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Nokia was forced to pay a ransom to Symbian kidnappers

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Before Nokia smartphones were powered by the Windows Phone OS, Symbian was the trademark platform that ran on the company’s devices.

Symbian and Nokia were synonymous with one another; and at one point it was the dominant mobile phone OS on the market. With such popularity also comes unwanted attention, and for Nokia, it was in the form of code-snatching criminals. Read more »

A wearable that manages your finances?

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The wearable market is getting pretty inundated lately, with the iWatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, LG’s G Watch, the upcoming Moto 360, and others, it seems that there are plenty of health-tracking devices out there that users can wear to measure their level of fitness activity.

But lets say you wanted a wearable that let you track and manage your finances? Well that’s the direction that Artefact wants to push the currency world to. Read more »

NVIDIA Tegra K1 just might be in your next smartphone

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The NVIDIA Tegra K1 is a powerful monster of a chip, but using this nasty piece of tech for smartphones was thought to not be viable.

For now, it’s been reserved for tablets, but it might be coming to smartphones in the near future. Read more »

Facebook launches Slingshot, a pretty odd Snapchat competitor

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After having failed to outright buy Snapchat last year, Facebook has now released Slingshot, a new app that aims to compete with it.

Slingshot is available to download for Android and iOS, but it comes with a pretty strange twist. Read more »

Xiaomi’s expansion into India is starting

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Xiaomi has plans to enter ten new markets this year, and India seems to be among the first of those. The Chinese smartphone maker with a cult-like following has started teasing its presence in India today.

There’s a new section for India on Xiaomi’s official website, and the company has even opened a new Facebook page for its Indian operations. Read more »

Pencil stylus by FiftyThree gains pressure sensitivity in iOS 8

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The really nifty FiftyThree Pencil stylus for iPad will get a new and exciting feature once iOS 8 becomes available.

Once the newest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system hits the streets, the Pencil will automatically get support for pressure sensitivity. Read more »

Samsung Gear 2 gets Blocking Mode via software update

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Samsung has issued a new major update to its Gear 2 that will bring it up to speed with the Gear Fit. The update brings improvements to S Health and various bug fixes but more importantly adds Blocking Mode (already present on the Fit).

Blocking Mode is Samsung’s Do Not Disturb feature which we’ve seen on Galaxy smartphones and blocks all incoming notifications from getting to your Gear 2. Blocking Mode can be set to either always on or during sleep only, which is very convenient. Read more »

Garmin launches Viago, its cheapest mobile navigation app yet

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Garmin has released a new navigation app for iOS and Android today. It’s called Viago and it’s much cheaper than Garmin’s previous efforts in this space, though it’s still not free.

Furthermore, you can expect to get only basic functionality when buying the app, with any premium additions coming at the cost of some in-app purchases. Read more »

Cortana will be available in Canada upon Windows Phone 8.1 launch

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Janet Kennedy, Microsoft Canada President, has detailed the Cortana availability. As it turns out Canada will be among the first wave of countries to get the virtual assistant upon the update rollout.

Microsoft has previously announced the first market where Cortana will be available is USA. The UK and China will be getting the same treatment and now it turns out Cortana will be localized for Canada in time too. Read more »

Samsung may be looking to purchase Nuance, the company behind S Voice, Siri

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Nuance, the folks behind the Samsung’s and Apple’s in-house voice assistant programs S Voice and Siri, as well as other commercial speech recognition applications like Dragon Naturally Speaking, are set to potentially get bought out by the Korean company.

In anticipation of the potential deal, Nuance’s market cap jumped from a valuation of $5.5 billion to almost $6 billion yesterday. Read more »

Sony releases exclusive Live on YouTube livestreaming app

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Sony’s flagships are getting a new exclusive feature – Live on YouTube app. It lets them live stream video on YouTube. So far Sony’s flagships had the unique Social Live feature, which let them livestream video to their Facebook walls, but this time it’s YouTube we are talking about.

The exclusive app should be available for the Sony Xperia Z2, Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact, though note that it’s not available in Germany and in countries where YouTube isn’t available. Read more »

Parallels Access now available on iPhone and Android

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Parallels Access was a service that would let you access your PC or Mac remotely from a mobile device. So far, the service was only available on the iPad but from now you will also be able to use it on an iPhone and any Android device.

Parallels Access provides remote access to your computer on the go. Your computer applications show up on your phone and you can work on them as you would on the computer. For functions such as cut, copy, paste the application uses the native mobile OS controls so it feels seamless. You can also pin your desktop applications on your mobile’s home screen for quick access. Read more »

Unicode 7.0 to bring 250 new Emoji

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The Unicode standard will be upgraded to version 7.0 this year. Along with the additional of several new scripts, it will also be adding 250 new Emoji to the already long list.

Almost all of these are objects, with things such as ‘Thermometer’, ‘File Cabinet’, ‘Right Speech Bubble’, ‘Hammer And Wrench’, etc. but there are also some gems, such as ‘Man In Business Suit Levitating’ and ‘Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended’. Read more »

US Government cracking down on navigation apps

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So you may or may not know this, but the US Transportation Department believes that it has the authority to regulate the traffic and navigation applications that you use on your smartphone, and is now pushing hard to get Congress to agree.

A new proposed transportation bill will give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the right to “set restrictions on the apps and later order changes if they are deemed dangerous.” Read more »

BBM Protected: IM security for the enterprise user

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One of the reasons why Blackberries, long after being obsolete in the consumer sphere, still managed to persist in the business world was because the handsets were just so secure.

Protection of data and Blackberries go hand in hand, so it didn’t come as a surprise when Blackberry announced BBM Protected, an extra-encrypted IM client. Read more »