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Business News Reports

Intel, Fossil team up to work on wearables 06 September 2014, 20.30 Business
Intel, Fossil team up to work on wearables
Everyone wants in on the wearables game—Motorola, Samsung, LG, and if rumors are to be believed, Apple. Not to be outdone, Intel announced a new partnership Friday with watchmaker Fossil to “further develop wearable
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Dreadnought preview: It's like World of Tanks and Battlestar Galactica had a baby
"Everyone always wants to be the fast ships at first. And then they die." These are the dour words of the developer watching over my shoulder as I played Dreadnought, a spaceship combat game, last week. He was right. I
Read More 24 Hits 0 Ratings
10 hilarious, brutally devious ways PC game developers punish pirates
The Sims 4 was released this week, but some people who eagerly snatched up a copy soon found themselves perplexed by an apparent bug: The entire game eventually became blurry and pixelated, with the effect beginning as a way
Read More 21 Hits 0 Ratings
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba seeks up to $21 billion in US IPO
Alibaba is looking to raise as much as US$21 billion in its U.S. IPO, according to documents filed Friday, making the Chinese e-commerce company’s debut one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history. Its
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Comparing smartwatches -- what Apple has to beat 06 September 2014, 20.30 Business
Comparing smartwatches -- what Apple has to beat
It’s been a big week for smartwatches and the next few days could be even bigger if rumors are true and Apple enters the battle for the wrist on Tuesday. The company has been such a tremendous force in the smartphone and
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At IFA, new smartphones are a harbinger for future trends
Smartphones introduced at the IFA trade show in Berlin this week highlight trends that will grow more apparent over the next year, including the use of 64-bit processors, LTE-Advanced and super high-resolution
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OneNote for Android adds handwriting support 19 August 2014, 00.25 Business
OneNote for Android adds handwriting support
Mark Hachman Microsoft released a major update to its OneNote for Android app today, adding handwriting input and tablet support and bringing Android users closer to the OneNote experience the company envisioned for the
Read More 34 Hits 0 Ratings
FCC allowed to question AT&T, Verizon on business broadband pricing
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has the green light to collect new data on the pricing of so-called special access services, the middle-mile network services used to deliver business broadband and mobile service
Read More 132 Hits 0 Ratings
Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft's board 19 August 2014, 00.25 Business
Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft's board
About six months after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has relinquished his seat on the company’s board of directors effective immediately, citing a busy schedule and confidence in the company’s current and
Read More 27 Hits 0 Ratings
Hands on with Acer's Aspire Switch 10 29 April 2014, 16.03 Business
Hands on with Acer's Aspire Switch 10
Acer’s dual-purpose Aspire Switch 10 can function as a Windows 8 tablet and laptop, but the shape-shifting product’s uniqueness is in its magnetic keyboard base, an element not found on other hybrid devices. The Aspire
Read More 178 Hits 0 Ratings
Twitter more than doubles its sales, but still can't turn a profit
Twitter on Tuesday turned in some healthy sales figures for the first quarter, though its net loss grew substantially compared to last year. Total revenue for the period ended March 31 was roughly US$250 million, Twitter
Read More 174 Hits 0 Ratings
Bitcoin traders agree to settlement in Mt. Gox class-action suit
Plaintiffs in two class-action suits charging the embattled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox with fraud have agreed to a settlement, and new plans to revive the exchange have been drafted. Earlier this year a class-action suit in
Read More 183 Hits 0 Ratings
Florida commuter's illegal jammer blocked more than cell talkers
Some drivers would love to have a cellphone-free bubble around their cars, but when a Florida man allegedly created one every day on his commute, it didn’t necessarily make the highway a safer place. Jason R. Humphreys
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Big data hype didn't speed growth in the BI market, Gartner says
All the hype around big data last year didn’t drive big growth in the worldwide BI (business-intelligence) and analytics market, according to research firm Gartner. While the BI and analytics market grew about 8 percent
Read More 173 Hits 0 Ratings
Microsoft's prototype keyboard understands gestures
Microsoft’s research division has developed a keyboard that can interpret basic hand gestures, potentially bridging a gap between touch devices and more traditional input methods. [See the keyboard in action in a video
Read More 145 Hits 0 Ratings
Microsoft to close Nokia acquisition Friday 20 April 2014, 19.43 Business
Microsoft to close Nokia acquisition Friday
Image: Jon Phillips The end is nigh. Or is that a new beginning? Either way you look at it, Microsoft on Monday announced that its $7 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone business will finally close this Friday, April 25,
Read More 131 Hits 0 Ratings
AMD steers clear of low-cost tablet market 18 April 2014, 23.18 Business
AMD steers clear of low-cost tablet market
Advanced Micro Devices doesn’t want its chips in low-priced tablets, and is eager to avoid a battle with Intel or ARM, whose chips have driven tablet prices down to under US$100. Growth in the tablet market is driven by
Read More 149 Hits 0 Ratings
Space X rocket en route to ISS with space laser cargo
A Space X Falcon rocket lifted off Friday afternoon for the International Space Station (ISS) from the Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. The mission is the third commercial resupply flight for Space X to the ISS and
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Telerik frees HTML5 collection of components 18 April 2014, 23.18 Business
Telerik frees HTML5 collection of components
Borrowing a page from the recently revised Microsoft playbook, development tools maker Telerik has released as open source the bulk of its Kendo software library of components for building Web and mobile applications The
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Plastic computers taking shape, but won't replace silicon
Can plastic materials morph into computers? A research breakthrough published this week brings such a possibility closer to reality. Researchers are looking at the possibility of making low-power, flexible and inexpensive
Read More 119 Hits 0 Ratings
Was Steve Jobs a jerk? Hiring case questions his character
Tech workers suing over an alleged no-poaching agreement among Silicon Valley firms are fighting an attempt by defendants to ban evidence that might portray Steve Jobs as a bad guy. The case centers on alleged secret
Read More 146 Hits 0 Ratings
Google invites Glass wearers to brave LA's beaches
Users of Google Glass will get to meet and compare their techie headgear this weekend at a spot where appearance is everything. On Saturday in Los Angeles, the Internet company is holding a 3.6-mile run from its offices in
Read More 155 Hits 0 Ratings
Google's future phone: The modular Project Ara 16 April 2014, 11.03 Administrator Business
Google's future phone: The modular Project Ara
  (CNN) -- Google is jumping into its next futuristic hardware project. This time it's a modular smartphone dubbed Project Ara that can be customized by swapping out individual pieces, such as the battery and the
Read More 266 Hits 0 Ratings
Before Project Ara, others envisaged a modular phone, too
The spotlight will fall on Project Ara this week when Google holds a big event for developers, but it’s far from the first company to toy with modular smartphones. Among the first was Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, which showed
Read More 196 Hits 0 Ratings
Connected stuff is catching on -- just don't call it IoT
Many organizations today are looking for things that talk to the Internet. Sensors, cameras, medical equipment and even snowplows are on that wish list. The “Internet of Things” is not. The municipalities that come to
Read More 145 Hits 0 Ratings
Google Glass gets KitKat support, leaves out video calls
Google Glass is getting a big software update to coincide with its one-day sale on Tuesday, but video calling is one feature that’s been put on hold. The Internet-enabled headset will get KitKat, the newest version of
Read More 161 Hits 0 Ratings
How to photograph the 'Blood Moon' 14 April 2014, 20.39 Business
How to photograph the 'Blood Moon'
It’s hard to believe today—especially since you can just look up at the sky and see our crater-covered moon with your naked eyes—but there was a time when people weren’t intimately familiar with what the surface of
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Google patches Android icon permissions attack 14 April 2014, 20.39 Business
Google patches Android icon permissions attack
Google has issued a patch for an attack that could lead an Android user to a phishing site, according to security vendor FireEye. FireEye recently spotted an malicious Android application that could modify the icons of
Read More 163 Hits 0 Ratings
Google updates terms of service to reflect its scanning of users' emails
Google has updated its terms of service to reflect that it analyzes user content including emails to provide users tailored advertising, customized search results and other features. The Internet giant’s scanning of
Read More 154 Hits 0 Ratings
Bitcoin akin to the Internet 20 years ago, digital currency executive says
Bitcoin today is like the Internet of 20 years ago, showing immense promise but in need of much more development, a digital currency executive said Monday, kicking off the Inside Bitcoins conference. As the first digital
Read More 217 Hits 0 Ratings
Social network acted like a jerk, faces FTC complaint
The former social network Jerk.com acted like its name would suggest, by allowing users to label others as jerks and then charging people for the ability to change those profiles, but not delivering on that promise,
Read More 166 Hits 0 Ratings
HP talks up faster speed of Z Turbo Drive PCI-Express SSDs
Hewlett-Packard’s new Z Turbo Drive solid-state drives will be faster than conventional SSDs that plug into hard-drive slots, the company said. The drives, which will be available in 256GB and 512GB storage capacities,
Read More 179 Hits 0 Ratings
Uber now delivers packages with Rush courier service
Not content with delivering people to their destination, Uber is now delivering packages as well. The company rolled out a new service on Monday called Rush, which lets people order pickup and delivery of packages using
Read More 148 Hits 0 Ratings
Microsoft readies its own original programming push
Microsoft took the wraps off plans for original programming on Monday because, honestly, isn’t that what everyone’s doing these days? Actually, it’s more than just Fear of Missing Out that’s motivating Redmond to
Read More 172 Hits 0 Ratings
Windows XP: Chronicle of a death foretold 08 April 2014, 02.16 Business
Windows XP: Chronicle of a death foretold
When Microsoft ends support for Windows XP on Tuesday, a security sinkhole will likely open and gradually widen, threatening hundreds of millions of PCs worldwide in homes, companies, government agencies and schools. Along
Read More 179 Hits 0 Ratings
World Tech Update: Microsoft puts Office on the iPad and Facebook's $2 billion VR bet
This week on World Tech Update, our weekly news video review, we take a closer look at Microsoft’s long-awaited Office for iPad. At his first major press conference as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said he’s committed
Read More 161 Hits 0 Ratings
Trial to proceed in Silicon Valley employee 'no poaching' case
A lawsuit that accuses Google, Apple and other top Silicon Valley companies of driving down wages by agreeing not to hire each other’s workers can go to trial, a judge ruled on Friday. The case alleges that executives
Read More 195 Hits 0 Ratings
Why Zuckerberg prefers drones to Google's balloons
Mark Zuckerberg is determined to bring Internet access—and thus Facebook access—to every corner of the globe, no matter how remote. On Friday, the social network’s CEO said more about how he plans to do that, and it
Read More 168 Hits 0 Ratings
Judge approves class-action suit against Apple in e-books case
A New York judge has given the go-ahead for a group to collectively sue Apple for damages over its collusion with publishers to fix the price of electronic books. Denise Cote, a judge at the U.S. District Court for the
Read More 166 Hits 0 Ratings
There's no bubble in business Wi-Fi, Aerohive CEO says
Aerohive Networks sells not just enterprise Wi-Fi gear but also cloud-based software designed to make it easier to set up and manage a customer’s entire wired and wireless network. Other wireless LAN vendors are moving
Read More 134 Hits 0 Ratings
Judge blocks sales of Typo keyboard on BlackBerry request
A California judge has granted BlackBerry’s wish to temporarily halt sales of an iPhone keyboard produced by start-up Typo Products while the two companies argue over alleged copyright infringement. BlackBerry had
Read More 141 Hits 0 Ratings
California DMV customers may be affected by a credit card breach
Did you renew your driver’s license or pay a fee to the California Department of Motor Vehicles using your credit card? You may want to keep a close watch on your credit card statements. That’s the message the state
Read More 115 Hits 0 Ratings
RealMyst: Masterpiece Edition review: The same Myst you know and love, but prettier
The sun is setting on Myst Island. It dips towards the ocean, which stretches boundless in every direction. From where I stand, the last pale orange rays stretch across the sky, scrabbling for purchase between a few
Read More 133 Hits 0 Ratings
AT&T exec takes to the Internet, takes Netflix to task in the process
In a blog post published Thursday night, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took aim at Comcast—you know, the company Netflix paid in order to get better network access— for its stance on net neutrality. So naturally, AT&T
Read More 170 Hits 0 Ratings
Report: Turkey cuts off a key Twitter workaround by blocking Google DNS
Earlier this week, the Turkish government blocked access to Twitter inside the country in response to a YouTube video that alleges Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's involvement in a corruption scandal. Citizens found
Read More 182 Hits 0 Ratings
Twitter kills its music app, which never got much play
Twitter’s mobile music app, launched last year amid a crowded market for online music services, is being shut down, Twitter said on Friday. Twitter #music will be removed from Apple’s app store on Friday. For those who
Read More 171 Hits 0 Ratings
NSA hacked into servers at Huawei headquarters, reports say
The U.S. National Security Agency has hacked into Huawei Technologies servers, spied on communications of company executives and collected information to plant so-called backdoors on equipment from the Chinese networking
Read More 135 Hits 0 Ratings
SpiderOak streamlines its enterprise secure-cloud pricing to $5 per user
Cloud storage provider SpiderOak has simplified the pricing of its enterprise service, updated its management console and introduced a mobile app for Android and iOS. Enterprises will now pay $5 per user, per month, no
Read More 127 Hits 0 Ratings
Tencent to focus WeChat on markets where competition isn't entrenched
China’s Tencent isn’t letting up on international marketing for its WeChat mobile messaging app, but signaled its plans to avoid competing in markets where rivals such as WhatsApp already have a strong user base. Growth
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Bitcoin's software gets security fixes, new features
The software driving Bitcoin’s network was upgraded Wednesday, with security fixes addressing a problem that defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox blamed for losing nearly half a billion dollars worth of bitcoins. The
Read More 136 Hits 0 Ratings
EA Games site hacked to steal Apple IDs 19 March 2014, 18.42 Business
EA Games site hacked to steal Apple IDs
An Electronic Arts website was hacked in a phishing scheme aimed at the acquisition of Apple IDs and credit card numbers, security researchers reported Wednesday. Security vulnerabilities in a calendar application are
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HP plans 3D printer announcement for June 19 March 2014, 18.42 Business
HP plans 3D printer announcement for June
Hewlett-Packard claims to have solved the two biggest problems with today’s 3D printers and will make its first big technology announcement in that area in June, CEO Meg Whitman said Wednesday. There’s a lot of “buzz
Read More 202 Hits 0 Ratings
NASA 'codeathon' challenge seeks apps for coastal flooding
NASA, with an eye toward Earth-based projects, is calling on software and hardware developers to create new technologies for addressing issues around coastal flooding. The space agency on Wednesday launched its third
Read More 187 Hits 0 Ratings
Sony's mobile strategy puts priority on wearable tech
Now that Sony plans to sell off its fashionable Vaio laptop business and convert its TV business into a subsidiary, the Japanese electronics giant appears poised to beef up its line of mobile products, including
Read More 318 Hits 0 Ratings
Nokia and HTC bury hatchet in patent disputes 09 February 2014, 21.31 Business
Nokia and HTC bury hatchet in patent disputes
Nokia and HTC have settled their long-running patent infringement battles, which played out in several countries and have seen a handful of HTC phones banned from sale in Europe. The two companies, both major players in
Read More 341 Hits 0 Ratings
US seeks information on industry ability to hold bulk phone data
The U.S. government has asked industry for information on whether commercially available services can provide a viable alternative to the government holding bulk phone records for a program of the National Security
Read More 337 Hits 0 Ratings
Foxconn investing B in Indonesia to build factories 09 February 2014, 21.31 Business
Foxconn investing $1B in Indonesia to build factories
Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is investing US$1 billion to build factories in Indonesia, in the company’s latest step to address a major handset market in Asia. Foxconn plans to make the investment over a
Read More 323 Hits 0 Ratings
Patch times improved in 2013, security analysis reports
Software vendors have improved their response to security flaws in the last 12 months but some still take too long to patch the highest-risk vulnerabilities, figures from Swiss testing firm High-Tech Bridge have
Read More 337 Hits 0 Ratings
Pwn2Own security contest offers 5,000 in prizes 09 February 2014, 21.31 Business
Pwn2Own security contest offers $645,000 in prizes
Hewlett-Packard’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) spelled out the rules for its March hacking contest, Pwn2Own, which will put two-thirds of a million dollars in prize money on the table for researchers who can hack the
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Verizon denies throttling Amazon's cloud, Netflix 09 February 2014, 21.31 Business
Verizon denies throttling Amazon's cloud, Netflix
presented by Data center & cloud Verizon is denying a charge leveled by a security expert and seemingly acknowledged by its own customer service department that it is “limiting bandwidth” to Amazon Web Services,
Read More 481 Hits 0 Ratings
Yahoo buys virtual worlds gaming company Cloud Party
presented by Business Issues Yahoo has acquired Cloud Party, a gaming company specializing in virtual worlds, in another deal to give the search giant more engineering chops. Cloud Party provided a multiplayer,
Read More 311 Hits 0 Ratings
Samsung's Apple damages equivalent to 16 days' profit
The US$930 million in damages Samsung was ordered to pay Apple last year for infringing its smartphone patents is more than some device makers earn in a year, but for Samsung it’s equal to just over 16 days’ worth of
Read More 337 Hits 0 Ratings
Toshiba completes acquisition of OCZ Storage 21 January 2014, 21.43 Business
Toshiba completes acquisition of OCZ Storage
Toshiba has completed its acquisition of OCZ Storage Solutions, a failed Silicon Valley maker of solid-state drives, the company said Tuesday. Solid-state drives are storage components built with flash memory that are
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PS4 and Xbox help AMD to a profit, but outlook disappoints
Advanced Micro Devices has reported a profit for the fourth quarter, thanks largely to the sale of its chips in the latest game consoles from Microsoft and Sony. AMD’s forecast for the current quarter seemed to
Read More 275 Hits 0 Ratings
Report: Amazon considering live TV streaming service
Amazon has approached several major media conglomerates to discuss adding live cable TV channels to its Prime Instant Video service, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The idea is still at a very
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Target-related malware was a side job for man living in Russia
In a surprising TV interview, a 23-year-old living in Russia said he helped code a software program that experts believe was eventually modified to steal tens of millions of payment card details from Target. Rinat
Read More 379 Hits 0 Ratings
As Target breach unfolds, information vanishes from Web
At least three security companies have scrubbed information related to Target from the Web, highlighting the ongoing sensitivity around one of the largest-ever data breaches. How hackers broke into Target and installed
Read More 263 Hits 0 Ratings
Google Glass user questioned in Ohio theater for suspected piracy
Google Glass has raised privacy concerns in many countries. It now appears that it is being monitored as a potential aid to copyright infringement. A man who wore Google Glass to a movie theater in Ohio was detained and
Read More 327 Hits 0 Ratings
How Intel is buying, building a piece of the tablet market
Intel has an ambitious goal for 2014: get its Atom chips into 40 million tablets, or four times the number of tablets that had Intel inside in 2013. But rather than do it by tailoring its products to what tablets now
Read More 285 Hits 0 Ratings

Earth News Reports

Pantone-inspired beer packaging 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Pantone-inspired beer packaging
The simplest ideas are often the best. Txaber Design Studio created some packaging for beers that just matched the color of the liquid inside using the corresponding Pantone color. The result is surprisingly good, at least it
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Clever doodles that interact with their environment 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Clever doodles that interact with their environment
Amsterdam-based French illustrator David Troquier released a series of drawings that interact with each other or with their environment. Titled “Cartoonbombing”, this series of doodles does a great job convincing us
Read More 58 Hits 0 Ratings
Get the Eveleth letterpress font family for only 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Get the Eveleth letterpress font family for only $9
Another amazing font released with a huge discount by Yellow Design Studio on MightyDeals. For only $9.- (that’s a 82% discount on the original price), you get a uniquely vintage professional font family. Eveleth supports
Read More 61 Hits 0 Ratings
Gorgeous illustrations on industrial silos 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Gorgeous illustrations on industrial silos
Two Brazilian graffiti artists, Os Gemeos, recently decorated some industrial silos in Vancouver with giant illustrations. They painted their signature yellow cartoonish characters to give some life to a very grey area of the
Read More 60 Hits 0 Ratings
10 awesome multifunctional furniture that are perfect for small spaces
Multifunctional furniture is often very practical, and it also needs to be ingenuous to work well. In this post I share some of the coolest furniture that can serve multiple purposes. 1. The Flop armchair Armchair or bed, you
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14 well-designed posters from GigPosters 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
14 well-designed posters from GigPosters
For music lovers, the gig posters aren’t exactly the best kept secret among their friends. It is a tradition that started in the 60′s and is still going strong. The passion for music has been constantly progressing and
Read More 63 Hits 0 Ratings
Spectacular furniture by Kino Guerin 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Spectacular furniture by Kino Guerin
With Kino Guerin, wood looks like it’s easy to manipulate and fold. He creates furniture that goes as far as tying a knot in itself. So is this furniture sculpture or furniture design? Hard to tell… The post
Read More 57 Hits 0 Ratings
20 amazing and funny t-shirts for geeks 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
20 amazing and funny t-shirts for geeks
Seeking for some amazing and funny t-shirts print? Here we have the collection of 20 t-shirts for geeks who have loved the epic cartoon characters. Try these funny and geeky T-shirts from the NeatoShop designed by artists
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Dreamlike self portraits by Kylli Sparre 20 September 2014, 19.54 Green Architecture
Dreamlike self portraits by Kylli Sparre
Winner of the Sony World Photography Awards 2014, Kylli Sparre creates some poetic and dream-like self portraits that she carefuly sets up. Her graceful photos are exhibited in September at the Qlickeditions gallery in
Read More 55 Hits 0 Ratings
Amazing Self-Driving Stained Glass Car Lets You Sleep on the Way to Work!
Share on TumblrEmail Dominic Wilcox knows that driverless cars will become a reality in the not-too-distant future – and since drivers will not actually need to
Read More 55 Hits 0 Ratings

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Intel, Fossil team up to work on wearables PDF Print E-mail

watch

Everyone wants in on the wearables game—Motorola, Samsung, LG, and if rumors are to be believed, Apple. Not to be outdone, Intel announced a new partnership Friday with watchmaker Fossil to “further develop wearable technology for the fashion industry.”

According to the two companies, Intel and Fossil will team up “to identify, support and develop emerging trends in the wearable technology space” and “work together on emerging products and technologies that will be developed for the fashion-oriented consumer,” according to a joint press release

Presumably, the partnership will eventually result in Fossil-branded wearables (likely smartwatches) with Intel’s technology inside.

In the joint press release, Fossil and Intel put emphasis on developing fashionable wearables. A major critique of early smartwatches is that they are mini-computers first,  watches second—that the fashion aspect comes second. And if wearables are to catch on outside tech enthusiasts, they need to look like something you’ll want to wear. 

Tech companies seem to be starting to “get it”—just take a look at the round-faced Moto 360 and LG G Watch R—but there’s still plenty of work to do. For instance, many current smartwatches are not well suited for those with smaller wrists, as Joanna Stern at The Wall Street Journal points out.

But having a major fashion-driven watchmaker like Fossil on board and providing smartwatches in a variety of sizes and styles should go a long way toward helping take wearables to a more mainstream audience.

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Dreadnought preview: It's like World of Tanks and Battlestar Galactica had a baby PDF Print E-mail

heavy corvette sneak up

"Everyone always wants to be the fast ships at first. And then they die." These are the dour words of the developer watching over my shoulder as I played Dreadnought, a spaceship combat game, last week. He was right. I died almost immediately, picked out of the sky by a much larger ship as I battered ineffectively against its armor.

Here's the easiest way to describe Dreadnought—the way it was described to me, and presumably the way it was described to everyone at PAX, and it's the first thing you think of when you play the game. Remember that scene in Battlestar Galactica where the ship warps in the atmosphere? Yeah, of course you do unless you didn't watch Battlestar Galactica in which case who are you?

Dreadnought is that scene.

heavy support laser attack

A heavy support vehicle attacking a light dreadnought.

It's a spaceship combat game, as I said, but not in the way you're probably thinking. This isn't Elite: Dangerous or Star Citizen or Enemy Starfighter. In fact, it's not even really a game about dogfighting, which is pretty anathema to the last twenty or so years of space game design.

Instead think of Dreadnought like a tank game with three dimensions of movement, like World of Tanks except with spaceships in the starring role. All of the key ideas of a tank game—positioning, for instance—are important here as you glide around obstacles and try to hide until the last possible moment. The PAX map even took place in a planet's atmosphere, making it feel like massive floating tanks (though there are space maps planned for the final release).

akula dreadnought

A titular dreadnought.

There were five ships in the demo I played, ranging from a small sniper/recon ship to the titular Dreadnought, which is your Imperial Star Destroyer/Battlestar size monster of a ship. Each ship is a bundle of compromises, with small ships being more maneuverable but also frail, while larger ships move at a snail's crawl but soak up lots of damage. You can think of the ships as different "classes" from a shooter, considering one is effectively a medic, one is equipped as I mentioned with a long-range weapon, et cetera.

Plus the Dreadnought can warp short distances and it makes a big whoompf noise right before it materializes/starts kicking space-ass and is all around one of the most satisfying moves to pull off in recent history. Oh, and it shoots nukes.

nuke launch

Nuclear missle away! 

But even the smallest ship has a hefty sense of weight that says "I'm a hundred tons of metal" more than "I'm meant for zipping around the galaxy." I'm sure a more experienced player can pull off some complex maneuvers with the smaller ships, but this is not a twitchy dogfighter. It's a tactical game that relies heavily on teamwork.

I had a lot of fun with the round I played at PAX, once I got used to the slow pace. I'm definitely more interested in the space maps (which the developers tell me will feature asteroid fields and ship graveyards) than the in-atmosphere settings, though the backdrop did make for some of those incredible Battlestar Galactica-esque moments.

And hey, the game is going to be free-to-play upon release so there's really nothing stopping you from checking it out. If there's anything good to be said about free-to-play, it's that the barrier to entry is incredibly low regardless of whether the game turns out impressive.

Space. Nukes. Warping. Millions of fictional people dying in massive planetary battles. Trillions of dollars worth of damage per second. Yeah, that's Dreadnought.

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10 hilarious, brutally devious ways PC game developers punish pirates PDF Print E-mail

The Sims 4 was released this week, but some people who eagerly snatched up a copy soon found themselves perplexed by an apparent bug: The entire game eventually became blurry and pixelated, with the effect beginning as a way to obscure nude Sims and blossoming out from there. Did a major error slip through EA's playtesting?

Nope. Those blurry pixels are intentional—and they appear only if you're using an illegitimate version of The Sims 4. Yes, EA is messing with game pirates.

This isn't the first time a developer's decided to get cute with its anti-piracy measures. In fact, some of the methods game makers have used over the years to thwart pirates have been downright insane. Here are some of the craziest, most hilarious examples.

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba seeks up to $21 billion in US IPO PDF Print E-mail

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Alibaba is looking to raise as much as US$21 billion in its U.S. IPO, according to documents filed Friday, making the Chinese e-commerce company’s debut one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history.

Its stock will be priced between $60 and $66 per share, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. At the top of that range, if Alibaba sells just over 320 million shares as planned, it would bring in just over $21 billion. According to published reports, using the midpoint of that range Alibaba would be valued around $160 billion.

The company is expected to begin its global roadshow in New York City on Monday, when executives will meet with potential investors before moving on to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The roadshow is expected to end on Sept. 18 with the pricing of the shares, which would go on sale the following day. Alibaba will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BABA.”

Previous IPO documents showed Alibaba sold more merchandise than eBay and Amazon combined. But instead of using its own inventory of goods, as Amazon does, Alibaba manages an online marketplace for connecting merchants with consumers. The company runs the Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, two of China’s largest online retail sites. In addition, Alibaba affiliate Alipay is China’s largest third-party online payment service.

Alibaba has sold to U.S. customers through its supplier sites AliExpress and Alibaba.com, but the company is looking to expand in this country. It recently launched a new site called 11Main, which currently acts as an invitation-only marketplace offering items from specialty shops for clothing, jewelry and the arts.

One of the company’s biggest challenges in the U.S. is that consumers don’t know the company well.

“When an Internet company of our scale that originated in China enters the global scene, you should expect that it will encounter skepticism from different directions due to differences in cultural perspectives, values and even geopolitical positioning,” said founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, in an accompanying letter to investors.

Yahoo holds roughly a 24 percent stake in Alibaba. But the Internet company will sell roughly 121 million shares in the IPO, according to the prospectus, decreasing Yahoo’s ownership to 16 percent. At $63 per share, the stock Yahoo is selling would be worth about $7.62 billion.

Alibaba was formed in 1999 as a way to help small exporters in manufacturing and trading reach global buyers.

Zach Miners , IDG News Service

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service
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Comparing smartwatches -- what Apple has to beat PDF Print E-mail

PCWorld News

It’s been a big week for smartwatches and the next few days could be even bigger if rumors are true and Apple enters the battle for the wrist on Tuesday.

The company has been such a tremendous force in the smartphone and tablet markets that anything it does could quickly become the standard to which others are measured.

But what does Apple itself have to measure up to?

I spent time on the IFA show floor in Berlin using the new watches from Samsung, LG, Sony, Asus and Motorola and the bar Apple needs to clear is pretty low. All five models are clunky and I get the sense they’re still not above the level of high-tech toys for geeks.

The software

Four of the five phones run Google’s Android Wear operating system, a customized version of Android for smartwatches. It provides alerts about emails, weather, calendar items and details of flights, and there’s also maps, a calculator, games and a fitness tracker.

The exception is Samsung’s Gear S, which runs the Tizen operating system and has a 3G modem built in. It also has a tiny on-screen keyboard that can be used to reply to messages and can even be used to make calls. Samsung is pushing the watch as a mini phone in its own right, but that might be too much.

It’s a good bet that Apple, famous for minimalist design, will tailor its smartwatch to do a small number of things very well rather than a lot of things in a mediocre fashion. It probably won’t be overloading its watch with gizmos and features. An intriguing rumor is that the watch will support wireless payments, something missing from all five watches launched at IFA.

The screen

Just about all the interaction with a watch is done through the touchscreen display, so it’s a shame that none of the watches here had better screens. At around 200 or 300 pixels per inch, they’re noticeably less sharp than the screens on high-end smartphones, some of which have over 400 pixels per inch.

A sharper screen means greater power consumption, so it could be a conscious trade-off by designers, but this is an area that’s ripe for improvement. Apple made waves with its “retina” screens in the past and it’s a natural area for the company to attack competitors.

The battery

On the subject of power, most of the new phones will require charging every day or at least every other day.

With Sony’s Smartwatch 3, that’s via a USB port on the back of the device—a fiddly proposal. LG had a magnetic dock with built in charging terminals but Motorola has gone for wireless charging—a much better idea for daily charging and something that’s rumored to have been adopted by Apple.

The looks

It’s difficult to pass judgement on something as subjective as looks. As with conventional watches, what’s handsome to one person is ugly to another. But while styling differs, there’s one thing constant: all the watches here are about a centimeter thick. That’s perhaps expected for a new technology and an area that will certainly improve, but one that could significantly benefit the first company to make a thin and stylish watch.

Apple’s famous industrial design is perhaps the one piece of its smartwatch that is most anticipated and it would be great if the company came up with something stylish and didn’t imitate a wristwatch from the past. Who said a smartwatch had to look like a wristwatch anyway? One thing’s for sure: whatever Apple comes up with, it will have plenty of imitators.

The protection

On a wrist and exposed to the elements all the time, protection from water and dust is important. A gadget’s resistance to dust and water is signaled by an IP rating and on smartwatches there’s a big range. At IP55, the Asus Zenwatch is only resistant to a little dust and water, while Sony’s Smartwatch 3 is rated to IP68, which means dust won’t get inside and it can be submerged in up to a meter of water with no problem.

Getting this right isn’t perhaps as difficult as miniaturization, but it is a crucial area for Apple. The launch of a smartwatch would be ruined if people complain about scratches and wear and tear after a few days.

@martyn_williams

Martyn Williams , IDG News Service Follow me on Google+

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service.
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At IFA, new smartphones are a harbinger for future trends PDF Print E-mail

PCWorld News

Smartphones introduced at the IFA trade show in Berlin this week highlight trends that will grow more apparent over the next year, including the use of 64-bit processors, LTE-Advanced and super high-resolution screens.

With smartphone makers all having access to the same components it’s a good bet that features and technologies that show up on one device will make their way to other products as well. These were the hardware trends at IFA this year:

64-bit smartphones

Just as 64-bit processing has taken over from 32-bit in PCs, they are poised to do the same in smartphones. They’ll bring better graphics performance with the ability to decode and encode high-resolution video more quickly, according to Intel, and should help speed up features like encryption.

The processors are just becoming available now, and HTC’s Desire 510 and Lenovo’s Vibe Z2 use the 64-bit capable Snapdragon 410 from Qualcomm. HTC has also launched the Desire 820, which uses the Snapdragon 615.

The smartphones won’t take full advantage of the processors until Google launches the 64-bit compatible Android L later this year. Until then, they will use the standard 32-bit version of Android, which Qualcomm’s processors can also run.

In addition to Intel and Qualcomm, Nvidia and MediaTek are also developing 64-bit processors. Apple started the changeover when it launched the iPhone 5s with a 64-bit A7 chip last year.

LTE-Advanced

One advantage with the Snapdragon 805 is support for LTE-Advanced, a network technology that offers speeds up to 300Mbps by sending data over multiple frequency bands at the same time.

For it to work, mobile operators have to upgrade their networks, but that’s slowly becoming a reality. As of the end of the first quarter, ABI Research estimated there were about 60 trials, commitments and commercial deployments worldwide.

The Note 4 and Huawei’s Ascend Mate7, which uses one of the company’s own Kirin processors, both work with the technology.

Quad HD screens

Larger screens with higher resolutions have been one of the biggest smartphone trends in the last couple years. While screen sizes have reached a point where making them bigger doesn’t make sense, the resolution still has room for improvement.

LG started the trend with the launch of the G3, which has an impressive 5.5-inch screen with 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution, or quad HD. Samsung followed suit with the Note 4’s 5.7-inch quad HD screen, which is also superb.

Next year it’s likely that we’ll see more smartphones with the higher resolution, as vendors come under pressure to set their flagship devices apart from increasingly competent and much cheaper models.

Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service , IDG News Service

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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OneNote for Android adds handwriting support PDF Print E-mail

microsoft onenote for androidMark Hachman

Microsoft released a major update to its OneNote for Android app today, adding handwriting input and tablet support and bringing Android users closer to the OneNote experience the company envisioned for the Microsoft Surface.

When the Surface Pro 3 was announced, OneNote figured significantly into the release. Microsoft’s Panos Panay positioned the tablet as an effective digital inking device that even launches OneNote when users click the stylus. Once inside the app, users can mix and match typed notes and text, written annotations, audio, and images. And thanks to another update today, the Windows app can also import files such as PowerPoint documents and PDFs, as well as highlight text in notes and print them.

Many of these features have now been brought to the OneNote for Android app.

The addition of handwriting support is long overdue. Suddenly OneNote for Android feels like OneNote. I downloaded the app onto our Galaxy Tab Pro, a large Android tablet with roughly the same dimensions of the Surface Pro 3 and a stylus to boot.

formatting with onenote android Microsoft

The OneNote app for Android includes an Office-style ribbon. Unfortunately, to format text, you need to click the text, then the "Home" tab, then apply your edits.

You can’t perform the wake-on-click-the-stylus trick—clicking the button on the Tab Pro’s stylus brings up the familiar Samsung radial menu and nothing OneNote specific. But just the ability to type in a note, pull in an image, and then scrawl an inked note next to it is refreshing. You still can't import a PDF or PowerPoint presentation into the OneNote for Android app, but you can get around it with a quick snapshot or by exporting the files as JPEGs. 

By bringing new capabilities to its standard apps on various platforms at different times (Microsoft recently updated its Mac and iOS versions of OneNote, as well),  it feels a bit like watching a horse race run by Windows, the Mac, iPads and iPhones, Windows Phones, and Android devices. Personally, it’s still frustrating to pull out a Lumia phablet and be forced to either type or dictate a quick note to myself because OneNote for Windows Phone hasn’t yet implemented handwriting support. 

We gave the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro high marks for its productivity earlier this year, based on its large screen size and multi-window capability. Now, Microsoft has given the Tab Pro and its competitors an additional boost.

Microsoft’s OneNote for Android is available now in the Google Play Store.

@markhachman

Mark Hachman Senior Editor, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

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FCC allowed to question AT&T, Verizon on business broadband pricing PDF Print E-mail

PCWorld News

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has the green light to collect new data on the pricing of so-called special access services, the middle-mile network services used to deliver business broadband and mobile service backhaul.

The U.S. White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has given the FCC permission to collect new data in the long-running dispute over special access pricing. The FCC announced this week that the OMB approval was needed for the agency to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act, a law designed to reduce the paperwork burden the government imposes on businesses.

AT&T and Verizon Communications control an estimated 80 percent of the special access market, and competitors have complained for years that the two dominant telecom carriers are charging excessive prices for special access services. Special access is used by businesses for broadband, credit-card processing and cash machines, as well as by competing telecom and mobile carriers for backhaul.

Several competitors to AT&T and Verizon proposed the OMB approval for data collection in the FCC’s slow-moving inquiry into special access rates. The FCC circulated a proposed order on special access in mid-2012, but late that year, also asked for comments on the special access market. Those comments aren’t due until late this year.

Complaints about special access rates date back to years earlier.

OMB’s approval will help “pave the way for the commission’s review of business broadband service providers’ market power, business practices, and pricing,” carrier TW Telecom said in a statement. “The FCC’s access to this pertinent market data will help open the window to increased competition in the industry.”

The NoChokePoints Coalition, a group calling for FCC intervention in the special access market, called the OMB approval an important step forward.

“Countless industries and organizations and hundreds of millions of customers across the country depend on this critical broadband infrastructure to connect our cell phones, workplaces, banks, factories, data centers, universities, and hospitals to enable communications among customers, employees, suppliers, government, and each one of us,” a coalition spokeswoman said by email.

The FCC last collected data on special access in 2007 and showed large profits by the incumbent carriers, she said.

Asked for a response to the OMB approval, an AT&T spokeswoman pointed to a 2012 blog post by Bob Quinn, the company’s senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs.

FCC inquiries into the special access market are unnecessary because the telecom industry is moving to newer technologies, AT&T has argued.

FCC data collection on special access fees comes “against a backdrop where the industry ... is rapidly moving yesteryear’s copper-based special access services to fiber-based, IP services,” Quinn wrote in 2012. “This transition is attracting new competitors, creating greater network capacity and broadband speeds, and promoting industry-wide investment and job-creation.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, however, called special access “increasingly important in the digital economy.” The new data collection will help the FCC “better understand competition in this marketplace, and the impact on consumers as we pursue the commission’s statutory mandate to ensure special access services are provided at reasonable rates and on reasonable terms and conditions,” he said in a statement.

Grant Gross Reporter, IDG News Service

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service.
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Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft's board PDF Print E-mail

PCWorld News

About six months after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has relinquished his seat on the company’s board of directors effective immediately, citing a busy schedule and confidence in the company’s current and future financial performance.

“As I approach the six month mark of my retirement and your appointment as CEO, I have been reflecting on my life, my ongoing ownership of Microsoft stock, and my involvement with the company,” Ballmer told his successor, Satya Nadella, in a letter made public Tuesday. “I have reached some conclusions and wanted to share them with you.”

Since leaving Microsoft, “I have become very busy,” Ballmer added, citing his purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, civic activities and teaching. “I have confidence in our approach of mobile-first, cloud-first, and in our primary innovation emphasis on platforms and productivity.”

Ballmer noted that he holds more Microsoft shares than anyone apart from index funds, and expects “to continue holding that position for the foreseeable future.”

Overall, “given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Ballmer added.

Nadella thanked Ballmer in a letter of his own, which was also released Tuesday.

“It’s been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you,” Nadella said. “Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on—and Microsoft will thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision.”

Chris Kanaracus , IDG News Service

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.
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Page 1 of 27

Computer News Reports

Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype hands-on: A VR alien waved at me and I waved back
We don't really like to swear on this site. By and large PCWorld is a family-friendly affair. Which is a shame, because at Oculus Connect on Saturday I got hands-on time with Crescent Bay, the latest internal Oculus Rift
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New Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype packs integrated audio and 360-degree tracking
Kicking off day two of the Oculus Connect virtual reality conference in Los Angeles, CA, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe took to the stage to announce a new Crescent Bay prototype—not the consumer release nor another developer
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Oculus open-sources original Rift developer kit's firmware, schematics, and mechanics
Kicking off the Oculus Connect conference in Los Angeles this weekend, Oculus's Nirav Patel announced that the original Oculus Rift developer kit (DK1) is now fully open-source, with the exception of the pieces that aren't
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IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT 20 September 2014, 19.54 Computers
IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT
The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to build a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies. IEEE P2413, which the Institute of Electrical and
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Samsung launches free'My Knox' app for securing its latest smartphones
Samsung on Thursday announced price reductions and updates for its Knox security and management software for IT shops and a free My Knox service that is directly available to professionals using ActiveSync. My Knox can be
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InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source
Increasingly stiff competition in the database market has claimed another victim, as InfiniDB has ceased operations effective immediately with plans to file for bankruptcy. “The company and technology have developed over
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Apple Watch under scrutiny for privacy by Connecticut attorney general
The attorney general of the U.S. state of Connecticut is concerned about the privacy implications of Apple Watch’s handling of consumers’ health information. In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, George Jepsen has asked
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Data loss detection tool mines the ephemeral world of 'pastes'
It’s not easy to figure out if your data has been collected by hackers, but an online tool has been expanded to hunt through one of the most prolific sources of leaked data, known as “pastes.” The most well-known
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'Tiny banker' malware targets US financial institutions 15 September 2014, 21.19 Computers
'Tiny banker' malware targets US financial institutions
A banking trojan, known for its small size but powerful capabilities, has expanded the number of financial institutions it can collect data from, according to security vendor Avast. Tiny Banker, also known as Tinba, was
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Wi-Fi group acts to simplify peer-to-peer video, printing and other tasks
The Wi-Fi Direct standard for linking two devices without a LAN is about to get easier to use. Wi-Fi Direct is the peer-to-peer version of the hugely popular wireless technology that the Wi-Fi Alliance has now been
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Facebook open sources its mcrouter data-caching tool 15 September 2014, 21.19 Computers
Facebook open sources its mcrouter data-caching tool
Facebook is releasing mcrouter, its software for turning many cache servers around the world into one distributed system, as open source. The company announced the release on Monday at its @Scale conference in San
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Yahoo slams new 'digital will' law, says users have privacy when they die
What should happen to your personal digital communications—emails, chats, photos and the like—after you die? Should they be treated like physical letters for the purposes of a will? Yahoo doesn’t think so. The
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Dense server battle to heat up with Intel's Xeon D next year
Ahead of competition from ARM servers, Intel is putting more weight in the server space with a new Xeon D family of chips, which will be in systems next year. Xeon D chips will be the first server chips based on the
Read More 134 Hits 0 Ratings
SAP, Ericsson team up for mobile management and apps 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
SAP, Ericsson team up for mobile management and apps
SAP and Ericsson have joined forces to help enterprises manage mobile devices and apps as a service. The partnership will turn SAP’s Mobile Secure software suite for mobile device management, security and applications
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Coinbase expands Bitcoin services in Europe 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
Coinbase expands Bitcoin services in Europe
Coinbase, one of the more prominent exchanges for buying and selling bitcoins, is opening up wider access to the digital currency in Europe. The company announced Wednesday the international expansion of its service into
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T-Mobile takes Wi-Fi voice and text everywhere 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
T-Mobile takes Wi-Fi voice and text everywhere
T-Mobile USA is making a big bet on Wi-Fi, offering unlimited voice calls and text messaging over any Wi-Fi network on every new smartphone it sells, including on networks outside the U.S. The new offering, called Wi-Fi
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Intel talks wireless charging and RealSense 3D cameras, coming over the next year
Image: Intel Intel plans to make the wire-free future of the PC a reality as early as the first quarter of 2015, when the first “Skylake” reference designs ship to hardware makers. Kirk Skaugen, the senior vice
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Chinese regulator urges Qualcomm to help local companies make money
Qualcomm is being urged by a top Chinese regulator to make money in the country in tandem with its local partners. On Wednesday, Lu Wei, the head of China’s State Internet Information Office, weighed in on the
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The Call to Adventure – On Doing What You Love 06 September 2014, 20.29 Computers
The Call to Adventure – On Doing What You Love
Over the course of the last six months it’s been quite an interesting experience, to say the least, being asked, on a rather frequent basis, why did I leave big corporate life at IBM, specially, with the last round of dream
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Pardon the Interruption … From Adaptation into Engagement by Luis Suarez #soccnx
A couple of months back you would remember how I put together a blog post over here on an upcoming business trip I was about to embark on heading to Prague, by mid-June, to speak a couple of times at the Social Connections VI
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#LeadWithRespect Meme: a Challenge for 21st Century Management
I can’t remember the last time that I participated on a blog carnival or meme blog series for that matter. I guess it’s been far too long, so when my good friend Cecil Dijoux launched a meme invitation to a group of us
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Active Listening – When Shutting Up Matters 22 August 2014, 19.32 Computers
Active Listening – When Shutting Up Matters
There is a lot that the business world can learn from NGOs in general. And vice versa, I am sure. We all know that. But if there is anything that I have learned just recently that certainly has stroked a chord with me in
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Airbnb to reveal 124 New York hosts to attorney general
Airbnb will hand over information on 124 of its hosts in New York to comply with a request from the state attorney general, who is investigating the legality of the service, the company said Friday. The attorney general
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US warns 'significant number' of major businesses hit by Backoff malware
Over a thousand major enterprise networks and small and medium businesses in the U.S. have been compromised by a recently discovered malware package called “Backoff” and are probably unaware of it, the U.S. Department
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Google's future phone: The modular Project Ara:   (CNN) -- Google is jumping into its next futuristic hardware project. This time it's a modular smartphone dubbed Project Ara that can be customized by swapping out individual pieces, s...
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