Microsoft attempts to improve Android with new ‘Garage’ apps

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Google might not be interested in building apps for Windows Phone, but Microsoft isn’t holding any grudges. Starting today, the software giant is expanding its Garage project to give outsiders a chance to see what Microsoft employees create inside the company during their free time. Some of those projects might be iOS, Windows, or Android apps, but the really interesting ones, and the ones Microsoft is choosing to highlight today, are for Google’s Android operating system.

Microsoft Garage is a big change for the company, especially the idea of employees being encouraged to create cross-platform apps in their spare time. Other companies have similar initiatives, including Google’s 20 percent program that lets employees spend time…

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Taylor Swift hits #1 on Canadian iTunes chart with eight seconds of white noise

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Last night, Taylor Swift used Canada in a test of her power. Be it an accident or just a show of force, the singer released eight seconds of white noise for $1.29 — and subsequently topped Canadian iTunes charts. Number one. You can listen to the song in its entirety above.

“Track 3” is no longer on sale, but as of last night, eight seconds of white noise was more popular than all other music in Canada’s iTunes store, including Swift’s other songs, which were released with full musical accompaniment and vocals.

Swift’s actual track 3 (actual name TBD) does have actual lyrics, as teased on her Instagram account: I say “I heard that you’ve been out and about with some other girl” — all followed by an extended,…

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Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier to ‘exchange views’ on data security

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Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Chinese vice premier Ma Kai today, as reports circulated that Chinese authorities might be redirecting iCloud traffic within the country to a dummy site. According to a two-sentence report by the Xinhua news agency, the pair “exchanged views on protection of users’ information” and “strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.” It’s not clear whether the pair discussed what Apple recently confirmed as “intermittent organized network attacks” designed to collect user information by sending visitors to a copy of Apple’s site. The company hasn’t pinned the attacks on the Chinese government, but outside researchers have suggested that they’re being carried out through the country’s Great…

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Michigan latest state to ban direct Tesla sales

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Michigan has become the latest state to ban Tesla from selling its cars straight to consumers, with Governor Rick Snyder signing a law yesterday that prohibits direct sales. Michigan joins a growing number of states that have banned or highly limited Tesla from opening and operating its own stores, generally at the pressure of dealerships that want to maintain their dominant market position and are threatened by manufacturer-owned stores. Dealerships say this protects consumers.

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Spot.IM Turns Any Site Into A Social Network

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Spot.IM_Web_MostPopular02 Facebook and Twitter are essential tools for social marketing, but user engagement on those networks doesn’t necessarily translate into more visitors to a site. Created by the founder of a former TechCrunch Disrupt winner, Spot.IM wants to solve that problem by making it possible to turn any site into a social network with two lines of code. The company says that this gives site owners… Read More

Zoho’s Latest Service Targets Subscription Economy

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Businessman in black suit pushing virtual touchscreen button subscribe Zoho.com has been delivering online applications since 2005. That’s long before most of us were calling it the cloud, and today it has over 30 applications, most of which to this point have been aimed at the front office with applications such as an office suite, email, CRM and project management. But Zoho.com wants to begin focusing on the back office more –and today… Read More

Apple CEO Tim Cook Meets With China’s Vice Premier Following iCloud Security Attack

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apple china Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai on Wednesday, and on the agenda was discussing the protection of user information. The meeting took place in Zhongnanhai in central Beijing, which is the central seat of power for the ruling Communist Party of China. Xinhua, China’s official news authority, reported the meeting in brief, saying it was also a forum for Cook and Ma Kai… Read More

Bango Inks Global Samsung Deal To Power Carrier Billing In Galaxy Apps Store

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samsung-AP-sm One more deal in the bag for Bango, the UK-based startup that enables carrier billing services for mobile users: it has signed an agreement with Samsung for the handset giant to preload its services on to all Samsung devices running the Samsung Galaxy Apps store — letting consumers charge games, e-books, music and videos directly to their mobile phone bills or deduct them from their… Read More

Retail Software Startup LightSpeed Now Caters For Restaurants After Buying Belgian Startup POSIOS

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LightSpeed Cloud_family funding image 1 LightSpeed, a Montreal-based startup that provides point-of-sale software for retailers, is expanding into the restaurant and hospitality industry.
The company, which last month bagged a $35 million investment round led by iNovia Capital, helps brick-and-mortar retailers increase their sales and improve customer experiences online, has also announced the acquisition of Belgian startup POSIOS. Read More

IKEA captures shopping horror with halloween tribute to ‘The Shining’

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IKEAs are terrifying. The thought of spending a weekend inside the Swedish furniture giant is the stuff of nightmares for many. IKEA Singapore takes the idea one step further by incorporating the famous Big Wheel scene from The Shining. Watch as an adorable kid wheels slowly through a dimly lit labyrinth of sofas and high-end tables, even as lights flicker and skeletons sup in designer kitchens. Gasp at the excellent camera work, and make sure to watch the clip all the way to the end. It’s not quite as slyly creative as HORRORSTÖR, but the finale is adorable enough to justify the extra time.

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