Tuesday, May 31, 2016


You're driving through town with your mind half on work, half on the traffic around you. You come to the two-way intersection you've crossed a thousand times before, stop, look around and start to turn left.
And then your car sounds a warning bell, loudly and insistently. It's telling you, "WAIT -- the pickup truck barreling straight at you can't stop in time."
Got your attention, no?
It works because your car and that pickup are exchanging their location, speed, acceleration, direction and steering faster than we can blink. Many consider this conversation -- called vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V -- the most important lifesaving technology to hit the auto industry in the past 10 years.
If V2V did nothing more than warn you not to turn left or enter an intersection, it could prevent about half a million crashes and save around 1,100 lives a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

We are closed today in honor of Memorial Day. 

May all of the brave souls who sacrificed so much for all of us rest in peace. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Nextbooks at Target

Featuring a 10.1” high-res touch screen display, E FUN's new "Nextbook 10.1" 2-in-1 detachable tablet is the perfect gift for Dads and Grads!
The new Nextbook 10.1 is an all-in-one compact electronic powerhouse, it has the utility of a laptop and the ease-of-use and flexibility of a tablet. It provides a seamless balance between work and entertainment, so the dads and grads in your life can watch movies, listen to music, play games, surf the web, and get things done wherever they are. The Nextbook 10.1 comes packed with many great features including:
  • 1280 x 800 IPS HD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • Office Mobile to get work done on the go
  • Quad-core Intel Atom 5-Z8300 processor with 2GB system memory
  • Detachable silver keyboard for portability and versatility
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity options
  • Front and back facing cameras with microphone
E FUN’s new Nextbook 10.1 tablet is now available at Target and Target.com for $179.99

Friday, May 27, 2016

Gamestop Loses More

GameStop Corp, the world's largest retailer of video games, reported a 4.3 percent fall in quarterly revenue, hurt by lower sales of new gaming software and hardware.
Net income fell to $65.8 million, or 63 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 30, from $73.8 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue fell to $1.97 billion from $2.06 billion.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Xbox News

The era of waiting many years between new video game consoles could be over.
Microsoft is set to release a slimmer, cheaper Xbox One later this year, and a more powerful Xbox One -- capable of handling virtual reality system Oculus Rift -- in 2017, according to video game news siteKotaku. The company could announce the smaller version at next month's E3 video game conference.
The different boxes suggest Microsoft could switch to a strategy where it releases a new version of its Xbox console more frequently, rather than wait multiple years between new hardware. The idea is for these devices to be backward- and forward-compatible with the different Xbox models and Windows 10devices.
Microsoft declined to comment on the report.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

More Memory Will Be Needed

That Windows 7 PC you got back in 2009 is powerful enough to handle Microsoft's latest operating system -- but that could change, because Microsoft is increasing its minimum system requirements.
The upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update will need a minimum of 2GB of memory, according to a Microsoft developer page. That was the minimum already required for 64-bit versions of the operating system, but Microsoft previously required only 1GB of memory for the 32-bit version.
As with the requirements for Windows 7 and later, the software also requires a processor running at a speed of at least 1GHz; a graphics system supporting Microsoft's DirectX 9 interface; and 16GB of spare storage for the 32-bit version and 20GB free for the 64-bit version.
The new Windows 10 version, aka Build 1607, is expected to arrive on July 29, a year after Windows 10 debuted. Changes include improvements to the Cortana voice assistant and the Hello login feature, an emphasis on stylus support through a feature called Windows Ink, and the addition of the All Apps category to the Start menu. Windows is a rarity on mobile devices, but it remains a strong force on personal computers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Samsung Components

From the way it chooses smartphone components to the models it brings to market, Samsung Electronics has undergone a painful process of breaking from its past to reverse a slide in its handset business.
For example, the world's largest smartphone maker agonized over camera specs for its flagship Galaxy S7 until the last moment - ultimately defying industry convention by opting for fewer pixels in exchange for improved autofocus features and low-light performance, a move that contributed to early success.
It also pared back its product line-up, overcoming internal resistance, enabling it to streamline production, an executive said.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Google Chrome OS Update

Google's Play Store for Android will be coming to Chrome OS, the lightweight operating system that powers Chromebook laptops, the company announced Thursday.
That means Chromebook users will be able to download and install apps made for Android onto their Chromebooks, expanding the base of applications available for those devices. Previously, Chromebooks were able to run only applications built for Chrome.
It's an important enhancement for Chrome OS, which Google has been touting as the perfect operating system for schools and businesses, but which is lacking applications compared to Android. By bringing the two together, Google will expand the utility of both Android apps and Chromebooks.

Friday, May 20, 2016


The notion of online privacy has been greatly diminished in recent years, and just this week two new studies confirm what to many minds is already a dismal picture.
First, a study reported on Monday by Stanford University found that smartphone metadata -- information about calls and text messages, such as time and length -- can reveal a surprising amount of personal detail.
To investigate their topic, the researchers built an Android app and used it to retrieve the metadata about previous calls and text messages -- the numbers, times, and lengths of communications -- from more than 800 volunteers’ smartphone logs. In total, participants provided records of more than 250,000 calls and 1.2 million texts.
The researchers then used a combination of automated and manual processes to understand just what's being revealed. What they found was that it's possible to infer a lot more than you might think.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Google Assistant

Google is launching a smart personal assistant that uses artificial intelligence and search to let people not just get answers to their questions but to even control their devices.
Google wants users to be able to do more than ask Google Assistant what the weather will be that day.
Google says its new assistant will make movie suggestions based on what films you've liked before. Going to the theater with your kids? Google Assistant will change its recommendations accordingly. It'll offer up moview reviews and buy your tickets for you.
That's the plan for the software that Google envisions will be embedded in devices from smartphones to home devices and, eventually, cars.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Moto G Refresh

Today Lenovo made the rumors official: the company’s mid-range Moto G lineup has been refreshed with not one but three different phones. The Moto G (hereafter the Moto G4) and the Moto G Plus bring spec bumps inside and out, while the lower-end Moto G Play is more like a redesign of last year’s Moto G. The phones will be available in Brazil and India to start, but all three should come to the US, Europe, and elsewhere later this summer.

The Moto G4 is the mainstream option, and for £169 (about $244, though US pricing hasn’t been announced) you get a decent amount for your money. Its larger 5.5-inch display jumps from 720p to 1080p, and it picks up an octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC. The phone has dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, a nice upgrade over the 2.4GHz-only wireless in previous models, Bluetooth 4.1, 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of storage that can be expanded by up to 128GB with a microSD card. All three of the Motos G continue to use micro-USB rather than USB Type-C.
The phone also includes a 3,000mAh battery, a “water repellent nano-coating,” LTE that should work “on all major carriers,” a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, and a skin-free build of Android 6.0.1. Visually, Lenovo has tweaked the Moto G design to look a bit flatter, and the camera now bulges out slightly from the back. Given the amount of time it takes to develop a smartphone, this is probably the first Moto G designed mostly by Lenovo rather than being a leftover from the Google days, but it doesn’t drastically shake up the formula.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fitbit is Still Number 1

Fitbit isn’t relinquishing its crown.
Despite expectations that big tech companies will dominate wearables just as they have with smartphones and tablets, the little guy continues to hold on. In Q1 2016, Fitbit took first place again, while Xiaomi managed to steal second place from Apple.
Mobile companies shipped a total of 19.7 million wearables worldwide last quarter. That figure is up 67.2 percent from the 11.8 million units shipped in Q1 2015.

Because this is still a young market, the top five vendors will shift places almost every quarter.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Xbox Compatibility

Xbox has rolled out backward compatibility support for games that span multiple discs, starting with Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut. This means players can look forward to even more classic Xbox 360 gameshitting the Xbox One via backward compatibility (Mass Effect 2 and 3, anyone?).

"We know fans were asking for this feature and our engineers worked hard developing a solution to enable it so we could further expand the titles included in Xbox One Backward Compatibility," an Xbox spokesperson said. "We're continuing to listen to our fans on Xbox Feedback and work with our publishing partners to grow out library of Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles and will work to include more multi-disc games."

The news broke in a Reddit post linking to a story on GamerHeadquarters -- Xbox spokesman Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb replied to the thread and corroborated the report of multi-disc functionality.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Samsung 256GB microSD card

Samsung has launched a 256GB microSD card -- the highest capacity in the market -- made out of 3D V-NAND that will allow consumers to store more UHD videos on their smartphones.
The 256GB EVO Plus MicroSD Card comes after the South Korean tech giant's 128GB PRO Plus MicroSD Card just six months ago.
The microSD card boasts a reading speed of 95MBs and write speed of 90MBs and will allow premium smartphones and tablets as well as drones and action cams to record and store more 4K UHD videos, the firm said.

The storage space allows for recording of a 12-hour 4K (3840x2160) video without stopping and is optimized for graphic-intense videos such as VR, the company said.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The End of iTunes

Apple is reportedly considering killing off iTunes music downloads entirely, with two different possible time-tables: one that would end song sales within two years, and another less-aggressive strategy that would see Apple ride out iTunes sales for the next three to four years.

It's not a question of if but when Apple will phase out its online music store in favor of Apple Music, Apple's year-old streaming music service, Paul Resnikoff for Digital Music News reports, citing sources with active business relationships with Apple.

One possibility is that Apple would phase out iTunes sales in streaming-friendly countries like the United States and UK first before phasing the online store out in "tier 2 and tier 3" countries later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Merger Cancelled

Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. abandoned their merger after a federal judge sided with U.S. antitrust officials who challenged the combination of the two largest office suppliers, saying it would create an unrivaled giant.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington blocked the $6.3 billion deal late Tuesday, a victory for the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that uniting the national suppliers of pens and printer paper would harm buyers.

The FTC met its “burden of showing that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed merger will substantially impair competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large business-to-business customers,” Sullivan wrote in a three-page order.

Staples fell as much as 16 percent to $8.69 in early trading in New York on Wednesday, while Office Depot tumbled as much as 38 percent to $3.75. Before the ruling, which the judge had said would come after the market closed, shares of the retailers rose in after-hours trading on an unverified Twitter message that the companies had prevailed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Free Skin Pack

Minecraft on the Xbox hit an anniversary, and Microsoft wants to give you a gift to celebrate.

The Xbox 360 version of Minecraft turns four years old today, and Microsoft is giving away the 4th Birthday Skin Pack for free to everyone playing Xbox editions of the game. This means that gamers on 360 and Xbox One who own Minecraft can boot up the Xbox Store and download this content immediately to change the look of their characters in the block-building world. It is free through May 16. Microsoft purchased Minecraft and developer Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion, and the company is using its investment to keep a link with a massive new generation of consumers that are growing up on one of the most popular properties in the $99.6 billion gaming industry.

The new skin pack features T-shirts modeled after various enemies and animals, known as mobs, from the universe of Minecraft. These include the iconic creeper and the adorable chicken.

Monday, May 9, 2016

MSFT vs. Apple

Microsoft had released the first generation Surface Book in October 2015. Now, the Redmond giant is rumoured to be working on its successor model to release it next month. Speculations indicate that Microsoft will be releasing Surface Book 2 to rival against the MacBook Pro 2016 that is also rumoured to launch in June.

The Surface Book from 2015 is powered by Intel Skylake chipset. However, the Surface Book 2 is expected to be powered by Intel Kaby lake i5 and i7 chips, The Next Trex reported.

The new chipsets that will be manufactured with 14 nm FinFet technology will deliver topnotch
performance along with longer battery life. It is interesting to note that the rumour mill also claims that the Kaby Lake chipsets will be released later this year.

Last year’s Surface Book features a 13.5-inch display that supports 2000 x 3000 pixels resolution. Its successor model is also slated to feature same sized screen, but it will deliver 4K resolution.

The Surface Book 2 is also predicted to feature a USB Type-C port. Inclusion of this connectivity will let users take advantage of faster data transfer speeds. And also, it will allow users to connect an additional screen to the Surface Book 2.

Like last year’s model, the Surface Book 2 will be coming in multiple chipset variants that will carry different price tags. The starting model of Surface Book 2 is expected to cost less than $1,499.

Friday, May 6, 2016

GM and Lyft

General Motors Co. and Lyft Inc. within a year will begin testing a fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric taxis on public roads, a move central to the companies’ joint efforts to challenge Silicon Valley giants in the battle to reshape the auto industry.

The plan is being hatched a few months after GM invested $500 million in Lyft, a ride-hailing company whose services rival Uber Technologies Inc. The program will rely on technology being acquired as part of GM’s separate $1 billion planned purchase of San Francisco-based Cruise Automation Inc., a developer of autonomous-driving technology.

Details of the autonomous-taxi testing program are still being worked out, according to a Lyft executive, but it will include customers in a yet-to-be disclosed city. Customers will have the opportunity to opt in or out of the pilot when hailing a Lyft car from the company’s mobile app.

In addition to driverless cars, GM aims to use Lyft and its growing army of drivers as a primary customer for the Bolt, an electric car that launches later this year amid soft demand for electric vehicles. The Detroit auto giant and Lyft currently rent the Chevy Equinox to drivers needing vehicles in Chicago, but that program will expand to more cities and will rely heavily on Bolts in the future instead of the sport-utility vehicle.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chrome is Now Number One

Nearly four years after Google Chrome became the most-used web browser according to StatCounter, rival metrics firm NetMarketShare has come to the same conclusion.

Both firms now say that Chrome is more popular than Internet Explorer, though their respective percentages vary greatly. According to NetMarketShare, Chrome captured 41.66 percent of desktop browser usage in April, compared to 41.35 percent for IE. StatCounter shows 60.47 percent for Chrome, versus 13.25 percent for IE. (This actually puts Microsoft’s browser behind Mozilla Firefox, which captured 15.62 percent in April.)

Why the discrepancy? As we explained way back in 2012, StatCounter merely samples raw page views across a network of sites. NetMarketShare (also known as NetApplications) measures unique visits, and weighs its data against Internet traffic by country, so areas that are more active on the Internet are better-represented. Both metrics have pros and cons, but Microsoft has unsurprisingly favored NetMarketShare’s data, which for years has maintained that Internet Explorer was the leader.

In fairness, Microsoft itself is now deemphasizing Internet Explorer in favor of Edge, its new browser for Windows 10. But as ZDNet notes, NetMarketShare’s figures for Internet Explorer include usage for Edge, which by itself stands at 4.39 percent. Even worse, data from StatCounter and Quantcast shows that people are abandoning Edge shortly after trying it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2-in-1 Sales

The traditional tablet may not be dying, but it’s increasingly being relegated to the low end of the market, according to an IDC report released Thursday. Users are migrating toward convertibles instead, and the vendors are following.

IDC said worldwide tablet sales fell 14.7 percent to just 39.6 million units during the first quarter of 2016. Excluding some seasonal holiday upticks, tablet sales have generally declined from their all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2013, when worldwide sales reached 78.6 million units.

IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said traditional slate tablets still dominate the market with 87.6 percent of all units sold. Increasingly, though, they’ve become “synonymous with the low end of the market,” IDC said in its report. The firm said it believes the market for iPads will continue, but only as replacements, not as new customers purchasing an iPad for the first time.

Two trends seem to be emerging, IDC noted: First, premium tablets are evolving into detachables like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Apple iPad Pro. Detachable sales climbed by triple-digit rates to 4.9 million units, IDC said. Second, the traditional tablet is heading down toward the low end of the market, where Asian smartphone vendors are applying their mobile acumen to this larger form factor.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HP Chromebook 13

 As enterprises of all sizes, schools systems, and governments all move toward a cloud-based infrastructure, HP Inc. and Google are looking to reinvent the way businesses approach computing -- by introducing the Chromebook 13.

During an event at Google's headquarters here on April 28, the two companies rolled out the ultra-thin, lightweight laptop, which is expected to be available within the next week with a starting price of $499. The 13.3-inch Chromebook is 12.9mm thick and weighs a mere 2.86 pounds.

With its brushed aluminum surface and backlit keyboard, the Chromebook 13 looks and feels more like a consumer laptop. But it is geared toward enterprise use, and aims to support almost anything an office worker would want to do. It has the ability to plug into multiple screens. (The demo showed one Chromebook supporting two displays.) It also offers support for a number of different security and encryption technologies, VPNs, and virtualization software from VMware, Citrix, and others.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Intel is Cutting More Chips

Intel could be on the verge of exiting the market for smartphones and standalone tablets, wasting billions of dollars it spent trying to expand in those markets.

The company is immediately canceling Atom chips, code-named Sofia and Broxton, for mobile devices, an Intel spokeswoman confirmed.

These are the first products on the chopping block as part of Intel's plan to reshape operations after announcing plans this month to cut 12,000 jobs.

The news of the chip cuts was first reported by analyst Patrick Moorhead in an article on Forbes' website.

Resources originally dedicated to Broxton and Sofia chips will be moved to "products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy," Intel's spokeswoman said in an email.

Intel's mobile chip roadmap now has a giant hole after the cancellation of the chips. Intel's existing smartphone and tablet-only chips are aging and due for upgrades, and no major replacements are in sight. Sofia is already shipping, and Broxton was due to ship this year but had been delayed.

Intel is also phasing out its Atom X5 line of tablet chips code-named Cherry Trail, which is being replaced by Pentium and Celeron chips code-named Apollo Lake, aimed more at hybrids than pure tablets. Many PC makers are already choosing Intel's Skylake Core M processors over Cherry Trail for hybrids and PC-like tablets.