Playstation Store puts 30 games on sale for $1 each
Sony has announced a flash sale on its Playstation Store, offering 30 games on sale for $1 each. Classic titles such as Braid, Everyday Shooter, Gotham City Impostors, Plants vs Zombies and more are available for PS3, PSP and PS Vista. The Playstation Store's flash sale runs until April 21 at 7AM PST.
Launches mobile app to help users design, implement iBeacon-based 'SensorTags'
Veteran embedded chip and automotive systems maker Texas Instruments has announced plans to incorporate Apple's iBeacon technology in many of the company's forthcoming Bluetooth products, saying that "there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology" beyond its presence popular use in retail shops, restaurants and stadiums. TI will be adding iBeacons to its SimpleLink line of automotive micro-controllers, and it WiLink navigation systems.
TransferWise money transfer app now available for Android
London-based startup TransferWise has launched a native Android app, allowing users to transfer money between currencies. A peer-to-peer service, TransferWise facilitates direct money transfers to users in other countries. Six months earlier, TransferWise had released an iOS native app, with the "app" for Android users available on Google Play until today being only a shortcut to its website. Free to download, TransferWise for Android is compatible with Android 2.3 or later.
Sony announces upcoming massive multiplayer game to launch in next 4-6 weeks
Sony has announced the upcoming release of a new massive multiplayer survival zombie game, based on an Internet hoax from 2009. Entitled H1Z1, the game plays off of a hoax that claimed that the "swine flu" virus, H1N1, has mutated into the cause of a phenomenon that turns the dead into zombies. Set 15 years after the virus first affects people, Sony's emphasis will be on player ownership and building a variety of objects, including weaponry and houses. H1Z1 will be made available on Steam's Early Access for $20, though beyond the 4-6 week estimate there is currently no official release date for the game.
Facebook reduces "Like-bait" posts, spam, repetitive content from News Feed
Facebook today announced its intention to reduce the clutter on its News Feed feature, by reducing stores that users report as spam, or dislike. According to the company's newsroom release, Facebook will focus on content considered "like-bait", when a post explicitly asks reader to like, comment or share it to gain distribution; frequently circulated content, that becomes repetitive throughout a feed; and spam links, such as when a post claims to be a photo album or other content, and upon click-through is only advertisement. Facebook's engineers claim that this content reduction will affect the small set of publishers who frequently and intentionally creating feed spam, and not the majority of publishers on Facebook.
Best Buy offers Windows XP laptop trade-in credit of $100 or more
In light of the discontinuation of support for Windows XP by Microsoft, Best Buy has announced a new trade-in credit program. Between now and April 19, customers can receive a minimum of $100 of credit toward the purchase of a new computer, when bringing in a functional Windows XP running laptop to a Best Buy location. A $25 gift card plus a discount coupon valued at $75 will be issued upon assessment of the device brought in.
Uber announces UberRush courier service, beginning exclusively in New York City
Ride service app Uber has announced the testing of its new courier service, UberRush. Beginning in New York City, UberRush will appear on users' home screens, allowing customers to have small goods delivered by bike or foot courier. As opposed to an on-demand delivery service that is based on an order, UberRush has couriers picking up objects from Uber users and delivering them to a specific address as determined by the customer. The base fare for deliveries is $15, with delivery zoning factoring in potential additional costs. UberRush will become available to users starting tomorrow.
New drive has highest data density of any server-class drive
Storage company Seagate Technology today announced it is now shipping a 6TB hard disk drive -- the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4. The drive comes in two versions, 12Gb/s SAS and 6Gb/s SATA, with a variety of encryption and secure data destruction options.
iFixit partners with Fairphone, aims to reduce cell phone waste
Do-it-yourself repair guide company iFixit has announced its plan to partner with Dutch social enterprise Fairphone. Fairphone's aim has been to address the wastefulness and disposability of the cell phone market; Fairphone is offering a cell phone that ships with its own set of repair guides through a preinstalled iFixit app. The Fairphone sources its parts from conflict-free manufacturers, and with a published cost breakdown available for the phone, one can know exactly what is being paid for upon purchasing.
Does the Ooma Office live up to promises of 'crystal-clear calls?'
Voice over IP (VoIP) services have been around for a very long time. Only recently has the implementation become a bit more robust, allowing for businesses to shift the majority of their telephony to the devices. One of the foremost devices in the field right now is the Ooma Office suite. The hardware promises to revolutionize all office communications for a lower monthly price than traditional telecommunications providers. Can it really do all it claims to? Read our review to find out.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Program combines Microsoft offerings into one centrally-managed program
In parallel with the unveiling of Office for the iPad, Microsoft has also debuted a "holistic" approach to enterprise mobile device control. The new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is a cross-platform approach, encompassing Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, to control permissions, manage data access, and retain separation of personal and business-oriented data on a device, all with cloud-centric management.
Tool aimed at non-developers
Suite would improve current multiplatform support
Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.
New tool forces encryption on device, monitors transfers across network
Security solutions provider CoSoSys has released Endpoint Protector 4, the first digital loss prevention tool that provides enforced encryption on removable storage devices. The new app suite aims to secure sensitive data and prevent data loss on computers in a "bring your own computer" environment using OS X.
PCIe-interface drive allows for maximum throughput
Samsung Electronics announced today that its 1.6 terabyte (TB) non-volatile memory express (NVMe) solid state drive has been released to manufacturing partners. Samsung is the first in the world to ship PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) SSDs using an NVMe protocol. The 1.6TB, 2.5-inch, SFF-8639 NVMe PCIe SSD provides a sequential read speed of three gigabits per second, while being able to process random read data at up to 750,000 IOPS (input output operations per second), which is more than three times as fast as conventional high-end SAS 12Gbps SSD storage options.
Long time coming, but BYOD movement paying dividends to Apple
Another survey of Macs in the workplace has both reinforced older studies as well as added surprising news about the growing acceptance of Macs in the workplace -- long thought to be the unassailable domain of Windows PCs. Virtualization software maker Parallels has polled more than 200 IT chiefs in its latest study, and found that nearly half -- 45 percent -- of the companies surveyed now offer their employees the option of using a Mac at work, and find the platform "more reliable" for both Mac and Windows application use.
Roku for iOS updates interface, adds remote control feature
Roku's remote control iOS app has received an update, offering a refreshed user interface that controls the Roku set-top box hardware. The app requires an iOS device to be connected to the same network as a Roku player, and facilitates controlling and accessing various media content. In v3.0.0 of Roku's iOS app, users now have access to searching Roku content on one's iPhone, by entering a movie, show, actor, or director and exploring the results. By connecting to any Roku player on one's network, the app can control it, playing photos, music or video. The app's overall visual design has been revamped, and miscellaneous bug fixes are included. Roku for iOS requires iOS 6.0 or later, and is free to download.
Mavericks server 3.1 pulled, version 3.1.1 posted with no changelog
Having released OS X Server for Mavericks nearly a week ago, Apple on Monday replaced the former 3.1 version available on the Mac App Store with a revised version, 3.1.1, which does not list any differences or bug fixes from the previous 3.1 release. The previous and current release both list a number of improvements, including new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Device Manager; new management of fonts, AirPrint and Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 settings, and improved Activation Lock use for admins. The suite costs $20 for new users, but the updated version is free for existing 3.x users.
Square now offering POS platform in Spanish
Point-of-Sale card payment service Square has released its app Square Register in Spanish today. Square Register, available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, allows businesses to accept card payments in-store. The web-based dashboard as well as its online selling platform, Square Market, now also support Spanish. Square's services are currently available to business owners in US, Canada and Japan.
Capital investment intended to compete against Amazon, Microsoft
Networking company Cisco is commencing an initiative to enter the cloud computing industry. The giant has announced plans to launch Cisco Cloud Services, a program similar to Amazon's distributed offering, with a capital expenditure of $1 billion over the next two years.
BlackBerry reaches agreement on selling majority of its Canadian real estate
BlackBerry announced last Friday that it has reached an agreement to sell the majority of its real estate in Canada, as part of its plan to balance finances. The company originally announced its plan to sell assets back in January, in partnership with commercial real estate service company CBRE. Several months ago, BlackBerry sold five of its buildings to the University of Waterloo for $36.44 million dollars -- much of the real estate that has been sold most recently is also located in Waterloo, Ontario, where BlackBerry's headquarters resides. BlackBerry plans to lease back a portion of the space being sold.
Google a distant second in brand value, separate of market cap
In a report released on Tuesday, Brand Finance compiled a list of 500 US "billion-dollar brands" and found Apple to be at the top of the pyramid, with a brand name worth an estimated $104.6 billion -- far ahead of any rivals. The value of the brand name, which is a separate valuation from things like "market cap" or total asset value, is estimated by calculating the royalty rate one would need to license the brand, along with expected future revenue.
Vimeo acquires video recording, editing and sharing app Cameo
Vimeo has announced today that it has acquired video shooting, editing and sharing video iPhone app Cameo. Offering a two-minute maximum sequence length, Cameo differs from short-form video apps such as Vine and Instagram. Users can change the order of the clips, add music and invite friends to contribute with their own footage. Themes build on a traditional filter with caption font, color tweaks and effects. The terms of Vimeo's deal with Cameo has not been disclosed, however it has been stated that the app will not be shut down at present.
Server offers Profile Manager improvements, ARD adds Mavericks support
Apple on Monday updated OS X Server, bringing version 3.1 out of beta after a number of developer previews, and updated Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) to version 3.7.2 as well. The Mavericks OS X Server 3.1, which now requires 10.9.2 to run, is available from the Mac Developer Portal or Software Update, and includes new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Profile Manager. The ARD brings support for Mavericks and bug fixes.
Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system features compact size, Airplay compatibility
Eclipse TD has announced the upcoming availability of its wireless speaker system, the Eclipse TD-M1. The M1 aims to reproduce the sound of music played live, incorporating a non-oversampling DA converter (NOS-DAC) for clear listening. Its egg-shaped form is designed to suppress internal standing waves, as well as minimize the diffraction effect that occurs from the front baffle angle. Featuring wireless music playback, the M1 is AirPlay compatible for high-resolution sound from any recent Apple computer or device. Touch sensors and LED indicators provide intuitive use and reduce clutter of its design, removing the need for buttons. The Eclipse TD-M1 has a dedicated iOS app available for remote control functionality, offering power on or off, volume adjustment and input switching functionality. Available for purchase beginning March 31, the Eclipse TD-M1 speaker system is priced at $1,300.
Politics over Surface causing lost revenue; alternatives being adopted
Tired of waiting for Microsoft's flagship suite, Office, to be ported to iOS devices like the iPad, companies have turned to alternative means to create, revise and distribute documents in increasingly-mobile enterprise, institutional, small-business and collaborative workflows -- costing the Windows maker an estimated $2.5 billion annually in potential revenue. Sources say iPad and iPhone versions exist and are ready to go -- simply awaiting a release date complicated by politics.
Institutional and volume buyers now get better price break
Organizations and enterprises that spend more than $5,000 a year on Apple products will be seeing an increased discount on volume buying of Apple hardware. Apple as of last week has improved its hardware volume purchasing discount, and added the unlocked iPhone and Apple TV to the program for the first time. The improvement in discount ranges from one to three percent, depending on the level of annual spending on Apple products.
AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers without contact
AT&T has announced wireless data price cuts to individual customers that do not have annual service contracts. Done in an attempt to rival its competitor, T-Mobile, customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that features 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50GB of cloud storage. Those who have two smartphones will now pay $90 per month.
Sony announces PlayStation 4 sales exceed 6 million units globally this week
As of March 2, Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console system has cumulatively sold through more than six million units globally. Software sales currently total over 1.37 million copies sold in retail stores, as well as through digital downloads. Over 370,000 console units have been sold in Japan since its launch in the region on February 22. The PS4 system is currently available in 57 countries worldwide.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
New version enhances business use at cost of some personality
FileMaker Pro 13 is the first new version of the venerable database software since the company opted to kill of its consumer-friendly Bento software, and brings some of that influence into the fold -- such as new themes, easier import and a more-streamlined web-publishing feature to compliment FileMaker 12's mobile savvy. Is it worth the upgrade? Are databases still useful outside business or enterprise? Read on to find out.
Apple changes and adds to mobile device management programs
Ahead of the release of iOS 7.1, expected in the middle of next month, Apple has proceeded with an overhaul of its existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms for educational, enterprise and institutional clients. It launched a new Volume Services web site earlier this month, and has now activated a number of features on that site, kicking off a big push for large-scale iOS deployments.
Barnes & Noble announces plans to launch new Nook devices in early 2015
Barnes & Noble has released its third quarter financial results today, which highlights narrowed losses compared to previous reports. In addition, the company has announced its plan to launch a new Nook color e-reader in early fiscal 2015. As reported last June, Barnes & Noble suffered losses on its Nook tablet lines, and subsequently announced its move to co-brand future Nook tablets with third-party manufacturers. This move was to assume less risk in production, while still earning money from devices sold and allowing for room to focus on its digital bookstore.
Will allow people to preorder from digital menus
Mobile payment service Square is testing out a new app called Pickup, reports say. Priceonomics notes the app is currently in beta with some San Francisco restaurants, and lets people order takeout food in advance of showing up. This is possible because the app has access to participating restaurants' menus, and lets people pay through Square.
RealPlayer Cloud now available for international users
RealNetworks has announced today that RealPlayer Cloud is now available for international users. RealPlayer Cloud provides users with 2GB of free cloud storage space, with additional storage available through subscription plans starting at $5 per month for 25GB of data. The app offers users moving, watching and sharing of videos with any user on any device, across platforms, supporting a wide variety of video formats.
Opera Software launches mobile internet packages sponsored to cover customer cost
Opera Software has announced the launch of its Sponsored Web Pass product, offering mobile Internet packages to consumers that provide free data. Operators can team up with advertisers to sponsor the cost of customers' mobile Internet access, in time- or content-based increments. By watching a short ad from a corporate sponsor prior to viewing selected content, users can then engage with the content in their (free) Web Pass for its duration. When the Sponsored Web Pass expires, users are given the opportunity to opt-out of continuing using data. Operators interested in utilizing Opera's Web Pass can contact Opera Software.
Follows shortly after latest OS X 10.9.2 beta
Apple is seeding a new build of the OS X Server 3.1 beta to developers, reports say. The code is identified as build 13S4101b. So far, any further improvements have gone undiscovered.
Changes won't affect most of the public
iOS 7.1 should ship "around March 15," and incorporate an overhaul of Apple's existing mobile device management (MDM) platform, a source tells AppleInsider. The company is said to be working with several MDM vendors and institutional clients on the overhaul. It has already launched a new Volume Services website, which is reportedly still in testing but includes options like "Automate MDM Enrollment" and "Buy Apps and Books in Volume." The new tools are expected to go live around the same time as iOS 7.1.
Security startup SlickLogin purchased by Google
Israeli security startup SlickLogin has announced that it will be joining Google, in light of the company's recent buyout. Aiming to offer a simplistic yet secure method of user authentication, SlickLogin's users can authorize access to a secure account by placing their phone next to their laptop or tablet, which emits an undetectable sound. The sound acts as a unique audio password, and utilizes patent-pending technologies. Google's acquisition of SlickLogin suggests that its two-factor authentication technology may be replaced in the future.
Marriott Hotels rolls out mobile check-out feature
Marriott Hotels is introducing a new mobile checkout feature, allowing its guests to check out of their room by using the Marriott Mobile App. As early as 4AM on the day of scheduled departure, guests will be notified on their smartphone that mobile check-out is available. App users provide their email address to receive their bill, and can leave room keys in the room. The new feature accompanies the already-available mobile check-in function that was launched last July on the Marriott Hotel app in the US and Canada. The Marriott Hotel app can be downloaded free for iOS and Android devices on iTunes and Google Play, respectively.
DaaS allows Chromebooks to run cloud-based Windows apps
Chrome OS users will be able to use traditional Windows apps in the future, Google has announced. Working with VMWare, the two companies have developed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for enterprise users, allowing companies to run Windows apps on servers with the intention of letting Chrome OS devices connect and stream the content directly to the Chromebook or Chromebox.
iPhones account for vast majority of devices
iOS devices represented some 73 percent of all enterprise mobile device activations during the December quarter, a new Good Technology report claims. The data (PDF) comes from customers of the company's Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform, but includes a number of Fortune 500 companies spread across different sectors. Good notes that it saw overall activations grow 34 percent between Q1 and Q4.
Improves reports, dashboard
Ntractive has released Elements CRM 5.5, a major interim update of its of its customer management software for the Mac. The software now includes two new resolution modes, Mobile and Desktop. The latter is meant to take better advantage of iMacs and dedicated monitors, and also makes more dashboard data visible.
Whole Foods become second large-scale customer of Square
Natural foods grocery chain Whole Foods has plans to integrate Square's iPad cash registers into its stores, with a few of its locations already implementing the devices. Whole Foods has signed a deal to put Square's iPad-based payment systems inside US grocery locations, where they will be used at counters that sell ready-to-consume products, such as pizza, sandwiches, and beverages, for the purpose of supplementing conventional checkouts. Customers will be able to pay for 'quick purchases' at the cash register with credit and debit cards, cash, and the Square Wallet smartphone app (in some locations). Whole Foods is the second major company to adopt Square's payment system.
Web interface gets HTML5 video, ZIP file support
CrushFTP has released a major update of its self-named enterprise-oriented FTP software, v7.0. One change for enterprise users only is the addition of a job scheduler, which can also run jobs in intervals. Events in the app now have a visual task-designing interface, and the progress of tasks can be monitored in real-time. Tasks are also more resilient, surviving server restarts and allowing handoffs to secondary servers. A dashboard is available to server administrators.
Orders must cost at least $25,000
Apple is offering a select group of companies up to 20 percent off leases for the 2013 Mac Pro, a new report claims. Eligible businesses must be in the US, and placing orders for at least $25,000 of hardware with a 24-month lease period. Even then, it's believed that only some companies are receiving the offer via email notices.
Kickstarter for alternative cloud service and device combo exceeds its campaign goal
San Franciscan siblings Karisma and Sam Nagar have successfully crowd-funded their cloud device and service Pixeom, with eleven days to spare in its Kickstarter campaign. The Pixeom Exchange Device is a prototype that offers an alternative to corporate cloud services that require access to its users' information to use its digital space. Aiming to facilitate a new type of data exchange for Internet users, Pixeom functions by centralizing one's own cloud network in a personal home device, as opposed to a large, remote data center. All of a user's cloud service needs will be supported within the device at a one-time purchasing cost, facilitating storage, social networking, and online auctioning functions that focus on privacy.
Software creates 'video walls,' digital signage, remains Mac-exclusive
Renewed Vision has unveiled its Mac-exclusive ProVideoPlayer (PVP) version 2.0, sporting improvements and new features alongside a rewritten application and redesigned user interface in what the company says is the culmination of eight years of real-world experience with using the software in live presentations, installations and other events. The software is used for digital signage, video walls and other professional video presentations.
Years after discontinuing enterprise products, post-PC era reaps benefits
Largely overlooked by analysts and investors obsessed with Apple's iPhone segment -- to the exclusion of otherwise strong revenues and growth -- were new numbers on Apple's penetration of the enterprise market, which has seen tremendous growth in the latest figures. Bolstered by BlackBerry's unravelling and a shift towards letting employees use their own preferences for mobile devices, Apple completely dominates the mobile enterprise market.