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Newly opened West Lake Apple Store in China attracts huge crowds

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Today the ribbon was cut and the West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China opened its doors for customers. The event attracted a huge crowd of fans eager to check out one of the company’s largest retail stores in Asia.


Image source: bruce_shia on Instagram

Tim Cook also promoted the store on Twitter saying “Starting Something New in Hangzhou, China!” The latest store is part of a total of five outlets in China. The rest will open before the Chinese New Year on February 19. Read more »

These are the most often used and least secure passwords

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The ever-growing number of subscriptions and site registrations that the Internet has brought upon us in recent years has meant that a pile of usernames and passwords need to be remembered. Apparently, many users take the easy route and pick simple passwords, which has meant that the top 25 most common ones, that have been exposed, are chosen by as much as 2.2% of users.

Topping the list of most widespread passwords of 2014 is longtime favorite “123456″, followed closely by the most natural of all, “password”. Read more »

Meizu and Haier partnership on home project announced

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Meizu, one of the top ten smartphone manufacturers in China has announced today that it is joining forces with Haier, which most probably hints at an upcoming array of connected home appliances. Haier Group has a long tradition of developing, manufacturing and selling a wide array of consumer electronics, ranging from air conditioners, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, all the way to mobile phones, computers and televisions.

The partnership seems perfectly in tune with Meizu’s recent announcement that their upcoming launch event on January 28 will revolve around a “Connected” life. Furthermore the push towards connected appliances and smart homes has been steadily gaining momentum with massive group ventures, such as project Thread leading the way. It was only a matter of time before the rest of tech world adopts the new aspiration and Meizu appears to be next in line to usher forth a new way of life, along with the likes of Google and Samsung. Read more »

Twitter acquires ZipDial startup in its first buyout in India

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In an effort to expand its presence in India, Twitter has made it first acquisition in the country, gobbling up a Bengaluru-based startup ZipDial, which offers services like missed calls for user verification and alerts to its customers. Although the financial details of the deal were not revealed, a TechCrunch report pegs the monetary value at around $30-$40 million.

Founded in 2010, ZipDial assigns companies special phone numbers that they associate with their brands and use in their print or TV commercials. Users just have to make a missed call, one that disconnects before the other party answers, to these phone numbers following which they begin receiving inbound content and further engagement on their phone in real-time through voice, SMS or an app notification. Read more »

Google Search and Maps will inform you of ticket availability for live events

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Google is making buying tickets for live events a bit less convoluted by striking a deal with live event companies Ticketfly, Ticketmaster and AXS. Now, tickets for live shows will be offered to you via Google’s Search and Maps services on both mobile and desktop.

Upon searching for a specific venue, you will see upcoming events and whether or not tickets are currently available. Artist schedules will also appear when you search for a specific band or performer. Read more »

Apple, Google propose to settle antipoaching suit for $415 million

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A few days ago, there were reports that four Silicon Valley companies, including Apple and Google, have agreed to a new settlement aimed at resolving an antitrust class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to avoid poaching each anothers’ employees. Although there was no word on the settlement amount at that time, it is now being reported that the companies, which also include Adobe and Intel, have agreed to pay a total of $415 million to settle the dispute.

The proposed settlement, which is $90.5 million more than a previous deal that was rejected by a US judge, was revealed in a motion filed by the firms yesterday in US District Court in San Jose, California. Read more »

Firefox 35 comes with a cross-browser video chat, improved App ecosystem and other improvements

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Firefox Hello is one of Mozilla’s most exciting innovations. It is an implementation of the WebRTC API that allows easy browser-to-browser voice, video and p2p file sharing all without any additional plugins.

While the standard itself is not new and Firefox Hello has been floating around as an addon for the open-source browser, version 35 bundles it straight into the core of the application and makes it easily accessible. Read more »

Facebook considered investing into Xiaomi, insiders say

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Xiaomi is barely a few years old, but is already the top smartphone manufacturer in China and among the top makers worldwide. It’s eyeing global dominance though its presence outside its home country is still fairly small. Facebook is by far the biggest social network around the world – except in China where it’s blocked by government censors.

The two companies sound like a good match for each other – Xiaomi wants out, Facebook wants into China. Read more »

Spotify now has 15 million paid subscribers

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Spotify is undoubtedly one of the biggest revolutions to come to the audio industry ever since Napster was stirring up heat online. With the New Year the music master has a lot to be proud of as it recently announced that it now has 15 million paid subscribers and the whopping 60 million plus active users.

Last November these very same numbers were circling around 10 million paid and 40 million total users, so this represents a huge leap forward and foretells a bright future for the streaming service, provided that legal issues don’t get too severe. Read more »

With over 170,000 attendees, CES 2015 becomes the largest show in history

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This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that took place in Las Vegas broke all records to become the largest show in history, according to a VentureBeat report. The event witnessed a total of over 170,000 attendees (of which over 45,000 were from outside the US) compared to around 160,000 a year ago.

“This CES vastly exceeded our expectations. The show inspired and likely gave almost every attendee a sense that innovation will provide solutions to a range of global issues from the environment and agriculture to transportation, health and safety,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Read more »

The Rise and Demise of Nokia, an infographic

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Did you know that Nokia started off as a paper mill in the Grand Duchy of Finland, then part of the Russian Empire? The company got its name from the town Nokia, where the second such mill was build. Also named after the town is Finnish Rubber Works. These two, plus Finnish Cable Works combined in 1922 to make the Nokia Corporation.

The joint company increasingly moved into communication equipment, finally releasing its first mobile phone in 1987. This infographic details Nokia’s rise to the top and eventual downfall. Read more »

Sony puts off PlayStation 4 release in China

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As some of you surely know China was placed under a foreign console ban for the last 14 year, preventing big international companies to sell their products on the market. This is just one of numerous government policies put into place to assure proper content filtration aligned with official policy.

A resolution was finally voted last year and Beijing officially lifted the restriction, but a lot of conditions and limitations still apply. Sony Corp has announced its firm intention to release its latest console – the PlayStation 4 to new market and the event was scheduled for January 11. Read more »

Qualcomm celebrating 2015 CES by giving away Samsung Note 4, HTC Desire Eye, Motorola Droid Turbo, and more

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To celebrate the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) happening this week in Las Vegas, Qualcomm has started a sweepstakes that allows US residents (age 18 older) a chance to win some really cool prizes. Dubbed Qualcomm #InventForBetter, the sweepstakes runs through Friday (4:00:00 pm PT) this week.

To enter, all you have to do is to sign into your Twitter account, follow Qualcomm, and then send a tweet expressing what you would do with a mobile device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, using the hashtag #InventForBetter. Read more »

India blocks Pastebin, Archive.org, GitHub, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and many other sites

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India’s DoT or Department of Telecom has randomly ordered internet service providers across the country to block a long list of websites. The names include the likes of Pastebin, Archive.org, GitHub, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and many others.

Many of the names in the list are sites meant for pasting and sharing text files. Why exactly these sites are being blocked is not yet know. Depending upon your area and ISP, some sites may or may not be blocked but the DoT order is in effect regardless. Read more »

Game of Thrones is “most-pirated show” three years in a row

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Game of Thrones is known for many things (the short lives of its characters mostly) but for a third year running it earns another distinction from other TV shows – it is the most pirated show of the year. Estimated downloads top the number of HBO viewers who tuned into the series.

Earlier this year the season finale of the show set its own record – 1.5 million BitTorrent downloads in 12 hours, reaching 7.5 million in the days to follow. Read more »