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Screen Grabs: Are agents on Fringe flashing their Google Wallet?

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Screen Grabs chronicles the uses (and misuses) of real-world gadgets in today’s movies and TV. Send in your sightings (with screen grab!) to screengrabs at engadget dot com.

Screen Grabs: Are agents on Fringe flashing their Google Wallet?

We’re not sure exactly what the FBI’s standard issue kit consists of, but we imagine it has more than a few bits of secret tech. These screen grabs from this week’s Fringe, however, would have us believe that the rogue agents like to pick up their tabs with what looks like Google Wallet. We can clearly see a Sprint-branded Galaxy Nexus being used to for a not-so-undercover financial transaction. At least it looks like the agents might have had an upgrade since we last saw them around these parts.

Update: As many of you have pointed out, there was something wrong with our own intel on this case, and it wasn’t one of the agents using the service. Perhaps the bureau isn’t comfortable with e-wallets just yet.

[Thanks, Te-je]

Continue reading Screen Grabs: Are agents on Fringe flashing their Google Wallet?

Screen Grabs: Are agents on Fringe flashing their Google Wallet? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 06 May 2012 08:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HBO Go and Max Go get Android 4.0 phone support, skip tablets for now

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

HBO Go and Max Go

Those with Android 4.0 phones like the HTC One X have been left out of watching HBO Go and Max Go on the road so far. New updates to the respective mobile apps take care of that: either premium channel will now stream directly to a phone running Google’s latest OS (assuming you’re subscribed to pay-TV, that is). Speed-ups and bug fixes are in the upgrades, too. Oddly, Android 4.0 tablets have yet to make the leap, ruling out your Transformer Pad TF300 for catching up on episodes of True Blood.

HBO Go and Max Go get Android 4.0 phone support, skip tablets for now originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 05 May 2012 11:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Android Central  |  sourceHBO Go (Google Play), Max Go (Google Play)  | Email this | Comments

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Samsung looking to acquire mobile companies (but not RIM)

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Samsung looking to acquire mobile company (but not RIM)

J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, sat down with The Wall Street Journal and revealed that the South Korean manufacturer has begun aggressively hiring foreign software engineers in an effort keep pace with Apple’s iPhone. Samsung, which has traditionally developed its own hardware, is also embracing the possibility of making key acquisitions in the mobile space. “The technology industry is growing very quickly and it is too much of a burden to try to do everything in-house,” Shin said. “There are many qualified workers from India that are very skilled in software. And there are small companies that we can acquire that have good research and development capabilities.”

Shin did not name any potential targets, however, and was quick to shoot down rumors regarding an acquisition of Canada’s Research in Motion. While Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility has Samsung on edge, the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Younghee Lee, maintains that Samsung will continue to work with Android because it is currently the most popular platform.

Shin called the company’s latest flagship smartphone — the Galaxy S III — an example of Samsung’s renewed focus on software. While the phone is based on Google’s Android operating system, Shin highlighted how Samsung engineers were able to write new software and enable unique features such as the Galaxy S III’s face-detection and eye-tracking capabilities, which control various functions on the handset based on whether or not the user is looking at the display.

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Android lost money in 2010

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Android lost money in 2010

During Google’s ongoing legal dispute with Oracle, the judge presiding over the case revealed the Internet giant’s Android mobile operating system was not profitable in 2010, Reuters reported. Google does not publicly report financial information regarding its Android operating system, however the judge did not disclose specific figures, but instead said it lost money in each quarter of 2010. “That adds up to a big loss for the whole year,” he said. Oracle argued that Google should not be able to deduct certain Android expenses for the purposes of copyright damages related to the case.

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Google to be fined millions by U.S. over Safari breach

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Google to be fined by US over Safari breach

The United States Federal Trade Commission will fine Google for its breach of Apple’s Safari web browser security, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The Internet giant is currently negotiating with the Commission over an acceptable fine, which could amount to tens of millions of dollars. The fine would be the first time the FTC has ever punished a company for violating Internet privacy safeguards. Google in February was found to be bypassing the privacy settings of millions of unknowing Safari users by using a special code to install cookies on a user’s computer, even when such actions were supposed to be blocked by the browser.

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MasterCard gives PayPass blessings to HTC One X, 16 other NFC phones

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

ImageMasterCard is widening the universe of phones that officially support PayPass in a big way, with a new MasterCard PayPass Ready program certifying that devices with NFC will play nicely with its mobile payment system. A total of 17 phones are part of the first wave getting the official A-OK. Some of these are known quantities already using PayPass, like the LG Viper 4G LTE and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+, but others are new to the PayPass ways. Among the picks are the HTC One X, Intel’s smartphone reference device and the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC. A raft of BlackBerrys and lower-end Samsung Galaxy phones are likewise in the fray. While only a handful of these might ever work with Google Wallet or other US-focused NFC payment methods, you can check out the full roster in the release after the break.

Continue reading MasterCard gives PayPass blessings to HTC One X, 16 other NFC phones

MasterCard gives PayPass blessings to HTC One X, 16 other NFC phones originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 03 May 2012 22:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceMasterCard PayPass Ready (PDF)  | Email this | Comments

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Samsung Game Hub, Video Hub hands-on (video)

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

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Sad that Samsung’s rumored S-Cloud didn’t appear on the scene? Well the arrival of the company’s new Video, Game and Music hubs might heal the wounds. Rather than a unified service, the Galaxy S III will have access to three separate stores that will offer an alternative to Google Play. We spent a few minutes having a play, and you can see what it’s like after the break.

Continue reading Samsung Game Hub, Video Hub hands-on (video)

Samsung Game Hub, Video Hub hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 03 May 2012 17:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Draw Something begins to lose its appeal

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Draw Something loses appeal

OMGPOP launched Draw Something on February 6th and within seven weeks, the game soared to 35 million users while serving almost 1 billion ad impressions per day. The turn based Pictionary-style game soon became the most popular Facebook Connect game, beating out Zynga’s Words With Friends, and also the No.1 free app and No.1 paid app on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace for Android. Zynga noticed the success of Draw Something and quickly acquired OMGPOP and its team for more than $200 million. The sale may have been premature, however, as Draw Something’s user base is beginning to decline, The Atlantic Wire reports. The number of users who play the game on a daily basis has dropped from nearly 15 million users to 10 million, although the number of monthly users has stayed consistent, according to information from App Data. The crumbling daily user figures could spell trouble for Zynga, but it looks like the timing couldn’t have worked out better for OMGPOP, which seemingly managed to cash in at precisely the right time.

[Via The Atlantic Wire]

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Mozilla becomes the first Silicon Valley heavyweight to oppose CISPA

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Mozilla speaks out against CISPA

Thousands of people oppose the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), including the Obama Administration and “Anonymous.” The bill, which was recently passed by the United States House of Representatives, looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy and neutrality advocates feel as if the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when private information can be monitored. Numerous technology companies — such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Intel and Oracle — have voiced their support for the bill. Mozilla on Tuesday, however, took a stand and announced its opposition against CISPA.

“While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security,” the company’s privacy and public policy lead said to Forbes. “The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation.”

Mozilla’s Mountain View neighbor, Google, has yet to make its stance known, and is one of the last tech firms to do so. “We think this is an important issue and we’re watching the process closely but we haven’t taken a formal position on any specific legislation,” a company spokesperson said. The Internet giant has previously spoken out about the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), even going as far as censoring its homepage and urging visitors to oppose the bill.

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BlackBerry 10, webOS and the platform predicament

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

BlackBerry 10, webOS and the platform predicament

During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google.

On August 18th, 2011, less than three years after this promising new platform was unveiled, it was effectively laid to rest.

During the annual BlackBerry World conference on Tuesday, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google.

Yes, history is repeating itself.

There are too many comparisons between Research In Motion today and Palm in late 2008 and early 2009 to count. Ignoring the similarities between Palm and HP’s webOS platform and BlackBerry 10 is ignoring the obvious: a sleek UI that deviates from industry leaders and innovates in several key areas, sky-high ambitions, aspirations of pushing the platform beyond smartphones and onto various other products, and a seemingly impossible lead to overcome. RIM is in a much better place than Palm was at that time, of course, with a much larger user base, better performance and more resources at its disposal. Despite these advantages, however, both of these stories may end up sharing the same final chapter if RIM can’t find a way to tip the scales in its favor.

New chief executive Thorsten Heins took the stage on Wednesday and showed the world an operating system that looks absolutely nothing like BlackBerry 7. This is a very good thing. Based on RIM’s PlayBook OS, BlackBerry 10 appears to have the fit and finish of a modern mobile platform at this early stage. The UI is a complete overhaul compared to RIM’s current smartphone OS, and while Heins’s preview was very brief, we saw a number of exciting new features unveiled.

RIM showed us an interesting take on predictive text input that places words above various keys lying in the path of letters the user might type. A simple flick gesture will then complete the word. This solution is more elegant and logical than existing options that place a list of word recommendations across the top of the virtual keypad, and it is nice to see RIM innovating in a space it led for so long.

The camera software in BlackBerry 10 is fascinating as well. RIM’s next-generation smartphones will capture a series of photographs in the background as the user snaps an image. This will allow users to cycle regions of the image forward or backward in time to correct closed eyes or alter other aspects of a photo.

The problem, however, is that features like these won’t sell phones, regardless of how innovative and exciting they might be.

These features are a small piece of a massive puzzle that must be arranged in just the right order to allow a third player to emerge and succeed in today’s market. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have tremendous momentum, proven ecosystems and developer support, widespread carrier support and massive marketing budgets helping to sustain their success.

To say RIM has its work cut out for it is an understatement of monumental proportions. Plainly put, right now is likely the worst time in smartphone history to launch a new platform.

Apple and Google lead in the smartphone platform race by a staggering margin, and Nokia and Microsoft have a head start in terms of using innovation, a spectacular product and boatloads of cash in attempt to establish a successful third platform. And in terms of smartphone profits, that’s a two-horse race as well right now.

At some point in the coming years, other platforms will undoubtedly emerge and find success in the smartphone space. The odds are not in a contender’s favor today, however, as Apple and Google are both at the top of their game. To make matters somehow even worse for RIM, its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone will likely launch in the very same month as Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which BGR expects to feature a complete redesign when it launches this fall.

BlackBerry 10 is shaping up to be an impressive platform, and we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. It looks elegant, well thought-out and very powerful — just like webOS. Whether or not RIM can avoid a similar fate for its mobile platform remains to be seen, but unfortunately, we haven’t been shown anything compelling or significantly differentiated thus far that suggests this will be the case. For RIM’s sake, and for the sake of smartphone users everywhere who are hungry for a viable new platform, let’s hope that changes.

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Microsoft SkyDrive impressions: a look at features and functionality

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Microsoft SkyDrive impressions: a look at features and functionality

You may remember a certain, somewhat anticipated cloud service finally coming in to land in recent days. That wasn’t the only news in nebular computing last week, however: perhaps in anticipation of Google’s long-rumored Drive service, Microsoft made some updates to the Windows Phone app for its own offering, SkyDrive. This comes not long after the release of desktop SkyDrive applications for Windows and OSX, all suggesting that Redmond’s hoping to cut itself as large a slice of the cloud-storage pie as it can, preferably while others are still taking their seats at the table. We spent some time with the latest quiver of tools from Microsoft, to see how they’ve progressed.

Continue reading Microsoft SkyDrive impressions: a look at features and functionality

Microsoft SkyDrive impressions: a look at features and functionality originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 02 May 2012 11:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola MOTOACTV now likes Ice Cream Sandwich, to its nutritionists dismay

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Motorola is pushing out an update for the MOTOACTV that’ll improve the dinky machine’s calibration with heart rate monitors and improved media selection. Golfers who plumped for the tailored edition of the unit will find links-friendly features like better score tallies and longer-distance club suggestions. The concomitant mobile app also gets a bump to make the unit compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich handsets — although we’d suggest avoiding too many sugary snacks if you’re off for a run.

Motorola MOTOACTV now likes Ice Cream Sandwich, to its nutritionists dismay originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 02 May 2012 05:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Android Police  |  sourceGoogle Play, Motorola, (2)  | Email this | Comments

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Automatic Translation Is Just One of Gmail’s Newest Tricks [Gmail]

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

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