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Sony releases cryptic CES 2015 teaser video

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With CES 2015 only a few days away the hype is on and companies are already gearing up for the marketing avalanche to come. Teasers and early announcement are starting to surface with everybody working hard to outshine competitors in the battle for consumer attention.

Keeping true to this tradition Sony created a really artsy teaser in the wake of this year’s tech show. This clip is only 43 seconds long and pretty vague in its message. It is full of various time-lapses, vivid colors and lights and a lot of fine camera work and the whole thing comes across as very emotionally charged. Read more »

Sony unveils Single-Lens Display Module, its own smart glasses

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While the Google Glass project seems to have run its course Sony is picking up the slack with its Single-Lens Display Module. Unlike Glass, Sony’s device can be attached to conventional corrective glasses, sunglasses and even goggles.

Not much is known about the device itself though the company will make it available next year and will release the SDK to select partners. Read more »

Skype offers India users free mobile and landline calls to US and Canada

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Skype announced a new promotion today for its users in India. For a limited time up until March 1, 2015 (00:01 IST) all new and current Skype users in the fast-growing India market will be able to benefit from the offer. Interestingly enough calls can be both personal and business, but certain limitations do apply to prevent abuse of the service.

You can read the entire terms and services on the promotion page, but unsurprisingly Skype have taken steps to prevent unwanted telemarketing and spam throughout the promotional period. Read more »

Robin Williams, World Cup and Ebola top Google’s 2014 search

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It’s that time of the year when we can take time and look back at what gathered the most attention. There’s no better place to do that than Google’s search – the most popular tool on the internet.

Google has rounded off the most popular searches and stories in its rebranded Year in Search 2014, formerly Google Zeitgeist. The most searched topic on Google for 2014 was Robin Williams’ passing followed by the FIFA World Cup, the Ebola outbreak, Malaysia Airlines’ lost MH370 flight, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and many more. Read more »

Yatse – the XBMC/Kodi Android remote app gets material treatment in its latest update

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Yatse is one of those awesome apps that you might not even know exists, and yet can’t live without once discovered. The app is a powerhouse and all-in-one tool that can satisfy the needs of even the pickiest XBMC user.

Yesterday, it was finally ushered into the new material trend and how has a fresh new look and is as stylish as ever. It is exciting to see that the app is getting the attention it deserves and is still in active development, which reassured fans it is here to stay and will keep up with the rapid XBMS development of late.

For those unfamiliar with XBMC, recently renamed to Kodi for legal reasons, it is one of the most popular open-source media player software suits. But that description definitely does not do it justice. It actually represent a monumental amount of effort from a multitude of people who have managed to create one of the best, if not the best and most complete multimedia management platforms in existence to date.

Yatse builds upon the already impressive experience that Kodi provides and takes it to a whole new level. Read more »

Apple’s Glass Lantern store in Istanbul wins a design award

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Apple puts design and minimalism on a high pedestal and that even extents to its stores. The Institution of Structural Engineers awarded an Apple store in Istanbul, Turkey the Supreem Award for Structural Engineering Excellence.

The store is dubbed “Glass Lantern” and with good reason – its walls are completely transparent. Read more »

You can now use bitcoins to buy digital content from Microsoft

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Nearly a year after adding a Bitcoin currency converter to its Bing search engine, Microsoft has started accepting the digital currency as a mode of payment for apps, games, and other digital content on Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores. A Coindesk report says that the software giant has partnered with Bitpay to enable Bitcoin payments.

According to the Redmond-based company’s payments information page, which contains detailed steps on how to add money to your Microsoft account with Bitcoin, the feature is currently available to US-based customers who can now use Bitcoin to add money to their Microsoft account. Read more »

GSMArena labs: Check out our eyesight test to find out your screen pixel density limits

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Android phone manufacturers have been accused of pushing for higher resolution displays purely for marketing purposes. We have to admit, we were pretty skeptical ourselves whether a small, pocketable phone needs a 1080p screen, let alone more. Having seen the first wave of QHD devices, we’ve come around – the extra resolution does make a difference, especially with the ever increasing screen sizes.

But where’s the cutoff limit at which you stop seeing any further benefit from adding extra pixels per inch? We’ve devised a test to help you find out. Read more »

Sony’s Xperia Aquatech store – a unique marketing promotion and amazing underwater experience

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Earlier today Sony opened its first of a kind underwater store. But before you put on your bathing suits, there is a slight catch. The Xperia Aquatech store is a promotional activity, carried by the Japanese company in Dubai, or rather 4 meter under sea level near the city.

The three daylong event aims to demo the marine capabilities of some of Sony’s water-proof devices and most of all build publicity. The guest list is very short, with only competition winners, media and VIPs attending and from the looks of it was nothing short of a spectacular experience.

Attendees are required to participate in some mandatory scuba diving training and are put under the constant supervision of a diving instructor. Read more »

You can now get three months of Spotify premium for 99 cents

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There is no doubt that Spotify has changed the music industry forever. The micro-purchasing, ad-supported streaming service that it offers has turned into more than a household name. If you are like most Spotify users, however, the words “try Spotify premium” have been drilled so deeply into your mind that hearing them while listening to music has become more or less the norm. If this is the case and you are among the millions hooked on Spotify’s set of features and experiences, than there has never been a better time to take the premium version out for a spin.

Now you can get three whole months of uninterrupted music listening pleasure for only 99 cents. Read more »

Samsung ranked as world’s second-biggest R&D spender of 2014

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Barring Volkswagen, Samsung Electronics has surpassed all other global companies in terms of R&D spending this year, according to a report from Strategy&. The South Korean company has been ranked No. 1 among all technology companies and No. 2 across all industries.

According to the sustainability report 2014, the company has boosted its R&D workforce by 27% since 2010, which now stands at 63,628 employees. In 2012, Samsung opened an R&D center in Finland, followed by one in Silicon Valley the next year. This year, the company has spent around 6.4 percent of its total revenue, or $13.4 billion, on research and development. Read more »

Samsung selling its fiber optics business to Corning

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A day after the company announced annual management changes, which turned out to be smaller than expected, Samsung Electronics announced that it has agreed to sell its optical material business to US-based specialty glass maker Corning.

“We have decided to sell our fibre optics business, in order to focus on our core business areas,” a company spokesperson said. Read more »

Google tracks Santa once again, introduces kids to coding

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Google has had a long history of offering tailored holiday experiences and contributing to festivities, especially around this time of the year. Google’s Santa tracker will again allow kids and holiday spirited parents to keep tabs on jolly old saint Nick as he goes about his Christmas activities.

The experience is now more interactive that ever, with users getting a chance to not only follow Santa on his trip around the world on Christmas eve, but to visit a fully interactive, animated HTML5 version of his famous North Pole village. The small snowy community is complete with everything from reindeer to elves and decorations, all created in a very slick and whimsical art style that, as one would expect, is very much in tune with current Google design language. Read more »

Samsung announces $2 billion share buyback

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Samsung has let the markets know that it wants to buy back $2 billion worth of its own shares. Specifically, the electronics giant will nab 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferred shares. The move represents its first share buyback since 2007, and the second biggest one ever.

The point of the buyback is reportedly for Samsung to stabilise its share price and boost value for its shareholders, who have been none too happy with the Korean company’s latest results, especially its falling profits. Read more »

Samsung sued by Milk Studios for name misuse

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Milk Studios, an advertising agency based in New York, has filed a lawsuit against Samsung over the use of their name.

The Korean giant has, according to an official statement “internationally, willingly and knowingly” been using the Milk brand mane in its services. Read more »