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

Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

It is a Windows-centric world, but not at Facebook where the company has many more Mac laptops than those running Windows. With a lack of Mac OS X-based security network appliances, Facebook began, 18 months ago, to write its own security software. The result, Osquery, enables its security team to monitor, in real-time, the current state of those laptops’ operating systems. Facebook also made the tools freely available as an open source project, bringing outside security expertise to bear. Continue reading Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Comcast announced that it plans to launch a trial of its IP-based video service Stream by the end of the summer in Boston, followed by Chicago and Seattle. The $15-per-month streaming service will offer about a dozen broadcast networks and HBO. Subscribers will have access to some TV Everywhere applications, Streampix for movies and a cloud DVR service. As an add-on to broadband service meant for PCs, laptops and mobile devices, customers will need Comcast Internet service to subscribe. The company is planning a nationwide rollout for early next year. Continue reading Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Netflix and Amazon Aim to Shape Children’s Viewing Habits

Anyone who has ever read a story to a child knows the drill: children want to hear their favorite stories over and over again. That’s the major ingredient in Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu’s success in courting young audiences (and their parents). On-demand video makes it easy for a child to replay, over and over again, his or her favorite TV episodes or movies. Acutely aware of the phenomenon, these companies are actively working to provide video content for the young set, turning toddlers into life-long viewers. Continue reading Netflix and Amazon Aim to Shape Children’s Viewing Habits

Apple Shifts UHD TV Plans to a Focus on Apple TV Upgrade

Apple spent several years researching new ways to innovate the television set, and now the company has decided that transparent UHD displays, sensor-equipped cameras and FaceTime capabilities are not worth launching in a new Apple product. Instead, the company plans to continue developing its online television service as an alternative to cable and will redesign the Apple set-top box. This way, the company will be able to uphold its reputation for innovation and high profit margins. Continue reading Apple Shifts UHD TV Plans to a Focus on Apple TV Upgrade

GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Ron Johnson, a former retail exec with Apple and J.C. Penney, has launched a Web-only startup to offer a new twist on online retail. Menlo Park-based Enjoy Technology will begin offering high-end consumer electronics in select locations today via its website, GoEnjoy.com. The site will sell smartphones, laptops, tablets, drones, and more — in addition to offering free delivery and in-home setup service. Johnson expects that the in-home service will give Enjoy an advantage over established rivals such as Amazon and eBay. Continue reading GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Google has opened its first branded physical store, with plans to sell the company’s Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecast TV services. The Google shop is located on Tottenham Court Road in London. While not its first foray into physical locations — Google opened “Chromezones” in U.K. stores in 2011 and “Androidland” in Australian stores — it marks the first time the company is opening a shop under its own name and illustrates how some major online players are exploring new ways to reach consumers. Continue reading Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

Some Lenovo laptops that have shipped since August include a pre-installed adware program known as Visual Discovery by Superfish. While Superfish is designed to serve ads, it reportedly does so in a dangerous way that leaves users vulnerable to hackers. While Lenovo claims that it has investigated the tech and does “not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns,” Internet security analysts suggest a major problem still exists. The Department of Homeland Security warns that Superfish makes users vulnerable to SSL spoofing. Continue reading Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

Cisco 2019 Forecast: 5.2 Billion People Will Be Mobile Users

Cisco recently released its annual forecast for global mobile data traffic, predicting that mobile traffic will experience tenfold growth during 2014-2019. By the end of that period, Cisco expects that 69 percent of the world’s population (5.2 billion people) will be mobile users. The company also anticipates 4.6 billion smartphones, compared with 3.1 billion feature phones by 2019. The study, which also addresses connected tablets and Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, suggests that 97 percent of worldwide traffic will come from smart devices. Continue reading Cisco 2019 Forecast: 5.2 Billion People Will Be Mobile Users

New Standard Could Bring 8K to Laptops and Mobile Devices

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has developed a new standard to enhance the resolution display of laptops and all-in-one PCs. VESA’s improvement to its Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) from version 1.4 to 1.4a will enable laptops and desktops to support images at a 7680 x 4320 resolution. As of now, 8K displays have only existed on high-end TVs but VESA anticipates the technology will be supported by computers, mobile phones and tablets in the coming years.  Continue reading New Standard Could Bring 8K to Laptops and Mobile Devices

Global Tablet Shipments Drop 12 Percent Year-Over-Year in Q4

Facing the growing popularity of phablets, the tablet market experienced its first worldwide decline after multiple quarters of slowing demand. According to Canalys, global tablet shipments fell 12 percent from Q4 2013 to 67 million units in Q4 2014. The end of 2014 also marked the fourth consecutive quarterly loss for Apple’s tablet shipments. In Q4, iPad shipments plunged 18 percent, while Samsung’s tablet shipments fell by 24 percent. Although Amazon and Lenovo had promising seasonal sales, the industry experienced an overall drop in demand. Continue reading Global Tablet Shipments Drop 12 Percent Year-Over-Year in Q4

New comScore Measurement to Include Mobile and Streaming

Measurement firm comScore will introduce a new metric this week that goes beyond tracking video audiences on desktops and laptops to additionally tracking audiences across mobile and streaming devices. The new metric is expected to provide advertisers and television networks with vital information that has so far been challenging to collect. The addition is part of a broader initiative by comScore to track shifting, more diverse viewing habits of consumers and better compete with ratings provider Nielsen. Continue reading New comScore Measurement to Include Mobile and Streaming

Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

At CES, a wide range of companies showed or discussed products that are becoming more aware of their surroundings, largely due to improved sensors. This will enable tablets, phones, cars, drones and other devices to interact with people and each other in more sophisticated ways. This could also require significant upgrades to camera tech. While Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Xbox was built to use gestures for game control, the tech has proven more far-reaching, especially in robotics research. Now Intel is aiming to take the next step with 3D sensors. Continue reading Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

More U.S. Shoppers Turn to Mobile Devices for Holiday Deals

According to Adobe’s 2014 Digital Index Online Shopping data, 29 percent of online sales on Thanksgiving Day and 27 percent on Black Friday took place via smartphones or tablets (led by iOS shoppers). New online sales records were set for both days, while Singles’ Day also set a new record and could surpass Cyber Monday this time around. Meanwhile, the CEA reports that consumers are purchasing more TVs, thanks in part to more affordable UHD offerings. Continue reading More U.S. Shoppers Turn to Mobile Devices for Holiday Deals

Google Play Movies & TV Comes to Roku, TiVo Includes Vudu

Roku announced that its channel selections now include Google Play Movies & TV, which allows users to watch films and shows rented or purchased via Google Play. Unlike the Google Play Movies & TV app for iOS, users will be able to access content directly through the Roku channel. This may seem like odd news since Google recently announced its own Android TV streaming box, the $100 Nexus Player, which will launch this month. In related news, Vudu is now available on select TiVo models. Continue reading Google Play Movies & TV Comes to Roku, TiVo Includes Vudu

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