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    Zynga Launches New Mobile FarmVille Game

    Zynga is following through on a promise to bring its FarmVille franchise back to mobile, a crucial first step coming nearly a year after Don Mattrick was named CEO.
    The new offering, called “FarmVille 2: Country Escape,” is a mobile app rather than a game played through a browser on a computer. But the company says it has all the hallmarks of a FarmVille experience: animals, crops and all manner of other items that players have to manage. They view the farm from a bird’s eye view, watching cows graze, farmhands fish and crops grow.



    The game is being released for the iPhone, iPad and Google devices Thursday, and uses a similar model to its desktop game counterparts: Free to download, while Zynga will charge for additional items that help players move through the game quicker.
    This FarmVille is different from other incarnations, though. Most importantly, Zynga says, it’s a separate game designed from the beginning for mobile devices–a first for the FarmVille franchise, though the game can interact and share various farm items with its desktop cousin.
    An earlier FarmVille mobile version, released for the iPhone in 2010, was conceived more as a way to play the desktop version of the game while on the go. It was abandoned by Zynga after two years on the market.
    A mobile app, for one thing, means that this version of FarmVille can be played when customers aren’t connected to the Internet. And users do not face the pressure in the original version to get other friends to play the game.
    Jamie Davies, general manager of the mobile game, said Zynga’s aim is to tap into what it believes is a timeless franchise. “It’s about creating new hits and new hits on mobile,” she said.
    Mattrick, who was named Zynga’s CEO last July, has repeatedly said he believes theFarmVille franchise will be a core part of turning the company around.
    So far, Zynga said, it hasn’t heavily marketed the new game, though it claims reviews in early testing have been positive.

    Zynga Launches New Mobile FarmVille Game

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Zynga is following through on a promise to bring its FarmVille franchise back to mobile, a crucial first step coming nearly a year after Don Mattrick was named CEO.
    The new offering, called “FarmVille 2: Country Escape,” is a mobile app rather than a game played through a browser on a computer. But the company says it has all the hallmarks of a FarmVille experience: animals, crops and all manner of other items that players have to manage. They view the farm from a bird’s eye view, watching cows graze, farmhands fish and crops grow.



    The game is being released for the iPhone, iPad and Google devices Thursday, and uses a similar model to its desktop game counterparts: Free to download, while Zynga will charge for additional items that help players move through the game quicker.
    This FarmVille is different from other incarnations, though. Most importantly, Zynga says, it’s a separate game designed from the beginning for mobile devices–a first for the FarmVille franchise, though the game can interact and share various farm items with its desktop cousin.
    An earlier FarmVille mobile version, released for the iPhone in 2010, was conceived more as a way to play the desktop version of the game while on the go. It was abandoned by Zynga after two years on the market.
    A mobile app, for one thing, means that this version of FarmVille can be played when customers aren’t connected to the Internet. And users do not face the pressure in the original version to get other friends to play the game.
    Jamie Davies, general manager of the mobile game, said Zynga’s aim is to tap into what it believes is a timeless franchise. “It’s about creating new hits and new hits on mobile,” she said.
    Mattrick, who was named Zynga’s CEO last July, has repeatedly said he believes theFarmVille franchise will be a core part of turning the company around.
    So far, Zynga said, it hasn’t heavily marketed the new game, though it claims reviews in early testing have been positive.

    Nielsen and comScore Duel Over Mobile Ad-Tracking

    Marketers have been pouring money into mobile, but they’re still hungry for better tools to track the reach of their ads.
    Now there are signs of progress at the big measurement firms.
    Nielsen on Thursday will announce it is partnering with BrightRoll and TubeMogul — two digital ad-sales firms — for a technical trial before the expanding its ad-tracking system, known as Online Campaign Ratings, to mobile this summer.




    ComScore, a Nielsen rival, on Wednesday announced the expansion of its measurement product, Validated Campaign Essentials, to track ads appearing on smartphones and tablets.
    The two initiatives are evidence of how important tracking consumer activity on mobile devices is becoming to advertisers – and how measurement companies are scrambling to provide more of that information.
    ComScore chief executive Serge Matta says clients have been begging for more mobile data. “You can no longer look at it just on the PC-based environment,” Matta said. comScore says the program will be “generally available” by the end of the second quarter.
    For Nielsen, which has long dominated the TV ratings industry, the move to track mobile ads is part of a broader effort to expand its online measurement capabilities. The company already can help advertisers track their campaigns on laptops and PCS. But with consumers increasingly watching content on tablets and smartphones, extending that service to cover mobile devices was a high priority. Nielsen says it is on track to extend Online Campaign Ratings to mobile in the third quarter.
    “In a lot of ways mobile has been a very dark space in media that this is going to illuminate a lot,” said Andrew Feigenson, senior vice president of digital client service at Nielsen.
    Separately, Nielsen plans integrate viewing of TV shows on mobile devices into its TV ratings for the TV season starting in September. Some network executives have complained that Nielsen’s ratings understate their true viewership across the web and mobile, which can hamper ad spending.
    “Consumers all over the globe are moving their media consumption to tablets and smartphones,” said Megan Clarken, Nielsen’s executive vice president of global product leadership. “With that has come a real interest and shift from broadcasters to move their program content from TV and extend it across mobile devices.”
    The two measurement companies spar over whose methodology and approach is better. While comScore has been faster to market with a mobile ad-tracker, Nielsen says it is the only provider that can offer metrics comparable to the TV ratings that are familiar to big advertisers. Each side has signed up big advertisers to use their online measurement products.
    Mobile advertising grew 110% in 2013 to $7.1 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the third straight year of triple-digit growth. Industry experts say that consumers have become increasingly agnostic about where they are viewing video.
    “Mobile video is cutting into TV prime time,” said Keith Eadie, chief marketing officer of TubeMogul, which recently filed plans to go public. “Advertisers are clamoring for a solution that reaches across all devices and Nielsen OCR is that solution.”

    Nielsen and comScore Duel Over Mobile Ad-Tracking

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Marketers have been pouring money into mobile, but they’re still hungry for better tools to track the reach of their ads.
    Now there are signs of progress at the big measurement firms.
    Nielsen on Thursday will announce it is partnering with BrightRoll and TubeMogul — two digital ad-sales firms — for a technical trial before the expanding its ad-tracking system, known as Online Campaign Ratings, to mobile this summer.




    ComScore, a Nielsen rival, on Wednesday announced the expansion of its measurement product, Validated Campaign Essentials, to track ads appearing on smartphones and tablets.
    The two initiatives are evidence of how important tracking consumer activity on mobile devices is becoming to advertisers – and how measurement companies are scrambling to provide more of that information.
    ComScore chief executive Serge Matta says clients have been begging for more mobile data. “You can no longer look at it just on the PC-based environment,” Matta said. comScore says the program will be “generally available” by the end of the second quarter.
    For Nielsen, which has long dominated the TV ratings industry, the move to track mobile ads is part of a broader effort to expand its online measurement capabilities. The company already can help advertisers track their campaigns on laptops and PCS. But with consumers increasingly watching content on tablets and smartphones, extending that service to cover mobile devices was a high priority. Nielsen says it is on track to extend Online Campaign Ratings to mobile in the third quarter.
    “In a lot of ways mobile has been a very dark space in media that this is going to illuminate a lot,” said Andrew Feigenson, senior vice president of digital client service at Nielsen.
    Separately, Nielsen plans integrate viewing of TV shows on mobile devices into its TV ratings for the TV season starting in September. Some network executives have complained that Nielsen’s ratings understate their true viewership across the web and mobile, which can hamper ad spending.
    “Consumers all over the globe are moving their media consumption to tablets and smartphones,” said Megan Clarken, Nielsen’s executive vice president of global product leadership. “With that has come a real interest and shift from broadcasters to move their program content from TV and extend it across mobile devices.”
    The two measurement companies spar over whose methodology and approach is better. While comScore has been faster to market with a mobile ad-tracker, Nielsen says it is the only provider that can offer metrics comparable to the TV ratings that are familiar to big advertisers. Each side has signed up big advertisers to use their online measurement products.
    Mobile advertising grew 110% in 2013 to $7.1 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the third straight year of triple-digit growth. Industry experts say that consumers have become increasingly agnostic about where they are viewing video.
    “Mobile video is cutting into TV prime time,” said Keith Eadie, chief marketing officer of TubeMogul, which recently filed plans to go public. “Advertisers are clamoring for a solution that reaches across all devices and Nielsen OCR is that solution.”

    Facebook Says ‘Paper’ Users Are Heavy Readers

    Facebook1.31%says that users of its mobile newsreader app “Paper” are using it a lot. How many users there are remains a mystery.
    The social network on Friday said the average person who uses the app, which launched in January as the first product developed by its Creative Labs team, looks at a whopping 80 stories a day. But Facebook has given no indication of how many people have downloaded the app.



    Paper includes many of Facebook’s traditional features, like News Feed and messaging, but also acts as an aggregator. The app grabs articles that people have shared on Facebook and divides them into separate sections for news, business, sports and others.
    Paper, which is available only for the iPhone, launched with much fanfare in January, but quickly fell down in the iOS rankings. According to App Annie, which tracks AppleAAPL +1.14%’s App Store rankings, Paper has steadily dropped in popularity since March, when it was ranked in the top 100. It hit a low of 1,480 last week.
    Facebook’s newly-released internal numbers suggest people who do use the app are using it often.
    Facebook has said it’s planning on releasing several new apps in the coming year. Some of those apps will be spinoffs of features already on Facebook’s mobile app or its desktop platform.
    Facebook also released an update to Paper Friday that included new “covers” for the articles that Facebook said would make it easier to find articles from publications. Facebook cited Fox News and Bloomberg News, among others, as examples of publishers that can be found on Paper.

    Facebook Says ‘Paper’ Users Are Heavy Readers

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Facebook1.31%says that users of its mobile newsreader app “Paper” are using it a lot. How many users there are remains a mystery.
    The social network on Friday said the average person who uses the app, which launched in January as the first product developed by its Creative Labs team, looks at a whopping 80 stories a day. But Facebook has given no indication of how many people have downloaded the app.



    Paper includes many of Facebook’s traditional features, like News Feed and messaging, but also acts as an aggregator. The app grabs articles that people have shared on Facebook and divides them into separate sections for news, business, sports and others.
    Paper, which is available only for the iPhone, launched with much fanfare in January, but quickly fell down in the iOS rankings. According to App Annie, which tracks AppleAAPL +1.14%’s App Store rankings, Paper has steadily dropped in popularity since March, when it was ranked in the top 100. It hit a low of 1,480 last week.
    Facebook’s newly-released internal numbers suggest people who do use the app are using it often.
    Facebook has said it’s planning on releasing several new apps in the coming year. Some of those apps will be spinoffs of features already on Facebook’s mobile app or its desktop platform.
    Facebook also released an update to Paper Friday that included new “covers” for the articles that Facebook said would make it easier to find articles from publications. Facebook cited Fox News and Bloomberg News, among others, as examples of publishers that can be found on Paper.

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    Avast! Free Antivirus 9.0.2013 download now

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    • Firewall: to prevent hacker attacks 
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    Marissa Mayer looking to persuade Apple to drop Google in favor of Yahoo mobile search

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been quite vocal lately, first saying she wantsoriginal programming to go along with a supposed upcoming Yahoostreaming service, and now the CEO has got her eyes set on search once again. A report citing sources close to the matter said that Mayer and Yahoo SVP of mobile and emerging products, Adam Cahan, have spearheaded as many as two projects aiming, at least in part, to dethrone Google as Apple's go to search choice on its sought after iOS platform.



    Sources said the two projects are centered around building a mobile search engine, some kind of mobile monetization platform and largely hinged on getting a deal with Apple. Mayer is said to be quite a ways along with presentations for Apple execs regarding moving Yahoo search into the number one spot on Safari for iOS. The company is apparently in the process of creating a detailed presentation with images of how things could shape up.
    “This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” one source working on the initiative told Recode. “It will take more than pretty pictures, though, to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly.”
    Google search is still the default search option for Apple, but the company does have a good relationship with Yahoo. Apple's default iPhone stock and weather apps are powered by Yahoo technology, and it looks as though Mayer hopes to extend this relationship into a much bigger arena. However, with the $1 billion in various fees it pays Apple every year and its unarguable dominance in the field, Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer have quite a job ahead of them replacing Google as Apple's go to mobile search engine.

    Marissa Mayer looking to persuade Apple to drop Google in favor of Yahoo mobile search

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been quite vocal lately, first saying she wantsoriginal programming to go along with a supposed upcoming Yahoostreaming service, and now the CEO has got her eyes set on search once again. A report citing sources close to the matter said that Mayer and Yahoo SVP of mobile and emerging products, Adam Cahan, have spearheaded as many as two projects aiming, at least in part, to dethrone Google as Apple's go to search choice on its sought after iOS platform.



    Sources said the two projects are centered around building a mobile search engine, some kind of mobile monetization platform and largely hinged on getting a deal with Apple. Mayer is said to be quite a ways along with presentations for Apple execs regarding moving Yahoo search into the number one spot on Safari for iOS. The company is apparently in the process of creating a detailed presentation with images of how things could shape up.
    “This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” one source working on the initiative told Recode. “It will take more than pretty pictures, though, to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly.”
    Google search is still the default search option for Apple, but the company does have a good relationship with Yahoo. Apple's default iPhone stock and weather apps are powered by Yahoo technology, and it looks as though Mayer hopes to extend this relationship into a much bigger arena. However, with the $1 billion in various fees it pays Apple every year and its unarguable dominance in the field, Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer have quite a job ahead of them replacing Google as Apple's go to mobile search engine.

    Here's the security software Snowden is using to evade the NSA

    Most of the focus surrounding former NSA analyst Edward Snowden has been regarding the actual information he leaked to the media, not on how these folks are actually doing that. Snowden, as you likely imagined, takes precautions in order to ensure his internet communications remain private,one of which is the use of a customized version of Linux known as Tails.

    Tails is open source software created by anonymous developers that makes it very easy to use the Tor network and other tools that keep your activities away from prying eyes. After being installed on some form of external media like a USB drive, the user can essentially boot their computer up with Tails, rendering them pretty close to invisible online. Tails doesn't store any data locally, which makes it nearly impossible for malicious software to latch on to the system in any useful manner, either during or after target communications have occurred.
    The anonymous developers of Tails say the project began about five years ago, and has since become an amalgamation of their initial prototype called Amnesia and an existing OS known as Incognito.
    Reports say this is the set-up Snowden used to communicate with the media and others when leaking his stash of NSA data. While from the sounds of it, Snowden's chats and emails with journalists were likely secure, reports say the system isn't flawless. While the open nature of the software prevents malicious back doors from surfacing, certain internet providers won't play nice with the system and essentially render it useless.
    While the core Tails development team is continuing to improve the desktop software, another team is currently working on a mobile version for Android and Ubuntu devices.

    Here's the security software Snowden is using to evade the NSA

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Most of the focus surrounding former NSA analyst Edward Snowden has been regarding the actual information he leaked to the media, not on how these folks are actually doing that. Snowden, as you likely imagined, takes precautions in order to ensure his internet communications remain private,one of which is the use of a customized version of Linux known as Tails.

    Tails is open source software created by anonymous developers that makes it very easy to use the Tor network and other tools that keep your activities away from prying eyes. After being installed on some form of external media like a USB drive, the user can essentially boot their computer up with Tails, rendering them pretty close to invisible online. Tails doesn't store any data locally, which makes it nearly impossible for malicious software to latch on to the system in any useful manner, either during or after target communications have occurred.
    The anonymous developers of Tails say the project began about five years ago, and has since become an amalgamation of their initial prototype called Amnesia and an existing OS known as Incognito.
    Reports say this is the set-up Snowden used to communicate with the media and others when leaking his stash of NSA data. While from the sounds of it, Snowden's chats and emails with journalists were likely secure, reports say the system isn't flawless. While the open nature of the software prevents malicious back doors from surfacing, certain internet providers won't play nice with the system and essentially render it useless.
    While the core Tails development team is continuing to improve the desktop software, another team is currently working on a mobile version for Android and Ubuntu devices.

    Hotspot Shield 3.37 free download

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    Hotspot Shield 3.37 free download

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Program  Hotspot Shield to browse blocked sites and by creating a virtual private network "VPN" and through which you can access to these sites at any time while enjoying the security and privacy severe .

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    HTC One (M7) users in U.S. and Canada to get Sense 6.0 update in May

    Good news for people who use HTC’s flagship from last year, the HTC One (M7), as the President of HTC America has announced via Twitter that HTC will be rolling out the new Sense 6.0 UI for the HTC One (M7). HTC has stated that the update will be made available for the US and Canadian carrier versions as well as for the unlocked and Developer Editions by the “end of May”, but no word yet on the status regarding European carriers.

    HTC has made some significant improvements to Sense 6.0 by introducing some new features and by adopting a cleaner “flat” design, which seems to be the direction being taken by other manufacturers too when it comes to UI design. This includes Samsung, who seem to have taken a similar approach, as seen in the updated TouchWiz UI in the Galaxy S5.  
    By upgrading to Sense 6.0, HTC One (M7) users would be able to take advantage of new features such as a revamped BlinkFeed launcher, integration with Fitbit and enhancements to video capabilities such as the ability to pause video while shooting. Since HTC has also separated some of its Sense 6.0 apps such as BlinkFeed, Sense TV and Zoe Camera app and made them available on Google Play, updating the older HTC One (M7) to Sense 6.0 would enable users to access these apps and benefit from regular updates from HTC via Google Play instead of waiting for a full system update.
    So what do you guys make of HTC’s decision to push the Sense 6.0 update to One (M7) users? Would you buy the new HTC One (M8) now that both the models would be quite similar on the OS front? 

    HTC One (M7) users in U.S. and Canada to get Sense 6.0 update in May

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Good news for people who use HTC’s flagship from last year, the HTC One (M7), as the President of HTC America has announced via Twitter that HTC will be rolling out the new Sense 6.0 UI for the HTC One (M7). HTC has stated that the update will be made available for the US and Canadian carrier versions as well as for the unlocked and Developer Editions by the “end of May”, but no word yet on the status regarding European carriers.

    HTC has made some significant improvements to Sense 6.0 by introducing some new features and by adopting a cleaner “flat” design, which seems to be the direction being taken by other manufacturers too when it comes to UI design. This includes Samsung, who seem to have taken a similar approach, as seen in the updated TouchWiz UI in the Galaxy S5.  
    By upgrading to Sense 6.0, HTC One (M7) users would be able to take advantage of new features such as a revamped BlinkFeed launcher, integration with Fitbit and enhancements to video capabilities such as the ability to pause video while shooting. Since HTC has also separated some of its Sense 6.0 apps such as BlinkFeed, Sense TV and Zoe Camera app and made them available on Google Play, updating the older HTC One (M7) to Sense 6.0 would enable users to access these apps and benefit from regular updates from HTC via Google Play instead of waiting for a full system update.
    So what do you guys make of HTC’s decision to push the Sense 6.0 update to One (M7) users? Would you buy the new HTC One (M8) now that both the models would be quite similar on the OS front? 

    Android 4.4.3 update coming to Nexus line soon

    According to Android Police, the internal testing of the Android 4.4.3 update is already underway within Google, outside of the main Android team. This means that there will still be quite awhile before Google starts rolling out the update to normal users. This of course depends on whether problems are found with the update version.
    For the time being this testing is being done on Nexus devices which means as usual, updates should be coming first for the Nexus devices and then later on for the Google Play edition of the popular flagship devices from HTC and Samsung. The Moto X should be a phone that is getting the update very soon also.



    The Nexus devices in question are the Nexus 7 (2012), the Nexus 7 (2013), the Nexus 4, 5 and 10. After this the Google Play devices should then get it and then the Moto X phone.
    Other issues that require addressing include issues with data connection, random reboots, USB debugging and other such nitty gritty issues. Hopefully the update doesn’t bring even more issues into play.
    What has been the biggest issue for you with Android 4.4.2? Please leave us your comments below and we will get back to you.

    Android 4.4.3 update coming to Nexus line soon

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    According to Android Police, the internal testing of the Android 4.4.3 update is already underway within Google, outside of the main Android team. This means that there will still be quite awhile before Google starts rolling out the update to normal users. This of course depends on whether problems are found with the update version.
    For the time being this testing is being done on Nexus devices which means as usual, updates should be coming first for the Nexus devices and then later on for the Google Play edition of the popular flagship devices from HTC and Samsung. The Moto X should be a phone that is getting the update very soon also.



    The Nexus devices in question are the Nexus 7 (2012), the Nexus 7 (2013), the Nexus 4, 5 and 10. After this the Google Play devices should then get it and then the Moto X phone.
    Other issues that require addressing include issues with data connection, random reboots, USB debugging and other such nitty gritty issues. Hopefully the update doesn’t bring even more issues into play.
    What has been the biggest issue for you with Android 4.4.2? Please leave us your comments below and we will get back to you.

    Toshiba Debuts $1,499 MacBook Pro Challenger with 4K Display

    The Satellite P55t isn’t just Toshiba’s first laptop with a super high-res 4K screen. It’s a direct competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Available in April for $1,499, the 15-inch panel on Toshiba’s machine sports a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, higher than the MacBook’s 2880 × 1800.
    This premium Satellite is designed for photographers and video editors looking for a mobile platform with a crystal-clear screen. The display uses IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology, which allows for clearer and brighter images.


    This same technology is used in the Apple iPad mini with Retina Display and the upcoming Dell XPS 15. The panel also consumes less energy than traditional TFT displays.
    The Satellite P55t’s display is the first Technicolor-certified platform, meaning it passed a number of requirements for color accuracy. As a plus for photo editors, a ChromaTune utility lets you switch up the P55t’s color profiles on the fly. Toshiba is also including a copy of Adobe Lightroom.
    Backing up all that 4K goodness is an Intel Core i7 processor, discrete AMD R9 265X graphics, a 1 TB hard drive, and a Blu-ray drive. Those are pretty beefy specs for a system that costs $500 less than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, though Apple’s machine rocks a blazing SSD.
    We’re very interested to see how the Satellite P55t performs, so stay tuned for a full review.

    Toshiba Debuts $1,499 MacBook Pro Challenger with 4K Display

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    The Satellite P55t isn’t just Toshiba’s first laptop with a super high-res 4K screen. It’s a direct competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Available in April for $1,499, the 15-inch panel on Toshiba’s machine sports a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, higher than the MacBook’s 2880 × 1800.
    This premium Satellite is designed for photographers and video editors looking for a mobile platform with a crystal-clear screen. The display uses IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology, which allows for clearer and brighter images.


    This same technology is used in the Apple iPad mini with Retina Display and the upcoming Dell XPS 15. The panel also consumes less energy than traditional TFT displays.
    The Satellite P55t’s display is the first Technicolor-certified platform, meaning it passed a number of requirements for color accuracy. As a plus for photo editors, a ChromaTune utility lets you switch up the P55t’s color profiles on the fly. Toshiba is also including a copy of Adobe Lightroom.
    Backing up all that 4K goodness is an Intel Core i7 processor, discrete AMD R9 265X graphics, a 1 TB hard drive, and a Blu-ray drive. Those are pretty beefy specs for a system that costs $500 less than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, though Apple’s machine rocks a blazing SSD.
    We’re very interested to see how the Satellite P55t performs, so stay tuned for a full review.

    Report: Apple May Charge $100 More for the Next iPhone

    Call it the iPhone $ix. 
    According to a new report from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple is negotiating with carriers to charge $100 more for its next iPhone. The report was first unearthed by Business Insider. Here’s the money quote from Misek’s report, via BI:
    “Our checks indicate Apple has started negotiating with carriers on a $100 iPhone 6 price increase. The initial response has been no, but there seems to be an admission that there is no other game-changing device this year.” 

    A new iPhone 5s with 16 GB of memory costs $199 with a new two-year contract on AT&T and Verizon, the two largest American mobile carriers. There is precedent for a $299 phone: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 — the “phablet” smartphone with the huge screen — retailed for $299 with a two-year contract when it debuted last year.
    (In the United States, the price of your smartphone is subsidized when you sign a new contract. The actual device costs hundreds of dollars more, which you pay for over the life of that contract. In most other countries, you pay the full price of the phone, and then pay for service as you go.)
    So, would Apple really hike prices on its most popular product, after customers have gotten so used to the $199 iPhone? It might make economic sense. Certainly, there is sufficient demand for a new iPhone, as evidenced by the long lines and supply shortages that arise every time a new model is released. And, too, the iPhone has no real existential threats from other manufacturers, as Misek notes: Though Samsung’s phones are popular, they are nowhere near popular enough to dethrone the iPhone. New phones from Samsung, HTC, and Nokia this year are probably not radical enough to take momentum away from the record-crushing Apple. 
    A $100 price hike would likely do little to stop most iPhone shoppers from selecting a different phone. They want their iPhones, and they want nothing else, an extra Benjamin be darned. 
    On the other hand: This price hike is far from a done deal. We haven’t heard this rumor anywhere else. That’s especially troublesome since the analyst responsible for the rumor, Peter Misek, does not have a perfect track record when it comes to Apple rumors: In 2012, for example, he predicted five separate times that Apple would release its own television set by year’s end. That, uh, didn’t happen.
    And, too, even Misek admits this might not come to fruition, noting in his report that Apple is receiving healthy pushback from the carriers. (Hooray, carriers!)
    Finally, an internal document that surfaced as part of the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial shows that Apple knows its customers want cheaper, larger smartphones, which is what various Android models can offer. Fittingly, Apple’s next iPhone is expected by most analysts to feature a larger screen. So would it make sense for Apple to make that phone more expensive, not less?
    image
    (Re/code) 
    For now, you probably don’t have to worry about an iPhone price hike. If more rumors, from additional sources, to that effect begin to appear, then you should start cutting back on the fancy dinners and expensive toilet paper to save some dough. Until then, let’s treat this as an unlikely scenario for this fall’s next iPhone. 

    Report: Apple May Charge $100 More for the Next iPhone

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Call it the iPhone $ix. 
    According to a new report from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple is negotiating with carriers to charge $100 more for its next iPhone. The report was first unearthed by Business Insider. Here’s the money quote from Misek’s report, via BI:
    “Our checks indicate Apple has started negotiating with carriers on a $100 iPhone 6 price increase. The initial response has been no, but there seems to be an admission that there is no other game-changing device this year.” 

    A new iPhone 5s with 16 GB of memory costs $199 with a new two-year contract on AT&T and Verizon, the two largest American mobile carriers. There is precedent for a $299 phone: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 — the “phablet” smartphone with the huge screen — retailed for $299 with a two-year contract when it debuted last year.
    (In the United States, the price of your smartphone is subsidized when you sign a new contract. The actual device costs hundreds of dollars more, which you pay for over the life of that contract. In most other countries, you pay the full price of the phone, and then pay for service as you go.)
    So, would Apple really hike prices on its most popular product, after customers have gotten so used to the $199 iPhone? It might make economic sense. Certainly, there is sufficient demand for a new iPhone, as evidenced by the long lines and supply shortages that arise every time a new model is released. And, too, the iPhone has no real existential threats from other manufacturers, as Misek notes: Though Samsung’s phones are popular, they are nowhere near popular enough to dethrone the iPhone. New phones from Samsung, HTC, and Nokia this year are probably not radical enough to take momentum away from the record-crushing Apple. 
    A $100 price hike would likely do little to stop most iPhone shoppers from selecting a different phone. They want their iPhones, and they want nothing else, an extra Benjamin be darned. 
    On the other hand: This price hike is far from a done deal. We haven’t heard this rumor anywhere else. That’s especially troublesome since the analyst responsible for the rumor, Peter Misek, does not have a perfect track record when it comes to Apple rumors: In 2012, for example, he predicted five separate times that Apple would release its own television set by year’s end. That, uh, didn’t happen.
    And, too, even Misek admits this might not come to fruition, noting in his report that Apple is receiving healthy pushback from the carriers. (Hooray, carriers!)
    Finally, an internal document that surfaced as part of the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial shows that Apple knows its customers want cheaper, larger smartphones, which is what various Android models can offer. Fittingly, Apple’s next iPhone is expected by most analysts to feature a larger screen. So would it make sense for Apple to make that phone more expensive, not less?
    image
    (Re/code) 
    For now, you probably don’t have to worry about an iPhone price hike. If more rumors, from additional sources, to that effect begin to appear, then you should start cutting back on the fancy dinners and expensive toilet paper to save some dough. Until then, let’s treat this as an unlikely scenario for this fall’s next iPhone. 

    Google Patents Contact Lenses That Contain Microcameras

    Add this one to the list of unbelievably cool things Google has in the works: It has filed a patent for a contact lens system that would include built-in cameras. 


    The technology could potentially allow Google to shrink its wearable face computer — known as Google Glass — into the size of a single contact lens. Rather than be controlled by voice, those wearing the contacts would command their device through, as Patent Bolt analyzes it, “a sophisticated system” of “unique blinking patterns.” In other words, people wearing these contacts may look even weirder than people in Google Glass.
    image
    News of Google’s patent filing comes just a few months after the company revealed a prototype contact lens that monitors glucose levels. The invention, which was developed in the company’s secretive Google X Labs, could be a major aid for the millions of diabetics who must measure their blood sugar by drawing blood from their fingers.
    Google’s latest breakthrough in contact lens technology could potentially grant the blind the ability to see certain things, according to Patent Bolt’s close reading of the patent application.
    “For example, a blind person wearing Google’s contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection. The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine … that there is a car approaching the intersection.” 

    Google Patents Contact Lenses That Contain Microcameras

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Add this one to the list of unbelievably cool things Google has in the works: It has filed a patent for a contact lens system that would include built-in cameras. 


    The technology could potentially allow Google to shrink its wearable face computer — known as Google Glass — into the size of a single contact lens. Rather than be controlled by voice, those wearing the contacts would command their device through, as Patent Bolt analyzes it, “a sophisticated system” of “unique blinking patterns.” In other words, people wearing these contacts may look even weirder than people in Google Glass.
    image
    News of Google’s patent filing comes just a few months after the company revealed a prototype contact lens that monitors glucose levels. The invention, which was developed in the company’s secretive Google X Labs, could be a major aid for the millions of diabetics who must measure their blood sugar by drawing blood from their fingers.
    Google’s latest breakthrough in contact lens technology could potentially grant the blind the ability to see certain things, according to Patent Bolt’s close reading of the patent application.
    “For example, a blind person wearing Google’s contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection. The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine … that there is a car approaching the intersection.” 

    How to Switch and Quit Apps on the iPhone

    From the day the app concept was invented, the iPhone desperately needed a handy way to switch among open apps. Maybe you want to copy something from Safari (on the web) into Mail (a message you’re writing). Maybe you want to refer to your frequent flyer number (in Notes) as you’re using an airline’s check-in app. Maybe you want to adjust something in Settings and then get back to whatever you were doing.
    The key to switching apps is this: Double-press the Home button.
    In iOS 7, what happens next has had some radical cosmetic surgery. Whatever is on the screen gets replaced by the new, improved app switcher.
    You still see a horizontally scrolling row of icons, representing the open apps. But above them, you now see shrunken-down images of theirscreens. You can actually see what’s going on in each open app. In fact, sometimes, that’s all you need; you can refer to another app’s screen in this view, without actually having to switch into that app.


    When you scroll horizontally to look through your recently opened apps (they appear in chronological order), you may notice that the icons and their screens seem to scroll at different speeds. It’s a little odd at first, but you get the point: They’re actually moving so that the icon is always centered under its much larger screen.
    When you tap an app’s icon or screen in the app switcher, you open that app.
    The task switcher also lets you manually exit an app, closing it down. To do that, flick the unwanted app’s mini-screen upward, so that it flies up off the top of the screen.
    (The app will return to the lineup the next time you open it from the Home screen; it’s not really gone.)
    Now, you’ll need this gesture only rarely. It’s not as though you’re supposed to quit every app when you’re finished using it, as you might on a PC. The iPhone is perfectly capable of managing its own memory situation. You may see dozens of apps in the app switcher, but you’ll never sense that your phone is bogging down as a result.
    Instead, the force-quitting gesture is intended for use when an app is acting glitchy and simply needs to be restarted.

    How to Switch and Quit Apps on the iPhone

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    From the day the app concept was invented, the iPhone desperately needed a handy way to switch among open apps. Maybe you want to copy something from Safari (on the web) into Mail (a message you’re writing). Maybe you want to refer to your frequent flyer number (in Notes) as you’re using an airline’s check-in app. Maybe you want to adjust something in Settings and then get back to whatever you were doing.
    The key to switching apps is this: Double-press the Home button.
    In iOS 7, what happens next has had some radical cosmetic surgery. Whatever is on the screen gets replaced by the new, improved app switcher.
    You still see a horizontally scrolling row of icons, representing the open apps. But above them, you now see shrunken-down images of theirscreens. You can actually see what’s going on in each open app. In fact, sometimes, that’s all you need; you can refer to another app’s screen in this view, without actually having to switch into that app.


    When you scroll horizontally to look through your recently opened apps (they appear in chronological order), you may notice that the icons and their screens seem to scroll at different speeds. It’s a little odd at first, but you get the point: They’re actually moving so that the icon is always centered under its much larger screen.
    When you tap an app’s icon or screen in the app switcher, you open that app.
    The task switcher also lets you manually exit an app, closing it down. To do that, flick the unwanted app’s mini-screen upward, so that it flies up off the top of the screen.
    (The app will return to the lineup the next time you open it from the Home screen; it’s not really gone.)
    Now, you’ll need this gesture only rarely. It’s not as though you’re supposed to quit every app when you’re finished using it, as you might on a PC. The iPhone is perfectly capable of managing its own memory situation. You may see dozens of apps in the app switcher, but you’ll never sense that your phone is bogging down as a result.
    Instead, the force-quitting gesture is intended for use when an app is acting glitchy and simply needs to be restarted.

    How to Trade In Your Cellphone for a New Samsung Galaxy S5


    Samsung’
    s latest smartphone, the watertight Galaxy S5 reviewed here, is now available from most major cell carriers. If you want to save a little money on the upgrade price—$200 with a contract, $650 or so without—consider a trade-in.
    Websites such as Amazon, Best BuyBBY -2.67% and Gazelle, an electronics buy-back service, will take not just your older Galaxy model but any smartphone, and apply the purchase price towards a new phone. (Note: If you are under contract with your phone, you may have to pay it off with your carrier before trading it in, or pay a heftier fee when buying a new phone from that carrier.)



    How much you can get for your phone depends on what condition the device is in, how old it is, and which website you use. The most crucial advice is to shop around, because you could see a difference of $70 or more in trade-in values.
    With a black Samsung Galaxy S4 phone on AT&T asT +0.23% our test example, we found that Amazon offers the best price, but you only get credit towards a new phone from Amazon, not cash that you might spend elsewhere. Here are the pros and cons of the key services in our test case:
    Amazon Trade-in: The easiest and the best option for trade-ins, Amazon offers the best price for a used Galaxy S4. The online site asks few questions and is currently offering up to $190 towards a new device. Amazon’s online process is simple and you can drop off the package at UPS or at the post office. Amazon even pays for shipping.
    Gazelle: Gazelle has the easiest buy-back process. Gazelle’s website offers $160 for a used AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4, and that’s money you can take with you—payable by check, PayPal or an Amazon gift card—rather than just credit towards another phone.
    Best Buy: Best Buy’s trade-in site asks the usual questions about the condition of the phone, and whether the charger is included, to estimate the value of the Galaxy S4 for trade-in. But it also asks if your phone is unlocked. (The correct answer is “no,”—if “yes,” then you are penalized.) Best Buy currently offers $160 for the Galaxy S4, but you have to take your phone into the store and trade it in for a new phone.
    Smartphone carriers: All the smartphone carriers, including AT&T, VerizonVZ -0.84%,T-MobileTMUS -2.72% and SprintS -6.25%, have trade-in programs. Take your cellphone to the store, and they will offer a value that can be applied towards the purchase of another model. The trade-in and set-up are fast since you are already there, but you also tend to get the lowest value for your old phone. AT&T currently offers just $120 for a used Galaxy S4 from its network.

    How to Trade In Your Cellphone for a New Samsung Galaxy S5

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments


    Samsung’
    s latest smartphone, the watertight Galaxy S5 reviewed here, is now available from most major cell carriers. If you want to save a little money on the upgrade price—$200 with a contract, $650 or so without—consider a trade-in.
    Websites such as Amazon, Best BuyBBY -2.67% and Gazelle, an electronics buy-back service, will take not just your older Galaxy model but any smartphone, and apply the purchase price towards a new phone. (Note: If you are under contract with your phone, you may have to pay it off with your carrier before trading it in, or pay a heftier fee when buying a new phone from that carrier.)



    How much you can get for your phone depends on what condition the device is in, how old it is, and which website you use. The most crucial advice is to shop around, because you could see a difference of $70 or more in trade-in values.
    With a black Samsung Galaxy S4 phone on AT&T asT +0.23% our test example, we found that Amazon offers the best price, but you only get credit towards a new phone from Amazon, not cash that you might spend elsewhere. Here are the pros and cons of the key services in our test case:
    Amazon Trade-in: The easiest and the best option for trade-ins, Amazon offers the best price for a used Galaxy S4. The online site asks few questions and is currently offering up to $190 towards a new device. Amazon’s online process is simple and you can drop off the package at UPS or at the post office. Amazon even pays for shipping.
    Gazelle: Gazelle has the easiest buy-back process. Gazelle’s website offers $160 for a used AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4, and that’s money you can take with you—payable by check, PayPal or an Amazon gift card—rather than just credit towards another phone.
    Best Buy: Best Buy’s trade-in site asks the usual questions about the condition of the phone, and whether the charger is included, to estimate the value of the Galaxy S4 for trade-in. But it also asks if your phone is unlocked. (The correct answer is “no,”—if “yes,” then you are penalized.) Best Buy currently offers $160 for the Galaxy S4, but you have to take your phone into the store and trade it in for a new phone.
    Smartphone carriers: All the smartphone carriers, including AT&T, VerizonVZ -0.84%,T-MobileTMUS -2.72% and SprintS -6.25%, have trade-in programs. Take your cellphone to the store, and they will offer a value that can be applied towards the purchase of another model. The trade-in and set-up are fast since you are already there, but you also tend to get the lowest value for your old phone. AT&T currently offers just $120 for a used Galaxy S4 from its network.

    Report: 44% of Twitter Accounts Have Never Sent a Tweet

    Twitter is one of the most popular social networks in the world with some 974 million accounts but just how many of those have ever published? A new report from Twocharts, a website that tracks Twitter activity, claims to have the answer and it just might surprise you.
    The social media tracking site tells us that roughly 44 percent of all Twitter accounts have never published a single tweet while 30 percent have sent 10 or fewer tweets. Their data isn’t based on whether or not someone has logged into a particular account but rather if an account has retweeted or sent out its own unique tweet.



    There’s plenty to take away from the findings depending on how you look at it.
    There are no doubt a lot of people that have Twitter accounts simply for the sake of staying informed and reading posts from others. Some people prefer to take everything in rather than voice their own opinion which makes perfect sense.
    Several other scenarios could also explain some of the non-tweeting accounts. Perhaps some people lost their login information or decided to create a separate user account shortly after creating the first account.
    On the flip side, Twitter claimed to have 241 million active users as of the last three months of 2013. An active user is described as someone that logs into an account at least one time per month. It’s important to note that their definition of an active user doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not someone sent a tweet or retweet during a given month.

    Report: 44% of Twitter Accounts Have Never Sent a Tweet

    Posted by Mohamed Mady No comments

    Twitter is one of the most popular social networks in the world with some 974 million accounts but just how many of those have ever published? A new report from Twocharts, a website that tracks Twitter activity, claims to have the answer and it just might surprise you.
    The social media tracking site tells us that roughly 44 percent of all Twitter accounts have never published a single tweet while 30 percent have sent 10 or fewer tweets. Their data isn’t based on whether or not someone has logged into a particular account but rather if an account has retweeted or sent out its own unique tweet.



    There’s plenty to take away from the findings depending on how you look at it.
    There are no doubt a lot of people that have Twitter accounts simply for the sake of staying informed and reading posts from others. Some people prefer to take everything in rather than voice their own opinion which makes perfect sense.
    Several other scenarios could also explain some of the non-tweeting accounts. Perhaps some people lost their login information or decided to create a separate user account shortly after creating the first account.
    On the flip side, Twitter claimed to have 241 million active users as of the last three months of 2013. An active user is described as someone that logs into an account at least one time per month. It’s important to note that their definition of an active user doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not someone sent a tweet or retweet during a given month.

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