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

Xbox One Updates Include Support for Multiple File Formats

At the Gamescom conference in Germany on Tuesday, Microsoft introduced several Xbox One console updates. First, a media player app is expected to allow users to load over 30 different file formats to the Xbox One via a device connected by USB. The company is also working with certain countries to provide facilitated and cheaper mainstream broadcast television content access. In addition, Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in October. Continue reading Xbox One Updates Include Support for Multiple File Formats

Torrenting Just Got Easier with Mobile Site and New PC App

The Pirate Bay and TorrenTV have released new platforms to make it easier for people to download media content for free. The Pirate Bay has launched a mobile site known as Mobile Bay, which includes separate TV, music and movie sites. Later, the site hopes to add support for personalized RSS feeds so that users can launch torrents from anywhere. TorrenTV has introduced a new app for Mac, Windows and Linux that streams torrents directly to Apple TV. Continue reading Torrenting Just Got Easier with Mobile Site and New PC App

Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

San Francisco’s BitTorrent is leveraging its expertise in online file sharing tech to develop Bleep, an encrypted snoop-proof chat app. None of the texts or calls are stored, and only the two computers are involved in the communication. While the NSA could potentially monitor the interactions, the job becomes much more difficult with the new app. Not only does Bleep encrypt its traffic and encourage users to keep their identities secret, but it also uses no central server. Continue reading Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

Apple and IBM announced a joint venture that the tech giants have been working on for several months. The exclusive partnership will focus on mobile and data analysis tech in the corporate world by developing more than 100 business software programs intended for use on iPhones and iPads. Applications will be tailored for banking, healthcare, insurance, retail, telecommunications and transportation. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the venture as “a landmark partnership.” Continue reading Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

Microsoft Combines Laptop and Tablet with New Surface Pro 3

On Tuesday, Microsoft exec Panos Panay unveiled the Surface Pro 3, calling it a potential successor for laptop PCs. The device is not only lighter and thinner than previous versions of Surface tablet computers, but it is also larger. While previous versions measure at 10.6-inches diagonally, the Pro 3 screen measures 12-inches. Along with other Surface tablets, the Pro 3 is powered by Intel chips. Rather than comparing the tablet to others on the market, Panay discussed Apple’s MacBook Air as a competitor.

Continue reading Microsoft Combines Laptop and Tablet with New Surface Pro 3

PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

Late last week, Google added new payment options to the Google Play Store, including the ability to use PayPal for the purchase of apps, music and movies. Paypal can now be used as a payment method for Google’s virtual storefront in 12 countries including the U.S. While this is the first time Google has offered the PayPal option (Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store has featured the option since its inception), the payment method can only be used for digital content, which excludes devices or accessories. Continue reading PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

Screenvision, SoundHound Connect Mobile Users to Cinema Ads

Cinema ad network Screenvision announced this week that it is launching a new mobile engagement platform created in partnership with audio recognition leader SoundHound. Levi’s and Warner Bros. Records will be among the first brands to participate as advertisers. The partnership will help marketers target moviegoers with mobile ads tied to Screenvision’s pre-show programming on cinema screens. SoundHound’s audio recognition tech will be used for mobile devices to unlock related content from the Web. Continue reading Screenvision, SoundHound Connect Mobile Users to Cinema Ads

Should Hollywood Be Worried About Popcorn Time for Android?

Popcorn Time and its pirating tools have gone mobile with a new Android app. Time4Popcorn’s Popcorn Time app is available on the developer’s website. According to TechCrunch, it is similar to the original desktop program in design, provides the same access to pirated movies and TV shows, and streams torrents. The app comes from the Time4Popcorn development group, which promises a Windows XP version soon. A number of developers have been launching spin-offs of the original and now-defunct Popcorn Time. Continue reading Should Hollywood Be Worried About Popcorn Time for Android?

GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has sold more than 33 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since the game’s launch in September, generating an estimated $1.98 billion in retail sales. The New York-based company claims “GTA V” was the best-selling console game last year in North America, Latin America and Europe — and the fastest title in video game history to reach $1 billion in sales. For additional perspective, it’s worth noting that Take-Two generated $2.4 billion in total revenue for its fiscal year. Continue reading GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

The recently released FireChat mobile app stands out from competitors as the only messaging app that can be used without cell phone reception. FireChat makes use of Apple’s multipeer connectivity introduced in iOS 7, which enables phones to connect with each other directly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. FireChat users within 100 feet of one another can exchange messages without sending data through a cellular provider. A future of similar apps not reliant upon the Internet could open new possibilities and address privacy concerns. Continue reading New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Pandora announced that it plans to increase the monthly subscription rate to its premium, ad-free Pandora One service by 25 percent for new subscribers starting in May (an increase from $3.99-a-month to $4.99-a-month). “The costs of delivering this service have grown considerably,” explains the Pandora Blog. “For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53 percent in the last five years and will increase another 9 percent in 2015.” Continue reading Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Security firm F-Secure released a 40-page Threat Report this week for the second half of 2013, which shows that Android receives the most malware attacks. Mobile malware on the Android platform increased 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 79 percent to 97 percent. Three fourths of the malware detections came from Saudi Arabia (42 percent) and India (33 percent). The United States and Finland are next on the list at 5 percent each, followed by Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong. Continue reading Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Microsoft is said to be experimenting with a free version of its Windows 8.1 operating system in hopes of increasing the number of users. Sources familiar with the plans say “Windows 8.1 with Bing” will bundle key Microsoft apps and services. The company aims to introduce Windows 8.1 with Bing as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users. The new Bing-powered software may also be offered to computer manufacturers as part of recent license cuts for sub-$250 devices.

Continue reading Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Cortana: Microsoft’s New Siri-Like Personal Digital Assistant

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 update will include its new personal digital assistant “Cortana,” named after the AI character in the “Halo” game series. Designed to rival Apple’s Siri and Google Now, Cortana’s circular animated icon will replace the built-in Bing search functionality on Windows Phone, and will animate while speaking or thinking, creating a personality similar to the Siri approach. Cortana will save data in a Notebook system that will enable it to track data and generate notifications much like Google Now. Continue reading Cortana: Microsoft’s New Siri-Like Personal Digital Assistant

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