Technology Weekly Roundup 3/7/14




Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ designer discusses Steve Jobs’ involvement and Stanford campus influence (9to5Mac)

Apple rebrands iOS in the Car as CarPlay, compatible vehicles launching later this year (9to5Mac)

Apple’s Peter Oppenheimer to Retire at the End of September (Apple)

CarPlay Shown Off in New Promo Video from Volvo, Wi-Fi Connections Coming Soon (MacRumors)


Video shows off Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant in action (Engadget)

With Free Version of Windows, Microsoft Gives In to the Google Way (Wired)


New HTC One dual-lens camera shown off in detailed leak (Engadget)

Mobile World Congress 2014 report card: who made the grade? (Engadget)


Getty Images opens up its stock photo vaults for free, legal use with new embed tools (Engadget)

Newsweek defends Satoshi Nakamoto story (Circa)

Play-i is building an ecosystem for its robots to teach coding in schools (The Next Web)

How to measure the ROI of your ongoing SEO efforts (The Next Web)


Technology Weekly Roundup 2/28/14


Time Magazine


Apple formalizes iBeacon Bluetooth spec in the hopes of wider adoption (Engadget)


WhatsApp plans to add Facebook Messenger-like voice calling features by next quarter (9to5Mac)

Telegram Saw 8M Downloads After WhatsApp Got Acquired (TechCrunch)


Google Barge bids farewell to San Francisco, to make Stockton its new California home (Engadget)

Google’s Project Ara could go on sale next year for $50 (The Verge)

Google wants its Project Ara modular smartphone to cost $50 (Engadget)

Google’s Nexus 5 experience now available for other Nexus devices (The Verge)


Microsoft experimenting with free version of Windows 8.1 (The Verge)


Samsung To Release A Galaxy S5 With An 8-Core Processor (TechCrunch)

Samsung Galaxy S5 preview: simpler in some ways, more ‘glam’ in others (Engadget)

Samsung Galaxy S5 owners will be able to use fingerprint authentication to pay with PayPal (The Next Web)

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. the competition: the battle of Android flagships has new contenders (Engadget)

The ‘Galaxy S5’ problem (iMore)

Samsung Unveils the (No Longer Galaxy) Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo + More Details on New Samsung Gears (TechSci)


What app developers must do to stay ahead of competition (The Next Web)

Canonical gives developers a preview of a dual-booting Ubuntu and Android future (Engadget)

Blippar brings object image recognition to Google Glass (GigaOm)

Tesla to raise almost $2 billion for a $4B-$5B huge battery factory (GigaOm)

Ever wondered why your mouse pointer is angled, not straight? (9to5Mac)

Science publishers withdraw more than 120 computer-generated papers (The Verge)

Starting to Demo the Wolfram Language (Bioinformatics/Wolfram Blog)

New partnership could produce a 3D printer that prints objects 500 times faster and 10 times larger (GigaOm)

Samsung Unveils the (No Longer Galaxy) Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

Gear 2 on the right, Gear 2 Neo on the left (Samsung)

Gear 2 on the left, Gear 2 Neo on the right (Samsung)

Today, Samsung announced the successor to its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, which was released five months ago to to much criticism. The Gear 2 notably drops the ‘Galaxy’ branding as it moves away from Android to Samsung’s homegrown Tizen mobile OS, a project that Samsung has been working on since 2011. The Gear 2 is not the first device to run the operating system (that would be the NX300M smart camera, released last year), but the experience will obviously be different on a watch.

The watch features the same 1.63-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4GB internal storage, 512MB of RAM, an IR blaster, and a 2MP camera. Another change from the original Gear is the camera placement – it has been moved from the band onto the top of the watch face. The microphone has also been moved from the clasp to the front of the watch, so there is no longer wiring inside the watchband. Samsung says that the Gear’s straps can be swapped out, but did not elaborate on what kind of bands it will be compatible with.

Samsung says to expect an “enriched application ecosystem” for the next generation Gear, which (like most of its other components) was not quite up to par. Fitness has become an important part of all wearable technology, and the new Gear does not miss out on this focus: it gains a heart rate sensor and dust/water resistance.

Inside is a 300 mAh battery, which is smaller than the original Gear’s 315 mAh battery; despite this, Samsung says that the watch will have a 2-3 day battery life, a huge improvement over the 24-hour maximum battery life of the first Gear. Along with the camera placement and price, the battery was one of the biggest gripes about the Galaxy Gear, and it will be interesting to see how the new Gear is received. Alongside the Gear 2 will be the Gear 2 Neo, a cheaper alternative that drops the camera and is slightly lighter as a result (68g compared to 55g), but is otherwise the same as the Gear 2. 

Samsung has not set a price for the Gear 2 or the Gear 2 Neo yet, but presumably, multiple price points will alleviate cost complaints that were an issue for the previous model.

The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo will ship in April, most likely alongside the Galaxy S5, which is expected to be unveiled at Samsung’s ‘Unpacked’ event at Mobile World Congress later this week. The Gear 2 will come in ‘Charcoal Black’, ‘Gold Brown’ and ‘Wild Orange’. The Gear 2 Neo comes in the same colors, but swaps out brown for ‘Mocha Grey’.

Technology Weekly Roundup 2/21/14 (and 2/14/14)



Investor Carl Icahn abandons Apple share buyback effort (BBC)


Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 effort (BBC)


‘Flappy Bird’ Removed from App Store by Developer (MacRumors)


Google Hopes Its Roadshows Will Help Normalize Glass (TechCrunch)

ATAP Project Tango (Google)


HTC admits it took its ‘eyes off the ball’ in neglecting low-end phones (Engadget)


Wundercar is bringing Lyft-style ridesharing to Europe (The Next Web)

Microsoft Names Satya Nadella New CEO



Late last year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he would be leaving the company in the next 12 months, as soon as a replacement is found. This week, Microsoft announced who that replacement will be: Satya Nadella. India-born Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 after a brief stint at Sun Microsystems and had risen to become the head of cloud and enterprise before the announcement.

After Ballmer’s resignation, there was speculation as to who would succeed Ballmer as the third CEO of the software giant: some outsiders such as Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford CEO Alan Mulally were considered as likely candidates.

Microsoft also announced that founder Bill Gates will be leaving the Board of Directors and become an advisor to Nadella, which may lead to more direct influence over the company’s future roadmap. One thing is for sure, though: Gates will not return to the company full-time. He made this clear in 2008 when he took a less active role to focus on his philanthropic efforts, eight years after stepping down from his position as CEO.

Technology Weekly Roundup 2/7/14




Apple Patents Autocorrect Review System, Language Auto-Detect For Mobile Messaging (TechCrunch)

Flagship San Francisco Apple Store Approved by Planning Commission (MacRumors)

Tim Cook Says Apple Working on ‘Some Really Great Stuff’ in New Product Categories (MacRumors)


Microsoft Names Satya Nadella New CEO (TechSci)

Ctrl, Alt, Nadella: can Microsoft’s new CEO reboot the software giant? (The Verge)

Windows 8.1 Update 1 now rumored to arrive in April (The Verge)


Samsung could reveal Galaxy S5 at event later this month (The Verge)


Sony cutting 5,000 jobs, reverts forecast to loss (The Verge)

Sony quits the PC business to focus on mobile (The Verge)


The Questions That Computers Can Never Answer (Wired)

Ex-Googlers announce Beep, a Pandora-enabled WiFi controller for streaming music to any speaker (The Next Web)

KnowRoaming’s international sticker SIMs begin shipping to backers today (Engadget)