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Category: Samsung

There are 10 posts published under Samsung.

Mobile Pay: The Digitization of Money

For years the smartphone has made life simpler. It has given us the power to make phone calls, send text messages, send and receive emails, surf social networks, and more – all in the palm of our hands. For many people, the smartphone is something that they simply “can’t live without.” And if you’re one of those people, the latest developments in the mobile world are only going to make it that much harder to drop your device. Specifically, you may find that by this time next year your wallet will have also been replaced by your smartphone.

According to mobile technology firm NN4M, mobile payments are primed to be the next major defining moment in the world of payments, signaling a boom in the number of virtual transactions and a significant shift in how consumers pay for goods. While person-to-person payment options such as Venmo and SquareCash have grown in popularity over the last few years, 2015 is expected to be the year when widespread adoption of mobile payment practices finally takes hold.

The Three Major Players

One of the biggest indications that mobile payment is here to stay - and grow – is the adoption of these technologies by the biggest players in the mobile world – Apple, Samsung and Google.


In 2014, Apple announced the release of Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments using the latest Apple devices, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and more. Apple Pay allows users to make in-app purchases with one click, and also allows users to make real-world purchases by hovering their device over specified readers. While the announcement didn’t come as a complete surprise, Apple’s adoption of the technology accelerated interest in mobile payments and is just one of the reasons why mobile payment is expected to be a touted topic in 2015. One challenge with Apple’s approach to mobile payments, however, is that it is largely dependent on adoption by retailers, as a specialized card reader is needed. While Apple Pay is already accepted at thousands of retailers worldwide, it will take continued consumer demand for the service for all retailers to adopt it.


Another indication that mobile payments will be on the rise in 2015, is Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay, a mobile-payments technology start-up. Samsung announced the merger early last week, and buzz around how the tool will work has garnered much attention. LoopPay seeks to replace your wallet entirely by storing your credit cards, debit cards, rewards card, and even your ID. And, unlike Apple’s method which requires retailer adoption, LoopPay works with nearly all existed credit card readers. Though the tool does require users to open an app to make the payment, once the app is open users can hover their device, click a button and get on with their day.  Without the need for specific technology to be adopted by retailers, LoopPay has already made its way into 10 million locations, and has been voted as one of the top mobile payment options in America.

Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay is not only an indication of their desire to compete in the mobile payment world, but to their commitment to make a smart life for everyone. This acquisition is the latest in their line of moves that encourage synced devices, intuitive usability and a seamless blend between technology and human interaction.


Google Wallet, which was originally released in 2011, is another mobile payment option that is expected to spur the growth of mobile payment popularity. Though the application has garnered criticism for perceived security concerns, the app received a push in 2014 with the announcement of its Gmail sync feature – which allowed users to send money to other via email. Those individuals who receive money via Google Wallet payment, can use the money instantly for in-app purchases, or can “cash-out” and have the amount sent to their bank account.

The End of The Traditional Wallet?

While wallet manufacturers don’t have to worry just yet about declining sales, the latest developments in mobile payment options are certainly exciting, and showcase the deep interest that both consumers and tech companies have in this avenue. And though security and privacy concerns may slow complete adoption of mobile payments, 2015 is certainly poised to be the year where it all begins. The only question now, is which mobile payment will you use?


Switching from iOS to Android

Thinking of switching from iOS to Android? This post will help by addressing some of the areas of hesitation or concern, particularly as it relates to the new iOS continuity announcements.  more


How Curved Screen Technology is Making its Way Onto the Market

In the world of consumer electronics, it seems like there are new innovations all the time that make their way onto the market. In screen technology, the most recent innovation is curved screens.

Of course, if you are familiar with going to the movies, curved screens is nothing new. Cinema screens are often curved due to the way the picture is projected onto the screen. Curved screens are now making their debut on a much smaller scale, like the television and smartphone market.

How Curved Screen Technology Works

On a curved television, the image projected onto the screen is obviously rear projected and provides a much wider field of view than a standard flat screen television. The goal of a curved television is supposed to be to provide a cinema-like experience on very large televisions, like th 78-inch UHD TV from Samsung.

The curves bend outwards on the side of the screen. The further you are away from the television, the less you even notice that the image you are watching is being emitted on a curved screen. The actual curves are only noticeable when you are within a few feet of the screen, but from any viewpoint, the picture quality is extremely sharp. On some of the television screens, there is a way you can switch to a flat screen if you prefer, by simply pushing a button.

While smartphones certainly do not fall into the category of “very large” screens, there are certainly benefits to having curved phones or tablets. The curvature on a smart phone reduces any reflections that diminish from the screen’s brightness, contrast and color. The curvature also directs ambient light outside of your line of sight.

Curved Screen Devices Currently Available

Samsung and LG have led the way when it comes to curved screen technology. Both companies released curved television screens at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The two companies also released curved phones within the last year. One of the most prominent curved smartphones out on the market right now is the LG G Flex from T-Mobile, which is indeed flexible. This phone’s screen quality is pinpoint sharp.

When you first look at it and hold it in your hands, you might think it’s a broken or fake phone, but it’s not. According to LG, the phone may be bent flat up to 180 degrees and you have to be careful not to bend it inward or twist.

You may be thinking that it might be too difficult to hold a curved phone or find a case for it or even store it flat. A curved phone might actually fit into your pocket easier than a flat phone because it can use the curvature of your leg to sit. And if you store it in your purse, it would be a lot easier to find than a flat phone due to the probable amount of flat accessories you keep in your purse as it is.

Electronic manufacturers know that this is the year for curved screen technology. The next time you walk past a television or smartphone display, you might need to take a second look. An electronics device with a curved screen is no joke, it’s actually one of the latest developments in technology.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Amazon Introduces AWS Activate Services Package To Help Startups Grow Via The Cloud


Amazon’s Web Services department is trying to appeal to startups through the launch of AWS Activate. AWS Activate is a package of resources and materials that are specifically tailored to help young businesses and their cloud-based needs grow. It is expected to intensify the rivalry with Microsoft and Rackspace. AWS includes AWS credits, training, developer support, and a startup community forum that also provides advice and a wide array of “special offers” from third parties. The packages comes in two forms, “Self-Starter,” which any startup can apply for, and “Portfolio,” which specifically reaches out to startups that are involved in accelerators, incubators, or other programs intended to help startups grow.


2. Twitter’s New Comcast Deal Could Have You Watching TV From Tweets


Comcast has just inked a deal with Twitter that puts in the addition of a “See It” button on tweets regarding NBCUniversal shows. The initiative should work as follows – if you’re browsing your feed and see a tweet regarding a NBCUniversal show, you will see a “See It” button. When you click that button, you will be taken to a card that has relevant information about the show, and allows you to DVR or watch the program on TV or online. This partnership will also let Twitters users set reminders for upcoming shows and purchase movie tickets on Fandango. The specifics of this detail, such as when this is to launch, have not been revealed.


3. Flickr App Gains Auto-Upload Feature In iOS 7 Update


Everyone was a bit apprehensive when Flickr was acquired – but, with several major updates including filters and a grid UI just passing over, it seems as though Flickr has had quite a busy seen. Another update for Flickr has just arrived – but this time for the iOS7. iOS7 devices can now upload from the camera roll directly to Flickr servers at full resolution. Sharing is set to private by default, but this can be changed. The Flickr editor will provide tools such as automatic photo straightening, and various other options. And to users worries about clogging up their Flickr storage – Flickr is giving out a free terabyte.


4. World’s First Curved Smartphone Hits South Korea Market


On Thursday, Samsung launched the world’s first smartphone that had a curved display screen. The Galaxy Round, which has a 6.7 inch concave handset made to fit into the curve of a user’s palm, has hit stores in South Korea. Samsung has not provided a date for its global release. Curved screens, which are touted as being lighter and thinner than current display panels are a new and budding interest in the smartphone industry. This new phone is powered by Google’s Android System and features a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor. It is selling for roughly $1,000 American dollars in South Korea.


5. Twitter’s Event Parrot Claims To Be An Experiment In Breaking News Alerts


What is Twitter doing now? A mysterious account called “EventParrot” might be Twitter’s big next thing. EventParrot’s profile promises “direct messages that help you keep up with what’s happening in the world.” This is not the first time that Twitter has tested new features through an account; The Twitter account MagicRecs eventually spawned the automatic suggestion list for twitter users. Although there has been no official verification on EventParrot’s status from Twitter, EventParrot has been snagging thousands of followers, including a large number of Twitter employees and associates. This afternoon, Twitter sent out a DM alerting followers to the kidnapping of Libya’s prime minister.


6. iPhone 6 Said To Feature Display Around 5 Inches; iWatch Is More Than Just A Smartwatch


Reports about the iPhone 6 have all claimed that the iPhone 6 will most likely feature a larger display. Apple is said to be currently screen testing up to 6 inches for its next iPhone. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White reported that his meeting with an unnamed Apple component supplier has convinced him that next year’s iPhone 6 will have a much larger screen. White also says that Apple will soon be launching iWatch, and that the device will be much more than a smartwatch. White describes the iWatch as more than an extension of an iPhone. Instead, he called it a “multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home.” The iWatch will reportedly let users control their home through options like changing the temperature and turning lights on and off.


7. Foursquare’s Real-Time Recommendations Now Being Pushed To iOS


This past summer, Forusquare rolled out real-time recommendation features for Android users. Now, this feature is heading to iOS, to a small batch of users, as part of a new software update. Users will see push notifications appear on their iPhones, suggesting places of items of interest, like a cocktail at a specific bar or restaurant. This app also comes with a “nearby” button that lets users keep tabs on which friends are close to them, as well as the friends’ most recent check-ins. Foursquare plans to put this feature “in everyone’s hands” very soon.



Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. SVForum Announces First-Ever Startup Expo Day


Silicon Valley’s leading non-profit devoted to innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, SVForum, is hosting a startup expo in October 2rd, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. SVForum, which has always had a long role in helping to connect entrepreneurs and investor, is hoping that the first ever Startup expo will help that dynamic. The startup expo is planned to be an open and interactive environment where investors and startups can meet. Instead of formal pitches, the expo floor will be open for investors to visit demo tables. “Being at the helm of a brand-new startup company is one of the most challenging experiences the business world has to offer,” says SVForum CEO Susan Lucac-Cowell. “The entrepreneurs that sign up for SVForum’s Startup Expo are being offered a much-needed jump-start, a chance to cut down on the slack time between starting out and ‘making good.’”


2. U.S. Ban On Some Samsung Products To Go Into Effect


The legendary Samsung vs Apple legal riff made headlines for weeks. Now, Samsung’s loss is going to start hurting the technology giant. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said that it would allow a U.S. ban on Samsung products that infringed onto Apple’s patents. On August 9th, the US International Trade Commission ruled that some of Samsung’s older mobile devices infringed on patents and then banned the importation of these devices. Samsung has said that it has means and methods of designing-around the parts of the technology that infringe on the patents, and that these have already been approved by the ITC. Hopefully, they will be enacted before a ban on Samsung products is able to go through.


3. Google Unveils New HP Laptop For $279


Google’s new laptop, which borrows many high-end features found in four-figure laptops, is selling for only $279. The HP Chromebook 11, which runs on the Chrome OS, relies heavily on continuous internet connection so it can connect to apps like Gmail. Many applications don’t run directly on the device as well; instead, they run over the internet. Chromebooks have little storage space, as documents, photos, and other files are stored online as opposed to being stored on the computer itself. The new laptop has a plastic frame with no sharp edge or corners and speakers that are under the keyboard. The Chromebook 11 measured 11.6 inches diagonally and weighs about 2 pounds. The laptop is available in white or black and enters the market on Tuesday.


4. WSJ Confirms HTC One Max Fingerprint Sensor, Says Debut Coming Oct. 15


Recently, a dozen or so photos of HTC’s upcoming One Max leaked, showing what appeared to be a fingerprint scanner. On Tuesday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that HTC was getting ready to reveal some more information on its phone-tablet. It confirmed the name “HTC One Max” and confirmed that the smartphone would have a 5.9 inch display as well as an integrated fingerprint scanner. No clarification on how the fingerprint scanner would be utilized was given. HTC plans to unveil the HTC One Max on October 15th. After Apple’s introduction of the fingerprint scanned with the new series of iPhone 5S’s and 5C’s, it seems as though every player in the smartphone industry has decided that they too need to have a fingerprint scanner on their phone.


5. Google, Samsung And Others Reportedly Considering BlackBerry Bids

When BlackBerry’s future was still up in the air, few companies showed any interest in acquiring the once-giant smartphone builder. But, now that the future is looking bleak for BlackBerry, the company is drawing all sorts of interested acquirers. Ceberus recently revealed that they were working on gaining access to BlackBerry’s financials in order to determine whether or not they wanted to make a bid. BlackBerry co-founder Mike Laridis is rumored to be entertaining the notion of reclaiming his former company. Now, it has recently been reported that big names such as Google, Intel, LG, Cisco, SAP, and Samsung are all interesting in bidding for all or parts of BlackBerry’s business. It is unclear which parts are being hunted after, and whether or not the companies will pursue such an action.


6. The Best Startup Perk? A 40-Hour Week


Everyone knows that happy employees are better employees. So, a handful of tech startups have been trying a new approach to getting the best out of their workers: this approach is to make them work less. They’ve been monitoring workers to make sure that workers go home on time very night, and are able to relax and enjoy their weekend. At BambooHR, co-founder Ryan Sanders enforces a strict 40-hour maximum workweek. Some other companies are taking more modest steps to restore personal time. Vynamic, a startup in Philadelphia, told workers they were not allowed to send emails on weekends or between the hours of 10PM or 6AM. Rick Sheridan, CEO of Menlo, doesn’t allow workers to work past 6PM. The result he’s seen so far from this experiment, Sheridan says, is a productive 8-hour day, a happier staff, and more efficient work that leads to more pleased clients.


7. App Turns Airport Wait Into A Mini Holiday


Traveling is a pain, and that’s without counting the possible delays or stalling, and the inevitable layovers. But, startup app Smart Layover wants to help passengers with a few hours between flights make more out of their wait. The app, which is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry lets users take advantage of their time to go see nearby attractions and facilities. Users simply enter the details of the layover, and the app will offer suggestions of things to do and see that meet the timeframe and location. The app’s database features day-use hotels, events, attractions, food and drink opportunities, and even discounts and coupons. Users who are aware of a layover can plan out their schedule – those with last minute delays can find last minute solutions to entertain themselves.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Twitter Dishes Tantalizing Tidbits In IPO Treatise


On Thursday, Twitter released an 800-page filing that talked about its attempt to make money, its growth, and its intention to its IPO. The suspense surrounding Twitter’s decision to its IPO is heightened by Twitter’s keeping their IPO documents secret until management is ready to appeal to investors. Twitter’s lack of secrecy means that the company may start pitching to investors as early as Oct 24th. Twitter’s report referenced some key components about Twitter. The report relayed facts, such as how, when Twitter was first opened, management focused on attracting more users and making the service more reliable; Twitter didn’t even try to make money during its first couple of years. But, the company isn’t incredibly profitable; Twitter’s losses hit $69 million the first half of this year. Twitter is, however, getting more mobile than Facebook, and its market value could be as high as $20 billion.


2. iPhone 5C Price Slashed To $50 At Best Buy After Just 2 Weeks


Best Buy has slashed the price of the iPhone 5C in half after just two weeks. From now until October 7th, Best Buy will give iPhone 5C buyers a $50 gift card with the phone. Best Buy has offered similar deals for iPhones in the past, but this is the first time a deal has been offered for a brand-new iPhone that was only so recently launched. Analysts generally agree that Apple’s lower-costing iPhone 5C was not priced aggressively enough to appeal to consumers in emerging markets. Best Buy’s slashing of the prices in order to sell units supports this idea; we will have to wait and see if other American retailers decide to follow Best Buy’s lead.


3. Samsung Reports Record-High Profit for 3Q


Profit at Samsung hit a record-high in the 3rd quarter. This is most likely driven by large sales of Samsung’s cheaper smartphones in developing countries. Samsung said that their third-quarter operating income rose 25% over the past year to $9.4 billion. This result was slightly better than the market prediction of $9.3 billion. Third quarter sales were $55 billion. No other details of Samsung’s financial performance were disclosed.


There had been expectations last month of slowing growth in sales of smartphones, and while Galaxy S4 sales did plunge during the three-month period, Samsung sold more smartphones than the previous due to the sales of its cheaper smartphones.


4. Hackers Steal Data From 2.9 million Adobe Customers


Adobe Systems warns that hackers stole the credit card numbers and other information from 2.9 million of Adobe’s customers. The information stolen was believed to have included customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and order information. “Very recently, Adobe’s security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products,” said Adobe chief security officer Brad Arkin. “Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems… We deeply regret that this incident occurred… We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident.”


5. Apple Buys Cue


Apple has acquired Cue, a personal assistant startup app. Apple doled out around $50-$60 million for this acquisition. Cue provides mobile apps for iOS that collects relevant information from users’ email, social, and professional networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) It then displays all this on the mobile screen occasionally, letting users get all the information they want from a single app. This acquisition will help Apple integrate social networking capabilities into its operating system. Google Now has similar capabilities; it is a large possibility that Apple acquired Cue in order to play catch-up with Google Now.


6. Google Backs Sydney Student Startups


INCUBATE, an award winning startup accelerator program, has launched 16 ventures from students at Sydney University. INCUBATE has found a backer in Google and is now set to expand this entrepreneurial program to universities across Australia. “With Google’s help, we want to take the accelerator program to other campuses to create Australia’s first national network of global-thinking entrepreneurs at universities,” said program manager James Alexander said.


Through INCUBATE, startups receive $5,000 seed funding, a co-working space on campus, office resources, internet, printing, and mentoring from some of Australia’s most experienced business minds and industry experts. INCUBATE was co-founded in 2012 by two students and developed by the University of Sydney Student Union.


7. Google Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Flutter


Google has acquired the gesture recognition startup, Flutter. Neither companies have disclosed the financial terms and other details of this acquisition. However, it is speculated that Flutter has been acquired for roughly $40 million. Flutter was created three years ago by Navneet Dalal and Mehul Nariyawala, and is based in India. They develop gesture recognition technology that can be used to control apps such as Youtube, Pandora, and Netflix through the webcam. CEO Navneet Dalal of Flutter was quoted as saying, “Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our research at Google. We share Google’s passion for 10x thinking, and we’re excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey.”


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Samsung Claims 100 Million People Use Its ChatOn Messaging Service


Though ChatOn is rarely heard of, Samsung says that its messaging service is relevant and has caught the fancy of some. In fact, Samsung claims that the “global subscriber base” of 100 million people who employ ChatOn readily enjoy it. Samsung is able to enjoy such a large number because ChatOn is available across a wide array of platforms, from iOS, Android, Bada, to the Web and the Windows Phone. When advertising for ChatOn, Samsung singled out China and India as key markets and touted features like drag-and-drop media sharing and the ability to hand-write messages. Though 100 million may sound like a large number, it is unclear whether that is the number of people who have the app registered on their phone, or the number of people who actually and actively use the chat service.


2. Strap On Your Computer, Wearable Tech Taking Off


The digital and technological world is slowly seeping out of our laptops and into us, as we continue to create items such as vacuum shoes that clean the floor while you walk and fitness bracelets to track your heartbreak and calorie burning. Wearable technology used to be a side-item to the more mainstream laptops and smartphones, but items such as Google Glass and Apple’s rumored iWatch are taking off. Analysts forecast strict growth in the “wearable technology” trend. Last year, this market totaled almost $9 billion – analyst Shane Walker of HIS Global Insights says that this number should climb to $30 billion by 2018.


3. Intel in Deal to Acquire Sensory Networks For Around $20 Million


Intel is acquiring Sensory Networks Inc., which is a Mountain View, California-based startup which provides pattern matching and acceleration software technology. Intel will pay around $20 million for Sensory Networks, said hose familiar with the matter. An Intel spokesman said that revenue contributions from the acquisition weren’t expected to be material and declined to comment on the terms of the deal. Sensory Networks already had partnerships with Intel as well as other semiconductor product makers; the latter are expected to be unwound as part of the deal. The company’s software is used in products such as firewalls or email content filtering, which scan for large amounts of data.


4. AOL Founder Looks To Invest Outside Silicon Valley


AOL co-founder Steve Case is looking to finance entrepreneurs who are trying to build technological companies outside of the Silicon Valley. He is looking to fund startups that will be bankrolled by a $200 million fund that Case’s Revolution Ventures recently announced. Revolution Venture plans to make investments of up to $10 million each in startups during the next three or four years. Case’s fund will receive stacks in the startups in exchange for the money investment.  Although ides from Silicon Valley will not be excluded or disallowed, Case expects that 90% of the money invested will be to those living outside of the Bay Area. The national focus is similar to a $450 million fund that Revolution LLC launched a couple of years ago.


“This is isn’t any negative on Silicon Valley. We think Silicon Valley is awesome,” said Case. “But there are also a lot of great entrepreneurs in other parts of the country and there is not as much capital focused on them.”


5. Tackk Raises $1.2M For Its Content Creation Tools


Startup Tackk, which came out of its beta today, announced today that it raised $1.2 million in its second round of seed funding. Tackk offers tools for creating content that combines text, images, audio, and video. CEO Christopher Celeste says that his goal is to build a “universal content creation tool.”


There are two big advances for Tackk that Celeste touted, the first being the simplicity. The Tackk template doesn’t take much work or expertise. Secondly, Tackk doesn’t force users to create an account or share their media on certain networks. Since its launch a year ago, Tackk has received 700,000 unique visitors, despite minimal marketing, and its users have used Tackk to create photo journals, recipes, real estate listings, and more. Although Tackk was originally built solely as a content creation platform, it has added social features since, such as the ability to follow the profile of other users.


6. Facebook Makes Posts Searchable


On Monday, Facebook announced that it was rolling out an expansion of its search tool to make status updates and posts also searchable. With this change, members will be able to use Facebook’s search tool to sift through posts such as photo captions, comments, and check-ins, granted that they have access to these posts. Facebook says it will first roll out the feature to a small group of users. This feature, which has been on Facebook’s to-do list since the company launched their search tool, Graph Search, earlier this year, is part of Facebook’s aggressive campaign to become more prominent in the real-time conversation of the Web. This is a market that Twitter has already claimed, and Facebook wants in on it.

7. Apple Passes Coca-Cola as Most Valuable Brand


According to Interbrand’s annual report, Apple is now the most valuable brand in the word, pushing the previous no. 1, Coca-Cola, to no.3 This is the first time that the soft drink giant has not been no.1. Apple’s arrival in the top spot was deemed a “matter of time” from Jez Frampton, global chief executive at Interbrand said. Apple was No.2 last year.  “What is it they say, ‘Long live the king’?” Frampton said. “This year, the king is Apple.”


The report estimates that the Apple brand is valued at $98.3 billion, which 28% up from the 2012 report. The value of the Coca-Cola brand also rose, but only by 2% to $79.2 billion. “Coca-Cola is an efficient, outstanding brand marketer, no doubt about it,” said Frampton, technological companies like Apple are “very much the poster child of the marketing community.”




Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Google Looks To Help Startups Start Up, Unveils Hub Network


Google announced on Wednesday that it would be partnering with co-working spaces and startup hubs (a place where companies can get access to an office, mentors, and other resources) to create a hub network. This initiative is being overseen by Google for Entrepreneurs. Google already has startup hubs in London and Tel Aviv, but this new network will cover seven less-prolific startup towns, from Chicago to Nashville to Minneapolis. Google says that they will back these hubs financially and technologically. Companies at the hubs will have more access to Google products, which includes cloud storage, Google App Engine credit, and Google Maps API. Google will check in with the hubs once a month and arrange annual events. Startups will have access to many Google marketing employees for mentorship.


Outreach to startups is becoming increasingly common among big companies, as they try to find innovation before another company does. Earlier this month, Samsung created its own accelerator.


2. China To Lift Ban On Sale Of Video Game Consoles: Reports


China is moving to repeal a 13-year ban of the selling of video game consoles. This came through a set of rules issued by the State Council in regards to the new free-trade zone in Shanghai. Foreign companies are now free to begin selling their products in China as long as the companies operates within the free-trade zone. However, each device must be pre-approved by the Culture Ministry. Consoles were initially banned in 2000 over concern that video gaming would be detrimental to the younger generation.


3. App Developers Refuse To Give Up On BlackBerry 10


BlackBerry isn’t in a good place right now, especially not after just having posted a billion-dollar loss for the second fiscal quarter. But, some good news for BlackBerry comes in the form of a report from Digitimes, in which application developers claim that they aren’t going to bail on the Blackberry 10. At the BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013 conference this week, many developers said they planned to continue building and supporting applications for the BlackBerry 10. Some developers say that smaller mobile platforms like the BlackBerry 10 are more attractive, because the iOS and Android app stores are too noisy, and thus harder to break in to. BlackBerry is currently in talks with Fairdox Holdings for a $4.7 billion acquisition. It this buyout goes through, it is uncertain what lies ahead in BlackBerry’s future.


4. Web Site Leaks Images of Gold iPad Mini


Apple is taking note of the tremendous success and popularity that was the gold iPhone 5S. After their numbers blew away Wall Street’s prediction and even their own predictions, Apple has decided that the more gold, the better, and may launch a gold iPad mini. ZOL, a Chinese web site, has leaked images of an iPad mini in the same color scheme as the 5S. There have also been leaked images of the iPad mini in Apple’s “space grey” color, so Apple may be bringing new color schemes to all of its iDevices. In additional to the new color scheme, pictures of the new iPad mini also confirmed that it will also have touchID fingerprint scanning and retina display.


5. Samsung Exec Reportedly Admits Galaxy Gear Smartwatch ‘Lacks Something Special’


When a new product launches, the last thing you want is bad press, whether it be internal or not, and it seems like someone at Samsung missed this memo. According to a report from The Korea Times, a Samsung executive admitted that the company wasn’t happy with the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. ”We’ve acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special,” said an unnamed Samsung official to the site. “With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction.” Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch launches early in October and is seem as a preemptive strike against Apple’s rumored “iWatch.” Galaxy Gear preorders opened just last week.

6. Panasonic Quits Smartphones to Focus On…Feature Phones


Japanese electronics giant, Panasonic, confirms that it plans on stopping development of smartphones for the mass market. This is not new; the company said in July that it wanted to review its smartphone strategy after posting losses due to weak sales of smartphones in Japan; this is the only market where the company had any presence in the smartphone market. Panasonic says that it instead plans on reallocating the resources to manufacturing and selling feature phones (the clam-shell type handsets that came before the smartphone era). Features phones still have a large following in Japan and account for roughly 30% of all mobile phones sold. This figure is, however, shrinking, as time passes.

7. Key dates from Google’s 15-year history

September 27, 1998: is born.
May 9, 2000: The search engine becomes available in 10 new languages
June 26, 2000: The first search engine to index 1 billion web pages is… Google!
April 1, 2004: The beta version of Gmail is launched
February 8, 2005: Google Maps is born.
November 13, 2006: Google purchases YouTube for roughly $1.6 billion.
May 25, 2007: Google Maps Street View is born.
November 5, 2007: Google announces the OS, Android.
September 1, 2008: Google chrome is born.
July 7, 2009: The Google Chrome OS, which is based on Linux, is announced.
January 5, 2010: The “Google phone” is introduced by HTC.
June 15, 2011: Google presents the first Chromebook, equipped with Chrome OS
June 28, 2011: Google+ is born.
June 29, 2011: Google starts testing their cars in Nevada.
April 5, 2012: The first Google Glass prototype is worn.



Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Apple Maps Sends Errant Drivers Onto Airport Runway


Ever since Apple kicked Google Maps as its default map application and created its own application, the world has been awry with errors stemmed from incorrect Apple mapping. Although Apple has updated their map time and time again, and less errors have been reported, Apple Maps has done it again – this time, they sent Alaskan drivers down an airport runway. “The company’s Maps app misled drivers, leading them to drive across a main runway” at Fairbanks International Airport, according to The Independent, “Fairbanks International Airport told a local newspaper that twice in the past three weeks drivers from out of town have driven through the airport after being given bad directions by their iPhones.”


Staff of the airport asked Apple to disable directions around the area entirely until the problem was solved. The problem has not been solved and Apple has not disabled directions; so, Fairbanks has resorted to barricading their entrance ramp.


2. One In Eight Single Men Would Choose A New iPhone Over A Girlfriend


In a survey conducted by discount site, one in eight single men said they would rather have a new iPhone 5S instead of a girlfriend. The survey polled 550 single British males and found that 3% said that they were willing to drop their current girlfriend for a new iPhone. “You don’t expect to see one in eight men prepared to forgo love, or in the case of three per cent, ditch their current partner to get their hands on [a new iPhone]” a SaleLand representative said.


It may not be in their best interest to say this – or let their girlfriend hear them say this. No one wants to be left behind for a mobile device – especially when it’s one that will become outdated in a year.

3. Twitter Launches Emergency Alerts


On Wednesday, Twitter launched a system for emergency alerts to help spread information when other forms of communications are down. Twitter alerts can be useful in natural disasters or other emergencies when traditional channels of communication are overloaded or unavailable. “We know from our users how important it is to be able to receive reliable information during these times” said Twitter product manager, Gaby Pena. “Twitter Alerts is a new way to get accurate and important information when you need it most… Today, we’re launching Twitter Alerts, a new feature that brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren’t accessible.”


Users who sign up for Twitter Alerts will receive a notification directly to their phone for tweets marked as alerts. A number of organizations have been authorized to send alerts, and Twitter will expand this to include “public institutions and NGOs around the world.” Some of the already okay-ed organizations include the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, World Health Organization, and government agencies.


4. Samsung: We’ll Have a Gold Phone Too


After seeing the huge uproar caused by Apple’s gold phone, Samsung has decided that it’s going to release a Gold phone too. On Wednesday, Samsung posted a photo on its Twitter feed advertising a gold-colored Galaxy S4 Smartphone, with the caption: “Introducing the new #GalaxyS4 Gold Edition – for a style that’s uniquely yours!” The advertisement even adds on “Elegance is a touch of gold.” The announcement came just two weeks after Apple announced the iPhone lineup would get a new gold color. A Samsung spokesman didn’t respond to a request for a comment about when the company begin planning and implementing the idea for a gold-colored Galaxy S4.


5. T-Mobile No Longer Stocking BlackBerry Products At Retail Stores


With BlackBerry facing uncertainty and hardship in the future, T-Mobile has decided to pull all stock BlackBerry devices from their retail stores, citing weak demand among everyday consumers. Instead, T-mobile will now ship in-store and online BlackBerry orders directly to buyers. VP David Carey of T-Mobile said that business customers represent a large percentage of the BlackBerrys that T-mobile does sell, and that there will be demo models of BlackBerry handsets in stores, it’s just not possible to make a purchase in store. Although sales for BlackBerry are not halting entirely, this is not a strong show of support. Although AT&T and Verizon are still carrying on BlackBerry within their stories, this could change, and a lack of support from the nation’s largest carriers would spell significant trouble for the already burdened phone maker.


6. Apple, China Mobile Deal May Be Coming Soon


Apple may soon announce a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier. Posters leaked on Thursday show that China Mobile may be getting ready for an advertising campaign to promote the iPhone’s arrival to its customers. China Mobile, which has about 700 million subscribers, is rumored to start carrying the iPhone 5S and 5C. Investors have been waiting for  a deal with China Mobile for a while now, as it has been speculated that the company had been working on a deal for quite a while. A deal with China Mobile could give the company’s iPhone business a large boost in numbers.


7. Fairfax Says It Won’t Abandon BlackBerry Bid

Prem Wasta, the head of Fairfax Financial Holings LTD said that he had every intention of completing the acquisition of BlackBerry. This is in response to the many doubts people have been having about the $4.7 billion deal for the smartphone maker. BlackBerry announced earlier this week that Fairfax signed a letter of intent that contemplating buying Blackberry for $9/share. Fairfax, which is also coincidentally, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors to get it on the action. There is no breakup fee should Prem Wasta of Fairfax decide to walk away, but Wasta told the Associated Press that he was not in the business of making an offer and then walking away.


We thought long and hard before we offered $9 dollars a share and we’re not in the business of offering a number and at the last minute changing the figure. Over 28 years our reputation is stellar on that front. We just don’t do that.” Said Wasta. Wasta did note that the deal was subject to six weeks of due diligence, but emphasized that he had no plans of abandoning BlackBerry. If the deal goes through, BlackBerry will go private and no longer be publicly traded.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Apple’s new iOS7 makes bold statement


Though two new iPhones come out this week, the more dramatic shift in Apple technology might come from the software and not the hardware. iOS7, the new mobile OS, became available on Wednesday. “It is a major upgrade,” said Gerry Purdy, analyist and consultant with Compass Intelligence.  “This is the first big thing that (Apple chief executive) Tim Cook has implemented, which puts all the software and hardware design under one roof, to have a unified experience across products.”


While both new iPhones have both been receiving lukewarm responses, some analysts say that the new OS is the bolder statement from Apple, designed to keep people in the Apple ecosystem. The new OS has a different look and a different feel describes Ramon Llamas, analyst with research firm IDC, who continues by saying that Apple is “asking people to make a leap of faith.”


Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch described iOS7 as a “visual shock… The look is bound to be controversial; Apple has opted for bright, bold colors with more clean lines and far fewer textures, shadows and gradients. There is still some depth to the OS, however, with transparency effects giving a sense of background and foreground elements.”


Apple claims that the new operating system has over 200 new features, including improved multitasking, sharing, new camera apps, more variation for Siri, and iTunes radio. The new software has drawn much attention, as the iPhone launch itself seems to be less grandiose than ones of the past. The iOS7 might actually hurt Apple because it allows people with the iPhone 4 or 5 to get benefits, as they can also upgrade their OS, and therefore reduces the need for people to upgrade their physical device and get an iPhone 5s or 5c.


2. 7 Misses in iOS7


  1. The wallpaper. Some wallpapers make legibility nearly impossible. You have to trial-and-error wallpapers on your phone to see if you can still read the text.
  2. Apple Calendar remains awful.
  3. Folders. You can have more than 9 now; the limit no longer exists, but regardless of how many you have, the maximum number of these apps that will be visible is 9.
  4. Photo streams are still backwards.
  5. Control Center. It’s easy to bring up, hard to get rid of. It doesn’t do well in landscape mode, and it has minimal amounts of text. Generally hard to use.
  6. Sharing stuff.
  7. The keyboard. There has been absolutely no change. Auto-correct is still as terrible as it was pre-iOS7.


3. Obama Petitions FCC to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking


The Obama administration doesn’t think that unlocking your phone and moving to a new carrier should send you to prison. On Tuesday, the administration sent a petition to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) asking it to override a law schedule to take effect on Jan. 26, 2014. This law would make it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to unlock your cellphone without getting explicit permission from your carrier. Instead, they asked the FCC to make rules that give consumers permission to unlock their phone if they outright own it. This power also extends to tablets and other mobile devices.


4. When Will Samsung Go 64-Bit?


Apple attracted much attention when it revealed the first 64-bit chip for smartphones on Tuesday. Samsung chimed in shortly after, saying that it too, was going to go 64-bit. “Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” said Samsung’s mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun.


64-bit ARM chips are most likely a 2014 event, according to ARM. Samsung will be hard pressed to get 64-bt chips into Galaxy tablets or phones before next year. When that happens, mobile devices will become competitive with laptops, says ARM. “It will allow tablet-like devices to go from information consuming devices to information creation devices,” ARM’s Bruce said.


5. No Internet? No Problem: Youtube Getting Ready To Let You Watch Videos Offline, On Your Phone


Youtube streams more than 6 billion hours of video per month; soon, this video giant will be available to people regardless of their web connection. Next month, Youtube will let viewers save clips on their phones and other devices for up to 48 hours; these videos will be able to viewed regardless of internet. The videos will still be free and Google will still run ads on these clips.


Youtube announced this via blog post and said it would allow uploaders to opt out of this offline feature. The practical benefit for viewers is that they can now watch videos in places where internet is inaccessible, such as a plane or in a car. This should boost viewing for the site. But, this puts pressure on Youtube’s ads rates because they open up more inventory. Here’s a snippet of Youtube announcing the move:


“We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet…


This is part of our ongoing updates to give people more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. Check out the YouTube blog when this launches in November for more details on how this will work for viewers.”


6. Verizon accused of violating FCC rules by blocking Nexus 7 from its 4G LTE network


Verizon has been accused of ignoring the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules. Jeff Jarvis says that Verizon refused to hook his unlocked Nexus 7 tablet to its LTE network because the device wasn’t “part of [their] lineup and can’t be activated.” This violates the regulations the FCC placed on Verizon in 2008.  (For a quick recap: in 2008, Verizon was slapped with a mandate that made it allow any devices to connect to its LTE network and barred it from blocking any applications on its users’ devices).


The notes given by the FCC are very clear and offer little to no leeway. “So this is not a matter of anything Verizon cannot do,” Jarvis writes. “This is a matter of what Verizon will not do. And that is what makes this a violation of FCC regulations and Verizon’s assurances.”


Verizon says that the Nexus 7 is not yet “Verizon 4G LTE certified” and that it will let customers know when the device passes through certifications. But, the Nexus 7 was launched two months ago, and it’s hard to believe that Verizon is just getting onto it.


7. New Internet Explorer Is 30% Faster Than Other Browsers, Microsoft Says


Though the number of browsers available keep rising, and though Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome keep expanding their consumer base, Internet Explorer is still the most popular web browser. On Wednesday, Microsoft released a “preview version” of IE 11 which, they claim, runs 30% faster than all other browsers.


IE 11 supports multi-touch gestures for touch PC’s. This will be helpful for those buying new Windows 8 touch PC’s and “downgrading” them. They also feature some new tools for developers, like support for developer tools, and a Web standards called WebGL for 3D graphics.