What next for Samsung?

See the original posting on The Verge

For the past few years, Samsung has been on top of the smartphone world, outselling Apple’s iPhone and besting everyone else by creating powerful phones with big screens and small prices. But now the Korean company is getting a taste of its own medicine as a variety of small Chinese manufacturers are starting to deliver even cheaper phones with no less impressive capabilities. The smartphone market can’t stop growing, but Samsung smartphone sales are actually falling — and while undercutting the competition on price is still a viable strategy, others are now doing it better.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker didn’t get there by accident. Having spent years toiling in the shadow of feature-phone leaders like Nokia and Sony Ericsson,…

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Beats is now officially part of Apple

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Beats Electronics is now part of Apple’s family. Both companies today published statements on their respective websites essentially confirming that the $3 billion acquisition announced in May is already complete. “Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do,” Apple said. “Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have created beautiful products that have helped millions of people deepen their connection to music.” CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter with his own messaging welcoming Dre, Iovine, Luke Wood, Ian Rogers, and other Beats employees to Apple.

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Google Barge Sold For Scrap

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477983_61903-googlebarge-e1406854745937 Portland’s Google barge is no more, it seems. Remember the Google mystery barges? Toward the end of last year, the tech world was abuzz with curiosity about why Google had anchored barges in Portland, Maine and San Francisco. Floating data centers? Secret projects? The search giant finally clued us in: the company was planning to use the barges as interactive spaces to teach people… Read More

What I learned shooting with the Lytro Illum

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I’ve been fascinated with Lytro since the company published its first “living” photos in 2011. Having gotten into semi-pro photography well after the shift to digital, it was exciting to get swept up in the idea that we might be quickly approaching another big revolution. So you could say I was thrilled when we finally got our hands on the Lytro Illum, a newer, better version that actually looked like a camera and not a tube of lipstick.

I instantly loved the Illum. At the outset there were…

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Four Note-Taking Apps For The Tech-Forward College Student

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notes As we head into the depths of August (the month where time stands still), there is one interesting thing that starts to happen. Kids head back to school. That said, we decided to use some new data from CampusBooks to look at how college students are approaching their schoolwork. Perhaps the most interesting finding was that 91 percent of college students prefer to take notes by hand. Almost all… Read More

Apple Officially Welcomes Beats As It Completes $404M Purchase Of Vivendi/Universal Shares

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Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 9.37.01 AM Apple has a new splash page welcoming Beats to its family, with a declaration expressing excitement that both Beats Music and Beats Electronics have joined the Cupertino-based company. The page includes a brief one-paragraph explainer about why the company was a good fit, and expressing optimism for what the companies can do together in the future. A link on the page, which features a… Read More

HP’s new smartwatch actually looks good

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Fashion designer Michael Bastian is partnering with HP and retailer Gilt to sell a smartwatch this fall. Described by Gilt as a “Michael Bastian smartwatch engineered by Hewlett-Packard,” the timepiece couples a circular face with a fairly aggressive sporty design. Although its shape bears a small resemblance to the Moto 360 smartwatch, its 44mm face is far more inline with traditional watches than Motorola’s. It’ll launch with a selection of straps in brown leather, black rubber, and green nylon. The watch will be compatible with both Android and iOS, and will be able to receive notifications for things like emails, texts, and sports updates. It’ll also offer music controls and display weather forecasts. Given how basic its function set…

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The Mars 2020 rover will search for life while generating its own oxygen

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NASA has its next rover all planned out. On Thursday, the agency revealed seven implements that will be sent on the Mars 2020 mission. These include two instruments for detecting organic compounds, sensors for measuring environmental conditions, and an experimental device designed to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. In addition, the rover will be equipped with “a ground-penetrating radar that will provide centimeter-scale resolution of geologic structure of the subsurface.” It will cost an estimated $130 million to develop these items.

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Ninja Blocks Starts Pre-Orders For The Ninja Sphere Smart Home Hub

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NinjaSphere Ninja Blocks, the Australian startup that created Ninja Blocks to create physical triggers for IFTTT style recipes that can detect motion, temperature and humidity, a window and door sensor and more, successfully followed those up with the Ninja Sphere, a connected home smart hub which raised over $700,000 AUD back in January on Kickstarter. Now, the company is set to ship the Ninja Sphere, and… Read More

HP’s Gilt-Exclusive Smartwatch Puts Fashion FIrst

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hp-watch What would it take to get people actually buying smartwatches in droves? Could FASHION be the answer? A new odd trio aims to find out, with HP teaming up with fashion flash sales site Gilt and designer Michael Bastian (via Fashionista) to create a smartwatch that looks smart, too, if you’ll permit me to use some slightly archaic language for the sake of a pun.
The tech behind the new… Read More

Geek Reading July 31, 2014

See the original posting on DZone Python

I have talked about human filters and my plan for digital curation. These items are the fruits of those ideas, the items I deemed worthy from my daily reading. These items are a combination of tech business news, development news and programming tools and techniques. You will note that some of the formatting has changed, and that is due to the change in my process.
Preview…

JS crypto goto fail?

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 tldr; A long, passionate discussion about JS crypto. Use slides for an overview.

Javascript cryptography is on the rise. What used to be a rich source of vulnerabilities and regarded as “not a serious research area”, suddenly becomes used by many. Over the last few years, there was a serious effort to develop libraries implementing cryptographic primitives and protocols in JS….

Drone crashes while smuggling weed into maximum security prison

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The wreckage of a drone has been found outside of a maximum security prison in South Carolina, according to Reuters. It is believed to have been used in an attempt to smuggle phones, marijuana, and tobacco into the Lee Correctional Institution. The discovery precipitated an investigation that would later lead to the arrest of 28-year-old Brenton Lee Doyle and a search for a second suspect.

State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stephanie Givens is cited as stating “officials believe it was the first time an unmanned aircraft had been used in an effort to breach prison walls in the state.” While it might be a new incident for South Carolina, similar cases have cropped up across the world. Earlier this year, Australian authorities…

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The most gender-equal tech company still hires mostly men

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Copying the lead of other big tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google, eBay has detailed its workplace diversity for the first time. The figures released show a company that hires more women, Hispanics, and black people than its industry peers, but one that is still dominated by white and Asian men.

42 percent of eBay’s 33,000 employees are women. By comparison, only 37 percent of Yahoo’s and 30 percent of Google’s workforces are female. But up at the top of the company, eBay’s figures are less impressive: only 28 percent of the company’s leaders — people at director level or above — are women. The company’s tech division is even less equal, with men making up 76 percent of the workforce, but its non-tech arm is almost…

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Ezeecube Is A Stackable, All Inclusive Media Center For Your Home

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Ezeecube Ezeecube wants to be the all-in-one media hub for your home. You can use it to wirelessly back up photos and other files from all your mobile devices and cameras, while removing duplicates and organizing with its photo management software. It also functions as a home media cloud so you can access your files anywhere, while streaming photos and videos to iOS and Android devices, or Windows and… Read More

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