Friday, June 24, 2016

New Amazon Kindle’s newest iteration of its Kindle e-reader device is thinner, lighter and the same price it was before.
The Kindle, Amazon’s flagship and entry-level e-reader model, is getting a makeover to make it slimmer and rounder, aiming to make it easier to use by those who like to read one-handed.
The new version will weigh 5.7 ounces, about 16 percent less than the current version. It also is about 11 percent thinner and is available in white as well as black.
The new model announced Wednesday will have twice as much memory capacity as its predecessor, holding about the same number of books but with a speedier processor. That extra power is especially helpful for readers using VoiceView, a voice-to-text service aimed at readers with visual impairments.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

LibreOffice 5.1.4 Released

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.1.4, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.1 family, targeted at individual users and enterprise deployments. Users of previous LibreOffice releases should start planning the update to the new version.
For enterprise deployments, The Document Foundation suggests the backing of professional support by certified developers, migrators and trainers (the full list is available at:
People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: (fixed in RC1) and (fixed in RC2).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Samsung Pay

Smartphone leader Samsung Electronics has for years been a spectator as Apple built a services "ecosystem" supporting its products. But now, as the two develop the market for mobile payments, the Korean tech giant is taking the fight to its U.S. archrival.

For Apple, offering users the ability to tap their iPhones on sales terminals to buy a coffee, snack or train ticket is a fresh revenue stream, like its iTunes music and entertainment service. The banks it works with cough up a small charge for each transaction - reportedly 0.15 percent in the United States.
Samsung, which has trailed behind its competitors in software and services, is taking a different path.
It is not seeking fees from its financial partners, viewing Samsung Pay as an engine to drive sales of phones and other devices.
"We're a hardware company, and at the end of the day I think what we're trying to do is get people who hold (one of) our phones and use it ... to just love it more," Elle Kim, Global Vice President of Samsung Pay, told Reuters in Sydney.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

LG Acquisitions

LG Electronics Inc., with businesses spanning TVs to washing machines, is looking at home appliance acquisitions to fuel its global expansion and withstand a slowing smartphone market.
The company will probably focus on business-to-business targets, such as component makers, Jo Seong-Jin, president of LG’s home appliance division, said in an interview. Earnings from the business will increase in the quarters ahead, Jo said, as he expects the unit’s sales to rise about 10 percent this year. LG shares climbed 4.1 percent Monday, the most in almost a month. The KOSPI gained 1.4 percent in Seoul.

LG, like larger rival Samsung Electronics Co., is trying to innovate and push into premium segments to capture more affluent consumers amid increased competition from Chinese rivals including Midea Group Co. and and Haier Electronics Group Co. LG released its Twin Wash machine in July last year, enabling users to do two loads of laundry at the same time.

“The home appliance industry growth, including washers and refrigerators, is unlikely to show a significant expansion going forward,” Jo said. “The overall home appliance market is expected to grow about 2.5 to 3 percent by sales this year whereas our sales for premium sets alone will generate a whopping 10 to 15 percent growth.”

Monday, June 20, 2016

Free Bus Rides in MD

Local Motors officially unveiled its self-driving shuttle Thursday and said it will begin giving free rides to the public in Maryland this summer.
The electric vehicle, which seats 12, will drive slowly on public roads in National Harbor, Md., operating at speeds between 3 and 8 mph, according to Local Motors chief executive Jay Rogers. He characterized Olli as a “friendly neighborhood robot” that isn’t capable of traveling on highways.
“A full win for Olli, when we can hook up the victory flag and say we’re done here, is when a city says no more cars on our streets,” said Rogers, citing concerns about distracted drivers creating unsafe situations for pedestrians and cyclists as a motivation for creating Olli.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Apple Subscription Model

Apple announced that by this fall it will let nearly all iOS app makers switch to a subscription-based business model, a move that could make it easier for some small-scale developers to turn a profit but risks backlash from consumers burdened by subscription fatigue.
"Ultimately, this should lead to more apps, better apps and more innovation," Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, said of Apple's plans.
As revealed in a pair of interviews that marketing chief Philip Schiller did with The Verge and Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball -- an unusual tactic for Apple -- the Cupertino, Calif., company will expand subscription pricing to all app categories, after previously restricting the model to just a handful: periodicals, business apps and media content services.
Apple will also reduce its cut from the current 30% of all subscriptions to 15% once a subscription has been active for a year. For each subscriber who sticks with the deal for 12 months, the developer will thus receive 85% of the subscription price, rather than 70%.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Nvidia Kills Some Setups

Adios, Enthusiast Key. Nvidia’s doing away with plans to require a special software tool to unlock 3- and 4-way SLI setups. But instead of making systems with three or four GeForce GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 graphics cards play nice out-of-the-box with the company’s Game Ready drivers, Nvidia’s pretty much declaring 3- and 4-way SLI setups dead for traditional gaming.
A forthcoming Game Ready driver release will add in 3- and 4-way SLI support, no Enthusiast Key needed—but that support will only be enabled for a handful of specific benchmarking applications like 3DMark Fire Strike and Catzilla, Nvidia told PC Perspective. So you’ll still see extreme Nvidia-powered rigs at the top of overclocking charts, but you won’t be able to put that power to use in actual games. In-game support stops at 2-way SLI profiles.
There’s a caveat to this: Cutting-edge graphics APIs like Vulkan and DirectX 12 allow developers to directly access GPUs, so specific games will be able still tap into three or more graphics cards if the developer implements it. (The same tech lets you run Radeon and GeForce cards together in the same system.) But both of those graphics APIs are still in their very early days, with DX11 titles still representing the vast majority of PC games shipped, and directly implementing mGPU support costs developers time and money. So don’t expect to see a flood of DX12 games capable of supporting 3- and 4-way SLI setups anytime soon.