It’s no secret that the community behind Wikipedia is insular, methodical and bureaucratic. But the high barriers of entry that Wikipedians have established to keep the website’s millions of pages under control are now coming back to haunt them, according to an in-depth feature by MIT Technology Review. There simply aren’t enough people to regulate and edit the firehose of information — both correct and incorrect — to keep to the high standard the community sets for itself, much less be a reliable encyclopedia. That insular group is going to need to open up, or risk collapsing under the weight of its own system.
After announcing its decision to offer ads a few weeks ago, Instagram finally shows off a sample. Read more »
Vine has issued an update that will please power users, with a very important editing tool. Read more »
One of the biggest selling points for TiVo’s latest line, the Roamio, was the promise of out-of-home streaming. The company finally announced via press release that the feature will begin its roll-out today via a software update to all TiVo Roamio Pro and Plus owners. Users will be able to watch shows over WiFi both in-home and on-the-go, as well as download and save shows for viewing offline — provided they have an Apple product to run TiVo’s app. The company says that Android and 4G/LTE support will debut next year.
Linkedin has debuted a new feature for iPhone that allows users to see each other’s professional profile without leaving their email. Read more »
NASA has spent years perfecting data transmission between the Earth and space, starting in the 1960s with radio wave technology. The group is one step closer to seamless, lossless and speedy data transmission as it announced that the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has used a pulse laser beam to create a record-breaking 622Mbps connection between the Earth and the Moon. That’s a connection much faster than ones found in the average American household traveling more than 200,000 miles. NASA hopes the laser technology will help provide increased image resolution and even 3D video transmission from deep space.
The media has reported that HTC has shut down a production line, but the Taiwanese company begs to differ. Read more »
Apple has announced that today is the day OS X 10.9 Mavericks debuts — for free. Read more »
The food experiment-turned-real product Soylent has raised a $1.5 million seed round from Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures and Alexis Ohanian. Read more »
Ahead of the release of the One Max, HTC is the subject of a Bloomberg report that the company is allegedly planning an Android-based smartwatch for 2014. There are scant few details on the project — only that it will be able to “take pictures” — but it’s not altogether unlikely that the Taiwanese company would want to get into the watch space. HTC has fallen on tough times recently, posting its first-ever quarterly loss and selling back shares in Beats, Inc. With Samsung cannibalizing the company’s smartphone sales, not trying its hand on a smartwatch could add insult to injury — and admit defeat.
In 2006, Nintendo made a hard left turn. Known for creating commercially loved, top-of-the-line consoles like the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and the Gamecube, Nintendo stepped off the expected path to produce a new, novel console: The Nintendo Wii. Now, after seven years and more than 100 million units sold worldwide, Nintendo has halted the production of the Wii indefinitely. Kotaku reports that the shutdown was announced earlier this month, but the results are still sad. The Wii’s success changed Nintendo, for better or for worse, and it’s the end of an era.
Finally, Hulu Plus has updated its iPhone app with Chromecast support, enabling it to be used like a TV remote for all of the premium service’s offerings. Hulu Plus has offered increased Chromecast support — including display, live queueing, and scrub features — since early October, but the iPhone was suspiciously missing from the line-up. Considering how much of the Hulu audience was demanding iPhone support in the comments, the inclusion is both needed and expected, but it is another fortification to Chromecast’s offerings that bring a more TV-like experience to the device.
Facebook says it has seen success with its news publishers, especially with BuzzFeed and BleacherReport. Read more »
Quantum computing is just in its infancy, but its possibilities have certainly intrigued Google. In order to make the future come that much faster, the company is now looking to the children to usher in a new, quantum-physics savvy generation. The Google Quantum A.I. Lab Team released a blog post detailing the kid-friendly qCraft: a modpack for the popular, pixelated MMORPG Minecraft that enables players to explore and experiment with quantum physics in the digital world. With it, kids will be able to enact Schrodinger’s Cat, instead of reading about it in a text book.
When building software, it’s great to be Open Source until it isn’t. In early days of a project where time is of the essence, as when Google scrambled to get into mobile to catch up with Apple’s iPhone, opening up makes for better software faster. But, what happens when you win? Ars Technica has a great report about Google’s introduction of proprietary apps that replace Android Open Source Project apps — essentially cutting off company-enacted updates to the Open Source material. It’s an ingenious, if slightly conniving, way to keep competitors from swiping the platform.
While they are competitors on the social media front, Facebook and Google will now be bedfellows in advertising, as an announcement from Google confirms the companies have struck a partnership in which DoubleClick Bid Manager will now be able to buy on the Facebook Ad Exchange. It’s a win for both companies, as DCBM clients will now be able to have access to real-time FBX ad inventory, and Facebook has the opportunity to bring more clients to real-time ads. This could, in theory, also boost the quality of Facebook’s ads — and bring in more revenue for the company.
NPD has released a September report that shows great news for Nintendo, but against a slow period for its larger rivals. Can its sales strategy keep the business going? Read more »
Apple has issued a recall relating to the 64GB and 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems. If you bought a MacBook Air between June 2012 and June 2013, the latest firmware update will also run a test to see whether the drive needs to be replaced. It’s unclear how widespread the flash storage drive failure is, but it appears that the faulty drive will undergo total failure if left unchecked. So hop to it: your music library and photo albums will thank you for it.
In New York, it’s not uncommon for someone to get their phone snatched right out of his hands on the subway, in the middle of Candy Crush Saga, by a hot-footed thief.
New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein wants to curb the practice, according to the New York Times, by requiring business to see or have “proof of ownership” (like a sales receipt) to buy or sell smartphones. While it wouldn’t stop one-off Craigslist sales or shadier practices, if it’s passed it could shine a light on where a phone goes after it leaves its owner’s hands.
Twenty years after adventure game Myst was released, the company behind the game is crowdfunding another title. Read more »
There’s great need for security in the Internet of Things. Can the industry make itself better, or will the government have to step in? Read more »
At Mobilize 2013, AT&T announced a crucial partnership with Tesla that brings the mobile company into the driver’s dashboard. Read more »
It’s a sad fact that patent trolling is pretty much everywhere these days, with businesses large and small — and even Martha Stewart – among the victims. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation is trying to take down one troll, Personal Audio, by filing to invalidate the company’s patent — in which it claims to have invented podcasting. The EFF has raised more than $75,000 to challenge Personal Audio, which has spent the year harassing popular podcasters and slammed three television networks with lawsuits. Now, it’s up to the EFF to hurdle through the red tape.
Let’s be honest: Windows 8 has been fraught with problems. Completely overhauling a well-known desktop interface versatile enough for mobile has left Microsoft attempting to shoehorn Windows 8 into both desktops and tablets — users are left with a steep learning curve. Windows 8.1 is now here (and free for Windows 8 users), and promises to be easier. Along with little performance changes, Windows 8.1 features an updated search system, a greater focus on Sky Drive, Internet Explorer 11 and the return of the familiar Start button. Download the system — along with updated apps — on Microsoft’s website.
Lightweight augmented reality glasses CastAR has received more than $400,000 after just one day on Kickstarter. Now, it’s reaching for new goals. Read more »
Crowdsourced product design and independent art marketplace Minted has received $41 million in a Series C round to scale its burgeoning stationery business. Read more »
The choppy, laggy, and all-around unwatchable Netflix app for Android is finally being replaced, thanks to an update that is rolling out now. Spotted by Android Police, Netflix for Android 3.0 has a complete redesign a lot closer to the version available for Apple. It shows marked performance improvements, not only on the device but also when utilizing Chromecast to watch on the big screen. But it’s not totally up to date — most notably missing the app’s new profile feature. But if you have an Android device, you can finally watch Orange is the New Black lag-free.
Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the second quarter of 2013 has promising news for the world, but less so for the United States. Read more »
When bombarded by emails, messages, updates and notifications, it’s easy to fantasize going “off the grid” and leaving technology behind. In the wake of the NSA scandal, some see it as an absolute necessity. Sarah Kessler of Fast Company spoke with people who go to great lengths to not be tracked, from keeping toll passes in transmission proof envelopes to destroying RFID chips in tires, clothing, and just about everywhere else. In many ways, it shows that the devil isn’t in what you know — going online, having a phone — but in what you don’t.
A team of German researchers has broken the world record for the fastest wireless internet speed, clocking 100Gbps. Read more »
While Netflix has been met with strong resistance in the U.S. for its desire to bring an app directly to cable set-top boxes, there is one company solidly in its corner: TiVo. Bloomberg reports that regional providers that rely on set-top boxes from TiVo for its customers, like Cox Communications Inc., Suddenlink Communications, and RCN Telecom Services, are discussing an integration of Netflix through the TiVo platform. The arrangement would be an expansion of the partnership TiVo and Netflix have built (most recently expressed in TiVo’s latest model).
Sending a direct message on Twitter has till now been possible only when two users follow each other — leading to awkward situations where one person wants to communicate private information to someone who hasn’t keen to hit the “Follow” button. But that’s changed, thanks to a new feature in Twitter’s account settings, according to the Verge. The feature, spotted on Twitter, gives users the power to accept DMs from anyone. It’s an optional feature — those who enjoy Twitter the way it is don’t have to switch.
Amid confusion about privacy, Snapchat releases a blog post to clarify the accessibility of the app’s data. Read more »
The New Yorker has published a long, languid look at the entrepreneurial talents of Twitter and Square creator Jack Dorsey, following him from an upstart college dropout in the ’90s to single-minded entrepreneur and now as a tailored veteran businessman and anticipated IPO beneficiary. While author D.T. Max presents Dorsey as a sort of restrained, introspective pseudo-Steve Jobs, there’s also plenty of talk surrounding the CEO’s “right place, right time” luck. But it establishes Dorsey as a figure in the pantheon of Silicon Valley greats, and remains optimistic for his next venture.
When Valve laid off some of its staff earlier this year, the CastAR was put on ice. But now it’s revived, and seeking funding on Kickstarter Read more »
Foursquare has finally opened up an ad platform to serve its 1.5 million registered small businesses. Read more »
Netflix is trying to woo cable companies into a special place on their set-top boxes. Read more »
After announcing its existence at the end of September, Valve has released a video demo of the Steam Controller. Read more »
Want to search without being tracked? TorSearch aims to become the leading search site for the Deep Web. Read more »
While Grand Theft Auto V has broken records in both sales and popularity, its online counterpart, GTA Online, has endured serious growing pains. Rockstar says that technical issues have caused users to lose their game progress, and glitches often left players stuck in missions or tutorials. In order to save its fan base, Rockstar has announced a $500,000 in-game currency “stimulus package” for every player, starting as early as next week. Players will receive the “GTA$” in two installments as long as they play the game at any point in October. Sim City, time to take note.