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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.
iMessage Flaw Bugs Apple
May 22, 2014
Apple has vowed to fix a persistent bug in its iOS mobile OS that punishes former iPhone users. The flaw, which has been in iMessage since the release of iOS 5, prevents former iPhone users from receiving SMS messages from current users. Apple recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug that was causing an issue for some users, and it will provide an additional bug fix in a future software update.
AT&T Catches a Wave
May 22, 2014
Change is good. Industry consolidation seems to come in waves, and the next wave seems to be starting. Together, AT&T and DirecTV will be a strong new competitor in the pay-television space. That's great. Unless traditional cable-TV companies get their act together, this merger could be another nail in their coffin. This is a busy time in the industry.
Look Who's Pushing Retailers to Go Omnichannel
May 21, 2014
Only the truly dedicated shopper realizes this -- and of course, anyone who follows the retail industry (I happen to fall in both categories) -- but most shopping centers in the United States are owned by just a handful of companies, called "real estate investment trusts," or REITs, if they are publicly held. On the surface, this is irrelevant to average shoppers.
Google's EU Migraine Rears Up
May 21, 2014
Yeah, about that breakthrough between Google and European antitrust regulators... The European Union's antitrust chief might pursue a tougher stance on Google than the one outlined in a February agreement, which was believed to have end -- finally -- the legal circus between the two sides. Google had agreed to display rivals' links more prominently in its search results, a chief concern.
Microsoft Boldly Goes Bigger With Surface Pro 3
May 20, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled its latest iteration of the Surface tablet at a New York City event. The Surface Pro 3 is slightly larger, with a screen size of 12 inches diagonally, instead of the 10.6 inches of previous models. It is also thinner, at 0.36 inches, and weighs a mere two pounds. The Surface Pro 3 will sport such business-essential software as Photoshop.
AT&T Gambles on DirecTV
May 20, 2014
AT&T has agreed to acquire DirecTV in order to expand its consumer offerings across additional platforms and better compete in the ever-evolving telecom industry. The merger of the U.S.' second-largest wireless provider and second-largest pay-TV company would be worth about $48.5 billion. With the inclusion of DirecTV's net debt, the total transaction value would rise to $67.1 billion.
Will Samsung and Apple Lay Down Their Swords?
May 20, 2014
After years of legal wrangling over their mobile technology intellectual patent rights in courtrooms around the world, Apple and Samsung apparently are ready to call it a day. Representatives of the companies reportedly are in negotiations to settle their legal differences out of court. This is not the first time such a rumor has surfaced, noted Peter Toren, partner with Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.
Zero Patience, Zero Wait: The New Customer Reality
May 19, 2014
Gone in half the blink of an eye. Online customers, that is. Visitors are less likely to return to a site that is even 250 milliseconds slower than a competing site, according to Harry Shum, a Microsoft executive who led research and development efforts for the Bing search engine. That's an increment of time equal to about half the amount of time it takes a human to blink. Milliseconds matter.
Can Ivy Ross Make Google Glass Haute Couture?
May 16, 2014
Google Glass, whose appeal so far seems limited to uber-geeks, may be taking on a new image, thanks to Google's hiring of Ivy Ross, known for her work at Calvin Klein, Coach, Gap and, most recently, Art.com, where she was CMO. Ross will assume her new post as head of Google Glass May 19. "I look forward to answering the seemingly simple, but truly audacious questions Glass poses," she wrote.
Xiaomi Serves Up Apple-Flavored Mi Pad
May 16, 2014
Xiaomi fired a new salvo in its attempt to compete with major names like Apple and Samsung as it introduced its first tablet, the Mi Pad. The 7.9-inch Android device -- which has the same-size surface as the iPad mini -- uses an Nvidia quad-core Tegra K1 processor and will be manufactured by Foxconn, cofounder and CEO Lei Jun announced. The Mi Pad includes 2 GB of RAM and WiFi connectivity.
Yahoo Buys Blink Team, App to Go Dark
May 15, 2014
Yahoo has acquired Blink, a mobile app that destroys messages at a predetermined time set by the user. Yahoo intends to shut down both the iOS and Android versions of the app in the coming weeks. Blink made its debut just a year ago. The conventional thinking is that Yahoo acquired Blink largely for its talent, as it seeks to build out a robust portfolio of mobile products.
LG Enters Fitness Tech Race
May 14, 2014
LG Electronics is dipping its toes into the burgeoning market of wearable fitness devices. The LG Lifeband Touch and the LG Heart Rate Earphones will be available to the public starting May 18. The devices are compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. The Lifeband Touch includes a 0.9-inch OLED touch display that offers a range of fitness data.
FirstRain Mobile Showers Sales Reps With Data
May 13, 2014
FirstRain has released its third iteration of the mobile version of its personal business analytics app, enhancing it with social sharing functionality and building in a new contextual layer that gives users more information about the data they receive. FirstRain also debuted a version for Windows Phone with this rollout. These changes are preceding what FirstRain is doing on the desktop.
AT&T May Be Suiting Up to Battle Comcast
May 13, 2014
AT&T has been negotiating to buy DirecTV for close to $50 billion, based on reports that surfaced Monday. The deal, which has not been confirmed by the companies, could close within a few weeks. The current option on the table, according to anonymous sources, would be largely a stock trade but it would include some cash, with AT&T offering in the low- to mid-$90s per share for DirecTV.
FCC Chair Changes Tune on Net Neutrality
May 12, 2014
The chairman of the FCC reportedly is changing a proposal for regulating Internet traffic in response to a wave of dissension against the idea. Chairman Tom Wheeler had proposed a new "Net neutrality" plan that would allow ISPs to negotiate with companies that use the Internet to provide services to end customers in order to grant preferential treatment of their data in exchange for fees.
Google Picks Up Appetas
May 12, 2014
Google last week acquired restaurant website builder Appetas, a move that could strengthen its relationships with small businesses and ratchet up competition with Yelp, which currently dominates the restaurant review scene. Appetas helps restaurants increase their online presence by building out professional websites that can be integrated with locally focused services.
Adobe Voice Can Make You a Better Storyteller
May 09, 2014
If you have a story to tell -- even a dull one -- Adobe Voice can improve your presentation. The free app can't make your story more compelling, but it can give you a better shot at getting it across. Adobe Voice is available for the iPad 2 and above running iOS 7. To kickstart your use of Voice, Adobe offers sample slideshows and a tutorial that provides the essentials for creating a short video.

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