Microsoft Surface 3 review

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What is a laptop? What is a tablet? For most people, the answers are obvious. But for Microsoft’s Surface line, it’s been a bit murky.

Microsoft’s first attempt, the Surface RT, flopped. So much so that the company had to take a $900 million hit when it failed to sell them all. Microsoft’s second stab at tablets resulted in the Surface 2 with a sleeker design and better performance. It still wasn’t easy to use on the lap, and the lack of a full Windows OS meant it was never really a laptop and never really a tablet due to a lack of touch-friendly apps.

While mistakes have been made along the way, there’s always been something charming and unique about the Surface and the fact that it’s not just an iPad clone. It’s never quite nailed…

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Inside the super-fast boat that’s mapping the oceans’ garbage vortexes

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Touring a boat that was built to sail through garbage, at first, may not sound all that appealing. When they docked in New York last week, the six-man crew of the MOD70 Race for Water had just passed through one of Earth’s five “trash vortexes” — circular oceanic currents, also known as gyres, that have collected thick layers of floating plastic debris. For the next nine months, they’ll be helping document some of the worst things humanity has done to the environment. But speeding along the Hudson River, against a backdrop of Manhattan skyscrapers, they’re just a group of sailors showing off their sleek racing boat to a group of excited (if slightly shaky) passengers.

Race for Water is a nonprofit group founded by Swiss entrepreneur…

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Wrap Raises $3.5M For App-Like Marketing Tools That Work Over The Mobile Web

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coachella-astronaut-iphone Not every company or brand needs to be accessible by a downloadable app distributed through a mobile application store, like iTunes or Google Play. Meanwhile, building out massive web destinations also doesn’t make sense in the mobile era, where content is increasingly consumed in “bite-sized” chunks. A company called Wrap Media, which now has $3.5 million in Series A… Read More

Revenue Gap Between iOS And Android Apps Grows, Thanks To China

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china iphone apple Due to Android’s sizable market share, Google Play apps have historically led iOS apps in terms of the number of downloads, while iOS apps have consistently beat out Google Play apps in revenue. But according to new data out this morning from app store analytics firm App Annie, that gap is still widening – in a large part due to iOS’s growth in China. As of Q1 2015, iOS… Read More

India’s Restaurant Search App Zomato Raises $50M At $1B+ Valuation, Buys MaplePOS

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zomato_app1_hi-res-l-2 Time to loosen the belt of Zomato: the Indian startup whose restaurant search app is now used in 22 countries is growing some more. The company has raised $50 million more in funding, and it has made its first acquisition of a product outside of the restaurant search space: it has bought payments platform MaplePOS. The funding values the startup at over $1 billion, a source close to the… Read More

Apple Patents A System To Broadcast Your Availability For Calls

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Do-Not-Disturb-iPad-iOS-7 Apple has a new patent, granted today by the USPTO (via AppleInsider), that would use contextual information including your current time zone, ringer silence status, battery life, location and cell network strength to determine whether or not you’re available for a call automatically, and display that information to friends. The new Apple patent details a system that would use… Read More

Pocket introduces a new responsive web design and raises another $7 million

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Save-for-later service Pocket introduced a redesign of its web client today, making the site responsive for the first time and allowing it to scale more easily from smartphone screens to desktop monitors. The web version now includes a persistent sidebar offering one-tap access to your saved articles, videos, and images, as well as your favorites, archived saves, and anything you’ve tagged.

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WHO calls on scientists to stop withholding results of clinical trials

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a statement demanding more transparency in scientists’ reporting of clinical trials. The statement updates and expands the WHO’s position, adding specific timelines for scientists to register the outcome and methods of clinical trials. In an accompanying commentary, science writer and open science advocate Ben Goldacre said that the WHO’s decision was “powerful and welcome” and that it “represents important progress on a long-standing and global structural problem.”

withholding study data hurts patients

“The best currently available evidence shows that the methods and results of clinical trials are routinely withheld from doctors, researchers, and patients, undermining our best efforts at…

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Google’s wireless service plans take shape in leaked app

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What if your mobile contract could be condensed into an app-based subscription service like Spotify or Netflix — one that you could put on pause when you don’t need it, switch between phones without swapping SIM cards, and pay for by the gigabyte of data used? Those are the broad strokes of Google’s planned wireless service in the US, according to a report from Android Police based on a leaked app. It’s not possible to be certain that the leak originated from Google itself, however its level of detail and the way it meshes with earlier reports about Google’s plans would suggest there’s something to it.

The app in question is called Tycho, and it contains all the usual settings and options you might expect from a carrier app. You can pay…

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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference starts June 8th

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Apple’s big developer conference will begin on June 8th this year, when it’ll likely show the next versions of iOS, OS X, and perhaps new hardware as well. The tagline for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference is “the epicenter of change,” and that’s a good explanation for why this event is so popular. Like last year, Apple has actually switched over to a lottery process for selling tickets — rather than offering them first come, first serve — because their demand is so high. The event will once again be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Developer events will run through June 12th, and this time around, they’ll actually stream live to those offsite.

Developing…

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Twilio Brings WebRTC-Based Video Chat To Its Cloud Communications Platform

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5396124327_3777a6fd45_o Twilio has long made it easy for developers to integrate voice calling and text messaging into their applications, but starting today, the service will also offer a video chat. The new Twilio Video service uses the WebRTC standard — which Twilio already used for some of its audio features — and is now available in beta. Read More

Movidius Raises $40M To Bring Computer VisionTo Mobile Devices

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482562125 Movidius, the company that makes the vision processor that powers Google’s Tango tablet, today announced that it has raised a $40 million funding round led by Summit Bridge Capital — a collaboration between Atlantic Bridge Capital and WestSummit Capital. This marks one of the largest funding rounds in a fabless semiconductor company in recent years.
New investors in this round… Read More

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Is June 8-12

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.49.44 AM Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference happens June 8 through June 12 this year, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The event is by invitation only, with tickets opening up for registration today, allowing developers to sign up for the random selection process. Registration ends on April 17, at 10 AM PT, with the lucky devs who win tickets notified by April 20 of their… Read More

First Click: the great rectangles of China

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Why spend $600 on a name-brand phone when you can spend less than half for a no-name model? Both run the same version of Android, feature the same display and internal componentry, and same rectangular design. Hell, they’re even made by the same workers on the same assembly lines.

Looking at leaked images and specs for LG’s new G4 handset makes me wonder if the company is capable of mounting a defense to the commodification of smartphones. The market is being flooded with inexpensive Chinese phones of reasonable quality from brands like Letv, Oppo, Subor, Vivo, OnePlus, Coolpad, and more established names like Xiaomi, Huawei, and of course, Lenovo / Motorola.

The rise of the great Chinese rectangle was inevitable after a decade of…

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Duo Security Raises $30 Million Led By Redpoint To Protect Enterprises Against Data Breaches

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Duo_2FA Duo Security, the two-factor authentication startup backed by Benchmark and Google Ventures, wants to do more to help protect companies from hackers trying to gain access to their networks. With that goal in mind, it’s launching a new product to secure their networks and announcing $30 million in new funding led by Redpoint Ventures. Read More

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