Tuesday, May 20, 2014

drag2share: HTC's One M8 Ace squeezes high-end specs into a prettier, cheaper body

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/htc-one-m8-ace/

HTC's One M8 isn't even two months old yet and it's already sparked a few spin-offs. We're not just talking about the One mini 2, either: a render of the oft-rumored One M8 Ace started making the rounds on Chinese tech blogs earlier today, and we've been able to confirm the image in fact depicts the real deal. Haven't been keeping tabs on the M8's myriad spawn? Well, the Ace (which could bear the Style or Fashion Edition moniker in China) seeks to cram top-tier performance into a more attractive, more affordable package.

Things to note: this device isn't the sequel to the Butterfly S people have been talking about . No, it's a rejiggered version of the existing One M8 that shares the same 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset and 5-inch 1080p screen as the version floating around in Asia. The big differences is that those components are packed into a more colorful chassis made of plastic... so much for the aluminum and liquid silicone mix that's rumored to comprise the One M8 Prime's body.

Not every one of the M8's niceties made the leap into the Ace, sadly -- the render seems to lack that fancy Duo camera and the IR blaster built into the sleep/wake button. There's no word yet on when the Ace will make its grand debut, but expect it to launch in mainland China first before possibly trickling onto store shelves around the world down the road. For what it's worth though, HTC's been doing just a little teasing of its own -- it warned its Twitter followers last night that "more beautiful curves are coming soon," so the wait for something new and shiny shouldn't be too long.

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drag2share: Sigfox brings its internet of things network to San Francisco

Source: http://gigaom.com/2014/05/20/sigfox-brings-its-internet-of-things-network-to-san-francisco/

Over the next few months, a new wireless network will go live in the Bay Area from San Francisco down to Silicon Valley. This network won’t be connecting calls to your mobile phone or your laptop to Wi-Fi. Instead it will connect the internet of things, communicating tiny bits of information to sensors, appliances and industrial machinery and even consumer gadgets like wearables.

The network is being built by Sigfox, a global ISP that specializes in the internet of things. It’s been building an ultra-narrowband wireless data network using the same 900 MHz band used by cellular phones and baby monitors in France, Spain and Russia. The network only transmits the smallest amount of information at a mere 100 bits per second, but it can support millions of connections. In comparison a cellular network can support a lot faster speeds, but far fewer connections.

A photo of the Bay Bridge taken with the Phantom 2 Vision above San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. Photo by Signe Brewster

A photo of the Bay Bridge taken with the Phantom 2 Vision above San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. Photo by Signe Brewster

A utility meter or a traffic sensor only needs to transmit intermittently and only a few of packets of data. Due to the networks sub-gigahertz frequencies it can space its towers much further apart than the typical cellular network, and the power it takes to transmit is a fraction of what cellular-connected radio could offer. The cost of cellular connectivity and equipment is high, so Sigfox is building an alternate network specifically optimized and priced for that kind of low-bandwidth communication.

Sigfox is starting out small in the U.S. Its SF network is being built by the company itself, but it hopes to expand to new cities with a carrier partner, said Thomas Nicholls, head of marketing and communications for Sigfox. It’s also expanding into in the U.K., announcing last week that it is working with Arqiva to build its network in that country’s 10 largest cities.

A Sigfox module (Source: Sigfox)

A Sigfox module (Source: Sigfox)

Nicholls said Sigfox is currently talking to several companies ranging from utilities about connected meters, municipal governments about smart applications and even consumer-facing device makers about linking internet-of-things gadgets directly to its network.

Sigfox is going to be very interesting company to watch as it dips its toes in the U.S. Technologies ranging from Bluetooth to cellular and Zigbee to Z-Wave are all angling to be the connectivity fabric that glues the internet of things together. Sigfox is proposing that the internet of things might just need its own dedicated internet.

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
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drag2share: Amazing NASA Footage Shows What It's Really Like On The Surface Of The Sun

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-footage-of-sun-surface-2014-5

NASA recently released footage that shows the roaring activity on the surface of the sun in incredible detail.

"We zoomed in almost to our maximum level to watch tight, bright loops and much longer, softer loops shift and sway," NASA notes in its description of the footage, which was captured on May 13. "This type of dynamic activity continues almost non-stop on the Sun as opposing magnetic forces tangle with each other."

Check it out:

nasasungif2.gif

h/t @coreyspowell

SEE ALSO: Watch The Sun Rise And Set And Rise Again From The International Space Station

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drag2share: Ubuntu Just Put the Cloud in This Small, Orange Box

Source: http://gizmodo.com/ubuntu-just-put-the-cloud-in-this-small-orange-box-1578876565

Ubuntu Just Put the Cloud in This Small, Orange Box

Ubuntu might not have a perfect track record with hardware , but why let that stop it! Now it's decided to put the cloud in a box. A bright orange box.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

drag2share: Google Bought One Of The Hottest Enterprise Android Startups (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-buys-divide-2014-5

Divide Andrew Toy

Google announced today that it bought Divide, a company that makes a popular app that lets you securely access corporate documents and email from your phone.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Divide, founded in 2010, has raised $23 million from venture investors including Google's own VC arm, Google Ventures.

Divide was founded by former Morgan Stanley IT professionals who led the bank's mobile app development. The startup wanted to find a way to give IT departments all the control over corporate apps and data that they needed when people accessed them via their private smartphones and tablets, without giving IT the authority to completely wipe all data from someone's personal device.

As its name implies, this app divides an Android device into personal space and business space. In geek speak, this kind of app is called a "secure container." It's not the only app that does such a thing. VMware Horizon is another, and Samsung offers this on its Android devices too, via a feature called Samsung Knox.

But Divide was a really popular secure container app, downloaded over 200,000 times as of last October, TechCrunch reported. And users rated it with a four stars out of five on the Google Play app store.

According to the blog post from the Divide team, Divide is joining Google as an acquihire and the app will continue to be developed and supported "as it always has."

SEE ALSO: 12 Hot Data Center Startups To Watch

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drag2share: Getting Streaming Video Onto Screens Takes A Huge Amount Of Bandwidth รข This Is How It Works

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/streaming-video-onto-screens-takes-a-huge-amount-of-bandwidth-2014-5

Slide1Internet traffic has exploded. That's largely thanks to the growth of video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, and Twitch.  

Video files are massive in data terms, and rather than traveling over the open web unaided they often require sophisticated infrastructure to get them from content providers to audiences. 

In a new report from BI Intelligence on the online video streaming ecosystem, we explain the complexities and conflicts shaping this video delivery ecosystem, and examine the dynamic role played by content providers, content delivery networks, provider-run CDNs, transit providers, internet service providers, and peering agreements. 

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here are the key dynamics surrounding the video streaming ecosystem: 

The report is full of charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use. 

In full, the report:

 CDNTrafficShare2013

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drag2share: The First Multi-Cellular Digital Organism Is About To Be Brought To Life

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/first-digital-organism-is-coming-to-life-2014-5

openworm kickstarter 1.gif

The first animal to have its genome mapped is about to be the first to be completely re-created in the digital world.

This is thanks to a Kickstarter project called OpenWorm, which will digitally construct the roundworm C. elegans. Biology has already assembled a thorough picture of this microscopic worm since it is made up of only 1,000 cells. Not only has its genome been sequenced, scientists have mapped its complete development.

OpenWorm's cofounders hope that by recreating "the most studied organism in all of biology," in a digital space, they can help illuminate diseases, like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, which have "proto-equivalents" whose origins can be studied in the tiny worm.

worm tour.gif

Those who pledged the Kickstarter (which just closed) will receive access to "WormSim" the latest incarnation of OpenWorm. "Think Sim City or Google Earth, but for worms," said the Steven Larson, the cofounder of OpenWorm in the Kickstarter video.

What exactly is a worm simulation?

"When we say simulation, we are specifically referring to writing computer programs that use equations from physics that are applied to what we know about the worm," Larson told io9."Through this simulation we want to understand how its proto-brain controls its muscles to move its body around an environment, and then how the environment is interpreted by the proto-brain."

The WormSim program will allow users to view and rotate the worm in 3D, o! bserve t he worm's motions and the muscles driving them, and explore the traits of individual cells.

C. elegans, pictured in the flesh below, isn't the first organism whose biology has gone digital (that award goes to a small bacteria), but it is the first animal. C. elegans is also the most biologically well-understood organism with a brain, making it an ideal organism to simulate. It has even been the subject of three Nobel prize winning projects.

c. elegans.gif

So why have researchers all over the world dedicated decades to studying a tiny slithery creature?

It's partly due to the animal's transparency, which allows scientists to watch the worm's cells — even those under its skin — develop and move around the body. By tagging cells with glowing or colored proteins, they've been able to map all 302 of its neurons and all of its neural connections. They've also mapped how each cell divides and moves while the worm develops.

And because C. elegans is actually an animal, it's our relative on the evolutionary tree. We are similar enough cellularly that studying the worm's biology can illuminate the workings of more complex organisms.

Despite being only 1,000 cells, the worm has many genetic similarities to humans. It also displays many complex traits such as learning and social behaviors.

The worm is expected to be released in May 2015.

Watch a recent simulation:

SEE ALSO: An Unmanned Submarine Imploded 6 Miles Under The Ocean Surface

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drag2share: Netflix's Recommendations Are About To Get Even Better

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/jBF3myOFPwg/netflix-recommendations-to-improve-2014-5

Netflix is working on improving the way it recommends television shows and movies. 

"Our vision is, you won't see a grid and you won't see a sea of titles," Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said at Internet Week in New York City.

This comes just a couple of months after Netflix started moving into a field of research known as artificial intelligence technology called "deep learning" to suggest better content.

The goal of the technology is to stop suggesting movies and shows based on what you've seen. Instead, it aims to make recommendations based on what you actually like about your favorite shows and movies.

Right now, Netflix looks at the things you watch, and based on stuff like actors, genre, and filming location, it offers suggestions.

So if you like "Parks and Recreation," you're likely going to see a bunch of suggestions for shows like "The Office" and "30 Rock."

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drag2share: 4 Barbecue Festivals Worth Traveling For This Summer

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/summer-bbq-festivals-2014-5

Memphis World Championship Barbecue

If you're an ambitious gastrotourist, you can find great barbecue festivals happening around the U.S. all year long. But the summer season, starting with National Barbecue Month in May, is really the sweet spot.

Thousands of barbecue festivals happen during the summer, each with its own regional governing body, according to Myron Mixon, who claims to have won more barbecue awards and competitions than anyone else in the world.

He's visited plenty of them with his "BBQ Pitmasters" TV show on Destination America.

Mixon gave us a rundown of the barbecue festivals worth traveling for this summer:

  • Safeway Barbecue Battle in Washington, D.C., June 21- 22: "Twelve blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue are closed off for this one," Mixon said. "It's a good time. There are a lot of big vendors. You get to cook BBQ on the most famous street in America. It's the best to look down one end of the street at the Capital Building and then have rows of BBQ between you and it."
  • I Love Barbecue Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y., July 4 - 6:  "This is a nice looking place to have a BBQ," Mixon said. "You're in the mountains by a lake right in the spot where they had the Winter Olympics."
  • The American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 2 - 5: "This festival is the largest in the country with over 600 contestants," Mixon said. "You can do a nice BBQ crawl here. All the BBQ restaurants around the Royal will give you a different type of BBQ, plus you have the competitors at the festival. There's a lot of hip places for BBQ in Kansas City. A lot of the hip people from up north will feel right at home."
  • The Plant City Pig Jam in Plant City, Fla., Nov. 22: "They run their fest in conjunction with a Strawberry festival," Mixon said. "They have strawberry shortcake and strawberry milkshakes, which are my weakness. It's a great complement to the BBQ main event. I like BBQ festivals that are happening at the same time as other food festivals."

If you can't make it to one of these festivals and want to plan your own barbecue road trip, here's what you'll fin in America's various barbecue regions, according to Mixon:

  • In the lower Eastern seaboard from Virginia down around to Mississippi, the barbecue is Carolina style, and that means pork. Traditionally, you'll get pulled pork, pork ribs and the whole hog in a vinegar-based sauce.
  • Memphis, Tenn., is known as the Super Bowl of Pork. It has a ketchup-based sauce that's sweeter than it is in the rest of the South.   
  • In Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and elsewhere in the Midwest, beef "dictates and describes" barbecue, Mixon said. Here. you'll traditionally find spicier sauces with a ketchup base. Especially in Texas, the sauce will be spicier, while in the Midwest, it will be sweeter with a hickory flavor.

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drag2share: Pepsi Just Unveiled A Crazy New Soda Machine

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/fqvP8kR6bMg/pepsis-new-spire-soda-machine-2014-5

Pepsi has unveiled a new soda machine capable of making more than 1,000 beverages. 

The company revealed new self-service drink equipment at the National Restaurant Association show, Stephanie Strom at The New York Times reported

The new machine, Spire, was created to compete with Coca-Cola's Freestyle machine, Strom writes. It has the appearance of a large tablet or iPhone, and lets customers use a touchscreen to select flavors. 

The Spire is considerably smaller than the original Freestyle. Coke has recently released a smaller version after businesses complained, according to Strom.

Sara Eisen at CNBC tweeted a rendering of the new machine.

Not an iPad... Pepsi's new spire fountain machine pic.twitter.com/R4N9p0LXll

— Sara Eisen (@SaraEisen) May 18, 2014

Pepsi's Spire is available in select locations and will continue to roll out this year, the company said in a news release

Examples of customizable beverages include Raspberry Lemon Mountain Dew and Vanilla Strawberry Diet Pepsi. 

Pepsi provided this photo showing different versions of the Spire machinery. 

pepsi spire machinery

Pepsi has been innovating products to better compete with its chief rival. 

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drag2share: This Tower Of Power Gives You 40 USB Ports For Charging Everything

Source: http://gizmodo.com/this-tower-of-power-gives-you-40-usb-ports-for-charging-1578397573

This Tower Of Power Gives You 40 USB Ports For Charging Everything

It started off as a more elegant (and faster) alternative to parallel and SCSI computer ports, but now that USB can even be used to charge everything from phones to cameras, there never seem to be enough of them. It's, admittedly, a first world problem, but one that's now thankfully solved with this plug-in tower that includes 40 powered USB ports.

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drag2share: Chicago's Huge Vertical Farm Glows Under Countless LED Suns

Source: http://gizmodo.com/chicagos-huge-vertical-farm-farm-glows-under-countless-1575275486

Chicago's Huge Vertical Farm Glows Under Countless LED Suns

Chicago, Illinois, isn't exactly a major player in national food production anymore, but that could soon change if companies like Green Sense Farms continue to sprout up. With the help of next-gen LED grow lights, the country's biggest indoor commercial vertical farm can produce masses of produce regardless of the weather outside.

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drag2share: 'Assassins Creed: Pirates' now available as a free-to-play browser game

source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/19/assassins-creed-pirates-browser-version/?utm_source=Feed_Classic_Full&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Engadget&?ncid=rss_full

Here's the thing about Assassins Creed: Pirates (you know, aside from the obvious swashbuckling theme): It was made specifically for phones and tablets. In fact, Ubisoft warned from the get-go that we probably wouldn't see a PC or console version. Starting today, though, you can play it on your computer after all -- well, sort of. Ubisoft just released a free browser-based version allowing you to play in the browser, using either touch input or a mouse and keyboard. What's nice, too, is that although Ubisoft developed the web game with Microsoft, it actually works with every major browser -- Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and, of course, IE. As a bonus, it runs at full-screen, something most web-based titles can't.

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drag2share: Your Smartphone's Camera Holds The Secret For Unbreakable Quantum Cryptography

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/smartphone-camera-random-number-generator-2014-5

new htc one cameras

Mathematicians concerned with cryptography need novel ways of generating random numbers in order to securely transmit data such as a credit card number or especially private email.

But it's hard for computers to generate truly random numbers, as they simply follow whatever instructions you feed it. A computer program is a "deterministic process," and deterministic processes can be repeated to reproduce the same results. Hardly secure, no?

The delightful arXiv (pronounced "archive"), a collection of scientific papers maintained by Cornell University, reports that Swiss scientists at the University Of Geneva have developed a method of generating truly random numbers using nothing more than a smartphone camera. Because cameras interact with light, they have easy access to the weird world of quantum physics and can be hacked into effective quantum random number generators.

Here's the explanation of how it works:

Each pixel senses the number of photons that arrive in a certain period of time. These photons are converted into electrons, which are then amplified by a factor determined by the camera’s sensitivity setting (ISO setting). It’s straightforward to calculate the average number of electrons this process should produce, given the probabilistic nature of photon emission. But the actual number of electrons should differ by a number that is random. That produces a single random digit. And since a light-sensitive array consists of many pixels working in parallel, it is possible to generate a large quantity of random digits from each image.

To simplify this a lot, your smartphone camera can be pointed anywhere to get a light measurement. That data is converted into mathematical language that the phone uses to spit out random digits at the rate of 1 megabit per second, which is sufficient for securing "emails and even phone calls."

The fact that something as basic as the! camera on the smartphone you already have can be harnessed for quantum cryptographic communication will likely have big implications as the technology is further developed. As is written in the arXiv post, "there ought to be significant demand for this kind of service given the wholesale eavesdropping that various states have indulged in recently. So it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that some governments will want to regulate the use of this kind of technology."

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