Apple Focuses on Business Computing as iPad Sales Decline

Sales of the once-popular iPads are tumbling, and Apple is taking a hard look at business computing as a way to offset the loss. To make the iPad a tool more compatible to the workplace, the Silicon Valley company has begun to collaborate with more than 40 technology companies to create the kinds of apps and tools that will make it appealing to businesses, a sector it has never seriously gone after. With an estimated $2 trillion spent every year on technology for the workplace, the stakes are big. Continue reading Apple Focuses on Business Computing as iPad Sales Decline

Ad-Blocking Results in $22B in Lost Ad Revenue, Says Report

Ad-blocking software has grown dramatically in usage; an estimated 200 million people worldwide now use ad-blocking software of which 45 million are in the U.S. That’s one of the findings of a report sponsored by Adobe and PageFair, two companies concerned about the implications of such software on the advertising industry. Ad-blocking is responsible for nearly $22 billion in lost revenue this year. The Dublin-based PageFair focuses on helping advertisers regain some of this lost revenue. Continue reading Ad-Blocking Results in $22B in Lost Ad Revenue, Says Report

Japanese Glasses Guard Privacy by Disabling Face Recognition

While debates over privacy on and off the Internet rage, Japan has just come out with an ideal item for the privacy conscious: eyeglasses that block facial-recognition technology. The Privacy Visor, which was the brainchild of the government-affiliated National Institute of Informatics and an eyeglass manufacturer over the last two years. The Visor works by using patterns and angles on the lens that either reflect or absorb light, disrupting auto-focus to make faces undetectable. Continue reading Japanese Glasses Guard Privacy by Disabling Face Recognition

Mobile Companies Face Stagefright, Android Security Issues

The emergence of Stagefright, a malicious code that targets Android phones, has impacted all mobile companies using the Google operating system. Google has already fixed the problem in its own line of Nexus phones and tablets, and now plans to supply monthly security updates wirelessly. Both Samsung and LG have also announced they will be issuing a monthly security update; other impacted mobile phone manufacturers include Sony, HTC and Android One, all of which have provided or plan to provide Stagefright patches. Continue reading Mobile Companies Face Stagefright, Android Security Issues

Apple’s Plan to Dominate Streaming Music Off to a Good Start

Since launching Apple Music on June 30, Apple reports 11 million users have signed up for a three-month trial to access 30 million songs. If they all become paying members, by October the Silicon Valley firm will have half the membership of leading music streamer, 10-year old Spotify. Apple is launching a comprehensive marketing campaign — with billboard, TV and radio ads — for the new streaming service. In the fall, it will roll out its Android version of Apple Music in beta. Continue reading Apple’s Plan to Dominate Streaming Music Off to a Good Start

Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Facebook has been developing a tool that would enable public figures to broadcast live to their fans. The social network launched “Live” this week, as a feature in its Mentions app exclusively available to celebrities with verified Pages. The launch kicked off with streams from stars such as Luke Bryan, The Rock and Serena Williams. It is not known whether the feature will be made available to ordinary users to compete with the likes of Periscope and Meerkat, but the company plans to gather feedback from celebs and viewers to “evolve the product.” Continue reading Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Apple, BMW Continue Conversations About Connected E-Car

When Apple chief executive Tim Cook and other senior executives visited BMW headquarters last year, to learn how the German car manufacturer makes its i3 electric car, rumors were rife that a partnership deal was in the works. When no announcement followed, many concluded that Apple was pursuing its own branded electric car. Now, industry insiders have come out with another twist in the story: Apple and BMW are still talking about their mutual interest in an intelligent electric car. Continue reading Apple, BMW Continue Conversations About Connected E-Car

Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Less then two weeks following FCC approval of its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T is already rolling out plans to lure new customers. In a first-of-its kind nationwide offer to be made available August 10, AT&T is packaging wireless phone service and television for $200 per month for the first year. The “All in One” promotional plan places an emphasis on TV anywhere, featuring HDTV and DVR services across four receivers through DirecTV or U-verse, four smartphone connections including unlimited talk and text, in addition to 10GB of shared data. Continue reading Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Invest Significant Sum in Uber

Unnamed sources report that Microsoft has agreed to invest in Uber. Although details are not yet public, the company is expected to invest a significant portion of the upcoming $1 billion funding round that values Uber at around $51 billion. That new funding round — and the valuation — makes Uber one of the most highly valued private companies ever, along with startups such as Xiaomi, a Chinese electronics company valued at around $45 billion and Airbnb, valued at more than $24 billion. Continue reading Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Invest Significant Sum in Uber

MPEG LA Calls for Patents to Organize Joint DASH License

MPEG LA announced a call for patents for MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), to the dismay of many industry watchers. When MPEG-DASH first debuted in 2011, the issue of royalties wasn’t raised and DASH was quickly and widely deployed, in everything from browsers to smart TVs. The problem is that DASH is an integral part of HTML5, which is beginning to displace Flash. With the specter of patents looming, some software vendors could find royalties to be an obstacle to staying in business. Continue reading MPEG LA Calls for Patents to Organize Joint DASH License

NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass. Continue reading NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

GAO Report Looks at Privacy Concerns of Facial Recognition

U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) highlighted the findings of a just-released GAO (Government Accountability Office) report focusing on the privacy implications of facial recognition technology. The report details concerns about the practices of companies that collect, use and store massive amounts of personal information. Franken, chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy Technology and the Law, pointed to the report’s findings as more proof that federal standards are needed. Continue reading GAO Report Looks at Privacy Concerns of Facial Recognition

New Intel, Micron Chips Said to Offer Big Performance Gains

Intel and Micron Technology announced that they have developed a new memory chip technology that will increase performance up to 1,000 times faster than today’s technology. If proven true, the new chip technology, named 3D XPoint, could offer tremendous new capabilities for computers, smartphones and other electronics. 3D XPoint is not as fast as DRAM (dynamic random access memory), but stores 10 times more data and also, similar to current NAND flash memory, retains data even after devices are powered off. Continue reading New Intel, Micron Chips Said to Offer Big Performance Gains

Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

Verizon Communications has signed a multiplatform deal with HBO that will allow the telecom to offer HBO’s standalone streaming video service to more than 100 million wireless customers in addition to non-Verizon mobile device users. Verizon will offer HBO Now on its upcoming mobile video platform (reportedly to be called Go90) and to its DSL and FiOS broadband customers for $15 a month. Verizon is the latest distributor for HBO’s OTT offering, which initially launched in early April with Apple and Cablevision Systems. Continue reading Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

Facebook Continues its Push to Deliver Free Mobile Internet

Facebook plans to ramp up its efforts to provide free basic Internet on mobile devices, after successfully debuting the application through its Internet.org platform in 17 developing countries. The company will launch a dedicated portal for mobile operators to offer the service under Internet.org, which has brought nine million people online in the last year. Facebook hopes to bring an estimated 4.5 billion people online in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The platform offers free pared-down Web services and Facebook’s social network and messaging. Continue reading Facebook Continues its Push to Deliver Free Mobile Internet

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