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Friday, January 30

Briefly: RunKeeper adds Spotify, Nickelodeon streaming service inbound

RunKeeper has added Spotify integration to its iOS app. The fitness app will now offer access to Spotify playlists, created both by the user and by Spotify, and stream music while a workout is underway. Both Spotify and Runkeeper have to be installed on the same device with RunKeeper connected to the Spotify account in order to function, and though it is only on iOS for the moment, a similar update to the Android app...

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Jolla Tablet returns to crowdfunding with 64GB storage capacity

Jolla has returned to crowdfunding for its tablet, offering an extra option to backers. The second appearance on IndieGoGo for the Jolla Tablet lists a new higher-capacity device with 64GB of storage, double the original's 32GB capacity, and while new backers can buy the larger-capacity tablet for $249, existing backers can pay $25 to upgrade their 32GB model to the new version. ...

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Data caps and preferred traffic get shot down in Canadian ruling

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a decision on Thursday, acting on a complaint regarding data caps and preferred traffic. Wireless carriers Bell Mobility and Videotron both have their own subscription mobile television services, neither of which count towards the data caps written into subscribers' contracts, while competitor's services -- such as Netflix -- do, providi...

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Repatriation bill offers tax break for US return of foreign profits

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California, Barbra Boxer, and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have jointly announced a proposed bi-partisan bill titled the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015" in Washington today. The bill would provide funds for the US Highway Trust Fund by encouraging the "repatriation" of funds held by US businesses overseas....

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CIRP: majority of Android switchers are outside US

During its conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook noted that "the current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches," which he later clarified was how long the company has been measuring the metric rather than that switching rates were higher in 2011. Further analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that most of the switching is h...

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Thursday, January 29

WSJ: Microsoft may make investment in Android ROM producer Cyanogen

Microsoft may be planning to make an investment in an Android-related startup, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will allegedly take part in a funding round as a "minority investor" of Cyanogen, creators of the CyanogenMod Android ROM, with rumors that the round will bring in a total of $70 million to the ROM maker. ...

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Google posts increased earnings in quarterly report, misses estimates

Google managed to bring in gross consolidated revenues of $18.1 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent and up from the previous quarter's $16.52 billion, according to its latest financial results. Increased traffic acquisition costs (TAC) of $3.62 billion bringing the ex-TAC revenues down to $14 billion. Net income also increased to $4.76 billion from $3.38 billion the same period last ye...

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Prime membership rescues Amazon from loss, $241 million profit posted

Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America....

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Sky confirms future launch of own carrier on O2's mobile network

British pay-TV provider Sky will be moving into the mobile phone business, it has announced. The satellite broadcaster confirmed earlier reports that it would be working with the Telefonica-owned carrier O2 to have wholesale access to its 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile phone network and provide carrier functions to its subscribers, as part of a multi-year deal. ...

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Facebook introduces Foursquare-style Place Tips

Facebook has introduced a new feature to its iPhone app, called Place Tips. These appear at the top of a News Feed while on the go; tapping on an entry expands it, and shows not just related posts and images from friends, but popular menu items and any upcoming events. Tips are triggered based on location tracking, and Facebook is currently testing them only in New York City areas, including Central Park, Brooklyn Br...

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FCC redefines broadband speeds as 25Mbps downloads, 3Mbps uploads

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has changed its definition of broadband, after commissioners voted 3-2 in favor. The previous definition of 4Mbps download, 1Mbps upload minimum speeds have been increased to 25Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, a move which pushes higher the proportion of households in the United States declared to be incapable of receiving broadband Internet access. ...

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Google Play beats App Store in downloads, fares worse in revenues

Google Play is vastly outpacing the iOS App Store in terms of downloads, but the latter is generating more revenue, according to analytics company App Annie. Google saw about 60 percent more downloads than Apple during 2014, but the App Store produced 70 percent more revenue. This includes both initial and in-app purchases....

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Amazon WorkMail seeks to replace Google, Microsoft corporate email

Amazon is taking on Google, Microsoft, and other suppliers of remote workplace communications, with its own corporate email service. Dubbed WorkMail, the service is claimed to be a "secure, managed business email and calendaring service," hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and could be an easier and cheaper corporate email system to manage than current services like Exchange servers....

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Microsoft OneDrive upgrades photo functions, offers Mac sync client

Microsoft has made some changes to its cloud storage service OneDrive, with updates primarily concerning photography. Overall updates to image organization, searching, and sharing are accompanied by changes to the iOS app for work-related items, alterations which make it easier to access files stored on OneDrive for Business accounts without requiring a dedicated app, as well as a Mac client -- making file synchroniz...

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Hands On: Gravity Ghost (OS X, Windows)

Indie games have seen a lot of success in recent years, and with good reason. Now that game design has become more accessible due to the wide availability of tools, and publishing has become easier due to things like Steam Greenlight, the gaming community is able to play an ever-expanding catalog of strange and wonderful games. One such game is Gravity Ghost, a physics-centric puzzle game by Ivy Games....

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Apple, Samsung effectively tied for lead in global smartphone market

The timing of Apple's surge during the last quarter and Samsung's respective slump has put the two corporations in a dead heat in terms of smartphone marketshare, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that the companies each shipped about 74.5 million smartphones worldwide; while only Apple has announced that figure specifically, Samsung says that of the 95 million handsets it shipped in total,...

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Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store. ...

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Briefly: Gmail 'Send Money' option in UK, Sky Go app on PlayStation 3

Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks. ...

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Qantas to offer Samsung VR headsets to select passengers

Qantas announced on Wednesday a trial entertainment service utilizing Samsung Gear VR headsets. The trial will make a limited number of headsets available in the Qantas First Lounges at the Sydney and Melbourne International airports, as well as on select A380 flights in first or business class....

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Silk Road trial shifts to focus to buyer and dealer experience

The trial of Ross Ulbricht in connection with the online BitCoin-fueled drug market known as Silk Road continued today with the testimony of a buyer-turned-dealer. Previously, the defense had attempted to suggest Ulbricht was framed, while the prosecution brought in an auditor to show that a chunk of Ulbricht's current reserve of BitCoins was obtained through Silk Road-related transactions....

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Samsung fourth-quarter, fiscal year 2014 results shows drop in profits

Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago...

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China to require backdoors, audits for foreign enterprise sales

At the end of last year, the Chinese government approved a 22-page set of regulations for the sale of computer equipment to Chinese banks, but that will ostensibly apply to all enterprise sales. The rules require foreign companies to turn over source code, submit to audits, and build "back doors" into hardware and software so that the government can monitor devices. The new rules are expected to be the first in a ser...

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Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector

Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large number of manufacturers. Name brand aside, trying to find the right options for the based on room size, necessary features and functions can still leave consumers scratching their heads. Epson is attempting to give buyers a one-shot option to build their home theaters around, with the Epson...

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