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Mobile Technology News, September 7, 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.

  • Video of functioning 4.7-inch iPhone seen running iOS 8
    A functioning version — perhaps a genuine finished unit, or a cleverly-disguised Goophone — of the allegedly forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has been demonstrated in brief video clips. Going beyond any previous demo, the unit appears to function normally, is clearly running iOS 8 and is activated. The home screen shows the Health application (briefly demo’d in a different video) and the modified Passbook app icon, which now has a fourth red “stripe” resembling a payment card, seemingly confirming the idea that a mobile payment system will be introduced at the September 9 event.

  • iPhones 'most likely' to get stolen
    Apple’s latest iPhone models are the smartphones most likely to be stolen, a new list published by the Home Office suggests.
  • Man Jailed After Calling, Texting Ex-Girlfriend 21,807 Times
    A French man is reportedly now behind bars after calling and texting his ex-girlfriend 21,807 times.

    According to the Agence France-Presse, the 33-year-old man, who has not been named, was slapped with a 10-month prison sentence (six of which were suspended) and a $1,300 fine this week after hounding his ex with the deluge of texts and calls over a 10-month period following their breakup in 2011.

    The man reportedly said that he had been trying to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend because he was looking for compensation or acknowledgement for work he had done on their apartment.

    “At the time, my logic was that until she returned the money … or at least said thank you, I would not stop the calls,” he told the court in Lyon Thursday, per France 24.

    He is said to have called his ex, on average, 73 times a day.

    “She tried to block her line, but he phoned her parents instead and at her workplace,” said Manuella Spee, the plaintiff’s lawyer, per Radio France Internationale, adding that the woman “suffered a lot.”

    France 24 reports that the court also ordered the man to undergo psychiatric treatment and to stop all contact with his ex.
    “I tell myself, with hindsight, that it was stupid,” the man, who has reportedly been hospitalized in the past for depression, is said to have told the court this week.

  • 7 Netflix Hacks That Every Binge-Watcher Needs To Know
    Back in olden times before Netflix, you had to wait days, even weeks, between episodes of your favorite show, and it was terrible. Then the streaming service came along and changed everything.

    Today, the time between episodes has been reduced to seconds, the term binge-watch has been added to the Oxford Dictionary and, thanks to Netflix’s seemingly endless options, there’s really not any reason to go outside any more. (Who needs sun when you have self tanner, Vitamin D fortified milk and “Orange is the New Black”?)

    And if you thought Netflix was amazing already, here are some easy tips and tricks to make your viewing experience more impressive than the “Cosmos“:

    1. Watch Titles In HD

    tv show gifs

    Many Netflix users aren’t aware that HD is already available through their subscriptions. They just haven’t been using it. To set up your account for HD, Netflix says to perform the following steps:

    1. Navigate to Your Account.
    2. Select Playback settings.
    3. Under Data Usage, click High.
    4. Click the Save button.

    Just remember that streaming in HD uses up a lot of data, so you’ll probably want to make sure you’re using a Wi-Fi network and not your data plan. After you’ve done that, your picture will be so clear that next time you watch Walter White throw a pizza on his roof, tomato sauce will probably splash in your face.

    2. Access A Hidden Menu To Eliminate Buffering


    As far as first world problems go, it doesn’t get worse than buffering, but now there’s something you can do about it.

    Netflix has a secret menu you can access while watching videos in order to cut down on buffering during playback. To access the menu, perform the following action: Shift+Alt+Left Click (Shift+Option+Click on a Mac).

    After that, select the stream manager and manually match up the playback with the buffering rate. This should cut down on the buffering issues you’re experiencing, and your friends will think you’re the coolest.

    3. Use A Cheat Code To Log In On A Gaming System

    Being stuck in someone else’s Netflix account is the worst. Your preferences are all wrong, the recommendations are atrocious and anyone who stumbles in thinks you were the one who left off halfway through “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”

    As Lifehacker explains:

    If you want to log out of your account and login into someone else’s on a Xbox 360 or PS3, you just need to get into the debug menu. From the Netflix app’s main screen, hit the following buttons on your controller:

    Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, up, up, up, up.

    In addition to logging out of an account, the debug menu can also help improve playback.

    4. Clear Your Netflix History To Stop The Haters

    tv show gifs

    Okay, so you’ve clicked on some embarrassing titles in Netflix. Who hasn’t? Somebody has to watch “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta,” right?

    If you’re trying to clear your viewing history, you have a couple different options. The simplest way is through profiles. According to Netflix, you can have up to five different profiles for each account. Once these are created, all the preferences and everything you watch is associated with the profile you’re using. Deleting these profiles will clear all viewing history.

    The only issue is your main profile can’t be deleted. If you’re trying to remove the viewing history from your main profile, you must delete the account and resubscribe to Netflix. This may sound like a hassle, but it’s actually pretty easy and super worth it if you’ve been watching a few too many critically panned movies with George Lopez pretending he’s a Chihuahua. (We’ve all been there.)

    5. Turn Your Phone Into A Personal Netflix Remote


    Besides the debugging menu, another Netflix hack for PS3 is turning your smartphone into a remote. All you need to do is connect your gaming system and your phone to the same Wi-Fi network and log on to the same account in the Netflix app on both devices.

    Speaking of remote controls, there are also tricks you can use with a remote on an Apple TV, according to Tech of the Hub. Just hit the up arrow twice on the remote to display a banner with the thumbnail of the show, its description and a rating. Also, clicking the remote’s down arrow breaks up the program into 20 sections of equal length. By hitting the left or right arrows on the remote, you can jump between the sections.

    6. Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Binge-Watch Like A Pro

    tv show gifs

    Netflix has a variety of keyboard shortcuts you can use to improve your viewing experience. Here is a list via Reddit (for the Silverlight desktop version):

    Space – Toggle Play/Pause
    Enter – Toggle Play/Pause
    PgUp – Play
    PgDn – Pause
    F – Full-screen
    Esc – Exit full-screen
    Shift+Left arrow – Rewind
    Shift+Right arrow – Fast Forward
    Up arrow – Volume Up
    Down arrow – Volume Down
    M – Mute toggle

    Additionally, if you want to scroll through a video by frames, click Ctrl+Space and use the arrows to navigate forward or backward.

    7. Websites And Add-Ons Make Netflix Even Better


    When it comes to Netflix, there’s usually an app for that.

    Using InstantWatcher.com is a user-friendly way to navigate Netflix, allowing you to review titles, check out ratings, see what’s expiring and be connected directly to the video you want to watch by clicking on it.

    There are also a lot of different Chrome extensions, such as Netflix Enhancer, which can let you get more out of your streaming by showing you trailers and ratings.

    Bonus: Never Fall Asleep During Netflix Again

    During Netflix’s 24-hour hack day, the company discovered how to use a Fitbit to tell devices when a Netflix user had fallen asleep. Using this technology, you could doze off during a binge-watching session and start from the same point you left it at the next time you use Netflix, without having to scroll back through episodes.

    Though the technology is not available yet, there is one other guaranteed way to not fall asleep while binge-watching Netflix: Just turn off Netflix!

    tv show gifs

  • People Talk 'Brain-To-Brain' For First Time Ever
    Telepathy is a staple of science fiction–just think of Mr. Spock or the Jedi knights. But new research shows that mind-melds no longer belong only to the world of make-believe.

    An international team of scientists demonstrated what they call the first direct brain-to-brain communication, sending the words “hola” and “ciao” between two people thousands of miles apart.

    “We were able to directly and non-invasively transmit a thought from one person to another, without them having to speak or write,” study co-author Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a Harvard Medical School professor, said in a written statement.

    brain to brain communication
    Experimental set-up.

    How did they do it? Pascual-Leone and colleagues attached electrodes to one person’s brain in India and to the brains of three people in France, and then asked the person in India to “send a message” to the others.

    The researchers used an electroencephalogram, which records electrical activity in the brain, to detect the message from the sender’s brain.

    Then a computer translated the message into binary code and emailed it to France, where it was converted back into electric pulses and applied to the “receivers'” brains via a process called transcranial magnetic stimulation. The pulses produced flashes of light in the subjects’ peripheral vision, which they could decode to find the original message.

    brain to brain setup
    Photograph of message sender (left) and receiver during the experiment.

    It’s not the first time scientists have linked humans in a brain-to-brain interface. Last year, a University of Washington scientist successfully sent a brain signal over the internet to control and move the hand of his colleague.

    While current brain-to-brain interfaces are rudimentary, scientists envision a more sophisticated version of the technology that could facilitate communication for people who have problems speaking, such as stroke victims.

    “We hope that in the longer term this could radically change the way we communicate with each other,” Dr. Giulio Ruffini, a theoretical physicist at Starlab in Barcelona and co-author on the study, told AFP.

    The study was published online Aug. 19 in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Two Deer Stop Rush Hour Traffic On The Golden Gate Bridge
    It was rush hour on Friday in San Francisco, and traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge came to a grinding halt — all thanks to two rather unexpected guests.

    According to NBC News, two deer wandered onto the Golden Gate Bridge at around 5.30 p.m. and promptly stopped up the flow of traffic on three northbound lanes. The deer appear to have entered from the southern end of the bridge, the news outlet said, and were running toward Marin County.

    The duo reportedly got off the bridge safely and commuters were soon able to continue their journeys.

    It was Deer on the Golden Gate Bridge! Hope they are safe! Kind of awesome! pic.twitter.com/3TVyQ7RNYv

    — Rydalia (@Rydalia) September 6, 2014

    “You just don’t see this everyday,” wrote one Instagrammer who snapped a photo of the two deer sauntering across the bridge. “#deergate2014”

  • Why Using Your Smartphone At Night Is Destroying Your Sleep
    It’s a common habit most of us fall into. Who doesn’t send a few text messages or check their Facebook feed one last time before they fall asleep?
  • Astronauts Spot Cities From Space For A Geography Lesson That's Out Of This World
    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are taking sightseeing to new heights.

    In the video above, viewers are invited to join Expedition 38 crew members Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio as they pick out various cities on the planet’s slowly spinning surface.

    The footage was taken from the station’s Cupola, a multi-windowed observation module that’s a favorite spot for astronauts.

    cupola space
    In this image provided by NASA, astronauts Mike Kelly, left, and Ron Garan get their picture taken in the Cupola by astronaut Mike Fincke while he floats outside the International Space Station on Thursday May 26, 2011.

    Can you pick out the cities before the astronauts do? Watch the video to find out — and enjoy a geography lesson that’s literally out of this world.

  • AUDIO: Scientists 'make telepathy breakthrough'
    Research led by experts at Harvard University shows technology can be used to send a simple mental message from one person to another without any contact between the two.
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