Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

In addition to the new iPads unveiled yesterday, Apple made several announcements regarding its hardware and software products. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops will go on sale immediately, while the $2,999 Mac Pro desktop will ship before the end of the year. Apple’s iWork and iLife suites of office and creative software are now free with every hardware purchase. Another surprise is the company’s decision to offer its Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, as a free download. Continue reading Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

CBS Mobile App Now Offers New Shows Eight Days After Airing

CBS viewers now have the option for watching new shows on their smartphones and tablets. The network announced that it will make all new episodes of its fall primetime line-up available via its mobile app just eight days after the programs air on TV. In response to app users who expressed concerns regarding limited content, CBS will be offering new and returning primetime titles, in addition to some classic shows. The app will also be available for Android and Windows 8. Continue reading CBS Mobile App Now Offers New Shows Eight Days After Airing

Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

When Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming media player launched in July, it only supported Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music. Google added support for Hulu Plus yesterday, the first new partner since Chromecast made its debut. Other apps are reportedly going to be supported as well, although formal announcements have not yet been made. Pandora and HBO Go are two services rumored to be integrated in the future. Continue reading Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

Valve Reveals Gaming Devices, Software to Rival Microsoft

Valve made several announcements last week regarding the release of new devices, an operating system and a game controller. One main target for their operating system, SteamOS and its Steam Machine hardware is Microsoft, its Xbox consoles and the Windows PC business. Gaming could be a Trojan horse that Valve uses to control the post-PC operating system. Yet, there are little details as to the type of hardware and who are its manufacturers. Continue reading Valve Reveals Gaming Devices, Software to Rival Microsoft

Replacing Passwords: Innovative Forms of Security Emerging

Technology companies have realized that passwords are not always the most convenient form of security and are seeking alternatives. The new iPhone, for example, features fingerprint scanning while Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system is optimized for fingerprint-based biometrics. Passwords are often long and complicated and difficult to remember. However, new security innovations are emerging that could lead to people relying less on passwords. Continue reading Replacing Passwords: Innovative Forms of Security Emerging

Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Microsoft is developing a personal assistant app called Cortana that will compete directly with Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Cortana derives its name from an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft’s “Halo” series. Essentially, the app will be able to learn and adapt while utilizing machine-learning technology and the Satori knowledge repository powering Bing. The app will likely be released somewhere between 2014 and 2016. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft Developing Next-Gen Personal Assistant

Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Microsoft is now offering its Xbox Music service on more devices and via the Web. This is an expansion of the limited compatibility that the service offered at its initial release about a year ago. It brings familiar digital music services and software into a combined, single service. Xbox Music’s new platform support comes as Google, Apple and others are entering the music-streaming marketplace, with Amazon developing its own music-streaming devices. Continue reading Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Acer announced that its Liquid S2 smartphone will offer 4K video recording capability. While offering 4K video recording on a smartphone may currently seem unnecessary, it may become a more widely adopted feature of upcoming handsets. Meanwhile, Acer will also be including a touchscreen option for its low-end E1 laptop. The option of touchscreen for the Acer laptop may help overcome some of the initial confusion faced by Windows 8 users. Continue reading Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Ballmer to Retire: What Challenges Lie Ahead for Microsoft?

Steve Ballmer is retiring as CEO of Microsoft, leaving many to question what the next CEO will need to do in order to invigorate the company, boost morale and emphasize innovation. Ballmer is said to have focused more on sales and revenue, rather than experimentation, and did not fully develop many technologies the company began, some of which competitors would later turn into blockbusters. However, innovation under Ballmer is evidenced by departures such as the Kinect motion sensor and the interface of Windows 8. Continue reading Ballmer to Retire: What Challenges Lie Ahead for Microsoft?

Apple Outlines Advertising Strategy for iTunes Radio Partners

Apple plans to launch iTunes Radio next month along with brand partners including McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, and possibly others. Apple’s new offering plans to compete with current streaming radio services such as Pandora. While the launch partners will benefit from exclusivity until the end of 2013, iTunes Radio will later be available to other advertisers. Apple also hopes to generate revenue by providing users with the option to purchase songs played via the service. Continue reading Apple Outlines Advertising Strategy for iTunes Radio Partners

Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Microsoft recently announced the release of its new touch screen technology that turns any ordinary surface, such as a table, a wall, or the floor, into an interactive touch screen. The technology was originally developed by Seattle startup Ubi Interactive using a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor. Now out of beta, the product is publicly available. The product has potential applications for classrooms, corporations, and business and personal use. Continue reading Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

As part of its ongoing effort to generate more traffic and potential advertising revenue, Twitter is testing new ways of bringing more television content to its platform. Currently, the company is testing a new feature in which links to TV shows appear as Twitter cards in a user’s Timeline. The cards’ click-through feature provides links to the show, related tweets and accounts that might be relevant to fans of that show. Separately, the company has announced that several updates to TweetDeck will make it faster and more convenient to use. Continue reading Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

Samsung Readies ATIV Ultrabook and Tablet for U.S. Launch

Samsung plans to release two new PC products in the upcoming weeks: The company’s ATIV Book 9 Plus is a $1,399, 13.3-inch ultrabook featuring a 3,200 x 1,800 Gorilla Glass qHD+ display, which the company claims offers the “highest resolution in the world.” In addition, Samsung’s ATIV Tab 3 measures a mere 0.32-inches thick and weighs only 1.28 pounds. The $700 tablet features a 10.1-inch, 1,366 x 768 resolution display and boasts up to seven hours of battery life. Continue reading Samsung Readies ATIV Ultrabook and Tablet for U.S. Launch

Microsoft Files Patent for Multiplayer Head-Mounted Display

Microsoft has filed a patent application for a multiplayer gaming headset that could one day rival the Oculus Rift. The application, first filed in January 2012 and recently made public, includes technology related to voice interaction, eye-tracking, facial recognition, and various components for tracking head movement. If the patent application is more than a defensive measure, it could extend the Xbox platform into new hardware and new locations. Continue reading Microsoft Files Patent for Multiplayer Head-Mounted Display

Dropbox Datastore Could Rival iCloud in True Cloud Storage

Hosting and sharing service Dropbox currently has 175 million global users, and is becoming increasingly popular on smartphones. The service is about to undergo significant change in the beta version launch of Datastore, which can sync all app data and information from one device to another. When fully released, if its reliability of service and ease of use are proven, as well as third party integration, Datastore may surpass its competitors in data cloud storage. Continue reading Dropbox Datastore Could Rival iCloud in True Cloud Storage

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