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Showing posts from May, 2014

HTC takes aim at smartwatch business with One Wear, report says

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The handset maker reportedly could launch its smartwatch in late August or early September.
Sarah Tew/CNET
HTC might be the next mobile firm to get into the smartwatch space.
The handset maker is working on a new smartwatch it will call the One Wear and launch in late August or early September, tech blog TKTechNews is reporting on Friday, citing people who claim to have access to the device. According to the site, it received a demo of the device, though details on its functionality and software were slim.
Smartwatches have quickly become the next frontier in the mobile market. Google has a new Android Wear platform designed for smartwatches and other wearable devices, Motorola recently unveiled the Moto 360 with a round screen that runs on Google's software. Samsung's latest Galaxy Gear is also competing in the space, though that's running on the company's Tizen software. Apple, too, is expected to get into the mix at some point with a smartwatch rumored to be called iWa…

HTC takes aim at smartwatch business with One Wear, report says

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The company could launch its smartwatch in late August or early September, according to the report.
Sarah Tew/CNET
HTC might be the next mobile firm to get into the smartwatch space.
HTC is working on a new smartwatch it will call the One Wear and launch in late August or early September, tech blog TKTechNews is reporting on Friday, citing people who claim to have access to the device. According to the site, it received a demo of the device, though details on its functionality and software were slim.
Smartwatches have quickly become the next frontier in the mobile market. Google has a new Android Wear platform designed for smartwatches and other wearable devices, Motorola recently unveiled the Moto 360 with a round screen that runs on Google's software. Samsung's latest Galaxy Gear is also competing in the space, though that's running on the company's Tizen software. Even Apple is expected to get into the mix at some point with a smartwatch rumored to be called iWatch.
Wit…

What the iPhone 6 Could Look Like Next to Its Top Rivals

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The Apple iPhone 6 release date is rumored for September which means that we may not get our first official glimpse at the iPhone 5s successor for several months. However, thanks to leaks and designers, consumers have been treated to a possible glimpse at the rumored iPhone 6 design and a look at how it might compare to top smartphones including the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.
As we approach next week's WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco, we've started to hear a whole lot about Apple's plans for 2014, plans that the company's Eddy Cue says represent Apple's best product pipeline in the last 25 years. The company's plans are said to include OS X 10.10 for Mac, iOS 8 for iPhone and iPad, the elusive iWatch, an iPad mini with Retina 2, an iPad Air 2, and of course, a brand new iPhone that's currently being called the iPhone 6.
The names iPhone 6, iPhone Air and iPhone Pro have all been thrown around in recent weeks but the story is the same. …

Take

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Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed yesterday during a Cowen and Company analyst conference (covered by GameSpot) that a new Red Dead Redemption game is on the way and that BioShock is not dead.
The future of the BioShock franchise has been up in the air since Irrational founder Ken Levine announced that the studio would close and he would form a smaller development team within 2K. But yesterday Zelnick said that the franchise will live on and made clear that it was still a priority for the company.
'We haven't given any color on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it's beloved; we think it's important [and] certainly something that we're focused on; something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward,' he told the Cowen and Company analyst conference.
You may recall that Take-Two essentially closed the Australian studio. But apparently Take-Two plans on rebuilding a team there to handle future BioShock games.
'…

How to install Chrome extensions manually

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​Not finding the extension you need on the Chrome Web Store? Despite Google's recent process change, third-party extensions can still be installed with just a few steps. Read on to learn how.
The Chrome Web Store may not always have the extension you need. In the past, you could easily install an extension from a third-party website, and everything ran smoothly as though you were installing from the official channel. Unfortunately, this created a lot of opportunities for makers of malicious extensions to take advantage of unsuspecting users.
As a result, Google decided to more thoroughly analyze extensions hosted in its Web Store and also change the process for installing third-party extensions. This new process puts the responsibility for risking data in your hands. If you're still willing to take the risk, there's an easy way to manually install extensions from third parties. Here's how:
Before heading into the steps, make sure you are using the most recent version of C…

Latta introduces bill to restrict FCC

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Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ohio 5th District Congressman Bob Latta says he is out to stop the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from writing new regulations to control Internet service. On Wednesday, Latta introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to limit the FCC's authority to regulate broadband Internet service. The bill was introduced after the FCC released a proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service instead as an information service. 'In light of the FCC initiating yet another attempt to regulate the Internet, upending long-standing precedent and imposing monopoly-era telephone rules and obligations on the 21st Century broadband marketplace, Congress must take action to put an end to this misguided regulatory proposal,' said Latta. 'The Internet has remained open and continues to be a powerful engine fueling private enterprise, economic growth and innovation absent government interference and obstruc…

Take

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Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick noted Red Dead among the company's 'permanent franchises' at the Cowen and Company's Technology, Media and Telecom Conference this week. 'It's obvious that GTA is a permanent franchise as long as we keep delivering this incredible quality; it seems quite obvious that Red Dead is a permanent franchise, again with the same caveat,' he said. The Rockstar Games-developed series has two entries: 2004's Red Dead Revolver and 2010's Red Dead Redemption, and the CEO's phrasing strongly indicates that another Red Dead game is on the way.
'But not everything is going to be a permanent franchise,' Zelnick added. 'We can do very well even if it's not. I would like to see us grow with a couple more great franchises in the next couple years and we're launching , we have very high hopes for that.'
Zelnick also commented on the BioShock series, saying the publisher thinks it is 'beloved, we think it's i…

Apple is still an iPhone story, for now

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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - What a difference a year makes.
Last year, when Apple Inc. hosted its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, its shares were trading around $439. One year later, as investors gear up again for another highly anticipated keynote, its shares are up 42%, surging again beyond the $600 level.
Some excitement has been building up in the recent weeks, partly in anticipation of next week's developer conference, where Apple often releases software upgrades or gives previews of new products. Last week, the stock hit a 52-week high In addition, fueling the stock were the persistent rumors that Apple would buy the well-known headphone maker, Beats Electronics and its music service Beats Music, which it confirmed on Wednesday, for $3 billion.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The company does not comment on unannounced products.
Apple buys Beats Electronics for $3 billion
Can Apple get its mojo back with its $3 billion purchase of Beats? Plus, a look at Q…

WWDC 2014: Meet Apple's software and services mash

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Summary: Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference keynote speech is expected to unveil a melding of software and services, as the company continues to flesh out its cloud platform.
Apple prepares the Moscone West ahead of its annual developer conference (Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)
Apple's international developer powwow will start with a bang on Monday when the technology giant announces, among other things, the latest in its software line-up.
On deck, we're expecting the next versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote speech.
All in all, WWDC is an event for developers to get their hands on the company's software, in order to prepare for upcoming iPhone and iPad releases later in August and November. Expect little - if any - hardware bits to be announced.
The big focus will be on software, the company's ever-expanding portfolio of cloud-based services, and the th…

Snapchat CEO Emails Reflect Silicon Valley Culture and Other Fascinating ...

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May 29, 2014 1. This Doesn't Reflect My Views
It's been a long week for Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. A collection of his 'cringeworthy' college emails to fellow frat members were leaked and Spiegel quickly responded with a statement: 'I'm obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I'm sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.' There are a few reasons why these leaked emails are big news. Spiegel's college days were recent. His company is massive (people send more than 700 million snaps a day). And it confirms the belief among some that Spiegel ' is kind of an ass.' But there is a broader cultural trend to consider here. Increasingly, much of what we say or write - including the stuff that would mortify and embarrass us - is being recorded. Are we all ready to be judged by our &#…

Imagine If Half of All Tech Inventions and Startups Came From Women

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Frat bros like the Snapchat CEO who say sexist things grow up to run tech companies, where women feel unwelcome.
On Wednesday, emails sent by SnapChat CEO Evan Spiegel to his fraternity brothers about four years ago when he was in college leaked on the Internet. They were filled with misogynistic comments like, 'Hope at least six girls sucked your d***s last night,' calling sorority girls 'frigid' and planning to feed them as much alcohol as possible.
What do you expect from a frat? It might be easy to dismiss these emails with a 'boys will be boys' mentality. Spiegel's exchanges certainly are not unique among college men in frats. Spiegel apologized. He's (slightly) older now and maybe sort-of wiser.
But frat bros like Spiegel grow up to become heads of companies that dominate the tech industry like SnapChat. The people creating the apps and devices we use and that shape our society are mostly 20-something males, many of them formerly in frats. And they d…

Motorola Mobility's US Moto X Assembly Plant To Close By End Of Year

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Part of the sales pitch for Motorola Mobility's (then Google-owned) Moto X smartphone was that it was partly U.S.-made; an assembly plant to put together the Moto X opened in Fort Worth, Texas in May 2013. That plant will close by the end of this year, Motorola confirms to TechCrunch, however, as sales of the smartphone and operational costs have resulted in it being too expensive to continue to operate.
Currently, the plant employs about 700 workers who build the Moto X specfically for U.S. sales, according to a spokesman speaking to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. Motorola was recently sold to Lenovo from Google, which is the company that spearheaded the Moto X project, but Motorola tells the WSJ that this closure isn't related to the sale and was tied only to the fact that the 'north American market was exceptionally tough' when it comes to device sales.
Moto X production won't stop entirely; devices will continue to come out of Chinese and…

TrueCrypt Encryption Software Shut Down, May Be Compromised

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Independent encryption software TrueCrypt is apparently not as secure as many thought. Yesterday (May 28), the TrueCrypt homepage was suddenly replaced with a notification that read 'WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues.'
TrueCrypt is used by many security-minded people, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, to turn a storage device, such as a flash drive or hard drive or a partition of such a device, into an encrypted volume, protecting the documents stored in that volume from prying eyes.
But TrueCrypt's creators never revealed their true identity, which caused others to be skeptical of its integrity. TrueCrypt was recently the subject of an independent security audit examining TrueCrypt's code for flaws, bugs or backdoors.
MORE: Best PC Antivirus Software 2014
TrueCrypt's abrupt warning was accompanied by instructions for how to transfer TrueCrypt-encrypted files to BitLocker, the Microsoft-owned service built into M…

Surface Pro 3: A brilliant, quirky, nearly flawless laptop replacement

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Summary: Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is a gorgeous piece of hardware, hugely improved from its predecessors. It's not for everyone, but is it right for you?
If you're in the market for a Windows-based laptop replacement, the Surface Pro 3 should be on your short list.
Image credit: Microsoft
Microsoft's third shot in the tablet-that-can-turn-into-a-portable-PC category represents a huge improvement over its earlier attempts. I called the first Surface Pro, released in February 2013, 'brilliant, quirky, and flawed,' and argued that it 'has enough flaws that many potential buyers will either say no outright or play wait and see.'
Last fall's Surface Pro 2, released in conjunction with Windows 8.1, was basically just a spec bump that added a Haswell processor (improving battery life) and gave the trademark Surface kickstand a second angle.
Surface Pro 3, on the other hand, is a complete redesign that maintains the original Surface Pro vision (and a few of its…

How practical is Google's driverless car?

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Google has been teasing consumers with tidbits about its driverless cars for several years now, but it wasn't until this week that it revealed what this futuristic technology would actually look like.
The prototype is a subcompact car that looks like a computer mouse, has no steering wheel or gas and brake pedals and reaches a maximum speed of roughly 40 kilometres an hour.
Google hopes to have 100 of these vehicles on the road by next year.
At the Code Conference in Los Angeles this week, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the self-driving car concept 'is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today.'
The futuristic car clearly has its backers, but some analysts, while intrigued, are skeptical about whether this concept is as game-changing as Google thinks.
While they acknowledge a driverless car would have immediate benefits for seniors and the disabled, a self-driving car raises a number of legal and regulatory issues.
Here's a look …

Sony doubles up on the titles available through PS Plus

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Sony has announced a change to their PS Plus programme and they're now offering more free games every month. Starting from next month there will be two games available each on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.
The first double for the PS4 will be the excellent PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate and the Lost Vikings-inspired Trine 2: Complete Edition. PS3 gamers get access to 2K's supreme basketball title NBA 2K14 and the PS3/PS Vita Cross-buy enabled psychological horror title Lone Survivor: Director's Cut.
Vita gamers will get their hands on medieval fantasy advennture Dragon's Crown and neon-tinged puzzle game Surge Deluxe.
The outgoing titles for this month are Stick It To The Man on PS4, Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons on PS3 and Muramasa Rebirth and Everybody's Golf on PS Vita.

Google makes webform for removal of search results after European ruling

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A woman walks past the Google offices near the city centre in Dublin July 8, 2013.Cathal McNaughton
Google has already been receiving requests to remove objectionable personal information from its search engine after the Court of Justice of the European Union's ruling that requires Internet search services remove information deemed 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.'
'We're creating an expert advisory committee to cultivate a public conversation about these issues,' a Google representative said in a statement.
Google will also work with data protection authorities and others as the company implements this ruling, the representative said.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco and Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Uber taxi row goes to court in UK

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Rich Trenholm/CNET
Uber is being taken to the highest court in Britain in a battle between the popular e-hailing app and angry cabbies. With taxi drivers planning to gridlock city streets next month, London's transport authorities want to clear up the controversy once and for all.
Transport for London, which licenses taxi and private hire operators in the British capital, is referring Uber to the High Court in order to get a definitive ruling on certain aspects of the service.
Uber is an app that enables you to order and pay for a car on your phone. Now picking people up in 35 countries, the app has proved enormously controversial with taxi drivers and existing private hire operators, sparking demonstrations around the world. London cabbies plan to protest by blocking streets on 11 June.
Uber's arrival has shaken up the industry in a way that gives consumer's easier access to cabs, but cabbies argue that the playing field isn't level. The controversy could bring the city t…

Google Maps Adds Driving Directions for North Korea

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On the list of 'fun tourist destinations that we'd love to just rent a car and drive through,' the lush landscapes of... North Korea... don't really come to mind.
There's the whole ' totalitarian state' thing, which might make one's trip a bit difficult. But on the off chance that you do happen to get your hands on a car while touring around North Korea, or you're a friendly North Korean citizen reading this article using the country's Internet services (how are you doing that, by the way?), then you're in luck!
Google has officially debuted driving directions for North Korea on its Google Maps service — assuming, of course, that the company has been able to map out the roads between wherever you are now and wherever your final destination might be.
Interestingly enough, the driving directions that are available in North Korea are not, themselves, available in what one might consider the 'freer' country of South Korea. According to the …

Netflix CEO Hastings: Comcast wants 'the whole Internet to pay them'

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Richard Brandt, Contributor
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings really hates paying money to Comcast in order to make sure Netflix subscribers get uninterrupted access to 'House of Cards.' And he's dead set against Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
At the Re/Code Code conference today, Hastings warned that allowing Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable would be a blow to net neutrality, adding that decreased competition in the high-speed Internet market would mean Comcast could increase its fees to businesses like Netflix.
'If [they] charge a little bit now, they'll charge more and more and more,' Hastings said. 'They want the whole Internet to pay them for when their subscribers use the Internet.'
He added that he was forced to agree to the fees because the alternative of slow access to Netflix movies was a worse alternative.
He also said he would prefer not to have the government create and enforce net neutrality rules, but that would require t…

Samsung unveils prototype health device a week before Apple's expected ...

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One week before Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, where the company is widely expected to announce its rumored Healthbook app, Samsung hosted an event called Voice of the Body in San Francisco to show off a couple of digital health projects.
The two new digital health projects included Simband, an 'investigational device' - not a product - that is stocked with a variety of health sensors and room for third party developers to add their own. Samsung also unveiled Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions, or SAMI, which it described as a 'data broker' that future devices based on the Simband and other third party health tracking devices could upload data to that could then be used by app developers to create new apps.
During his presentation Samsung Electronics' Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of device solutions at the company, said that consumer-driven digital health has had three generations so far. The last five years were all about …

Exclusive: A Microsoft Smartwatch Is Coming

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(Photo via Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Microsoft is the latest technology giant preparing to jump into the wearables market, with plans to offer a sensor-rich smartwatch that measures heart rate and synchs with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones, Forbes has learned.
It's a surprising development in the ongoing conversation about wearables that till now has been dominated by Samsung and Apple.
The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company's plans, while the battery will last for two days, roughly on par with Samsung's Gear Fit.
The timeline for the watch's release date is unclear but Microsoft could be gunning for as soon as this summer.
Crucially, it appears the smartwatch won't just tie in with Windows Phone devices, but will also work with both iPhones and Android smartphones.
A spokesman for Mi…

Salesforce CRM apps coming to Windows and Windows Phone

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Summary: Salesforce and Microsoft have agreed to tighten ties between Salesforce's CRM apps and platform and Microsoft's Windows and Office.
Salesforce.com is building new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 CRM apps, and integrating its CRM technology more tightly with Office and Office 365.

Microsoft and Salesforce officials announced terms of their new partnership on May 29, hours after a Bloomberg report noted that the two were collaborating on a partnership involving Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Based on the Microsoft press release, it doesn't look like Azure ended up being part of the package -- other than possibly indirectly.
But the pair did announce the following deliverables:
Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. A preview is planned to be available in fall 2014 with general availability in 2015. Salesforce for Office 365 interoperability. Users will be able to 'access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 us…

Microsoft Preparing To Jump Into The Wearables Market With Its Own Smartwatch

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(Photo via Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Microsoft is the latest technology giant preparing to jump into the wearables market, with plans to offer a sensor-rich smartwatch that measures heart rate and synchs with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones, Forbes has learned.
It's a surprising development in the ongoing conversation about wearables that till now has been dominated by Samsung and Apple.
The forthcoming smartwatch will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company's plans, while the battery will last for two days, roughly on par with Samsung's Gear Fit. The timeline for the watch's release date is unclear but Microsoft could be gunning for as soon as this summer.
Crucially, it appears the watch won't be tied to Windows Phone devices only, but will also work with both iPhones and Android smartphones.
A spoke…

Samsung announces open source digital health platform and hardware

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SAMSUNG ANNOUNCED a major digital health initiative on Wednesday with the introduction of a cloud-based digital health tracking framework and a reference design for advanced wearable technology.
Samsung unveiled the initiative at an event in San Francisco, announcing both open software and hardware efforts, along with a $50m fund dedicated to innovative start-ups and technologies in the digital health field.
On the software side, the firm outed the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interations (SAMI), an open source cloud-based framework aimed at collating users' fragmented health data for more useful analysis. This, Samsung explained, will allow multiple devices - such as the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit - and sensors to securely store data in the cloud, data that will be made available so applications and services are able to provide better insights into users' health and wellbeing.
'SAMI will allow data to be controlled by the individual generating it and not by third-par…

Super Smash Bros. Wii U Works with GameCube Controllers

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Nintendo tweets an image of a GameCube adapter and even a special Smash Bros.-themed controller.


Like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl before it, this year's Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be playable with GameCube controllers. ' Get excited!,' Nintendo said on Twitter about the announcement.
The Wii U does not have GameCube controller ports like the Wii does, so how is that going to be possible? As shown in an image today, Nintendo will offer a special adapter, though there's no word yet on how much this will cost or if Nintendo will release a bundle that includes it.
There's also a special Smash Bros.-themed GameCube controller in the image, suggesting that Nintendo might offer that for purchase as well. We have reached out to a Nintendo representative and will update this story with anything we hear back.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS launches this summer, with the Wii U version to follow this winter. You don't have to wait that long to play the…

​Are your streams buffering? YouTube wants to help

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YouTube releases the Google Video Quality Report, a tool which shows you how your video streaming quality compares to your neighbors.
Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
YouTube wants more people to watch its videos in high-definition, so to further that goal Google's video giant has released a new tool that analyzes your video stream quality on Thursday.
The Google Video Quality Report is available to people in the US and Canada, where it launched in January. It comparesyour streaming video quality to three standards: HD Verified, when your provider can deliver HD video consistently at a resolution of at least 720p without buffering or interruptions; Standard Definition, for consistent video streaming at 360p; and Lower Definition, for videos that regularly play at less than 360p or often are interrupted.
YouTube said in the blog post announcing that the tool's US availability that they are respectful of its users' privacy, and anonymize the data gathered. The ratings are 'centered aro…

Tablet Slump Predicted as More People Buy Phablets

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Following a bigger-than-expected decline in demand during the first quarter, research firm IDC on Thursday announced it has lowered its 2014 worldwide tablet forecast.
IDC now predicts shipments of 245.4 million units this year, down from 260.9 million. The new projection represents a 12.1 percent year-over-year growth rate, but that's 'notably lower' than the 51.8 percent year-over-year growth in 2013.
The adjustment comes after IDC earlier this month announced that worldwide tablet and 2-in-1 device shipments fell 35.7 percent in the first quarter. Tom Mainelli, program vice president of devices and displays at IDC, pointed to two major issues causing the tablet market to slow down.
'First, consumers are keeping their tablets, especially higher-cost models from major vendors, far longer than originally anticipated. And when they do buy a new one they are often passing their existing tablet off to another member of the family,' Mainelli said in a statement. 'Seco…