Microsoft Building Spartan Browser, Killing Off the IE Brand

While Microsoft continues to develop its Project Spartan browser for Windows 10, the company is reportedly also readying the end of Internet Explorer. The company is expected to shutter the IE brand, but the browser will exist in some versions of Windows. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “Project Spartan is Microsoft’s next generation browser, built just for Windows 10. We will continue to make Internet Explorer available with Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy browser support.” Continue reading Microsoft Building Spartan Browser, Killing Off the IE Brand

BitTorrent Launches Sync as New Alternative to Cloud Services

BitTorrent has developed a data sharing service called Sync that lets users share and sync files between devices without having to store any information on remote servers. Powered by BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer file-sharing technology, Sync reportedly transmits data between devices 16 times faster than today’s cloud services. Because there is no cloud, there are no user accounts or passwords either. Free and paid versions of Sync are now available on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.  Continue reading BitTorrent Launches Sync as New Alternative to Cloud Services

VLC Upgrade Adds In-App Extensions Store, Android TV Support

The VideoLAN Organization has released an upgraded VLC 2.2.0 open source video player with some notable new features. VLC for Linux, Mac and Windows now includes an in-app extensions store, in-app subtitle downloads, resume playback functionality, and support for interactive Blu-ray menus. Resume playback has been available on mobile versions, but is now offered on the desktop. VideoLAN has also added support for Android TV, Windows Phone and Windows RT. VLC 3.0.0 is scheduled for release later this year. Continue reading VLC Upgrade Adds In-App Extensions Store, Android TV Support

Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

The affordable Raspberry Pi microcomputer — launched three years ago with the modest hope of selling a few thousand units — just passed the five million sales mark. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers its no-frills Model A Pi for $25 and the Model B for $35. It recently launched the 6x faster Model B Pi 2 with double the memory for only $35. Originally intended as a cost efficient solution for students, the simple microcomputer is now being used to build everything from DIY computers to robotics projects. Continue reading Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

The developers of “Assassin’s Creed” have teamed up with Tobii Tech to provide gamers with the ability to control the camera in the game with their natural eye movement. Tobii Tech calls it an “infinite screen” experience, tracking the user’s gaze at 50 frames per second. Users don’t have to even move their mouse to get the camera to pan or click pause when they look away from the screen. The “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” PC game will be one of the first to include this new technology when it launches early next month. Continue reading “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

Amazon Lets Users Convert Print Books into Kindle E-Books

Amazon has designed a Windows program that allows users to convert traditional print books to digital files (for personal, non-commercial use), which can then be read using Amazon’s Kindle software. Once converted, the digital version of these print books will function as any other Kindle e-book with adjustable font features, free cloud storage and Whispersync capabilities. However, Kindle Convert may prove to be too tedious for some readers, since it requires that users physically scan the pages of the book. Continue reading Amazon Lets Users Convert Print Books into Kindle E-Books

HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Hewlett-Packard is reportedly planning to introduce augmented reality and 3D technologies to tablets and laptops to provide consumers with a more immersive mobile computing experience. In addition to interaction between mobile devices and 3D printers, HP intends to bring AR to real-world applications. HP’s Sprout desktop PC, featuring Intel’s 3D RealSense camera, enables scanning and 3D printing. At CES last month, the company also touted its 23.6-inch Zvr virtual reality monitor that projects 3D images. Continue reading HP Developing AR and 3D for Interactive Tablets and Laptops

Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

According to recent figures released by Strategy Analytics, 2014 marked significant milestones for the mobile industry. Global annual shipments reached 1.28 billion devices from OEMs to retailers and carriers for sale, and Android-based smartphones captured 81 percent of the worldwide market, accounting for more than one billion handsets. Android has become the first platform to surpass the one billion mark for shipments. Apple captured 15 percent of the market last year, shipping 193 million units. Continue reading Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

ChargerLeash Demos Line of Smart Charging Cable at CES

ChargerLeash showed its smart charging cables at CES that sound off when you unplug your phone or tablet to remind you not to forget your charging device. They support a wide range of phones and tablets by measuring the specific high and low current states and alarm when they see the power use cease. Equipped with a sleep button for times that you want to leave the cable attached, it is easily possible to turn off the alarm with a simple touch. The company was promoting its Gen 2 Pro Series line. Continue reading ChargerLeash Demos Line of Smart Charging Cable at CES

Microsoft is Developing New Streaming Game and App Service

A team that is part of Microsoft’s Systems Group is reportedly developing a new technology called Arcadia that will stream games and apps on Windows devices. On separate occasions, Microsoft has posted job openings looking for candidates to join the Operating Systems Group (OSG) Arcadia team. Arcadia is to be built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud and is expected to be a replacement to an ongoing OSG game-stream project called Rio, announced back in 2013.  Continue reading Microsoft is Developing New Streaming Game and App Service

Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

Microsoft Band is a new wrist-worn device that works with an online service called Microsoft Health. The service will analyze personal health and exercise data collected by the band and other devices. The display on the black rubber bracelet will show text messages from a cell phone, Facebook alerts, and barcodes that allow people to pay for things with a swipe of their wrist. The device will track heart rate, sleep quality, and calories burned using optical sensors rather than less accurate audio sensors. Continue reading Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

Microsoft recently launched a new section on its website to provide the public with access to various projects in development. Microsoft Garage started in 2009 within the Office Labs group as a place for employees to work on innovative new ideas. Until last week, The Garage was largely an internal effort that supported side projects, hackathons and science fairs. The Garage is now offering public access to 16 free consumer-facing apps across Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox One. Continue reading Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

We recently reported that Hewlett-Packard has plans to split into two businesses — one that will target PCs and printing, and another that will focus on enterprise IT. CEO Meg Whitman promised “new computing experiences” from the former, the first of which we may see next week when “Sprout” is unveiled at a New York event on October 29. According to sources, Sprout combines a large flat screen display with a touch-enabled work surface and an overhead assembly featuring a 3D scanner and projector. Continue reading HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

Microsoft TV Dongle Could Be Much Needed Boost for Miracast

Microsoft announced its Wireless Display Adapter yesterday, a $60 device that will allow Windows and Android users to wirelessly send content from a variety of screens to any displays that feature an HDMI input. For example, users will have the ability to send what they are watching on a tablet, smartphone or laptop to a TV screen or projector. The dongle could also turn an HDMI-equipped TV into a Miracast receiver, which may spark competition with Google’s Chromecast and Roku’s Streaming Stick. Continue reading Microsoft TV Dongle Could Be Much Needed Boost for Miracast

China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

China could have its own operating system in place by October to take on imported systems currently offered by tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. Initial reports suggest the system would first appear on desktop computers and then later expand to smartphones and other mobile devices. According to Ni Guangnan, who heads a development alliance created in March, the domestically built software could replace desktop operating systems within 1-2 years and mobile systems within 3-5 years. Continue reading China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

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