Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

Earlier this week, we reported that GM is getting ready to release more than 30 new vehicles equipped with built-in 4G LTE service provided by AT&T. A number of new models from various automakers are also looking to become rolling Wi-Fi hot spots this year as car and app makers make the long-awaited push into new software and communications links. New models will feature dashboard electronics that make it easier to access smartphone apps for traffic, weather, news, entertainment and more. Continue reading Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

LG All-In-One Chromebase Computer to Hit Shelves This Month

LG announced that its new family friendly, all-in-one computer powered by Chrome OS will be available for $350. The “simple, fast and secure” Chromebase will take on the iMac-dominated all-in-one space when it begins shipping this month. Chromebase combines cloud computing, access to “tens of thousands of apps” via the Chrome Web Store, a widescreen 21.5-inch 1080p display, an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Continue reading LG All-In-One Chromebase Computer to Hit Shelves This Month

Canopy Aims to Showcase the Beautiful Products on Amazon

While Amazon has almost anything that most consumers need, the volume of products can be daunting for those who want to casually browse the site or discover well-designed or high-end products. Canopy is a website created by former Google designers that hopes to solve this problem by offering a curated storefront for products available via Amazon. Canopy offers a front-end alternative, while relying on Amazon’s back-end to make products available in just a few clicks. Continue reading Canopy Aims to Showcase the Beautiful Products on Amazon

New $1,300 LaCie Thunderbolt 2 External Drive is Lightning Fast

LaCie’s Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is an external storage drive with four times the data transfer speed of USB 3. The $1,300 device is unique in its ability to handle two simultaneous streams through a single cable, making it ideal for transferring large 4K video files. It can support daisy chaining up to six peripherals, such as other hard drives, cameras and monitors. The chipsets for the technology are already built into the Mac Pro and the latest MacBook Pro with Retina display. Continue reading New $1,300 LaCie Thunderbolt 2 External Drive is Lightning Fast

Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

Amazon announced its new video streaming device called Amazon Fire TV that intends to take on products such as Roku and Apple TV. During a presentation this morning, Amazon’s Peter Larsen suggested that Amazon’s new hardware will address areas in which competing devices struggle including search, performance, and a closed ecosystem. The $99 Fire TV features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Larsen claims it provides speeds three times faster than the latest Roku and Apple boxes. Continue reading Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

A new app from Samsung was developed with the intention of keeping drivers off their phones while behind the wheel. Startling statistics indicate that text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident. More startling yet is that more than 77 percent of young American adults believe they’re able to text while safely driving. To combat that, Samsung’s new Android app, “Eyes on the Road,” turns not texting into a game with tangible rewards for safe driving. Continue reading Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

With the annual Consumer Electronics Show just around the corner, we’ve compiled a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing in Las Vegas next week. We believe these should be of particular interest to those who work in entertainment media. While we anticipate seeing products that directly compete or overlap with those on this list — and we hope there will be plenty of additional surprises — we wanted to share some of the expected highlights in advance. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

Microsoft Sells One Million Xbox One Consoles on First Day

We recently reported that Sony’s PlayStation 4 sold more than one million units in its first 24 hours of availability. Now, Microsoft has made the same claim with the launch of its Xbox One console on November 22. While the sales figures set a new record for Microsoft, easily defeating first day sales of its Xbox 360, the Xbox One launched in 11 more countries than the PS4. Both companies are expected to sell 3 million units by the end of the year. Continue reading Microsoft Sells One Million Xbox One Consoles on First Day

Streamnation Offers New Approach to Sharing Movies and TV

Streamnation is a comprehensive solution for storing and streaming photos and videos. Version 2.0 now allows users to share movies and TV shows that have been ripped to their computers and uploaded to the cloud. Founder Jonathan Benassaya, who navigated digital rights for years as the co-founder of streaming music service Deezer, is confident in Streamnation’s approach. He sees it as similar to physical borrowing but in the digital realm, since no copy is made. Continue reading Streamnation Offers New Approach to Sharing Movies and TV

Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

There are only 300 of Valve’s Steam Machine gaming PCs, and they’re being shipped to beta testers. But Valve’s production of the device will end there — this is just a prototype. Third party-manufactured machines will be revealed in January at the next Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, during which consumers will get more information about Steam’s specs. What we know now is that the device will have high- and low-end models. Continue reading Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

Breakthrough: HGST to Ship Helium-Filled Hard Disk Drives

Western Digital’s HGST subsidiary announced yesterday it is shipping a helium-filled, 3.5-in hard disk drive that has been more than 10 years in the making. The company says the new drive offers 50 percent more capacity than current 4TB drives and uses 23 percent less power and is 38 percent lighter. While pricing has yet to be announced, the company says the drives will “command a premium” based on the lower total cost of ownership. HGST plans to sell the drives to server and storage array manufacturers. Continue reading Breakthrough: HGST to Ship Helium-Filled Hard Disk Drives

Google and Waze Integrate Their Mobile Maps for First Time

Google introduced this week the first integrations between its Google Maps for Mobile and the newly acquired Waze traffic app (Google purchased Waze for $1 billion in June). Obstacles such as construction, accidents and road closures reported by Waze users will now be available via the traffic tab on the iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. The Waze app will support Google search, while its map editors will have access to Google’s satellite imagery and Street View. Continue reading Google and Waze Integrate Their Mobile Maps for First Time

Moto X Contextual Computing Closed to Third-Party Developers

Motorola Mobility says it will not initially allow third party developers to create applications that use the contextual computing capabilities of its new Moto X Android smartphone, which is a feature that makes the phone distinct from its competitors. According to analysts, the move is perceived as an example of how Motorola is protecting what it thinks is its competitive advantage. The company aims to have the Moto X do more, but more efficiently. Continue reading Moto X Contextual Computing Closed to Third-Party Developers

Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Plug is a small network connected device that enables users to convert a portable hard drive into private cloud storage that can be shared between PCs, smartphones and tablets. The creators are looking to create a more secure alternative to services such as Dropbox to store, preserve and share data. With 38 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign has already significantly exceeded its original $69,000 goal (as of press time, the total was $736,790). Continue reading Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning

The Android version of the Google Drive mobile app has been updated to include a number of new features, including the ability to scan receipts, business cards and other documents with your camera phone and save them in the cloud via Drive. In addition to the ability to scan documents, the update uses an optical technology in order to search the stored images. And according to Google, a new grid view makes it easier to find files. Continue reading Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning

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