Posts Tagged ‘Still’

Never fear, Flappy Bird is still available — on eBay, for a thousand bucks

Less than a day after the explosively popular game Flappy Bird vanished from the App Store and Google Play, it’s become available on eBay — for hundreds of dollars. Lucky owners of the Flappy Bird app have put their phones and tablets up for…

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Never fear, Flappy Bird is still available — on eBay, for a thousand bucks

Less than a day after the explosively popular game Flappy Bird vanished from the App Store and Google Play, it’s become available on eBay — for hundreds of dollars. Lucky owners of the Flappy Bird app have put their phones and tablets up for…

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HTC says it’s solved the smartwatch battery life issue, still plans to launch wearable this year

It’s been tough times for HTC. But it’s not going to let a little thing like a competitive, over-saturated smartphone market stop it from dipping its toe into the… competitive, over-saturated world of wearables. Talking to Bloomberg about its…

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Car Shredder Eats A Car (And Still Has Room For A Bunch Of Engines For Dessert)

car-shredder-eating-car.jpg This is a video of an automobile shredder eating a vehicle whole. Then downing a ton of engine blocks for dessert. He should have been hungry! When grabbed comment the Transformers all pissed themselves and prepared their rocketship to move back to Cybertron. Keep opting for the video. Then stick your hand in there, I double pet dog dare you to.

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Syria still possesses 96 percent of its most dangerous chemicals

The Obama administration publicly blamed the Syrian government for delays in destroying its chemical arms stockpiles this week, calling upon President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to take immediate action ahead of a second major deadline. In a statement to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), US ambassador Robert Mikulak accused Syria of delaying the process for unwarranted reasons, suggesting that the government is stalling as a ploy to gain leverage in negotiations.

An agreement reached last year requires Syria to remove and destroy its entire chemical arsenal by June 30th. The country was supposed to destroy its most dangerous Priority One chemicals by December 31st, and remove its entire stockpile from the…

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World’s most precise atomic clock will still be spot-on in 5 billion years

Most of us only pay attention to time when it’s causing headaches, but the same can’t be said of a team of researchers working out of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Led by National Institute of Standards and Technology fellow Jun Ye, they’ve …

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Ballmer may resign from Microsoft board after new CEO is named, Gates’ role still unclear

Microsoft’s new CEO search has continued into 2014, but a new rumor suggests that outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer is planning to step down from Microsoft’s board of directors. Citing “people familiar with the situation,” Recode reports that Ballmer won’t be directly involved with Microsoft’s board once a suitable CEO replacement is found. While Ford’s Alan Mulally ruled himself out of the position earlier this month, recent reports suggest Microsoft is also considering Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg as a potential Ballmer successor.

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Motorola’s Moto G Gets A Google Play Edition, Still $179 And $199 Unlocked

moto-g-top

Google essentially makes the Moto G as it is – they own Motorola’s handset business, and both the Moto X and Moto G were designed and built under Google’s parental supervision. But that hasn’t stopped Google from creating a Play Edition Moto G.

The Play Edition strips out the few non-stock elements of Android that were still present on the Moto G to begin with, but keeps the same $ 179 price point for an 8GB version and $ 199 cost for a 16GB model. Like other Play Edition devices, it’s U.S.-only (at least at launch) and will work on both AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Remember that the Moto G is 3G-only, too, if you’re considering picking one up.

The main advantage of a Play Edition Moto G would appear to be its ability to get timely updates. The first Android 4.4 KitKat update rolled out to Moto G devices just last week, which means that it trailed the original 4.4 launch by a couple of months. The Play Edition will likely get updates much faster, so users who want to stay on the cutting edge would do well to opt for this variant. Motorola has introduced some slick software additions to the standard Moto G, however, so it really comes down to preference in this case.

I suspect Google is also motivated by a long-term desire to make Play Editions a consumer option for just about every major Android phone. If consumers start gravitating towards them, they get greater control over the pace and consistency of software updates. If they don’t, at least some developers will be pleased with the option.

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CES 2014 Proves Only That Wearables Are Still A Work In Progress

diesel-sweeties-wearables

Before this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, I issued a challenge: I wanted makers of wearable tech to prove to me that the time had come for this category of gadgets. What I was seeking was irrefutable proof that there was technology out there in wearable form factors that demonstrated such clear and immediate benefit that consumers would flock to it in droves.

That’s not what I found.

Which is to say that nothing I found at CES offered up the kind of ‘love at first sight’ that did my first iPhone (which was an iPhone 3G), my first smartphone of any kind. The smartphone needed no additional argument beyond itself to prove its worth: no discourse on market trends, no explanation of how it will appeal to specific niches, no apologies about its current limitations. Of course smartphones had their doubters, as will any new tech, but simply using a good one was enough to convince most of their worth.

Not so with wearables. CES 2014 was a veritable explosion of wearable tech, with major companies including LG (the Life Band Touch) and Sony (the Core) both debuting activity trackers at the show. Many others also added their respective hats to the ring, including JayBird (the Reign), Garmin (Vivoki and Vivofit) and GlassUp (plus a slew of other Glass-type eyewear). At best, however, each of these devices only edged forward the potential of the wearable space; at worst, they represent a descent into a major growing area of concern with the category.

The new Sony and LG devices serve as the best examples to articulate the inherent problem in wearable tech. The category isn’t popular with OEMs simply because it looks to be a new area where people are willing to spend money – it also represents a tremendous opportunity to continue the kind of consumer behavior tracking and analysis begun with smartphones.

Smartphones have proven a veritable treasure trove of data about the people who use them, and that data is immensely useful in developing a product pipeline, and in attracting content and marketing partners. Sony’s Core is designed not just to track fitness, but to provide a log of essentially every connected AND real-world activity a person undertakes throughout the day. In the right (wrong?) hands, it could provide a near-perfect profile of the average day of actual consumers, which is the kind of data portrait that makes marketers weak at the knees.

That’s why Google created Glass, in case anyone was wondering. The search giant’s first and still most influential success was targeting ads at users based on expressed intent (search ads). Arguably, everything it’s done since then has been designed in some way to gather more info on its users for a more complete picture of what they’re looking for (Android, Google+ are just a few high-profile examples). Wearables is simply the next evolution, and that’s why we’re seeing everyone chase that carrot, rather than any especially huge market opportunity in terms of consumer appetite.

pebble-steel

It’s telling that the most impressive wearable at CES for me was a mostly aesthetic iteration of an existing product. The Pebble Steel is the Pebble I always wanted to begin with, though the underlying software and feature set remains mostly unchanged. In fact, my existing Kickstarter edition Pebble never left my wrist during the show, providing a tether to our coverage team that proved superior to any system we used previously. I think it’s telling that Pebble has never positioned itself as a monitoring or logging device, in the context of the argument above, and that may have a lot to do with its continued success.

I still think there’s a lot of potential in the wearables market, but to explore that potential fully, device manufacturers need to at least couch their salivation over the data vein they have to power to break right open in a very convincing veil of consumer concern. Especially now that the Snowden whistleblowing has shed additional light on the value of our privacy, wearables need to concentrate on showing consumers what they offer, rather than just providing a list of what data they keep track of, and that’s why CES 2014 wasn’t quite the proving ground for wearables I’d hoped it might be.

Top image courtesy Richard Stevens 3 of Diesel Sweeties. For the full comic, check out his Medium blog here.

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Xbox One live gameplay broadcast feature could still be months away

Microsoft couldn’t deliver one of the Xbox One’s key features at launch: the ability to stream your gameplay, live, for anyone on the web to watch. Here’s more bad news: the company behind that feature, Twitch.tv, has no idea when it will launch either. According to a tweet from the company, Microsoft hasn’t yet provided any date, and it could be “a few more months” before it arrives.

What’s the hold up? We can’t say, but one possibility is that Microsoft hasn’t yet figured out how to deal with streams of an unsavory nature. Sony’s PlayStation…

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