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Apple to debut online TV streaming service with 25 channels

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Apple recently slashed the price of the Apple TV to $69 and also announced the HBO Now streaming service is landing on its platform. Now we learn that Apple has been in talks with big broadcasting companies to launch a subscription-based online TV streaming service, as reported by the WSJ.

There has to be a good reason why Apple TV is alive even though Steve Jobs never liked the idea of it. Read more »

Microsoft is selling Xbox Music Pass for $31.41 on Pi Day

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March 14 is written as 03.14 in the MM/DD format popular in the US. Riding on the fad of specific days, the March 14 happens to be a Pi Day and Microsoft is offering sweet discounts on the digital sweepstakes.

Microsoft is celebrating the Pi Day by offering year-long Xbox Music Pass for just $31.41 instead of the regular price $99. Read more »

Snapchat getting a $200 million dollar investment from Alibaba

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You know Snapchat right? That kind of weird photo messenger that allows exchanging self-destructing shots. Well it turns out, that what started as a silly university startup has grown into one of those rare businesses that everybody wants in on.

Industry sources now hint that Alibaba, China’s online shopping giant is also taking a huge interest in the service and plans to invest $200 million in it, on a valuation of a whopping $15 billion. In fact, just last month, the Los Angeles-based chat company was in talks to raise another $500 million, independent of Alibaba’s offer. This would price the company even higher, between $16 and $19 billion. Read more »

Google hints at USB Type-C connector in Android phones

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Apple made a big deal of the USB Type-C connector in the new 12″ Apple MacBook, but its competitors are keen to point out that it’s not the only one in that boat.

Along with the announcements of the new Chromebook Pixel, Google declared its commitment towards this new connector and hints at it being used in a lot of Chromebooks and Android phones in near future. Read more »

MediaTek may soon be powered by AMD graphics

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MWC is a lot more than just a show floor for device announcements, it is the largest venue for mobile world tech and most-importantly – innovation. A lot of things can be learned at the show about the future plans of industry players and a possible cooperation between MediaTek and AMD is definitely among the most interesting.

Industry sources hint at a major cooperation between the two companies that has been under way for quite some time now. So, all things considered, AMD might be returning to the mobile GPU scene as a vendor for tailor-made graphics accelerators for MediaTek SoCs. This is all great news and the partnership could potentially be huge for both parties. Read more »

PhotoFast EVO C – the first ever flash drive to combine a lightning port, USB type A and type C

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PhotoFast has built a solid reputation for delivering one of the first iOS flash drive solutions. Granted, it is sort of a weird niche, but they are still pretty good at what they do. The company’s latest creation is very in-tune with Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook, announced yesterday. That laptop is a pioneer in its adoption of the new USB type C standard and PhotoFast has wasted no time in offering what could well be your first accessory to go with the ultra-thin Mac.

The flash drive in question is essentially meant to be used with iOS devices, through the lightning port on one side, as well as more conventional USB hosts, like PCs, thanks to the type A connector on the other end. Upon first inspection, there is nothing really special about the device, but a closer inspection reveals, that the traditional USB houses the much smaller, reversible type C connector. It is concealed in the bottom plastic part of the type A connector and slides out when needed. Read more »

Apple TV with a new slashed price of $69 and a new HBO Now streaming service

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Apple’s “Spring Forward” event is still ongoing and it seems it will be full of announcements. The presentation kicked off with some interesting news on Apple TV and TV fans altogether. Apple’s own TV box will now retail for $69 instead of its $99 price tag.

Watching your favorite TV shows on Apple devices will also become significantly easier, well your favorite HBO shows, that is, thanks to HBO Now. The TV network’s new application will offer streaming shows exclusively on Apple devices. To use the new service you have to be in the US and on an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, with broadband connection. This will set you back $14.99 a month, which is about what an HBO GO subscription currently costs, but still nearly twice as much as paying for a Netflix account. HBO now will premiere this April. Read more »

Samsung increases R&D spending, decreases ad budget

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Samsung is going through some rougher times than it’s used to with sales last year falling 9.8%. According to an audit report, Samsung Electronics will be increasing its research and development (R&D) budget around 7.4% to KRW 15.3 trillion, that is $13.8 billion.

The company will be spending over a billion dollars a month for R&D this year. Another way to look at it, 7.4% of sales go to R&D. That’s the most Samsung had ever spent on developing new products. Read more »

Imagine your SatNav software avoiding areas of poor cellular signal, Apple holds the patent now

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One of Apple’s numerous patent applications has been granted a green light today and unlike most other vague texts, this one is quite interesting, particularly in its implications. The Cupertino tech giant now has the sole legal right to produce a “Navigation system acquisition and use of cellular coverage map data”.

What this entails is a system, which is able to model SatNav routing options, based on cell signal strength. The idea is that you cell phone is pretty aware of the signal strength at any given time and thanks to anonymous data reporting, Apple has that information at hand. This can then be aggregated on a map and used to suggest routes that avoid areas with shady cell strength or even, perhaps, too congested places. Read more »

New “Freak” SSL exploit may be a major threat to online security

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The name “Heartbleed” will ring a bell to almost anyone. It was center stage in a quite significant security crisys in 2014. In its essence, it was a fault that plagued the widely-used TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol, used to protect HTTP connections. That problem was quickly dealt away with by an emergency patch to the OpennSSL cryptography library which contained the vulnerability.

News has come today that researchers have found another vulnerability in the same package, which could, once again, expose a lot of critical and personal data to malicious attacks. Just like Heartbleed, the new exploit, dubbed “FREAK attack” targets the SSL/TLS protocol, widely used for securing online connections. This new exploit, however is not solely limited to servers, but could put browsers at risk as well. Read more »

Hackaball – a smart programmable ball that reimagines old-school games and empowers creativity

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Hackaball is the brain child of a group of entrepreneurs who long to revive more traditional social kid games by giving them a new tech twist. What seems like a simple rubber toy has been carefully designed so that it can compete with all the distraction and allure of modern-day tech.

The goal, of course, is to weave the young generation away from the screen and promote more social outdoor activities, but the toy seems to be equally appealing to adults as well.

The Hackaball is packed full of electronics, including – a set of LED’s, a speaker, gyroscope, accelerometer, vibration motor, rechargeable battery and, of course as small processor with a little bit of memory to make it come alive. Read more »

Glympse location sharing app gets more car-friendly with a car mode and MirrorLink integration

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Glymspe has released a new application today, which is meant to simplify the usage of the location sharing service within vehicles. The new application is essentially an add-on to the main app and provides a new simplified dashboard interface as well as MirrorLink compatibility.

If you are unfamiliar with what Glympse does, it is basically a very user-intuitive location sharing service. It is meant to quickly tell your contacts where you are and when you are arriving all in a very simple manner.

To do so, you just fire up the app, select a contact and a period for active location tracking and simply hit send. The recipient will then receive a link where he or she can track you current whereabouts until the period you specified expires. Read more »

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu hands-on

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We stopped by the Ubuntu stand to play with the Meizu MX4 running the novel OS. Meizu had been building up to the MWC by teasing the new edition of the MX4, which happens to be only the second smartphone booting Ubuntu, after the entry-level BQ Aquaris E4.5.

When it comes to hardware, the MX4 is the exact same device we reviewed a few months ago in its Android flavor. It sports a 5.36-inch display of 1152 x 1920 pixel resolution, a Mediatek chipset with an octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It’s a distinctly better equipped device than the BQ Aquaris E4.5, and one that can be a more widely recognizable ambassador to the emerging OS platform. Read more »

EPIC is making the popular Unreal engine 4 open source and free for all

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Tim Sweeney, CEO, technical director and original co-founder on Epic Games announced today that the company is making the latest version of its famous Unreal engine free to download and use. The fourth version of the complete and very impressive creative suite is now open source, which means that developers can not only use the powerful tools, but also freely tweak them and ideally make them better.

There is somewhat of a catch though. The software package is free for use in everything all the way from educational purposes to commercial projects, but Epic still wants to capitalize on its creation. The scheme they have come up with is ingenious. Instead of charging its current $19 monthly subscription fee, the team is making the entire platform free-for-all with the agreement that if your Unreal-based creation starts making more than $3,000 per month, per quarter, they are entitled to 5% of that gross revenue. Read more »

Exclusive: OnePlus to enter a new product category in April – and it’s not a smartwatch or a tablet

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At the Mobile World Congress fair grounds in Barcelona we ran into Carl Pei, Global Director of OnePlus Global, and he shared some interesting information with us. OnePlus is preparing an entrance into a new product category.

Sadly, he didn’t specify which one it is, but he said what it isn’t – a smartwatch or a tablet. Does that mean the rumors of a OnePlus smartwatch are dead. Read more »