Deaths at Samsung alter South Korea's corporate-is-king mindset >> Businessweek
Just inside his single-story home, built of concrete blocks and coated in turquoise paint, Hwang Sang-ki, a 58-year-old Korean taxi driver, sits on a floor mat. He’s clasping a small handbag, once bright white and now dull after years on a shelf. He pulls out a snapshot of 13 smiling young women, all co-workers at Samsung Electronics, off-duty and posing in three rows, each embracing or leaning into the other. The leaves of a tree behind them are turning golden in the autumn chill.<p>

“Here,” says Hwang, pointing to two women in the center of the group. Both had the same job at the same semiconductor factory, on the same line, standing side by side at the same workstation, dipping computer chips into the same vat of chemicals. Both got a particularly aggressive form of the blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. One was his daughter, Yu-mi. In South Korea, only about 3 out of every 100,000 people die of leukemia. “They worked together, and they died,” says Hwang. The snapshot is among a few private memories Hwang keeps of his late daughter.

Long, detailed look at the fight of a number of families to get clear answers on the deaths of children and siblings who worked on the semiconductor lines.
samsung  semiconductor  disease  illness 
16 minutes ago
300M downloads and $600M in revenue say Google is the 'loser's choice' in mobile games monetization >> VentureBeat
Venturebeat surveyed a number of big-hitting games developers about how they make money:
The results show not only which monetization methods are most effective at making developers money; they also show the least effective. The most-used monetization method, for instance, is the interstitial ad. But the way developers make more money is clear: freemium in-app purchases.<p>

Developers also told us which companies make them the most money — and which make them the least.<p>

The data clearly shows that game developers abandon Google once they hit 11 published games. While Google wins in the fat long tail of solo and small-team developers who have built fewer than 11 games, with 77% developer share there, game-makers who have made more than 20 games, have more than 20 developers, and bring in more than $50,000 every month are much more likely to not use Google.

The report is <a href="">here</a>.
games  monetisation 
27 minutes ago
The director of IT for NASA JPL explains where tech is going next in the enterprise >> CITEWorld
You'll recognise them, but there were lots of other possibilities - which he effectively rules out.
nasa  enterprise 
53 minutes ago
Office 365 Personal now available – and unlocks editing and document creation on iPad >> Office Blogs
On 13 March, we revealed that a new consumer subscription offering, Office 365 Personal, would be coming this spring. Today we’re announcing that it’s available for purchase–$69.99/year or $6.99/month (ERP)1–online at, at Microsoft Stores and through online and retail partners.<p>

An Office 365 Personal subscription allows for one PC or Mac, and one tablet (including iPad) to be connected to the service, and is the best option for individuals interested in using Office 365.
office  ipad  office365 
12 hours ago
Samsung Galaxy S5's first day sales were 30% to 100% higher than its predecessor's launch day sales >> Phone Arena
According to a report published Sunday out of Korea, first day sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 beat out the launch day sales of its predecessor. In some countries, sales of the new model doubled the amount of sales that the Samsung Galaxy S4 drew on its first day of release. Overall, sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 were 30% to 100% higher on its opening day, than the numbers achieved by the Samsung Galaxy S4.<p>

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was released on Friday in 125 countries, and will soon be offered in 150. Samsung says that it has received orders for millions of the device, and "the market is not yet saturated." Instead, Samsung appears to be worried about whether or not it has enough supply to go around…<p>

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 got off to a hot start, selling 10m units in less than a month, before sales slowed down. The Galaxy S4's predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S III, took 50 days to accomplish the same sales total. The Samsung Galaxy S II needed five months to hit the 10m sales mark, while the original Samsung Galaxy S reached 10m in sales after seven months.
samsung  gs5 
Apple considering hiking price of iPhone 6 by $100, says analyst >> Electronista
Apple has been asking carriers for approval to raise the base subsidized price of the iPhone 6 from $199 to $299, claims Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. The carriers have allegedly balked at the idea so far. Apple could potentially justify the increase due to the phone's bigger size; it's unclear in fact if the hike would apply to the 4.7-inch model or the 5.5-inch one, since Misek refers to just one iPhone 6. Many shoppers would likely assume a 5.5-inch phone would be more expensive.

Misek has a <a href="">woeful record</a> on Apple predictions. Watching brief on this one.
apple  iphone  phablet 
In emerging markets, there is no app store duopoly >> Jana Mobile
In emerging markets, the app store ecosystem is more complicated than Google Play vs Apple App Store. According to a recent Jana survey, many consumers are looking beyond the big players for their download needs.<p>

This is huge news for developers with an eye on emerging markets. In countries such as Indonesia, where third-party app store GetJar is used by nearly one in five of our survey respondents, traditional app marketing is clearly not the only option. These are unique markets in which different approaches are necessary to reach consumers and drive downloads.

Indonesia is going to be a gigantic market.
jana  smartphone 
2 days ago
TL;DR Wikipedia >> Tumblr
Not too long to read: the condensed sort-of Wikipedia.
wikipedia  tumblr  charlesarthur 
2 days ago
10 Rules of Internet >> Anil Dash
1) Given enough time, any object which can generate musical notes will be used to play the Super Mario Brothers theme on YouTube.<p>
2) Judging by their response, the meanest thing you can do to people on the Internet is to give them really good software for free.<p>
3) Three things never work: Voice chat, printers and projectors.

And seven more.
internet  anildash 
2 days ago
Samsung Galaxy S5 teardown >> iFixit
Samsung Galaxy S5 Repairability Score: 5 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)<p>.
The battery is incredibly easy to remove and replace.<p>
The display is now one of the first components out, making replacements a little faster. However, it is held in with a significant amount of adhesive and requires very careful and persistent prying and a considerable amount of heat to remove without cracking the glass or cutting cables.<p>
Once you get the device open, several components are modular and fairly easy to replace, such as the cameras, headphone jack, vibrator motor, and speakers.<p>
Replacing anything other than the battery requires first removing the display, risking extra damage on the way to a repair.

5/10 is the lowest iFixit has ever given a Samsung Galaxy (the S4 got 8/10). The <a href="">HTC One M8 gets 2/10</a>: "display assembly cannot be replaced without tunneling through the entire phone".
samsung  htc 
2 days ago
Why the web still matters for writing >> Matt Mullenweg's blog
Ben Thompson (making a guest post):
Many were quick to once again declare “The Web is Dead,” but I’m not sure that conclusion makes sense, at least for writing.<p>

First off, Flurry’s numbers don’t account for webviews within mobile apps. On my site, Stratechery, 37% of my iOS traffic comes from webviews (Android doesn’t break out the difference), which on Flurry’s chart would fall mostly in the Twitter slice. More mass market sites likely take up some percentage of Facebook time, as well.<p>

That said, it’s striking how little written content appears on Flurry’s chart; the only category that is primarily about written content is news, and even that includes video. And yet, pageviews on and Jetpack are up 27% year-over-year, new sites ranging from small blogs like Stratechery to huge sites like FiveThirtyEight continue to launch and grow, and multiple startups (and competitors!) continue to find writing something worth investing in.<p>

So is the web dead or not?
apps  webview 
3 days ago
Ubuntu One : Shutdown notice >> Canonical
We are sorry to notify you that we will be shutting down the Ubuntu One file services, effective 1 June 2014.<p>

It is no longer possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services apps in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores have been removed.<p>

As always, your content belongs to you. If you have already uploaded any content you can simply download your files onto your PC or an external hard drive. While the service will stop as of 1 June, you will have an additional two months (until 31 July 2014) to collect all of your content. After that date, all remaining content will be deleted.

<a href="">Explanation given</a>: "the free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB-50GB free storage. If we offer a service, we want it to compete on a global scale, and for Ubuntu One to continue to do that would require more investment than we are willing to make."
ubuntu  cloud  storage 
3 days ago
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has plenty of upgrades — so why does it feel so meh? >> Ars Technica
We grabbed a real medical pulse oximeter that a medic would use in the field to compare the measurements to the S5. While the S5 is capable of an accurate bpm measurement, its biggest problem is that the "one shot" style of measurement leads to a lot of inaccuracies. Even while doing our best to follow its don't-move-and-don't-make-noise instructions, we found the bpm measurement would wildly swing by up to 20 points while doing back-to-back readings.<p>

If you're relying on the Galaxy S5 for an accurate bpm, at minimum you'll have to take a "best of three" approach to find consensus. We find a 50% failure rate unacceptable for any tool that claims to measure something, so you can throw the Galaxy S5's heartbeat sensor onto the "gimmicky nonsense" pile.<p>

Even if this worked reliably, what would the point of it be? Anyone interested in keeping track of their heart rate would be much better served by a fitness device that can perform measurements while the wearer is moving and making noise. One-shot monitoring just isn't very useful.
samsung  gs5 
4 days ago
A galaxy of loopholes greets Samsung’s S5 launch >> WSJ
Jonathan Cheng and Min-Jeong Lee in Seoul:
That brings us to SK Telecom, whose storefront in downtown Seoul was free of Galaxy S5 promos, though an employee snapped to attention at the mention of the device. There were plenty of loopholes, he explained, pointing the reporters toward a Galaxy S5 on display by the front door.<p>

Korean regulators technically allow anyone whose two-year contract has expired to upgrade to the new smartphone. Alternatively, anyone who has lost a phone can replace it with a new Galaxy S5, even during the carrier’s sales blackout.<p>

Although any phone registered as “lost” has to stay out of sight for at least six months, he said that he had done just that for a few customers the other day. Would we be interested? (The reporters declined.)<p>

An SK Telecom spokeswoman confirmed the rule, but emphasized that the phone has to be properly documented as lost before a customer can buy a new phone through the carrier.<p>

SK Telecom’s more open-minded approach may be one small reason why it’s the dominant player in the market here. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, SK Telecom accounted for 49% of the country’s smartphone subscribers, as of the end of February. KT is next with 30% of the market, while LG Uplus brings up the rear with 21%.

Officially, only UPlus can presently sell the S5. Unofficially...
samsung  korea  gs5 
5 days ago
Exclusive: Apple vs. Samsung docs reveal Galaxy Tab was a flop and Samsung knew it >> Apple Insider
Samsung's internal documents indicate that the company's own public representation of its competitive position in the tablet market was not true, and that the company appears to have intentionally misled its own investors and the analysts covering its business with false statements about the health of its tablet sales.

Shocker; based on documents released in the latest Apple-Samsung patent trial. Samsung doesn't include figures for smartphone or tablet sales in its official financial documents; it "guides" analysts towards the figures that are publicly announced.
samsung  tablet 
5 days ago
Heartbleed, explained >> xkcd
Put like this, it's amazing that it has taken two years to discover this bug.
security  xkcd 
5 days ago
Security enhancements for search users >> Google Ads Developer Blog
We’ve long worked to keep your searches on Google secure. We provided SSL encryption for signed-in searches in 2011 and have rolled that out to searches from the omnibox in the Chrome browser. Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on<p>

Advertisers will continue to have access to useful data to optimize and improve their campaigns and landing pages. For example, you can access detailed information in the AdWords search terms report and the Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries report.

This is <a href="">discussed on Search Englne Land</a>, but what isn't addressed anywhere is: how does stripping out the search term make a <em>search</em> more secure? Surely what you're securing is the connection between the searcher and Google. If you move on from Google to the advertiser, over a link that might or might not be secure, how is your <em>security</em> compromised by the search term being passed on or not?

On the other hand, though, Google gets to see everything - what people search for and what they click - while advertisers see less and less, with only Google's dashboards showing them data about keyword performance.
google  search  advert 
5 days ago
High-tech U.S. farm machines harvest Big Data, reap privacy worries >> Reuters
The original "plow that broke the plains" enabled American farms to grow massive swathes of wheat and corn with its lightness and durability. The modern machines are using data to take another giant step in efficiency and output.<p>

But as big agricultural companies pour money into data storage and analytics tools that aim to turn micro detail on crops and furrow-by-furrow weather into more grain for less pain, concerns are growing about how the data might be used and how secure such a gold mine for traders is.
bigdata  agriculture 
5 days ago
China’s banks to close all bitcoin sites’ trading accounts >> Tech In Asia
China’s bitcoin exchanges are being issued with formal notices stating that their bank accounts must be closed by 15 April. China’s BTCTrade exchange announced today that it has been contacted by its bank and told to remove all funds prior to the deadline or else the assets will be frozen. It appears that exchanges are being informed directly and privately, as the People’s Bank of China has not issued a formal directive.<p>

In contrast, BTC China has not received a notice from its bank, notes CoinDesk. Bitcoin prices are plummeting as the news emerges – the price is down to $410 right now on London-based Bitstamp.<p>

This corroborates what we reported on 27 March.

China was a huge market for bitcoin because of its facility for evading currency controls.
bitcoin  china 
6 days ago
FTC notifies Facebook, WhatsApp of privacy obligations in light of proposed acquisition >> Federal Trade Commission
The director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection notified <a href="">Facebook and WhatsApp about their obligations to protect the privacy of their users</a> in light of Facebook’s proposed acquisition of WhatsApp.<p>

In a letter to the two companies, Bureau Director Jessica Rich noted that WhatsApp has made clear privacy promises to consumers, and that both companies have told consumers that after any acquisition, WhatsApp will continue its current privacy practices.<p>

“We want to make clear that, regardless of the acquisition, WhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and, potentially, the FTC’s order against Facebook,” the letter states.
facebook  whatsapp  privacy 
6 days ago
4K vs. UHDTV: Clearing up the Confusion >> CableLabs
4K Is UHDTV – Sometimes<p>

Unfortunately, due to marketing, the term 4K was already being identified with televisions at the time of the SMPTE document release, and has never been supplanted by UHDTV. Thus, consumers find themselves wondering what the difference is. Now we are starting to see UHDTV 4K or 4K UHDTV labeled TVs.  In both of these cases, regardless of the term used, the actual resolution is 3840×2160.

We hope this clears up the confusion.
4k  uhdtv 
6 days ago
Tablet ownership up 63% as digital adspend hits record high >> Mediatel
More than one in four British consumers now owns a tablet, with advertisers spending a record £6.3bn in 2013 to reach people across devices, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) digital adspend report, conducted by PwC.<p>
36% of people accessing the internet now do so via a tablet, according to UKOM and ComScore, with UK tablet ownership growing 63% year on year in February 2014 to almost 18 million.<p>
Research from the IAB reveals that 57% of tablet owners say it is their 'go-to' device to surf the internet at home, with 66% saying that it is easier to go online using a tablet.

Having passed 16% penetration, tablets are now entering the "early majority" phase of adoption.
tablet  uk  penetration  ownership 
6 days ago
Jony Ive shakes up Apple’s software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing >> 9to5Mac
The design shakeup at Apple will result in Christie soon leaving the company, with all software designers now working directly under Ive with the rest of his industrial design team instead of within Federighi’s engineering group. Sources say that Christie’s upcoming departure is significant and stems from a falling out with Ive.<p>

When Ive tasked Apple’s Human Interface team with redesigning iOS 7 to include an entirely new look, Christie and Ive reportedly clashed over design direction, after which Ive is said to have circumvented Christie’s leadership of the team during the new operating system’s development.
apple  ive  christie  higgs 
7 days ago
Does the Galaxy S5 have temperature and humidity sensors? >> OpenSignal
Although the S5 is not officially released for another 2 days, we’ve seen numerous S5’s sending us data – almost 70 in fact, from 15 countries (Korea we expected to see as the S5 is already on sale there, the US, Israel, Brazil are also included). Among the data we collect is a one-off scan of device specs, this forms the basis of our <a href="">Android Fragmentation reports</a>, we also provide this data to device testing firms and OEMs.<p>

Across all 69 Galaxy S5’s, covering 9 distinct precise models (e.g. SM-G900L, SMG900V) not a single one provides humidity or temperature APIs. Unless Samsung has included these sensors but made them invisible to developers – which would be perverse – these sensors are not present.

They aren't - because you can't make a phone waterproof while also having humidity sensors.
opensignal  sgs5 
7 days ago
Chinese Ministry of Commerce approves Microsoft-Nokia deal >> The Official Microsoft Blog
David Howard, deputy general counsel at Microsoft:
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Tuesday announced that it has approved our purchase of Nokia’s Devices and Services business subject to certain conditions. MOFCOM’s decision effectively adopts Microsoft’s current patent licensing practices. In reaching its decision, MOFCOM concluded after its investigation that Microsoft holds approximately 200 patent families that are necessary to build an Android smartphone.

Would love to know what functionality those 200 patent families read on.
android  microsoft  patents 
7 days ago
There won't be another iPhone-class product, not for Apple, not for anyone, not for a long time >> iMore
Rene Ritchie:
We've all seen the reports. The iPhone by itself is more profitable than many of Apple's competitors are in total. iPhone is as profitable as companies with oligopoly control over fossil fuel resources. It's a singular phenomenon.<p>

The iPad doesn't make as much money as the iPhone. And, no iWatch, iTelevision, iEspresso maker, or any other consumer electronics product is going to either.<p>

Yet article after article, analyst after analyst insists Apple simply must release their "next big thing" and now or, doomed. 60 days to release an iWatch or doomed. Has to sell 65m units a year or doomed. Haunted. Doomed.

Sensible. The smartphone has been the fastest-adopted technology ever* (data for the wheel not available).
apple  iphone  iwatch 
7 days ago
Rethinking what we mean by 'mobile web' >> Daring Fireball:
John Gruber responds to Chris Dixon's concern about the loss of the "mobile web":
let native apps be good at what they’re good at, too. Like water flowing downhill, users gravitate to the best experiences. Saying that we’re worse off for the popularity of native mobile apps is like saying water should run uphill.<p>

The single biggest slice in Flurry’s statistics is “gaming”, at 32%. Does anyone really think that mobile games would be better off written to run in web browser tabs? Lamenting today the falling share of time people spend in web browsers at the expense of mobile apps is no different from those who a decade ago lamented the falling share of time spent reading paper newspapers and magazines at the expense of websites.
mobile  web  apps 
8 days ago
Amazon Fire TV first impressions >> PVRblog
Matt Haughey:
The biggest failing is that end users (that's us!) don't get a truly Universal Search. If you search for "Bob's Burgers" (arguably the best network animated comedy show today) on Amazon's Fire TV, you get results that you can buy any single episode from their 4 season run for $1.99 each or a full season for $29.99. I'm a member of Hulu Plus and Netflix as well, and installed the apps on the Fire TV, but there's no mention of them in the search results or even after clicking the "more ways to watch" button. On Netflix, you can stream the first couple seasons of Bob's Burgers for free. On Hulu, you can watch the latest episodes from the current fourth season for free as well.<p>

Now, I know Amazon is in the business of making money and would of course want you to buy the episodes from them, but Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos got famous for putting a customer's needs first (The Bezos Doctrine) before profits. Of course, Apple doesn't offer this kind of search on AppleTV either, but if anyone would have been crazy enough to give free streaming options before paid downloads, I would have hoped that Amazon Fire TV could be the first, but sadly it's not.

Don't miss his Venn diagram of "stuff that is good to watch" v various streaming options either.
tv  amazon  fire  roku 
9 days ago
A Unicorn? In Israel? >> LinkedIn
Noam Bardin, Wave's founder (bought by Google for $1.15bn), writes at length about how unusual (a "unicorn") his company was - but how the conditions for such startups are improving:
Israelis are also too cynical to reinvent new ways to consume. Instagram could never have survived our cynical side, or explaining to your buddies in the army that “instead of hacking into Iranian nuclear plants you built an app for sending friends pictures of food??”…<p>…if you want American exits, you need to give American valuations. One of Waze’s mistakes was the valuation of its A round which significantly diluted the founders. Perhaps, had we held control of the company, as the Founders of Facebook, Google, Oracle or Microsoft had, Waze might still be an independent company today.

Which makes it sound distinctly as though investor pressure forced the sale, not his wish to sell. Bardin is leaving Google.
google  waze  startup 
9 days ago
Mobile’s rapid evolution is far from over: comScore - content - Mobile Marketer
Consumer behavior is significantly shifting from traditional to digital media, with 2013 marking the first time mobile usage surpassed desktop, according to a new report from comScore.<p>

The report, "US. Digital Future in Focus 2014," reveals that the number of United States smartphone users increased 24% last year for a total of 156m owners, a healthy growth rate considering the maturity of the market. Tablets grew 57% in the past year to 82m owners.<p>

“The rapid evolution in mobile usage will only expand," said Adam Lella, a marketing insights analyst at comScore, Chicago, Illinois.
mobile  america  desktop  tablets 
9 days ago
Don't give up on wearables already >> San Jose Mercury News
Michelle Quinn:
the premise of the wearable category starts with a good question: Are there different ways for us to interact with technology than a screen? Could those other mediums allow us to interact more with those around us, rather than distract us and take us away from our immediate surroundings?<p>

"We are getting more intimate with technology and there is nothing more intimate than what you are wearing," said Bob O'Donnell, the founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research.<p>

Second, the promise of the sector is not to just add more beeps and buzzes to your life. The goal is to sell you something that is novel, yes, but actually offers ways to improve your life.<p>

So, you wake up to learn you slept five hours, and your smartwatch takes in the data from the past week to calculate your cumulative sleep deprivation, taking into account factors like age and gender. It recommends a nap at 2 since it sees an opening in your calendar, or an early bedtime.

This sounds great, as long as the wearer is aged under 24 months. Perhaps that's the market to be tapped, not adults.
9 days ago
Microsoft Office for the iPad: it's delightfully familiar >>
Farhad Manjoo:
the most startling thing about using Office on an iPad is how comfortable it feels. Sure, the tablet version, which has to accommodate touch input, not a mouse pointer, looks different from the desktop version. The stripped-down interface has fewer advanced features than on your desktop, and the menus are blessedly minimalist, showing only the main options you’d need for any given task.<p>

Yet despite the new look, everything about the software is obvious. For the most part, the iPad versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote work exactly as they do on PCs and Macs.<p>

This is a testament to the designers and engineers at Microsoft and to the power of long-term training. Other than my web browser, there’s no software I use more often than Word, so I’ve internalized all its tics. I know the keyboard shortcuts, the menu options, the ins and outs of esoteric features like Track Changes. As I used the iPad version, I felt it click into the same neural grooves dug out by the years I’ve spent on desktop Office. If you’re familiar with Office, you won’t face any learning curve in the new version.<p>

If you love Office on your computer, you’ll love it on your iPad. If you’ve always hated it, that won’t change, either; now you’ll just have one more place to hate it.
office  ipad  microsoft  apple 
9 days ago
Charge your phone in 30 seconds? An Israeli firm says it can >> WSJ
StoreDot was born out of the nanotechnology department at Tel Aviv University and developed its prototype  for Samsung’s Galaxy 4. It unveiled the device at Microsoft's Think Next conference in Tel Aviv. StoreDot says it plans to make chargers for other smartphones, too.<p>

StoreDot has been developing <a href="">biological semiconductors, made from naturally occurring organic compounds called peptides, or short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins</a>. The technology can be used, among other things, to speed charging times, the company says.
storedot  charging  smartphone 
9 days ago
Chart: how mobile are social networks? >> Statista
As in, how much of their activity comes from mobile users? See if you can order this (alphabetical) list in order of most mobile use: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr. Then see.
mobile  socialnetwork 
9 days ago
The fallacy of Android-first >> TechCrunch
Dave Feldman is co-founder of Emu, a texting/scheduling app; they decided to go Android-first:
We discarded the iPhone prototype we had been working on for a few weeks, polished our rusty Java skills and had an Android alpha out by February 2013. We posted a public beta in July. And in October, we launched with terrific press coverage, including from a few folks who sang our praises specifically because we went Android-first. Android users are sick of watching new apps launch on iPhone, with Android as an often-underwhelming afterthought.<p>

We launched <a href="">Emu for iPhone</a> on 2 April, and we’ve pulled Emu for Android out of the Play Store. We hope we’ll return to Android someday, but our team is too small to innovate and iterate on multiple platforms simultaneously. We’ve concluded iPhone is a better place to be:<p>

• Our decision to build on top of SMS/MMS involved huge, unanticipated technical hurdles.<br />• Even when you don’t support older Android versions, fragmentation is a huge drain on resources.<br />• Google’s tools and documentation are less advanced, and less stable, than Apple’s.<br />• Android’s larger install base doesn’t translate into a larger addressable market.

The examples of bugs encountered even between Samsung Galaxy S4 devices is quite surprising. They supported Android 4.0 and later - and then cut even 4.0 to try to minimise the problem, but were still having to support 300 different devices.
android  ios  fragmentation 
9 days ago
Key Samsung executives depart from US business >> CNET
Samsung has a mini-exodus on its hands.<p>

At least five high-ranking executives from Samsung's US mobile business - known as Samsung Telecommunications America, or STA - have left the company or have given their notice over the past two months, people familiar with the departures told CNET.<p>

The departures, including the head of national sales, the mobile devices product chief, and a key strategist for Galaxy tablets and the Gear smartwatch, come less than a year after Gregory Lee took over as president and CEO of Samsung's US mobile and electronics operations. The moves also follow other turnover in Samsung's US operations as the company battles Apple in yet another patent-infringement case over key smartphone patents.

Samsung's statement says, in part, "Some have left voluntarily to pursue other opportunities..." Some?
11 days ago
Twitter / Office: More than 12 million downloads ... >> Microsoft Twitter account
Microsoft's Twitter account:
More than 12 million downloads of Word, Excel, PPT & OneNote for #iPad from the @AppStore <3 #OfficeforiPad
office  ipad 
13 days ago
Brendan Eich steps down as Mozilla CEO >> The Mozilla Blog
Mitchell Baker:
Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.<p>

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.<p>

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
mozilla  internet 
13 days ago
Google shareholder votes can be worth less than zero >> Businessweek
What is the worth of a Google shareholder vote?<p>

One correct answer has always been: not much. Since the company went public in 2004, its stock has come in two flavors: Class A shares, which come with one vote apiece; and Class B shares, which come with 10. The latter are held almost entirely by Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, giving them majority control of the company while owning just a fraction of it. If all the Class A shareholders voted against Page and Brin, they would still lose. So it might even be accurate to say that the value of those voting rights is tantamount to nothing.<p>

Today we are learning that the answer can even be: literally less than nothing. Or, to put it differently, an investor will apparently pay you to take the burden of a Google vote off her hands.

The cause: a new C class of Google stock without a vote.
google  stock 
13 days ago
Music piracy goes mobile >> Re/code
Some 27 million people in the US have used mobile applications to get at least one song in the past year, much of it believed to be unauthorized, NPD found in research that seeks for the first time to quantify the phenomenon. That’s more than the 21 million people NPD estimates use peer-to-peer sites such as isoHunt to download music.…<p>

The Google Play store offers some 250 apps for downloading MP3 files to smartphones and tablets powered by its Android software. Several tout the benefit of connecting users to the sources of free music that they could find through a typical Internet search.<p>

But, the most popular of these Android apps, Music Maniac, has been downloaded more than 10 million times — and affords free access to all 10 of the top songs listed on the current Billboard’s Hot 100 list. The Recording Industry Association of America said it has sent notices to Google requesting the app’s removal, claiming it enables song piracy. Google has thus far refused.

The apps tend to have the get-out that they can legally be used to find free or uncopyrighted music.
piracy  music  smartphone 
14 days ago
LinkedIn warns company over “Hack In” tool that shows email addresses >> Gigaom
LinkedIn is urging people to stay away from Sell Hack, a sinister-sounding service that reveals the personal email address of anyone with a profile on the professional network. LinkedIn is warning that the service’s “Hack In” tool uploads confidential information, and says it has sent Sell Hack a cease-and-desist letter.<p>

Sell Hack is marketing the “Hack In” button to salespeople looking to reach new prospects. The company’s website claims that people who install its plug-in will be able to use the button to view the email contact of LinkedIn members with whom they’re not connected, such as LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner:

Raising the question of why your email would be visible through viewing the profile. LinkedIn is a social network equivalent of herpes - once you have it, you'd like to get rid of it.
linkedin  privacy  email 
14 days ago
The God particle revisited: augmented audio reality in the age of wearables >> Praxtime
Nathan Taylor reckons voice will be key to wearables, and that it's just waiting for a processing breakthrough to become second nature:
And once software gets into wide use, it often has an exponential improvement trajectory, driven by algorithmic breakthroughs coupled with Moore’s law. Especially during its initial growth phase. I explored this in detail in last week’s post, using computer chess as an example. But note that during the early portion of exponential growth, doubling doesn’t seem to do anything at all. Twice almost nothing is still almost nothing. Then as the technology approaches our reference vantage point (in this case human spoken language), doubling becomes magical.

In other words, what if the ideal wearables are headphones, not glasses?
14 days ago
Google distances itself from the Pentagon, stays in bed with mercenaries and intelligence contractors >> PandoDaily
Yasha Levine:
With all the hubbub about NSA spying, Google’s PR people really want you to know how separate the company is from America’s military-industrial complex.<p>

Earlier this week, Google made a big show of refusing DARPA funding for two robotics manufacturers it purchased, even though the companies themselves were financed with plenty of DoD cash. It’s a nice gesture, and one that was welcomed by those who want Silicon Valley to be free of government interference.<p>

Unfortunately, while a crowd-pleasing announcement is good for Google’s public image, it does nothing to change the company’s <a href="">long and ongoing history</a> of working closely with US military and surveillance agencies.

Fascinating piece. As a side note, Pandodaily has improved enormously since its merger with Paul Carr's NSFW Inc.
google  nsa 
14 days ago
Dumb CryptoDefense hackers leave keys on victims' PCs >> PC Pro
The aggressive CryptoLocker ransomware appeared last year, locking files on victims' computers and only offering a decryption key in return for payment of a ransom.<p>

The success of the scam – it had infected an estimated 250,000 PCs between September and December last year – has encouraged copycats, with CryptoDefense appearing in February and demanding $500 for a key to unlock files.<p>

According to security firm Symantec, the latest iteration is earning its creators $34,000 a month, but while previous versions have been uncrackable without payment, CryptoDefense includes flaws that could allow victims to escape with payment.

Oops, but in a good way.
cryptodefense  hacking  security 
14 days ago
What Michael Lewis gets wrong about high-frequency trading >> Businessweek
Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of basic arguments over its impact on markets and investors. The new book is typical Lewis. It’s a page-turner that reads like a novel and succeeds in making complex topics accessible to non-experts. By taking seemingly disparate developments—the secretive race to build underground, super-fast fiber optic cables, the 2009 arrest of a Goldman Sachs computer programmer—Lewis stitches together a compelling, character-driven narrative to walk readers through the immense changes the financial markets have undergone over the past decade.</blockquote?>

Only two things wrong with it, apparently. Whether they're big or small may be a matter for discussion.
hft  trading 
14 days ago
Is wireless safe enough? >> Telecom Trends
In 1998, Health Canada first commissioned the Royal Society to examine Safety Code 6 to assess consistency with the scientific literature in setting limits to protect the public from adverse health risks. This led to a Expert Panel report in March 1999. While there have been changes made to Safety Code 6 over the past 15 years, public concerns continue to be raised in respect of RF exposure that fall within the limits of the code. So, in 2013, Health Canada once again commissioned the Royal Society to strike an independent expert panel.<p>

At nearly 120 pages plus appendices, it is a hefty read.<p>

The bottom line? A single statement in the Public Summary says it best: “the Panel has concluded that the balance of evidence at this time does not indicate negative health effects from exposure to RF energy below the limits recommended in the Safety Code.”

Deploy tinfoil hats elsewhere.
rf  wifi 
14 days ago
Chart: the good old radio trumps online services for music discovery >> Statista
When it comes to discovering new music nothing beats the good old radio. That's according to the results of an Edison Research survey which finds that 35% of Americans who try to keep up with the latest music consider FM/AM radio their number one source.<p>

Personal recommendations are also popular when it comes to music, with 21% of the respondents mostly relying on their social circle to stay up-to-date. Among the plethora of online music services, surprisingly, YouTube is the most important one for music discovery, 10% find new tunes on Google's video portal.

Given how woeful most US FM radio is, this suggests the streaming services are doing a terrible job. Is YouTube's recommendation system better? Or is it simply bigger? Pandora is only just behind YouTube, at 9%.
music  recommendation 
14 days ago
Apps vs the web >> Matt Gemmell
After Flurry <a href="">found</a> that native apps are used about 83% of the time by smartphone users, and the mobile web 17%, here's a piece from 2011 in which Gemmell points out why
the inescapable fact is that when deploying on the web, from the user’s perspective, you’re probably starting with a disadvantage.
web  apps  html5 
14 days ago
How the internet has woven itself into American life >> Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
Has (statistically robust) data on computer, mobile phone, smartphone and internet use in the US. Two fascinating stats on smartphones: Hispanics are more likely to own one than whites (61% v 53%); 83% of those aged 18-29 have one, v 19% of those over 65.
research  internet 
15 days ago
Why the Microsoft Surface just died last week >> Forbes
Gene Marks:
Nadella understands that. He is a break from that history. At 47, he’s a hundred years younger than Ballmer and Gates in terms of technology. He remembers those days but has little nostalgia for them. He has no emotional ties to Windows. He looks at a world today where the great majority of devices sold now and in the future will not have Windows installed on them. And he’s OK with that. This is opportunity for a company like Microsoft. And he’s positioning his company to take advantage of that opportunity. A Windows First policy was the reason behind products like the Surface. Not anymore.
microsoft  surface  windows 
15 days ago
I often get angry when writing code in this language >> Programming Languages | Hammer Principle
Based on responses from 1764 people, we've built up the following picture of how well "I often get angry when writing code in this language" describes different programming languages.

Brilliant list (also very funny, though it's completely serious, compiled from a survey). Also shows which ones you get for "developers who primarily use this [language] often burn out after a few years."
15 days ago
Microsoft censors TorrentFreak for 'security reasons' >> TorrentFreak
Allegedly, for "peer-to-peer file sharing" (which it doesn't do, but reports on):
Unfortunately the issues above are not limited to Microsoft. Every other week we are notified by readers who can’t access TorrentFreak since it’s blocked at their work or school because the site is classified as a source of illegal file-sharing. More often than not we’re collateral damage.
torrent  microsoft 
15 days ago
Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: the complete list an infographic >> Ber-art
Google has never publicly announced its ranking signals, but it has mentioned that there at about 200 of them. Thanks to Single Grain and Backlinko for listing what they think could be the 200 ranking factors, based on the information they have about Google.<p>

This infographic is a great way to learn and integrate some of the concepts into your own game plan to hopefully see results.

It's very, very long.
infographic  google  seo 
15 days ago
Boeing blames pilots for Asiana 777 crash; airline faults software, too >> The Seattle Times
Recall the accident in July 2013 when three people died as a plane crashed on landing?
The South Korean carrier wrote that “the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew’s failure to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed during a final approach.”<p>

However, its report cites factors it says contributed to the crash, including the logic built into the plane’s autothrottle software.<p>

Boeing and Asiana agree that as the pilots came in to land, they expected the autothrottle to automatically supply engine thrust to maintain a minimum airspeed. In fact, in the flight mode they had engaged, the onus was on them to maintain the speed.<p>

Asiana also faulted the cockpit alerting systems as providing “inadequate warning” that the speed had dropped dangerously low.<p>

The discrepancy between the airline and the jet-maker pivots around Boeing’s flight-control design philosophy, cited in its submission as requiring “the pilot always has the final authority over any automation system.”
software  airline  crash 
15 days ago
Can an audacious plan to create a new energy resource help save the planet? >> The New Yorker
Raffi Khatchadourian looks at ITER, the experimental fusion reactor being built in Cadarache, France. Allow plenty of time to read - by the end of which you'll be much better informed than you expected.
nuclear  fusion  newyorker 
15 days ago
Google Flu Trends Still Appears Sick: An Evaluation of the 2013-2014 Flu Season by David Lazer, Ryan Kennedy, Gary King, Alessandro Vespignani :: SSRN
David Lazer and colleagues wrote a Science paper on Google Flu Trends's inaccuracy. Google tweaked it. They looked again:
In response to its poor performance during the 2012-2013 flu season, Google Flu Trends (GFT) engineers announced a redesign of the GFT algorithm. Two changes were made: (1) dampening anomalous media spikes and (2) using ElasticNet, rather than regression, for estimation. This paper identifies several problems that persist in the new algorithm.

Is the problem with GFT the exception or the rule in this sort of big data processing? The impossibility of getting a response is very like other services.
google  statistics  flu  gft 
16 days ago
‘I wanna get this white trash on tape’: Google ‘Glass’ user releases video from bar attack >> The Raw Story
The California woman who said she was the victim of a “hate crime” for wearing Google Glass eyewear in a bar released a profanity-filled video taken just before her dispute with patrons became physical.<p>

“I wanna get this white trash, this trash on tape for as long as I can,” tech writer Sarah Slocum said in the video, apparently shot before she was attacked last month at Molotov’s, a bar in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood.<p>

In response, an unidentified man can be seen approaching her, saying, “Get out of here,” then reaching for the eyewear.

It's the video she took herself, if that isn't clear. Warning: contains asterisks.
glass  google 
16 days ago
Purported iPhone 6 pictures show protruding camera, rounded edges >> 9to5Mac
Images posted on Weibo claim to show an iPhone 6 under testing at Foxconn, via GforGames. The validity of these images cannot be confirmed, but the shots do line up with previous rumours. The iPhone 6 depicted here has a protruding camera (similar to the current design of the iPod touch), rounded edges and a considerably thinner profile than the current iPhone 5S.

The most enjoyable part is that the computers being used for the CNC are clearly running Windows XP.
iphone6  windowsxp 
16 days ago
Researchers use game theory to identify potential problems for bitcoin >> MIT Technology Review
Miners earn newly minted bitcoins for adding new sections to the blockchain. But the amount awarded for adding a section is periodically halved so that the total number of bitcoins in circulation never exceeds 21m (the reward last halved in 2012 and is set to do so again in 2016). Transaction fees paid to miners for helping verify transfers are supposed to make up for that loss of income. But fees are currently negligible, and the Princeton analysis predicts that under the existing rules these fees won’t become significant enough to make mining worth doing in the absence of freshly minted bitcoins.<p>

The only solution Kroll sees is to rewrite the rules of the currency. “It would need some kind of governance structure that agreed to have a kind of tax on transactions or not to limit the number of bitcoins created,” he says. “We expect both mechanisms to come into play.”

Won't be popular.
bitcoin  gametheory 
16 days ago
The price of music >> Re/code
Smart analysis by David Pakman:
So, the data tells us that consumers are willing to spend somewhere around $45–$65 per year on music, and that the larger a service gets, the lower in that range the number becomes. And these numbers have remained consistent regardless of music format, from CD to download.<p>

Curiously, the on-demand subscription music services like Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and Beats Music are all priced the same at more than twice consumer spending on music. They largely land at $120 per year (although Beats has a family-member option for AT&T users at $15 per month.)

Which means, logically, that something's gotta give. And you're not going to get those huge numbers of people to suddenly spend more on music, when that hasn't happened over generations - we spend no more, on average, than our parents did on music. (Pakman has been at the sharp end: he used to work at eMusic.)
music  business 
16 days ago
▶ The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors >> YouTube
The official US courts presentation that is shown to jurors who are going to be trying patent trials. Pretty much guaranteed to suck all the excitement out of the event, if anyone had any delusions going in. But at least we have an authoritative pronunciation of "patent". (Via @Smurfuhrer.)
patent  video 
16 days ago
Toyota prototypes laser radar for autonomous driving, etc >> Tech-On!
Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc developed a system that can be installed in a vehicle and three-dimensionally recognise pedestrians, other vehicles, structures, etc around the vehicle by using near-infrared laser radar.<p>

Toyota Central R&D Labs announced the results of an experiment in which a prototype of the system was tested at the 61st JSAP Spring Meeting, which runs from March 17 to 20, 2014, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan (lecture number: 17p-E9-5). The company confirmed that the prototype can detect a board looking like a human from a distance of 80m.
toyota  autonomous 
16 days ago
Why it’s time for Google to fix Google Now >> Gigaom
Janko Roettgers:
The puzzling thing about Now is that it often fails spectacularly when it should know better, which makes you wonder whether Google just hasn’t done a good job integrating the service with its other offerings.<p>

One example: The other day, I drove down to Mountain View for a meeting. Ahead of the trip, I looked up the traffic on Google Maps on my desktop, and then actually used the Google Maps app on my phone for navigation. So what did Google Now do when I checked it after my meeting was done? Suggest how to get back home via public transit, of course.<p>

Currently, Google Now still depends too much on default settings. Instead, it should learn from real-life behavior. I, for one, wouldn’t actually mind to help train it if it occasionally asked me things like: How, exactly, did you get to work today? It’s something that activity tracking apps like Moves already do really well.

It's not so much "fix" as "hugely enhance to match my vision". But what if that's just too much to ask? Should we assume that Google Now (and other systems) will have no limits - in which case, how long should we accept their baby steps?
16 days ago
Hullcoin: the world's first local government cryptocurrency? >> Coindesk
The idea to use cryptocurrency came about when Shepherdson was asked by the Hull City Council Welfare Rights Manager, Lisa Bovill, to investigate the possibility of using an alternative currency (in the sense of the Brixton Pound-type of local currencies) as a means to provide an anti-poverty framework in Hull.<p>

This was to be part of the ‘Hull People Premium’ scheme, aimed to help the people of Hull save money, and gain access to advice and aid for food, fuel and finance.

The first, and one hopes the last. "Hull residents in financial distress can take part in voluntary activities and receive HullCoins in exchange," it explains. So people who are poor get stuff stored in digital wallets that need comparatively expensive computers and high levels of expertise to access?
bitcoin  cryptocoin  hull  hullcoin 
16 days ago
Meet Lucy H. Koh, a Silicon Valley Judge >>
Engaging profile:
Judge Koh has a reputation for keeping strict control of her courtroom. In the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, when Apple bid to block testimony from a Samsung witness, she said: ”I don’t trust what any lawyer tells me in this courtroom. I want to see actual papers.”

Like it.
koh  apple  samsung 
16 days ago
BlackBerry wins court order against TV host Ryan Seacrest's Typo >> Reuters
BlackBerry Ltd won a preliminary injunction on Friday to ban Ryan Seacrest's Typo Products LLC from selling a $99 iPhone case after a judge agreed that television host's company had likely infringed on BlackBerry's patents.<p>

US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said that the Canadian mobile phone maker had established a "likelihood" of proving that Typo infringed its patents, while mentioning that Typo had not sufficiently challenged the patents in question.<p>

The preliminary injunction prohibits Typo from the sale of its keyboard, which is a part of the relief sought by Blackberry.

Easier to get an injunction on hardware than software, even without the case being proven.
blackberry  typo  patent 
16 days ago
HTC admits boosting One M8 benchmarks; makes it a feature >> CNET
Eric Mack:
I asked HTC how the One M8 handles benchmark apps like AnTuTu, and received this response:
"Thanks for your email about the HTC One (M8). Benchmarking tests look to determine maximum performance of the CPU and GPU and, similar to the engine in a high-performance sports car, our engineers optimize in certain scenarios to produce the best possible performance. If someone would like to get around this benchmarking optimization there are ways to do so, but we think most often this will not be the case."

You have to love how HTC is now turning it around: "If someone would like to get around this benchmarking optimisation..."
htc  benchmark 
17 days ago
Teens don’t use email, so email is dead, right? Wrong. >> austinpreneur
Joshua Baer:
I don’t know about you, but email sure doesn’t feel dead to me. I check my email more than ever now that I always have a mobile phone and other ways to get notified of important emails such as my Pebble watch or Google Glass. I seem to get more email than ever, been though I’ve shifted many of my newsletters and groups to Facebook and Twitter.
17 days ago
Microsoft aims at global shipments of 25 million Windows tablets in 2014, say Taiwan makers >> Digitimes
Microsoft has set an internal goal of increasing global Windows tablet shipments, including its Surface, in 2014 to 25m units, five times the 5m units shipped in 2013, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.<p>

The target shipments are too optimistic, and 18-20m units is more likely, according to the sources.<p>

In order to reach the goal, Microsoft has offered subsidies to vendors developing and launching Windows tablets, the sources indicated. While Sony and Lenovo are less interested in developing Windows tablets, Asustek Computer and Acer have been very cooperative with Microsoft, the sources noted. Asustek aims to ship 12m tablets in 2014, including about 4m Windows units, while Acer aims to ship 10m tablets including 2m Windows units, the sources said.

And Surfaces? Aiming to go from 3m in 2013 to 6m.
microsoft  windows  tablet 
17 days ago
RIM’s quarterly results >> Bare Figures
RIM/BlackBerry's story, told through its own financial reports made into clear graphics. Note how much the "cost of sales" (part of "cost and operating expenses") has been cut in the most recent quarter compared to the former.
blackberry  rim  financial 
17 days ago
New HTC One doubles repair score, still flunks the test >> iFixit
Say hello to the second-least-repairable smartphone we’ve laid our hands on. The M8 is easier to pull out of its rear case, with screws replacing some of the adhesive and clips from last year. So now it’s merely difficult—instead of nearly impossible—to disassemble the phone without destroying it. Once opened, the same demerits are present in the second generation: the battery is still layered beneath the motherboard, which is still layered beneath a year’s supply of tape, and removing and replacing the display still requires tunneling through the entire phone.

Last year's HTC One was the least-repairable smartphone. The full list is at <a href=""></a>
htc  ifixit 
17 days ago
Samsung may cut S5 supply to SKT >> Korea Times
Samsung Electronics said Thursday it could possibly reduce shipments of Galaxy S5 smartphones to SK Telecom (SKT) to penalize it for its “unauthorized” release of the firm’s latest cellphone.<p>

However, it remains to be seen if Samsung truly wants to opt for punitive measures, considering SKT is its largest vendor and any reduction in supplies could negatively affect sales of its latest device.

"Heads we reduce, tails we don't. Keep flipping the coin until it comes up tails."
samsung  gs5 
17 days ago
Barometer: tech >>
Tim Bradshaw:
as San Francisco becomes a one-horse town, it risks becoming detached from mainstream tastes. A consumer app that catches fire with normal folks can be completely ignored here, while things that get the uber-geeks excited don’t always transfer to the outside world. Pinterest is an example of this. Millions of Midwestern moms signed up to the online scrapbooking service long before the geeks had heard of it.<p>
But in 2012, around the same time as Pinterest moved to San Francisco, the hot local app was Path. A mobile social network founded by a former Facebook executive, it is a beautiful and useful app. But being Silicon Valley’s darling did not help Path to reach the masses, who were soon to fall for something quite different: Snapchat. While filling a similar need – sharing photos on the go – Snapchat is as inelegant and fast as Path is well-crafted and considered.
app  design  sanfrancisco 
17 days ago
Data Explorer >> International Telecomms Union
Explore and visualize key ICT indicators from 1960 to 2011 for about 200 economies worldwide by creating line graphs, bar graphs, maps and bubble charts.

One for the bookmarks. (When will it get mobile internet connections?)
itu  statistics 
17 days ago
Everything You Hate About Advertising in One Fake Video That's Almost Too Real | Adweek
Stock video provider Dissolve has taken the text of Kendra Eash's brilliant advertising takedown, <a href="">"This Is a Generic Brand Video"</a>, originally published by McSweeney's, and set it to actual stock video clips.

It's quite disquieting.

<iframe width="460" height="259" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
marketing  video 
17 days ago
Uber’s biggest problem isn’t surge pricing. What If It’s sexual harassment by drivers? >> The Daily Beast
Olivia Nuzzi's investigation merits reading in full, and does seem to point to a problem with some drivers.
uber  harassment 
17 days ago
How scammers turn Google Maps into fantasy land >> Businessweek
Dune Lawrence on how a Seattle resident created a fake Secret Service office by making one call and two changes on two websites:
The stunt highlights the downside of Google’s grand experiment in crowdsourcing, one that’s felt mostly by small businesses providing things such as locksmith services, carpet cleaning, and home repairs, according to Seely and other critics.<p>

It’s cheap and easy to game the system, putting up false listings with virtual numbers that forward to a main office or call centers, according to Dan Austin, who has been trying to get Google to fix its spam-listing problem for years. Austin, who lives in Olympia, Wash., likes to call himself a “geo specialist” because of all the time he spends on Google Maps. The company promised four years ago to fix problems with verification, Austin pointed out in a <a href="">recent blog post</a>.

The comments are educational, especially the one from "struggling locksmith". All redolent of <a href="">this story from January 2014</a>.
google  maps  crowdsourcing  scam 
17 days ago
Announcing the Office you love, now on the iPad >> Office Blogs
Over a billion people on the planet use Microsoft Office to get more done at work and at home. Every day we hear from you how important it is to have a great productivity experience on all the devices you use. We take that very seriously – we know that means you want the authentic experience of Office, made right for the device you’re using.  Whether you’re creating an Excel spreadsheet on your tablet, authoring a Word document in the browser or making edits to a PowerPoint on your phone, you want the great Office experience you love, everywhere you are. Today, we unveiled Office for iPad® – specifically Word, PowerPoint and Excel. But this isn’t simply Office on another device.

Mobile Office for Android phones (and in effect tablets?) is now free too, but much more feature-limited. Going to be fascinating to watch how Microsoft plays its hand over (full touch) Office for Android tablets: should it push, or wait for the enterprise pull?
office  ipad  microsoft  cloud 
20 days ago
Microsoft Excel for iPad on the App Store on iTunes
So does this mean people can do "real work" on iPads?
ipad  office 
20 days ago
What happens when finance companies dump BlackBerry >> CITEworld
Ryan Faas:
Although BlackBerry may tout its relationship with financial services companies, easily one of the most regulated and risk-averse verticals out there, the story on the ground seems to be very different. A new study of financial services firms, commissioned by EMM vendor MobileIron and undertaken by the Ponemon Institute, found that one of BlackBerry's traditional strongholds is crumbling. The study was released [on Thursday] morning.<p>

The survey, which was conducted across a range of financial services organizations and was more expansive than a simple query of MobileIron's existing customer base, found that one-third of financial services companies were completely BlackBerry-free, 41% are in the process of planning or implementing a migration to other mobile platforms, and that slightly more than half (52%) have a team dedicated to migrating from BlackBerry to other platforms. Those numbers show that even the most conservative of organizations are heeding Gartner's call from last fall to plan and start a migration within six months.
blackberry  finance 
20 days ago
Privacy and security settings in Chrome >> noncombatant
Chris Palmer:
Chrome has a lot of handy privacy and security options, but it isn’t always obvious how to use them. In this post I’ll demonstrate my favorites, and try to explain a bit about what they do.<p>

My goal with these configuration changes is to get Chrome to expose less attack surface to potentially malicious web pages, and to be less chatty on the network.

Palmer works at Google on Chrome security.
privacy  chrome  security 
20 days ago
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