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Computing giant HP will lay off 34,000 employees by the end of 2014, the company confirmed in its annual report to the Securities Exchange Commission. The layoff total, previously noted in the firm's October financial filings, is up 5,000 from the figure HP gave in September, and it marks a continuation of massive staff reductions at the company. The cuts will amount to nearly 11 percent of HP's total workforce, as the computer maker has struggled to adapt to the new consumer computing paradigm.
As is usually done after the holidays, a survey of tweets bragging that someone "got an iPad" or "Got a Kindle" on Twitter has shown yet again that iOS devices are in a class by themselves when it comes to owner pride or excitement -- and provides yet another real-world indicator that end-user sales of competing devices may not match up with "shipments" reports. A test by Topsy Analytics found that iOS devices still have no real rivals.
Every company that can design an enclosure and cram some speakers into it is vying for the eye of music aficionados. There is no end in sight for the numerous configurations of Bluetooth-enabled speakers for those that need something greater than the sound a mobile device offers -- at some point the market will hit maximum saturation. Until then, companies like Tylt (pronounced 'tilt') will throw their hat into the ring with devices like the Tunz Speaker. Does this speaker easily join a field full of mediocre sounds? Or will their Bluetooth offering rise with the cream to the top? Check our review to find out.
Samsung Electronics will release a new Chromebook next year, according to a new report. Business Korea on Monday said that the South Korean tech giant will push out a new Chromebook in the near future, with a possible unveiling set for next year's Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung, though, has pushed back against that latter prediction.
Both the Mac and iOS versions of Twitter client Tweetbot have been updated recently, bringing support for images in direct messages (reflecting an upcoming change in Twitter itself) as well has generally improving how the apps handle images overall. Both also received the usual "various bug fixes," with the Mac version specifically fixing a problem with reading unread feed items. Twitter has not yet publicly implemented images in direct messages, but will soon.
FitBit has announced an update to its iOS fitness app, released today in the App Store. FitBit allows users to monitor their exercise activity with their iPhone, track their stats and set fitness goals. Version 2.1 of FitBit features MobileTrack, which utilizes the M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5s to track basic activity as it occurs.
Earlier today, the Nokia versus HTC patent fight in Germany came to a dramatic close, as Nokia has been awarded a complete product embargo against all HTC Android devices sold in the country. The embargo is provisional upon appeal, but immediately enforceable when Nokia posts a 400 million Euro ($550 million) bond.
Start-ups offering app-based driver services in France will have to wait for 15 minutes before picking up a customer from January onwards, according to a new bill by the French government. The bill, which affects Uber, LeCab, SnapCar, and other similar services, is an attempt by the government to appease taxi drivers in the country, those who stand to lose heavily from the start-ups.
Archos has outlined the range of devices it is preparing for CES next week, including a number of wearable items and some destined for use in the home. A smartwatch and a fitness tracker will be accompanied by a set of "connected objects" centered around home automation, and a separate 7-inch "Home Gateway" Android tablet that will act as a central hub for the collection.
A barricade sign has gone up for Apple's new store in Brisbane, Australia, reports note. While it doesn't mention a particular launch date, such signs typically appear about 10 to 14 days ahead of an Apple retail opening. Since the company normally prefers to debut stores on the weekend, January 10th or the 11th may be the most likely window.
Apple has hired Arem Duplessis to serve as a creative director at the company beginning in February, an interview reveals. Duplessis is generally unknown to the public, but has worked as the design director for The New York Times Magazine for almost 10 years. Before that, he was a design director with the magazines Spin and GQ.
Google is working with Audi to use Android with in-car systems for information and entertainment, according to a report. The two companies will allegedly announce their partnership at CES next week, with the efforts said to involve Android running on the car's own hardware, instead of communicating with an external device, such as with "iOS in the Car."
The latest version of Picasa for Mac (and Windows) now includes an installation of a separate utility called Google+ Auto Backup. Google+ Auto Backup is a simple tool that allows users to select the folders desired for automatic backup, and works in the background.
A device claimed to be a "very rare original iPhone engineering prototype" has sold for $1,499 on eBay. The unit is physically similar to the first-generation iPhone, but has unusual markings in the back, including "Ver. 1.1.1," and numbers associated with different wireless bands including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GSM 800/900/1800/1900. The unit is also depicted running previously-seen test software for components like sensors and audio hardware; interestingly, a "touch" component is included, even though fingerprint recognition didn't arrive on the iPhone until this year's iPhone 5s.
BlackBerry's new CEO, John Chen, has spoken out against the company's critics and reiterated his turnaround plan, according to a commentary posted by CNBC. Despite a $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter, the executive argues that BlackBerry is "strong financially, technologically savvy, and well-positioned for the future."
Asus could be preparing a trio of smartphones to show off at CES next month, if rumors based on the company's second video teaser are to be believed. The clip, asking "What's your number?" and focusing on the numbers 4, 5, and 6, could be suggesting that Asus will be showing off three devices sporting a 4-inch, 5-inch, and a 6-inch display.
Chromebooks surged ahead in 2013 to become a major player in US commercial computer sales, according to new NPD data. Between January and November of this year, some 14.4 million desktops, laptops, and tablets were sold. Of these about 9.6 percent were Chromebooks; in 2012, by contrast, the platform represented just 0.2 percent of sales. Companies are presumably choosing Chromebooks because of their laptop-style features and their cost, which can be as little as $199, cheaper even than many low-end tablets.
Just 11 days after revealing a 105-inch curved Ultra HD television it will be showing at CES, Samsung has put a similar-sized television on sale. The 110-inch UHD television forms part of the same product family as the 85-inch S9 television it launched at the start of this year, with the flat 4K-resolution panel encased in its own freestanding metal frame.
Samsung has revealed its first 8 gigabit (1GB) low-power DDR4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM, something Samsung believes to be the largest density available for DRAM components today. Built using a 20-nanometer process, the single-layer chip could lead to the company offering smartphones and mobile devices with 4GB of RAM in the future, eclipsing current models such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 which currently use 3GB of RAM.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has the ability to bug computers and peripherals being shipped to customers from retail, says a new report allegedly laying out more of the agency's surveillance activities. Some orders for electronics can apparently get redirected to the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group, run by the NSA, which can secretly add hardware devices and malware to the unit before resealing and forwarding it on to the customer.
Apple is continuing its "12 Days of Gifts" promotion, which allows iOS users to download a free gift every day (including, for the first time, US users). Monday's Day 5 present is a free copy of the Martin Scorsese film Hugo in the US and Canada, while in the UK the movie is instead the Christmas classic Home Alone (the films normally sell for around $15-$18). The movie is available in 1080p, 720p ("HD") and standard definition.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.48 ( -0.53 )
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X