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Mobile Technology News, September 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.

  • Surge Soda Again Sells Out On Amazon
    Surge needs some reinforcements.

    This past Monday, when Coca-Cola began selling 12-packs of the lemon-lime soda on Amazon — marking the first time in more than a decade that the product was for sale anywhere — it almost immediately sold out.

    Supplies were quickly restocked. But by Saturday, the fizzy green drink had sold out once again.

    The company vowed on Twitter to replenish the item by Monday.

    The green goodness will return to http://t.co/Z4wnVNsZmC Monday! Keep checking http://t.co/YNb2SHVmAC to get your #SURGE. #SURGEisback

    — SURGE (@SURGE) September 19, 2014

    The first time the product sold out, earlier in the week, new supplies were available before the end of the day. It was not clear why it would take until Monday this time for Coca-Cola to restock.

    Coca-Cola did not immediately return a call from The Huffington Post.

    Surge was discontinued amid slumping sales 11 years ago. Coca-Cola revived the beverage, which has attained cult status amid the current wave of 1990s nostalgia, at the behest of three superfans who organized a group called the SURGE Movement.

    With the drink out of stock at the moment, some vendors are wholesaling 12-can packs of Surge for nearly $244. The same 12-packs sold for $14 on Amazon earlier this week.

    A screenshot of an outside vendor’s listing on Amazon for a 12-pack of 16-ounce cans of Surge.

    The soda was first produced in 1996 as one of what would be several failed attempts on Coca-Cola’s part to topple rival PepsiCo’s popular Mountain Dew. But the highly caffeinated Dew dominated the market after branding itself as an energy drink with ads featuring athletes performing extreme sports.

    Unable to sway Mountain Dew’s mostly young, male consumers, Surge targeted pre-teens. The move backfired after schools banned the soda, fearing that its high caffeine content would be harmful to children. Perhaps ironically, a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains about four more milligrams of caffeine than an equivalent amount of Surge.

  • Tesla Falls Yet Again As Wall Street Sobers On Stock
    Wall Street may finally be sobering on Tesla.

    The stock price for the electric automaker has soared during the past year, but it fell on Friday after a Goldman Sachs analyst predicted the company will need at least $6 billion over the next 11 years to make its vehicles go mainstream.

    tesla stock

    If billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, the company’s chairman and CEO, wants Tesla’s vehicles to be as popular as Apple’s iPhone or Ford’s Model T, the company will have to be producing between 1.8 million and 3.2 million vehicles a year by 2025, Goldman’s Patrick Archambault wrote in a note.

    “With numerous projects laid out (as well as those not currently communicated) ahead for [Tesla], we see a possible need for additional capital,” Archambault wrote in the memo sent to The Huffington Post by a Goldman spokesman on Saturday.

    Tesla shares had dipped nearly 2 percent by the closing bell on Friday.

    Archambault’s note came just days after Morgan Stanley cautioned investors about Tesla’s ballooning stock price, which hit a record high at the beginning of the month. Shares fell nearly 9 percent on Monday, Sept. 15, after the bank issued its warning.

    Tesla declined to comment on Saturday.

    But Musk would probably say he told you so.

    While announcing Tesla’s deal to open a battery factory in Nevada earlier this month, Musk admitted: “I think our stock price is kind of high right now, to be totally honest.”

    This article was updated with a quote from the Goldman Sachs note

  • Kim Kardashian's Alleged Nude Photos Leak Online, Many More Celebs Targeted In Hacking Ring (UPDATE)
    Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens and U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo appear to be the latest victims of the celebrity nude photo hacking ring.

    Early Saturday morning alleged nude photos of the stars leaked on 4chan and started trending on Twitter. According to Uproxx, the photos were quickly removed as part of 4chan’s new policy on copyright infringement.

    This latest leak is likely the work of the same hackers who released nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Victoria Justice, and an underage McKayla Maroney that the FBI is already investigating.

    Hudgens, sadly, is no stranger to having her privacy grossly invaded. If these are in fact photos of the 25-year-old actress, this will mark the third time nude photos of Hudgens have been released to the public without her consent.

    Meanwhile, a rep for Kardashian declined to comment, but the 33-year-old reality star weighed in on the hackings earlier this month. “I think it’s a wake-up call for people to make sure they have every privacy setting,” she told BBC Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw. “It seems like there are a lot of people that love to spend their time hacking peoples’ information and that’s just a scary thing.”

    Request for comment made to Hudgens’ rep has yet to be returned at this time.

    UPDATE: More stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence and “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco were released on Saturday along with alleged photos of Avril Lavigne, Lake Bell, former Disney stars Aly and AJ Michalka, as well as Mary-Kate Olsen, Aubrey Plaza, Gabrielle Union, Emily Ratajkowski and Hayden Panettiere.

    hacked celebs

    And predictably, a new iteration of “The Fappening” has already sprung up on Reddit with this new trove of stolen photos, despite the fact the previous subreddit dedicated to the hacked celebrity images was banned by the site.

    the fappening

    Request for comment made to multiple reps have yet to be returned at this time. Reps for Reddit did not immediately return request for comment made by HuffPost Entertainment.

    UPDATE 2: Actress Gabrielle Union has confirmed she’s one of the latest victims of the celebrity photo hacking ring, and her lawyers will be contacting the FBI.

    “It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures,” Union and her husband Dwayne Wade said in a joint statement to TMZ. “I can’t help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide.”

    The couple added, “For anyone out there also being affected by these and other hacking and hate crimes – We send our love, support and prayers. We have done nothing wrong.”

  • Facebook-Owned Oculus Unveils New Virtual Reality Headset

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oculus has unveiled a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. However, the VR company still isn’t ready to release a consumer edition.

    The hew headset features a higher resolution and refresh rate, 360-degree head tracking and integrated headphones.

    Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe says the new prototype is not perfect, but it’s closer to the consumer version.

    The Irvine, California-based VR company revealed the new headset nicknamed Crescent Bay on Saturday at its first conference for developers.

    Oculus’ headset covers a user’s eyes and can create immersive worlds that react to head movement.

    The original prototype of the Oculus Rift headset was unveiled in 2012 and has received attention from video game and film makers.

    Oculus VR Inc. was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for $2 billion.

  • Briefly: Modbook Pro X Last Call campaign, Twitter for iPhone update
    Modbook has extended its Kickstarter fundraising campaign for its Modbook Pro X tablet, allowing those interested to still make a pledge can do so until September 30. The Mac-based 15.4-inch Retina display tablet utilizes the original hardware of a MacBook Pro system, running OS X and can be configured up to a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM 2TB of PCIe flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics. Users can choose to add rear-mounted Keybars, which consists of an eyes-free solution for entry of short commands, and a detachable keyboard stand that functions as an easel, key

  • This Hadrosaur Had Such A Giant Nose, Scientists Are Calling It The 'Jimmy Durante' Of Dinos
    Scientists are calling it the Jimmy Durante of Dinosaurs.

    Not because of its talents as a jazz pianist, but because — like Durante — the newly-identified dinosaur Rhinorex condrupus had quite a large nose.

    Story continues below.
    nose dinosaur
    The newly-discovered dino, “Rhinorex condrupus,” above.

    Paleontologists Dr. Terry Gates, a postdoctoral researcher with NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Dr. Rodney Scheetz, a researcher at the Brigham Young University’s Museum of Paleontology, uncovered the duck-billed dino, a hadrosaur, in storage at BYU.

    Though the dinosaur was originally excavated from Utah’s Neslen formation in the 1990s, Gates and Scheetz were the first to reconstruct the skull fully, at which point they realized they’d found a new species.

    We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful,” Gates said in a written statement, “but the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in –- it was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.”

    The researchers estimate Rhinorex (which roughly means “King Nose”) was around 30 feet long, weighed more than 8,500 pounds, ate plants, and lived in a swampy coastal environment.

    As for that nose — well, its actual function remains a bit of a mystery.

    “If this dinosaur is anything like its relatives then it likely did not have a super sense of smell,” Gates said in the statement, “but maybe the nose was used as a means of attracting mates, recognizing members of its species, or even as a large attachment for a plant-smashing beak. We are already sniffing out answers to these questions.”

    An article describing the new research was published in the Sept. 17th issue of the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

  • This Is What Sex Looks Like Inside An MRI Scanner (NSFW)
    Ever wished you could see what was going on inside your body when you have sex?

    You’re in luck! A new NSFW video featuring footage from multiple MRI scans affords a remarkable glimpse inside human bodies as they engage in intimate activities ranging from a French kiss to, yes, full-bore coitus.

    WARNING: The video contains NSFW footage. Story continues below.

    MRI scanners create still and, in this case, moving images with the help of strong magnetic fields that interact with protons inside our bodies.

    And as you can see in the video above, those interactions can tell us a lot about interactions of our own.

  • Sister Roma, Drag Performer, Talks About Leading Fight Against Facebook Name Policy
    Sister Roma of the the legendary Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the drag group that began in San Francisco in 1979 and has performed and raised money for AIDS and other causes throughout the country, was recently shocked after being logged out of Facebook and stripped of an identity known to thousands of people in the LGBT community and beyond.

    “Like a lot of people, I was simply using Facebook, and then I was forcibly logged out, and I was instructed to sign in and I had to change my profile name to match the legal name as it appears on my drivers license or credit card or my profile would be suspended, and would be deleted,” Sister Roma said.

    Sister Roma was yet another target of a Facebook policy that has caused an uproar in recent weeks, as many other drag queens and performers, as well as people who need anonymity on Facebook for safety reasons, such as LGBT people in countries where there are laws that could jail them simply for being gay or transgender, have faced a similar situation. The policy has been in place for years, but most troubling about it to many is that it is not enforced unless a complaint is filed, leading Sister Roma and others to conclude that they are perhaps being targeted by individuals or groups hostile to LGBT people.

    For many people who are not yet out about being gay, lesbian or bisexual, anonymity is key as they make friends on Facebook to help guide them. And for many transgender people, still in the process of transitioning, their names may not match the name on their drivers license at a given time.

    “So I did that,” Sister Roma explained in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress. “I entered my legal name and then my profile popped up, with my picture and then it said my legal name, Michael Williams, and I was like, ‘Oh I didn’t expect that to happen.’ I didn’t realize that I was going to be presented to the world as Michael Williams, which is not how I identify myself or how anyone identifies me.”

    Sister Roma then went about the arduous task of trying to contact Facebook.

    I mean, I was really pissed,” Sister Roma said. “So I tried to contact Facebook and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to contact Facebook, but good luck, honey! It is not easy. So I actually googled, ‘How do you contact Facebook?’ and I discovered that there’s a little tiny help button you can push but with just a very limited number of issues that they will address with you. So I just turned to social media. I went on Facebook. I went on Twitter. I said, ‘This is outrageous. How dare they tell me who I am! Nobody knows my legal name. It’s not important’…And that’s when the emails started to come in from people. I got emails from people that would rip your heart out. People with legitimate, important reasons that they use protected names on Facebook that do not match the names on their legal ID.”

    Along with San Francisco City Supervisor David Campos, other activists and members of legal groups such as the ACLU, Sister Roma met with Facebook officials. But, as has been reported, Facebook refused to budge on the policy, despite the backlash. Sister Roma does believe, however, that the Facebook officials finally understood why anonymity is important to many people, even if they didn’t indicate a change would happen. Other employees of Facebook, who approached the activists during the visit, said they agreed that the policy needs to be changed. The group hopes a second meeting with Facebook will get some action.

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