenges to the massive warrantless collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency and the government’s use of technology to track Americans’ movements.

    Librarians, the news media, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups on the right and left are trying to convince the justices that they should take a broad view of the privacy issues raised when police have unimpeded access to increasingly powerful devices that may contain a wealth of personal data: emails and phone numbers, photographs, information about purchases and political affiliations, books and a gateway to even more material online.

    “Cellphones and other portable electronic devices are, in effect, our new homes,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a court filing that urged the court to apply the same tough standards to cellphone searches that judges have historically applied to police intrusions into a home.

    Under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, police generally need a warrant before they can conduct a search. The warrant itself must be based on “probable cause,” evidence that a crime has been committed.

    But in the early 1970s, the Supreme Court carved out exceptions for officers dealing with people they have arrested. The court was trying to set clear rules that allowed police to look for concealed weapons and prevent the destruction of evidence. Briefcases, wallets, purses and crumpled cigarette packs all are fair game if they are being carried by a suspect or within the person’s immediate control.

    Car searches pose a somewhat different issue. In 2009, in the case of a suspect handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser, the court said police may search a car only if the arrestee “is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment” or if police believe the car contains evidence relevant to the crime for which the person had been arrested.

    The Supreme Court is expected to resolve growing division in state and federal courts over whether cellphones deserve special protection.

    More than 90 percent of Americans own at least one cellphone, the Pew Research Center says, and the majority of those are smartphones — essentially increasingly powerful computers that are also telephones.

    In the two Supreme Court cases being argued Tuesday, one defendant carried a smartphone and the other an older and less advanced flip phone.

    In San Diego, police found indications of gang membership when they looked through defendant David Leon Riley’s Samsung smartphone. Prosecutors used video and photographs found on the smartphone to persuade a jury to convict Riley of attempted murder and other charges. California courts rejected Riley’s efforts to throw out the evidence and upheld the convictions.

    Smartphones also have the ability to connect to the Internet, but the administration said in its brief that it is not arguing for the authority to conduct a warrantless Internet-based search using an arrestee’s device.

    In Boston, a federal appeals court ruled that police must have a warrant before searching arrestees’ cellphones. Police arrested Brima Wurie on suspicion of selling crack cocaine, checked the call log on his flip phone and used that information to determine where he lived. When they searched Wurie’s home, armed with a warrant, they found crack, marijuana, a gun and ammunition. The evidence was enough to produce a conviction and a prison term of more than 20 years.

    The appeals court ruled for Wurie, but left in place a drug conviction for selling cocaine near a school that did not depend on the tainted evidence. That conviction also carried a 20-year sentence. The administration appealed the court ruling because it wants to preserve the warrantless searches following arrest.

    The differences between the two cases could give the court room to craft narrow rulings that apply essentially only to the circumstances of those situations.

    The justices should act cautiously because the technology is changing rapidly, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in her court filing.

    Harris invoked Justice Samuel Alito’s earlier writing that elected lawmakers are better suited than are judges to write new rules to deal with technological innovation.

    On the other side of the California case, Stanford law professor Jeffrey Fisher, representing Riley, cited FBI statistics showing 12 million people were arrested in 2012. In California and elsewhere, he said, those arrests can be for such minor crimes as “jaywalking, littering or riding a bicycle the wrong direction on a residential street.”

    It shouldn’t be the case, Fisher said, that each time police make such an arrest, they can rummage through the cellphone without first getting a judge to agree to issue a warrant.

    The cases are Riley v. California, 13-132, and U.S. v. Wurie, 13-212.

    ___

    Follow Mark Sherman on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shermancourt

Mobile Technology News, April 27, 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.

  • Review of 2048 โ€“ Highly Addictive and Challenging Maths Puzzle Game

    There are puzzle games.  There are maths games.  There are puzzle maths games.  Then there is 2048.  2048 is a relative new game to the App Store and it already has a cult-like following.  The premise is simple:  Move tiles on the play board to add them up until you reach the magical 2048 tile. [...]

    The post Review of 2048 – Highly Addictive and Challenging Maths Puzzle Game appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • TechCrunch Drops RadiumOne From Disrupt Conference Over CEO's Domestic Violence [UPDATE]
    TechCrunch is dropping online ad network RadiumOne as a sponsor of the popular Disrupt NY technology conference over charges that its CEO beat his girlfriend during a horrific episode of domestic violence.

    In an open letter to RadiumOne’s board members that was posted online Saturday, Leena Rao, a senior editor at TechCrunch, explained that the behavior of RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal had become impossible to ignore.

    “You see, I am afraid that this world is at risk of being a place where people are known to sacrifice ethics, and values, and sometimes genuine human decency in exchange for making money. This scares me, as does the fact that a violent, angry man is being left to prosper without full responsibility and retribution for his crimes.”

    Chahal was arrested and charged with hitting his girlfriend a staggering 117 times over a half-hour last August. The incident was caught on video, but the footage was ruled inadmissible in court because the police had seized it without a warrant. This, combined with the victim’s resistance to cooperating, allowed Chahal to plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges, and escape the situation with only three years of probation and some community service requirements.

    RadiumOne is one of the largest online advertising platforms in the world. The company had been in the final stages of preparing for an IPO and expected to generate more than $100 million in revenue this year, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg.

    RadiumOne was set to sponsor the “Hackathon” portion of the three-day Disrupt technology and startup conference taking place in New York City next week.

    But after the news broke last week that Chahal would serve no time behind bars, people took to social media to express their outrage.

    Unbelievable! RadiumOne should ask him to step down, he is a criminal! All this on video! http://t.co/ZC3UqE5txq

    — Eliane Fiolet (@ElianeFiolet) April 26, 2014

    Its a strong statement & i fully agree, until RadiumOne gets rid of that arrogant scumbag Gurbaksh Chahal. http://t.co/sdBRCIPCa3

    — Marvin Liao (@marvinliao) April 26, 2014

    @gchahal you’re a coward. violence against women is not ok. resign and seek help. do us and @RadiumOne a favor. stop denying and deleting.

    — Dora Fang (@dorafang) April 26, 2014

    In a separate post on its website Saturday, TechCrunch said that “we simply couldn’t sleep at night knowing that we were supporting and promoting a company led by someone who does not share our values on the issue of domestic abuse.”

    Full disclosure: TechCrunch and The Huffington Post are both owned by AOL.

    UPDATE: The board of RadiumOne is considering removing CEO Gurbaskh Chahal from his job, Re/code reported Saturday. According to sources close to the company, the all-male board has “been discussing the issue and will come to some decision or make a public statement within days.”

  • 21st Century Breakups
    If we’re being honest with ourselves, breakups are never in any way enjoyable. Whether you are on the receiving or giving end, whether it’s a monthlong or decadelong romance, whether in hindsight it was the best relationship of your life or the worst, breaking up sucks. There’s really no way to make it suck less, and there’s unfortunately no way to avoid it. Unless you’re a Duggar, maybe.

    But with the constant flow of communication resulting from the ever-growing use and presence of devices, it seems that breaking up is getting harder and harder to do, and sucking more and more.

    From having Facebook not-so-subtly shove it in your face that your ex is (already?!) in a new relationship, to checking obsessively to see if they’ve viewed your Snapchat story, to making sure your life appears more fun than theirs via Instagram, to god forbid stalking them on Find My Friends. Social media simultaneously makes it easier to stalk your ex, harder to hide if you’re struggling post-breakup, and more competitive than ever when it comes to playing the who-got-over-who-quicker game. Yes, that’s a thing.

    And it’s not just social media — it’s the ability to text, call or (desperate times call for desperate measures) email to contact an ex within 10 seconds. I would really like to see a study on how many texts sent past 11 pm involve former flings, and how many texts sent past 11 pm are regretted by 11 am the next morning.

    Technology has changed a lot of things — job searches, college applications, travel, doctor’s appointments — you name it. But I would argue that technology’s impact on the relationships we form, and break, with each other is perhaps its most critical consequence. What do breakups look like in the 21st century? They look like the face of your ex in front of your face 24/7.

    For a long time, I thought it was ridiculous when people removed ex’s from their social media. Does it seem absolutely embarrassing and immature to de-friend an ex on Facebook, unfollow them on Instagram or block their texts and calls? Yes. But if you’re struggling to get over a breakup, taking these measures is almost guaranteed to help. Growing up, we’re told to take ‘space’ in situations like these — but with instantaneous contact always looming, it’s impossible to truly take the space we need. The extent to which technology bridges the gaps between people is a bit of a catch 22 — it helps us connect with people whether we want to or not.

    In navigating the emerging technological society, it is most important to remember that we are not passive participants — we have the power, and the right, to opt-out of technology when we wish. It’s not ridiculous, embarrassing or immature; it is in fact one of the most mature and empowering things we can do in a society filled with and often run by technological interconnectivity. We need to remind ourselves that technology does not control us, but that technology is there for us to choose to — or choose not to — use in the ways that will best serve us and our relationships with others.

  • We Are Dropping RadiumOne As A NY Disrupt Sponsor
    TechCrunch will be dropping RadiumOne as a Disrupt New York hackathon sponsor. As Leena Rao writes, we simply couldn’t sleep at night knowing that we are supporting and promoting a company led by someone who does not share our values on the issue of domestic abuse.
  • Future of TV Snaps Into Focus – With 500 Million Dollar Fund
    Today Peter Chernin, the former president of News Corp and AT&TT announced a half-a-billon dollar fund to invest and acquire new web video properties. It’s a critical moment in the TV to the Web transition — but one that makes perfect sense.

    Here’s the backstory:
    Television, that big box that filled living rooms with a blue glow through two generations — is gone. The era of three networks, TV dinners and the dull thud of the ‘boob tube’ has all but vanished. Good riddance!

    But what you may not have noticed as you checked your email, read your Twitter stream, posted on Facebook or shared on Instagram — is that TV is at the edge of a new horizon. About to be reborn.

    TV’s future is now in sight. Networked, social, interactive and focused on the things that matter to you. Passion-powered TV, nichified and valuable.

    At the center of the change is the blurring line between TV and the Internet.

    Broadcast TV is transformed from a one way experience with towers and transmitters into a narrowcast experience where we can can receive what we want, in our own timeframe.

    Fixed televisions are replaced by moving mobile devices, smart phones and tablets, with mobile broadband LTE connections.

    Devices like Google Glass, Facebook’s Oculus VR and other motion control and voice control innovations shift the TV interface from a handheld channel changer into a fully immersive experience.

    The old world of programmed TV — with schedules and prime-time shows is being replaced by social recommendations and curated niche program offerings.

    But perhaps most importantly — TV is expanding beyond its narrow confines of entertainment. Television is increasingly playing a critical role in live events, shopping, gaming and even education.

    What does the future of TV look like?

    There are 3 trends that matter — and are no longer the stuff of sci-fi futurists:

    TV – Smart TVs – Connected and Social.
    TV – The Shift To Mobile Media.
    TV – Personal and Curated.

    In-Stat reports that 500 million TV sets worldwide will be web enabled by 2015. Companies are driving hard to be the critical connection between the web and your flat screen. Amazon’s new FireTV puts a new box in the mix, along with Apple, Roku, Google TV, Tivo and Samsung’s Boxee. And don’t forget Xbox and the other gaming boxes — all vying to be your entry into video.

    Already TV has broken beyond the bounds of proximity — and big event television like the Superbowl and the Academy Awards have developed social experiences via Twitter and Facebook that rival the events themselves. And social TV is just the beginning. Around the bend, the emergence of participatory TV promises to turn audiences into active creators — both on screen and off.

    Trend # 1 – Smart Televisions

    Thanks to devices, Netflix, Apple TV and Roku — TV users have started to get a taste of what it feels like to enjoy a truly a la carte experience. But that’s just the beginning.

    Television manufactures are now building devices that are internet ready — and the data is clear here. At the rate we’re going we’ll have our TVs connected to the internet at a dramatic rate. New high speed wireless technology coming to smart TVs is known as 802.11ac. 802.11ac, which will grow to 185 million new TV and display connections by 2015, will allow easy distribution of video within the home, including between tablet and TVs. Technologies like Miracast and DIAL will allow consumers to interact with their TVs from a mobile device.

    Here’s the Growth Track of Miracast and DIAL-enabled display device shipments (Millions)
    2014-04-26-Miracast_and_Dial__NEXTMARKET_large.png
    Source: NextMarket Insights

    With HTML5 looming large as the new platform for the connected web, TV manufacturers are completing with Google and Apple, who are competing with cable companies and app makers. It’s a free-for-all, with consumers poised to win in a big way.

    Trend # 2 – Mobile

    Mobile is one of the terms that’s outgrown its actually application. Really mobile now means “everything but the desktop computer.” iPad, Kindle Fire, Android tablets, Samsung and Apple smart phones — anything connected to wifi or mobile broadband is now a TV set in your pocket.

    2014-04-26-Slide11.jpg
    Data via Ooyala

    As Ava Seave Reports in Forbes:

    “The share of total video plays by mobile and tablet platforms continues to take away playing time from other devices, Ooyala reports today, as part of itsGlobal Video Index for Q4, 2013. The mobile + tablet share of video plays reached almost 18 percent — an increase of a more than ten points over the 7 percent reported a year earlier. The report predicts that mobile video “could make up to half of all online video consumption by 2016.”

    Cross-platform viewing is on the rise — as consumers start a program on a tabled to smart phone, and then pick up viewing on home internet-enabled smart TV.

    Connected TVs are on pace to take over the television viewing experience. There will be more than 759 million televisions connected to the Internet worldwide by 2018, more than double 2013′s number, according to Digital TV Research.

    Trend # 3 – Personal and Curated

    The barrier to entry in the content creation space have fallen away. Handheld video recorders including the iPhone and GoPro are turning consumers into creators. And audiences are increasingly seeking authenticity and content depth over slick production values. This is a watershed moment in the powerful new role that video will play in the evolution of the web, and in the very nature of knowledge creation and transfer. The early promise of cable TV was that it would replace mass-media and low brow entertainment with quality, compelling, niche content. The concept was right for audiences, but too early to meet the economic demands of brand advertisers.

    Today — the demand for video in contextual and curated networks is evident and growing. Audiences want their information relevant, timely and ready for them on whatever device is in their hand.

    Using emerging crowd-discovery tools and niche network platforms — it’s not hard to foresee a day where the noisy abundance of web video is curated into remarkably engaging and useful networks that meet your needs, embrace a community and provide advertisers with a trusted and safe environment for them to deliver relevant messages.

    Today the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen in the almost 2 billion video views of TED, or the large and growing educational audience on Khan Academy. In the next three to five years, each and every personal hobby, interest, passion and educational category will have a curated video channel waiting for you to tune in, share and interact with. TV’s future is bright — and the next phase is already underway.

  • These Kids Thought Their School Lacked A Place Of Discovery. So They're Building One
    The students of REALM charter school in Berkeley, Calif., are putting their creativity to the test.

    In the past, the eighth-graders have had the opportunity to create laser-etched skateboards and build classrooms out of shipping containers, but this year they’ve decided to build their school’s first library, Berkeleyside reported.

    against wall
    xxx

    “There were some students who said, ‘We don’t have a library period,’” Emily Pilloton, REALM’s creativity director, told Yahoo’s Good News blog. “But there were others who said, ‘We don’t have a place to explore. We don’t have a place to relax. We don’t have a place of discovery.’”

    So now the students are building that place — their dream library — through a program called Studio H. The program is an offshoot of Project H, a design education nonprofit that Pilloton founded in 2008, according to Berkeleyside. They’re calling the library “X-Space.” “X” represents the unknown, which is a concept the students recently studied in their algebra class.

    The students conducted their research by going on field trips to several libraries and considering their design. They also drew up a budget and launched a Kickstarter. In just one month, they raised almost $79,000 — which was more than their goal of $75,000.

    layout
    design
    close up creating

    They’re hoping that the library will be unveiled this fall.

    “It’s not going to be the same as the other libraries I’ve seen, like the Berkeley library, because we’re trying to make it unique,” Leilani Gil, an eighth-grader involved in the project, told Berkeleyside. “We made a library so people can chill and learn and work on their homework, or just hang out.”

    classroom
    creation

    We are a school of kids who are curious and young and have crazy stuff going on in our lives, and we want a place to explore the things we don’t know,” Pilloton told Yahoo.

    classroom filter
    funny
    finished project

    We can’t wait to see the finished product!

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  • This Is What Heartbreak Looks Like In The Digital Age
    It’s often difficult to articulate the real pain and anguish involved in heartbreak. But artist Victoria Siemer seems to do it better than most, with her series “Human Error.” Overlaying intimate Polaroids with computerized error messages, she cleverly connects the futility of dwelling on a broken heart with the uselessness of channeling frustration towards your tech devices.

    one

    The series was inspired by an unfortunate Photoshop experience. “I lost everything I was working on,” Siemer, also known as Witchoria, explained to HuffPost. “An error message popped up that said, ‘Photoshop has crashed unexpectedly’ — you know, stating the obvious. In my frustration I took a screenshot of that message to make a joke about how photoshop broke my heart.”

    “As I was manipulating the image, I realized how many error messages could be applied to things that happen in day-to-day life,” Siemer added. “The options that error messages offer are limited; by putting their prompts in conversation with images that evoke heartbreak or discontent, I’m emphasizing the sense of futility you feel in both contexts.”

    The resulting series pairs dreamy portraits of beaches, tangled hair and crumpled bedsheets with stomach-churning error messages familiar to anyone who’s operated modern technology. Gazing at the series, the viewer conflates feelings of ill will, realizing praying for a rainbow wheel to cease spinning — and impatiently waiting for a heart to heal — are not so far from each other.

    Check out a preview of Siemer’s series below, and head over to her tumblr for more of her photography.

  • Here's How 'Big Data' Can Really Hurt The Poor

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House review of how the government and private sector use large sets of data has found that such information could be used to discriminate against Americans on issues such as housing and employment even as it makes their lives easier in many ways.

    “Big data” is everywhere.

    It allows mapping apps to ping cellphones anonymously and determine, in real time, what roads are the most congested. But it also can be used to target economically vulnerable people.

    The issue came up during a 90-day review ordered by President Barack Obama, White House counselor John Podesta said in an interview with The Associate Press. Podesta did not discuss all the findings, but said the potential for discrimination is an issue that warrants a closer look.

    Federal laws have not kept up with the rapid development of technology in a way that would shield people from discrimination.

    The review, expected to be released within the next week, is the Obama administration’s first attempt at addressing the vast landscape of challenges, beyond national security and consumer privacy, posed by technological advancements.

    President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called for changes to some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs that amass large amounts of data belonging to Americans and foreigners.

    The technology that enabled those programs also enables others used in the government and the private sector. The White House separately has reviewed the NSA programs and proposed changes to rein in the massive collection of Americans’ phone records and emails.

    “It was a moment to step back and say, ‘Does this change our basic framework or our look at the way we’re dealing with records and privacy,’” Podesta said in the interview.

    “With the rapidity of the way technology changes, it’s going to be hard to imagine what it’s going to look like a generation from now. But at least we can look out over the horizon and say, ‘Here are the trends. What do we anticipate the likely policy issues that it raises?’”

    Podesta led the review, along with some of Obama’s economic and science advisers. The goal, Podesta said, was to assess whether current laws and policies about privacy are sufficient.

    Podesta would not discuss the specific recommendations he will make to Obama. He did mention an unexpected concern that emerged during White House officials’ meetings with business leaders and privacy advocates, and merits further examination: how big data could be used to target consumers and lead to discriminatory practices.

    Civil rights leaders, for example, raised in discussions with the White House the issue of employers who use data to map where job applicants live and then rate them based on that, particularly in low-paying service jobs.

    “While big data is revolutionizing commerce and government for the better, it is also supercharging the potential for discrimination,” said Wade Henderson, president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

    Some employers might worry that if an applicant lives far enough away from a job, he or she may not stay in the position for long. As more jobs move out of the city and into the suburbs, this could create a hiring system based on class.

    “You’re essentially being dinged for a job for really arbitrary characteristics,” said Chris Calabrese, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Use of this data has a real impact on peoples’ lives.”

    The civil rights advocates could not offer specific examples of such injustices, but instead talked about how the data could be used in a discriminatory way.

    Federal employment laws don’t address this nuanced tactic, Calabrese said. Similarly, anti-discrimination laws for housing make it illegal to target customers based on credit reports. But the laws don’t address the use of other data points that could group people into clusters based on information gleaned from social media.

    For instance, companies sell data amassed from social media sites that clumps people into clusters, such as the “Ethnic Second-City Struggler” category. A bank could target people who posted something on social media about losing a job as a likely candidate for a high-interest loan. The idea is that a person who lost a job may be behind on mortgage payments and might be open to a high-interest loan to help get out of a bind, Calabrese said.

    “You are individually targeted for a loan based on inclusion on one of these lists and get a high interest rate. That is in spite of the fact that if you walked in off the street you might qualify for a lower rate. You never know that you are being targeted individually since you just click on an ad on the side of a website,” Calabrese explained. “That is the discrimination.”

    Jennifer Barrett Glasglow, chief privacy officer for data broker Acxiom, said her company in Little Rock, Ark., screens clients before selling them data to help ensure that the data will be used appropriately and not for discriminatory reasons.

    She also said a discriminatory offer can be made without Acxiom data.

    “We’ve got to be careful that we don’t go after the data itself,” she said.

    Glasglow said the “Ethnic Second-City Struggler” category can be very effective for reaching communities in need, such as for advertising a sale or an offer that provides more affordable services. Glasglow said consumers can report what they believe to be unfair practices to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    “Let’s go after the people engaged in bad practices,” she said.

    The concept of putting people into categories, or “segmenting,” for marketing purposes is not new, said Eric Siegel, an expert in predictive analytics, which is the art of determining what to do with data on behaviors ranging from shopping habits to criminal activity.

    Few dispute that there are lots of good reasons to use big data.

    “There’s been a push by the administration to say that these are important tools, and the ability to apply analytics to that data is important for a whole range of issues from health care to education to public safety,” Podesta said.

    It can help communities be more efficient.

    A New York data-analysis operation under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg allowed the city to pinpoint properties with a higher risk of deadly fires by analyzing fire department data in conjunction with data on illegal housing complaints and foreclosures.

    The federal government recently announced an initiative to provide private companies and local governments with better access to climate data. This data could help communities and developers decide where not to build based on predictions about sea levels.

    Political campaigns, particularly the 2012 presidential campaign, rely on large data sets to target specific donors who might be able to deliver the most cash. Those kinds of analyses led to a multibillion-dollar haul in contributions, the most expensive White House run in history.

    Nuala O’Connor, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said there needs to be more transparency in how companies are using this data, and that means updating some laws.

    One is the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act of 1986. Podesta said he will recommend an update to that law, which governs how the government can access private communications for law enforcement purposes. This is something privacy advocates and some members of Congress have long sought.

    “There are certainly gaps in the law,” O’Connor said, speaking broadly. “The technology is outpacing regulatory and legislative change.”

    ___

    Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report.

    ___

    Follow Eileen Sullivan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/esullivanap

  • AUDIO: The end of the plastic water bottle?
    A team based at the Royal College of Art in London has developed a new kind of water container, one which is edible.

Mobile Technology News, April 26, 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.

  • Review of Racing Elements โ€“ A Beautiful Racing Themed Weather App

    In the world of F1 photography – as with drivers and teams – there are big names. It could be argued that none are bigger than the surname Cahier.  Paul-Henri Cahier and his father Bernard have captured 60 years of F1 moments and personalities and both are legends in the field.  Now you can enjoy [...]

    The post Review of Racing Elements – A Beautiful Racing Themed Weather App appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Apple vs. Samsung, day 11: a twist in the tale
    What had started off with all parties thinking it was the final day of testimony turned into a protracted and difficult legal exercise, as US District Court Judge Lucy Koh and attorneys for both sides wrestled with the surprise ruling from the Federal Court of Appeals, which resurrected a previously-dismissed lawsuit between Apple and Motorola that involves one of the patents being fought over in the Apple-Samsung trial.



  • Higher court throws monkey wrench into Apple-Samsung trial
    A ruling in a completely different Federal court regarding one of Apple’s patents at issue in the current Apple-Samsung patent trial will require extra testimony from experts on Monday, after both sides rested their evidence cases on Friday. Apple’s “data detector” patent, and specifically the portion of it that deals with a “server analyzer” to interpret user actions, was reinstated in a different case against Motorola, resulting in a different interpretation of what that means, which will need to be explained to the jury.



  • Apple unveils iPhone 5 sleep/wake button fix program
    Apple has initiated a repair program for a subset of its iPhone 5 devices that may have issues with the sleep/wake button on the top of the unit. The company says “a small percentage” of the units, which were manufactured between the debut of the smartphone on September 21, 2012 and March of 2013, are prone to have the issue (not caused by abuse or other factors). If a buyer’s iPhone 5 has a qualifying serial number, Apple will fix the unit and supply a loaner iPhone while it is being repaired.



  • Boston Marathon Bib Theft On The Rise Due To Social Media
    BOSTON (AP) — A man in a white tank top with a big red heart on the front. Another wearing all blue. A woman with clothing from a St. Louis running store and one who printed “Lauren” on her shirt.

    They all had one thing in common, though: Boston Marathon bib No. 14285. Kara Bonneau logged onto the race’s official photo site this week and saw pictures of four other people who ran Monday’s race in copies of the bib she earned — and paid for. She posted those pictures on Instagram and asked for help in identifying the unofficial runners, known as bandits.

    Now the Boston Athletic Association is investigating and the tight-knit running community is asking whether social media are giving new legs to a tradition that is almost as old as the race itself. With runners bragging about their bibs on Instagram, anyone with a computer can find a bib and print a copy, making banditry even easier at the same time that security threats make it more of a concern.

    “The BAA does take these matters seriously,” executive director Tom Grilk said Friday while stressing that the bandits went through the same security checkpoints as the official runners.

    “The adjudication committee will decide what action will be taken,” he said, “with full consideration to the impact of cheating on those who have worked so hard to qualify and those who give so much of themselves to raise money for our outstanding local charities.”

    There is a long and even proud tradition of bandits in the Boston Marathon, with Roberta Gibb running unofficially in 1966 to shatter the ban keeping women from the race. But while adding a few hundred unofficial runners in the race’s infancy might have been a minor inconvenience, the growth of the event — and the security needs after last year’s bombings — have made banditry a bigger problem.

    With the official field expanded to 36,000 this year to include the thousands stopped along the course when the bombs went off at the finish line and thousands more who wanted to run in support, BAA and public safety officials told bandits to stay away.

    “Fluids, medical care, and traffic safety, are provided based on the number of official entrants,” organizers said on their website. “Any addition to this by way of unofficial participants, adversely affects our ability to ensure a safe race for everyone.”

    But there’s another problem with bandits, and it’s the one that makes serious runners chafe like cotton shorts on a cold day: Because Boston requires most runners to meet a qualifying standard, showing up on race day is only part of the feat.

    To those who qualified, bib bandits are a sort of modern-day Rosie Ruiz taking a shortcut to the finish line.

    “There’s two parts of that marathon: There’s qualifying to get there, and then there’s running it. Anyone can go the 26.2 miles,” said Michael Sullivan, who found another man wearing his bib No. 10055 in the race photos. “Anybody who has strived to run it, or strived to get there, or is a runner who understands how difficult it really is.”

    Those outed for running with false bibs say they didn’t mean any offense. After Boston TV station WCVB ran a story on Chelsa Crowley’s banditry — she ran with her Twitter handle on her shirt — her husband, FourSquare founder Dennis Crowley, posted an apology on the station’s web site.

    “Yes, using a duplicate number to get Chelsa into the starting corral with me was wrong,” he wrote, explaining that they were separated near the finish line last year because of the explosions. “Our intent was never to ‘steal’ anything from anyone — our intent was to finish the Boston Marathon together as we tried to do last year.”

    The BAA said it will spend the next two weeks looking at the results before declaring them official. Those who were found to run with duplicate bibs can be banned from future Boston Marathons and other BAA events.

    Sullivan said he simply wants them to be exposed: “Their family and friends need to know they cheated,” he said.

    It was one thing when runners would merely join the race to see what it would feel like to be part of the Patriots’ Day event. But using a fake bib and getting all the amenities available to the registered runners — including the finisher’s medal — is what “ticks me off,” Sullivan said.

    “In my little community, we don’t even wear the race shirts they give us for just registering until after we finish,” he said. “It’s not a life and death thing. . It doesn’t take way from my awesome experience in Boston.

    “People who are not runners, they don’t really have that sense of how hard it really is,” Sullivan said. “They say, ‘What’s the big deal?’ I’m on the side of the fence that says, ‘Just do the hard work to get there.’”

  • VIDEO: The flying robotic pop band
    A team of US robotics experts has programmed a squadron of drones to play live music.
  • Comcast Just Accused Netflix Of Screwing Its Users To Make A Point
    The war between Netflix and Comcast is entering surreal territory, with both companies accusing the other of conspiring against them.

    In a blog post published Thursday by Jennifer Khoury, a Senior Vice President of Corporate and Digital Communication at Comcast, the company claimed that Netflix had purposefully slowed its customers’ streaming speed and signal strength in the past in what Comcast believes was an attempt to smear the Internet service provider’s name.

    The post is the latest in a war of words between Netflix and Comcast, which escalated on Monday after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed his disapproval of a proposed Time Warner Cable and Comcast merger in a letter to shareholders. If approved, Hastings wrote, the combined companies would hold “even more anti-competitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers.”

    Earlier this year, Comcast customers complained of a drop in the buffering speed and visual quality of their Netflix streams. Some complained that the service had essentially become unusable. Netflix eventually paid Comcast for stronger connections and better service for its customers in February.

    But according to Khoury, Netflix, not Comcast, was to blame for the traffic jam. Khoury even claimed the service sabotaged customer streaming in order to make it look like Comcast was at fault.

    “As at least one independent commentator has pointed out, it was not Comcast that was creating viewability issues for Netflix customers, it was Netflix’s commercial transit decisions that created these issues,” Khoury writes.

    The “independent commenter” that Comcast referenced is industry analyst Dan Rayburn. In a March blog post, Rayburn claimed Netflix had sent web traffic to Cogent — a broadband provider that served as an intermediary between Comcast and Netflix — despite Cogent not having the ability to handle Netflix’s traffic.

    In Rayburn’s eyes, the decision was meant to make Internet service providers look bad.

    Just before that, Hastings wrote a strongly worded blog post slamming Internet service providers, including Comcast, for what he believed to be discriminatory practices against Netflix and its subscribers in the wake of a still-evolving controversy over the future of net neutrality.

    “Some big [Internet service providers] are extracting a toll because they can,” Hastings wrote. “They effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay.”

    If Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal report on the FCC’s plans for a new net neutrality platform proves true, in which content providers may have to pay Internet service providers for faster access, then the battle between Netflix and Comcast is set up to only grow more contentious. As of now, it’s not exactly clear who’s telling the truth.

  • Don't Do It, Sad Clown; You Can Still Get A Job!
    Think the sad clown trope has been overdone? You might think again when you watch this twisted video which, at first glance, appears to be an ad for a job-seeking website.

    In the video (below), the out-of-work alkie mirth-maker is about as obsolete as his message machine. So he tries something drastic — and it isn’t a seltzer in the face.

    The spot conveys the message that you might want to put desperate moves on hold until you’ve tried Jobbuilder.co.uk. Sadly, the employment site doesn’t exist, AdWeek pointed out. The link leads instead to a portfolio for a filmmaker who goes by the name Crobin.

    And we thought there was hope for sad clowns everywhere.

  • Briefly: eBay iOS app update, Sell on Etsy app release
    Today eBay announced updated apps for iPhone and iPad, adding improvements to its buying and selling features. Allowing eBay users to access the online marketplace to buy or sell items, v3.3 for iPhone and iPad features increased app speeds, and for iPad only, a new in-store pick-up option for local purchases is included. New Passbook support that enables quick access to key information like store location, directions, hours and order number. For iPhone, the app now includes a personalized feed preview, displaying items based on a user’s interests. Additionally, re-listing and pricing items ha
  • Netflix Strikes MSO Deal For Own Channel
    Looking more like a regular TV network, Netflix has struck deals with a number of small multiple system operators and TiVo which will give the subscription video on demand service its own cable TV “channel.”
  • Isabella Huffington Shares Her Family's Phones-At-Meals Philosophy
    The Huffingtons have a rule: No phones at family meals.

    Isabella Huffington, Arianna’s daughter, said it happened when at one meal, her father, sister and mother were all on their phones — and it caused her to break down.

    “I just started weeping because I was just so frustrated,” she said at Thrive, The Huffington Post’s second Third Metric conference on redefining success beyond the two metrics of money and power. “I just kept trying to get their attention and no one was talking to me … and that’s when they realized, we’re all together and we’re all on our phones right now. … After that, we had a no phones at meals rule.”

    Watch the clip above for more on Isabella’s philosophy on tech use.

  • Justin Bieber's Instagram Photos Searched In Vandalism Case
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Surveillance footage from Justin Bieber’s home appears to show the pop star high-fiving friends and celebrating after throwing eggs at a neighbor’s home in January, an investigator’s affidavit released Friday shows.

    The description of Bieber’s reaction to the incident that authorities say caused thousands of dollars in damage to the neighbor’s home is included in documents filed to support a search warrant obtained in March. A Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective obtained the warrant for Bieber’s account with the online photo-sharing site Instagram, searching for evidence to match his outfit with the surveillance footage. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to charge Bieber in the egg-throwing incident, which happened Jan. 9 at the singer’s home in a gated community in Calabasas.

    Detectives have said the amount of damage to the neighbor’s home warrants a felony prosecution of Bieber, which if filed would be the most serious case the troubled pop star has faced. He has been charged with assault in Toronto, and he faces a trial in July on a charge of driving under the influence in Miami.

    A man matching Bieber’s description is seen on footage running toward the neighbor’ house and returning to a group of friends and exchanging high-fives a short time later.

    “Suspect Bieber and the other males appeared to be laughing and celebrating,” the affidavit signed by Sheriff’s detective Ginni Alvarez states.

    Alvarez participated in a search of Bieber’s home on Jan. 14 in which surveillance footage was retrieved. Two months later, the investigator obtained the search warrant for Bieber’s Instagram account, looking for images of the singer in a white sweatshirt and baseball cap that would match surveillance video shot before and after the egg-throwing incident. The warrant does not state whether any footage of Bieber actually throwing eggs at his neighbor’s home was retrieved.

    Bieber’s attorney Howard Weitzman declined comment.

    The warrant was first reported by Los Angeles Fox affiliate KTTV on Thursday night.

    Bieber, 20, was delayed at Los Angeles International Airport by authorities on Thursday after returning from an international trip. His publicist Melissa Victor confirmed the singer was subjected to “secondary questioning” by customs officials but was released without incident.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jaime Ruiz said he could not comment on a specific passenger’s interactions with agents when entering the country unless the person was charged with a crime.

    Bieber frequently posts photos in Instagram, which is owned by Facebook and allows users to post images from their mobile phones. Law enforcement agencies now routinely search suspects’ social networking accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter searching for evidence of wrongdoing. If postings are going to be used as evidence in a case, a search warrant is frequently obtained to gather information directly from social networking companies.

    Earlier this week, Bieber apologized for offending people after posting two images from the Yasukuni Shrine in Central Tokyo that commemorates 2.5 million war dead, including Japan’s 14 convicted war criminals. The site is seen as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism and has been criticized by the nation’s neighbors, who were subjected to atrocities by Japan’s military in the 1930s and 1940s.

    Bieber removed photos he posted from the shrine.

    Bieber gained stardom with his debut album at age 15, but he has had a string of recent legal troubles. He’s scheduled to go on trial in Miami in July on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest and the Toronto assault case is also pending.

    ___

    Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

  • Google's Glass Explorer Program Was A Social Experiment That Backfired
    Google Glass was introduced without a clear explanation of what it was supposed to be used for. When promotional videos started to show people going about their daily routine, it quickly became clear that what we were being sold wasn’t a gadget, it was a lifestyle. The actual product was the intoxicating prospect of instant access to information. Glass offered to be much more than a device, it was a ticket into an exclusive club that promised special abilities.

    In a much celebrated launch, Google allowed early adopters to shell out $1,500 get a prototype version of Glass and be part of its “Explorer Program.” But this wasn’t so much a product rollout as it was a social experiment. Through this strategy, Google was able to get thousands of people to challenge society’s conventions on privacy and connectedness without having to address it directly.

    Over a year later, Glass has yet to gain mainstream acceptance. Society remains largely unmoved. Instead, in some places, it has become a divisive and controversial technology. It appears the experiment has backfired – but Google likely knew this would happen, it’s a risk they took.

    The hype is fading, the wheels on the bandwagon are starting to come off, yet Glass is far from gone. In part, because it is actually quite a useful and promising technology. Augmented reality and wearables could provide significant benefits to our lives in certain situations. What’s strange is Google chose not to focus on this; instead of showing the many ways Glass can enrich the work of doctors, fire fighters, or extreme athletes, the company chose to let the technology loose into the world to see what happened.

    Speaking to Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici, the executive in charge of marketing for Glass admitted that the company deliberately decided to roll the product out in this way. He explained, “I see it as quite a necessary symptom of a company that’s trying to be disruptive.” Yet he sees Glass’s greatest weakness as its lack of availability – giving inadequate attention to the most important issues and suspicions that Glass creates, whether warranted or not. That’s a problem for all of us, not just for Google’s bottom line.

    Since the initial announcement, its legions of techno-optimist supporters have contradicted themselves about the promise and perils of the device. On one hand, they’ve preached that Glass is transformative because it’s not like a smartphone, it allows for many new possibilities. But when it comes to discussing the social implications, they then argue that the technologies aren’t that different.

    Technology enthusiast Robert Scoble believes that the ingredient Google is missing is “empathy.” In a broader sense, when someone looks at you with Glass it is the equivalent of having a smartphone pointed at you. Even though the devices aren’t always recording, there are different conventions to taking a photo compared to talking on the phone. It’s not techno-phobic to prefer not to be recorded when speaking with friends – it’s natural.

    There doesn’t seem to be widespread opposition to wearable technology, you don’t hear about people being harassed for wearing a FitBit. Something about Glass is different. When you wear Glass you are challenging the social values of the people around you on behalf of the world’s most powerful corporation.

    Whether this version of Glass is a commercial success remains to be seen, but a whole host of competitors are working on their own glass devices. Over time, the design problems will be worked out, it’s likely that “smart” glasses will be indistinguishable from regular ones. If we are to get to a point where people can feel comfortable wearing the technology, and have the people around them feel unperturbed as well, there are two underlying issues that must be addressed.

    The first is the fading allure of a completely connected lifestyle. A decade of smartphone usage is starting to wear us down; Glass represents our worst fears about never being able to unplug. Established technology companies seem especially unprepared to handle these changing sentiments. To the vast majority of people, the argument that Glass gets technology out of the way by putting it directly on your face is not convincing. There are legitimate concerns that it can amplify the disconnect and power imbalance between people.

    The second is that we need to rethink the notion that we should have no expectation of privacy in public. This was once a common sense observation used to protect the work of journalists; what it has become is something entirely different. This idea wasn’t built for a time of ubiquitous sensors, smart cameras, and analytics. It was never meant to be used as a blanket justification for private companies to track, measure, and catalog your every move outside of the home. It’s becoming an anti-social tool used by corporations to gather your personal information – and we should reconsider how far we are willing to let it go.

    A world where everyone is wearing Glass requires us to have different priorities than the one of today. Nobody wants a world where they feel uncomfortable speaking in public or they are discriminated against for what they choose to wear. Google’s strategy has shown that we are not ready to have this thrown at us, but we could gradually get there one day. We haven’t seen the last of Glass – and it surely hasn’t seen the last of us.

    Follow @twadhwa

    This article originally appeared on Forbes – Disruption and Democracy. Check out my upcoming book, Identified: How They Are Getting To Know Everything About Us

  • Forums: transfer movies from iPhone to iPad
    Today in the MacNN forums Junior Member “phkc070408″ was looking for a way to transfer movies from an iPhone to an iPad and attempted to use AirDrop, but discovered that would not work and has yet to find a suitable solution. One Mac Elite was wondering why a message would pop up over videos saying “Flash wants to store info on the computer” and they are unable to get it to go away.



  • Virtual Reality Lets Dying Woman 'Walk' Outside Again
    Sometimes a simple walk outside can mean so much. Even if it’s not quite the real thing.

    Last December, Roberta Firstenberg died of cancer at the age of 76. Before the throat tumor formed, her granddaughter Priscilla said that Roberta loved to travel and garden. She baked cookies. She was known for her delicious banana bread.

    But cancer ultimately robbed Roberta of her ability to travel or ride in a car without great pain. Even the vibrations from being pushed in a wheelchair proved too much. That’s when Priscilla, a 29-year-old video game artist, reached out to Oculus Rift’s customer support center. She asked for one of the startup’s popular virtual reality headsets that would allow her grandmother to “walk” outside again.

    And the result can be seen in the video below, which was taken just a month before Roberta died.

    “The Oculus Rift gave her options and gave her an experience that made her feel like she could walk again, without people having to hold her,” Priscilla wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “She got to go up stairs on her own. She got to do a great number of things we couldn’t give her.”

    Since the video was posted in November and picked up interest again this week, Priscilla said the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Commentators with immobile loved ones said they wanted a headset of their own.

    Priscilla admitted that she doesn’t watch the video now, preferring instead to remember the happier moments before her grandmother became ill.

    “I can hear the difference in her voice, as it was getting tired from being used too much towards the end of her response,” Priscilla wrote, while also remarking how difficult it was to hear the sound of her sick dog in the background, the same dog she said she buried under her grandmother’s cherry blossom tree just a few days after filming. “The video has been described as ‘beautiful and sad’ by many. But because events are still fresh with me, it’s a marker of the most struggling time of my life.”

    Most recently, Oculus Rift has been best known for its $2 billion buyout by Facebook, which imagines using the technology for non-gaming purposes like virtual classrooms and doctor visits. But Priscilla insists that her video wasn’t a PR stunt for the headset.

    “It’s about using something that was thought of as just a video game, a toy,” Priscilla wrote, “and turning it into something more important than anyone could ever really understand.”

  • This Robotic Golf Caddy Follows You Around Like A Baby Duckling
    Looking for the perfect accessory to match your hovercraft golf cart?

    Look no further than Stewart Golf’s X9 Follow, a robotic golf caddy that follows you around the green like a baby duckling.

    The caddy, set to retail in June for just north of $2,500, uses a Bluetooth remote to sense a golfer’s location and walking pace, then adjusts its own speed to obediently tag along at the player’s heels.

    Here’s a more technical description, from the Stewart Golf website:

    In addition to the bluetooth electronics system, there are two further antennas that power the X9 Follow.

    Mounted on each of the rear motors, the two antennas work together to create two zones; a neutral zone and an active zone. When the handset is inside the neutral zone, the X9 Follow will remain stationary. As the handset enters the active zone, the X9 Follow’s electronics system will automatically & independently alter the speed of each rear motor to keep its pace. When the golfer (and therefore the handset) come to a stop, the X9 Follow will continue until the handset is back inside the neutral zone when it will also stop.

    And when you finish playing golf, you can always dress it up like R2-D2 – just don’t take it through any sinkholes.

  • Google+ Isn't Dead. It's Just In A Coma And On Life Support
    Google has not, and probably will never, announce that Google+ will be “sunsetted” (the company’s favorite euphemism for killed off). But the Internet giant might as well have this week when the guy who has been running Google+ since day one said he’s leaving.

    On Thursday, Vic Gundotra announced that he’d be moving on from Google after eight years with the company. “[I'm] forever in debt to the Google+ team,” he wrote in a farewell note on Google+. “This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many.”

    “There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion,” CEO Larry Page followed up in his own message on Gundotra’s efforts with Google+. He added that the company will continue to invest in growing Google+.

    But beyond pleasantries, evidence is piling up outside Mountain View that while Google+ isn’t going to die, the idea that it will ever be a peer to Facebook (or even to Twitter and Instagram) is dead. Dust off your Google+ page and you’ll see there’s a small but passionate contingent of people using the social network, which appeals to them with some buttons and doodads (especially for photos) that Facebook just doesn’t have.

    But following Gundotra’s departure, TechCrunch has a report that reveals two other potential death blows dealt to Google+, which seem to suggest that Google will stop trying to make the social network happen.

    First, the employees who built the core of Google+ will be reassigned to different teams. The Google Hangouts engineers will go to Android, and many of the rest will likely be assigned to mobile efforts, according to TechCrunch. It’s hard to imagine Google+ ever rivaling Facebook with that many fewer people working on and thinking about Google+ daily.

    Second, everyone’s least favorite part of Google+ — the requirement that your Google+ profile be integrated into all other things Google — will reportedly be scaled back. The policy was a necessary evil of making Google+ work, quietly nudging people to “join” the social network all while annoying the hell out of them, most notably by requiring a Google+ account to comment on YouTube. It allowed Google+ to juice its user numbers and announce a bewildering 58 percent jump in active users over five months. But forcing people to join is no way to build a social network that people will voluntarily use.

    For its part, Google is denying Google+’s death. “Today’s announcement has no impact on our Google+ strategy — we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos,” a spokesperson told HuffPost. Google+ employees publicly pushed back against the article, too. “Let me simply say that this entire TechCrunch article is bollocks,” Google+ chief architect Yonatan Zunger wrote on Google+.

    Theres’s nothing wrong with a deep-pocketed tech company throwing products and services up against the wall to see what sticks. But that strategy, which is also deployed by Facebook, Twitter and Amazon with success, only works when companies are willing to cut their losses and kill products that need to be killed.

    Google+ was different. It was conceived as a so-called “social layer” (Google’s words) to all other things Google, rather than a standalone project that could just be shuttered. Google actually is good at trimming the fat, like it did with Google Reader, Google Buzz or other products that the company realized over the years weren’t popular. But ironically, Google has dropped several projects recently to protect Google+.

    The Google+ profile you haven’t looked at in months isn’t going away anytime soon. The difference is that Google is going to start paying a lot less attention to it, too.

  • Apple vs Samsung: The Battle for the Green Halo
    By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

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    Yesterday, I was invited to join the live BBC World Service show, Business Matters to discuss Apple’s green manifesto and its rivalry with Samsung. I was interviewed by the BBC’s talented Manuela Saragosa. Here’s a transcript of the highlights. Listen to the full interview here (our discussion starts at 26:00).

    Saragosa: It was Earth Day on Tuesday… there’s been no dimming of the lights here at the BBC…but technology giant, Apple has been laying out its green manifesto to mark Earth Day. The company’s CEO Tim Cook put out a video, announcing a new scheme that allows any product made by Apple to be returned to the company for recycling.

    Our guest, Alison van Diggelen is in California’s Silicon Valley. Alison, green business issues are your thing, what do you make of Apple’s manifesto? Is there substance to it do you think?

    van Diggelen: I think there is substance to it. The reason they put out this video is: Greenpeace has been snapping at Apple’s heels for quite some time. I did a story a couple of years ago (for NPR’s KQED Radio) when they were looking at data centers. Greenpeace came up with their own quasi Apple ad (cunningly called iCoal, see below), showing that every time you download something or send a photo on your iPhone, you’re putting more smog into the atmosphere. It was very clever and got Apple’s attention, and now they’re really moving ahead (According to a recent EPA report – Apple is now in the top 10 clean energy users nationally and uses 92% clean energy). One of their major data centers (in North Carolina) where they do Apple iCloud, has 100% green power: clean energy, using solar and fuel cells.

    In the video, they’re doing a little chest thumping, saying “Look at us – here’s what we’re doing!” And of course, launching it on the week of Earth Day was a very clever move, a strategic move…

    I do think Apple deserves to be lauded. It could do more, but I think shining a light on what it’s doing so far is good.

    Saragosa: But it’s come a hugely long way. I know that in 2006, Greenpeace published its first guide to green electronics and at that point it rated Apple among the worst companies (it ranked 11 out of 14 companies). I suppose things have changed quite a lot since then.

    van Diggelen: Yes. I think Greenpeace deserves credit for doing what it can to put the pressure on. This report it released went through all the major tech companies: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter (Amazon), saying: “Here’s what they’re doing folks!” Companies that you think of as pretty green and green advocates like Google, they’re not doing enough. They could do more.

    The interesting thing with Tim Cook that your listeners will definitely be interested in is that at a recent shareholders’ meeting, someone stood up and said: “We don’t like what you’re doing with all those clean energy data centers. Couldn’t you be using your funds to make better products…do other things?”

    Saragosa: But is that a widely held view?

    van Diggelen: This is the interesting thing: Tim Cook struck back at them. He said: “We believe that we must make the world a better place.” He stood up and said this to the shareholders…”If you don’t agree with it, sell your shares!” Which was quite gutsy of him I thought. Since then Richard Branson (CEO Virgin Atlantic etc) has said the same (He recently wrote, “Businesses should never be entirely focused on the bottom line…I would urge climate deniers to get out of our way!”) So I think it’s great to see high profile CEO’s like Tim Cook and Richard Branson are doing that, and saying: Hey! We need to think about the environment, we need to think about our impact on the environment. I’m cheered by that.

    Listen to more of our discussion re Apple vs Samsung battle, copycats, tech recycling, green building and one innovative way China is dealing with its killer pollution.

    Read more about Apple’s green manifesto at Fresh Dialogues and about Google’s Green Dream at Fresh Dialogues

  • The Top Pros and Cons of Life in the Twitterverse
    One of the best things about Twitter — indeed, perhaps its greatest appeal — is in its accessibility. It’s easy to use both for sharing information and for collecting it. Twitter provides unprecedented access to our lawmakers and to our celebrities, as well as to news as it’s happening. A recent study out of MIT even suggests that analyzing crowd statements on Twitter may allow researchers to predict the future, citing as one example early tweets associated with the 2013 coup d’état in Egypt.

    But Twitter — and all that accessible information — has some undeniable downsides, too.

    I hate Twitter because:

    Self-esteem may suffer.

    An obsession with everyone’s online goings-on, to the point where you neglect what’s happening in your own life right in front of you, can fuel feelings of isolation and self-doubt. Though no studies have looked specifically at the effect of Twitter, a 2012 study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that the longer people spent on Facebook each week, the more they agreed that everyone else was happier, cooler, and generally better off than they were.

    It saps productivity.

    Some researchers believe that the combined effort of keeping up with Twitter — taking the time to craft a post, responding to others, and mining the feed for news you’re interested in — saps productivity. (Similar studies have revealed that Facebook makes you fat.) And, of course, all that evidence of how much time you spend on Twitter could give employers reason to worry that the habit is getting in the way of your actual work.

    Everyone’s watching!

    Misuse of Twitter can be a recipe for career trouble, since employers also use it to screen out employees. The careerbuilder.com survey found that many employers reject potential employees whose Twitter profiles include provocative photos, evidence of drug use or drinking, negative posts about previous employers or co-workers, or comments that might be interpreted as racist, sexist, or ageist. Who could forget 2013′s Justine Sacco scandal, in which the PR exec’s last minute tweet before boarding a 12-hour flight got her fired before her plane had even landed: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

    It can be tempting to trash talk.

    Twitter makes it easy to bash others, which generally has the opposite of its intended effect: Harsh words about others may make them look bad, but make you look worse. Case in point: Miami Dolphins footballer Richie Incognito went on a Twitter tirade against former teammate Jonathan Martin at a time when he was attempting to improve his public perception. Expressing his frustrations so publicly only seemed to make things worse. Days after his rant, Incognito went off Twitter. Similarly, Charlie Sheen’s Twitter-bashing of Ashton Kutcher’s performance on Two and a Half Men has only brought more attention to Kutcher — and kept Sheen seem stuck in the past.

    I love Twitter because:

    It’s an easy way to share ideas and access the news.

    A recent poll by the Associated Press and CNBC found that 44 percent of Twitter users turn to Twitter for breaking news at least some of the time, and 16 percent turn to it “frequently.” So much for the newspaper — or news longer than 140 characters for that matter.


    It’s great for self-promotion.

    Twitter can be an excellent way for those searching for work to market themselves, since so many companies use social media for recruiting purposes, seeking out potential employees who share their philosophy or have good ideas. The recent survey by careerbuilder.com cited earlier found that nearly half of all employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

    Great for self-promotion… but better for promoting others.

    While Twitter is a good place to promote your own business or brand, too much self-promotion can turn followers off, which is why it’s a good idea to work in a healthy amount of promotion and praise for others. Spreading good news about others will benefit you anyway: Chances are that if you tweet good news about others, they’ll do the same for you in return.

    It may be used to predict the future (sort of).

    Some researchers believe that Twitter can be useful for predicting certain outcomes — elections, box office sales, political protests — as well as human behavior. Though there are many variables — how to know if a post is genuine, for example — there is reason to believe that paying attention to what people are saying and how they’re feeling can be useful. And Twitter certainly provides more access to that than ever before.

Mobile Technology News, April 25, 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.

  • eBay Apps Add Passbook Support and Improved Home Page

    eBay has updated their iPhone and iPad apps with several new features that should make your eBay experience even better.  For the iPhone version of the app, you now have an updated Home page which gives you much more information.  You will now be able to see your Watched items, Feed and eBay Deals [...]

    The post eBay Apps Add Passbook Support and Improved Home Page appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Apple Improves Mac Pro Ship Times to 3-5 Weeks

    Yesterday the Online Apple Store updated the shipping times on the all powerful Mac Pro down to 3-5 weeks.  The update is a significant drop from the previous 2-3 months that had been reflected until yesterday and could be an indicator that Apple is finally catching up with demand on their flagship [...]

    The post Apple Improves Mac Pro Ship Times to 3-5 Weeks appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • RunKeeper Update Brings Personal Goal Dashboard to Your iPhone

    RunKeeper is one of the long standing health & fitness apps in the App Store and the latest update brings more personalised information to you for your goal tracking.  The new Personal Goal Dashboard allows you to create fitness goals and check your progress on all of your Training Plans from one [...]

    The post RunKeeper Update Brings Personal Goal Dashboard to Your iPhone appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Netflix Joining Programming Lineup Of 3 U.S. Cable-TV Services
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix’s Internet video service is about to join the programming lineup of three small cable-TV providers in the U.S., a breakthrough that acknowledges the growing popularity of online entertainment.

    The agreements with Atlantic Broadband, RCN Telecom Services and Grande Communications gives Netflix’s subscription service a channel on the TiVo boxes that the three cable services provide their customers. Netflix will debut on Atlantic and RCN on Monday and then will expand on to Grande’s service by end of next month. Collectively, the three cable-TV services have about 820,000 subscribers scattered through nine states and Washington D.C.

    Although that’s a small fraction of the cable-TV market, the deals represent another milestone for Netflix Inc. as it tries to make its Internet video service more like premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.

    Netflix already had landed spots on the cable-TV boxes of services in England, Denmark and Sweden, but hadn’t been able to make similar inroads in the U.S. until now. The company’s nearly 36 million U.S. subscribers typically have to buy a separate device, such as video game console or a player from Roku or Apple Inc., if they want to stream video on to their TVs. That method usually requires a separate remote and an additional step to flip over to a different TV input to see the picture.

    Now, Netflix will be like any other channel on the cable-TV dial except that it relies on a high-speed Internet connection to deliver its video.

    “We think this signals a new generation of cable-TV service of offerings,” said David Isenberg, Atlantic’s chief marketing and strategy officer. “It’s a watershed moment.”

    He likened what Netflix is doing for Internet video to what HBO did for cable-TV when that service began transmitting through satellites in the early 1970s.

    Netflix has been striving to become more HBO-like since it expanded upon its DVD-by-mail service and began offering Internet streaming seven years ago. In the past two years, the Los Gatos, Calif., company has been featuring more original programming, such as the critically acclaimed “House of Cards” and “Orange Is The New Black,” to persuade more U.S. subscribers to pay $8 per month for its service.

    To help pay for its rising programming costs, Netflix plans to raise its prices by $1 or $2 by July. The higher prices initially will only affect new customers.

    HBO, which is owned by Time Warner Inc., views Netflix as such a competitive threat that it has steadfastly refused to licenses its old TV shows, such as “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” to the Internet video service. Those HBO shows instead will be streamed through a rival Internet video service offered through Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime shipping service as part of deal announced earlier this week.

    “HBO fears Netflix’s growing industry power,” BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield wrote in a Thursday blog post. “We suspect HBO wanted to balance Netflix’s growing media industry hegemony by helping to bolster their largest direct-to-consumer … competitor — Amazon.”

    Unlike their partnerships with HBO and Showtime, the cable-TV providers aren’t offering a Netflix subscription as part of their bundled packages. People will still have to open a Netflix account through the company’s website or mobile application, although Atlantic is trying to make that process easier by offering a way to sign up on the TV screen.

    Netflix is still hoping to be added to the programming lineup of a major cable-TV service. It seems unlikely that Netflix will make its way onto a cable box offered by the biggest service, Comcast Corp any time soon. The relationship between the two companies has grown frosty because Netflix is opposing Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of another major cable-TV service, Time Warner Cable Inc.

    RCN Telecom has 440,00 subscribers in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago and Leigh Valley, Pa. Atlantic, which is owned by Canada’s Cogeco Cable, has 230,000 subscribers in western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Miami Beach, Fla. and Aiken, S.C. Grande has 150,000 subscribers in Texas.

  • Tech giants settle hiring court case
    Four of the biggest technology firms – Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe – settle a class action case alleging they conspired to hold down salaries.
  • Tenative jury form for Apple-Samsung patent trial released [U]
    [Update: both sides file arguments against the form] On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh published a draft form that jurors in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial will fill out to assign damages and royalties due — if any — to both Apple and Samsung as warranted by their findings of infringement. Apple is suing Samsung over its alleged copying of five patents, while Samsung is countersuing over claims Apple infringed on two patents the Galaxy S5 maker purchased after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial.



  • Learning the Lessons of the InBloom Failure
    The controversy over how to manage and store sensitive student data reached boiling point this week. InBloom, the non-profit organization backed by a $100M grant from the Gates Foundation, closed its doors over parental concerns about the potential misuse of that data and other privacy and security fears about how students’ information might be used, manipulated or get into the wrong hands.

    Similar to the effort to digitize medical records, there is a compelling argument to create comprehensive electronic records in order to create personalized learning experiences for every student. InBloom was a highly ambitious, though flawed attempt, to move from a rather inefficient, bureaucratic and often paper-bound set of records to an easy-to-use, accessible, cloud-based system that seamlessly moved with the child through her school years, as she changed classes, years, schools and even localities.

    Ideally, inBloom would give an individual teacher a wealth of information about how best to teach, support, encourage and challenge each student in front of him and ensure any special needs of a child were flagged and responded to. And it would provide the basis for a number of coming innovations including the idea of a “flipped” school — where students learn at the own pace via video tutorials at home and do “homework” in groups at school.

    Unfortunately, the creators of the project simply had insufficient regard for privacy issues and had not thought through the public concerns of such a broad sweep of data that was included in the digital records — from social security numbers to the name of Dad’s significant other. It appears that inBloom lost sight of the need to involve parents in the creation and implementation of the project. Iwan Streichenberger, the CEO of inBloom now admits that “we have realized that this concept is still new, and building public acceptance for the solution will require more time and resources than anyone could have anticipated.”

    Perhaps he should add a dose of humility to that list, as well. Technology leaders love to talk about disruption. That kind of attitude built great companies like Microsoft and Apple and then others that came along to disrupt them. Many believe, as do I, that the educational system, which often resembles its 19th century forbears rather than the 21st century world we live in, also needs some creative disruption. The problem is that the “users” are our kids and parents nervous of something new and unfamiliar. And, of course, teachers and district level administrators must also feel ownership of the dramatic changes the “disrupters” have in mind.

    An unfortunate consequence of the inBloom collapse is a rush by some lawmakers to draft well-intentioned, but potentially flawed bills. Already we have seen moves by both California and Maryland to legislate away the ability to truly innovate in this space. The unintended consequences of such laws would mean that our kids would be at a potential disadvantage in getting the kind of specific, personalized education we all want for our children.

    As a parent of a high school student, I highly value the almost daily reports I get from my daughter’s school through Edline that provides us with every assignment, every homework grade and test score, even the slides and videos used in class. The level of information available through these personal, digital records and transcripts is truly amazing and a huge boon to us as parents. I, for one, would not want a digital, online service like Edline to go away.

    Instead, let’s keep our eyes on the prize. We need to keep innovating in the education space or our kids will fall even further behind and not be ready for the demands of a global and digitized world. Let’s use the extraordinary tools that allow for data handling and storage to create highly individualized learning environments for our students. Let’s include parents as well as teachers and the administrators in the discussions about what is necessary and acceptable in terms of what information is kept and what is not. Let’s address the privacy and security issues head on and then build a real sense of trust among parents.

    And let this be the beginning of the effort to create the kind of schools and learning experiences we want for our kids. We can’t let this one, imperfect effort be our only attempt. We can work this out.

  • How to mint your own virtual money
    How easy is to coin your own virtual currency?
  • VIDEO: Did Pixar make Steve Jobs funny?
    Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, explains how Steve Jobs use of humour in presentations was influenced by his time at the animation firm.
  • Big data dividend for small firms?
    Can small firms compete with big business on data analytics?
  • What Your Cell Phone Conversations Inspire
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  • 19-Year-Old With Cancer Offers A Heartbreaking Farewell To All Of His Facebook Fans
    A teen with cancer was not ready to let his fans go without a proper goodbye.

    Stephen Sutton, a 19-year-old from England, has been chronicling his battle with cancer on social media since last January after he found out it his disease is incurable. He has amassed a following of more than 300,000 on his Facebook page, “Stephen’s story,” and almost 150,000 on Twitter. He has also raised more than $3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust via JustGiving.com.

    But after his lung collapsed on Sunday, Sutton thought the end was near. So, he offered up a “final thumbs up” to those who have supported him.

    “I will continue fighting for as long as I can, and whatever happens next I want you all to know I am currently in a good place mentally and at ease with the situation,” he wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “That’s it from me. But life has been good. Very good.”

    He also gave thanks to all those close to him.

    “Thank you to my mum and the rest of my family for everything,” he said. “Thank you to my friends for being amazing. Thank you to my medical team for the hard work and effort they’ve continually they’ve put towards me. And thank you everyone else for sharing this wonderful journey with me.”

    The post has since garnered more than 140,000 likes. Sutton tweeted about the response:

    Truly humbled by all the support, I am following it as best as I can an it is all hugely appreciated

    — Stephen’s Story (@_StephensStory) April 22, 2014

    Tonight’s show of love and support epitomises how great people can be

    — Stephen’s Story (@_StephensStory) April 22, 2014

    The world is a truly wonderful place

    — Stephen’s Story (@_StephensStory) April 22, 2014

    Sutton took to Facebook on Thursday to inform fans that he is “still here and fighting,” although his recovery was very “unexpected.”

    His goal is to take it day by day.

  • Verizon Blockbuster Data Breach Report Is Bad News for Organizations
    co-authored by Dr. Stephen Bryen, CTO, Ziklag Systems

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    Verizon has published a blockbuster report on Internet “data breaches” which has garnered major headlines because it fingers Eastern Europe (primarily Russia) as a greater source of attacks than those from East Asia, primarily China. Prepared with the cooperation of 50 companies in different parts of the world, the Verizon study classifies “data breaches” into different categories –but the two most important stand out visibly from all the others. These are “point of sale” attacks and “cyber espionage” attacks.

    A point of sale attack is one of the ways, but not the only way, to steal money. Point of sales attacks are most common in the retail industry (think Target), with the largest number in hotels, motels and the food service industry.

    A cyber espionage attack is an attempt to steal valuable proprietary information, defense and government secrets, or significant information on individuals connected with these organizations and industries. The data is rather interesting in that the biggest victims of cyber espionage are manufacturing companies, professional groups and companies (including law firms, accounting and tax related organizations, computer systems design companies and services, and scientific research organizations), and mining companies (most importantly oil and gas industries).

    One of the unfortunate problems with the Verizon Report, is that it has aggregated important categories using broad North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Trying to understand who was targeted and why is, at best, guesswork.

    A second major difficulty is that the Verizon Report can only provide data on actual reports made by the targets or victims of data breaches. Actually, we do not know how many organizations, both government and private sector, actually report an incident; in fact there is good reason to believe that wherever possible the tendency in both sectors either is not to report an incident, or to minimize the impact on its business or operations. If, for example, a company were to reveal that a critical technology it owns was stolen, its share price would collapse. If a bank reported its central computers have been hit by thieves, people will move their money to a safer locale. If the Defense Department reported that its secret stealth technology was stolen (in fact, it has been, as can seen in Chinese versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter), it might face Congressional hearings or even budget reductions. For all these reasons we can be certain that the Verizon Data is missing big chunks of important information. We can also be sure that Congress has been asleep at the wheel.

    A related problem is the linkage between government spying and criminals. There is no spy agency in the world that works in a vacuum. Spy agencies, in and of themselves, are not centers of technology excellence. They are centers for spying, and they buy the technology, know how, and help they need from outside companies and individuals in order to get the job done.

    In some countries it has been often alleged that there is a close tie between criminals and spy organizations. For example, Russian intelligence has been accused of working with the Russian Mafia (for example, see William Jasper’s article, “Organized Crime is Big Business for the KGB” ) and intelligence services in other countries are often linked in some manner to criminals or criminal organizations. Added to this is the problem that once trained as a spy, there is the potential for the same individual to freelance, often to steal money or engage in forms of extortion.

    Spy agencies around the world, including the U.S., also use private companies, organizations and individuals to do things they would rather not be caught doing themselves. This means anything and everything from stealing personal information, leaking to newspapers, to crashing companies, disrupting banking or commerce –even to waging war. So long as spy agencies operate this way, criminality will increase even more. Of course this subject is well outside of the Verizon Report on Data Breaches, but it is more than worth pondering the consequences.

    One highlight of the Verizon Report is how quickly cyber attacks are recognized and dealt with. Here the news is generally bad. For the cases which the Verizon team reviewed, 47% of the intrusions were not discovered “for months” and 68% of them were discovered by outsiders, not by the organization or company. While in most cases the intrusion could be fixed in hours or days, it almost doesn’t matter if everything has already gone out the door.

    Thus, thanks to the Verizon Report we know that that it takes far too long to recognize that a business or organization has suffered a cyber attack. In today’s world, where it is getting easier and easier to exploit organizations through the web, often originating in mobile devices (phone and tablets), the problem of detecting a breach and fixing it is growing worse, instead of improving.

    Unfortunately rather than seeing an improvement in cyber security, the threat continues to increase and, with it, the risk to our economy and to national security.

  • Your Netflix Bill Could Go Up Even More. Blame The Government
    Netflix made clear earlier this week that by the end of June, the streaming company will raise prices by $1 or $2 per month.

    But if new rules proposed by the FCC go into effect, that increase could be just be the beginning.

    FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated new rules to his fellow commissioners Thursday related to “net neutrality,” or the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. The rules would allow Internet service providers, like Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, to charge companies for faster delivery of content to their customers.

    Consumer advocates say that companies like Netflix, among others, may have to pay in order to keep up with the competition and make sure their customers can binge-watch reliably. An official from the FCC said on a call with reporters Thursday that the agency will review these prioritization deals on a case-by-case basis to make sure they’re “commercially reasonable.”

    Netflix isn’t happy about the proposal.

    “The proposed approach is the fastest lane to punish consumers and Internet innovators,” Netflix said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

    The streaming giant has been outspoken in favor of stronger net neutrality rules. Days after the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the open Internet order in January, which is why the FCC needs come up with the new rules, Netflix executives warned of a “draconian scenario” in which an Internet provider could “legally impede the video streams that members request from Netflix, degrading the experience we jointly provide.”

    “In the long-term, we think Netflix and consumers are best served by strong network neutrality across all networks, including wireless,” Netflix wrote in a letter to shareholders.

    Consumer advocates also warned of higher Netflix prices down the road.

    “If Netflix wants its content to work and to be appealing to customers, more appealing than the content that the cable company or ISP are offering themselves, then they’re going to have to pay,” said Derek Turner, a research director at Free Press, a nonpartisan advocacy group. “And their margins are quite thin, and that means they’re going to have to pass those costs along to their consumers.”

    Netflix, which sends huge amounts of data across networks, relies on fast and reliable connections so its customers can binge-watch “House of Cards” in HD. Netflix is a data hog — at peak times, it accounts for nearly a third of traffic being delivered to homes in the U.S., according to Sandvine, a company that makes broadband network equipment.

    In February, Netflix reluctantly agreed to pay Comcast for direct access to its network. Netflix speeds had been declining on Comcast’s networks for months due to congestion, and the two companies had been in a standoff as to which one should shoulder the costs to upgrade the network.

    A month after Netflix made the deal, Reed Hastings, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said the FCC should establish stronger rules that would extend to this web infrastructure.

    The new rules will not do that, a senior FCC official confirmed Thursday.

  • This Astronaut's Spacewalk Selfie Literally Tops All Others
    Some selfies are better than others. This one, snapped by an astronaut in orbit hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface, tops them all–literally. And given that the ambient temperature during an orbit ranges from 250 degrees and minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s likely the hottest selfie, too–or the coldest.

    The space selfie was taken by NASA astronaut Steve Swanson on Wednesday during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS). Fellow astronaut Rick Mastracchio then shared his colleague’s shot on Twitter.

    An EVA selfie. The space suit makes it very difficult to get a good selfie. I tried several today. pic.twitter.com/GvMEOj3ewu

    — Rick Mastracchio (@AstroRM) April 23, 2014

    And while there have been several space selfies taken aboard the ISS, two weeks ago, Swanson (also known as “Swanny”) took the crown for the first Instagram photo shared directly from the station.

    In November 2013, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide snapped a selfie against a backdrop of empty space (see below). Many called the pic, which featured Earth and the ISS reflected in his visor, the best selfie ever.

    pic.twitter.com/g9bLaiu3k6— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 17, 2013

    Take that, Bieber.

  • Women Play Video Games. Can We Cut The Sexist Crap Now?
    You really shouldn’t need any more proof that women are a huge part of the video games industry, but we’re going to give you some anyway.

    According to the Entertainment Software Association’s annual “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry” report, women enjoy gaming as much as men, with 48 percent of gamers identifying as female and 52 percent identifying as male.

    gender gap

    The age and gender breakdown of gamers in this year’s report on the computer and video game industry.

    The gap between male and female gamers has shrunk since last year’s report, which said 45 percent of gamers were female and 55 percent were male. Even greater is the difference between 2014 and 2008, when men outnumbered women 62 percent to 38 percent.

    The 2014 report also found that female gamers 18 and older significantly outnumber the archetypal teenage boy gamer.

    The ESA says its annual gathering of facts and figures is the most targeted of it’s kind. The group pulls data from more than 2,200 nationally representative households, interviewing the heads of households and the most frequent gamers in the households.

    The gaming industry has earned itself quite a reputation for sexism. Many female gaming reporters and game developers have spoken out about the harassment, threats and mistreatment they’ve faced just for being women who care about games. And that’s saying nothing of the countless female gamers who mute their microphones or hide their gender to avoid harassment while playing games online.

    But the increase in attention has led to more conversations about women in the gaming-related workplace, as well as in the games themselves.

    On April 23, an opinion piece by gaming news site Polygon’s Jonathan McIntosh attempted to explain the subtle, everyday sexism facing female gamers. “I can be sure that my gaming performance (good or bad) won’t be attributed to or reflect on my gender as a whole,” he wrote of being a male gamer, continuing, “I can walk into any gaming store and see images of my gender widely represented as powerful heroes, villains and non-playable characters alike.”

    One hopes the ever-increasing numbers of female gamers will help this industry reform. Perhaps gaming newsrooms or development studios will soon become more female-friendly places of employment, and more games will be designed that feature a strong, central female character.

    The ESA’s report concludes that consumers spend $21.53 billion on the gaming industry. Imagine how much more profitable it could be if it started treating half its audience equally!

  • Russia's Bloggers To Face Stifling Restrictions Under New Law
    Russia’s parliament approved measures to tighten control over bloggers, drawing accusations that lawmakers are stifling a final bastion of free speech in the country.

    On Tuesday, the Russian lower house passed a bill that requires all blogs with more than 3,000 daily visitors to register with Roskomnadzor, the state’s agency for media oversight, semi-state-owned network RT reported.

    The new restrictions were approved as an amendment to an anti-terror bill and will obligate bloggers with a significant following to sign posts with their real name. Blogs will face restrictions similar to those applying to mass media outlets, including bans on extremism, pornography, electoral propaganda, and even “obscene language.”

    The measures will take effect in August and will also apply to social network sites and personal websites.

    The bill effectively bans anonymous blogging on popular sites. In addition, bloggers will be held responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information posted on their sites, including comments posted by others, according to Reporters Without Borders. Blogging services and social networks will also be required to keep user data for six months, raising fears that authorities will use this information to track down internet users.

    Russia’s new bill has come under intense scrutiny, both in and outside the country.

    International human rights organization Human Rights Watch called the legislation “another milestone in Russia’s relentless crackdown on free expression.”

    Reporters Without Borders warned that the bill is likely to reduce the space for free debate in Russia even further. “Like previous reforms, this bill’s sole aim is to increase control over online content,” RWB said.

    Internet advocates described the amendment as a recipe for self-censorship, as bloggers do not have the same resources as media organizations to monitor content, fact-check claims and fight costly legal battles.

    Within Russia, bloggers have reacted furiously. Bloomberg reported that popular opposition blogger Andrei Malgin has warned that the law’s goal is “to kill off the political blogosphere by the fall.” Members of a human rights council set up to advise the president have equally criticized the bill, calling it heavy-handed and counterproductive, according to ITAR-TASS.

    Amid the government’s increasing clampdown on the press, blogging is refuge for lively and critical debate in Russia. Blogs such as the one kept by Putin-foe Alexei Navalny have gathered a massive following, providing activists with a large platform to formulate dissent.

    The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that in recent months, however, the Kremlin has intensified its attacks on dissident voices, bringing down media chiefs and blocking independent news sites. In January, Russia passed a law allowing online publications to be banned if they call for “unsanctioned” protests, a measure that forced the closure of Navalny’s website.

  • Amazon profits thin as expenses jump
    Internet retailer Amazon reports a 32% jump in profit to $108m in the first quarter, but investors worry over increasing expenses.
  • Microsoft earnings beat estimates
    Microsoft earnings decline to $5.66bn, but beat market estimates as new chief executive Satya Nadella’s push into cloud computing pays off.

Mobile Technology News, April 24, 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.

  • Facebook earnings surge on mobile ads
    Social networking giant Facebook reports better than expected profits, as a surge in mobile advertising helps boost its revenues.
  • Qualcomm shares dip on weak outlook
    Shares in Qualcomm, one of the world’s biggest mobile phone chipmakers, fall 5% in after-hours trading as it issues a weaker than expected growth outlook.
  • Tech Millionare Who Beat Girlfriend 117 Times Ducks Jail Despite Damning Video
    RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges last week, dodging 45 felony counts for the videotaped 30-minute beating of his girlfriend.

    Chahal, 31, faces no jail time. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 52 weeks in a domestic violence training program and 25 hours of community service. The Internet mogul was arrested in August after police responded to a 911 domestic violence call at his San Francisco penthouse apartment.

    His girlfriend told arriving officers that she was unable to breathe and that Chahal had told her four times, “I’m going to kill you,” San Francisco Officer Anh Nguyen told the San Francisco Business Times in March. “She stated she was in fear for her life.”

    Home security footage reportedly showed Chahal beating and kicking his girlfriend 117 times during the 30-minute attack. Prosecutors said Chahal lashed out at his girlfriend upon learning that she had cheated on him with another man during a trip to Las Vegas, according to court documents.

    Soon after Chahal posted his $1 million bail and hired former federal prosecutor James Lassart as his attorney, his girlfriend stopped cooperating with the investigation and refused to testify against him. During a preliminary hearing, Lassart, who is also defending embattled state Sen. Leland Yee (D-Calif.) on corruption charges, did not deny that Chahal repeatedly struck his girlfriend, but insisted the physical damage was overblown.

    In a crippling blow to the prosecution, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Brendan Conroy ruled that the surveillance video could not be used as evidence because police seized it illegally from Chahal’s apartment. The prosecution argued it likely would have been erased if police had waited for a warrant.

    Alex Bastian, spokesman with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, issued a statement after the guilty plea on Thursday.

    “We disagree with the judge’s suppression of the video. The judge’s ruling substantially weakened the evidence we had for prosecution,” Bastian said. “Though it is not the outcome we had hoped for, the case has reached a resolution where the defendant acknowledges guilt, is placed on domestic violence probation and has to take domestic violence classes.”

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The deal also means that Chahal — with no felony conviction — will be allowed to stay on the board of his $100 million-a-year social advertising technology company, RadiumOne, which has been preparing to go public.”

    Chahal, once named one of America’s “most eligible bachelors” by ExtraTV, managed to advance his online-advertising network into its final stages for an initial public stock offering despite his arrest. He also secured a new partnership with publisher Condé Nast in April.

    Chahal sold his first online-ad network, ClickAgents.com Inc., to ValueClick Inc. at the age of 16 for $20.5 million in stock. Seven years later, he sold BlueLithium Inc., which he also founded, to Yahoo for $300 million in cash.

    In 2009, he authored a book about himself called The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions.

  • 'Friendly' drone flies on dog leash
    Camera takes flight on a dog leash
  • Apple Q2 numbers show lower iPad revenue, growth in China and Japan
    As a part of announcing its second-quarter results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF), exposing further facts. They reveal, for instance, that Apple’s iPad revenues dropped 16.4 percent year-over-year, shifting from roughly $8.7 billion to $7.6 billion. The company has typically seen continuous growth for the iPad, but units fell from just under 19.5 million to 16.3 million. Cook later clarified that inventory changes made the drop seem much more dramatic than it actually was in terms of end-user sales.



  • Apple profits beat expectations
    Technology giant Apple plans a share buyback after it reports profits of $10.2bn, selling a more than 43 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2014.
  • VIDEO: NYPD's Twitter campaign backfires
    NYPD asked followers to tweet a photo of themselves with officers and add the hashtag “myNYPD” as part of a social media campaign.
  • Feds May Be Looking To Bail On Net Neutrality: WSJ
    Net neutrality is not dead. But it may be about to take a big blow to the head.

    The Wall Street Journal has a foreboding scoop that provides details on an early draft of the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules. And to put it mildly, Internet activists will not be thrilled.

    According to the WSJ’s sources, the FCC’s plan would restructure the rules that govern online traffic by granting Internet service providers the ability to give some websites “preferential treatment” — i.e. faster traffic — in exchange for money.

    If such rules were imposed, activists fear Internet service providers would make bandwidth-exhaustive websites — think Netflix and Skype — pay more for smoother delivery, which would theoretically mean higher prices for customers in turn.

    According to the WSJ, companies in need of faster connections would have to pay for preferred treatment on the “last mile” of networks that connect to customers’ homes. Such pay-to-play schemes were banned under the old rules.

    In a statement provided to Mashable, which the site described as “vague,” the FCC confirmed that its proposal would offer broadband providers “the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers.”

    But there is some good news. The FCC’s proposal will ban Internet service providers from the most outright discriminatory practices, like blocking a legal website that offers a service that the Internet provider also offers. Unfortunately for defenders of the original tenets of net neutrality, these proposed rules will not be enough.

    The commission already hinted at a similar plan back in February after a U.S. appeals court struck down the old net neutrality rules. Back then, the FCC said decisions on whether or not agreements made between content makers and Internet providers were fair would be made on a case-by-case basis.

    In its original incarnation, net neutrality prohibited Internet service providers from engaging in practices that block, stifle or discriminate against (lawful) websites or traffic types on the Internet. However, a January ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a 2010 FCC order that forced Internet providers to abide by these principles, sending net neutrality into a state of limbo and forcing the FCC to rewrite its regulations.

    Critics argue that the end of net neutrality could have far-reaching effects on U.S. society by stifling innovation, hindering cash-strapped Internet startups from getting off the ground and widening the gap between the the rich’s Internet and the poor’s.

  • Apple touts $45.6 billion in Q2 2014 revenues
    Apple has posted $45.6 billion in revenues in its second fiscal quarter, up from $43.6 billion the same period a year ago. Net profits rose from $9.5 billion to $10.2 billion, or from $10.09 per share to $11.62. The company sold 43.7 million iPhones, an increase from the 37.4 million in Q2 2013. iPad sales came in at 16.3 million units, below a Wall Street consensus forecast of 19.7 million. The company also recorded 4.1 million Macs.



  • Apple touts $45.65 billion in Q2 2014 revenues
    Apple has posted $45.65 billion in revenues in its second fiscal quarter, up from $43.6 billion the same period a year ago. Profits per share rose from $10.09 to $11.62. The company sold 43.7 million iPhones, resulting in a segmental revenue drop from $32.5 billion to $26.06 billion. iPad sales came in at 16.35 million units.



  • Game-maker Zynga in widening loss
    Troubled online game-maker Zynga reports a loss of $61m, as founder Mark Pincus steps down as chief product officer.
  • Environmental Groups Ask U.S. Trade Rep To Drop Complaint Over India's Solar Policy
    WASHINGTON — A group of environmental organizations is calling on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to drop a complaint over India’s solar power policy. The groups called the complaint “misguided” in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Wednesday.

    “We are writing to express our grave concerns that the United States plans to increase uncertainty in the Indian solar market by asking the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a panel to evaluate whether India’s national solar program violates international trade rules,” wrote the 15 groups, which includes the Sierra Club and Greenpeace. “We believe this misguided claim could delay growth of the solar market in India and harm the future of solar deployment at a time when growth of renewable energy has never been more critical.”

    As The Huffington Post reported last month, the U.S. has sought WTO enforcement action against India over a government policy that requires local sourcing for solar energy technology. The two countries have yet to find a bilateral resolution, and the U.S. has asked the WTO to establish a panel to take up the issue. It is included on the agenda for a meeting of the WTO’s dispute settlement body taking place this Friday, April 25.

    The groups note that the amount of solar installed in India grew nearly 100 percent between 2012 and 2013, and that growth “has been driven by India’s national solar mission and accompanying policies.” While the groups said that they understand why the USTR would want to “ensure a fair playing field for U.S. companies,” they argue that using the WTO to address those concerns is “counterproductive” and “will only serve to undermine this growth market by shaking investor confidence.”

    “While it is critical to support and build a U.S. solar industry, the development of our solar industry should not come at the expense of India’s ability to develop its solar industry,” they wrote. The groups said that they see “troubling signs” of climate policy being determined by organizations like the WTO, “rather than on climate science and the real-world necessities of building a green economy.”

    A spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative acknowledged receipt of the letter on Wednesday afternoon.

    “We have received the letter and intend to respond to the writers,” he said. “As a general matter, we will note that countries have available a wide range of policy tools to promote increased reliance on clean energy that are far more effective than local content rules, and that do not unfairly discriminate against U.S. workers and businesses. USTR’s actions are conducive to increased use of solar energy in India as these types of local content rules raise the cost of solar energy, hindering deployment of solar energy.”

  • This Is Shaq's LinkedIn Profile, And It's Hilarious
    When you’re a celebrity of a certain status, having an extensive professional persona online apparently just isn’t worth the bother anymore.

    This at least partly explains Shaquille O’Neal’s LinkedIn profile, which is as honest as it is hilariously succinct.

    shaq linkedin profile

    Though it almost reads like a parody of itself, a representative confirmed to Slate that this is indeed Shaq’s actual LinkedIn profile.

    The basketball star lists his current occupation as being the CEO and president of “Alot of different companies. Inc.”

    A lot of different companies is right: In addition to the usual sponsorship deals surrounding an athlete of Shaq’s standing, SB Nation notes O’Neal owns 55 Five Guys restaurants. “That’s 275 Guys,” the blog points out.

    Under “Experience,” Shaq helpfully explains, “I’m working on a lot of different ventures. My best asset is that I am proven to lead teams to championships. I mean multiple championships.”

  • Underage Teens Are Using Hookup App Tinder; Should Parents Be Worried?
    Earlier this week, a concerned blogger raised the alarm about a troubling statistic: It seems a surprising number of users on the popular dating app Tinder are under the age of 18.

    “While there are plenty of twenty-, thirty- and forty-somethings on the app, there has been a reported rise of teenagers using the app,” wrote Samantha Escobar for lifestyle blog YourTango.com. “In fact, 7 percent of users are between 13 and 17, and that’s … uncomfortable, to say the least.”

    Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen disclosed this stat in February during a conversation with The Guardian about the app’s changing demographics. “Early on, over 90 percent of our user base was aged between 18 and 24,” Mateen said. “Today, that number is about 51 percent. 13-17 year-olds are now over 7 percent, 25-32 year-olds are about 32 percent, 35-44 is about 6.5 percent and the remainder are older than 45.” (Though the company has not disclosed the total number of active users it has, it said in February that it processes some 10 million matches every single day.)

    In her post for YourTango.com, Escobar said she was distressed by the significant number of teen users on Tinder, which has been described as an “app that helps you meet people for sex.”

    “Tinder is an app for adults, and it’s commonly viewed as one that facilitates casual hookups rather than friendships or long-term partnerships,” wrote Escobar. “Basically, it’s not a place children should be allowed on whatsoever.”

    Escobar isn’t the first to express concern over the app’s low age limit of 13.

    Last August, a blog post on the website for parental control software Qustodio said Tinder may be the “worst app ever for teens and tweens” and warned parents to “block Tinder from your child’s devices immediately.”

    “Since the whole purpose of Tinder is to find someone who you can actually meet up with in real-life, you can drill down to a one-mile radius from your location. I imagine that if you were a pedophile, Tinder would be your dream come true,” said the blog post.

    So, just how worried should parents be?

    Rosette Pambakian, a spokeswoman for Tinder, told The Huffington Post that adults and minors cannot interact on the app. “To protect young users, those between the ages of 13 to 17 can only connect with other users in that same age range on Tinder,” she wrote in an email. “Additionally, the only way two users are able to message each other within Tinder is if they mutually expressed interest by ‘liking’ each other, which results in a match. That means that users cannot send messages to other users without mutual consent.”

    Earlier this year, Tinder’s Justin Mateen was quoted as saying, “There’s nothing wrong with 13 and 17-year-olds making friends and connecting with new people on Tinder,” per The Times of London. Speaking with The Guardian in February, Mateen said the app was not designed as a hookup or dating app, but rather as a “social discovery platform, facilitating an introduction between two people.”

    Pambakian also told the HuffPost that there are safeguards in place to ensure the privacy and safety of minors. “The only way a user can access Tinder is through their Facebook profile. Facebook has security measures in place that verify each user’s authenticity,” Pambakian said in her email, adding that the app shows only users’ relative location, not their exact location.

    Still, The Independent notes that these safeguards may not be sufficient. Facebook authentication, for instance, has its limitations, since “any person, of any age, can create an entirely false Facebook page in under two minutes.”

    Though most popular dating and hookup apps and websites — including OKCupid, Match.com, Grindr, MiuMeet and Blendr — only allow users who are 18 and older, Tinder is not the only app in this category that permits users as young as 13. Skout and Distinc.tt, for instance, both allow users who are 13 and older. Teen dating app MyLOL is geared specifically to younger users; it permits users between the ages of 13 and 20.

    In 2012, some parents’ worst fears about these dating apps were heightened when Skout was briefly forced to shut down its social network for 13- to 17-year-olds after three men were accused of raping children they met on the app. The men reportedly masqueraded as teenagers.

    Ultimately, experts say that parents need to educate their children about the dangers of social media sites and apps of all kinds so that they can protect themselves against online predators, cyberbullying and other hazards.

    “Don’t forget to talk to your child about the dangers of apps like [Tinder]. New ones are popping up every day, so it’s nearly impossible to stay ahead of the game. It’s best to educate your child and encourage smart, healthy choices,” cautions the Qustodio blog post.

    Tinder agrees with this recommendation. Pambakian told the HuffPost that it “recommends that all parents know what sites and apps their children are using, who they’re talking to, and how they’re representing themselves.”

    Would you allow your child to use Tinder or similar dating apps? Weigh in below.

  • FCC To Propose New 'Net Neutrality' Rules
    The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new open Internet rules on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers, according to a person familiar with the proposal.
  • This Cannon Can Blast A Happy Hour's Worth Of Umbrella Drinks (VIDEO)
    Cannonballs can launch at about 250 meters per second, so a pyramid of cocktail drinks positioned just paces away from a cannon’s mouth won’t put up much resistance.

    But it’s really fun to watch the impact in slowwww motion.

    In a recent YouTube video, the Slo-Mo Guys, Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy, provide a 2,500 frames-per-second view of the grand event with their usual comedic touch.

    While cannons seem like such an antiquated weapon from a bygone era, they can still do damage — and not to just a bunch of umbrella cocktails.

    An accident during a 2011 “MythBusters” segment resulted in a cannonball blasting through a bomb range and into a nearby neighborhood, where it crashed through a home and landed on a minivan.

    Oops.

  • Facebook's Profit Just Beat Expectations Because Of Ads

    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook’s earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

    It was the fourth quarter in a row that Facebook beat forecasts as it continues to barrel ahead in mobile advertising at a time when nearly 80 percent of its users are accessing it on smartphones and other portable gadgets.

    The world’s biggest online social network said Wednesday that it earned $642 million, or 25 cents per share, in the January-March quarter, up from $219 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

    Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock compensation expenses and other costs, were $885 million, or 34 cents per share, in the latest quarter.

    Facebook’s revenue was $2.5 billion, up 71 percent from $1.46 billion in the same period a year ago.

    Analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

    Shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook climbed $2.34, or 3.8 percent, to $63.71 in extended trading after the results came out. The stock had closed down $1.67, or 2.7 percent, at $61.36 amid a broader market decline.

    There were 1.28 billion monthly Facebook users at the end of March, up 15 percent from a year earlier. The number of users who log in every day increased 21 percent to 802 million.

    The number of Facebook users who log in at least once a month using mobile devices climbed 34 percent to surpass 1 billion for the first time. Daily mobile users were 609 million, up 43 percent from a year ago.

    Advertising revenue totaled $2.27 billion. Of this, mobile advertising accounted for $1.34 billion, or 59 percent. That’s a bigger share than in the fourth quarter of 2013, the first time mobile accounted for more than half of Facebook’s ad revenue, at 53 percent.

    Facebook held a 6 percent share of worldwide digital ad revenues last year, according to research firm eMarketer, which expects the company’s share to grow to nearly 7 percent this year. Google, in comparison, garnered 32 percent of worldwide digital ad spending in 2013 and is expected to drop slightly to a fraction below that number by the end of 2014.

    On the mobile front, Facebook accounted for nearly 15 percent of worldwide ad revenue and is expected to steal some of Google’s share this year to grow to 22 percent. In comparison, Google’s share was 49 percent last year and is expected to drop to about 47 percent by 2014′s end.

    Facebook also said its chief financial officer, David Ebersman, is leaving on June 1 after five years. He’ll be replaced by David Wehner, currently vice president of corporate finance and business planning.

    “David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

    Facebook’s results came the same day the Federal Trade Commission cleared its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, a maker of virtual reality goggles. The company also agreed to buy WhatsApp, a mobile messaging service, for $19 billion during the first quarter. The company is largely using Facebook stock to make both purchases.

    Facebook’s valuation and the exorbitant price tags of the deals is raising questions among tech industry experts about whether the sector is in the midst of a bubble not seen since the turn of the century.

    “I’m troubled by the astronomical valuations in tech,” wrote Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay on Forbes.com this week. “Tech isn’t separate from the rest of the economy. Inflation in tech bleeds into, pumps up, infuses other sectors.”

  • A New Day for Gamification, or Is It?
    I’ve been working in the field of gamification since 2007, and I’ll admit, I’m somewhat perplexed that there’s still so much debate about what exactly gamification is, and what it is not.

    As I see it, the definition of gamification is straightforward — it’s about motivating people through data. To be more specific — gamification engines capture the big data that your customers, partners and employees are generating as they’re interacting with online experiences, and use that data to motivate better performance and drive business results.

    But even “straightforward” definitions can be misinterpreted.

    For instance, I’ve heard gamification incorrectly defined as “games created for a business purpose,” and yet, to reiterate, gamification is not about games, and it’s not about creating something new. Gamification is about amplifying the effect of an existing, core experience by applying proven motivational techniques — the kind of tactics that increase high-value interactions with customers, employees and partners — so that companies can drive more sales, stronger collaboration, better ROI, deeper loyalty and higher customer satisfaction.

    A few weeks ago, Gartner released a research note aimed at clearing up some of these misperceptions. In “Redefine Gamification to Understand Its Opportunities and Limitations,” analyst Brian Burke acknowledges that confusion around the definition of gamification leads to missed opportunities to leverage gamification solutions, and on this point, I couldn’t agree more. Over the years, it has become crystal clear that the gamification market can’t continue to evolve unless we’re all on the same page, using the same terms, with the same expectations.

    But does Gartner’s new definition achieve its goal? Does it improve our understanding of gamification’s opportunities and limitations?

    To answer that question, let’s take a careful look at exactly what’s being proposed.

    According to Gartner’s new definition, gamification is “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”

    Here’s what I like most about this new definition:

    • Motivation takes center stage. As Burke writes, “The goal of gamification is to motivate people to change behaviors or develop skills, or to drive innovation.” The amazing thing about human motivation is that if you can tap into it properly, there’s a never-ending supply of it. That’s why I call motivation “cold fusion for loyalty.” And whoever figures out how to harness that energy is going to win.

    But motivation tells only part of the story. To understand gamification, you also need to recognize that it’s purposeful, data-driven and proven. Because those aspects are so essential, here’s how Gartner’s new definition could be made even stronger:

    • Less emphasis on game language. Continuing to use terms like “players” and “play space” perpetuates the notion that gamification is about games. Again, gamification is not about “play.” Burke even goes so far as to note that “gamification is not about fun.”
    • Less emphasis on digital engagement. The important thing to keep in mind is that gamification is data-driven, not necessarily digitally-driven. “Digital” implies that the experience happens completely online, and that’s not always the case. Companies using gamification can motivate physical activity, meeting attendance and many other “analog” behaviors. Technology enables the more efficient capture and distribution of that data at scale, but it isn’t a hard requirement for gamification.
    • More emphasis on business results. Businesses don’t implement gamification because they want to help employees and/or customers achieve their short-term goals. Businesses implement gamification because gamification drives value. Gamification increases high-value interactions with customers, employees and partners, which in turn, helps you improve business performance through more sales, stronger collaboration, better ROI, deeper loyalty and higher customer satisfaction.

    Modifying the definition in these three ways would help companies better understand that gamification is not about games, and that it’s not limited to digital behaviors. Perhaps most importantly of all, they would also understand that the whole idea behind gamification is to deliver business value. How could it not? Gamification enables businesses to motivate customers, employees and partners to engage in high-value interactions -the very interactions that drive more sales, stronger collaboration, better ROI, deeper loyalty and higher customer satisfaction. In fact, Gallup recently found that companies that engage customers and employees experience a 240 percent boost in performance-related business outcomes.

    Burke ends his note with this: “The opportunities are vast, with many yet to be exploited, but before embarking on the journey, a clear understanding of the opportunities and limitations of gamification is needed.”

    Again, I couldn’t agree more. And I’m glad that we’re continuing to refine the true meaning — and the true business value — of gamification.

  • These Reddit Users Get Our Upvote After Helping Man Find Missing Mom
    Reddit helped a man locate his missing mother in New York City on Tuesday.

    Redditor @joshgoldberg89‘s mother, May Goldberg, went missing on Monday after walking out of her Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. She suffers from severe dementia, he wrote on the site.

    Silver Alert: May Goldberg, 59, last seen 19 West 69 St Manhattan #20Pct on 4/21. Call #800577TIPS w/ info. pic.twitter.com/7cJtdo3kRy

    — NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 22, 2014

    After contacting the NYPD, @joshgoldberg89 wrote a post on Reddit Tuesday, asking local Redditors to keep an eye out for his mom:

    Her name is May Goldberg. She is 59 years old, Chinese, 5’6″ 115 lbs. She has shoulder-length black hair and we believe she might be wearing a white, long-sleeve, zip-up fleece (NY1 article lists alternative clothing that she MIGHT be wearing). She speaks both Mandarin Chinese and English. She walks with a slight limp due to hip-replacement surgery she had several years ago. She has severe dementia.

    We have contacted the NYPD as well as several missing persons/Alzheimer’s associations to assist us with the search. We are currently putting up fliers in the surrounding areas and her information should be broadcast on several local news outlets soon.

    And later that evening, Redditor @geryorama wrote that she was walking in Midtown Manhattan when she spotted May:

    Hi guys. I am so glad May will be shortly reunited with her family. I was walking home from work around 9:30-10PM and I noticed May at East 47th and Lexington Avenue. As I saw Josh’s post in the afternoon she looked very familiar. I quickly pulled out my phone and visited this page to ensure it is indeed her. When I realized it’s her, I approached her, asked for her name, told her that her family is looking for her, and took her to Hyatt Hotel lobby to contact the police. The gentleman and lady at the Hyatt front desk were extremely helpful and they contacted the police. Two police officers arrived within 3 minutes. They identified May and I believe they called for an ambulance. In the meantime, I quickly sent a personal message to Josh via Reddit informing him that her mom has been found and that she is with the police.

    We’ve reached out to the NYPD to confirm the details of @geryorama’s story and will update when we hear back.

    On Wednesday, @joshgoldberg89 expressed his gratitude to the Reddit community:

    MY MOM HAS BEEN FOUND! She is safe, but she is being checked out at the hospital as a precaution. A million thanks to /u/geryorama for finding her on the street and alerting the authorities. The outpouring of support has been completely overwhelming. My family and I send a HUGE thank you to the entire Reddit community. You are amazing. Thank you.

    The Observer spotted a (since deleted) Reddit comment that summed up the feel-good story perfectly: “Reddit took a break from posting cat jokes and misidentifying terrorists today to do something useful.”

    Indeed.

    [VIA Reddit]

Mobile Technology News, April 23, 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.

  • Apple vs Samsung, Day 10: the home stretch
    The biggest news in today’s Apple vs Samsung patent trial was the previously-reported revelation of a secret deal between Google and Samsung in which the search and advertising giant not only agreed to indemnify Samsung if it lost on two of the patent claims in this trial, but that Google — not Samsung — was to “direct and control” litigation and defense on Samsung’s behalf. The revelation, which Samsung had previously denied in court, will be used to diminish the Samsung claim that the case is really about Android.



  • 'Call Of Duty' Swatting Hoax On Long Island Caused By Game's Loser, Police Say (VIDEO)
    A police SWAT team descended on a Long Island, N.Y., home Tuesday under the belief that a teen had shot and killed his mother and brother and was ready to kill again — only to learn that the call was a hoax triggered by the loser of a video game.

    It’s a prank called “swatting,” in which people try to get law enforcement to respond in force to a fabricated threat.

    In this case, the authorities believe the loser of a game of “Call of Duty” found the winner’s home by looking up his IP address, police sources told The New York Post. Then, he called the cops and claimed to be 17-year-old Rafael Castillo, of Long Beach, N.Y.

    “I just killed my mother and I might shoot more people,” the hoaxster reportedly said.

    Some 70 law enforcement officers responded to the scene, some with guns drawn. Police surrounded the home, called for the teen to come out and even called him on his cellphone, but he continued to play video games.

    He had headphones on and apparently couldn’t hear the commotion outside or his phone.

    His mother, 54-year-old Maria Castillo, was making coffee in the kitchen when she saw police fan out across the front lawn.

    “He told me, ‘Go out! Go out!’” the LI Herald reported. “I [said], ‘What happened?’ They said, ‘Somebody killed somebody in your house.’ I told the police my kid’s home, my kid’s on the computer. He don’t know what happened.”

    Eventually, police realized they had been pranked.

    “In this … bizarre world of swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry,” Michael Tangney, Long Beach police commissioner, told CBS New York. “It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.”

    Police are trying to identify the hoaxster, who called using Skype.

    It was probably just an evil little kid,” one officer told the Post.

    Police told the Herald that the response cost somewhere around $100,000.

    “If we determine who made this call, there will be an arrest,” Tangney told the Herald. “He did something so, so foolish, and so dangerous. I’m very angry — it’s a tremendous waste of taxpayer resources, it’s a tremendous danger to law enforcement.”

    As for the boy’s mother, it seems like she’s had enough of the game.

    “The kid played too much,” she told WPIX. “Go work. He’s 17, he can work.”

  • Apple's 'Powerful' new TV commercial showcases iPhone 5s
    A new Apple ad premiered tonight on Disney-owned ABC, called “Powerful.” The 90-second spot (now available on Apple’s YouTube channel) is the first this year to spotlight the iPhone 5s rather than the iPhone 5c, and features a band performing the Pixies song “Gigantic” while an array of apps — beginning with musically-oriented ones, then branching off in other directions — is shown. Like most recent Apple ads, the focus is on enabling people to do interesting things using their iPhones.



  • VIDEO: Hands-on with Microsoft's Cortana
    Meet the brains behind Windows Phone’s Cortana
  • Future of the net debated in Brazil
    Tensions emerge ahead of a meeting being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to discuss changes to the way the internet is governed.
  • VIDEO: Actress writes her own happy ending
    A woman pioneer in the digital space talks about using technology to create acting opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
  • The trouble with technology stocks
    Are investors calling time on tech stocks?
  • Malware steals Apple IDs from jailbroken iPhones, iPads
    As has been predicted for some time, a new malware threat exploits the same flaws in iOS that jailbreaking tools use in order to install itself on older jailbroken iPhones and iPads. The malware, likely to be found in devices where the user has installed third-party customizations, scans for the Apple ID and password of the user, then transmits it to remote servers. Current, 64-bit iOS devices like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air or second-generation iPad mini — and un-jailbroken iOS devices of all sorts — appear to be immune so far.



  • Antonin Scalia Seems Confused By HBO
    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may know a lot… but does he know about HBO?

    It appears not, according to a transcript from Tuesday’s Supreme Court discussion over the case of ABC Inc. v. Aereo.

    Scalia apparently thought HBO is free over the airwaves. pic.twitter.com/db1YQSVBiO

    — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 22, 2014

    Scalia lumped the pay-cable channel HBO in with over-the-air networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, which reach customers over broadcast signals.

    (Read more on the Supreme Court case from HuffPost’s Gerry Smith here.)

    Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told HuffPost Live he thinks “in some cases, the sophistication isn’t there” on the Supreme Court to properly rule on cases like ABC Inc. v. Aereo.

    Watch a video of the interview above.

  • Train Kick Selfie Guy On Track To Make A Ton Of Money Off His Idiotic Video
    It’s a weird formula, for sure: Travel to a far-flung destination, get kicked in the head by a worker on a passing train, profit from a self-shot video of the encounter.

    But Jared Frank just might make it work. The 22-year-old Canadian could earn big bucks for his viral YouTube clip, the CBC reported.

    Frank (whose YouTube handle is Jared Michael), told the outlet that he made a deal with licensing company Jukin Media. The CBC estimated that the arrangement could mean $30,000 to $250,00 in revenue for Frank, plus potential income from other licensing.

    His original train kick video had accrued more than 23 million views by Tuesday evening.

    Frank became the talk of the Internet last week for his misadventure in Machu Picchu, Peru. He posted a selfie of himself standing close to a rail, then taking a boot to the jaw from a conductor in a passing train.

    As the video steamed through the Web, viewers debated whether the footage was real and whether the train operator might have saved him from harm with the kick. (The Huffington Post continues to receive opinions on the matter.)

    Frank then appeared on viral video show “RightThisMinute” and assured viewers that the footage was real. “It was way more shocking than it was painful,” he said.

    And now it might be profitable. But Frank is being cautious.

    “People probably already are seeing me in a negative light as the idiot who got kicked in the head, so I don’t want to be the idiot who thought he was going to make millions of dollars and ended up with a $400 paycheck,” he told The Canadian Press of his deal.

  • 51% of Americans Over 55 Own a Smartphone
    If it seems like everyone you know owns a smartphone these days—perhaps even your parents and grandparents—you’re not alone. As of Q1 2014, for the first time, a majority of Americans of all age groups own smartphones. In fact, 51 percent of adults over the age of 55 now own smartphones, up 10 percent from Q1 2013, driving the growth in smartphone penetration to seven out of 10 Americans overall (70%).
  • Nurturing the Startup Juggernaut
    In 1995, Sergey Brin was assigned to show a new student, Larry Page, around Stanford. They soon started developing BackRub, a new way to search for content on the rapidly growing Internet. Two years later, they received their first angel investment of $100,000 for a company that didn’t yet exist. In 1998 PC Magazine named the newly christened Google the search engine of choice.

    Feeling like the company was distracting from their academic pursuits, in early 1999 Sergey and Larry tried to sell Google for $1 million to an established web company. Rebuffed, they plugged along and later that year received a $25 million investment valuing Google at $100 million from two blue chip Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

    If Google was only a search engine, you might never have heard of them. Sergey and Larry were opposed to selling advertising on their site, like most other web companies did. Bleeding cash, their investors were growing restless. Then Sergey and Larry found GoTo.com, which had an inferior search engine, but a superior way of generating revenue. GoTo.com’s key insight was that when you enter a keyword into a search bar, you are disclosing what you are interested in at that point in time that allows the search engine to serve up a highly relevant ad. Google launched AdWords in 2000 and refined it in a couple of years into AdSense. GoTo.com was bought by Yahoo, which sued Google, which settled by giving Yahoo a chunk of stock.

    Google’s value exploded through the combination of a superior technology and a powerful business model. Google went public in 2004 with a valuation of $27 billion and today is valued at $365 billion, making Sergey and Larry two of the world’s richest people. The past always seems obvious.

    Observing the distinctive role startups play in our economy, Stanford Professor Steve Blank defines a startup as, “a temporary organization to discover an unmet customer need and then to develop a highly scalable business model around it.” Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen notes that because early insights are personal, informal, and not fully formed, “It is simply impossible to predict with any useful degree of precision how disruptive products will be used or how large their markets will be. Guessing the right strategy at the onset isn’t nearly as important to success as conserving enough resources to get a second or third stab at getting it right.”

    Every large successful company has matured through a highly evolving startup phase to become a mature, operationally excellent organization. While the entrepreneur excelled at dealing with ambiguity and iterating to a successful business, later management excels at data driven disciplines, which reduce variability and produce predictable results.

    Except Larry didn’t settle in. Though Google owned Internet search on most desktops, Larry kept fritzing around with new, out-of-the-box ideas. In 2005, Google bought a mobile phone software startup, Android. Larry said, “I felt guilty about working on Android when it was a little startup we bought. It wasn’t really what we were working on. I felt guilty about spending time on that. That was stupid. That was the future. That was a good thing to be working on.”

    If the Google CEO was tense that working on the future feels like robbing from the present, people throughout large organizations feel the tension even more acutely. Roger Milliken’s admonition is that all successful organizations must excel at both execution and innovation. “Operational excellence secures the present. Innovation excellence secures the future.”

    In 2007 Steve Jobs launched the iPhone and ignited the smartphone market. Had Google not been working on Android, they would have missed the massive shift from the desktop to mobile devices. But Larry was prepared, and today over half the world’s smart phones run the Android operating system. The past always seems obvious.

    Larry said, “I look at lots of companies and why they don’t succeed over time… What do they fundamentally do wrong? Usually they miss the future.” For Google to avoid that fate, Larry focuses on what the future is going to be and how to drive that at a really high rate.

    What hair brained idea is Larry working on now? Drones. What do drones have to do with Google? Google attracts massive audiences as the master of search and advertising on the desktop and the leader in software running mobile devices. So what’s the problem? In February 2014, with 84 percent of all 222 million unique web visitors, Google is running out of Internet. Drones can provide Internet access to the two-thirds of the world’s population, roughly 4.6 billion people, who haven’t been on the Internet. Drones are a strategic bet that likely will take years to pay off, if at all.

    Christensen notes, “If history is any guide, the successful innovations will emerge from companies who carve disruptive footholds by targeting non-consumers and moving up-market with better products only after they have started simple and small.”

    Startups are the juggernauts that discover new markets, which drive growth and wealth creation in our economy. It’s in our interest to nurture the ecosystem that allows startups to thrive. While the past always seems obvious, the best way to predict the future is to create it.

  • Apple fixes weekend iTunes outage for first-gen Apple TV owners
    Apple appears to have fixed a problem that prevented owners of the first-generation Apple TV from accessing iTunes, according to comments on the product’s support forums. The outage began over the weekend, but was resolved just earlier today. It’s not clear what caused the issue, or why it would only affect first-gen Apple TVs.



  • This NYPD Idea Backfired Horribly On Twitter
    The New York City Police Department sent out an interesting request on Tuesday, asking followers to send photos of themselves posing proudly with officers using the hashtag #myNYPD.

    Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook. pic.twitter.com/mE2c3oSmm6

    — NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 22, 2014

    An attempt at web-savvy community building? Not enough criminals humble bragging about their crimes on the Internet today? It’s unclear, but it’s also safe to assume the resulting tweets probably weren’t what the NYPD had in mind:

    Free Massages from the #NYPD. What does YOUR Police Department offer? Tweet at #MyNYPD pic.twitter.com/IFWr8exuqH

    — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) April 22, 2014

    The #NYPD will also help you de-tangle your hair. #myNYPD pic.twitter.com/nrngQ1bOWv

    — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) April 22, 2014

    Need a mammogram? #myNYPD has you covered! Forget Obamacare! pic.twitter.com/Fusv3WhiRZ

    — आनिल् (@guru0509) April 22, 2014

    #MyNYPD pic.twitter.com/yVxLdlrvUX

    — Desus (@desusnice) April 22, 2014

    Homeless and sleeping in a synagogue? #MyNYPD has an ass kicking answer! #ForShame! pic.twitter.com/9DIL07bYKk

    — Doc Rocket (@DocR0cket) April 22, 2014

    #myNYPD Protecting the bike lanes of Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/30Adx3AI40

    — Adrian Kinloch (@adriankinloch) April 22, 2014

    #mynypd finds so many ways to be a racist threat to people’s rights and lives pic.twitter.com/u5Q09Ll9A5

    — Joel Reinstein (@pinkopros) April 22, 2014

    An officer from Precinct 114 once ticketed me for doing this exact thing on the N train. #myNYPD pic.twitter.com/r5ZbO2f6t4

    — Daniel Stuckey (@danstuckey) April 22, 2014

    #NYPD protect banks and kiks pacific people #Wallstreet Mafia #myNYPD pic.twitter.com/eKiElOg9hI

    — HDG (@hdgremix) April 22, 2014

    Check out the full hashtag stream here.

  • This 2014 Dog Vine Compilation Will Make You Want A Puppy Now
    There are some pups you just can’t get enough of. These Vine-famous dogs fit the bill.

    Thanks to PL: Funny compilations, we have a collection of them worth watching over and over and over and…

    While you’re reading, we’d avoid letting your dogs drive your car or eat balloons, just as some basic rules.

    Still, though, these are pretty hilarious.

  • It's Easy Being Green with Wireless Tech

    It was the great muppet philosopher Kermit the Frog who first proclaimed in 1970 that “it’s not easy bein’ green.” While that may have been true decades ago, with the swipe of a screen to control your thermostat or the automatic rerouting of delivery vehicles to avoid traffic and save gas, wireless innovation is making a fibber out of one of America’s most beloved environmental icons.

    Today, mobile technologies empower all of us–from small households to large businesses–to make little changes that add up to big savings for our environment and our wallets. Consider this one fact: Just a one percent increase in efficiency from the mobile-fueled Internet of Things can save up to $15 trillion by 2030–almost the equivalent of adding another USA to the global economy.

    Mobile Future’s new graphic white paper It’s Easy Being Green with Wireless Tech highlights how wireless innovation is helping reduce carbon emissions while boosting the bottom line. It also shines a spotlight on the growing universe of wirelessly connected tools. As the Federal Communications Commission puts the finishing touches on rules to govern the auction of new spectrum capacity, the report brings to life real-world examples of the growth from 35 million mobile connected devices today to more than 271 million by 2018.

    Buildings consume more than 70 percent of U.S. electricity. To combat that massive energy drain, smart buildings armed with wireless sensors that manage temperature, light and water are generating energy savings of up to 15% annually. Clearly a wave of the near future, smart buildings will be home to more than 100 million wireless sensors by 2019. Las Vegas’ Aria Hotel is leading the charge, boasting 70,000 wireless sensors and in-room tablets that allow guests to control everything-including their climate. On the home front, simply programming your thermostat properly with help from mobile can save 20 percent in heating and cooling costs.

    While those wireless sensors are minimizing energy use, they do require electricity. Fortunately, smart grids nationwide are adopting mobile technologies to improve the efficiency, reliability and security of electricity distribution. And those smart grids can lead to smart savings while drastically reducing our carbon footprint. Just a four percent reduction in electricity usage thanks to smart grids can save U.S. consumers and businesses $20.4 billion by 2030. Meanwhile, if every one of the 117 million U.S. households used smart grid capabilities, carbon emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of 117 million tanks of gas for a full-size truck–each year.

    Smart fleets, including planes, trains and automobiles, rely heavily on mobile innovations to reduce emissions and boost bottom lines. Optimizing transportation routes with mobile technologies can prevent up to 80 million tons of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent of taking 22 coal plants offline. And mobile routing technology means transportation fleets see emission reductions and significant fuel savings. In 2012, mobile routing helped UPS save 206 million minutes of idling time and more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel. On the consumer level, the rising popularity of mobile-enabled car-sharing businesses like Car2Go is adding up to big savings for our planet. Up to 13 cars are taken off the road for every one car-sharing vehicle.

    We’ll always love Kermit. But with the mobile technology now at our fingertips, it’s time for the frog to update his shtick.

    ###

    Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter, a technology executive and former senior federal government national security official, leads a coalition of technology companies/stakeholders dedicated to increasing investment and innovation in the burgeoning U.S. wireless sector.

  • This Boy Saved For A PlayStation, But Then Tragedy Struck And He Helped His Community Instead
    In the wake of tragedy, one boy from Texas found an generous way to protect his community.

    Hector Montoya, 9, from Grand Prairie was saving up for a PlayStation 4 video game console. However, after hearing about a deadly fire that claimed the lives of a mother and daughter nearby, he decided to spend his money on buying smoke detectors for houses in his community that didn’t have them, CNN reported.

    “It really hurts my heart to see people die in a fire,” Hector told the outlet.

    He’d saved $300, and with it he was able to buy 100 smoke detectors which the local fire department installed last weekend, NBC 5 DFW reported.

    “Saving a life is more important,” Hector told the outlet.

    The inspiring kid was planning to save up again for the game console, but now he won’t have to.

    After word of his good deed was spread on the local news, strangers decided to reward the selfless kid with the PS4 he had originally intended to buy, and also to donate an additional $100 for more smoke alarms, CNN reported.

    Helping other people makes me feel good,” Hector told NBC 5 DFW. “I’m making a difference by doing this, and helping everybody.”

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  • Bloomberg Is Bringing Solar Power To Africa With $5 Million Investment In 'Little Sun' Lamps
    NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation on Tuesday announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

    The lamp, called Little Sun, provides clear, affordable energy to places dependent on costly and toxic kerosene lighting in sub-Saharan Africa, said Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity of the billionaire businessman and former mayor. The foundation said it will provide a low-interest rate loan to help the business grow.

    “Too many families are forced to breathe in toxic kerosene fumes because they don’t have access to electricity,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Little Sun is bringing clean, safe, affordable light to people who don’t have it today.”

    The portable lamp created by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen lasts two to three years before needing a new battery.

    The Little Sun company said it can save households as much as 90 percent over three years compared to what they spend on kerosene.

    “Today, seven out of 10 people lack access to even the most basic electricity in Sub-Suharan Africa,” said Little Sun managing director and CEO Felix Hallwachs. “Over the next 20 years, Africa is poised to hold the world’s largest un-electrified population.”

    He said breathing kerosene fumes for four hours is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes.

    The lamp is currently available in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    The Little Sun project was launched in 2012 at the Tate Modern museum in London. Consumers in the U.S. and Europe also can buy Little Sun at some museums and stores.

    “With a Little Sun in your hand, you become a power station, charging your lamp in the sun, you also empower yourself,” Eliasson said.

  • Can Evolutionary Biology Tell Us What's Kinky?
    Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

    Carin Bondar’s phenomenal and learned TED talk called “The Birds And The Bees Are Just the Beginning” is one of most informative lectures I’ve heard in a long time. Her tongue-in-cheek style is extremely engaging and clearly she enjoys what she does. And, she isn’t kidding when she notes that if we only studied birds and bees we’d lose a ton of very interesting information about the sex lives of other animals, many of whom were unfamiliar to me.

    One size doesn’t fit all

    The essence of Dr. Bondar’s presentation is that there is a lot of diversity in sexual behavior and anatomy among nonhuman animals (animals) and that “one size fits all” explanations don’t work. We learn, for example, that paper nautilus males have a detachable swimming penis that once was thought to be a distinct organism, rather than an organ, and that some penises are huge beyond imagination when scaled to the size of a male’s body. The roving swimming penis finds females using pheromones (chemicals). And, it turns out, that bed bug sex is incredibly traumatic because of the male’s barbed penis that he stabs anywhere on the female’s body to impregnate her. He goes from flaccid to ejaculation in less than one second. Vaginas and clitorises also come (no pun intended) in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I wonder what Alfred Kinsey would have thought about all of this?

    I’ve long been interested in the evolution of different aspects of social behavior, a topic that I cover in my recent book called Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed. As I listened to Dr. Bondar I wondered if evolutionary biology could shed light on what some people consider to be “kinky”, loosely defined as some form of unusual or unconventional sex that is considered to be abnormal (and embarrassing). I immediately thought that perhaps we really don’t know what is unusual or unconventional because surveys about human sexual behavior may be replete with inaccurate reports of what people really do in bed, on couches, in telephone booths, or on kitchen counters. A web search confirmed my suspicion that sex surveys may not actually tell us what people consider conventional or kinky or what their intimate lives truly are like.

    You drive me batty!

    It’s clear that other animals aren’t as inhibited as humans when they want to get it on in one way or another. After watching Dr. Bondar’s talk I thought about oral sex in animals, something that I can’t recall having crossed my mind even after having watched thousands of interactions in dogs, coyotes, and wolves in which a good deal of attention – both sniffing and licking — is paid to another individual’s genital area. I wondered if we’re the only animals who engage in fellatio or cunnilingus. So, I did a web search for “oral sex in nonhuman animals” and I found more than 13 million hits! Once again there are problems with definition because different people define oral sex differently, ranging from oral-genital contact to stimulation that feels good to stimulation resulting in orgasm. Regardless, it’s pretty clear that oral sex involves a mouth.

    What I found was very interesting and new to me. There have been observations of oral sex among nonhuman primates including baboons and bonobos. Bats too do it. In fruit-eating Indian flying foxes it’s been shown that cunnilingus as foreplay is a major part of their sexual repertoire and that it makes sex last longer. Males get about an extra two seconds of penetration if they perform cunnilingus for 15 seconds before entering the female.

    In the short-nosed fruit bat fellatio has been observed even during copulation. I wonder if these examples of oral sex in bats are where the phrase, “You drive me batty” (where batty means insane or crazy) comes from? Is it rooted in evolutionary biology?

    Is it kinky or not?

    Depending on one’s take on what’s kinky or not, oral sex is unconventionally kinky or “yucky” or normal sexual behavior. If one wants to look to evolutionary biology to tell us what’s kinky or not, it’s clear there’s a lot of what we would call “kinkiness” among nonhuman animals so for something to be really kinky it would have to be an act that goes beyond standard ranges of imagination. We have pretty narrow definitions of sex when compared to other animals.

    So, yes, I think evolutionary biology can help us understand what’s kinky and what’s not. I think of the bumper sticker for evolutionary continuity to go something like, “If we have or do something, ‘they’ (other animals) have it or do it too.”

    And, judging from the incredible variability and broad range of sexual behavior among nonhuman animals for which Dr. Bondar’s lecture gave us but a small taste, one better get ready for a wild ride if they’re going to outdo what we know about the sex lives of the fascinating animals with whom we share different niches on our magnificent planet. We can learn a lot from them, but I’m not sure the reverse is true.

    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.

Mobile Technology News, April 22, 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.

  • Facebook boss wants women to act
    Facebook’s highest ranked woman has said women need to take action to create a more equal world.
  • Apple now accepts all used Apple products for recycling at all stores
    Continuing its multi-pronged and environmentally-minded publicity push on Monday, Apple has also initiated a new program that will turn all Apple Stores into recycling centers, accepting all used Apple devices either for free (in the case of non-functional and older devices) or in exchange for a gift card (for newer, functional units). The new plan is part of an effort to reduce the company’s “footprint” in terms of manufacturing pollution, and keep more of its electronics out of landfills.



  • Why Women Are The Stronger Sex, According To Science And Other Anecdotal Awesomeness
    Sure, things are undeniably sunnier for women in the “Lean In” culture of 2014, but we’re not fully there yet. Here are some cold, hard facts:

    • We’ve still never had a woman president…
    • …or vice president…
    • …or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court….
    • …or White House chief of staff, or director of the CIA.
    • (We could go on.)
    • (And we will.)
    • And women still make 77 cents on the dollar as compared to our male counterparts.

    Yet we’re still somehow stuck waging war on words like “bossy.” (Or, you know, embracing words like “bossy,” depending on whom you’re talking to.)

    But don’t lose hope, because we have some incredible leaders out there, as well as some pretty fantastic science and history supporting the greatness of our gender. So without further ado, here are 15 reasons to celebrate your womanliness today:

    1. Listen, we’re not saying one gender is smarter than the other…

    girl school hand
    Source: Gettystock

    …but little girls are kicking little boys’ butts in elementary school and earning higher degrees at far better rates. Female grads now account for about 60% of U.S. bachelor’s degree holders.

    2. …although a woman does hold the world’s highest recorded IQ.

    genius woman
    Source: Gettystock

    In the 1980s, Marilyn vos Savant’s IQ was recorded as a sky-high 228 according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The ensuing press attention spawned a still-running column in Parade: the eponymous “Ask Marilyn,” where vos Savant answers puzzles, riddles, and the like.

    3. Actually, women now outperform men on IQ tests, in general.

    girl test
    Source: Gettystock

    Formerly a gentleman’s game, statistics now show that women handily beat their male counterparts on the IQ scale.

    4. Whoa, did you know our immune systems are significantly stronger?

    sick husband
    Source: Gettystock

    This is possibly due to estrogen’s immune-boosting influence or a number of other baseline genetic advantages, but it’s totally true. We KNEW IT.

    5. Statistically speaking, it turns out that women are actually better drivers than men.

    speeding ticket
    Source: Gettystock

    So here’s a big middle finger to all the old taxi drivers who gripe about “lady drivers,” because facts are facts, boys.

    6. We’re also better with money!

    stock market woman
    Source: Gettystock

    Studies show that women make for superior investors for oh-so-many reasons.

    7. In fact, it turns out that a woman invented the original version of Monopoly in 1904.

    monopoly
    Source: Flickr

    Elizabeth Magie’s version was called “The Landlord Game.” And talk about an income gap: Parker Brothers bought the patent from Magie for a mere $500 after a dude named Charles Darrow had passed it off as his own. Poor Lizzie.

    8. Speaking of male-dominated fields like finance and technology … a woman was one of the pioneers for a little thing called the computer. IN THE ’40s.

    computer
    Source: Gettystock

    In 1944, Grace Hopper designed Harvard’s Mark I computer along with Howard Aiken, which was used in the U.S. effort in World War II. She was also part of the team that developed one of the first modern programming languages (COBOL). Fun fact: She’s also credited with the term “debugging,” supposedly as a result of having to physically remove moths from the massive room-sized computers of the day.

    9. Oh, and it turns out: beer? That was us, too. Ladies were the first brewers, according to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

    brewing
    Source: Gettystock

    According to The Atlantic, there’s a substantial movement to claim brewskies back from the broski-domain once and for all. Three cheers!

    10. Despite still being quite the minority in the U.S. Congress, a joint study from Stanford University and the University of Chicago proves that women are more effective legislators in the national arena.

    congress
    Source: Gettystock

    Over the 20 years surveyed, “women in Congress introduce more bills, attract more co-sponsors and bring home more money for their districts than their male counterparts,” on average.

    11. Case in point: Let’s not forget how Senator Elizabeth Warren seriously has our backs.

    elizabeth warren
    Source: Flickr

    We want to be her when we grow up. “America’s women are tired of hearing that pay inequality isn’t real,” she says. “We’re tired of hearing that it is somehow our fault, and we’re ready to fight back.”

    12. And despite those oh-so-tired claims (ughhhh) that women aren’t funny, ladies are clearly dominating comedy these days.

    bridesmaids
    Source: WordPress

    zoey
    Source: Tumblr

    lena
    Source: Giphy

    13. For God’s sake, BECAUSE TINA AND AMY.

    tinaamy

    Aside from being our favorite humans to do anything ever, the duo absolutely nailed the hosting gig (again) at the Golden Globes, earning the award show its highest ratings in 10 years.

    14. Women completely dominate the beloved icon/media mogul category and only need one name: Arianna, Martha, Oprah. (Sorry, Rupert.)

    arianna oprah
    Source: Getty

    And yes, OK, we’re biased, but we’re particularly proud of Huffington’s current efforts to eliminate burnout and encourage us all to thrive in our careers without sacrificing our mental and emotional health.

    15. And finally, because the best is yet to come.

  • T-Mobile Continues to Grow Faster
    Sprint Also Grows More in First Quarter of 2014
    AT&T and Verizon Enjoy Higher Retention Rates

    Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis of the results from its research on mobile phone carriers for the calendar quarter that ended March 31, 2014. This analysis features findings about consumer trends in mobile phone activations from January-March 2014, and is based on its survey of US subjects that activated a new or used mobile phone in that three-month period.

    CIRP finds that T-Mobile increased its customer base by the highest percentage among the four largest mobile phone carriers, with Sprint close behind. Verizon was flat, while AT&T had a slight loss in existing customers.

    Among the four largest carriers, Verizon has the highest share of activations in the quarter, at 35%. AT&T had the next highest share, at 28% of activations. T-Mobile had 15%, while Sprint had a smaller share, at 9%. All other carriers (regional and prepaid carriers) together had 13% of activations (see “current carrier” in chart).

    Carrier Share of Activating Customers at the Beginning and End of Q1 2014
    2014-04-22-chart1.jpg

    These figures represent how each carrier added and lost customers during the quarter. In this way, Verizon captured the largest share of activations, thought T-Mobile had the largest percent increase among customers activating phones in the quarter.

    Relative to customers that activated a new or used phone, T-Mobile grew the most, from 13% of these customers at the start of the quarter to 15% at the end. Sprint also grew, from 8% at the start of the quarter to 9% at the end. T-Mobile and Sprint grew during the quarter, while AT&T and Verizon stayed at roughly the same level from the start of the quarter. Both T-Mobile and Sprint have led the market with novel and disruptive offerings, and consequently seem to attract new customers.

    AT&T, Verizon and Sprint also had the highest customer retention, with T-Mobile and other carriers retaining fewer customers in the quarter (see chart).

    Carrier Customer Retention Q1 2014
    2014-04-22-chart2.jpg

    AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint retained about 80% of their eligible customers relative to the start of the quarter, as T-Mobile retained about 70% of their eligible customers. We measure retention relative to the customers that a carrier had a chance to keep or lose. We define these customers as those that activated a new or used phone in the quarter, so they had the choice to switch or stay with their existing carrier. T-Mobile made up for this lower retention by gaining many more customers from other carriers.

    For additional information, please contact CIRP.

  • Showrooming Happens, and It's Overrated
    Most Amazon Customers Start and End at Amazon.com

    Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis that indicates that rather than looking for items at a physical store, then buying them online, most Amazon.com customers started shopping at the Amazon.com website.

    80% of customers that made a purchase at Amazon did not shop first at a physical store for their most recent item (see chart).

    Physical Retail Stores Where Amazon Customers Shopped First
    2014-04-22-chart1.jpg

    A significant percentage of Amazon buyers don’t shop around at all. They start their shopping at Amazon.com and make their purchase at Amazon.com. Some buyers initiate their shopping in a physical store, and then buy from an online store, but this does not take place nearly as much as one might think – and it happens for a reason that should worry retailers even more than showrooming itself. Amazon appears to have built a following of loyal, committed customers that don’t even start their shopping at conventional physical retailers anymore.

    When Amazon buyers do their shopping online, generally they start at Amazon.com. 81% go straight to Amazon.com, while another 13% use a search engine, primarily Google to start their shopping, and only 6% start at another online retailer (see chart).

    Where Amazon Customers Searched First
    2014-04-22-chart2.jpg

    At least for Amazon customers, Amazon itself has become the shopping search engine of choice. Amazon buyers start their shopping at Amazon.com almost seven times more often than they start at Google and fifteen times more often than they start at another online retailer like eBay or the website of a multi-channel retailer like Walmart. It’s not a surprise that customers start shopping where they plan on buying, but online where there are very low barriers to shopping around, Amazon’s apparent power is significant.

    CIRP bases this analysis on our surveys of 600 Amazon.com customers: 300 who made a purchase at Amazon.com in the three-month period ending in February 2014, and a similar survey of 300 subjects in November 2013.

    For additional information, please contact CIRP.

  • VIDEO: Autistic workers get chance to shine
    Autistic people have historically struggled to find and keep jobs, but with as many as one in 68 American children being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The Specialists Guild, a non-profit group in San Francisco, is working to prepare people with autism for jobs in the technology industry.
  • CEO Of 'Russian Facebook' Says He Was Fired And That The Social Network Is Now In The Hands Of Putin Allies
    So ends the slow unravelling of independence at VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network.
  • Big risk for small firms losing data
    Guarding against bugs, hackers and natural disasters
  • Back to the future with Isaac Asimov
    What 2014 looked like 50 years ago
  • How Recycling Will Help The World's Poor Earn Money, Access To 3-D Printers, More
    Two Canadian entrepreneurs may have discovered a way to simultaneously tackle the issues of poverty and plastic pollution.

    Shaun Frankson and David Katz, from Victoria, British Columbia, have started a company called The Plastic Bank which aims to capitalize on man power to help clean up the planet, Mother Nature Network reported.

    David Katz, president of The Plastic Bank, says that pound for pound, plastic is more valuable than steel. The issue, however, is finding a way to sort the plastic for recycling.

    In 2012, 32 million tons of plastic waste were produced, and just 9 percent of that figure was collected for recycling, according to the EPA.

    The Plastic Bank plans to mobilize the world’s poor to help sort plastic, and in return will offer them food, clothing, tools and even access to 3-D printer services so they can manufacture things they need.

    Almost half the world’s population lives in poverty, so really half the world is being underutilized,” co-founder Shaun Frankson told CHEK News. “And it’s not that it’s anything to do with the people, they are smart, talented, creative people, but they just live in such a disadvantage.”

    The official launch takes place next month in Peru and Colombia where the first sorting and recycling centers will be located, according to the company’s website. The company hopes to someday see plastic banks in communities all over the world.

    “If I can reveal the value inside people and reveal the value inside plastic, then I’m really solving both issues at the same time,” Katz told CHEK News. “And I can take someone and give them the opportunity to rise from poverty by collecting and cleaning the oceans.”

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  • Leonardo DiCaprio Adds Steve Jobs Role To Pile Of Potential Movies
    As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Leonardo DiCaprio could play Steve Jobs for director Danny Boyle in Aaron Sorkin’s untitled movie about the Apple Computer co-founder. David Fincher was previously attached to direct the film, albeit in the loosest of terms, with rumors that he wanted Christian Bale to play Jobs.

    Whether this ever happens with DiCaprio is, of course, up for great debate. Since saying in December of 2013 that he was ready to take a “long break” after filming “The Great Gatsby,” “Django Unchained” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” in succession, DiCaprio has found himself attached to no fewer five projects. In the last 13 months, he’s been associated with nine films. Ahead a brief rundown of DiCaprio’s ever-growing docket, as told by the Hollywood trades.

    1. A Rasputin movie. “Warner Bros has acquired Rasputin, a pitch by American Sniper scribe Jason Hall that will be developed for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Russian mystic who became an advisor to the Russian Imperial family the Romanovs.” — Deadline.com, June 7, 2013

    2. An adaptation of S. Craig Zahler’s come novel, “Mean Business On North Ganson Street.” “In the first major deal made by Greg Silverman since he was promoted to run Warner Bros‘ worldwide feature film production arm, the studio has acquired the upcoming S. Craig Zahler crime novel ‘Mean Business On North Ganson Street’ as a reteam of Django Unchained stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx.” — Deadline.com, June 27, 2013

    3. A movie based on King Harald. “Warner Bros has made a preemptive acquisition of King Harald, a pitch that Mark L. Smith is writing as a potential vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. The subject: Harald Hardrada, the 11th Century conqueror who has been called the last great Viking king.” — Deadline.com, Aug. 6, 2013

    4. A Woodrow Wilson movie. “Warner Bros is acquiring Wilson, the just published Putnam biography of Woodrow Wilson, the academic-turned-politician who led the United States into joining the allies in WWI. The deal is being made to develop the film as a potential star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, with he and Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran producing with Berg.” — Deadline.com, Sept. 16, 2013

    5. A film based on the Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell.” “Leonardo DiCaprio will play a lawyer Jewell knew casually, a Southern attorney who mostly did real estate closings and seemed in over his head, but he guided Jewell through a hellish Twilight Zone that went on even after the FBI officially cleared Jewell’s name three months later.” — Deadline.com, Feb. 4, 2014

    6. An adaptation of Michael Armour’s “The Road Home.” “‘Crazy Heart’ helmer Scott Cooper has signed on the write the script, direct and produce with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran’s Warner Bros-based Appian Way. The drama will be shaped as a potential star vehicle for DiCaprio.” — Deadline.com, Feb. 23, 2014

    7. An adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s “Blood on Snow.” “‘Safe House’ helmer Daniel Espinosa is in talks with Warner Bros. to develop to direct ‘Blood On Snow,’ which Leonardo DiCaprio is eyeing as a potential star vehicle.” — Deadline.com, March 5, 2014

    8. An adaptation of Michael Punke’s “The Revenant.” “Leonardo DiCaprio has committed to star this September in ‘The Revenant,’ a gritty thriller that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will direct for New Regency, for fall 2015 release through Fox.” — Deadline.com, April 15, 2014

    9. A Steve Jobs movie. “Moving fast to replace David Fincher on its highly anticipated Steve Jobs movie, Sony Pictures is in talks with Danny Boyle to direct the biopic of the late Apple Computer co-founder. Boyle is said to have approached Leonardo DiCaprio to star.” — The Hollywood Reporter, April 21, 2014

    For more on this latest DiCaprio report, head to THR.

  • Glitches Prompt Suspension Of Oklahoma Tests Again
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s public schools superintendent suspended online testing across the state on Monday after middle and high school students systemwide experienced disruptions during high-stakes standardized tests for the second consecutive year.

    Superintendent Janet Barresi directed testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill to suspend testing after about 8,100 Oklahoma students experienced problems such as computers moving very slowly or freezing altogether. The disruptions affected students taking high school end-of-instruction exams and those taking tests in grades six through eight. A similar glitch stalled testing last year in Oklahoma, as well as in Indiana, Kentucky and Minnesota. Of those, Indiana also used CTB/McGraw-Hill as its testing vendor.

    “It is an understatement to say that I am frustrated with McGraw-Hill,” Barresi said. “It is an understatement, actually, to say that I am outraged.”

    CTB/McGraw Hill issued a statement Monday evening apologizing for the disruption and saying that a “network service interruption” affected some schools and that the problem was found and corrected within three hours.

    “We worked with our technology vendor to isolate and correct the troubled network electronics,” according to the statement from company spokesman Brian Belardi.

    “We note that today’s event is unrelated to the capacity of CTB’s IT infrastructure, which has been greatly enhanced since 2013,” the statement said.

    Despite last year’s problems, Barresi said the state renewed its contract with the company for more than $13 million this year in large part because there was not enough time to solicit bids and select another vendor before the tests were to be administered this spring.

    “We looked at it and realized there was simply no time … to get that done and to be able to put out an assessment for this year,” Barresi said.

    Barresi said that technicians from the company were on site working to determine the exact nature of the problem. She also said that Oklahoma had taken numerous steps to ensure the state was prepared, including extra training and conducting “stress tests” specifically to safeguard against any problems.

    “This appears to be 100 percent a failing of CTB,” Barresi said.

    In Norman, a suburb about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City, more than 1,100 middle and high school students were scheduled for testing on Monday, and rescheduling will pose major problems to students, teachers and parents, said Shelly Hickman, a spokeswoman for the district.

    “When you have disruptions of this magnitude, it’s a big deal,” Hickman said. “It impacts the students’ mindset. It’s a huge disruption to them, and it impacts their performance.”

    Especially in larger school districts, comprehensive schedules are developed to test certain students on specific days, coordinate volunteer monitors and notify parents.

    “You have to reshift the entire schedule,” Hickman said.

    Students in grades three through five, who take paper-and-pencil tests, were not affected, Barresi said.

    After last year’s testing problems, Oklahoma reached a settlement agreement with CTB/McGraw-Hill for more than $1.2 million in damages, including a $367,000 cash settlement that was disbursed directly to districts. The money was also used for additional training for teachers and to conduct a study on the impact of the disruptions on student test scores.

    ___

    Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

  • Mobile device recycling: aiding the planet and your bottom line
    On the eve of Earth Day 2014, many CIOs may be wondering what they can do to help the IT department, and the organization overall, be a better environmental steward when it comes to technology. One easy solution is a mobile device recycling program.
  • HBO Go Says Watching TV Is Better When Done 'Far, Far Away From Parents'
    HBO Go is saving the world, one awkward millennial moment at a time.

    After generating some violent backlash when the volume of viewers wanting to catch the “Game of Thrones” premiere caused the site to crash, HBO Go is hoping to prove it’s still the best way to watch your favorite shows and it’s hilarious new ad campaign has us thoroughly convinced.

    The series of funny commercials addresses that age-old problem every young adult faces: watching sex scenes with your parents. Seven new online spots show the cringe-inducing moments that happen when families attempt to watch their favorite shows together and those graphic sex scenes suddenly pop up. From parents over-sharing about their very active sex life to mom trying to guess the name of the actor who plays Robb Stark — it’s Paul Rudd, obviously — and dad affirming the “it’s your body, your choice” slogan, each commercial reenacts the horrific moments we’ve all experienced when watching TV as a family.

    All of the ads end with the on-screen line, “Might be a good time for HBO Go,” followed by a voiceover: “HBO Go. The best of HBO on all your favorite devices. Far, far away from your parents.”

    All we can say is well played HBO Go, well played.

  • Netflix Comes Out Against The Comcast-Time Warner Deal
    Add Netflix to the ranks of those opposed to a Comcast-Time Warner Cable union.

    In a letter to shareholders on Monday, the company formally came out against the proposed merger between the cable giants.

    If approved, “the combined company’s footprint will pass over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households…with most of those homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Netflix CFO David Wells wrote in the letter to shareholders. “The combined company would possess even more anti-competitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger.”

    The statement comes less than two months after Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for access to its high-speed network to improve the video quality and loading speed for Netflix streaming customers. It also follows a strongly worded blog post by Hastings in March grousing about Internet service providers charging for faster speeds.

    In his March post Hastings wrote that “while in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the internet the world needs and deserves.” Monday’s letter also mentioned that Netflix would be raising prices for new subscribers to the service.

    “Internet interconnection has nothing to do with net neutrality,” Jennifer Khoury, senior vice president of corporate and digital communications for Comcast said in a statement. “It’s all about Netflix wanting to unfairly shift its costs from its customers to all Internet customers, regardless of whether they subscribe to Netflix or not.”

    It’s clear that Hastings and Netflix have a lot at stake in the future of net neutrality and the potential mega-merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Consumers also have reason to be concerned: Last year the two companies were the lowest-scoring cable companies in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, mainly because of the weakness of their customer service.

  • The Best Way To Get Rid Of Your Old iPhone: Apple Recycles
  • Netflix reports rise in profits
    Internet streaming video service Netflix reports profits of $53m during the first quarter, and says it will soon increase subscription prices.
  • This Balloon Experiment Looks Like Magic, But It's Just Physics (VIDEO)
    Didn’t think a balloon could rock your world? Think again.

    When you have a balloon floating in a car and you start driving forward, which way does the balloon move? In a new episode of the YouTube series Smarter Every Day, host Destin Sandlin shows us that the balloon doesn’t do what you might expect.

    Helium in the balloon is lighter than air around it in the car. So, as the car accelerates, air sloshes back while the helium actually pushes the balloon forward, illustrating an interesting principle of fluid dynamics. Just check out the video above.

    It may sound like an obvious physics phenomenon — after all, Sandlin’s five-year-old kid in the video got it — but watching the experiment play out is quite fascinating.

  • 'We Would Do Anything For That Kid:' Hockey Team Gives Up Phones To Support Sick Player
    In today’s technological era, it’s difficult to part ways with your cell phone for a couple minutes, let alone an entire month. But, the students at Billerica Memorial High School in Billerica, Mass., are up for the challenge.

    When the players on the school’s varsity hockey team first learned that 12-year-old Ian Cadden, who plays PeeWee hockey, is battling leukemia, they made him an honorary captain and had him throw out the puck at one of their games, WBZ-TV reported.

    The players also began brainstorming way to raise money for Ian’s treatments.

    That’s when Glen Corbett, the father of one of the players, stepped in and suggested the team give up their cell phones. He thought it would be a great way to get adults to donate money, according to ABC News.

    The team was on board and are now giving up their phones from April 17 to May 16 — and calling the fundraiser “Celling Out for Leukemia.”

    The hockey players got the word out about what they were doing and other students were interested in taking part. Now, they have collected 101 cell phones in total, which are being kept at the local police department until May 16.

    “We would do anything for that kid,” Cal Johnson, a sophomore hockey player told the Lowell Sun. “It’s only 30 days, not that bad. Hopefully this becomes a tradition to help anyone going through hard times.”

    The plan is that each student who gives up their phone for 30 days then reaches out to the community asking for a sponsor. Community members decide how much they are willing to give. Some are donating $1 a day for the 30 days. Some businesses are helping out by sponsoring for $500, $300 or $150.

    Any high school-aged kid who is willing to give up their cell phone for a cause like this is incredible to me,” Corbett told the Lowell Sun.

    Ian spends his Tuesdays receiving chemotherapy, attends school a few days each week and skates around to exercise his legs and get out of the house.

    “He’s a tough kid. A fighter,” Ian’s dad and coach of the Billerica Pee Wee hockey team, Bill Cadden, told the outlet. “Just to see him smile and his hair starting to grow back is amazing.”

    If anyone is interested in raising money on behalf of Ian and The a Fight Against Leukemia favorite this tweet. @BMHS_Athletics

    — Billerica Hockey (@HockeyBillerica) March 5, 2014

    If you want to help, make checks out to “In It For Ian” and mail to: In It For Ian, 6 Estey Road, North Billerica, MA 01862.

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Mobile Technology News, April 21, 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.

  • BBC and Sky experience fault on iOS
    The BBC and Sky’s video-on-demand apps simultaneously experience a fault on iPhones and iPads that prevents TV shows from streaming.
  • Teachers angry at online insults
    Online social media is being misused to insult, intimidate and smear staff in schools, says a teachers’ union.
  • Netflix battles for big budget TV
    The battle for exclusive online TV shows
  • Where Wall Street met Silicon Valley
    Two cultures collide at the online retail giant
  • Hear The 'Pokemon' Theme Song Performed As A Soulful Slow Jam
    Amongst a multitude of media over the years, there is one entity spanning almost two decades that has united generations in a single cause: Gotta catch ‘em all!

    We are, of course, referring to “Pokémon,” whose franchise of cartoons, video games, movies, trading cards and so much more have had kids and adults alike striving for years “to be the very best, like no one ever was.”

    Which leads us to its iconic theme song, that’s been given a twist by Scott Bradlee, creator of Postmodern Jukebox, in a new series titled “Saturday Morning Slow Jams.”

    Click play to ‘catch’ this soulful car-tune you’re bound to love as much as Pikachu.

  • Bullying Books Empower Students, Parents and School Personnel
    2014-04-20-book.jpg
    New book helps educators and parents deal with bullying

    Nancy Willard has been writing and speaking about cyberbullying since practically before the term was coined. But, like most cyberbullying experts, she knows that cyberbullying — for the most part — is bullying. And that — plus a lot of research, a master’s in education and a law degree — qualify her as a bullying expert.

    Willard has recently written two important books. One, which you can buy on Amazon for $40.19, is Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere): Legal Parameters & Positive Strategies to Address Bullying & Harassment.

    If you’re a school administrator, a counselor, a teacher or a parent leader, you owe it to yourself and your students to read this book. In it Willard focuses on what schools are doing to stop bullying and what is and isn’t working. Wearing both her educator and lawyer hats, she shares insights into bullying and looks at laws and enforcement while providing supporting resources and an “action plan.” Willard — who I often quote in my bullying articles — writes about “hurtful speech vs. free speech” and explores “disparaging speech on campus.”

    Well-meaning adults can make things worse

    Naturally, adults at school and home want to support kids in their care, but Willard points out that many of the most commonly used approaches, like a strict disciplinary policy are often ineffective. Pointing to research, she cites a study that found

    while 87 percent of school staff think they have effective strategies for handling bullying, 58 percent of middle and 66 percent of high school students believe adults at school are not doing enough to stop or prevent bullying.

    A free e-book for parents

    Willard has also written a free 26-page e-book that you can download for free from her Embrace Civility website. The short e-book, which draws on some of the materials in her education book, provides talks about why “the current bullying prevention approach is not working,” and gives parents advice on legal protection for their bullied child or teen.” There are also “strategies to prepare and make your case for the need for more effective intervention in the situation facing your child or teen.” There are short chapters on legal protections including “preparing and making your case,” plus practical tips to help resolve and diffuse problems. “One of the biggest mistakes the parent of a bullied child or teen can make is calling for the student(s) who are being hurtful to be ‘punished,’ wrote Willard. “Holding these students accountable and ensuring their hurtful actions are stopped is essential. Punishment will not accomplish this.”

    Anne Collier, my ConnectSafely.org co-director has more thoughts on Willard’s books along with some insight of her own in her blog post, “A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying.

    Another free resource is A Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying from ConnectSafely.org, the non-profit organization where I serve as co-director. In this eight-page guide, we focus on just the basics that parents need to know when dealing with bullying online and on mobile devices (which of course often has its roots in school).

    This post first appeared on SafeKids.com

  • The Winner In The War Between Xbox One, PS4 And Wii U Is… Everyone
    Sony on Thursday announced it has cumulatively sold more than 7 million units of its Playstation 4 console. Meanwhile, Microsoft has reported no real sales figures for Xbox One, but has announced 5 million units shipped to retailers since the console launched.

    These numbers have renewed interest in the next-generation console wars, leading many to again question which of the three — Playstation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo’s Wii U — has really come out on top. But ultimately, does it matter? The new generation of consoles can be considered a success for almost everyone involved (well, maybe not Nintendo), including especially consumers.

    1. Rumors of console gaming’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
    Two years ago, everyone said the console game was a dying breed, and that the future of gaming was not in the living room, but on mobile.

    Several million new console owners say otherwise. The console wars earned Xbox and Playstation, even Nintendo, massive amounts of publicity and attention — even from non-gamers.

    Some anecdotal evidence here that I’m sure most gamers can appreciate: In the past year alone, I’ve had more people than ever before ask me if I favor Xbox or Playstation. Most of the time, this question came from non-gamers looking for some insight into which console was better than the other.

    playstation 4
    Sony’s Playstation 4.

    Everyone likes a good battle between industry titans, and it may be safe to conclude that the publicity surrounding next-gen consoles encouraged a few first-time buyers to pick one up, or, at the very least, play on someone else’s Xbox 360 or PS3 (now that they’re not getting as much use), potentially creating new customers down the road.

    And both Sony and Microsoft have plenty to celebrate when it comes to their sales. Despite Microsoft’s “mum’s the word” attitude regarding sales numbers, it’s easy to see that Playstation is currently on top and will remain there for some time. But Microsoft is not a loser in any sense. Just by estimating the number of new Xbox sales, based on how many units Microsoft has shipped, we feel confident saying the Xbox One has sold enough consoles to be considered a success, even if it hasn’t earned the top spot.

    Both Xbox and Playstation sales numbers are even more impressive when you consider the lack of must-have content available for each. Though the Xbox-exclusive “Titanfall” was the most popular game in its launch month of March, it has not closed the gap between the two consoles.

    And there’s no doubting that a game can change the course of fate for a failing console. The popular “Halo” series has long kept consumers on Xbox. Some, like the folks at investment blog The Motley Fool, think the “Halo” franchise’s next installment, coming out in 2014, might just give Xbox One the edge it needs.

    xbox one
    Microsoft’s Xbox One.

    2. Competition breeds innovation.
    In 2006, Nintendo revolutionized the way we interact with video games by introducing a motion-sensing controller. The Wii opened up a new demographic of gamers that Sony and Microsoft had never tapped into: grandparents. The unlikely customers helped Nintendo solidify itself as a serious contender in that round of the console wars.

    Fast-forward to 2014, and you have an Xbox console that wants to control your living room, a Wii U that wants to give you a second-screen gaming experience and a Playstation that could offer backwards compatibility by this summer.

    Innovation has always been a huge focus in the gaming industry, and this new generation is no different. While each of these three new consoles are comparable in terms of power, their differences highlight the attempt to strike the right note with consumers, even if it means failing once or twice.

    wii u
    Nintendo’s Wii U.

    Go to the comment section of any console war article, and you’ll find nay-sayers from all sides, arguing that the Xbox forsook its gaming audience or that the Playstation refused to innovate. Regardless of where you stand, the fact that Xbox is experimenting with cable integration and the Wii U has messed up its marketing strategy (once, twice, many times), means that all current and future consoles will be better in tune with what the public wants.

    And what all of this boils down to is that the consumer has a choice.

    3. Innovation Creates Choice.

    Sony may have racked up the most sales, but at the end of the day, any mistakes, pitfalls or lackluster sales push all three companies to be better, which is a big win for the consumer, no matter how you slice it. Different consoles create a different experience, and the “winner” for one consumer might not be the best option for another.

    The great news is that there are three excellent consoles for sale from three different companies working tirelessly to make them better. All the consumer has to do is choose.

    Like your history teacher taught you, to best understand the events of today we need only examine the past. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been duking it out for a while, but there’s never been a clear winner. And that’s probably best for all involved.

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