Sony pulls the plug on e-readers

See the original posting on The Verge

Sony is giving up on e-readers after facing stiff competition from rivals like Amazon’s Kindle. “We do not have plans to develop a successor Reader model at this time,” says a Sony spokesperson in a statement to BBC News. The PRS-T3 is the last Sony e-reader and it will be sold across Europe until stocks sell out. The move comes just months after Sony shuttered its ebook distribution store in the US and Canada, making it less surprising that the company is killing off the associated hardware.

Sony will still keep selling its e-reader hardware in Japan alongside ebooks from its online store. That might not mean much for its prospects in Sony’s home turf of Japan though. While Sony and Kobo have attempted to beat Amazon’s e-readers, the…

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InVision Design Tool Raises $21 Million Series B

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prototyping-mockup-mobile InVision, the design-focused prototyping tool, has today closed a $21 million Series B round, with participation from existing investors including Tiger Global Management (who led the round), as well as FirstMark Capital. That brings InVision’s total funding to $34.1 million, according to CrunchBase. InVision is a service built for designers, that lets these creatives not only draw… Read More

Sony gives up on PlayStation for Android

See the original posting on The Verge

Sony has announced that it will no longer support the Android side of PlayStation Mobile, its initiative to support cross-platform indie game publishing for the PS Vita and Google’s OS. The service will continue to operate on PlayStation Certified devices running Android 4.4.2 and below, but from Android 4.4.3 and up, Sony can’t guarantee that games will play correctly or that users will be able to access the store. Phones and tablets on Android L, the upcoming major refresh, won’t have store access at all, and Sony says it has no plans to give any more devices PlayStation Certified status.

PlayStation Mobile offered a selection of original PSOne games, and had the occasional breakout hit of its own like Velocity, later remixed into a…

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Microsoft’s second Windows 8.1 update isn’t a major one after all

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Microsoft shipped a big update to Windows 8.1 earlier this year with improvements to the mouse and keyboard experience, but the second upcoming update is minor in comparison. Available on August 12th, the second update, which Microsoft is not calling Windows 8.1 Update 2, will include precision touchpad improvements, a change to enable PCs to act as a Miracast receiver, and a reduction in login prompts for SharePoint online. The touchpad improvements allow users to enable right-click, double tag, drag, and a setting to keep a touchpad on when a mouse is connected.

That’s all Microsoft is detailing so far, and it sounds a lot more minor than many had hoped. Back in April when Microsoft originally showed off the new Start Menu, the…

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Save money on Uber by sharing rides with strangers

See the original posting on The Verge

Uber wants you to get into an unfamiliar car with a total stranger. But that may be a price worth paying for a cheaper ride. The company’s new UberPool feature will notify users if it discovers a “co-rider” with similar travel plans, and will also provide the other person’s first name and information as to who will be collected first. The two passengers can then split the fare.

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Apple and Samsung Agree To End All Non-U.S. Patent Disputes

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14135683605_a5650500d5_b Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all non-U.S. litigation. The announcement came late Tuesday in a release first reported by the Financial Times. In the joint statement, the two tech giants said they “…have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. But, as noted in the statement, this… Read More

Samsung and Apple dropping legal disputes outside the US

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple and Samsung are making peace — at least outside the United States. In a surprise move late Tuesday, the two companies said they were dropping all litigation outside the country.

“Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States,” the two companies said in a joint statement to The Verge. “This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts.”

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Timex built a smartwatch that doesn’t need your phone

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So far, smartwatches have existed fundamentally as extensions of your phone — their primary value is in alleviating the need to pull your phone out of your pocket every time anything happens. But Timex’s new IronMan One GPS+ is designed to let you forget your phone at home: with a 3G radio inside and a number of built-in communication tools, it’s a fully independent device.

The $399.95 One GPS+ looks a lot like Timex just strapped a chunky, ugly computer on your wrist. It has an always-on Mirasol display just like the Qualcomm Toq, and an icon-based homescreen. Timex says it’s every bit as rugged and water-resistant (up to 50m) as its other IronMan models. In every other way, though, it’s nothing like anything Timex has done before. It…

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Samsung set to announce Galaxy Note 4 at September 3rd event

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Samsung’s sent out invites for what it’s calling “Episode 2” of Unpacked, an event it plans to hold in three cities — Berlin, Beijing, and New York — simultaneously on September 3rd. The tagline is “Ready? Note the date!” a not-so-subtle hint at another installment in Samsung’s Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Note 3 was unveiled at IFA Berlin last year, with the Note 2 the year before. The same is expected for the Galaxy Note 4 at this press conference, which Samsung plans to stream live on its YouTube channel. Samsung’s last Unpacked event was back in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It brought the Galaxy S5 smartphone, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, as well as the Gear Fit.

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Inside The FCC’s 1.1 Million Net Neutrality Comments

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Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 5.16.11 PM If you ever wanted to make your Chrome browser freeze 10 times in one afternoon, you could take a look at the 1.4 GB of XML files of net neutrality comments that the Federal Communications Commission posted on Tuesday. More than 1.1 million comments regarding net neutrality have been submitted to the FCC, and we expect that number to surge as the second comment period comes to a close on… Read More

Google Maps Now Lets You Explore Mars And The Moon, If You Know Where To Click

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moon Hey, you! Want to explore the surface of Mars?
No problem! All we need is a few billion dollars, a couple hundred of the world’s brightest minds, and for someone to get around to solving that pesky “massive levels of radiation” problem.
On second thought, that might take a while. Until then, Google Maps will have to do. Read More

TC Cribs: Yelp’s Five Star San Francisco HQ

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 3.42.46 PM Welcome back to TechCrunch Cribs, the show that lets you snoop around the offices of the tech industry’s hottest companies. This is an especially fun episode, since we headed over to Yelp, the super popular online review site. These are some exciting times for Yelp: The company just celebrated its 10th birthday, and late last summer moved into a gorgeous new 12-story office space in… Read More

StubHub Music Takes On Music Concert Discovery Apps WillCall And Live Nation

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 4.12.35 PM StubHub Music is now live in the App Store and available to all major U.S. cities. The app, created by ticket reseller platform StubHub, was first tested on a much smaller set of music fans in San Francisco earlier this summer. It’s now available throughout the U.S., the UK and Canada. StubHub created the app in hopes of engaging a wider audience on the hunt for music events in their area. Read More

Sprint To Replace CEO, Drop Bid For T-Mobile Amid Tough Regulatory Climate

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Sprint will drop its efforts to buy T-Mobile amid a hostile regulatory climate, and financing difficulties. The prospect of lowering the number of major mobile carriers in the United States from four to three proved unpopular among United States government regulatory bodies.
In addition to walking away from its merger efforts, Sprint will reportedly appoint a new CEO tomorrow, according to… Read More

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