SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "While we are still waiting for the official Windows 8.1 touch-enabled apps to get launched on the Windows Store, Microsoft went and decided that it’s time to finally bring the Office online apps to the Chrome Web Store, instead. Thus, Microsoft is making the Web versions of its Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps available to users through the Chrome Web Store and also improving all of them with new features, along with several bug fixes and performance improvements." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Right now, there are already plenty of cheap and good Windows 8 tablets, with prices between $200 and $300, but it seems that even cheaper slates are on their way. According to a recent report, a not so popular Chinese company, called Emdoor, could be the first one to release full Windows 8 tablets under $100. Shortly after the Build 2014 event, Intel has announced at the IDF conference that they are going to use their low-end Baytrail solution for Windows tablets at the $99 pricetag. Hermann Eul, a top executive at Intel, said Windows tablets could cost only $99 by lining up low-cost processor models up with the removal of Windows licensing costs. He also said that there are already more than 90 tablet designs coming to the market, with prices ranging from below $100 to $500." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Today Windows XP officially dies and Windows 8.1 update is also being rolled out in the same day. Another product which gets the axe is Internet Explorer 6, the “most hated browser” in the world for which even a “funeral website” has been created with a countdown until its final day. The sixth version of Internet Explorer has been criticized for its security issues and lack of support for modern web standards. Nonetheless, with all the campaigns which were urging users to ditch and stop using it, at the end of March, this year, Internet Explorer 6 had a IE market share of 4.15%." top
Novena is a Fully Open-source Laptop with Customizable Hardware
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Andrew Huang and Sean Cross have spent over a year working on the Novena laptop — a fully open source laptop with customizable hardware . Huang is widely credited as the man who broke open the original Xbox. Since the laptops and all the instructions are aimed at a small number of buyers, they aren’t exactly cheap. Just the Novena board will cost you $500 and ships November this year while a pledge of $1,995 to the Novena campaign at Crowd Supply will land you a laptop with an estimated shipment deadline in January, 2015. The open source Novena laptop is powered by a 1.2 GHz Freescale i.MX6 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 240GB solid state drive, a 45Whr battery, WiFi, HDMI, and Debian Linux for the operating system." top
Microsoft to Offer New "Windows for IoT" version for Free to OEMs
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft today said it will make Windows free of charge for phones and tablets with screens smaller than nine inches, a move designed to help boost the company's market share. Microsoft didn't say what version or type of Windows is covered under this new policy— but most likely we're talking about a new Windows version. "Windows for Internet of Things" or "Windows on Devices" could be its name, as we've seen information on a "Windows on Devices" website offering a short glimpse this new version. Besides smartphones and smaller tablets, this new Windows version will also become available for IoT devices and other wearable gadgetry." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "As expected, at the Build 2014 event currently taking place in the Moscone Center, San Francisco, Microsoft has announced the first update to Windows 8.1. Albeit the update has leaked before, it now has become official. It comes with improvements especially for mouse and keyboard users, such as the minimize button that now works inside modern Windows apps. Also, switching between Win 32 and modern apps is now also possible form a single place. The Start center comes with a the PC Settings tiles and the power button. Right mouse click features have also been added to the Start screen. Also, the Windows Store will be redesigned in the coming days. Windows 8.1 Update will be made available on April 8, ironically, when support for Windows XP is discontinued." top
Satya Nadella's First Management Shakeups at Microsoft
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Satya Nadella has named three executives to its cloud, devices and Xbox gaming divisions in his first management shakeup over at Microsoft. Scott Guthrie has been promoted to head of the cloud and enterprise group, the $20 billion division that Nadella helmed before replacing Steve Ballmer as CEO in February. Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as executive vice president of the devices group and will also play a role in developing the Xbox. Phil Spencer has been name to lead Microsoft's Xbox operation, reporting to operating systems group chief Terry Myerson. Nadella made the announcement through a public email on Microsoft's website." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "The industry of 3D printing is growing day by day and new amazing devices get unveiled. Foodini is a 3D printer that can print food like ravioli, pizza, burgers, crackers, cookies, chocolate vases and more by using fresh ingredients . This 3D printer comes with empty food capsules where you can put the mashed ingredients. Thus, you don’t have to buy pre-filled food capsules. The minor disadvantage is that you will need to prepare the food by blending it first; but hey, it’s a small price to pay for healthy food that gets modeled according to your desires. And we all know who loves to eat food in different shapes – kids.
Foodini has a built-in 7 inch touch screen (powered by Androdi) on the front and you can use it to connect to an online community site where users can view recipes, online demos, and have access to a personalized online recipe box. You can access it from your smartphone, tablet or laptop and also upload and share your own recipe creations.You can buy Foodini for $999 currently on Kickstarter, but this is an early bird limited price, so there are limited units for purchases." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Just like expected, at its first press briefing, Satya Nadella and his team has finally unveiled the much awaited and perhaps overdue Microsoft Office suite of products for the iPad . It’s not a standalone product and yes, of course, it does require subcription. Microsoft has released Office Mobile for iPhone users back in June, last year, and now Redmond has just unveiled the Microsoft Office suite for the world’s most popular tablet – the iPad. This morning, in San Francisco, at an event focused on discussing the intersection of cloud and mobile, the Microsoft Office suite for iPad has been released and it is free to download, but requires a subscription if you want to edit files, naturally. Just as expected, it comes with the traditional trio of apps: Word, PowerPoint and Excel." top
Peter Molyneux: Working for Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Peter Molyneux is one of the most famous personalities in the history of gaming, especially recognized for having created God games Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Black & White but also the Fable series. After creating the Fable series, Molyneux announced in March 2012 that he will be leaving Lionhead and Microsoft to start another company – 22Cans. During a recent interview, the former Microsoft employee has shared some interesting details regarding the time when he was working over at Redmond. He says Microsoft is a “big supertanker of safety” and that working there is “like taking antidepressants“. Here’s the excerpt from his interview:
I left Microsoft because I think when you have the ability to be a creative person, you have to take that seriously, and you have to push yourself. And pushing yourself is a lot easier to do if you’re in a life raft that has a big hole in the side, and that’s what I think indie development is. You’re paddling desperately to get where you want to go to, but you’re also bailing out. Whereas if you’re in a big supertanker of safety, which Microsoft was, then that safety is like an anesthetic. It’s like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 2 tablet in October 2013 with several hardware upgrades, like the new 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor specifically optimized for longer battery life and increased performance. Three months later, Microsoft decided to upgrade the CPU with a 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U unit that would be capable of taking these improvements even further. Albeit Redmond has kept a low profile for the somewhat significant improvement, tech savvy buyers were aware of the change. Now, according to some new reports, it seems that the company is still shipping the old models to buyers, despite the fact that Microsoft has promised to deliver only upgraded models featuring the new CPU. The new processor is said to come with 20% higher clock speed and 15% to 20% better overclocked clock speed." top
Pirated Software with Malware to Cost Businesses $500 Billion in 2014
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "A new study conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore and reported by the Microsoft Cybercrime Center has revealed some interesting numbers regarding the malware affecting pirated software. Businesses worldwide are said to spend nearly $500 billion (such a huge number!) in 2014 to deal with the problems caused by malware on pirated software. Individual consumers are expected to spend $25 billion and waste 1.2 billion hours this year because of security threats and expensive computer fixes." top
Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested for Leaking Windows 8
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets. The former software architecture engineer is accused of leaking early Windows 8 builds to a French tech blogger with whom he was communicating inside a forum. The ex-Microsoft employee also stands accused of leaking some Windows 7 program files and also an internal system meant to protect against software piracy. Kibkalo is said to have leaked the Windows 8 code in the middle of 2012 because he was angry over a poor performance review." top
iPad 4 Replaces iPad 2 & New 8GB iPhone 5c Released
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "It seems that Tim Cook is once again trying its supply chain tricks as Apple has finally took the second-generation iPad off the shelves, after it was surprisingly announced at the launch of the iPad Air that the iPad 4 would be discontinued and not the older iPad 2. But that was a smart financial move, because building an iPad 2 is cheaper than building an iPad 4 and Apple would thus get a much bigger profit margin. And there were still enough buyers, like schools, businesses and other enterprise clients. Now the 16 GB iPad is available on Apple's online store for a price starting at $399 .
Also to try and appeal to budget conscious buyers, Apple has released a new version of the plasticky iPhone 5c — the 8 GB model. The 8 GB iPhone 5c has been officially made available for purchase to its European online stores. The smartphone is priced at £429 for the unlocked version in the United Kingdom, which represents a difference of £40 between it and the 16 GB model. It will be launched on Apple's US Store later on today." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "The European Union has voted in favor of a draft legislation which lists among the “essential requirements” of electrical devices approved by the EU a compatibility with “universal” chargers . According to a German MEP, this move will eliminate 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste. The draft law was approved by an overwhelming majority of 550 votes to 12 . At the moment, according to estimates, there are around 30 different types of charger on the market, but manufacturers have two years at their disposal to get ready for the new restriction." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "After a long journey of more than one year, which included even a successfully ended Kickstarter campaign, the VLC app for Windows 8 is officially here. VLC for Windows 8 is currently in beta, and it lacks some important features, such as the ability to open music files or support for Windows RT devices. On the good side, VLC for Windows 8 supports the same codecs as the VLC application for desktop, from MPEG-1 to H.265, through WMV3 and VC-1; it also supports multiple-audio tracks selection, embedded subtitles, background audio playback, Live Tiles, removable storage and DLNA servers." top
1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 per Month
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Up until today, I always had the impression that cloud storage was pretty expensive and I’m sure that many will agree with me. It’s a good thing that some bright minds over at Google have the same impressions as they now have drastically discounted the monthly storage plans on Google Drive. The new monthly storage plans and their previous prices are as follows: $1.99 for 100GB (previously $4.99), $9.99 for 1TB (previously $49.99), and $99.99 for 10TB.The 2 dollar plan per month means that the price for a gigabyte gets down to an incredibly low price of only two cents per month." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "There’s been a lot of brouhaha surrounding privacy these days, and despite the fact that Pinterest isn’t among the most targeted websites when it comes to government data requests, the company, which is said to have near 80 million users, has decided to make public its first ever transparency report. Given the nature of the service and the fact that it is much smaller than Facebook, it was only natural not to expect too many data requests. According to Pinterest’s report, from July to December 2013, the company has received only 7 warrants, 5 subpoenas, 1 civil subpoena, and 0 other requests about 13 user accounts. Compare that to Microsoft which has received more than 35,000 requests during the second half of last year while Facebook received somewhere around 15,000." top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "I never understood the craziness and popularity behind the Flappy Bird game and I somewhat agreed with the founder when he pulled down the game from mobile stores. But now more and more copycats are basically flooding the Windows Store . In the ‘New & Rising’ section on the Windows Store there are featured 1,000 Windows 8 apps and from my basic calculation, around 20% are Flappy Bird clones. Considering the fact that there are now more than four million daily downloads from the Windows Store, I wonder how many of these contain Flappy Bird copycats" top
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "FreedomPop, the US budget carrier that not too many have heard about, has now announced the “Snowden Phone“ n, a customized version of the Galaxy S2 with a focus on privacy. According to FreedomPop, this is the only smartphone and mobile service that allows for encrypted communication. FreedomPop users of the “Snowden Phone” will communicate via voice calls and text messages in a secure environment using 128-bit encryption for the protect of your connection. You will also be able to anonymously browse the internet without having to worry about online marketers tracking your web activity, as data is funneled through a pre-installed VPN."