VoIP and conference communications company Fuzebox has announced a $26 million Series B funding round, and a new executive team from Yammer to lead the company to a freemium model. Read more »
In theory, Ouya’s Free the Games Fund sounds like a great idea. But in practice it hasn’t gone very well, and that threatens the credibility of the console itself. Read more »
While we have come a long way toward make automated translation easier, faster and more reliable, a world of seamless and immediate translation is still out of our grasp. Der Spiegel spoke with the German computer scientist chasing Google’s translation dreams, Franz Josef Och, about the challenges of translating between Google’s 71 supported languages. Surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with probability: Algorithms translate a phrase by computing the possible translations, then narrowing it down based on how a native speaker would order the words.
Streaming music company Rdio has reached a deal with Cumulus media to finally support a freemium model. Read more »
Google has joined forces with Raspberry Pi to create an open-source educational programming platform, Coder. Read more »
After admitting that handling the “funding” part of crowdfunding has been a challenge, PayPal has officially promised better support with new policies in the coming months. Engadget spotted the company’s blog post, which slipped out inconspicuously on Wednesday and details PayPal’s difficulty with funding groups in a timely manner while remaining compliant with the government. It’s unclear what new policies or processes will be in place, but it’s likely a welcome relief for entrepreneurs and artists who have seen their newfound funds frozen after campaigns have completed.
Calendars 5, launching today, is an iOS 7-inspired premium planner and tasks app from productivity company Readdle. Read more »
Gigabyte’s update to its miniature Brix line has a lot of power, thanks to updated Intel technology. Read more »
Today, Vodafone Germany released a press statement confirming that the company’s servers had been hacked, compromising 2 million mobile customers. The attack, which Vodafone claims was only possible by a hacker with ”insider knowledge,” exposed names, addresses, bank account details and other pieces of personal information — but not phone or credit card numbers. The company, which is the second-largest mobile provider in Germany, is currently working with authorities, but has yet to make an arrest.
Steam announced “Family Sharing,” which allows users to lend their games to trusted friends via the cloud. Read more »
Six months after Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy stepped down, the music streaming company finally has successor: executive and VC Brian McAndrews. The company’s new leader was an entrepreneur and served time as an SVP at Microsoft before becoming an investing partner at Madrona and a board member of the New York Times Co. McAndrews will lead Pandora as it continues to stew in a music royalties battle — the company was singled out in an open letter by Pink Floyd and most recently skirmishing over a radio station in South Dakota.
A Harvard professor’s campaign would allow his pilot class of MOOC students to conduct their very own neuroscience experiments. Read more »
A federal judge responsible for overseeing the the NSA‘s spying practices slammed the agency for “repeatedly submitting inaccurate descriptions” and ignoring minimization procedures to keep private domestic data away from investigations. The harsh words, as reported by the New York Times, come from a 2009 court decision that is among thousands of pages of documents released by intelligence officials in response to legal pressure from the ACLU and the EFF. The judge’s decision addressed the NSA’s retention of call log data which it used to screen against incoming calls.
Apple’s big games push on the iPhone 5s has some smart logic to it: The stars are aligning for the phone to become the next big gaming device. Read more »
With its PlayStation Vita TV, Sony might have solved the puzzle for making a must-have budget console. Now, when will it come to the States? Read more »
Swype co-founder Randy Marsden is testing a better typing experience again, this time for the tablet. Read more »
It’s big week for messaging app Path, which has announced some new features and a big foreign partnership to boot. Read more »
It seems that demand for smartphones has risen considerably, as IDC reports today that the worldwide mobile phone market is expected to grow 7.3 percent year over year in 2013 — a big jump from last year’s stagnant report. Overall, vendors are expected to distribute 1.8 billion smartphones this year. IDC attributes the jump in demand to a variety of factors, particularly big device subsidies mobile from carriers and a growing depth of lower-priced smartphones.
After months of silence, Microsoft finally unveils the date for its latest console, the Xbox One. Read more »
Less than a year after launching Mega, the file-storage successor to the raided MegaUpload, embattled internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has stepped down to work on other projects. Specifically, he will continue to fight against extradition to the United States, where he is expected to stand trial for many crimes. In addition, Dotcom is creating a music product, formerly known as Megabox, and forming an internet-focused political party in New Zealand, where he currently resides. Despite relinquishing his position, Dotcom will likely remain the face — and opinionated voice — of Mega.
Apple seems to be getting serious about China, throwing the country its very own standalone iPhone event. Read more »
Researchers have hacked a Kinect to help users finally make eye-contact during video calls. Read more »
Nostalgic games score another win on Kickstarter, as the creator of Mega Man raises major funds for a game that’s just like Mega Man. Read more »
Fast Co Design has released the first in a six-part history of Apple’s design team, centered on Senior Vice President of Design and company icon Jony Ive. Comprised of stories from dozens of former Apple employees, the history puts personal spins on the development of some of the most design-forward Cupertino company products — most notably, the early iMac. It’s a much more human view of the company and of Ive, who is well on his way to becoming an enigma not unlike his late boss, Steve Jobs.
HTC was embroiled in a scandal this weekend, as a group of its top designers allegedly tried to make off with the company’s latest designs. Read more »
When you’re looking to crowdfund your latest project, does it matter who you list with? Two Silicon Valley workers scraped the data to compare Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but results are mixed. Read more »
The man, the icon, the Instagrammer. Paul McCartney joined the hot social media platform on Wednesday, and one of his first few posts teased music from his forthcoming album, New. This isn’t the first time the former Beatle has been hip to social media, as his Twitter page is regularly tended to for more than a million followers. His Instagram feed has already seen a healthy jump — courting an audience of more than 9,000. Maybe young people know good music, after all.
After a two-month delay, Sim City for Mac launched with another host of problems. Is it any wonder why always-on isn’t accepted? Read more »
Foursquare’s new, “smarter” app utilizes passive location technology to push recommendations — and its new features could dress it up enough to intrigue major tech companies.. Read more »
Facebook’s proposed changes to its Data Use and Privacy policies give the platform more control and knowledge of a user’s image and likeness. Read more »
Nothing is fragmented in the mobile app space quite like SMS alternatives. Is there a possibility for a company to surge and become the one messaging app to rule them all? Read more »
Ready for the future? Skype wants to bring 3D calls to the masses, but is patiently waiting for technology to catch up. Read more »
Nintendo has surprised once again with its latest handheld console — the low-cost, tablet-fighting Nintendo 2DS. Read more »
Real-time TV social engagement firm Trendrr has officially announced that it will join the flock at Twitter. The move is another one of Twitter’s big overtures at the television space, as the company has inked huge deals and hired big names all this year. The incorporation of Trendrr’s proprietary products, Trendrr.tv and Curatorr, will bring some extra analytics power to the Twitter team in its attempt to woo companies to ad buys.
Nissan wants the self-driving car to make its appearance in 2020, and is testing it all with the emissions-free Leaf. Read more »
Facebook released its new report on data requests from governments around the world and the U.S., perhaps unsurprisingly, sends in the most by a wide margin. Read more »
After claiming responsibility for the outage at the New York Times, the Syrian Electronic Army has boasted of takeovers at Twitter and the Huffington Post Read more »
Don’t worry, Google isn’t purposefully squashing apps that support local streaming on Chromecast. Read more »
A Samsung executive has confirmed the company’s much-rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be revealed on September 4. Read more »
While scholars and pundits are concerned about the negative affects gaming can have on brain development, a study conducted at University of Texas at Austin proves that it can also expand the mind. Students were divided into two groups — one played strategy game StarCraft while the other played The Sims. After two months of playing, the StarCraft gamers showed increased mental flexibility and multitasking abilities compared to The Sims players. Picking strategy games may be the right way to go for some brain-boosting exercises.