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Dropbox Pro gets price cut, storage increase and new features

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

dropbox_pro_logo

Dropbox has announced some major revisions to the Dropbox Pro paid subscription version of their service. The update brings some enhancements related to security in response to customer requests. Dropbox is also simplifying their pricing and increasing the storage available. Previously, Dropbox Pro was priced at $9.99 per month for 100 GB of space. Users could bump that up to a maximum of 500 GB of space for $50 per month. Now, Dropbox only has one pricing tier – $9.99 per month. For that sum, users get 1 TB of storage space.

Along with the change in pricing and storage space, Dropbox now gives users some additional controls over how files and folders are shared along with a remote wipe feature. For users who share their files with others, Dropbox Pro now comes with the following for users:

  • Passwords for shared links create an additional layer of security so only people with the password can access your link.
  • Expirations for shared links safeguard your sensitive files by letting you set how long your links stay up.
  • View-only permissions for shared folders let you pick whether recipients can edit or just view files within your shared folder.

If you happen to lose a device, Dropbox gives quick access to the ability to stop syncing the device with the Dropbox account and instructs the device to delete all Dropbox files the next time the device is online.

The new Dropbox Pro pricing and features are in line with what Google and Microsoft offer with their cloud storage services, Drive and OneDrive respectively. Do you think this signals a new wave of price-cutting in the online storage market as companies compete for paying users?

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source: Dropbox

Come comment on this article: Dropbox Pro gets price cut, storage increase and new features

StackSocial has pay-what-you-want Android game bundle

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Humble Bundle, there’s a new kid in the game and they’re virtually coming for you. StackSocial is offering a very special pay-what-you-want deal for their Handheld Hero Android Gamer Bundle. There are seven games available but to get more than two in the bundle, you need to beat the average amount that most people are paying. The other good news is that 10% of what you pay will go to one of three organisations they support.

The 7 games available in the bundle are a mixed bag of mobile games that should appeal to most gamers. Bad Hotel challenges you to build a hotel as fast and as high as you can before it gets destroyed by several “bad” elements like seagulls and yetis. Incredipede is a weird and challenging game where your avatar needs to get to the beam of light at the end of each level but along the way it grows new limbs and muscles until you become a centipede-like creature. Rebuild is a strategy game where the survivors of a zombie apocalypse build a fort and protect it against, you guessed it, zombies.

Savant – Ascent is an action-platformer game where you are the titular Savant and you have to battle robots in order to reclaim your gothic castle. Syder Aracade HD is a “nostalgic” game that will bring you back to the gaming days when blasting aliens in their 8-bit glory was the most fun most of us ever had. In keeping with the space theme, Walking Mars is another alien-centric game but instead of just blasting them to smithereens, you need to go on an actual adventure with puzzle-solving and strategy-building. Lastly, Zombie Gunship lets you gun down those pesky zombies, but not with shotguns but with a heavily-armed AC-130 aircraft because of course, it’s more fun that way.

Right now, the average that you have to beat is just $4.27 but it will probably go higher in the next few days. As we mentioned earlier, 10% of what you pay will go to one of three charities that you can choose from: Child’s Play, World Wildlife Fund or Creative Commons. Instead of an app, you will be given a list of APKs so you can install the games manually. The sale will end in 12 days so better make up your mind if you’ll bite.

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SOURCE: StackSocial

VIA: Android Police

After fighting against updated 9-1-1 rules, Verizon emergency system flops

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Verizon911rules FindMe911.org

As we reported last month, the Find Me 911 Coalition has criticized wireless carriers for their lack of proper location information for first responders. Verizon Wireless responded to those claims by stating that their “internal review” showed Verizon handing over precise location information at a much higher rate than what the Find Me 911 Coalition found through data given to the FCC.

The federal government therefore proposed new rules for emergency responders locating 911 callers using wireless carriers. The FCC proposal, released in February, would mandate that for 67 percent of 911 calls in the first few years, cellphone carriers provide the horizontal location of an indoor caller within 164 feet and the vertical location within about 10 feet. The proposal would also require providers to demonstrate compliance and establish a channel for 911 administrators to raise complaints.

The wireless carriers refused such a proposal as they claimed they didn’t have the technology to implement such a plan. In reality, they just don’t want to spend the small amount that it would cost to improve this technology. Then again, are people surprised at the pushback considering the wireless carriers originally fought the FCC on providing any 911 location information in the late 1990′s.

911FullAD.jpg FindMe911.org

Now, Brunswick police in Maine are alerting residents that calls placed from Verizon Wireless phones to 911 are not getting through. Therefore, the police are encouraging people to contact the police by phone with another carrier or by email. As of yesterday evening, the problem was still an active issue according to a dispatcher who spoke to the Bangor Daily News.

On Brunswick Police Department’s Facebook page, a message was left attributing the problems to “a problem at Verizon Wireless and/or Fairpoint.”


Source: BangorDailyNews;

Google updates Chrome for Windows with a 64-bit version and support for high-dpi displays

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_chrome

Until now users of the Windows version of Google Chrome have had to perform registry hacks or other convoluted methods to get the popular browser to support their high resolution displays. A bizarre oversight seeing as its been two years since they brought support to Apple’s high-dpi Retina displays. Thankfully Google have released version 37 of Chrome for Windows bringing support for high-dpi displays, and official (and stable) 64-bit support. If that wasn’t enough they also included support for Microsoft’s DirectWrite technology which smooths out fonts and should make the overall browsing experience less taxing on the eyes.

Google also notes that the update brings speed and security improvements to 64-bit users and invites users to download the update at the Google Chrome download page. If you plan to try the 64-bit version don’t forget to opt in before downloading. Hit the source for the full list of changes and let us know in the comments what you think of the update.

Source: Chromium Blog

Come comment on this article: Google updates Chrome for Windows with a 64-bit version and support for high-dpi displays

ASUS Reveals Name for Upcoming Smartwatch in New Teaser Video

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

It is officially the week of teases, as ASUS continues the trend, this time revealing an official name for its upcoming smartwatch, the ZenWatch. In a brief 30+ second teaser video, ASUS shows off a bit of the watch’s design and overall profile, but we still have yet to see the watch’s face turned on. 

Most signs point to this watch being an Android Wear device, but technically, that has not yet been confirmed. It is rumored that the ZenWatch will be incredibly affordable, landing in the $99-$149 range. However, with such a low price, we hope ASUS delivers on the quality we would expect. After all, it does sport the “Zen” moniker, much like the company’s premium line of Ultrabook PCs.

The company is set to unveil the ZenWatch on September 3 in Berlin, Germany during IFA.

You can watch the ASUS’ livestream right here when that day rolls around next week.

ASUS Reveals Name for Upcoming Smartwatch in New Teaser Video is a post from: Droid Life

Would you sell your privacy for $100 a month?

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

dollars money

Information is the new currency of choice in the data age. Web search and social network empires have been built from it, and government agencies live and breathe it. There’s plenty of profit to be had by gleaning little pieces of data about our daily lives, and, depending on how much you like being watched, there’s actually a way for us subjects to make money from our data too.

Luth Research, a company based out of San Diego, operates a business which offers other companies an even closer look into the lives of tens of thousands of people, with their consent of course. In exchange for up to $100 dollars per month, Luth’s “ZQ Intelligence” services collects and analyses data from a person’s smartphone, tablet, or PC, in search of trends and valuable information. Currently, around 20,000 PC users and 6,000 smartphone users are actively participating.

This isn’t to say that people are giving up their entire privacy for just $100 a month. Luth Research doesn’t read through personal messages and sends all of its collected data through a secured private network. Instead, Luth is interested in a lot of what we give away to Google every day for almost nothing. Information such as the subject’s location, website viewing habits, search queries, and time spent social networking, are of particular interest to Luth. The company also has plans to incorporate audio listening at some point in the future, which is a little creepier I’ll admit.

For the companies purchasing the results of Luth’s data, they stand to develop a much better understanding of how customers respond to their products and advertising. By obtaining more detailed pieces of information, companies can spend their advertising dollars more effectively, in the hope of to increasing the average ad click-through rate from a measly.01 percent. Better targeted adverts are also much less annoying for potential consumers, which sounds rather win-win.

“People are willing to be tracked as long as they’re in control,” Luth Research

Interestingly, a separate survey conducted by PunchTab revealed that 27 percent of its 1,100 respondents would allow themselves to be tracked by retailers providing that they were offered something in exchanged. There seems to be a good portion of people who are quite happy to sell their information.

Would you part with your data for a financial reward, or do companies know enough about us already?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

 


Source: MIT Technology Review;

Android Authority team members complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

By now, the Ice Bucket Challenge probably doesn’t need any explanation.

But, unfortunately, ALS still does, so here it goes. Standing for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS is better known in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the NY Yankees player who was famously struck down by the condition.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis means that motor nerves (the nerves that transmit impulses to muscles as part of voluntary movements) degenerate and eventually stop working. This leads to suffering, paralysis, and eventually, death.

Currently, there is no cure for ALS, though one drug, niluzole, was found to modestly slow the progression of the disease. There are however therapies that can improve the lives of people suffering from ALS and prolong their life expectancy. There’s also an ongoing effort to study the disease and identify new treatments.

In the US, the ALS Association is the most prominent organization fighting ALS and providing support for people suffering from ALS and their loved ones. The money donated to ALSA (including the donations from our team members) goes to research, raising awareness, supporting patients, and coordinating care.

My colleagues Kevin, Lanh, Joe, Josh and Darcy were nominated to the Ice Bucket Challenge and accepted it. They also donated to ALSA. Now it’s your turn.

Here’s where you can donate, even if you didn’t take the Ice Bucket Challenge:

Donate to ALS Association 

If you can’t donate, here are other ways you can help fight ALS. Thank you for reading.

Koush pushes AllCast updates for Chrome and Android

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

As promised last week, Koush is pushing out an update to his AllCast system that has a few new interesting features in two. But instead of a simple Android update, this one’s a double whammy as it includes the update to the Chrome extension that opens the door for more devices to mirror their screens to the browser.

Last week, Koush flipped the switch for his Chrome extension that migrated from using the sanctioned but limited WebRTC protocol over to h264 via Broadway.js. In practice, this mean that the number of supported devices that can mirror their screen to a Chrome brwoser went from one (the Nexus 5) to potentially any modern smartphone. Now Koush is pushing out the update extension to the Chrome Web Store for the enjoyment of all.

The AllCast sender itself is seeing some updates, though somewhat less sensational as the Chrome receiver. This one focuses primarily on the UI side of things. A new Recents section has been added to keep track of the files and folders that you’ve been viewing, just to make it easier to jump right into the content that, at least based on last use, might be more relevant to you. The AllCast Receiver’s fancy new splash screen has now been made optional so that it no longer gets in the way of those who want to dive right into business the moment they connect. The transcoding engine has a new Bitrate option to make sure that video streaming won’t strangle your WiFi connection by maxing out the transcoding settings.

Both the updated AllCast Receiver for Chrome and the update AllCast sender for Android are now up on Chrome Web and Google Play Stores and should be rolling out to users who already have them installed. Another update, or rather release, to look forward to is Koush’s ADB Shell for Chrome extension that lets you gain most of the power of ADB without having to struggle with installing SDK Tools and using arcane commands.

SOURCE: +Koush

Deal: Nokia Qi wireless charger for $18, Xperia NFC tags for 5$ on Dailysteals   

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

nokia qi wireless charger 2

Wireless charging is one of those features that are more about convenience than anything else. Once you try it though, it’s hard to ever go back to USB cables.

If you have a smartphone with wireless charging (like the Nexus 5, most variants of the G3, Galaxy S5 with a special back plate, etc.), and need a wireless charger (or an extra one), the Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging Plate is a good option.

This Qi-compatible wireless charging is currently just $18 on Dailysteals, cheaper than at any other retailer we know off. There are a few cheaper chargers out there, but Nokia’s great reputation for quality hardware makes this a good deal in our opinion. The DT-900 is available in black and white, with one year warranty and free shipping.

sony xperia nfc tags

While you’re checking out that Nokia charger, you may want to take a look at the Sony Xperia NFC tags, discounted to $5 for a set of four. These programmable tags work with most modern smartphones and can be used to quickly change the settings on your phone with a simple tap. Put one on your nightstand, for instance, and have your phone automatically set to silent with just a tap.

Let us know if you bought anything!

Imagination unveils its MIPS Creator CI20 Android/Linux development board

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Today, Imagination Technologies has announced a new development board for university students, professionals, and hobbyists. The MIPS Creator CI20 platform currently runs various Linux distributions and will soon support Android 4.4 KitKat as well. Android developers looking to get to grips with MIPS CPUs and PowerVR GPUs now have a new toy to play with.

Typically your Android device will run on one of the many ARM processors designs out there, but Android is quite happy with other architectures too, including Intel’s x86 Silvermont and Imagination’s MIPS.

In terms of board hardware, the CI20 covers all of Imagination Technologies’ SoC IP processors. The CI20 comes with a dual-core MIPS-based Ingenic Xburst JZ4780 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1GB of DDR3 RAM memory, 8GB of NAND flash on-board storage and a SD card slot for additional space if required.

Just like the popular Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms, Imagination Technologies’ MIPS Creator CI20 also offers up a range of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, CMOS camera connector, an HDMI connection, and one port for USB OTG devices.

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Compared with some of the other development boards on the market, the CI20 gives developers access to hardware that is a little closer to what can be found in modern Android devices. The MIPS Ingenic Xburst CPU features FPU and SIMD functionality, which is particularly important for those looking to perform any math heavy signal processing. The PowerVR SGX540 GPU has also appeared in a number of Android devices, including the Motorola Razr i, Samsung Galaxy Nexus I9250, and LG Optimus L9, and supports OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenGL 2.1 graphics APIs.

Furthermore, the MIPS Creator CI20 features dedicated video hardware, which can decode popular formats in 1080p at 60fps, and a H.264 encoder which works at 1080p 30fps. Just like the Pi, the CI20 would make an ideal small-form factor HTPC .

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Above: See how the MIPS CI20 stacks up against the Raspberry Pi

If Android isn’t your thing, or if you just want to try the board out before Android support arrives, the MIPS Creator CI20 already has OS images available for Debian 7, Gentoo, Yocto, Arch, as well as other Linux distributions.

Developers and hobbyists keen to get their hands on one can do so by registering over at Imagination’s store. Imagination Technologies will be handing out development boards for free, depending on availability, once you’ve given them a brief description of your project.

With Imagination looking to make a push into the smartphone and wearable CPU space, the company hopes that these development boards will go some way towards familiarising the developer community with its MIPS architecture.


Source: Imagination Technologies;