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Mobile Technology News, April 27, 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.

  • Does digital mean the end of history?
    Are we in danger of entering a digital dark age?
  • Jay Z Responds To Tidal Criticism On Twitter
    Jay Z’s music- and video-streaming service Tidal has been experiencing a wave of bad press ever since its March launch. Critics have predicted the failure of the subscription-only service, enumerated its problems and declared it already a flop based on its position in Apple’s App Store. Mumford & Sons and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard have been among the musicians to speak out against it. But Jay Z is standing by his service.

    On Sunday, the rapper and mogul took to Twitter to offer a multi-part defense of Tidal, using the hashtag #TidalFacts. Jay Z assured his followers that “Tidal is doing just fine” with more than 770,000 subscriptions. “Please give us a chance to grow & get better,” he wrote.

    Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful…

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    We made Tidal for fans. We have more than just music. We have video, exclusive concerts, tickets for events early, live sports!…

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    ….Tidal is where artists can give their fans more without the middlemen. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    Indie artists who want to work directly w/ us keep 100% of their music. “If you don’t want the CEOs all in the videos” haa #tidalfacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    Tidal pays 75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers – not just the founding members on stage.

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    Rich getting richer? Equity values… YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    My cousin just moved to Nigeria to discover new talent. Tidal is a global company.

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    We have Tidal X – it supports artists by giving them a platform to connect with their most loyal fans. Tidal is for all. #Tidalfacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    Our actions will speak louder than words. We made Tidal to bring people the best experiences…

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    and to help artists give that to their fans over and over again…

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015

    We are human (even Daft Punk ha). We aren’t perfect – but we are determined. #TidalFacts

    — Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 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.

  • Sophia Bush Posts Tribute To Ex-Boyfriend Dan Fredinburg, Killed By Everest Avalanche
    Sophia Bush took to Instagram on Saturday to share her shock over the death of ex-boyfriend Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive who was killed following the massive earthquake in Nepal this weekend.

    Bush, who attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night, posted a photo of Fredinburg in what appears to be the Rain Room exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art.

    In her caption she wrote that Fredinburg was “one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends.”

    The “Chicago P.D.” star went on to encourage her 1.5 million followers to appreciate and hug their friends and family. “Please tell those you love that you do,” she wrote. “Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan.”

    There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I’ll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I’m devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of “all the things” when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love. Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone’s Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it’s all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal

    A photo posted by Sophia Bush (@sophiabush) on Apr 25, 2015 at 2:07pm PDT

    Fredinburg was climbing Mount Everest when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake triggered an avalanche, which killed at least 17 climbers. The Google executive’s sister confirmed his death in an Instagram post on Saturday.

    Fredinburg and Bush split in February 2014, but their breakup wasn’t publicly announced until August.

    — 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.

  • 15 Crucial Emojis That Are Still Missing
    2015-04-11-1428773543-1670880-emojisnumbered.jpgSo far, I’m giving a bright-yellow thumbs up to the new emoji rollout. Not having to tab through different categories saves time in texting. (I never understood why the bloody syringe and pink clutch were in the same section, for example.) And I won’t complain too much about the missing middle finger Apple promised us because there are other, more creative ways to express ire. (Angry Mexican wrestler mask.) But, if emojis were designed to save time in digital communication, in addition to releasing more diverse options it would have been nice to see 15 still-missing emojis that are part of many females’ regular texting vocabulary.

    1. Green juice. “Tomorrow’s the day I’m FINALLY going to start a cleanse.” Or: “Current mood: Starving.”

    2. Flip-flops. Represents summer, vacation and a pedicure. (We currently have a mani and a hideous polish color, at that.)

    3. Champagne. “My boss is out sick!”

    4. Fingers crossed. “Hope his new girlfriend is a troll.”

    5. Macaron. The official food of fashion bloggers deserves its own emoji. Just think of the play it would get on Instagram!

    6. Yoga. For bragging rights about how one spent their Saturday morning. Or: “Hey friend, you need to zen the eff out.”

    7. TOMS. Emoji speak for “Just kickin’ it.” Or: “Alert: the hipsters have taken over our once-undiscovered wine bar.”

    8. Queso. I live in Texas, where chips and queso are regarded as the cure-all healer for romantic failures, slowdowns in economic growth, loss of a loved one and everything in between.

    9. Hungover. Sometimes a single emoji is all you need to send a friend about the bad decisions you made together last night.

    10. Shopping bag. Because that’s often what I’m doing when someone texts to ask what I’m doing.

    11. Margarita. (See #8.)

    12. Iced coffee. To express the need for a caffeine fix in the summertime.

    13. White wine. Because we don’t all drink all red, all the time.

    14. XO. Love ya! Also: A humble single-emoji comment to thank someone who just commented on Instagram that your selfie is amazing.

    15. Shhh. “DON’T YOU DARE TELL A SOUL THAT THING I TOLD YOU AFTER TOO MUCH 2015-04-11-1428768381-8536129-whitewineemoji.jpg LAST NIGHT!!”

    Illustration: Cali Huffman & Brent Kilgore

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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.

  • Scientists Trick People Into Thinking They're Invisible, And Make Them Feel Less Anxious
    If you want to ease your stage fright, take a few deep breaths and imagine the audience in their underwear. But if that doesn’t work, here’s another trick to try — go invisible.

    That’s right. Neuroscientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden gave people the illusion that their entire bodies had disappeared — which in turn dramatically reduced their social anxiety.

    Smoke and mirrors. For the study, the researchers fitted 125 men and women with virtual reality headsets. In the headsets, the participants were shown live video from a pair of cameras pointed at the floor — so that when they looked down, they saw empty space where their bodies should have been.

    Then, the researchers jabbed the participants with a big paintbrush, while poking corresponding spots in the empty space on which the cameras were trained at the same time (see photo above) — giving the that the participants were invisible.

    “Within less than a minute, the majority of the participants started to transfer the sensation of touch to the portion of empty space where they saw the paintbrush move and experienced an invisible body in that position,” Arvid Guterstam, a PhD student at the Institute and the study’s lead author, said in a written statement.

    To confirm that the illusion had worked, the researchers replaced the virtual paintbrush with a knife — and found that the participants got sweaty, which suggested they actually felt threatened.

    Stage fright cure? In the study’s next phase, the researchers made participants stand in front of a “stern-looking crowd” while measuring their heart rates, and asked them how stressed they felt. Half of the participants perceived themselves as having an invisible body in their headsets, and half were shown a mannequin body in their headsets.

    What happened? The “invisible” people had lower heart rates and reported feeling less anxious in comparison to the embodied people.

    Having an invisible body seems to have a stress-reducing effect when experiencing socially challenging situations,” Guterstam told Live Science.

    See no evil… In the future, the researchers plan to use brain imaging to study what’s happening when this illusion occurs, and to see whether it affects a person’s moral compass — which may be important as the military develops “invisibility cloaks” for soldiers, The Washington Post reported.

    After all, in 360 B.C., Plato raised the ethical question over whether humans are innately just, or act morally as a means to an end. In the philosopher’s thought experiment in The Republic, a shepherd named Gyges finds a ring that turns him invisible. Soon after, Gyges sneaks into his kingdom’s royal palace, seduces the queen and murders the king. Plato wrote in The Republic:

    “No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men.”

    — 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.

  • Get Up, Stand Up: Celebrating World IP Day
    Today is World Intellectual Property Day, a day to celebrate the important role that the law plays in promoting innovation and creativity across all countries and cultures. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Get up, stand up. For music,” which is a sentiment I wholeheartedly embrace.

    While my artistic focus is photography, my love of music has been lifelong. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead. I will never forget listening to Sting open for the Dead at a concert years ago when then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher called me and asked me to turn the “radio” down so I could speak with then-President Bill Clinton. I am thrilled that the band is reuniting for a few final shows this summer in Chicago.

    Part of what makes the Grateful Dead so enduring is the sense of community that has developed among fans. That sense of community, of sharing a love of something with other people, is at the core of what it means to be a music fan. All of us, whether we love the Grateful Dead, Emmlyou Harris, Phish, or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, we are inspired by the music and the people we share it with. And today, music fans enjoy more ways than ever to listen to longtime favorites or discover new artists. We can carry millions of songs on our phones, and access even more through the Internet.

    In many respects, the developments that have made that kind of enjoyment possible have also made it a wonderful time to be a musician. Songwriters and recording artists have ways to reach old fans and make new ones that we could not have dreamed of in the days of 8-tracks and LP records. Digital technology has also made it easier than ever for independent musicians and songwriters to create their works.

    At the same time, these developments have renewed questions about the proper compensation for songwriters and recording artists. Music copyright is complicated. It involves separate legal protections for the underlying composition and the final recording of a work, and a licensing landscape that treats different rights, works and services differently. Like most music fans, when I listen to my favorite songs I’m not generally thinking about how the song was created, how the writers and performers are being paid, whether those payments are sufficient to help them write or record another song, or the efficiency of the process through which the service playing the song licensed the performance. Yet these questions are fundamentally important to the music ecosystem we know today and they are the reason that this year’s World IP Day theme is so timely.

    In the past few years, there have been ongoing conversations about whether and how to fix a music licensing system that virtually all participants believe is broken in some manner.

    Congressional hearings and an in-depth report by Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante make me hopeful that there is renewed interest in comprehensive solutions to improve the music marketplace for all participants. We must ensure that all music creators are fairly compensated for all of their works; that innovative, legitimate delivery methods can continue to benefit consumers and marginalize illegitimate alternatives; and that technology can bring increased transparency to the data that is essential to an efficient licensing system.

    Getting up and standing up for music and the people who make it requires us to do more than think about questions of compensation and creation; it requires us to make sure that broader aspects of our copyright laws reflect our nation’s values. Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans. Even as the Court considers this question of fundamental civil rights, there is work for Congress to do.

    The Copyright Act, which protects our nation’s diverse creative voices, still bears vestiges of discrimination. A provision in the Act protects the surviving spouse of a copyright owner only if the marriage is recognized in the owner’s state of residence at the time he or she dies. This means that a songwriter who lawfully marries his or her partner in Vermont or California is not a “spouse” under the Copyright Act if they move to Michigan, Georgia, or one of the other states that do not recognize their lawful marriage.

    Earlier this year, I introduced the Copyright and Marriage Equality Act to close this discriminatory loophole to ensure our federal statutes live up to our nation’s promise of equality under the law. As the Supreme Court recognized in striking down key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, it is wrong for the federal government to deny benefits or privileges to couples who have lawfully wed.

    My bill would ensure that the rights attached to the creative works of our nation’s gay and lesbian musicians and songwriters pass to their widows and widowers. Artists are part of the creative lifeblood of our nation, and our laws should protect their families equally. To paraphrase Bob Marley, we need to get up, stand up for your rights. This Vermonter won’t give up the fight.

    — 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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