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Apr 01, 2015 - 12:35 PM - by dgstorm
All jokes aside, this newest bit of news is a reason for cheering instead of laughing. Verizon announced a new policy change in which users on their network will be able to "opt out" of the so-called "supercookie" tracker which has popped up in the news over the years.
To refresh your memory, for sometime Verizon has included an undeletable, unique identifier header in a tracking cookie whenever anyone uses a device on their wireless network. They claimed that it wasn't a security issue, but several reports suggested otherwise. Apparently, the big dogs at Big Red decided they had enough of the backlash from it and are now offering folks the ability to say no.
To opt-out, you can hunt around on Verizon's website or call 1-866-211-0874 and they can help you with it over the phone. This doesn't entirely solve the issue, as several consumer advocacy groups have would rather Verizon use the "opt-in" approach, but at least some progress has been made. Here's a quote with the final details,
What do you think about this issue? Is it a valid privacy concern, or does it make a mountain out of a mole-hill?
In January, four Democratic members of the Senate’s powerful Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation sent a letter to Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell C. McAdam, demanding an explanation for the company’s data security and privacy practices. Shortly after, Verizon said it would provide a complete opt-out.
But privacy advocates continue to press Verizon. Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, a technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, encouraged Verizon to go a step further.
“This is an improvement, but it doesn’t do nearly enough,” he said. “Verizon should discontinue its header injection program, or at a minimum make it opt-in.”
Verizon’s Ms. Lewis said customers may log in to their accounts to change their participation in the company’s data collection programs — whether it’s opt-in or opt-out — in the privacy section of the company’s website.
Mar 31, 2015 - 3:08 PM - by dgstorm
NVIDIA sent out a press release on a bundle they are offering for their NVIDIA Shield Android Gaming Tablet. The bundle will basically give you a bunch of freebies for just purchasing the 32GB or LTE Version of the tablet at the regular price of $399.99.
The fee stuff includes the SHIELD controller, SHIELD tablet cover, and 3 great games; Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2, and Portal. This offer is for a very limited time only as it ends tonight (3/31/2015) at 11:59PM PST.
Here's the NVIDIA link for more details: Store Tablet | SHIELD
Mar 30, 2015 - 4:43 PM - by dgstorm
We were impressed enough with the concept in this video that we just had to share it. A crafty YouTube blogger named AndroidGameE created a speedtest which is designed to showcase real-world performance instead of the typical number crunching benchmarks. It does this by leveraging opening and closing a number of real-world apps during a timed test. While it would be easy to poke holes in the methodology, it is still a remarkably simple way to help gauge what the user experience might be like.
Even better is that we get to see this "real world benchmark" demonstrated with a titanic battle between the ultra-popular iPhone 6 and the hot new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Throughout most of the tests, the Galaxy S6 Edge tends to handle things faster and smoother than the iPhone 6, but in the end, the final "timed difference" wasn't that huge, and the iPhone 6 nearly catches up with the Galaxy S6 Edge. Check out the video and let us know what you think.
Mar 26, 2015 - 10:12 AM - by dgstorm
In what will undoubtedly be disappointing news to some, Motorola Mobility's President, Rick Osterloh, recently shared on Twitter that Motorola has no plans to build any Android tablets. He did take a moment to steer us toward Lenovo's offerings, which is unsurprising since that is now Motorola's parent company.
Still, for many who were hoping Motorola would get back in the game to try and do a better job than they did with the XOOM or DROID Xyboard, this is unwelcome news. On the bright side, at least this will allow them to focus on making the best Droid smartphone they can every year!
Mar 26, 2015 - 9:46 AM - by dgstorm
Tomorrow is a big day for Samsung. They just announced that pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be available at all major US carriers & Best Buy starting tomorrow (March 27th). On top of this, you will also be able to see a preview of the device at most Best Buy locations around the country.
The pricing details for the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions was not revealed yet, but Best Buy should have that info tomorrow. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular and Best Buy will be the first to offer the pre-orders, while Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will eventually get in on the act. You can also expect Amazon.com, Costco Wholesale, Inc., Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart to showcase the device sometime within the coming weeks.
We will share more details tomorrow so stay tuned!
Mar 25, 2015 - 3:19 PM - by dgstorm
Earlier today Facebook held their F8 Developer Conference. There were quite a few things shared during the event, but we broke down the three largest changes which Facebook is making/adding to their service. Here's the summary:
- "On This Day" Feature - This is a new way to look at old stuff. It basically gives you a page every day to bring up photos which were on that same day in your past. In order to get to this "special page," you will need to "click on the On This Day bookmark, and search for “On This Day.” Alternatively, you can just head to facebook.com/onthisday.”
- Third-party developers support in FB Messenger - This was the biggest change/upgrade that Facebook shared today. The company will be opening up FB Messenger to third-party developers so that they can make their own custom apps for the service. They claim they wanted to offer “even more ways for the 600 million people who use Messenger every month to express themselves.”
- Embeddable video functionality - If you are a fan of posting videos on your website(s), then you will want to pay attention to this. Facebook will soon offer HTML code for videos uploaded to their network which is meant to make embedding them much easier.
Sound off if you think any of these changes/additions will be worthwhile to you.
Mar 24, 2015 - 9:58 AM - by dgstorm
And the wheel of time circles back around again... Google I/O 2015 invites have already started rolling out to email inboxes across the globe, at least for folks who signed up for Google’s big IO raffle. The first wave of invites need to be accepted and paid for by Thursday, March 26th.
The entry fee is a stout $900, but students can get in for $300. If you haven't been accepted, then you probably won't receive an email at all, although it's possible the emails will be sent out in batches, so it could come a bit later. Sound off and let us know if you scored an invite and will be attending this year.
Mar 20, 2015 - 10:31 AM - by dgstorm
Google's latest video ad for their Android Wear products is making the rounds across the interwebs. This latest one ups the ante on the fancy dance moves, but it actually makes sense in a strange and abstract way. It actually becomes apparent from watching it that Google wants the ad to focus on customers getting more choices out of Android Wear.
They basically want to play up the personalization and individual expression angle. Sound off and let us know what you think of Google's latest Android Wear ad.
Mar 20, 2015 - 9:58 AM - by dgstorm
What an interesting industry shakeup to find in my inbox this morning. Apparently, the very top of HTC has been rearranged. Peter Chou stepped down as CEO of HTC, and Cher Wang has taken over the position. If you remember the HTC One M9 event, Cher Wang shared some of the demo time with Peter Chou. Maybe this was meant as a "soft-intro."
Before today, Cher Wang was simply known as the Chairperson for HTC’s board of directors and the co-founder of the company. Reports from within the industry indicate this transition was actually about two years in the making. Apparently, Wang was already heavily involved in everyday management behind the scenes.
Ironically, HTC's stock didn't even register a blip (positive or negative) after the news. It seems that investors were neither unhappy, nor enthusiastic about the change. Either way, Chou isn't being fired. He instead will transition to a new product-oriented position as Head of HTC Future Development Lab.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like they have been happy with Chou's design decisions for the HTC One line, but not too happy with his organizational and leadership skills. Here's a quote from the new CEO of HTC, Cher Wang,
What do you think of HTC's new leadership?
“I know the company, I know the people, and I have the vision,” Wang, 56, told Bloomberg News
in an interview. “I think I am the best candidate. I suggested it.”
Mar 19, 2015 - 11:49 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like LG is making rounds in the rumor-mill regarding another Nexus product. According to insider industry reports, Google execs and engineers were touring through LG offices recently. This lead to speculation that LG is likely to be making another Nexus device. Whether this will be another smartphone or some form of Tablet is unclear at this time.
If it turns out to be true, it will mark the first time Google has awarded the Nexus program to the same OEM more than twice. So far, LG produced the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones for Google, while Samsung created the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus devices. Here's a quote with a few more details,
According to the Korean media, earlier this week on the 16th of March, Google’s engineers visited LG’s headquarters and took a tour of its facilities. Reportedly, for as long as these engineers will be in Korea, they will also visit LG’s various affiliates – including LG Innotek and LG Display.
With all the commotion going on, industry insiders quoted by the source believe that Google and LG are now discussing the possibility of a renewed collaboration whose end result will be a new LG-made Nexus smartphone.
Mar 19, 2015 - 10:47 AM - by dgstorm
After watching these new ads, it almost makes you wonder if HTC wanted to hire Robert Downey Jr. just so they could pay to mock him. We can't believe RDJ would be willing to subject himself to this torturous poppycock.
Here's a funny theory: RDJ was obviously still under contract with them, but since they spent so much money to hire him, HTC didn't have anything left in their budget to actually hire a decent advertising company.
They were stuck, so they ended up hiring so-and-so's sister's, friend's, husband's cousin who was in film school. He quickly threw together some weird crap based upon a drug-induced paranoid dream he had while attending a lecture on fuzzy woodland creatures at a local petting zoo.
One of the bizarre videos is above, and you can see the other two in the thread below. Feel free to skip them if you value your sanity.
Mar 19, 2015 - 10:21 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like the launch of the Apple Watch made several different industries stand up and take notice. While Samsung, Motorola, LG and others have been busily making smartwatches, none of the big named Swiss watch makers have really paid much attention. That is, until now.
TAG Heuer, one of the most well-known watch companies out of Switzerland, just announced a new partnership with Intel and Google to make the industry's first "luxury" Android Wear-based smartwatch. Jean-Claude Biver, head of watches for the luxury group LVMH, which is TAG Heuer's parent company, revealed that they wanted to team up with Google because Google doesn't produce its own watch, but instead just makes Android Wear available.
Here's a quote from Biver,
"There are two operating systems: one is Apple's iOS, the other is Android Wear - who are we to invent another language at that level? It would be absurd, it would be arrogant to believe that we could develop our own [operating system]. It would be a catastrophe to believe such a stupid thing.
There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor.
"Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect."
The above image is the TAG Heuer Formula and is simply an example of one of their designs. It is not necessarily indicative of any Android Wear watch design.
Sadly, they didn't share any technical details, nor pricing, nor a timeframe for launch. Here's another quote from the Intel press release with a few more details regarding the partnership,
... [Read More]
Guy Sémon, General Manager of TAG Heuer added: "The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer."
David Singleton [Director of Engineering for Android Wear] noted, "By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike -- including us at Google. So we're thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market. Together, and using the Android Wear platform, we can imagine a better, beautiful, smarter watch."
"As we work to enable technology experiences that provide greater utility and value to people, Intel is confident that a collective approach will inspire new innovation in wearable technology. The collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings us closer to realizing the vision of wearable technology with a distinctive smartwatch that elevates the category," remarked Michael Bell [Corporate Vice
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