Thursday, 6 November 2014

ET deals: TCL 40-inch 1080p Smart LED-LCD TV (Roku TV) for $298


Roku is well known as one of the better streaming media players in the market, and for the first time you can now save yourself a step and buy an HDTV with the Roku experience baked in. The 40-inch model now runs just $298, the lowest price it’s been since it debuted.

The interface and capabilities match up well with what you’d expect from Roku. You get integrated access to their library of 1500 streaming “channels,” many of which are free and others of which you’ll need a subscription to enjoy, like Netflix and Hulu+. Content is navigated using the included simple remote or via an app for your mobile device.

The Roku TV also gives you some cool functionality besides just the usual streaming options. Roku Search lets you search for a title, actor or director across a number of different channels at once, saving you the trouble of logging in and out of different services. You can also cast from your mobile device directly to the TV, letting you take advantage of the larger display.

The TCL 40FS4610R HDTV features a 40-inch 1920×1080 display with a Clear Motion Rate of 120, delivering solid contrast and brightness. It’s just two inches deep and sports thin bezels, providing a modern and compact look. Connectivity options are fair, with a trio of HDMI ports, a USB port, and dual-band wireless for streaming.

Reception to this TV has been very positive. It’s earned PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice, and in addition to 4.6 stars on Amazon, the Roku TV’s three size variants are currently holding down the number one, two and four spots on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” for televisions. All three sizes have dropped recently to the lowest prices we’ve ever seen, so grab the one that suits your needs.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

World’s First Fully Open Source Laptop Now Available

Project Novena is alive and running, promising to bring you the world’s “almost” fully open source laptop. And it doesn’t just have open source software, but open source hardware as well. Hardware with open designs for anyone to manufacture and implement as per the requirements.

This is increasingly becoming popular in tech companies today, where all of them are concerned about ensuring data security, by keeping their digital data and communication secure from NSA snooping

 laptop OS

Project Novena’s Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Sean “xobs” Cross, two Singapore-based engineers, who care enough about open source products so as to go ahead and build something like Project Novena — not just laptops, as we mentioned in the headline above, but other form factors
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of computing devices.

Novena is having “a 1.2GHz, Freescale quad-core ARM architecture computer closely coupled with a Xilinx FPGA. It’s designed for users who care about open source, and/or want to modify and extend their hardware: all the documentation for the PCBs is open and free to download, the entire OS is buildable from source, and it comes with a variety of features that facilitate rapid prototyping”, as confirmed on the project’s page on Crowdsupply.

The Project Novena laptop looks like a 13-inch hobbyist device with a full-HD 1920×1080 display, 240 GB SSD, and 3000 mAh battery. It weighs just 1.36 kgs, according to the Project Novena laptop’s claimed specs.

Right now, it is priced at US $1,995, hence its not really available financially to the local consumers, but this will definitely wow people from the tech industries who value open source and want to have complete control over every little aspect of their laptop.

Google to shut down Orkut in September


Google will close down its social-networking service, Orkut, which was started ten years ago.

Orkut is mainly used in Brazil and India, it will be shutdown on Sept. 30. Google said that they will focus on its other social networking initiatives.
The company refused to tell the number of users Orkut has.
Google in a post on the Orkut blog on Monday said,”Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell.”

Orkut and Facebook was launched in 2004 , now the Facebook is  world’s No.1 social networking site with 1.28 billion users.

The social network’s shutdown proposal is in question. The head of Google’s social networking services Vic Gundotra left the company in April.
Vic Gundotra managed the launch of Google+ in 2011 and he said in October that 300 million users visit the Google+ web page every month.

Google has always tried to position Google+ as a social network site competing with Facebook. For example, Last year Google started requiring users of its YouTube site to sign in with their Google+ identity before posting comments.
The company told it will keep an archive of all Orkut “communities” which will be available from Sept. 30.

Those you do not want their posts or name to be included in the community archive can remove Orkut permanently from their Google account.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

10 Ways 3-D Printing Could Change the World

A confection made in the ChefJet Pro 3D food printer is displayed at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 3-D printers can create candies in very unusual shapes and designs.

When an engineer named Chuck Hall first dreamed up the idea of printing three-dimensional objects back in the early 1980s, it probably seemed to many people like something out of a particularly far-fetched sci-fi novel [source: Ponsford and Glass]. But since then, 3-D printing — which involves sending a 3-D design to a special machine that piles layers of raw materials onto one another — has not only become a reality, but a game-changer that promises to remake our world as radically as the steam engine, electricity and the computer once did [sources: Anthony, Hoffman].
Not only will 3-D printers allow manufacturers to slash the time it takes to design and make a product, but the machines can enable the creation of complex shapes and structures that weren't previously feasible. They may even lead us into a new industrial age where we won't need factories and assembly lines to produce many items. Instead, a designer may transmit plans for products — from airplane parts to clothing and toys — directly to the end-users' own printers [source: Cohen].
Already, 3-D printing has been embraced by big companies such as Ford, which is printing the engine cover for its 2015 Mustang, and GE, which plans to print fuel nozzles for jet aircraft [source: Heller].
But that's just the tip of the incredible range of items that 3-D printers can create. From pharmaceuticals to prosthetic body parts to food, let's examine 10 ways 3-D printing technology could change the world in the years to come.

Start the Countdown

1 Guns

Walter Klassen holds a fantasy gun that actually fires blanks, which he created on his 3-D printer.
© David Cooper/ZUMA Press/Corbis

In 2013, an activist in Texas with anarchist philosophical views made headlines by creating a 3-D-printed handgun called the Liberator and successfully firing it at a private range. The maker was careful to include a metal part to comply with a federal ban on plastic handguns that might slip through airport security. Nevertheless, the Liberator seemed intended to demonstrate the ultimate futility of government-imposed gun control, in a future in which it would be easy to distribute blueprints for DIY weapons via the Internet [source: Silverman].
Indeed, just a year later, authorities in Japan—a country with restrictive gun control laws—arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly possessing five plastic handguns, created from plans he had downloaded off the Internet [source: Kravets]. Wired reported in 2014 that DIY gun makers had learned to use 3-D printing to create "powerful, military-grade firearms, and that it would be "only a matter of time until fully-printed guns are equally durable and deadly" as those made in conventional factories.

2 Replicas of Famous Artworks

This bust was created by a 3-D printer. Can a replication of Michelangelo's "David" be far behind?
John B. Carnett/Bonnier Corporation via Getty Images

Southern California artist Cosmo Wenman has used a 3-D printer to make meticulously rendered copies of famous sculptures, based upon plans fashioned from hundreds of photographs that he snaps from every angle. One example: He's reproduced "Head of a Horse of Selene," a classical Greek sculpture that once resided in the Parthenon and now is in the British Museum, by printing dozens of pieces of plastic, gluing them together and painting them to simulate the marble original. Wenman has confined his efforts to reproducing works from antiquity, so that he won't be restricted by copyrights.

Eventually, 3-D reproductions could enable museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, which only exhibits about 2 percent of its 14 million-piece collection at any given time, to digitize artwork and make copies available to people all over the world who might otherwise never see them [source: Carone].

3 Cool Cars

Members of the Urbee 2 design team pose with the Urbee 2, a 3-D printed car.

3-D-printed auto parts have been around for a while, but inventor Jim Kor and a team of fellow engineers has gone a step further and printed an entire car. Wired reported in 2013 that the three-wheel, two-passenger Urbee 2 vehicle, which is mostly made of plastic, was created at a 3-D facility. The car is not roadworthy yet since a hybrid engine (made of metal) still has be designed, not to mention safety tests must be performed.

The vehicle took about 2,500 hours to fabricate, which means it's unlikely to be showing up in your local car dealer's showroom for a while. But it could be an omen of a future in which automakers can tinker minutely with designs and use 3-D printing to make fuel-efficient cars that are as strong and resilient as steel, but much lighter and optimally aerodynamic.
In 2015, assuming funding comes through, two of the Urbee 2 inventors plan to drive the car from New York to San Francisco in two days on 10 gallons (38 liters) of gas [source: Korelogic]

4 Transplant Organs

A futuristic illustration of an artificial human heart created using 3-D printer.
Maciej Frolow/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

For years, researchers have been trying to figure out how to grow duplicates of human organs in laboratories so that they can transplant them into people who need them. But while they've had success growing tissue, the cell structures and vascular systems of full-scale organs such as kidneys and livers are really, really difficult to reproduce. Or at least, they have been up to now.
Medical researchers are making strides with bioprinting, in which they harvest human cells from biopsies or stem cells, multiply them in a petri dish, and use that to create a sort of biological ink that printers can spray. (The 3-D printer is programmed to sort the different cells types and other materials into a 3-D shape.)

Scientists are hoping that bioprinting someday will enable them to arrange cells so precisely that they can mimic the function of human organs, making them useful for testing new drugs or even as organ transplants. If the organs could be fashioned from a patient's own tissue or stem cells, they'd be less likely to be rejected by his or her immune system [source: Griggs].

5 Your Own Home
Two people visit a 3-D-printed house in Shanghai, China. The manufacturer says it can make 10 of these houses in a day.
© Pei Xin/Xinhua Press/Corbis

It's not inconceivable that in the future, you'll be able to create or download a design for your dream home and then send it to a construction company who'll print it for you on your lot. A Chinese construction company reportedly is building houses by using a giant 3-D printer to spray layers of cement and recycled construction waste to form walls and the rest of the structure. The finished homes don't look that fancy, but they can be produced for less than $5,000, and the company claims that it can produce up to 10 homes in one day [source: Guardian].
Another company in Slovenia reportedly is planning to market three different types of 3-D house printers in 2014. The prices will start at 12,000 euros ($16,300) [source: Krassenstein].

6 Fancy Candies
These edible confections were made in the 3D Systems ChefJet Pro 3D food printer and displayed at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a company called 3D Systems exhibited a pair of 3-D printer systems that were customized to make candy from ingredients such as chocolate, sugar infused with vanilla, mint, sour apple, and cherry and watermelon flavorings. The confections were created by spreading a thin layer of flavored sugar and painting water on top of it using a jet print head. This generated a substance of hardened crystals. Not only was the finished product edible, but the makers could actually create candies in unusual geometric shapes, and even fashion sweets with moving parts [source: Kelion].
And that's not the only food on the 3-D radar. A company called Natural Machines recently unveiled a 3-D printing device called the Foodini, which can print ravioli pasta. Yet another company, Dovetailed, came up with a method of reshaping fruit puree into custom-molded simulated fruits [source: Milkert].

7 DIY Pharmaceuticals

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez used software to scan and distort the algorithms of everyday objects in a 3-D printer to create beautiful works of art, like this one on display at the 2012 London 3D Printshow.
© Veronika Lukasova/ZUMA Press/Corbis

With a little tinkering, a 3-D printer can be rigged to spray pharmaceutical ingredients instead of plastic or metal layers and generate chemical reactions, which could open the way to custom-printing medicines. In 2012, University of Glasgow researchers used a 3-D printer to create a range of compounds, including some used in cancer treatments [source: BBC].
"In the future, you could buy common chemicals, slot them into something that 3-D prints, just press a button to mix the ingredients and filter them through the architecture and at the bottom you would get out your prescription drug," researcher Mark Symes explained at the time.
DIY pharmaceuticals someday might reduce the cost of health care, but the technology also could have some risks, because people may choose to forego medical supervision. Worse yet, law enforcement agencies will have a tough time preventing drug abusers from downloading designs and printing the substances of their choice — a future foretold by a recent Vice article, entitled, "In the Future, Your Drug Dealer Will Be a Printer" [source: Holmes].

8 Replacement Parts for Almost Anything

A staff member of Nihon Binary shows an Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene pylon (similar to a plastic traffic cone) which was printed by the 3-D printer MakerBot Replicator 2X during the International Robot Exhibition 2013 in Tokyo.
© YUYA SHINO/Reuters/Corbis

Probably everyone has experienced the frustration of having to junk an old, long-dependable appliance that would work just fine, if only you could find replacement parts.
But that's likely to change, thanks to 3-D printing, which may enable you to simply download the plans for a replacement part and print it on your own printer. Already, 3-D printing site Thingiverse offers designs for printing close to 2,500 replacement parts for everything from manual car window cranks and dishwasher rollers to wristwatch parts and pinball flippers. It's not that much of a stretch to envision a future in which your trusty old gadgets could last as long as those 1950s automobiles in Havana that are kept running by mechanics' ingenuity.

9 Low-cost Prosthetic Limbs

Prosthetic, mechanical hands were on display at the 3D Printshow, held at Metropolitan Pavilion, New York in 2014.
© Timothy Fadek/Corbis

In 2012, Daniel Omar, a 14-year-old Sudanese boy, was injured when government forces dropped a bomb during an attack on rebels. An American surgeon was able to save Omar's life, but he was left without hands. That is, until Mick Ebeling, chief executive of a research firm called Not Impossible Labs, read a magazine article about the plight of Omar and other Sudanese amputees.
Ebeling set up a lab at a Sudanese hospital and equipped it with 3-D printers, which churned out prosthetic limbs at a cost of just $100 apiece, a fraction of the thousands of dollars that conventionally manufactured ones go for [sources: McCracken, Turner]. Researchers at design firm Autodesk and the University of Toronto are working to develop software that eventually will allow them to scan amputees' bodies and design and print customized limbs that fit their bodies more precisely [source: Woollaston].

10 Custom-designed Clothes

Model Lindsay Ellingson struts the runway in her 3-D-printed headpiece as Taylor Swift (center) sings during the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

In 2013, Victoria's Secret model Lindsay Ellingson wowed fashionistas and techies alike by strutting down the runway in a one-of-a-kind glittery snowflake ensemble, accessorized with a set of wings, a corset and a headpiece fashioned from nylon via a 3-D printing process [source: Heller].
But that attention-getting stunt only gave a hint of how 3-D printing may transform the clothing industry. In the near future, according to Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, clothiers are likely to use 3-D scans of consumers' bodies to create custom-designed garments and accessories that not only fit them perfectly, but even adjust to their bodies' individualized movements [source:].

"With 3-D printing you can decide how much flexibility you want in millimeters or centimeters on a specific part, for example the knees or the shoulders, and you can just include that on the file," van Herpen said in a 2013 interview.

New Type Of Computer Capable Of Calculating 640TBs Of Data In One Billionth Of A Second, Could Revolutionize Computing.

Let me introduce The Machine- HP’s latest invention that could revolutionize the computing world. According to HP, The Machine is not a server, workstation, PC, device or phone but an amalgamation of all these things. It’s designed to be able to cope with the masses of data produced from the Internet of Things, which is the concept of a future network designed to connect a variety of objects and gadgets.

In order to handle this flurry of information it uses clusters of specialized cores as opposed to a small number of generalized cores. The whole thing is connected together using silicon photonics instead of traditional copper wires, boosting the speed of the system whilst reducing energy requirements. Furthermore, the technology features memristors which are resistors that are able to store information even after power loss.

The result is a system six times more powerful than existing servers that requires eighty times less energy. According to HP, The Machine can manage 160 petabytes of data in a mere 250 nanoseconds. And, what’s more, this isn’t just for huge supercomputers- it could be used in smaller devices such as smartphones and laptops. During a keynote speech given at Discover, chief technology officer Martin Fink explained that if the technology was scaled down, smartphones could be fabricated with 100 terabytes of memory.

HP envisages a variety of future applications for this technology in numerous different settings, from business to medicine. For example, it could be possible for doctors to compare your symptoms or DNA with patients across the globe in an instant and without breaching privacy, improving health outcomes.
While this is an exciting development, unfortunately for us HP isn’t expecting to have samples until 2015 and the first devices equipped with The Machine won’t surface until 2018.
If you’d like to find out more, check out this YouTube video from Discover 2014 detailing the technology:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

No iOS 8 for iPhone 4 : Apple


Apple announces its all new iOS 8 for iPhone 4S, 5, 5C and 5S, iPad 2, new iPad,  iPad with Retina display,  iPad  Air,  iPad mini,  iPad mini with Retina display and fifth-generation iPod touch on Monday. But it did not provide any upgradation for iPhone 4 which left many owners of the phone disappointed.

There has been fruphies in the market that iOS 8 wouldn’t support iPhone 4, which turns out to be true on Monday at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2014
Apple first unveils iPhone 4 in 2010 and now it is turning four years old.

Apple’s tradition of dropping support for older device is nothing new; we saw the same thing happen for the iPhone 3GS not supporting iOS 7. Last year Apple stops selling of iPhone 4.
Whereas iOS 7 does supports iPhone 4 but it doesn’t offers some of  new features like siri,3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation , AirDrop , AirPlay mirroring ,live camera filters, panorama mode,simply because the older smartphone is to slow to handle it. .
Plus, iPhone 4 users also complained about the performance of iOS 7 on the older device, so an update of iOS 8 will create a more burden on this old device.

Mumbai’s Pizzeria Delivers Pizza by Drones


A small pizza chain Francesco Pizzeria located in Mumbai succeeded in making delivery using GPS enabled drones.
It was not a regular delivery as they were experimenting and the customer was a friend of chain’s CEO.
The CEO of the chain said that, “All of us had read about (global e-commerce giant) Amazon’s plans of using drones. We successfully carried out a test delivery by sending a pizza to a customer located 1.5 km away from our outlet on May 11.”

This is the first time in India where a product is delivered in such a unique way.
It delivered a 13 inch plain Margherita pizza, weighing half a kilo to 21st floor.
The drone speed beats the speed of the leading pizza chain, which delivers pizza within 30 minutes.
He added “What we have done now will be common place in the next four to five years. Every such customized drone costs around USD 2,000,” he added.
Drones are mainly used in India by filmmakers for shooting to mount cameras And they are allowed to fly only between 200 to 400 feet.
The Pizzeria told that it used a remote-controlled four-rotored drone which was custom made.
The city police said that they are confirming whether the pizzeria request permission from the civil aviation authorities.

The company told that they had operated within the law.
Drones are banned in India from flying over security reasons and there are technical difficulties like after operating within 8km area they ran out of batteries.
Amazon also reported that they would be testing drones for making depiveryand also confirmed that it would take five years for the service to begin.

Lenovo’s ‘S860′ High-End Smart Phone Released in India


Lenovo, a Chinese multinational technology company released its S-series Smartphone in India at Rs. 21,500. . S860 was launched with other S-series Smartphone – S660 and S850 – at MWC in Barcelona.
The company assures its users that it has come up with ultra modern design, fast speed and a new improved battery life.
“The new range of S series smartphones complements the users’ aspirations. Bundled with stylish design, blazing fast processing speeds, and integrated Lenovo proprietary apps, these phones provide customers a great user experience without sacrificing performance”, said Sudhin Mathur, Director – Smartphones, Lenovo India.

Lenovo S860 smartphone features a 5.3 inch HD IPS display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. It sports a quad-core MediaTek (MT6582) 1.3 GHz processor and a RAM of 2GB. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS and has a dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) support.
The phone comes with an 8 megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash and a 1.6 megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera. The main feature of the phone is that it sports 4000 mAh battery which delivers battery life of upto 43 hours.

The smartphone comes with 16 GB of inbuilt storage and supports USB on-the-go.  Its connectivity includes:  Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS/ A-GPS, GPRS/ EDGE and 3G connectivity options.
The Lenovo S860 is available in Titanium colour variant.  From May3, the Smartphone will be made available in physical retail and exclusive Lenovo stores.

Motorola Launches New Smartphone, Moto X With Bamboo Finishing On Back


The latest models of smartphones released by the Motorola have experienced success in the global market. In the same run, it has launched another model named Moto X smartphone in Indian market with bamboo finishing on back. It is at a price of Rs 25,999 and available only via Flipkart like any other model of Motorola smartphones.
The Moto X also shares the same design, hardware and software like the other models. Along with the walnut and teak wood finishes of back it is also available with plastic back options such as black, white, turquoise, blue and red colours.

The plastic variant model costs Rs 23,999 compared to wood finishing back model which is at Rs 25,999. Flipkart is offering a discount of Rs 1,000 on this wooden back model, so it is available for Rs 24,999. Flipkart says that this offer is valid till stocks last or the offer ends. But it has not said about any last date for this offer.

The features of Moto X include 4.7 inch HD screen, 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, 10 MP camera and 2GB RAM. It is one of the smartphone models that runs on Android 4.4 operating system and also has a water resistant coating. Users get a Google Drive storage of about 50GB free with Moto X. This model also promises its users with optimized experience instead of beefed up hardware.
The most unique feature of Moto X is that always on voice assistant which listens to the commands even when the user is not operating the handset. Another feature is Quick capture, it allows the users to jerk their wrist twice open to open the camera app. The camera of Moto X allows 75% more light to enter producing better quality of low light pictures which is nothing but Clear Pixel technology.
Moto X has an Active Display that displays the time, unread messages and emails, missed calls and other notifications even when the screen is turned off like the Nokia’s Glance Screen. This phone is preloaded with the Migrate app to allow users to transfer data like contacts, photos, videos and even call log and SMSs from any Android 4.2 powered phone.

Samsung launches Galaxy W in Korean market


Another model in the series of Galaxy has been launched by Samsung in the Korean market. This model is named Galaxy W and it is having a 7-inch display.This model is now at a price of 4,99,400 KRW which is approximately Rs 28,800 in our currency.
This 7-inch device is more or less becomes equal to a tablet model and so Samsung has made the bezel thinner to reduce the size in-order to facilitate the one hand operation.
The Galaxy W model does not have a premium hardware. It has a 720p display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 1.5 GB RAM. It has the facility of both cameras namely 8MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera.
The internal storage is about 16GB and also having a microSD card slot and a battery with a capacity of 3200mAh.
The operating system supported by this model is the old version Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. The phone will be also available in black, white and red colour variants.
Until the launching of this model Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 has been the company’s biggest phone having a display of 6.3 inches.
But it is not to our notice that if Samsung is going to launch this Galaxy W in other markets or not.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Toshiba sues Powerchip in Taiwan over memory chip patent

A view shows Toshiba Corp's logo at the fourth International Photovoltaic Power Generation (PV) Expo in Tokyo March 2, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files 

A view shows Toshiba Corp's logo at the fourth International Photovoltaic Power Generation (PV) Expo in Tokyo March 2, 2011.

Toshiba Corp, a top maker of flash memory chips used in smartphones, said on Tuesday it has filed suit in a Taiwan court against Taiwan's Powerchip Technology Corp and three other firms charging infringement of its flash memory patents.

A Toshiba spokesman said the company was seeking T$100 million ($3.3 million) in compensation in the case. The company is also seeking a halt of the sale and manufacture of products that it says infringe its patents.

In March, Toshiba also filed suit against South Korea's SK Hynix Inc seeking damages in a case over suspected theft of data related to its flash memory chip technology. ($1 = 29.9855 Taiwan New Dollars)

Nintendo Toys With Mobile-App Possibilities

It could make a great deal of sense for Nintendo to create mobile apps, but "leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets needn't be a case of directly developing games for them," suggested Steve Bailey, senior analyst for games at IHS Electronics and Media. Rather, mobile platforms could be used simply to encourage deeper ongoing engagement with the company's key console offerings.

Nintendo Toys With Mobile-App Possibilities

Nintendo's Wii U hasn't exactly been the smash hit that the company had surely hoped, and a year after the console's debut Nintendo is reportedly exploring a future that could include mobile apps.
With Angry Birds, Temple Run and other casual games dominating tablets and mobile phones, Nintendo faces increased competition in the mobile gaming space -- a market the company has been in since the late 1980s, when it introduced its first Game Boy.
That competition is a hot topic that comes up often, and the company recognizes the potential of the market, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime said in an interview with KING 5 News this week.
Nintendo would consider experimentation that could provide a sampling of what Nintendo has to offer, Fils-Aime noted, but in the end the goal would be driving users back to Nintendo hardware. The company's games are best played and best enjoyed on Nintendo platforms, he added.

Makes Great Sense'

Mobile technologies could well be the biggest threat today to each of the major video game hardware makers -- including also Microsoft and Sony.
"Nintendo has already dabbled with apps outside of its own ecosystem, and the idea of companion applications for some its major titles makes great sense," Steve Bailey, senior analyst for games at IHS Electronics and Media, told TechNewsWorld.
"Leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets needn't be a case of directly developing games for them," Bailey added. Rather, mobile platforms could be used simply to encourage deeper ongoing engagement with the company's key console offerings, he suggested.
Nintendo has "several properties that have a strong retention characteristic that would be well-served as extensions for non-specialist devices: think StreetPass, Miiverse and Animal Crossing," Bailey said. "Miiverse content can already be accessed from a generic PC browser, for example, so extending such facets out to mobile APIs isn't as much of a shift in strategy as it may appear."
Instead of requiring that Nintendo release installments of its core IP on iOS or Android, in other words, "it is more an exploration of how smartphones and tablets can be used to enhance the ways in which gamers connect to their Wii U and 3DS consoles," Bailey said.

'More Than Just a Platform'

Within the gaming world Nintendo has taken a relatively Apple-style approach whereby hardware and software are more tightly integrated than are competing offerings from Sony or Microsoft.
"People who are talking about Nintendo games on a smartphone often overlook that Nintendo is different than the other game companies because it's more than just a platform," Susan Schreiner, senior editor and analyst at C4 Trends, told TechNewsWorld. "These characters have been moving from generation to generation for a lot of years.
"Nintendo is the most successful company when it comes to the integration of hardware with software, and its titles and characters have endured over its 30-plus year history," Schreiner added.
"While Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and Animal Crossing might exist in a walled garden, they have helped Nintendo to be the most consistently successful and acclaimed publisher of games, with its titles consistently at the top of the game charts. There is a universalism to its games that transcends age and gender," she said.

'Playing It Coy'

Nintendo's investment last month in mobile content company Dwango "might have fueled speculation as to Nintendo's future intentions," Schreiner pointed out.
Nintendo has used Dwango as an advertising platform for its devices and games, she added.
Fils-Aime's latest comments suggest that Nintendo executives are taking a cautious approach, however.
"It seems as if Nintendo is playing it coy," said Schreiner. "On the one hand executives are saying Nintendo games are for Nintendo platforms -- but other comments like those from Reggie Fils-Aime seemingly leave the door open.
"We are seeing that people are willing to pay for a higher-quality game experience, she concluded. Nevertheless, "while other game publishers are experimenting with business models, perhaps for now playing it safe might be the better strategy for Nintendo, with its prized and reliable franchise with a loyal following."

Google to Spread the Web With $1B Worth of Satellites

It looks as though Google wants to accelerate its plans to hook up the entire world to the Internet by deploying a fleet of satellites. It already is working on a plan to deliver the Web via high-altitude balloons, but a satellite system would be more reliable and durable. Facebook is using drones in a similar effort, and Google recently bought a drone company it had shown interest in acquiring.

Google to Spread the Web With $1B Worth of Satellites

Google's eye on the sky seems wider than ever. The company reportedly is planning to spend at least US$1 billion on a project to bring Internet access to remote areas through satellites.
It is not yet clear whether the plan would augment or replace Project Loon -- Google's proposal to connect remote regions to the Internet through high-altitude balloons. However, the report suggests that Google hopes the plan will help it to overcome technical and financial hurdles that hampered similar projects in the past.

Lower Orbit

While the details of the scheme are shifting, the project will begin with around 180 small, high-capacity satellites that will have a lower orbit than traditional satellites and may expand from there, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"The potential of the reported Google project would be to help ensure that the next generation of unserved Internet users comes online, said Charles King, principal at Pund-IT.
"The fact is that often due to political folly and economic challenges, potential online access suffers. So it's both interesting and admirable that private concerns like Google, Facebook and others are investigating alternatives for creating the infrastructure necessary to support wireless Internet access," he told TechNewsWorld.

Hiring Spree

Google apparently has been hiring engineers from Space Systems/Loral to work on the initiative, which is being led by Greg Wyler, founder of satellite communications company O3b Networks. Wyler and O3b's former chief technology officer recently joined Google. Between 10 and 20 people are said to be working under Wyler.
The company is spending between $1 billion and north of $3 billion -- a price tag that will be affected by the final design of the network, further phases that could expand the number of satellites to double the initial number, and other factors.
Project Loon had the potential to build a network of balloons to cover the entire planet, Google CEO Larry Page said at a conference earlier this year, noting that balloons were cheaper and faster to build.
However, satellites can afford greater capacity and flexibility, while costs to build them appear to have dropped in recent years.
"I think the satellites will initially complement Project Loon," Laura DiDio, principal at ITIC, told TechNewsWorld. At first glance, satellites appear to be more robust than high-altitude balloons circumnavigating the globe, which could be knocked off course or downed by severe weather conditions. Satellites can also be impacted by an incident that might occur in space, but seem more substantial than a high-altitude balloon."

'Cheaper to Build'

"Balloons can more easily be shot down, typically have less range, and are more vulnerable to atmospheric conditions, but they are far cheaper to build and launch," said Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group. "A typical developing country doesn't have the technology to shoot down satellites. They can execute Loon more quickly, but the satellite approach would potentially be far more strategic."
As part of the project, Google apparently plans to take advantage of developments in antenna technology, which can track multiple moving satellites. Some current antennas have no moving parts and can be controlled by software, which lowers maintenance and manufacturing costs.
"They want to increase their reach and do have a belief that every person in the world should have access to the Internet," Enderle told TechNewsWorld. "While they clearly have a revenue goal as well, I think in this instance, it is secondary -- given the audience -- to their goal of making people better informed."

Infrastructure Plan

Along with the somewhat noble notion of connecting people in remote regions to the Internet, Google's latest Internet scheme could be seen as part of tech companies' tussle to take over Internet infrastructure, largely bypassing the networks of telecoms.
Google has laid more than 100,000 miles of fiber-optic cables around the world, a report earlier this year indicated.
"Truthfully, Google's motives are a mix of altruism and pragmatism. They can bring Internet connectivity to remote peoples and portions of the globe and make a profit doing it. Sounds like a win-win to me," Enderle said.
Facebook and several other technology firms have teamed up to use drones to bring Internet access to people in remote areas through
After reports surfaced of Facebook's interest in buying drone maker Titan Aerospace, Google swooped in to make the acquisition.
"I think their respective plans might be cooperative in the early planning stages and then diverge if and when the project actually takes off," ITIC's DiDio said. "At that point, Google will have to refine its goals to suit the individual usage models. But initially at least, I can see many people in remote locations wanting to use the same technology to connect to Facebook and"

Connecting Those at Home

The implications of such ambitious projects stretch far beyond the developing world.
"There is tremendous potential If Google goes forward with its project to give unwired portions of the planet Internet access using small satellites," DiDio said.
"The impact and implications are enormous for both developed as well as developing nations. Location is a huge obstacle and impediment to Internet access," she pointed out.
"While it's unthinkable to city dwellers and suburbanites, there are still many rural or geographically remote areas in the U.S. with no connectivity," DiDio added. "According to the FCC's Eighth Broadband Progress Report released in August 2012, 75 percent or 14.5 million of the 19 million Americans that currently lack Internet access live in rural or remote areas where connectivity and broadband are unavailable.
"The biggest group of disenfranchised here in the U.S. are 5.1 million Native American Indians and Alaska Natives," DiDio continued. "The majority of Native Americans live on 324 tribal reservation lands -- many of which are rural and remote -- in the lower 48 states and Alaska, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. They are miles from any town or power grid, and many reservations lack electrical power -- which means no Internet connectivity. Imagine the difference this could make in their lives."

Monday, 2 June 2014

Sonos Swings Into Google's Playground

Listening to music just got a little more appified. "You can send your Google Play playlist directly to any Sonos speaker -- it doesn't stream the music through your phone or tablet, so you don't have to worry about WiFi dropouts or having your music interrupted by system sounds or an incoming phone call," noted Chris Boylan, editor-in-chief at Big Picture Big Sound.

Sonos Swings Into Google's Playground

A new partnership between Sonos and Google means that users of the Google Play Music app for Android now can stream music to their Sonos speakers directly from the app itself.
Available in 25 countries, the new capability effectively eliminates the need to use Sonos' Controller app as an intermediary. It represents Sonos' first such integration partnership with a major music streaming service, but it likely won't be the last, Kristen Bender, Sonos' senior product manager for music services, told TechNewsWorld.
"In betting on streaming, we look to bring thousands of services to millions of music lovers worldwide," Bender said. "While we started with Google Play Music, we look to provide this same experience to users across multiple services."

For now, however, the capability is Android-only -- "no date has been set at this time for further consideration for iOS," she said. 

'A More Immediate User Experience'

Sonos originated in the PC era, when music typically was stored on local hard drives, so "it made sense to sync from there," Mark Mulligan, media analyst with MIDiA Consulting, told TechNewsWorld.
While the majority of listeners still do things that way, "things are changing, and Google Play is aimed at changing that," Mulligan pointed out. So, in many ways, "this is a recognition of the fact that we're moving into the post-PC era."
From a user-experience perspective, "it is much more easy and elegant to be able to play directly from your phone -- it's a more immediate user experience," he added.

'Google Is Playing Catch-Up'

Systems like Sonos and others "are a growing way for audiences to consume music," agreed radio futurologist James Cridland. "Most of them have access to Spotify, Rdio and other music services, so Google is playing catch-up here: This move will just put Google Play Music on a similar footing to the other services."
The unavailability of Google Play Music on Sonos surely has dissuaded some Sonos owners from signing up for the Google service; conversely, "its availability on Sonos should mean current Google Music users will consider a Sonos system in future. This is a win-win for the two companies," Credland told TechNewsWorld.
In general, Google Music has appeared to be "a hobby" for Google and "something they haven't taken too seriously," he added. "It still lags behind Rdio and Spotify for social features."
Both competitors have a multiplatform strategy, for example, and Spotify in particular is available on a large number of devices, he pointed out.
So "this deal does indicate that Google is taking its music product more seriously," Credland concluded.

'A Win for Both Companies'

Sonos, meanwhile, is "facing more competition in the whole-home wireless streaming market these days, as companies such as Samsung, Apple, Bose, DTS and Qualcomm have launched or announced their own flavors of wireless streaming," Chris Boylan, editor-in-chief at Big Picture Big Sound, told TechNewsWorld.

Two things that set Sonos apart, Boylan suggested, are "integration with a large number of different streaming apps -- Spotify, Pandora, Internet Radio, iTunes and now Google Play Music -- and ownership of the complete user experience.
"With Sonos, you don't have to piece together a system or worry about complicated set-up for multiple components," he explained. "You just download the Sonos Controller app, buy a Sonos speaker, connect the speaker to your network by pressing a couple of buttons, and you're done. Everything else is controlled by the Sonos app."

Now, with support for Google Play Music, "you can send your Google Play playlist directly to any Sonos speaker -- it doesn't stream the music through your phone or tablet, so you don't have to worry about WiFi dropouts or having your music interrupted by system sounds or an incoming phone call," Boylan added. "It's very similar to Apple's AirPlay, but for Android devices instead."
That, in turn, adds up to "a win for both companies," he concluded, "as it makes it easier for current Sonos owners to stream from their Google Play Music accounts, and it allows Google Play users to easily send their music anywhere in their homes without the range limitations and inherent drawbacks of a Bluetooth connection."

Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business

Linux is safe and secure and not prone to many of the quirks that plague Microsoft products. Still, when it comes to the care and feeding of Linux, it should be treated like any other mature enterprise class operating system that is running your business, noted Shaun Sellers, senior product manager at Vision Solutions. It will need its share of patches and updates, for example.

Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business

Previous installment: Making Linux Feel at Home
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Disgust with Microsoft or Apple regimentation and software limitations are but two of them.
For some, the greater flexibility that comes from open source software, as well as better cost and productivity controls, are the driving factors for a move to the Linux OS. The benefits vary depending on the use case and the desktop or server configurations employed.
Employing Linux to run your business or drive your personal computing equipment takes some preparation. New software takes some time to learn. However, planning for a smooth migration will make for a successful and rewarding move.
The migration process is not limited to users of Microsoft Windows and Apple computers. A strong user base exists in enterprise settings for other operating systems as well.
There is still something religious in some enterprise circles surrounding Unix in the embedded space. Some people cling to OpenSolaris. Another popular OS in some quarters is BSD, noted Bruce Tolley, vice president of technical and solutions at Solarflare.
"In the 1990s, IT people often rallied around the notion that no one ever got fired for buying IBM. In the last year or two, you could argue that today if you are an IT guy who manages servers at a large company, you are not going to get fired for hiring Linux," he told LinuxInsider.

Lure of Linux

Linux has grown up in the last decade and has shed its reputation for being hard to install, configure and use. Linux also has gotten past concerns that it is not secure or not safe because anybody can view the source code.
On the high-performance side, we are seeing a lot of customers making the move to Linux. There was some hesitancy for companies to move away from Solaris, noted Tolley.
"Regarding the OS installed in the fortune 100 companies, I would argue that over 50 percent now are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux," he added.

Letting Go of Legacy

Cultural issues are partly responsible for the differences in operating system deployments, noted Francois Chevresson, director of professional services at Bonitasoft.
"From a cultural perspective, European governments place much more regulation on privacy and access to one's data. In the U.S., the privacy and access is considered to be part of the price one pays for the economy and third-party maintenance provided by cloud deployment," he told LinuxInsider.
With the GUIs getting better and better, it has become much easier to get the tech guys coming out of school to start using the Linux desktop as well as Linux servers, said Mike Vitale, chief technology officer for TalkPoint.
"As migration goes, when it comes to power users, it is easier. When it comes to general users in the SMBs, it is a little more difficult. You have to make sure that the components are there," Vitale told LinuxInsider.

Moving Moguls

There is also the issue of sociological preference for OS choice, based on the IT director's computer science degree, Tolley suggested. IT preferences might force some enterprise backends to linger longer without Linux.
Still, Linux servers are clearly the migration path of choice, according to Rick Sizemore, director of the technology transformation practice at Alsbridge.
"I don't talk to any customers today who are looking to deploy more Windows servers. They may be adding more users per existing Windows server or something like that. Linux is more often than not the platform of choice," Sizemore told LinuxInsider.
In many industry sectors, migrating to Linux happens quietly. Deploying Linux also can be a segmented process, depending on the size of the business operation and the computing needs being addressed. Sometimes, the server services run on Linux initially, and employee workstations get Linux and Android devices later.
Bonitasoft's computer applications are based on Java, which makes them easy to deploy on a number of platforms.
"This approach helps to simply a transition to Linux," said Chevresson. "Using software deployed through a cloud installation masks most of the problems in moving to Linux."

Making the Makover

Successfully migrating to Linux -- whether on back-office servers or cube farm workstations -- might simply come down to one word: planning. Or perhaps one phrase: Be prepared.
As with any OS, you should put a lot of thought, planning and testing into your initial deployment. However, success goes beyond that, according to Shaun Sellers, senior product manager at Vision Solutions.
"Similar to other operating systems, Linux will still need to be maintained with patches and updates which should be vetted in your environment through some sort of change-control process," he told LinuxInsider.
Linux is safe and secure and not prone to many of the quirks that plague Microsoft products. Still, when it comes to the care and feeding of Linux, it should be treated like any other mature enterprise class operating system that is running your business, noted Sellers.

Demystifying the Move to Linux

One of the initial barriers to migrating to the Linux OS, especially the desktop, is FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt continue to plague the uniformed.
The Linux environment has many distros that are very similar to Windows. Users have little difficulty making the switch, according to Tomas Zubov, CEO of IceWarp. First, however, users and company leaders have to know about Linux.
"I am seeing situations where people are expressing great surprise that modern Linux systems are so much like Windows in terms of the GUI. They had heard Linux required extensive use of the command line much like old-school Unix systems," Zubov told LinuxInsider.
This myth is now falling away as people are discovering that Linux is much like Windows but has a freer environment. People can easily work with Linux, he said, adding that he sees many cases where people were afraid of Linux but are now moving to it.

Substituting Software

The demand for the Linux desktop has steadily been growing. That demand led IceWarp to develop an enterprise-strength replacement product for messaging and email needs of Linux users.
"One of the trends we see is customers migrating from Microsoft Windows who do not want to leave behind the Microsoft Exchange email system," Antonin Prukl, director of development at IceWarp, told LinuxInsider.
The application software that computer users leave behind is rarely much of an issue to deter their migration to Linux, agreed IceWarp's Zubov. They are moving away from Windows services because of the software and service limitations. The process of becoming familiar with new desktop software in Linux is not any different.
"There is always an adjustment period when you switch applications within an operating system, but I don't see that as being an obstacle for migrating to Linux," said Zubov. "People switch to Linux servers because they can set it up exactly to meet their needs. That is the power of open source that attracts enterprise users. They are able to maximize their server use according to their needs. This is nearly impossible for them to do with a Windows server."

How to Encrypt a Windows 8 PC Drive

Windows 8.1 Pro includes built-in drive encryption tools. These tools work even if you don't have a TPM chip. TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, is encryption-ready hardware. You'll need a spare USB thumb drive, though. Encryption tools are hidden away in the depths of the machine, so finding them can make you feel like an International Person of Mystery.

How to Encrypt a Windows 8 PC Drive

Real-life events -- the disclosures from website WikiLeaks; Edward Snowden's leaks of classified government documents to media outlets; credit card hijacks by the server load; and even Facebook's stumbles over its privacy policy explanation to the masses -- have created a general sense of unease when it comes to privacy these days, even at the consumer level.
We are all becoming increasingly aware that our digital lives are no longer private. Not only are they no longer private -- in reality, they likely never have been. It may be time to think about encryption.
There are some easy ways to encrypt email. There are also some methods for encrypting thumb and hard drives.

Windows 8.1 Pro, the version of Windows that Microsoft pitches on its website, includes built-in drive encryption tools. These tools work even if you don't have a TPM chip. TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, is encryption-ready hardware. You'll need a spare USB thumb drive, though.
Amusingly, encryption tools are hidden away in the depths of the machine, so finding them can make you feel like an International Person of Mystery.
Nevertheless, here's how to go about it:
Step 1
Verify that your machine is running Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro by launching the Control Panel. The Control Panel can be accessed from the new Windows 8-style Search Charm -- type "Control Panel" in the search box.
Click or touch System and Security, and then System. The Windows Edition will be listed.
Tip: Windows 8 Encryption is called "BitLocker." It's included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate; it is also available in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8.
Step 2
Enter the term "gpedit.msc" in the search charm's text box. Then browse the hierarchical menu structure, moving from Open Computer Configuration to Administrative Templates to Windows Components to BitLocker Drive Encryption to Operating System Drives.
Then right-click on the third option, labeled "Require additional authentication at startup." Then check the Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM check box. Click Apply and then OK.
Step 3
Enter the term "BitLocker" in the Windows Search Charm and then "Manage BitLocker." Or scroll down to BitLocker Drive Encryption from System in Control Panel.
Step 4
Turn on BitLocker.
Step 5
Insert a USB flash drive into the PC's USB jack and follow the prompts.
Tip: You can use a password instead of a USB drive. However, the USB drive method is more secure, because it's a physical factor -- you need to insert the actual thumb drive to access the PC. It's also more entertaining.
Step 6
Create a Recovery Key by following the prompts to save a backed-up key to an external source -- like another PC on your network or a second USB drive -- or by printing it.
Tip: A Recovery Key is a backup key.
Step 7
Choose how much of the drive you'd like to encrypt by selecting the appropriate radio button.
Tip: Encrypt the entire drive if you're using an existing rather than new PC. It takes longer but will catch stray files.
Step 8
Select the Run BitLocker System Check check box. This will verify encryption keys.
Step 9
Restart the computer. The computer will restart, and the drive will start encrypting. The USB drive should be in the USB jack at this step. Allow the encryption to take place.
Step 10
Remove the USB drive and restart the PC to test. You'll be prompted to insert the USB drive key.

Iranians Caught Cyber Snooping on High-Value US Targets

Through an elaborate social engineering ruse that involved setting up a fake news organization, Iranian spies were able to convince thousands of valuable U.S. and Israeli targets to connect with them on social media. "The Iranians use a relatively low level of technological sophistication, but what they lacked in sophistication, they made up in creativity," said iSight's Stephen Ward.

Iranians Caught Cyber Snooping on High-Value US Targets

A cyberespionage campaign with links to Iran for at least three years has been targeting U.S. military and congressional personnel, journalists and diplomats, as well as U.S. and Israeli defense contractors and members of the U.S./Israel lobby, according to a report released Thursday by iSight Partners.
Using more than a dozen phony identities on online social networks, the spy ring managed to rope into its web of deceit more than 2,000 high-value targets, harvesting credentials or planting malware capable of stealing data from infected systems, the firm found.

"Two years ago, Iran said it wanted to develop cyberespionage capability," Stephen Ward, senior marketing director for iSight Partners, told TechNewsWorld. "They meant it -- and we're seeing that."
Ironically, the Iranian bogus persona campaign began around the time it was reported that the U.S. Central Command had awarded a contract to a California company to develop software for creating fake online personalities to spread pro-American propaganda on the Internet.
In an elaborate scheme, the Iranian cyberspies established a fake news outlet, the Newscaster Network, on major social networks -- Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn -- and populated it with fake personas.

The personas probed high-value targets on the social media, making requests to connect. After joining a person's circle of contacts, they sent the target a link to a fake portal to the social network. When the target entered their credentials at the phony portal, the spies then could harvest them.
The credentials enabled them to enter the target's network.
"They can move from machine to machine, collecting intelligence and information on what assets are on the network and how they can be accessed, and escalate their privileges to access more sensitive information," Andrey Dulkin, senior director of cyber innovation at CyberArk, told TechNewsWorld.

How to Speed Up a Sluggish Android Smartphone

If getting rid of superfluous apps on your smartphone doesn't solve the problem, reinstalling factory stock software likely will. Like rehab -- or the drunk tank -- for our lethargic, wrong-side-of-the-tracks smartphone inhabitant, this operation may sound like a big deal and a lot of work, and unfortunately it is, because you have to reconfigure your apps.

One of the disadvantages of retaining a phone after the expiration of a two-year contract -- as many of us do -- is that those older phones have accumulated a few years' worth of digital gunk.
They're clogged up like an aging sewer on the wrong side of town.
Just like on a PC, bits of app and OS code become discombobulated -- orphaned from the parent program. Onboard digital debris becomes disoriented like a drunk stumbling out of a favored hole-in-the-wall; jumbled lethargy sets in, and the device can take forever to start or become sticky in operation.
Well, just like a PC -- or a run-down apartment house, for that matter -- you can freshen up a gloopy smartphone. Here's how to go about speeding up a slowing Android smartphone.

Get Rid of Superfluous Apps

The purpose of this procedure is not so much to free space but to remove any apps that might be performing poorly. Apps can contain all sorts of trouble-prone, permissions-based polling, checking and syncing.
Step 1: Open the Settings area by touching the Settings cogwheel-like icon. Then scroll through to the Apps menu item. In older versions of Android, it's labeled Applications.
Step 2: Touch the Downloaded tab and scroll through the list of apps. These are the apps that you've installed over the years.
Step 3: Touch the app label for any app that you haven't used in six months and press Clear Cache, then Clear Data and then Disable or Uninstall, depending on options proffered.
Tip: Be ruthless here and purge anything you're not using -- it's a lot easier than identifying rogue behavior app-by-app.
Step 4: Test by restarting the phone and unscientifically identifying whether performance has improved. Key benchmarks are time-to-start and speed-of-scroll between home screens.
If the phone is feeling nimble again, you've identified your issue.

Make Some Space

Step 1: Open the Apps menu item again from within Settings.
Step 2: Choose Options and then Sort by size.
Step 3: Scroll through the first few apps -- the most memory-hungry -- and clear the caches by pressing the Clear Cache button within each App label. This will free memory, allowing more operating headroom. Then test.
Step 4: Check storage by opening the Settings area again. Then scroll through to the Storage menu item.
View the Internal Storage graphical bar. If it's full, with little space being indicated as available, install LeveloKment's app Storage Analyser, available free in the Google Play store, and run it.
Tip: This app will identify the largest files on your device -- files that may be phantom -- and allow you to delete or move them off the device, thus freeing space. Then test.

Reinstall the Factory Stock Software

If the previous steps haven't solved the problem, this likely will. Like rehab (or the drunk tank) for our wrong-side-of-the-tracks inhabitant, this operation may sound like a big deal and a lot of work, and unfortunately it is, because you have to reconfigure your apps.
Step 1: Open the Backup and Reset menu item from Settings and check Backup My Data along with your Google account details if prompted.
Tip: Leave the phone connected to the Internet overnight if you are newly creating a backup. This will give the Google servers time to pluck the settings data like WiFi connections and passwords, which it will restore later. You can skip this, but you'll have to re-enter a bunch more stuff manually.
Step 2: Select Factory Data Reset from the same menu and follow the prompts to perform a full wipe and OS reinstall.
Tip: Before a reset save, off-device, any internal storage-stored media files, like captured photographs. A reset wipes internal storage.
Step 3: Allow the phone to restart and follow the prompts to set up your Google account on the device anew.
Tip: If your downloaded apps don't immediately show, you can kick-start the installation from Google's Play store My Apps menu item.
Step 4: Reconfigure your apps' settings.
Tip: This is the tried-and-true method to get the phone back to stock and a just-out-of-box state. Avoid restoring from backups in this case because you may reintroduce the issue or issues.

you van drop your comments pls

The Real Reason Apple Bought Beats: Addiction

Beats is not about headphones or a cool service with licensing deals. Beats is all about one-to-one connection of a brand and subscription service that feeds a person's soul. Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics is more about the acquisition of a kindred spirit than a new line of business. Sure, the executives from both companies walk entirely differently, but their cores are similar.

The Real Reason Apple Bought Beats: Addiction

I get the sense that a good many Apple enthusiasts are confused by its acquisition of Beats Electronics. Sure, many are nodding their heads, saying that Beats is good for Apple and makes total sense. The headphones are selling well. With 250,000 paying subscribers, the Beats Music service is taking off fast, and it can only be elevated by Apple's global brand and infrastructure.

However, there's an undercurrent of concern, too -- a bit of head-scratching and scrambling to make sense of what this really means for Apple's future. After all, couldn't Apple have built everything that Beats offers, all by itself? (On the surface, yes.)
Does Apple really need to buy "cool" these days? (No.) More worrisome, is Apple becoming one of those big companies that starts buying other companies just to keep the parent conglomerate growing and expanding in order to confuse Wall Street and make lackluster executives feel like they're actually doing something important? (I sure hope not.)
So why Beats? Why now? What the heck is going on here? Is Apple going to start buying companies in order to attract new management talent, like Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre? After all, it's hard to make a traditional "hire" of an industry-leading professional with deep industry business connections. A simple hire seems like a step down, especially to pros who are running their own companies. A big acquisition, though, makes landing an Iovine or Dre possible.
Despite making sense on paper, the whole Beats acquisition still seems so anti-Apple that it's just damn unsettling.

Good but Not Insanely Great Products

At first, I got hung up on the headphones, because the Beats headphones are popular -- but not insanely great. Apple used to shoot for both -- to make a product that was insanely great and make it popular through fantastic marketing. As near as I can tell, audiophiles and music lovers who appreciate fidelity pretty much shrug their shoulders at the Beats line of headphones and speakers. Why would Apple buy something that wasn't better than what it could produce on its own?
This is an issue I've been struggling with. Like most of the tech press, I tried to shrug it off with the notion that the fledgling Beats Music subscription business is the key. That Apple is willing to buy the mediocre "products" in order to get the backend subscription deals with music labels, so as to offer something it doesn't yet have itself.
Forget the scraggly trees, right? Just buy the whole damn forest.
However, Apple is a very thoughtful company. It moves with intent. If Apple poured US$3 billion into its own subscription service, it easily could launch a great new service, if not a whole new sub-brand. So what gives?

A Closer Look at Headphones

Despite popular belief, Apple is not a fashion company. Apple produces products that become fashionable -- not because of how they look, but because of how they make customers feel. When you hold an Apple device in your hand -- iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook -- the quality and care is obvious. Even the iPhone 5c is incredibly solid and well-made.
Combine the hardware with the software, which delivers constant positive interactions with the user, and you've got a device that becomes an extension of a person's personality -- in a sense, an element of fashion. Still, Apple didn't set out to be cool -- Apple set out to build great products that, because of their greatness, became cool. As a consequence, Apple became cool, too.
Beats seems to come from a radically different place -- it started with an attempt to create a product that was cool and fashionable -- one that people wanted because it was cool.
That seems anti-Apple.

There's something wrong with this simple explanation, though. It's not deep enough. It's flat and condescending -- not only to Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, but also to the consumers who shelled out for mediocre-plus headphones in cool shiny colors.
So what's going on? Music is about emotion. It creates and modifies moods. It's profoundly biological. What Beats did was build and create a new cue -- a sign of sorts -- in color, format, and logo -- that reminds a person to listen to music and enjoy it, to put on their Beats headphones with intent.

Then the visceral experience of the music reinforces the distinctive design in such a way that users get more joy out of listening to music through their Beats headphones than through other, more generic-looking headphones. Cost and quality become secondary to the repeated experience created by using Beats headphones.
In short, Beats headphones represent a constant reminder to enjoy your music.
This achievement is a big deal. It's not a fad. It's a connection between a product and life enjoyment -- and when the joy is absent, it's a form of addictive self-medication.
I'm not kidding.

Most of us manipulate our energy and moods with a wide variety of tactics and substances -- coffee, alcohol, chocolate, hot showers, exercise, potato chips, drugs. Over the ear headphones (that youngsters will wear in public) create a suddenly immersive music experience. They shield you from the outside world and focus attention on the experience between your ears -- in a way that Apple's iconic white earbuds simply cannot replicate. Earbuds deliver sound, but they don't have the size and shape to trigger a deep physical and emotional signal that focuses your experience the way that large headphones do.

The very act of placing a large set of headphones over your ears creates a cocoon of sound and experience that both shields you from the rigors of the outside world and takes you somewhere else.
Does Tim Cook know this? Maybe. Does Apple? Maybe. I wouldn't be surprised. The most coveted products are always less about fashion than they are about emotion -- the dirty little secret of addiction. (After Flappy Bird -- which nobody accused of being cool -- you would think the connection between product, experience, and addiction would be more thoroughly discussed.)

Enter the Beats Subscription Service

Apple could seek to create its own line of headphones to attempt to create this same sort of buying and using experience. But Apple doesn't have the secret ingredient in high-grade musical addiction anymore -- the connection of mood with device and content.

Beats connects the device (headphones) with the content through its curated streaming music service. The customers trust their moment to the Beats Music curated list. Then, each time a user creates an awesome playlist by connecting current music needs to the service itself -- and is rewarded with a blast of music-delivered emotion -- a reinforced feedback loop is created. Talk about customer loyalty. Talk about viral world-of-mouth marketing. Talk about shared moments hanging out with friends.
Pre-built playlists in iTunes do not invite this sort of surprised customer delight. Apples iTunes Genius just doesn't cut it. And iTunes Radio? The feeling is more akin to tolerating the stream than being connected to it.
Beats is not about headphones or a cool service with licensing deals. Beats is all about one-to-one connection of a brand and subscription service that feeds a person's soul -- and it does it with a profitable product.

I've got to believe that Apple recognized something here that is profoundly different than all the other companies that Apple could have bought.
Like Nest, for example. Nest users appreciate their smart thermostats, no doubt, but do they have a visceral addiction and appreciation for the thermostat? I doubt it. Google buying Nest is a practical way to build a home-based world of Internet-connected things. Facebook buying Oculus VR or WhatsApp is more simply about a big brand expanding its reach. Microsoft buying Nokia is a desperate attempt to wedge open the mobile device door before it slams shut forever. All these acquisitions are about acquiring very simple, tactical products.
Beats is not simple or particularly tactical.

What finally settles it for me is the realization that the acquisition of Beats Electronics is more about the acquisition of a kindred spirit than a new line of business. Sure, the executives from both companies walk entirely differently, but their cores remain similar -- they understand that customers are about experience, and companies that feed a fantastic experience are those who win.
That's worth repeating: Companies that feed a fantastic experience are those who win.
Because the collision of products and services with deep customer experience is such a rare quality, I don't think similar acquisitions are going to happen often at Apple. So yeah, the Beats acquisition is a big deal. Letting the service work with Android and Windows Phone customers is a big deal. But shifting tectonic plates in Cupertino? Not so much after all.

Google Puts Cute Little Rides on the Road

Google is doing all that it can to take the fear factor out of driverless cars. It's new prototype -- it will test 100 or so of these cars this summer -- is as cute as a bug and likely to appeal to older folks who can no longer drive, as well as anyone who would rather be doing something else. Speed demons won't get much of a kick out of it though. The prototype can't move the needle past 25 mph.

Google Puts Cute Little Rides on the Road

Google this week unveiled a prototype that it will test on California roads to learn more about how to make safe and efficient autonomous cars a mainstream reality.

For about four years, Google has been developing self-driving technology that could make the roads safer, and its newly revealed prototype is the latest step in the project.
The tiny vehicle is reminiscent of a Smart car, except for the sensors on top. They're designed to eliminate blind spots and provide a view of more than the length of two football fields in all directions.
Inside, there are two seats with seatbelts, a space for passenger belongings, and a screen displaying the car's route. Missing are a steering wheel and gas and brake pedals. There's a red button a passenger can press to make an emergency stop.
As of now, the vehicle's top speed is 25 mph. The company plans to build about 100 of the prototypes and start testing them later this summer. After running a small pilot program on California roads, Google expects to be able to offer its self-driving vehicle services more widely.

Good Head Start

Google's self-driving research and its prototype are a huge step forward for the industry, said Panagiotis Tsiotras, director of the Dynamics and Control Systems Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. One of its biggest strengths is that a Google vehicle won't be held to the same constraints that a vehicle made by Ford, for instance, would be.
"The introduction of the prototype definitely puts Google ahead of the competition," he told TechNewsWorld. "Google has done a supreme job on integrating many technologies that are required to make a self-driving car a reality. Not being an automotive company, Google has the freedom to pursue untraditional solutions and create new opportunities that are brought about by the absence of a driver -- some of which more traditional car manufacturers would be most likely more reluctant to adopt."
Google's has a good understanding of the importance of self-driving technology, said Alain Kornhauser, professor of operations research and financial engineering, and director of the Transportation Program at Princeton University.
The company isn't trying to convince the masses that they need to run out and buy an autonomous car. Instead, it emphasizes the superior safety features of self-driving technology, all of which appeals to people who want to drive but no longer can, he pointed out.
"Since the speed is limited to 25 mph and the vehicles are small, the application is probably limited to some retirement community in California," he told TechNewsWorld. "However, such a demonstration will go a long way towards validating the safety and reliability of the concept and should get many influential people believing that this is all a real possibility rather than a pipe dream."

Testing and Learning

As impressive as Google's efforts so far have been, the competition won't be far behind, noted Kornhauser.
"This will give everyone a kick in the butt. This is all game-changing in a very big market, so there will be a lot of players," he predicted.
If Google's research continues to go well -- meaning it can improve upon urban driving, human-machine interactions and vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology -- the company has a chance to secure a leading spot in the space, said GIT's Tsiotras.
"As more individuals start to use these self-driving vehicles, the more we will learn about the best way to interact with them," he observed. "All these are very good reasons for Google to release these prototypes, and the announcement has come at the right time.

Can Apple Do for Smart Homes What It Did for Smartphones?

To make its smart home initiative work, Apple will need an effort in line with that which created the iPod -- and Apple just doesn't appear to have that capability without Jobs. The recent Beats acquisition appears to be focused on fixing its decline in music, which suggests Apple simply doesn't have the capability even to hold markets it once owned, let alone conquer new ones.

Can Apple Do for Smart Homes What It Did for Smartphones? 

Maybe. Apple is rumored to be launching a smart home platform at its developer conference this week. The smart home market is actually in a place that's rather similar to where MP3 players were when Apple launched the iPod, and the iPhone is basically an iPod with phone capability.
The smart home effort is in part about music and video distribution, and iPhones are commonly used as remote controls for both consumer electronics and smart home systems. So I think Apple can do this -- but I doubt it will be successful at it, and I'll explain why.
I'll close with my product of the week: an amazing, though not inexpensive, IR scanner you can use to locate where you're wasting energy.

The Problem

Much like the MP3 player market was before Apple took it over, there is no large dominant player driving the smart home market at the moment. The firm I used to automate my home is arguably the best and most comprehensive. Insteon's platform isn't that well known, however. Microsoft's recent effort to partner with it helps, but Microsoft doesn't have the power it once did, and the result is just now hitting the market.
There's a massive number of additional standards floating around in the market at the moment, most of which don't interoperate well. Creating and using smart home technology is more like conducting a science experiment, at the moment, than it is about developing a user-friendly solution. In other words, this is likely an ideal market for a company like Apple to take over.

The Competition

There are three other major companies chasing this opportunity. Perhaps the scariest is Google, which would get unprecedented access to your personal behavior from this and could subsidize the result aggressively into an offering that a product company would have a hard time matching. Unlike the history of smartphones, Google isn't lagging but leading Apple into this market with its NEST acquisition. It recently bypassed Apple both in brand value and in mobile device market share, suggesting it can move faster -- making it impossible for Apple to catch it from behind.
Microsoft is partnering with the firm I believe is the current smart home market leader (Insteon clearly has an advantageous brand). It has a solution that is far more complete than Google's, ranging from switches to integrated sensors and cameras. Microsoft also has new leadership and a vastly more optimized structure, which should allow it to compete more aggressively than it did in the last decade.
BlackBerry has the QNX operating platform, which is near dominant in commercial automation. It is widely used in efforts ranging from manufacturing to nuclear plant automation, as well as in automobiles. It is arguably the most mature and secure effort, and both maturity and security could be huge competitive advantages in a market concerned about attackers gaining access to cameras to violate privacy -- or worse, carrying out home invasions. BlackBerry is aggressively going after this opportunity as a major part of its turnaround effort.

Wrapping Up: Why Apple Likely Will Fail

Jobs personally drove the effort to capture the music market and then drove that success into smartphones. The video effort that followed while he was ill and after he died largely failed to corner the video market, and Netflix, Amazon and Google became stronger as a result.
To make its smart home initiative work, Apple will need an effort in line with that which created the iPod -- and Apple just doesn't appear to have that capability without Jobs. The recent Beats acquisition appears to be focused on fixing its decline in music, which suggests Apple simply doesn't have the capability even to hold markets it once owned, let alone conquer new ones.
So, while the timing is excellent, the unique capability that created dominance in music -- which would be critical to its success in home automation -- just doesn't seem to exist anymore, and that leaves the market open to others that are better funded (Google), better positioned (BlackBerry), or have better partnering skills (Microsoft).
Apple still could pull a rabbit out of a hat -- but since Steve died, there has been a severe lack of Apple rabbits and Apple hats. For its rumored smart home effort to succeed, it would need to find both.