Al Jazeera’s AJ+ is an ambitious attempt to produce news for a generation that doesn’t watch news networks on TV anymore. Here’s a first behind-the-scenes look. Read more »
Earlier this week the Korea Herald quoted an unnamed ARM executive as saying 128-bit processors could make their way into mobile devices within a couple of years. On Friday the British chip design house, whose designs power the vast majority of mobile devices today, said the report was simply “not true”.
In a blog post the firm said, “64-bit processors are capable of supporting the needs of the computing industry now and for many years to come” and “there are absolutely no plans underway for 128 bit ARM-based chips because they simply aren’t needed.” Quite so — the mobile industry is only just starting to move to 64-bit architecture, which is arguably overkill for a smartphone’s current requirements.
Amazon Coins are now available in the UK and reportedly Germany too. The company’s virtual currency is intended for use in its Kindle Fire tablet ecosystem, and owners of the tablet will receive £4 ($6.50) worth of them — that’s 400 Coins — to buy apps, games and in-app items.
Developed-world governments are more likely than those in the developing world to spy on their citizens’ online communications, a report from the World Wide Web Foundation has warned. Meanwhile, a U.N. resolution on online privacy has been softened but retains some bite. Read more »
Acquisition of Bob Swift Software will give Appfire a good chunk of the Atlassian add-on business and help it grab market share. Read more »
On this week’s podcast: Is the Xbox One worth it as a media center? And why is Apple building a big solar farm in North Carolina? Read more »
Windows Azure storage suffered a disruption across regions which affected some Xbox Live and other services Thursday afternoon. Read more »
George Blankenship, Tesla’s head of sales strategy and the creative force behind its stores, has left the company, according to his LinkedIn page and a San Jose Mercury News report. Read more »
Sensors are everywhere, but if we can build a generation of more efficient energy-harvesting chips, sensors could go in even more places. Here’s how researchers are trying to make that happen. Read more »
Tired of airplane mode? The FCC is circulating a proposal to make phones usable above 10,000 feet. Read more »
A retrial between Apple and Samsung over damages, that the judge earlier styled as “Groundhog Day,” has concluded with another win for Apple. Read more »
Researchers took individual strands of yarn and covered them with batteries that can be folded without losing their effectiveness. Read more »
Hola, Elmo: Hulu added a number of new shows to its Hulu Plus kids section Thursday, including episodes of the Sesame Street in English and Spanish, as well as shows like Strawberry Shortcake, Bob the Builder, Bratz and Angelina Ballerina. All of the content is on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that you’ll likely recognize much of it from Netflix — but it’s nonetheless interesting that Hulu is continuing to invest in kids content, which seems to be working well for all online services. And adding Spanish-language titles to the mix is an interesting twist. Hulu launched its Latino offering in late 2011, and has since struck a number of deals to get content for its Spanish-speaking audience.
Thanks to T-Mobile’s network, MetroPCS is now in 45 markets, tripling the size of its footprint in just six months. As it grows its new GSM business its CDMA customer base is starting to shrink. Read more »
Users who purchased a Moto X developer edition handset and requested a bootloader unlock code will retroactively get their phone’s warranty restored. Motorola explained the policy reversal on Thursday, saying “Customers who purchase Developer Edition devices want the flexibility to take this even further and tinker with the operating system. This may include creating and flashing a custom build of Android or porting one from an enthusiast community.” The change is a solid step forward towards embracing Android’s openness and the ability to customize it the way individuals would like to, without voiding the warranty on their phone. Well done, I say!
Version 32 of the Chrome beta browser brings goodies both to the desktop and to Android devices. Gone is double-tap zoom on Android and so too is the 300 millisecond delay after every tap. Chrome on the desktop gains animated WebP image support. Read more »
It looks like those buzzy rumors floating around earlier this month are true: The Wall Street Journal reports that the streaming music platform has raised another $250 million in new funding, led by Technology Crossover Ventures. This latest round of funding means that the Swedish company is valued above $4 billion. According to the report, the money will likely go into the expansion of new markets like Japan, adding to the 32 markets the company already serves. Spotify has yet to comment on the deal.
As Yahoo and HP restrict employees ability to work from home, Dell moves in the opposite direction Read more »
Matter, the crowdfunded longform journalism startup that was acquired by Medium earlier this year, turned one year old last week and says it is making some changes to the service: It is removing the paywall it had around its content, making all articles — as well as audio versions and other features — free of charge, although it says it is planning a “membership scheme” so that it can reward its writers. It is also planning to boost its output from one longform article per month, although it didn’t say how much more frequently it would be publishing.
Facebook has open sourced a new embedded database called RocksDB that’s meant to take advantage of all the performance flash has to offer, from right on the application server. It might be a sign of best practices to come. Read more »
Cloud Foundry wants its platform-as-a-service to run on all the clouds. It’s on AWS and Openstack now, Next up: Google Cloud. Read more »
A startup that’s recently been spun off from MIT — SolidEnergy — is making materials for lithium ion batteries for electric cars that could make them cheaper, less flammable in the event of an accident, and capable of holding more energy, according to MIT Tech Review. The company, which has developed a lithium-metal electrode (instead of graphite) and combined that with a safer electrolyte, plans to sell its materials to battery makers. It has raised a round of venture funding and is working with battery maker A123 Systems.
The box takes a minute to set up and promises anonymity for all surfing done through the connected router. It may not prove quite that simple to use in reality, but it’s certainly an intriguing and cost-effective privacy tool. Read more »
Gemalto shares insight into the invisible security behind NFC, bringing clarity to the interworkings of NFC. Whether you use NFC for payments, accessing a building or ticketing for transport — behind-the-scenes security mechanisms are at work to enable a seamless and consistent user experience. Read more »
Google voice search and Google Now functionality are on their way to Chrome and Chrome OS. The latest developer channel of Chrome OS has the feature in an experimental state and although it’s limited, I see great potential here. Read more »
Space travel is being reinvented by Silicon Valley — a movement people are calling New Space — and it’s not just SpaceX. Other startups include Moon Express, Virgin Galatic, XCOR Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, Skybox Imaging, and Orbital Sciences.
You can use your mobile phone or tablet once the airplane door closes, but you still can’t get Wi-Fi connectivity until you’re airborne. Southwest is now lifting that restriction. Read more »
Sports fans just got another way to keep up with their favorite teams: ESPN has completely revamped its ScoreCenter app, and is now calling it SportsCenter. Read more »
The free “picture a day” drawing challenge app is now available portably, thanks to a new version for iPhone. Read more »
The HTC One Max has already been available on Sprint for almost a week, but you can now pick up the tremendous smartphone at Verizon Wireless as well. The carrier quietly launched the phone on Thursday. It costs $299.99 with a two-year contract, or $25.22 per month on Verizon Edge. Sprint is offering the phone for $249.99 on-contract, along with an additional $100 off for new customers that bring their old phone number. I’ve been testing a review unit of the HTC One Max over the last week, and plan to post my thoughts on it soon.
Last week’s rumors of Chromecast support for the HBO GO app are this week’s reality: The app for both iOS and Android now supports wireless streaming of HBO Go content from a mobile device to Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle. In a blog post announcing the feature, Google says you can also Chromecast HBO GO from a Chrome browser window. I’d opt for ‘casting from a smartphone or tablet though: Those methods actually cause the stream to come from the cloud. Chromecasting from a browser tab uses a peer-to-peer type stream and is dependent on your computer’s resources, meaning the quality may not be as good.
In its march to support all the relevant cloud platforms, Cloud Munch adds the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service to a list that includes AWS and OpenStack IaaS platforms. Read more »
Earlier this month, Acer announced a hard reset: With unexpected, staggering losses in Q3, the company would move forward without CEO JT Wang. At the time, it was understood that Acer President Jim Wong would take over Wang’s responsibilities, but a report from Reuters says that Wong has stepped down, to be replaced by founder Stan Shih. Shih has also been elected the new chairman, and will likely oversee the company’s promised “Transformation Advisory Committee” in hopes to get back on track. The role of CEO has apparently gotten the axe as well — concentrating all the power to Shih for the company’s next moves.
The invites are out for an AT&T Moto X soak test, which means we should be seeing an official KitKat update soon. Read more »
BIME, a business intelligence software company, has raised $4 million in first round funding and opened a U.S. headquarters in Kansas City. Read more »
By analyzing large and complex sets of medical data, Lockheed Martin is finding ways to identify health trends, detect disease, predict medical complications and ultimately deliver more comprehensive and affordable care. Genomics may be the key to this very personalized and predictive medical future. Read more »
iPad users, rejoice: You now have a better way to use your tablet to, well, buy more iPads. Read more »
The speed of technological progress is enabling rapid change in our societies and threatening the principles we claim to hold dear. We have to decide — now — whether we want to accept or resist the loss of our freedoms. Read more »
Politicians from Germany’s two biggest parties are currently negotiating what their grand coalition will look like, and they’ve reportedly decided on at least one thing: they need encrypted phones. According to local newspaper Bild, this means no iPhones, because Apple’s platform doesn’t support encryption software developed by Germany’s federal office for information security, and all official business will henceforth require encrypted communications.
It recently emerged that the U.S. and British embassies in Berlin have been used as bases for spying on German parliamentarians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (who, for the record, was using a highly-hackable old Nokia slider-phone before the Snowden revelations this summer, when she switched to BlackBerry).
The tool, which is gaining a degree of popularity within the maker movement, now provides a way to include moving images in its instructional storyboards. Read more »