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Mobile Technology News, May 6, 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.

  • Swarm for Android Gets a Massive Update With Stickers Galore

    The Swarm for Android app has received a huge update this week, bringing a whole new line up of stickers to the app and a new sticker book.  The update will vary in version number depending on your device.  In my case, my KitKat running BLU VIVO IV is on version 2015.05.04.19 for those keeping score at home.  The update brings back many of the elements of Foursquare before the company decided to split up the apps last year.  Swarm is the dedicated check-in app while Foursquare is the local content app (which is pretty good BTW).  When they did

    The post Swarm for Android Gets a Massive Update With Stickers Galore appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • VIDEO: Machine tries to beat poker players
    The world’s best poker players are taking on a poker playing artificial intelligence.
  • Plane has 1,000 3D printed parts
    More than 1,000 parts on the Airbus A350 XWB are 3D printed using materials that only recently became available to the manufacturing process.
  • Microsoft Updates Outlook for Android with Improved Navigation

    Microsoft has released another update to Outlook for Android today, bringing improved navigation and several bug fixes to the app.  The update, version 1.2.5 for those keeping score at home, is available now and is highly recommended for those who are using the email app.  While the improve navigation elements actually were release last week in version 1.2, they have been smoothed out a good bit in this update.  You shouldn’t see the hesitation many users were experiencing when moving between accounts or from mail to calendar or people for example. Microsoft Outlook for Android – Free – Download Now

    The post Microsoft Updates Outlook for Android with Improved Navigation appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • A question of artificial intelligence
    Will robots really be smarter than human beings one day?
  • Google Maps Update Brings Reservation Support with Gmail

    Google has released an update to Google Maps that will be a welcome update for those who use Gmail.  The update will have a varying version number based on your device but on my BLU VIVO IV phone running KitKat 4.4, I’m on version 9.8.1 for those keeping score at home.  The biggest update is much improved Gmail integration where you can easily find your next reservation. Google Maps for Android – Free – Download Now For those of you who use Gmail and have your restaurant reservations (say from OpenTable) or your flight reservations come into Gmail, that information

    The post Google Maps Update Brings Reservation Support with Gmail appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • VIDEO: Glasses that give drivers 'X-ray vision'
    Car manufacturer Mini has shown off a pair of glasses that give drivers ‘X-ray vision’.
  • Google Nexus 9 Gets Update for Android 5.0.2

    For owners of the Google Nexus 9 Android tablet, today is a good day.  The over-the-air update to Android Lollipop 5.0.2 is now rolling out and you should check your device to see if you have it available.  Navigate to Software Update under About Device and you can check for the update there (or if it is already downloaded to your device, you’ll be prompted to apply the update. Now for those of you scratching your head and thinking, “But didn’t Google release Android 5.1.1 for other devices, including the older Nexus 7 tablet?”  Why yes, yes they did. While I

    The post Google Nexus 9 Gets Update for Android 5.0.2 appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • How I Turned a Love of Fashion Into a $25 Million a Year Business
    When I was in college I was really focused on becoming a lawyer, as I imagined that was what traditional success looked like. As I started my first day as a labor and employment attorney, I was thrilled with the intensity of having to negotiate on behalf of large companies and felt challenged with having to understand the innumerable legal issues we were working through at any given moment.

    Law wasn’t my first love, but I didn’t know that yet. I would later learn that law was probably like that expensive shoe you keep in your closet, the one that is probably a little too high in the heels and hurts your foot every single time you wear it but too expensive to throw out.

    I loved the idea of law, but little did I know, that I would have another chance at a dream career.

    When I was working as a lawyer I would leave “going to the library” notes on my desk so I could sneak out for some much-needed retail therapy. This therapy seemingly worked. As I was climbing the ranks at the firm, I was also gaining the admiration of my colleagues for being the “best-dressed”, who could always be counted on for some fashion advice and tips.

    I always loved fashion but never really thought about a career in it. When I first started Linda’s Stuff I was selling my kids’ old video games on this new site called eBay. When they sold out, I immediately switched gears to selling my own designer clothes and it ignited a flame in me. It was a like a light went off and I thought, this is fun and I am good at it. My friends were also intrigued that I was making such good money selling my clothes online. They asked me to do it for them and gave me a percentage of their profit. These friends became my first consigners!

    Building a business takes dedication and lots of time management. And for me in the early years of Linda’s Stuff, lots of learning on the job as I went. I ran the business entirely from my home for the first five years (2001-2006) and did every job from taking the pictures, to writing the listings to packing and shipping. So now as we’ve grown to over 110 employees working in a 93,000 sq. ft. warehouse, I can honestly say I’ve done every single job in our organization at some point.

    Here are some basic rules every entrepreneur should know:

    1. Have a Mentor

    My father is my mentor. He is a lifelong entrepreneur who started a security business for clothing, which was visionary back when he launched it. The business was a success and supported our family of five until he sold it. Watching my dad turn his idea into a successful business that allowed him to support his family and do what he loved, was my inspiration.

    My advice is to find a mentor who is not afraid to point out the mistakes you are making and one who can offer you guidance on important business decisions.

    2. It’s All in the Details

    In my business, I am trained in the art of spotting fakes. In luxury goods, I work with reputable authenticators so that my customers know and trust that the luxury items I am selling are authentic. I’ve built a client base that’s bar none because our first job is to build trust and relationships.

    3. Pick Up What Other People Put Down

    Never underestimate the value of your things. While it is great to donate to charity and Goodwill, your things have much more value than you may perceive. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” may be an old adage but it is true. And honestly it has never been truer than it is today.

    With people being so financially responsible and concerned with the economy, the market for gently used goods is burgeoning. Never underestimate the power of reinvention. Take if from me, I reinvented my career and created a business I could have never imagined owning.

    Click here for more information on Linda Lightman or Linda’s Stuff.

    — 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.

  • Microsoft Updates Office for Android Tablet Apps to Support Lollipop

    Today Microsoft has released a new update to their suite of Office for Android apps.  The update applies to the tablet versions of these apps (remember, you have to use Office Mobile for your sub-7″ devices) and impacts Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  There are a lot of things that have been improved but the biggest news is support for Android Lollipop 5.x, the latest flavor of Android.  The updates are version 16.0.3930.1010 for those keeping score at home and that version number applies to all three apps. Excel for Android Tablet – Free – Download Now PowerPoint for Android Tablet

    The post Microsoft Updates Office for Android Tablet Apps to Support Lollipop appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • VIDEO: China's smartphone giant: In 60 secs
    Xiaomi may well be the biggest smartphone maker you’ve never heard of. BBC News has made this guide to the Chinese tech giant.
  • VIDEO: Xiaomi plots global growth
    Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi Global, talks to BBC News about his company’s plans for worldwide expansion.
  • Apple Game Roundup: EVE Online charity effort, GOG Galaxy beta
    On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we’re looking at the GOG Galaxy front-end public beta, an EVE Online charity effort for Nepal, the top 10 strategy games according to Mac Gamer HQ, and a possible mod for Grand Theft Auto V to use an iPhone to control the in-game phone.

  • New Photo-Sharing App Aims To Curb Bullying Through Community Downvoting
    Stop bullying from infiltrating your digital space? Now there’s an app for that.

    Hyper, a new social media platform launching on May 5, is aiming to keep trolls at bay by creating digital audiences around genres of interest as opposed to personal profiles — a function that will reduce bullying behavior, according to its creator.

    The smartphone app allows users to share photos under specific topics by using hashtags — like #gamers, #secrets or #tattoos — and vote on photos within each genre (similarly to the “upvote” function on Reddit).

    “The system of voting that we have actually takes care of the bullying comments,” Hyper’s co-creator, Dan Frieber, told Think Progress, noting users’ ability to choose which communities they surround themselves with. “And if it gets out of control, we get rid of it.”

    Negative content that promotes bullying, Frieber explained, can’t be effective on Hyper, as it’ll quickly get downvoted: “Those people don’t last” because they can’t recruit a community of effective trolls.

    Online bullying is a widespread problem Hyper is trying not to contribute to. About 25 percent of middle and high school students surveyed in eight studies by Cyberbullying Research Center reported being bullied at some point in their lives via digital communication, including social media websites and text messaging.

    Because Hyper users may choose to post anonymously, they don’t have “to worry about friends or family seeing [their content],” Frieber said. This function may make Hyper especially appealing to marginalized groups — such as LGBT individuals and those struggling with mental illness — to open up about their experiences.

    AdWeek reported that more than 60,000 photos have already been shared on the app during its beta trial, and users have placed about 1 million votes on the images.

    The app is available for free on iTunes.

    To take action on pressing education issues, check out the Global Citizen’s widget below.

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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.

  • What Should You Look For In A Vintage Car?
    What should I look for in a vintage car?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

    Answer by Stan Hanks


    DO NOT buy a vintage car assuming:

    • it will be a easy to buy
    • it will be easy to keep in good repair
    • it will make you cool
    • it will appreciate and make you money
    • it will be anything other than a pure entertainment expense

    All of those are provably false.

    Buy something that speaks to you — something that resonates with who you are, with what matters to you.

    For me, it’s pretty cut and dried: Porsche, 1958-1963 356s, 1969-1989 911s, any purpose built race car; BMW 2002s, Bavarias and E12s; VW 1963-1967; Volvo 164E and some 24x. I entertain and have owned a pile of other stuff, but that’s the stuff that always gets my attention.

    That’s what speaks to me. That’s what gives me a feeling of connecting to another time and place. That’s what puts a big-ass smile on my face when I drive it.

    There’s no other reason to buy a vintage car, whatever it is for you.

    Now. The unspoken question: HOW do you buy one of these, if you know what it is that you’re looking for?

    That’s a much simpler answer than it used to be. For every car ever made, somewhere, there’s an on-line forum of owners and enthusiasts. There may be a local club for some of the more popular makes and models depending on where you live. Find “your people”. Join in. Learn from them all the nuances.

    If you decide that your “thing” is the Hudson Hornet, awesome. You’ve got seven model years to choose from, two generations, and a ton of trim levels and option packs. Which should you buy? Damn if I know — but I guarantee you that you can get 20 different opinions in half an hour with a little effort with Google….

    Every vintage car has it’s peculiarities — some of them are endemic, like rust under the battery box in Porsche 914s, and you just expect it and deal with it; some are “oh crap, RUN AWAY” like a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with completely rusted through floor boards and frame rails. The experts — the guys who live and die by THAT CAR — will be able to tell you.

    Completely unsure what you want? Look for vintage car shows. If there are vintage racing events in your area, many of them have associated “car corrals” where car club members bring their pride and joy to show off. I highly recommend you start there.

    Concours d’Elegance events are a great place to see excellent (out of your price range) selections of many different cars. The big ones like Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, Amelia Island, or the Louis Vuitton Classic in midtown Manhattan are just pure car porn. The regional events like Forrest Grove, Hershey, Dana Point, etc are just as awesome and being a lot less “monied” are often more accessible.

    Once you figure out what you’re looking for, the mechanics of finding a good one are about the same as buying any other used car, with two added factors.

    The first is patience. One of the cars I owned was one of 247 built; I waited about 7 years for one to come up for sale in my price range.

    The second is condition. To get the car you really, really want, you might have to buy a sub-par specimen and fully restore it yourself. That’s a topic for a different post.

    Good luck, and happy motoring.

    More questions on Quora:

    — 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.

  • 'Kill The Faggot' Game Briefly Uploaded To Steam
    An obscenely anti-LGBT video game uploaded to the digital game store Steam this week has drawn widespread condemnation after encouraging players to shoot gay and transgender people to earn points.

    The game, called “Kill The Faggot,” is modeled after a first-person shooter. Players earn points for killing gay characters, and receive a bonus if they hit a transgender person, which prompts a message reading “Transgender Kill” to flash on the screen.

    Players are penalized for shooting “straight” targets, and during gameplay, a voiceover repeats statements like “straight pride” and “whoops, I just dropped the soap.”

    transgender kill

    The game was uploaded early Monday and has since been removed from the Steam website. The URL now redirects to an error page.

    The project was created and uploaded by Randall Herman, a California video game developer and Christian shoe promoter, according to Ars Technica. He was able to get the game on Steam through the company’s “Greenlight” initiative, which allows wannabe developers to submit their own creations to gain exposure.

    Herman told the outlet he made the game by himself and that it was removed from the site within two hours, before calling the gaming community “overly sensitive and easily offended.”

    Before Herman’s work was removed, comments were filled with angry users calling for more vigorous measures to monitor community uploads. Greenlight currently requires a $100 fee for users in an effort to keep spam and joke submissions off the platform.

    Greenlight’s terms of service ban any “threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke,” and “inappropriate or offensive content.” Valve, Steam’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

    steam game

    YouTube games critic Jim Sterling downloaded a copy of the game and uploaded a play-through before the game was removed. Aside from harsh criticisms during gameplay, he pointed a finger at Steam for its apparent lack of moderation.

    “Perhaps having absolutely zero vetting process on Steam isn’t the best idea,” Sterling said.

    The upload has also sparked conversations about the role of satire in video games on Reddit and in the comments of Sterling’s YouTube clip. Many have called for a public apology from Steam to the LGBT community, condemning the lack of humor in Herman’s project.

    “What is it satirizing?” Sterling notes. “Where is the fucking satire?”

    — 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.

  • EU To Probe Tech Companies
    By Julia Fioretti
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will announce a wide-ranging probe on Wednesday into how big technology companies such as Google <GOOGL.O>, Amazon <AMZN.O> and Facebook <FB.O> use their market power as it considers whether to regulate them more tightly.
    The inquiry, which by its nature will inevitably focus heavily on U.S. firms, follows calls from France and Germany for regulation of so-called “essential digital platforms”, encompassing everything from e-commerce sites such as eBay <EBAY.O> to social media companies.
    European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip will unveil his “Digital Single Market Strategy” at noon (6:00 a.m. EDT) in Brussels. It will aim to update copyright rules, knock down barriers to cross-border parcel deliveries and ensure European online businesses can compete with their bigger U.S. counterparts.
    The inquiry differs from an antitrust investigation of the kind launched by the EU into Google five years ago, in that it is not aimed at enforcing existing law through penalties.
    Rather it will look at whether Internet platforms are transparent enough in how they display search results and if they promote their own services to the detriment of competitors, according to a draft of the strategy seen by Reuters.
    Politicians and businesses across Europe have been calling for the market power of dominant U.S. tech firms to be curbed to help Europe’s fledgling web industry compete, leading to accusations of protectionism from U.S. President Barack Obama.

    The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), whose members include Google, Microsoft, eBay, Facebook and Amazon, said the idea of regulating platforms was ill-conceived given that businesses from newspapers to e-commerce sites to cars were increasingly becoming digital platforms.
    “Platform regulation would hit European platform companies hardest given they grow here,” it added.
    As part of its strategy, the Commission will also announce on Wednesday an “ambitious overhaul” of the bloc’s regulation of the telecoms sector, to take place next year. It will take into account the increased competition from services such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Skype <MSFT.O>, a decision that will be cheered by the telecoms industry.
    The Commission wants to boost economic growth in the 28-country bloc by knocking down barriers between countries in the online world as it has done in the offline one, pushing businesses to sell across borders.
    It will seek to clamp down on so-called “geo-blocking”, the practice whereby businesses restrict access to websites based on location or re-route customers to their local website, which may have different prices.
    “These unjustified practices should be expressly prohibited so that EU customers and businesses can take full advantage of the single market in terms of choice and lower prices,” the draft strategy states.

    (Editing by Pravin Char)

    — 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.

  • One Man Built The Ultimate Bed For Star Wars Fans
    In a bedroom far, far away, one lucky kid gets to sleep in the coolest Star Wars-themed bed around.

    The “Millennium Falcon Cockpit” bed was created by Peter McGowan of PlainJoe Studios, who built the amazing contraption for his son. McGowan told The Huffington Post that it was the bed he always wanted as a kid. Over the course of three months (and with the help of many friends, including a Disney artist and automotive engineer,) the bed slowly came to life. A few days ago, McGowan’s brother uploaded a finished shot of the bed on Imgur:

    Over a year ago I posted a photo of my nephew’s Star Wars room while it was in the process of being built. Here is the final product. #plainjoe #plainjoestudios

    McGown’s other brother, Redditor isayx3, first submitted a picture of the bed about a year ago, saying it cost about $250 dollars to make with the help of some “found materials.” McGown told The Huffington Post that making the bed cost less because he has a workshop. He also integrated cheaper items into the structure like a trashcan for the engine and Ikea ice cube trays.

    Until we can find a few of our own talented friends to build a bed for us, we’ll have to dream about this $14,300 “Deepspace Defender Spaceship Bed.”

    H/T Design Taxi

    — 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.

  • Lottery 'Winner' Handed $75 Instead Of $75,000 (VIDEO)
    A man in California who tried to cash in a $75,000 winning lottery ticket — only to be given $75 by a Chevron employee — was revealed to be a state lottery inspector.

    The lottery fiasco went viral this week after a manager at the Palmdale gas station released security video of the mishap, and tried to identify the “winner” to give him the money he was really owed, NBC Los Angeles reported on Sunday. Station manager Shamsun Nahar Islam told reporters that her clerk made a huge mistake when he forked over only $75 on March 25.

    “I hope the right person comes and picks up the ticket,” she said on Sunday.

    What Islam apparently didn’t know is that the customer was an undercover California Lottery inspector. There was no actual winner, and the inspector was conducting a compliance check, according to KTLA. Now the state is investigating the Chevron to see whether the mistake was an honest one.

    KTLA reports:

    “Since the store held onto the ticket, it appears the ticket was mishandled,” [Lottery spokesman Russell Lopez] said in a brief statement to KTLA. “We are currently investigating this case.”

    The California State Lottery Act requires year-round compliance checks “to protect our business, our players, and yes, our retailers,” Lopez said. Compliance is 98 percent, meaning almost all retailers “act with integrity and honesty,” Lopez said.

    Lopez told ABC-7 that the clerk also should have given the customer a validation ticket, and called state lottery officials immediately. Islam claims that she tried to reach out to the state, but didn’t get a response, so she went to the media and released surveillance video of the blunder (above).

    She held on to the ticket and waited to see if anyone would step forward, a move that may also be against state lottery regulations.

    The investigation is expected to take weeks, and lottery officials haven’t yet determined the Chevron employee’s intent, or whether employees committed fraud.

    — 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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