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Bright and Shiny Fire Phone: Amazon Delivers
June 18, 2014
Despite entering the smartphone world late, Amazon managed to double down with a user-focused infusion of technical innovation to deliver a compelling new device: the Amazon Fire Phone. The most head-turning feature is its ability to track your face and create a three-dimensional effect on the home screen and in apps, which makes it seem as if you're peering into a lavishly illustrated diorama.
BlackBerry Unveils BBM Protected to, Ahem, Protect Market Share
June 18, 2014
BlackBerry, whose share of the mobile phone market has been on a downward spiral, this week launched BBM Protected, the first in its planned eBBM Suite of secure enterprise-class messaging products. BBM Protected targets regulated industries. It's claimed to be the only secure mobile instant messaging app that uses a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library.
Facebook's Slingshot Draws a Bead on Snapchat
June 18, 2014
I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours. That's the idea behind a new photo-sharing app Facebook released Tuesday for Android and iOS devices. Slingshot lets you send an image or video to a group of friends. However, they can't view what you've sent until they first send you something. After that, they can view what you sent them and either respond to it or swipe it into oblivion.
If Amazon Builds It, Will They Come?
June 17, 2014
Amazon is poised to reveal its very first smartphone, and the rumor mill is in full swing. It's expected to include a 3D display, utilizing sensors or retina-tracking technology in four front-facing cameras to detect eye positioning and movement in order to project a 3D image without the need for 3D glasses. It reportedly will be available exclusively from AT&T.
Facebook Aims to Blaze New Gaming Trail on iPads
June 17, 2014
Facebook on Monday unveiled an iPad app update designed to make the site a hub for game, video and content discovery. A new panel appears on the right-hand side of the iPad providing news and entertainment. Games are heavily featured. More than 70 percent of Facebook for iPad users played a Facebook-connected game in the past 90 days, the company noted.
Rumor: Amazon's About to Spring a 3D Smartphone
June 16, 2014
Amazon reportedly is adding an important new tributary to its river of products this week: a smartphone line. The company has a media event scheduled for Wednesday and expectations are high that it's about to reveal its first mobile device. "Amazon has already seen some success in the tablet space as well as the home entertainment space," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Todd Day.
Priceline Hits the Sweet Spot With OpenTable Bid
June 16, 2014
Priceline last week announced an agreement to buy OpenTable for US$2.6 billion. Priceline is paying $103 per share for the online restaurant reservation service in the all-cash transaction. The companies are positioning the deal as a synergistic play in which they will be able to enhance services for both of their customer bases. OpenTable will give Priceline an entrée into restaurant marketing.
Samsung Debuts Thin New Tablets With Killer Screens
June 13, 2014
Samsung this week unveiled two new additions to its Galaxy Tab line of tablets, the S series. The Galaxy Tab S devices are its thinnest and lightest tablets, with very high-resolution screens, tons of content from third parties, and a high degree of connectivity, all of which make them strong contenders as the fourth screen. The Galaxy Tab S devices use WQXGA Super AMOLED displays.
AT&T, DirecTV Merger Could Hamper Cord-Cutting
June 13, 2014
AT&T's planned merger with DirecTV is far from a done deal. Among the objections that have been raised is one stemming from a filing this week with the FCC. There is now concern that the merger would make it more difficult for consumers to cut their cable-TV cords. The companies told the FCC in a public interest statement that the merger is the only way they would be able to compete.
Microsoft SharePoint's Crossroads: Where Opportunities, Challenges Meet
June 13, 2014
One of the most broadly deployed collaboration platforms, Microsoft SharePoint, is rapidly evolving from local network portal roots into the new cloud and mobile era. Delivering information as an actionable asset in a widely collaborative and increasingly mobile environment has become a top business priority. Business architects need the agility enabled by such unshackled information sharing.
Apple's Crucial Marketing Challenge
June 12, 2014
Apple grew from a small Microsoft competitor in the 1990s, to the tech giant of the 2000s. However, since Steve Jobs' passing a few short years ago, Apple has changed. At the same time, the industry has changed. Today, Google and Samsung offer strong competition. Apple now has to do something it never had to do before: market. Let's roll the camera back for a minute. This sounds familiar.
Honeywell's Lyric May Disturb Google's Nest
June 10, 2014
Honeywell has launched its Lyric smart thermostat, a device widely seen as a challenge to Google's Nest product. Like Nest, the Lyric can be controlled by a smartphone app; however, it uses geolocation to turn home heating and cooling systems on or off when the consumer's smartphone is within a specified distance. Apart from that, the two devices generally appear to have fairly similar features.
Cupid Fires Arrow at OpenSSL's Heart
June 10, 2014
As if the discovery of the Heartbleed flaw weren't enough woe for OpenSSL, more than half a dozen additional defects have been discovered in the code used to protect communication on the Web. Among them is one dubbed "Cupid" by its discoverers. The flaw can be used to compromise enterprise networks. Like Heartbleed, Cupid uses a malicious heartbeat packet to compromise a TLS connection.
Coupang's on Fire in Korea's Hot M-Commerce Climate
June 09, 2014
Sequoia Capital recently led a US$100 million round of funding for South Korean retailer Coupang, suggesting that the rapidly growing Korean e-commerce market is the hot new scene for investors looking to capitalize on a country full of mobile shoppers. Founded and run by the Korean-born, Harvard-educated Bon Kim, the site has grown to become Korea's leading online retailer.
Why Mobile Providers Will Have to Give a Little on Privacy
June 06, 2014
Apple has tossed out some hints that its App Store may soon accept apps that handle digital currencies such as bitcoin. Though there are many possible reasons for the move, one stands out: PornHub last month released an analysis of its 38 million daily visitors, which included the interesting observation that more than half were using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
Apple Sinks Its Teeth Into Bitcoin
June 05, 2014
Apple this week updated its App Store Review Guidelines with a change that signals a loosening of its restrictive policies against bitcoin and other digital currencies. The change now allows apps to "facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
iCloud Drive Propels Apple a Little Closer to Dropbox Territory
June 04, 2014
Among the highlights of Apple's WWDC announcements this week is iCloud Drive, a major update to its cloud storage system. iCloud Drive is designed to be a central platform for users to share or access files across Apple devices, but it also will be compatible with Windows PCs. Documents will be accessible via the Finder Window. Users will be able to drag and drop documents into their iCloud Drive.
Apple May Connect the Smart Home of Your Dreams
May 27, 2014
The hottest tech rumor of the week already happened, and it's only Tuesday: Apple is finally breaking into home automation -- connected lights, thermostats, security systems and home appliances. And the key? the iPhones that already are carried by millions of consumers. The rumor hit Monday, and it's exploded with a flurry of newsy posts and opinions. So where did it come from? And why now?
Salesforce1 Mobile App Drives Internet of Customers
May 27, 2014
Salesforce.com has announced that its Salesforce1 Mobile App will be generally available in the company's summer release. The app will be accompanied by an enterprise ecosystem consisting of some 65 partner apps, a new connector for SAP, and a slew of new features around sales, service and marketing functionality, said Michael Peachey, senior director of mobile products for Salesforce.com.
Facebook Wants to Eavesdrop on Your Entertainment
May 23, 2014
Facebook is rolling out a new feature that encourages users to share their entertainment experiences on mobile devices. The new audio identifier uses the gadget's microphone to listen in on any content playing. When posting a status update, a Facebook user will see an audio icon on the screen, searching to identify a song, TV show or movie. If it finds a match, the user can choose to share it.

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