Metrics: Good vs. Evil

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Pop quiz: What do earned value, burn-down charts, and coverage reports have in common?

They are all reporting a metric, sure. But you could have gotten that from the title. Let’s dig deeper.

Let’s start with earned value. Earned value is a project tracking system, where you get value points as you’re getting along the project. That means, if you’re 40% done with the task, you get,…

Netflix makes it easier to recommend your favorite shows to friends

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Netflix just unrolled a social recommendation feature that will make evangelizing your favorite shows far easier. To use the new function, you’ll need to first connect your account to Facebook before you can select your friends from a row of pictures. Netflix will then allow you to add an optional personal note before it relays your suggestions.

While the first step is necessary for anyone looking to pass on recommendations, recipients won’t need to go through the same procedure. Those who have not linked their social media accounts to Netflix will receive endorsements in the form of Facebook private messages. The new feature can be accessed from the website, iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox, various set-top boxes, and smart TVs.

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DWNLD Gives Web Publishers A Platform For Building Affordable, Customizable Native Apps

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dwnldpic2 DWNLD hopes to cash in on the trend of more and more publishers turning to native apps in lieu of mobile web sites. The platform was built to help media companies or brands or really anyone with a web presence to build those apps and submit them to the Apple App Store and Google Play market. Read More

Samsung SSD 845DC EVO/PRO Performance Preview & Exploring IOPS Consistency

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Traditionally Samsung’s enterprise SSDs have only been available to large server OEMs (e.g. Dell, EMC, and IBM). In other words, unless you were buying tens of thousands of drives, Samsung would not sell you any. However, back in June Samsung made a change in its strategy and released the 845DC EVO, Samsung’s first enterprise SSD for the channel. The 845DC EVO was accompanied by the 845DC PRO a month later and today we have a performance preview of both SSDs, along with a glimpse of our new enterprise test suite.

Groupon Nips At Yelp and OpenTable With Time-Based Deals

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Groupon — the daily deals site that has been expanding to include services for local businesses — is today unveiling  the latest product in that strategy. It is adding a new feature that will let businesses offer deals to users booked to be used at a specific time in the day. Groupon says that the ability to set up and buy time-based deals are being rolled out first to… Read More

Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 adds a 1080p screen, cuts down on size and weight

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It hasn’t been all that long since Toshiba’s first Chromebook hit the market, but the company is already back for round two. Toshiba’s new Chromebook 2 doesn’t look all that different from its predecessor at first glance, but the company says that it has implemented a number of changes based on customer feedback on the first model. Perhaps most immediately obvious is you can get the machine with a 1080p screen, up from the 1366 x 768 display found in Toshiba’s first Chromebook. While ChromeOS isn’t exactly optimized for such a resolution, plenty of people will probably prefer to live with the small icons and text in exchange for more real estate than you can find in nearly every other Chromebook on the market.

Of course, Samsung’s own…

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Microsoft’s assault on cheap Android tablets starts this week

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Microsoft promised cheaper Windows tablets with its “Windows 8.1 with Bing” option for manufacturers, and they’re now starting to arrive. Toshiba is one of the first to announce a 7-inch Windows tablet this week at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, signalling a new price point for mainstream manufacturers to battle the cheap Android alternatives. The new Encore Mini is a 7-inch (1024 x 600) Windows 8.1 tablet running a quad-core Intel Atom processor with 16GB of internal storage and an SD slot if you need more space. It’s a pretty bare-bones machine, but it’s priced accordingly: it retails for just $119.99 and is available now.

Probably the cheapest, most bare-bones Windows 8.1 experience you can find

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Toshiba’s Radius 11 puts a Chromebook’s price on a convertible Windows 8 laptop

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Looking at it sitting among Toshiba’s range of laptops, the new Satellite Radius 11 doesn’t immediately stand out. But push back against its staid appearance and you’ll find its screen flexing a full 360 degrees. This unassuming 11.6-inch Windows 8.1 machine includes a touchscreen and a hinge that converts it into an impromptu tablet when the need arises. That’s still not all that impressive, but then Toshiba told us the price for the Radius, which is an extremely affordable £329 in the UK. Lenovo’s Yoga PCs have led the way with this variety of flexible computer, and they are still more refined in their design than Toshiba’s Radius, but they’ve never been quite this cheap. Of course, that necessitates an otherwise barebones spec sheet…

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Toshiba’s Encore Mini Tablet Runs Windows 8.1 And Is Just $119

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encore-mini Want to jump into Windows 8.1 on the cheap? Toshiba has you covered. For just $119, you can snag the new Encore Mini, which runs Windows 8.1 on a teeny-tiny 7-inch, low-resolution screen. Inside is a quad-core Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot. The 7-inch screen is of the 16:9, 1024 x 600 variety. There are of course front- and rear-facing cameras, a micro USB… Read More

AVG To Buy Family-Focused Mobile Security Company, Location Labs, In Deal Worth Up To $220M

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Location Labs Mobile security company Location Labs is being acquired by online security firm AVG in a deal worth up to $220 million. AVG said today it will pay around $140 million initially to buy Location Labs, plus up to an additional $80 million in cash consideration over the next two years, based on certain performance metrics and milestones being met. Read More

Sustainable Development Goes Massively Online As EdCast Launches With Sustainability Expert Jeffrey Sachs

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12838515965_64937648c1_h (1) In the spring of 2015 thousands of students from universities around the world will participate in online negotiations under the tutelage of Jeffrey Sachs to draft a comprehensive treaty on climate change, ahead of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for December 2015 in Paris. The curriculum and its massive dissemination is the… Read More

Finally, a keyboard that embraces fanboys of all colors

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Logitech just revealed its new Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480, which is being touted as “the first desk keyboard designed for use with up to three devices.” The platform-agnostic peripheral will allow users to alternate input for their Bluetooth wireless-enabled desktop machines and handheld devices with a flick of a dial.

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UK Startups Call On Politicians To Improve Visas, Broadband, Skills, Regulation

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sm Ahead of the next General Election, over 150 UK tech startups and investors have backed a new “Startup Manifesto” aimed at lobbying the main UK political parties to shape policy towards a tech-driven society. The backers of the Manifesto, include a who’s-who of the UK tech scene including King,TransferWise, SwiftKey, Lovestruck, Funding Circle, MOO, Index Ventures,… Read More

Google satellite executive reportedly leaves to work with SpaceX

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Google Satellite executive Greg Wyler has left Google and has reportedly been seen frequenting the SpaceX office, according to The Wall Street Journal. Neither Wyler nor the two companies have commented on his abrupt departure, which comes just months after he was hired to assist in Google’s attempt at creating a global internet service. 

Although he is reportedly working in close proximity with billionaire Elon Musk, The Wall Street Journal cites sources as stating that the satellite communications expert is not a SpaceX employee. His departure also coincides with Google’s loss of rights to a certain radio spectrum, which is controlled by Wyler’s company WorldVu Satellites Ltd. “This could hurt Google’s aspirations in this area in the…

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Disney tries to block Deadmau5 trademark

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Disney doesn’t want Deadmau5 to be able to trademark his iconic mouse logo because it’s too similar to Mickey Mouse. TMZ reports that Disney has filed to block Deadmau5’s trademark in the US, which the electronic musician otherwise known as Joel Zimmerman applied for last year. According to his attorney, he has trademarked the design in over 30 countries including the UK, Japan, and Germany.

The logo appears on Deadmau5’s record artwork and is the basis of the large helmet he wears during every performance. Disney began investigating the matter back in April, and it’s easy to see why — there is an obvious resemblance with the Mickey Mouse logo, and since the registration would cover classes of products from toys to BMX…

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‘Minecraft’ comes to the Xbox One on Friday

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Minecraft set sales records on the Xbox 360 when a downloadable version was released in 2012, and this week the blocky world-building phenomenon comes to the console’s successor. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will be released on Friday, featuring bigger levels and more downloadable content.

The new version will cost $4.99 if you’re one of the 13 million people that bought the game on the Xbox 360, and $19.99 for everyone else. Friday’s release date only applies to the Xbox Store download; Microsoft says a packaged disc will hit stores before the holiday season. Versions of Minecraft for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita are also on the way.

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Baidu Invests $10M In Mapping Software Maker IndoorAtlas

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Baidu sign Finnish startup IndoorAtlas, which develops indoor mapping technology that uses magnetic positioning, has received a $10 million investment from Baidu, China’s top search company. The two companies also announced that they have signed an agreement which will make Baidu the only user of IndoorAtlas’ technology in China. Read More

Mobile Authentication Tech Startup AirSig Gets $2M From Foxconn

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Image (1) foxconnstores.jpg for post 159842 AirSig, a Taiwanese startup that makes authentication products for mobile devices, has received $2 million in investment from Foxconn Technology Group. In return, Foxconn will hold a 10 percent stake in the company, which puts AirSig’s valuation at $20 million, the company said. Read More

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