Google Acquires Jibe Mobile To Help Adopt New Standard For Carrier Messaging

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peak Android Today, Google announced that it will be adopting a new standard for carrier messaging called Rich Communications Services (RCS), thus eventually moving on from SMS. The company also announced the acquisition of Jibe Mobile to help bring RCS to its Android products. Here’s what Mike Dodd, Android RCS Software Engineer and Minister of Messaging had to say (and how cool is his title?):… Read More

Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 12: Hands On With Comcast’s YouTube Wannabe, Watchable)

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cord-cutter1 As an increasing number of cable and satellite TV subscribers are cutting the cord – or never signing up for television in the first place – the traditional pay TV industry is scrambling to figure out how to compete in this new age of over-the-top services, on-demand streaming, and viewing that takes place on a variety of platforms beyond the living room’s big screen.… Read More

Sprint is raising its unlimited data plan to $70 per month

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Sprint is raising the price of its unlimited data plan to $70 per month, up from the $60 price that’s been in place for the past year. Existing customers will be able to keep the current rate, but new customers will begin paying more as of October 16th. Key terms of the deal remain the same, including the fact that Sprint says outright that it limits video streaming speeds and that overall speeds may be limited for anyone on the plan.

Though Sprint continues to offer its unlimited plan for competitive reasons — AT&T and Verizon don’t offer one, and T-Mobile offers one that’s $80 per month — it clearly isn’t a big fan of it. Tiered data plans are likely to be a more profitable option, and they necessarily limit stress on a carrier’s…

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Back to the Future is coming to Amazon Prime Video for the month of October

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As any good fan of temporal displacement will tell you, October 21st is the 30th anniversary of the first successful manned time travel experiment — featuring a teenager named Martin McFly. To commemorate the event (and the 30th anniversary of the movie series in which it happened), the Back to the Future trilogy is coming to Amazon Prime Video for a limited run starting October 1st. That means fans of the series will be able to watch the original Back to the Future to see how goofy the ’50s were, its sequel to see how disappointing modern takes on hoverboards truly are, and the third and final film — to learn, I suppose, that we just needed steam and a big train to jump through time in the first place.

It’s yet another exclusive for…

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Social News Aggregator Nuzzel Enlists Investors From The Media Industry

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Nuzzel_03 Nuzzel, the social news startup led by Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams, is announcing a bunch of new investors today — including Matter, the Knight Foundation-backed incubator for media startups. Abrams didn’t say how much additional cash he’s raised, but he described the new funding as “relatively small in size compared to some of our tech-industry… Read More

NodePrime Raises $7M In Seed Funding To Help Companies Manage Their Data Centers

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servers Managing a complex modern IT infrastructure is hard. NodePrime, a San Francisco-based startup that’s emerging from stealth today, wants to make it easier for companies to map, monitor and control their data centers. The company also today announced that it has raised a $7 million seed round with participation from the likes of Menlo Ventures, NEA, Formation 8, Ericsson, Initialized… Read More

15 things I love about Tokyo DisneySea

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Yeah, you’ve heard of Disneyland (that’s the one in California) and you were probably dragged to Walt Disney World (that’s the one in Florida) when you were a kid. And, possibly, if you give a rat’s patootie about Disney theme parks, you might have heard they have them in other countries, but you’ve probably never heard of Tokyo DisneySea.

“TDS,” as the Japanese call it, is what is known as a Disney resort’s “second gate.” If you’re a WDW person, then Epcot is the second gate; if you’re a DL person, then Disney California Adventure is the second gate.

In 2001, when The Walt Disney Company built Disney California Adventure, it spent one billion bucks for the park, the Grand Californian Hotel, and Downtown Disney. The same year, when The Oriental Land Company (who owns the Tokyo Disney Resort—The Walt Disney Company receives a royalty and percentage) built Tokyo DineySea, it spent three billion dollars just for the park. The Imagineers who conceive all this amazing stuff for Disney, most of which rarely gets built, got the chance to see their best creations realized. I could write a book about Tokyo DisneySea, but here are just 15 really cool things.


1. Drinking a Kirin Frozen Draft while standing beside the Nautilus. Yes, they serve Japanese beer with a frozen “head” right next to Captain Nemo’s killer sub. Nice when it’s 85 degrees and 90% humidity.


2. A quiet street in a small Italian town … except it’s really in a theme park near Tokyo.


3. Toy? No: real, and called Mermaid Lagoon.


While it seems pretty small above ground (with only two rides on the outside), it’s really an entire amusement park—King Triton’s Kingdom—built “under the sea,” so to speak.


You descend and discover three more rides, an amazing playground, a splash fountain, a huge theater, a restaurant, and several shops.


4. They have six different flavors of popcorn including milk chocolate, soda, and curry. The line to purchase is often 20 minutes long. The Japanese really love popcorn and the limited edition seasonal plastic buckets in which it’s sold.


5. You can wear really stupid things and nobody cares.


6. The belly-dancing robots in Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage.


7. Jose Carioca is there. Saludos Amigos!


8. Get into one of these iron thingies designed by Captain Nemo…


Descend 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and piss off a giant squid…


Zap him with an electric charge…


Lose energy and go where no non-themepark person has gone before…


Meet a really strange deep-sea being whose buddies push you back up to the surface (8E)


9. Amazingly, these futuristic boats were designed and built from scratch just to provide decoration and atmosphere—that’s all.


10. People eat all sorts of weird shit. This is a Halloween-themed Cruella deVille giant gyoza dog. Ten points if you know what that means.


11. At the foot of Mount Prometheus, which blows its top every hour and shoots huge balls of flame into the sky, is Fortress Exploration. Dedicated to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (DisneySEA, for you fans of acronyms), this enormous area contains recreations of famous scientific experiments including a huge Foucault’s Pendulum, Camera Obscura, Anamorphic Painted Room, and a full-size recreation of Leonardo DaVinci’s famous Flying Machine. And they give out maps (in multiple languages) for free so you can find your way between the turrets.


12. They sell pumpkin churros at Halloween. Double yum.


13. The majestic Hightower Hotel, aka The Tower of Terror, known to cause adults to soil themselves.


Built by the bastard robber baron Harrison Hightower, whose collecting of antiquities from around the world included stealing an idol from an African tribe.


This is Shiriki Utundu, who killed Harrison Hightower 100 years ago by throwing him down an elevator shaft … and now he’s going to do the same thing to you.


14. You want strange frozen confections, you’ve got your choice.


15. There’s a goddam ocean liner moored in the park! The S.S. Columbia looks full size, but is scaled slightly down and is actually not a ship but a building. It contains a lounge, fancy restaurant, an attraction (with room for a second in the future), and a show with dancing desserts is performed dockside four times daily.

You really need to visit Tokyo for many wonderful reasons: Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland

Trivia app QuizUp is becoming a primetime TV gameshow on NBC

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QuizUp, the trivia app that scored its creator more than $22 million in venture capital funding after a stratospherically successful launch in 2013, is getting its own primetime TV show. NBC is partnering with QuizUp developer Plain Vanilla games to make QuizUp America, an interactive gameshow that will pit TV contestants against viewers at home who have qualified using the app, making both sides answer head-to-head questions to win “life-changing” amounts of money.

The trivia app became a rapid success after it hit the App Store in late 2013, recording more than 5 million downloads in only five weeks and scoring developer Plain Vanilla Games a significant amount of venture capital funding from investors keen to find the next Angry…

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Nintendo’s cutest mascot has one last chance to be a star

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Nintendo is home to some of the most iconic characters in the world. 30 years after his debut, Mario is still starring in games that sell in the millions, while Pikachu T-shirts can be spotted from Toronto to Tokyo. Even still, some characters slip through the cracks, and dwell in relative obscurity.

Chibi-Robo made its debut on the Gamecube a decade ago, and since then the character has starred in a few handheld spin-offs. But the adorable, diminutive robot has yet to see that breakout hit that would see it join the ranks of Nintendo’s most popular mascots. The latest game in the series, Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash, launches on the 3DS next week, and it changes up the formula quite a bit with a new focus on action. For such a light, charming…

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Everything coming to Netflix and Amazon Prime this October (and what to watch before it’s gone)

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With streaming video services jockeying for position and exclusive rights, the monthly churn can become a little overwhelming as titles disappear from one service only to appear on another. We’re here to help, with a list of new items coming to Netflix and Amazon Prime in October. Given that it’s Halloween season, there are a few scary movies you can keep an eye out for (particularly The Nightmare, the latest from Room 237 director Rodney Ascher). Television fans will also be able to catch up on the latest seasons of The Flash, Arrow, and American Horror Story — just in time for the debut of Lady Gaga in American Horror Story: Hotel.

Of course, additions are nothing without some departures to get worked up about, and this month there…

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Amazon Introduces Merch By Amazon, A Way For Game Developers – Or Anyone – To Sell Print-On-Demand Tees

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merch-amazon In a clever move that combines Amazon’s prowess as a large online retailer and advertising platform with its footprint in the mobile gaming market, the company today introduced a new service called Merch by Amazon aimed at helping app developers – or any other content creators – increase their revenue by selling branded t-shirts to their customers. Developers and others can… Read More

Amazon’s New Fire HD 8 Adds Removable Memory And More

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IMG_5478 It’s a pretty sad state of affairs in the tablet world when removable memory is a way to lead off a review but there you have it – the Fire HD 8, Amazon’s latest addition to its tablet family, has a removable memory slot. This means you can expand things beyond the include eight or sixteen GB of memory that the device comes with. That’s a good thing and Amazon should… Read More

What Is the Most Dangerous Gang in Prison?

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Tom the Dancing Bug 1257 corporation prison

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Review: These microfiber towels are a much better way to clean up spills and messes in my car

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There's always this method, too.

quickie 03

There’s always some kind of mess in my car. Spilled coffee, greasy hands, fogged-up or bird-pooped-on windows. I usually fumble around for whatever paper napkins I might have stashed away, but then I saw Quickie microfiber towel 24-packs on Amazon for $10. They turned out to be a way better solution.

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