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Series revisits ARM’s humble beginnings, BBC Micro and all

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Series revisits ARM's humble beginnings, BBC Micro and all

If you read our interview with ARM co-founder John Biggs, you know the company behind the processor in mosts smartphones had quite modest beginnings, what with an office in a barn and all. But Biggs is only part of the story, and Reghardware fleshes the rest out with a two-part series on the “unsung heroes of tech”: Sophie Wilson, Steve Furber and Herman Hauser, the team behind Acorn Computers, the British PC company that spawned ARM in the mid-80s. We’ll let you click through to the source links to take the journey yourself, but here are a few highlights: earning a computer contract with the BBC, happening upon ARM chips’ low power consumption by accident and striking gold thanks to a partnership with Apple.

Series revisits ARM’s humble beginnings, BBC Micro and all originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 04 May 2012 10:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple co-founder picks Windows Phone over Android

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak picks Windows Phone

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently purchased a Nokia Lumia 900 and thus far has had nothing but a pleasant experience with the device. The folks over at aNewDomain.net caught up with “the Woz” and spoke to him about his opinion on the Windows Phone platform. “Just for looks and beauty I definitely favor the Windows Phone over Android,” he said. Wozniak called the operating system “intuitive and beautiful,” and said it makes him feel as if he is “with a friend not a tool.” He also noted that apps on the Lumia look “more beautiful than on Android or iPhone.” Despite his praise, Woz maintains that the iPhone is still his favorite smartphone. The co-founder isn’t shy about his opinions and has previously stated that in many ways Android had lept ahead of Apple and the iPhone

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Switched On: Big kicks not all for starters

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

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The end of last week’s Switched On left doubt for the future of dedicated devices that tread on the turf of smartphones. After all, funding is key to every major new product initiative and, despite the vast fortunes of many Silicon Valley engineers that have been accumulated via IPOs and acquisitions, few wish to take on the risk of fronting a new consumer device themselves.(In 2007, the handheld FlipStart PC was hatched from FlipStart Labs, funded by Vulcan Ventures, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.)

Most venture capitalists abhor the device business; it is a rare device that makes it to the spotlight of startup debutante balls such as DEMO, TechCrunch Disrupt, or Launch. Even most of the 94 companies at CES’ Eureka Park were not developing end-user devices Where, then, can a device entrepreneur go for funding and pick up some publicity in the process?

Continue reading Switched On: Big kicks not all for starters

Switched On: Big kicks not all for starters originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 29 Apr 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Project Glass makes a TV appearance on Charlie Rose, flashes its rear for the cameras

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Project Glass makes a TV appearance on Charlie Rose, flashes its rear for the cameras

Google fellow, founder of Project X and self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun became the latest to publicly rock a Project Glass prototype (after company co-founder Sergey Brin) on a recent episode of Charlie Rose, and managed to show off a whole new side of the project in the process. While the 19-minute interview was mostly unremarkable product-wise with a focus on higher education and his Udacity project, we did get to see him take a picture of the host (about a minute in) by tapping it, then posting it on Google+ by nodding twice. Also, as Electronista points out, in a brief reverse shot (17:20) of Thrun we see for the first time what appears to be a small battery pack / transmitter portion lodged behind his ear. Of course, we’re still not any closer to rocking the latest in bionic man-chic ourselves, but at least we can start getting fitted for one now.

Project Glass makes a TV appearance on Charlie Rose, flashes its rear for the cameras originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 27 Apr 2012 04:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceCharlie Rose, Sebastian Thrun (Google+)  | Email this | Comments

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Amazon’s cloud infrastructure said to power 1% of the Internet

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure has seen tremendous growth and is silently becoming a core element of the Internet. According to research from DeepField Networks, one-third of the millions of users covered by the study visited a website that uses Amazon’s infrastructure each day, WIRED reported on Wednesday. While most people still think of Amazon mainly as an Internet retailer, the company is quietly becoming “a massive utility” that is responsible for 1% of all Internet traffic in North America, according to Craig Labovitz, the co-founder of DeepField Networks. “My mother, for example, has heard of Facebook. She’s heard of Google. She buys stuff from Amazon. But I don’t think most people realize just how pervasive Amazon is becoming,” he said. “The number of websites that would now break if Amazon were to go down, and the growing pervasiveness of Amazon behind the scenes, is really quite impressive.” The company stored 762 billion objects in its S3 storage cloud last year, three times the number of objects stored 2010, and it operates several data centers on the West Coast, across Europe, and in Virginia, Singapore and Tokyo.

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Larry Page: Android is important, but not critical to Google

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

According to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, the Android mobile operating system is an important asset for Google, but it is not critical. Page made the claim during courtroom testimony as he took the stand for a second day in the company’s legal dispute with Oracle. The CEO’s testimony is rather puzzling — Page has previously claimed the company’s Android platform was “on fire” and a “tremendous example of the power of partnership” that “gets better with each version.” During an earnings call in October, Page said the company was “seeing a huge positive revenue impact from mobile, which has grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months to a run rate of over $2.5 billion.” Furthermore, Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility was meant to protect Android and further its mobile dominance according to statements the CEO made when the deal was announced.

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How to delete your Instagram account

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Instagram is a hugely popular social network centered around sharing retro images with friends, and while it continues to add users by the millions, it will likely soon see a somewhat sizable defection in light of recent events. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced that Facebook will acquire Instagram for $1 billion. The deal will make Instagram’s small team rich and give the app exposure to millions of new users, but it will also bring a fresh round of privacy concerns that have already begun to surface. For those who avoid Facebook and its suite of services, deleting an Instagram account couldn’t be easier: users can simply visit the company’s account removal page, log in, and select a reason for their account removal requests from the drop-down menu. As it turns out, “privacy concerns” is the very first option.

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Keep Google Weird

Friday, April 6th, 2012
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There’s a sign that hangs in the windows of shops in downtown Santa Cruz, California. “Keep Santa Cruz Weird.” It’s not unique to that town, of course — the best known implementation of the slogan is the one seen all over Austin, Texas. Localized versions have also been spotted on t-shirts and bumper stickers in places like Portland and Boulder — any area where the undercurrent of independent thinking does daily battle with the threat of homogenized commerce. The Santa Cruz example sticks in my mind in particular, of course, due to the five years I spent in that town, whose weirdness never fully recovered from the ’89 earthquake, a natural disaster that both wreaked havoc on the landscape and caused a shift in the local zeitgeist, opening crumbled and abandoned storefronts up for Starbucks and Taco Bells — chain stores devoid of the character that makes the town so unique. So weird.

There are, naturally, growing pains with any company — particularly one that has had so meteoric a rise as Google has experienced over the past decade and a half. Evil claims aside for the moment, the transformation from a dorm-based project to an international corporation nearly always risks the loss of the character and principles on which the project was initially founded. After taking the helm as CEO last April, co-founder Larry Page stressed the need for focusing the company’s countless product lines, announcing during an earnings call that, “We’ve [...] done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product lines.”

It’s easy to appreciate the sentiment. As Google grows at a tremendous rate, it risks losing focus, following in the footsteps of companies like Yahoo, which never did all that great a job subscribing to its own “Peanut Butter Manifesto,” by pruning away its ever-growing list of redundancy. Surely no one can fault Google for opting to pump more resources into successful properties like Android — brands with large user bases that require, arguably, even more attention than the company has been able to allot thus far.

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Keep Google Weird originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 06 Apr 2012 14:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin spotted wearing Project Glass prototype IRL

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
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Wondering what it might be like to sport Google’s Project Glass augmented reality HUD in your daily life? It would appear company co-founder Sergey Brin already knows, as he was spotted by tech pundits Robert Scoble and Thomas Hawk rocking a prototype at a Dining in the Dark charity event for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Scoble has already posted a couple of pictures with Brin on Google+, mentioning more photos would be forthcoming from Hawk after the event concluded and that he’d heard other people, including Google exec Vic Gundotra, have the devices already. For now he mentions the glasses appeared to be “self contained” and that he could see a blueish light flashing on Brin’s eyes. Hit the source link for more pics and details, we’ll let you know if we find out more later — details on where to snag a set may remain confidential until we’ve had a chance to try them on first, of course.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin spotted wearing Project Glass prototype IRL originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 06 Apr 2012 01:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Electronista  |  sourceRobert Scoble (Google+), @Scobleizer (Twitter)  | Email this | Comments

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Apple’s Tim Cook named most popular CEO of 2012

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Glassdoor on Friday revealed its latest list of the “Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs of 2012.” Apple’s Tim Cook took the top spot with a 97% approval rating, leading Ernst & Young’s Jim Turley, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs and Google’s Larry Page. “I think leadership is doing an amazing job,” said one Apple employee. “We have the best management team anywhere.” When Steve Jobs stepped down in August 2011, the late Apple co-founder garnered a cumulative approval rating of 97%, however Cook leads Jobs’s rating of 95% from March 2010 to March 2011. While it has been a tough year for Hewlett-Packard, the company’s new CEO Meg Whitman also made the list with an 80% approval rating, placing her in the  No. 24 spot. Glassdoor bases the list entirely on feedback from anonymous employees who were asked one question — do they approve of the way their CEO is leading the company?

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Instagram and Hipstamatic to announce photo-sharing partnership

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Instagram, the increasingly popular photo-sharing platform for Apple’s iPhone, has always allowed users to export photos taken within the app to other social networks. The service has never allowed users to upload non-Instagram photos onto its platform, however — until now. Hipstamatic, a similar photo app that takes vintage-looking photos, is set to unveil a partnership that will allow Instagram photos to be uploaded to its service, Fast Company reported on Wednesday. ”When we launched, it was all about Facebook and Flickr and Twitter, and now we’re seeing a huge shift in our user base toward Instagram,” Hipstamatic co-founder and CEO Lucas Buick said. “We’ve never been a social networking company, but we clearly benefit from social networks. So this will be the first app outside of Instagram that lets you into their network. That’s pretty cool for us.” Hipstamatic is slated to issue an update on Wednesday evening that will bring Instagram integration to iOS devices. The app is available for $1.99 in Apple’s iOS App Store.

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Path CEO grilled by Tim Cook and Apple over privacy

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Last month it was discovered that the popular social network Path was uploading entire address books — including email addresses, names and phone numbers — to its external servers. Path’s actions were a direct violation of Apple’s terms of agreement, and the Cupertino-based company was apparently not happy. Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek reported on Thursday that Path co-founder Dave Morin was hauled into Apple’s headquarters and grilled by CEO Tim Cook and other executives on the matter. Apple remained silent as other developers were called out for stealing users’ contact data, but the company finally issued a statement claiming that “any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.”

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Temple Run coming to the Android Market on March 27th

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Imangi Studios on Tuesday announced that its hit iOS game, Temple Run, will be coming to the Android Market on March 27th. Temple Run is an Indiana Jones-like ”runner” game that has users sprint through obstacles and escape the dangers of the jungle using gestures that make the character jump, duck and move from side to side. “We are excited to finally share the Android release date with our fans who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of Temple Run,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “By expanding to more mobile devices, we hope to provide the same addictive and fast-paced gameplay to an entirely new group of players.” Temple Run is currently the top free app and top grossing app in the iOS App Store, with over 40 million downloads and 7 million daily active users. The game is free to play and features in-app purchases that allow users to buy different characters and power-ups for higher scores. The company previously announced the game would be available in February, however it was delayed for unknown reasons. Read on for the Imangi’s press release.

Imangi Studios Brings Temple Run to the Android Marketplace March 27

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 6, 2012 – Imangi Studios today announced that Temple Run, the Top Grossing App and Top Free App in the App Store in January 2012, will be released for Android devices on March 27. Free to download, Temple Run challenges players to test their reflexes as they race down ancient temple walls and along sheer cliffs. With endless gameplay, players collect coins as they jump, slide and run to escape the evil monkeys guarding the temple while avoiding obstacles.

“We are excited to finally share the Android release date with our fans who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of Temple Run,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “By expanding to more mobile devices, we hope to provide the same addictive and fast-paced gameplay to an entirely new group of players.”

The iOS version of Temple Run for iPhone and iPad boasts over 40 million downloads in the App Store since its debut in August 2011.

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Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ may be even more mini than you thought

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

A new report suggests Apple’s upcoming “iPad mini” will be even smaller than earlier rumors suggested. Venturebeat is one of a number of sites that recently reported Apple’s upcoming next-generation iPad will be named “iPad HD.” The pixel-count certainly justifies the moniker — Apple’s new tablet will supposedly feature a high-definition 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display — and the rumors started with a leaked parts list that surfaced last week. The site also claims that Apple’s often rumored iPad mini, which is expected to launch some time in the second half this year, will feature a 7.1-inch display rather than a 7.85-inch display as we’ve heard numerous times in the past. Read on for more.

A 7.1-inch display would pit Apple’s tiny tablet against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, and it would also be exactly the size Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Apple would never touch.

“One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen,” Jobs said in 2010 on an earnings call. “Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The reason we won’t make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple launched a device with features it had previously criticized, however. There are numerous examples of Apple backtracking over the years, but the most famous is perhaps Apple’s insistance that the iPhone didn’t need to support third-party apps and that web apps were the answer. Fast-forward to March 2012, and Apple just announced that its App Store has now served more than 25 billion downloads.

Apple’s “iPad mini” will reportedly launch in the third quarter ahead of Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which is expected to launch this fall.

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Apple seeks up to $15 per Samsung, Motorola Android phone sold in proposed settlement

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Apple is currently locked in dozens of lawsuits around the world with various Android vendors, but the Cupertino-based company is apparently willing to negotiate terms that would end a number of its outstanding spats. According to sources speaking with Dow Jones Newswires, Apple has proposed settlements to at least two Android smartphone vendors. Under the terms of Apple’s proposed deals, which were reportedly offered to both Samsung and Motorola, the company would collect royalties of between $5 and $15 for each Android handset sold. If this report is accurate, the move represents a sharp departure from Apple’s strategy under former CEO Steve Jobs who vowed to spend every last dollar Apple had in an effort to destroy Android. ”I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of the Apple co-founder. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

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Steve Jobs used patents to pressure Bill Gates into 1997 investment in Apple

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was no stranger to legal battles involving the patent system. Apple is currently waging war on a number of Android vendors and the company’s former CEO vowed to crush Google’s mobile platform before his untimely passing last year. ”I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple boss. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” But more than a decade before the iPhone even existed, Apple was locked in patent battles with Microsoft that would end up saving the company from the brink of bankruptcy. Read on for more.

Microsoft’s 1997 investment in Apple is now a major bullet point in Apple’s history that is known the world over. As Apple struggled to stay alive, Jobs and his team managed to secure a $150 million investment that ended up helping to keep the company afloat long enough to begin a climb that would eventually see it become the most valuable company in the world.

An important piece of the story that often isn’t discussed, however, is that Jobs used the legal battles in which Apple and Microsoft were engaged at the time to convince Gates to work out a new software deal and, ultimately, to make a $150 million investment in Apple. From Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography, as quoted by Forbes:

I called up Bill and said, “I’m going to turn this thing around.” Bill always had a soft spot for Apple. We got him into the application software business. The first Microsoft apps were Excel and Word for the Mac. So I called him and said, “I need help.” Microsoft was walking over Apple’s patents. I said, “If we kept up our lawsuits, a few years from now we could win a billion-dollar patent suit. You know it, and I know it. But Apple’s not going to survive that long if we’re at war. I know that. So let’s figure out how to settle this right away. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Real Geeks Dine at a Periodic Table Table [Video]

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
You claim to be interested in science? Do you sit down of an evening to eat your dinner at a periodic table table? No? Then be quiet. Because Theo Gray, co-founder of Wolfram Research, out-geeks you, hands down. More »


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