The long-buzzed about iPad Mini with retina display didn’t make an appearance at the latest Apple event in September, and it’s likely that the world won’t see it until the new year. Reuters reports that delays on display manufacturing in China have crippled production, making it near impossible to do a full roll-out for the holiday season. If the iPad Mini retina does appear, expect limited quantities, long lines, and a bit of heartbreak.
Facebook has released an update to its mobile app ad unit that will appeal to popular brands. Read more »
Handmade marketplace Etsy has experienced a firestorm of complaints from its tired community, and released a slew of new guidelines to ease the tension. Read more »
The social media company has won a suit against a serial cybersquatter that registered domains for over 100 variations and misspellings of “Pinterest.” Read more »
Verizon has been slowly phasing out its unlimited data plan for the last year, but a few lucky customers will continue to reap its benefits for another contract cycle. A glitch in the company’s system this past weekend allowed Verizon customers to upgrade their phones without dropping the unlimited data plan. And, the company told DroidLife that it will honor those plans in spite of the glitch. So, some survivors will continue reaping the benefits of free-flowing data — until the next contract.
Tired of sifting through Facebook conversations? Graph Search has expanded to include status updates and posts. Read more »
Researchers at MIT have developed tools for non-programmers to develop mobile disaster apps — thanks to an old Google product. Read more »
With more than 45 million unique visitors per month, video game streaming website Twitch.tv has netted $20 million in a new investment round. Read more »
Valve has announced the third and final piece to its living room initiative: an open and programmable controller. Read more »
While China could be loosening its grip on social media, the country is definitely lifting a 13-year ban on video games, according to The Next Web. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will be able to sell products in the country for the first time since the new millennium, but in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone only. So, widespread distribution of gaming devices won’t be the new normal, but odds are that the country’s elite will finally be able to enjoy Wii Sports in their free time.
After spending the summer at the top of both the iTunes and Android app stores, UK games company King may be riding that success to cash in on a timely IPO. Telegraph reports that the company has secretly filed its pre-IPO S-1 with the SEC, although very few details about the paperwork (as well as King’s current financial standing) are known. It could be the right time for the decade-old company to go public, but it’s hard to not consider the cautionary tale of Zynga’s own IPO efforts. Will history repeat itself?
After a month of speculation, Beats has finally severed ties with HTC and bought back its own stock. HTC loses the Beats Audio technology but gains some needed cash. Read more »
Fifteen years in the making, Google is still working to make search more sophisticated with an improved algorithm and new features. Read more »
According to Pew Research, a record 85 percent of American adults use the internet in 2013. However, 15 percent of adults still don’t go online. At all. Age is one factor — 44 percent of people 65 and older don’t use the internet– but internet usage is also affected by income and education level. The lower the income and education level, the less wired the household. Interestingly, nearly one in four people who identify themselves as Hispanic do not go online. The reason for not logging on? One in three non-users say they’re just not interested.
The ghosts of products past have come back to haunt Apple, as the Tokyo District Court ordered the Cupertino company to pay ¥330 million (roughly $3.4 million) in damages regarding a patent infringement case over the old iPod click-wheel. That damages amount, which is relatively small compared to the ¥10 billion sought after by plaintiff Norihiko Saito, partially reflects the sales of the classic iPod still on shelves. But, all in all, it’s another one of Apple’s myriad patent cases that is finally put to rest.
Temporary phone number app Burner has announced some big moves: a major iOS 7 overhaul and a $2 million funding round. Read more »
Thanks to its prominence as the go-to image sharing source on Reddit, Imgur now entertains millions of users with its millions of uploaded photos and GIFs. Read more »
Valve has made its second major announcement this week: Steam Machines. And Valve will let its own user pool beta test the hardware. Read more »
Twitter has been acquiring companies since 2008, but recently, it’s kicked it up a notch. Read more »
Since the debut of the PS4, Sony has been offering sneak peeks into the development of the console’s UI to its super-fans through the company’s message boards. The latest round of UI previews, spotted by the Verge, shows a brighter and more minimalist approach to its initial UI, with strong visuals. But most importantly, the new gallery includes true mock-ups of iOS and Android apps — indicating that Sony is following in Xbox’s SmartGlass footsteps to drum up second-screen engagement.
It looks like Nest may have tipped its hand to reveal its next connected home venture: the smoke detector. Read more »
Yesterday, Google announced the winners of its annual Science Fair, which rewards kids who push beyond the standard baking soda volcano. Out of the 15 projects selected to compete, Google’s panel selected three winners: In the 13-14 bracket, Viney Kumar of Australia created methods to help emergency vehicles better notify cars of their approach. In 15-16, Ann Makosinski of Canada designed a battery-less flashlight. And the 17-18 and Grand Prize winner, Eric Chen of the USA, explored new flu medicines and earned himself $50,000 in scholarship money on top of other prizes. So much for that volcano.
For years, people thought @horse_ebooks was a nonsensical spambot, but its true human intent actually reveals a much bigger story underneath. Read more »
After years on the blacklist of “piracy related” search terms, BitTorrent is searchable on Google. Users will now see the company’s name (as well as the uTorrent client) in auto-complete, and the results will finally point to the website — a big win for BitTorrent in its quest to divorce itself from piracy. The inclusion also has given the company a noticeable traffic bump. But Google’s filter is a fickle one, so it’s unlikely that many other sites will be removed from the blacklist anytime soon.
The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union has added something new to its annual report on worldwide broadband penetration: gender inequality. According to the study, about 41 percent of men (1.5 billion total) will have access to the internet by the end of 2013, compared to just 37 percent of women (1.3 billion total). That gap could grow to 350 million by the end of 2016 — a sign that women are coming online at a much slower pace than men. This disparity is most pronounced in developing nations, where women trail in internet usage by 16 percent.
In the wake of the lifting of the general solicitation ban, Betaworks has officially announced a syndicate seed investment program for Openbeta. Read more »
After some teasing, Valve has finally announced yet another piece of its living room takeover — Steam OS. Read more »
Mozilla has finally unveiled a fully-integrated Firefox browser for Windows 8, and has invited users to download and test it. Read more »
The seedy underbelly of online reviews — especially companies paying for higher reviews — is a source of frequent speculation but rarely comes into the public eye. But according to the New York Times, New York regulators are cracking down on 19 businesses, forcing them to pay a total of $350,000 in fines for “astro-turfing” their pages with fake reviews. The year-long investigation uncovered a paid-for user review market and some good old fashioned bribery — a sign that some companies will go underground to boost their online ratings.
For the last few months, Instapaper creator Marco Arment has laid low. After selling his smash iOS app Instapaper to Betaworks in April and tablet publication The Magazine to the rest of its staff in May, Arment has remained secretive about his next big project. He gave a glimpse of his hard work yesterday at Portland’s XOXO festival, where Engadget reports that he revealed his latest app, Overcast. Aimed squarely at Apple’s current podcasting tech, Overcast is halfway completed and could be out sometime later this year.
Sony and Valve have each addressed the fates of their very buzzy consoles with teasing statements that indicate big things for U.S. gamers. Read more »
Five hours, three subway rides, and two Apple stores later, I am without my gold iPhone 5s. But I believe Apple has failed as much as I did. Read more »
Art is a funny thing — a uniquely human construct that relies an a careful and nuanced grasp of aesthetics. Robots haven’t always been known for their ability to make art, but many new machines are landing in the news for their skills according to TechDirt. One program, e-David, learns how to create forgeries of well-known works by an algorithm. Animal spotlighted another bot, BNJMN, that can actually create original artwork all by itself, thanks to a cleverly programed Arduino UNO. Can robots make art? Well, if elephants can, then I say yes.
Gaming companies are really getting into the cloud, but execution of privacy, security and ownership will be important to its success. Read more »
It’s safe to say that Mario, the indefatigable plumber who is gaming’s most recognizable character, would not exist without Hiroshi Yamauchi. The former company president, who died of pneumonia at 85, inherited Nintendo from his grandfather and spearheaded the company’s bold move into electronic gaming. He led the Japanese gaming giant for 53 years before stepping down in 2002, making him one of the richest men in Japan. But Yamauchi’s legacy goes beyond money, as his impact on commercial gaming has been undeniable — and seen best in Mario’s 30-year success.
Facebook is working with other designers to break the monolithic server mold and design new open source hardware. Read more »
Ouya has doubled-back on its Free the Games Fund, now changing the rules and disqualifying former winners. Read more »
The cloud is more than just a company buzzword — deciding when and how to implement it is a difficult task for many organizations. Read more »
European cellular provider Vodafone may be secretly launching a smartphone, but an unsubtle report from the FCC has outed the company’s designs. Engadget spotted the U.S. regulatory body’s approval documents, which gave the green light to a “Vodafone Smart 4G” and posted all related documents today. The design appears to be a Yulong Coolpad 8860U, rebranded for its European debut, and is likely to pop up as a low-cost handset in the UK, where Vodafone has its current Smart brand.