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Mobile Technology News, April 12, 2015

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.

  • Mac sales up, PC sales down, Apple remains top US smartphone brand
    Led by gains in the US market both for its Mac computers and its iPhone 6 lineup, Apple continued to gain share where rivals lost it in the latest reports from both Gartner and ComScore. Although Apple actually lost a tenth of a percent in marketshare in smartphones in the US from last quarter, chief rival Samsung dropped ten times more, falling 1.1 percent on weaker demand. Apple now has 12 percent marketshare in the US, a nine percent gain year-over-year.

  • Why This Major Venture Capital Firm Has No Female Partners
    Even Marc Andreessen has trouble attracting women to his $4 billion venture capital firm.

    The venture capital titan said he has tried to hire an unnamed woman general partner to Andreessen Horowitz five times. Each time, she turned him down.

    “They get so many offers,” he said in a Q&A with Fortune’s Dan Primack. “Because there are so few and the need is so intense, they get so many offers, that they’re just drowning in opportunity.”

    It doesn’t help that the number of female VCs has actually shrunk. From 1999 to 2014, the number of women executives at venture capital firms decreased from 10 percent to 6 percent, according to research from Babson College.

    Andreessen said women make up 52 percent of his 107-person staff. Promoting one of them may be the best way to elevate a woman to the company’s executive team.

    “What we’ve been focusing on is two areas in particular: Pipeline, which is just to say increase the numbers, just more training, more experience, get more people coming up,” he said. “And the then the other is access, and what we think so much of the next step for people who get qualified is then do you know the right people? Are you able to get connected to the right opportunities at the right time?”

    The dwindling pool of the female investors isn’t necessarily a completely bad sign for the industry. It could mean more highly experienced women are leaving the big firms counted in the Babson report and starting their own, according to Fast Company.

    “We have to get more people rising up the ranks,” Andreessen said. “We have to get more executives.”

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Here's Why You Shouldn't Read Craigslist Personals With Your Parents
    Just to hear someone’s father read, “I intend to invade your personal space and violate your manhood with my toy of choice,” is reason enough to watch this video.

    In “Exploring Craigslist Personals With My Parents” for Playboy, comedian Scott Rogowsky introduces Mom and Dad to the proclivities of those with very specific needs.

    Whatever happened to just “lonely heart seeks companion”?

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Russia Outlaws Celebrity Memes. Yes, Really.
    Russia has struck a bold blow against freedom and democracy in its most threatening form: The Internet meme.

    The Russian government’s media bureau Roskomnadzor announced this week that Internet memes depicting celebrities are illegal if they don’t represent the celebrity’s personality.

    Thankfully, this has no bearing on unintentionally hilarious photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin fishing, hunting, and riding horses while shirtless. Sadly, it could have a chilling effect on brilliant permutations thereof:

    Embedded from Imgur.

    But not in the good old USA, where we can ridicule our leaders (and other celebrities) with impunity, unless there is money at stake.

    The announcement isn’t a new law, but a clarification of an existing policy of no fun for anyone, ever, under any circumstances not mandated by the state, especially if you’re gay.

    “These ways of using [celebrities’ images] violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honor, dignity and business of public figures,” reads the policy announcement from Roskomnadzor, obtained by the Washington Post.

    Apparently, the recent flap over meme censorship was sparked by a Russian singer’s lawsuit over a series of image macros that paired his face with another artist’s lyrics.

    We await the massive s*** storm of memes that will flood the Russian Internet in response. Or at the very least, a new Pussy Riot song condemning Moscow’s blatant censorship.

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    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Chimp Vs. Drone: Turns Out Chimpanzees Don't Like Being Spied On, Either
    Is this chimp concerned about authorities snapping a picture of his penis, or is this merely the latest skirmish in a global animal uprising?

    Either way, the message is clear: This chimp does not want that drone in his face. However, as the video reveals, he would like the drone to be in his mouth.

    This footage comes from the Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, where researchers film animals in their habitat as part of an ongoing series. But on April 10, the chimps had other plans.

    The Burgers’ Zoo’s YouTube channel explains:

    [The] intelligent apes discovered the spying plane.. and the animals immediately armed themselves with long sticks against the prying electronic intruder… With a direct hit the animal hit the drone down… and completely destroyed [it].

    “Immediately armed themselves?” Hmm… well, it looks like direct surveillance isn’t going to work on chimps. Guess the people in charge are just going to have to mine their data like everyone else. Or not.

    Fight the good fight, primate brothers!

    (H/T Reddit)

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  • Apple Watch Try Out Offers Many Options

    NEW YORK (AP) — Of the 13 Apple Watch models I tried over two sessions, the one I liked most cost $15,000.

    Oops — where’s my raise?

    Both sessions at the Apple store began with indecision: What size do I want? Which band do I prefer? I didn’t have good answers as my Apple Watch try-on visits started — at first modestly, with models that cost about the same as an iPhone.

    The try-on session typically begins with making an appointment online. If you’re looking for a luxury “Edition” made of 18-karat gold alloy, you specify that. Only some stores offer those, including the one I visited on New York’s Upper West Side. I bypassed the appointments because Apple’s media reps in Cupertino, California, had arranged my sessions. Stores will try to accommodate walk-ins, but appointments are encouraged.

    As someone who can’t decide what to eat for lunch, I expected to be told which watch I wanted. Sensing my indecision, the employees in both cases picked one just to get started.

    I began with a smaller version of the stainless steel case, with a brown leather band called Modern Buckle ($749). The band looks like a leather strap you buckle, but has magnetic clasps. It felt loose, even at the tightest setting. I was told not every band is going to fit every wrist.

    I then tried a large stainless steel case with a black leather loop ($699) — also clasped magnetically, but without the holes you normally see with a buckle. The band comes in two sizes, but only the large one was available for trying. It was too long.

    It turns out stores don’t have all 54 configurations available for trying out. Most stations have 18 watches to choose from, locked in a drawer that requires a tap from the employee’s security device. You get a feel, but not necessarily in your color or length.

    I tried the Modern Buckle again, this time in black. Still loose. That was followed by large and small cases with a classic buckle. The fit was much better. I also tried models with a synthetic-rubber sports band and a stainless steel link bracelet.

    Bands are easily interchangeable by pressing a release button, and some are sold separately. I can use the sports band for running and a classic buckle for regular wear. Likewise, individual links on the bracelet can be removed without special tools. But the try-on visits aren’t set up for that. Nor are they set up for lefties; everything will appear upside down in the watches’ demonstration mode. You can change that — once you buy it.

    I returned several hours later to meet with an Edition specialist.

    I wasn’t feted with chocolate and champagne, but I did get a more personalized experience. You’re taken to a private room in some stores, but mine didn’t have one, so luxury appointments are done on the main floor, to the side.

    As the specialist assisted me, another employee went into a backroom to bring out specific models on request — in nice boxes that give the watch a luxury feel, while doubling as a charger (there’s a charging port in the back). The process wasn’t as quick as I expected, but what’s the rush when you’re ready to spend $10,000 to $17,000?

    I tried one with a blue classic leather buckle ($15,000) and another with a white sports band ($12,000). The synthetic-rubber sports band looked out of place on a case made of gold alloy, but the gold clasp matches. Likewise, the metal on the buckle straps are also gold to match.

    I tried four others from non-luxury lines. One also had a classic buckle to get a feel for the difference in weight. At 69 grams, or 2.4 ounces, the gold model I tried is 38 percent heavier than stainless steel. I didn’t notice it, though, until someone pointed it out.

    Apple does offer six configurations for $17,000, but my specialist says they are designed for women. The $15,000 blue buckle I tried was one of the two priciest for men. It fits nicely on my wrist and looks sharp — possibly because it just feels rich. I’m sure the other ones will work just fine, including the cheapest ones at $349 for the small case and $399 for large.

    So which of the others to choose?

    Urgh. Indecision.

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week
    Each week HuffPost Women rounds up the most hilarious 140-character jokes from women on Twitter we could find to brighten your day. We’ve got to hand it you ladies, these keep us laughing every single week. For this week’s great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.

    Groundbreaking realization: a man bun is really just a baby man ponytail

    — Jen Doll (@thisisjendoll) April 5, 2015

    My Twitter clique just consists of me and this pizza.

    — Goddess of Mischief (@ShanaRose21) April 6, 2015

    Maybe we’d all read more and watch TV less if a book ever told the story of a conventionally attractive person who is weird and single.

    — Julieanne Smolinski (@BoobsRadley) April 4, 2015

    And for my next trick, I’ll turn my strapless bra into a belt.


    — stalkinghands (@stalkinghands) April 6, 2015

    Fun fact: I like to refer to my shoulders as “Broad City”

    — Carly Ledbetter (@ledbettercarly) April 6, 2015

    I would like to relocate my early morning exhaustion to the time I’m trying to go to sleep.

    — Alison Tedford (@alliespins) April 8, 2015

    my only requirement for a boyfriend is a willingness to watch the entire fast & furious franchise over and over until the day we die

    — Mandy Slamberg (@MandySlamberg) April 8, 2015

    as a feminist I am morally obligated to nod sympathetically at the girl on my flight wearing a 1D sweatshirt and clutching a Zayn pillow

    — Callie Beusman (@cal_beu) April 8, 2015

    How do I adjust my life’s difficulty from Rainbow Road to Moo Moo Meadows

    — Alexis Wilkinson (@OhGodItsAlexis) April 8, 2015

    I want a pet sloth just so I can look like I do anything quickly.

    — NotTHATSheila (@peb671) April 6, 2015

    If by “adrenaline junkie” you mean I wait til the last minute to charge my phone then yes. Yes I am.

    — aka MajorApril (@Faceyspace) April 9, 2015

    Yeah, I mean, Coachella sounds chill, but have you guys heard of Netflix?

    — Madeline Haller (@madeline_haller) April 10, 2015

    When life gives you lemons, throw them at boys.

    — Abigail Breslin (@yoabbaabba) April 9, 2015

    Remember – you can never UNtell your mom there are a bunch of new emojis.

    — Robin McCauley (@RobinMcCauley) April 10, 2015

    it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a decent job has, somewhere, a tote bag full of other tote bags

    — Alexandria Symonds (@a_symonds) April 10, 2015

    I want to change the world. Into a dragon. Or maybe a hippo.

    — Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) April 10, 2015

    But if I go out, who is going to stick their finger in the cat’s mouth and ruin his yawns?

    — Oblivia (@aveuaskew) April 10, 2015

    I spend every morning resetting the passwords I’ve forgotten.

    — Bunmi Laditan (@BunmiLaditan) April 8, 2015

    Guys will never have news to drop with the impact of “I’m pregnant.” The closest thing for them is “I have a kidney stone & it’s yours.”

    — Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) April 8, 2015

    We get it Oxygen network, Kind of famous people have families.

    — Allison Frasca (@TheRealAllisonF) April 10, 2015

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  • Podcasting Patent Invalidated In Victory For Users, EFF
    By Alex Dobuzinskis
    (Reuters) – The U.S. Patent Office on Friday revoked key elements of a Texas company’s patent, which the firm deployed in high-profile legal actions to claim ownership over a method for distributing podcasts and video episodes on the Internet.
    Personal Audio LLC has drawn criticism for demanding licensing fees under its patent protections, which detractors like podcasters say threatens to undermine the widely used means of placing content online and were not the firm’s innovations.
    The decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office represents a victory for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, which in 2013 filed a petition to have elements of the so-called podcasting patent invalidated.
    It also could bolster media companies such as CBS Corp, which last year lost a $1.3 million judgment when a federal jury in Texas found the broadcaster infringed on Personal Audio’s patent because of how CBS had placed television episodes on a website for online viewing.
    Personal Audio in 1996 applied for a patent for a personal audio device, and in 2009 expanded that filing by claiming to have developed a concept for posting audio and video episodes to a regularly updated website, said Daniel Nazer, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    The company later sought licensing fees from podcasters, including comedian Adam Carolla, before bringing its claims against more deep-pocketed broadcasters such as CBS, Nazer said.
    In its decision on Friday, a U.S. Patent Office board found the Electronic Frontier Foundation had “shown by a preponderance of the evidence” that Personal Audio’s disputed patent claims for episodic content were in fact “unpatentable.”
    A representative for Personal Audio could not be reached for comment late on Friday.
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in arguing before the U.S. Patent Office, had cited examples of media entities CNN and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation placing episodic content online before 1996 in ways that Personal Audio later claimed to have developed as a patented method, Nazer said.
    “This is a patent on updating a Web page, when you really look at it, it’s a patent on updating a table of contents where some of the links could go to media files,” Nazer said. “This is not the kind of thing that should have been patentable and it certainly wasn’t new, even in 1996.”
    Personal Audio could appeal the U.S. Patent Office decision by taking the case to federal court, Nazer said.

    (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Curtis Skinner)

    — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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