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12.4.14

Samsung Galaxy S5: First impressions


There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -among them, its relative lack of features.
Don't get me wrong. The company's new flagship smartphone has plenty of innovations, including water resistance, a heart rate sensor and a fingerprint reader to bypass security passcodes. The screen measures 5.1 inches diagonally, which is slightly larger than its predecessor's 5 inches and much bigger than the iPhone's 4 inches. The S5's camera is capable of taking 16 megapixel images, an improvement from 13 megapixels in last year's Galaxy S4 (Review I Pictures).

What's most notable, though, is Samsung's decision to focus on features people might actually want. Some of the S4's features - such as automatic scrolling of content when you tilt your phone or head - came across as clutter or gimmicks that often didn't work as advertised.

Samsung also simplified the phone's interface. Like other Android phones, the Galaxy S5 is still more complex to use than Apple's iPhone, but the flip side is you get many more ways to customize it, including the ability to unlock a phone by drawing a pattern on the screen rather than using a passcode. In the S5, Samsung plays down or removes many of the S4's less useful features, while rearranging the settings and layouts to make things easier to find.
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Microsoft on One Windows, the future of Windows RT, and more

Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, has provided more details of the idea behind 'One Windows'. He also shared updates on the 'Windows Embedded' platform as well as the future of Windows RT.

In an interview with ZDNet, Myerson said the One Windows concept may have been misunderstood. According to him it "is the one developer platform across the Internet of things, phone, tablet, PC, Xbox, PPI (Perceptive Pixel touch displays), the cloud." He adds that through this concept, the developers can target the whole Windows ecosystem at a time, and not keep themselves limited to specific OS versions or devices.

When the future of Windows RT was brought up, Myerson seemed to give further credence to the rumours that a future version of Windows may run on x86 and ARM systems, instead of being a separate fork like Windows RT. "We want to take advantage of the innovations in ARM, he said. "I think ARM chipsets have a bright, vibrant future, and Windows will run on those chipsets."

Furthermore, Myerson was quite bullish about the future of desktop. "We actually value using the desktop. I feel highly productive using it. It's very familiar to me. We plan - (as) we talked about at the Build conference - to bring modern apps to the desktop. We are going to have machines that have a great desktop experience. The desktop is part of our future. It's absolutely core to Windows."
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From Apple to HTC, the biggest tech companies still don't 'get' the Internet


This may sound very familiar - a fan learns something about his favourite brand. He gets to see something in advance and very excitedly wants to share this with everyone he knows. He posts on Facebook and Twitter, and uploads a video on YouTube. And then the giant brand that he loved starts to make threatening comments, and brings the might of its legal team to bear on the hapless fan.
The result? A lot of alienated fans.

What's sad is that one could be talking about just about any major company in recent times. In March, a YouTube user made a video showing the then under wraps "All New HTC One". How did the company's Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon, react? He tweeted, "It's not going to be a good week for you, my friend." Faced with what seemed like the digital incarnation of Don Corleone, the leaker, Roshan Jamkatel immediately tried claiming that it was a fake video, but to no avail.

Apple meanwhile lost not one, but two prototypes across two years, and in the first case with the iPhone 4, had sent police to recover their lost phone from Gizmodo, and had threatened to pursue criminal charges, though they eventually did not.

It's not just the hardware firms that are doing this. FOX went to equally laughable lengths to prevent people from seeing a video of the new Family Guy game, which the company accidentally released early. According to a report on TouchArcade, one of the site's forum users legally downloaded the game when it appeared in the New Zealand App Store, and shared his impressions on video. The company first reached out to the user Hans Kasou and asked him to take the video down until the game was launched officially.

When Kasou did not respond, the company followed up with a copyright infringement claim, blocking his YouTube account, and took it a step further and shut down his Twitch channel as well, because he had briefly streamed the game there.
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27.3.14

LG L70 Dual and L90 Dual with Android 4.4 now available online in India


Two of the latest smartphones in the new LG 'L Series III' range, the L70 Dual and L90 Dual, are now available in India via an e-commerce website for Rs. 14,500 and Rs. 17,499 respectively. However, both the devices L70 Dual and L90 Dual are yet to be officially launched by the company.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant had announced that the L90 smartphone would begin rolling out globally starting March. The company had revealed that the biggest smartphone in the L Series III family, the L90, would be initially available in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region followed by other markets.
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26.3.14

Samsung Galaxy S5 India launch event scheduled for March 27


Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy S5 in India on 27 March. As of now, there is no word whether the Samsung Gear 2, Gear Neo and Gear Fit will also be launched in India on the same day.
Sammy Hub first reported that Samsung will unveil its Galaxy S5 in India on March 27; however, NDTV Gadgets has independently confirmed that the launch event will see the new flagship smartphone.
Update: Samsung has officially sent out invites for the event on Thursday.
However, it's worth pointing out that the Galaxy S5 will be available in India starting 11 April 2014 - the same date as Samsung had announced as global availability (150 countries) at its Galaxy S5 unveiling at MWC 2014.

22.3.14

Microsoft: Here's $100 if you drop Windows XP

April 8 is the day support for XP ends. So, Microsoft is reaching into its bag of discount tricks to get users to drop the decade-plus old operating system.
If you own a PC with XP and upgrade at the Microsoft Store, you get $100 off, 90 days of free support, and a "free data transfer," as spotted by Neowin.
The offer includes a new PC or Surface device priced at $599 or more and excludes Surface 2 "and some PCs," Microsoft said.
And you have to make an online purchase with a Windows XP machine or take an XP PC to a physical Microsoft Store.
wants to "make things better" for users without touch screens.
So, if you hail from the mouse-centric world of XP, the Windows 8.1 update should be the most palatable Windows 8 to date for XP users.
Those changes include new right-clickable context-sensitive menus, the ability to pin Metro apps to the Desktop task bar, and adding dedicated search and power buttons to the Start screen.
Meanwhile, the countdown for the end of support for XP continues. "There will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system," as Microsoft has made amply clear.
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Apple considering a Spotify rival and iTunes Android app


Apple is in negotiations with senior executives at record labels about launching an on-demand streaming music service that would compete with Spotify and Beats music, according to a report by Billboard. Citing three unnamed sources, the publication said the "exploratory talks" are right now in very early stages.
The report also said Apple is mulling creating an iTunes Store app for Android, bringing the property to enemy turf. Apple did not return a request for comment. We'll update this post if we hear back.
The considerations come at a trying time for iTunes. According to Nielsen, downloads on the platform are down 13 percent from the week of March 9, and digital track sales are down 11 percent from last year.
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20.3.14

Fitbit Now Faces a Class-Action Suit in Rash Fallout


A month after Fitbit issued a recall of its fitness-tracking bracelet following complaints of blisters and rashes, the startup now faces its first lawsuit.

The suit, filed on Monday in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego, is seeking class-action status and alleges the company misled consumers in promoting and advertising the Fitbit Force device.

The suit calls for Fitbit to notify every person who has bought the Fitbit Force device in the state of California, and to arrange to refund the $130 cost of the device, plus tax and any shipping fees. It also calls for Fitbit to provide a full disclosure of the cause of the wrist irritations.
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