Archive for day April 4th, 2012

Samsung planning mobile ad platform to rival Google and Apple

Samsung on Tuesday confirmed that it is teaming up with OpenX Technologies to create a mobile ad platform that will rival Google and Apple, The Wall Street Journal reported. The service will be called Samsung AdHub Market and will enable companies to place advertisements on Samsung phones and tablets beginning in the second half of the year. Potential advertisers will be able to purchase ad space on mobile devices through both app developers and Samsung, and pricing details are not yet known. “This is the first time any device manufacturer has entered the ad tech space in this way,” said OpenX Chief Executive Tim Cadogan. “It is becoming very clear to the principals in the mobile space that advertising is going to be a very important part of the revenue mix.”

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Dan Graziano

April 4th

Apple

Do You Care How Ugly the Google Glasses Are? [Qotd]

The internet, it is divided! Some people are disgusted by the Google Glass look—it is pretty goddamn nerdy. On the other hand, if it actually works as well as that snazzy demo video, does it even matter? More »


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Sam Biddle

April 4th

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Hands-On With The HTC Evo 4G LTE

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HTC and Sprint have just pulled back the curtains on the new Evo 4G LTE here in New York, and putting the peculiar name aside, the device seems like a real contender. The question then is how does the Evo’s strong spec sheet translate into a real-world experience? I got the chance to play with the $199-on-contract device for a few moments, and while it’s not quite as handsome as the One X, it’s still probably Sprint’s best phone in quite a while.

Thumbing though menus and opening apps was just snappy as expected, thanks in large part to the Evo’s Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM. I didn’t notice a tick of slowdown as I manhandled the device, though a kindly HTC rep did — while showing off the camera’s ability to take snapshots while recording video, we quickly found that the feature he wanted to show me wasn’t working. Hiccups like this aside (the units I played with were still running non-final software), the Evo was buttery smooth, though that could change a bit once these start trickling out in to the real world.

Much like with the One X, I found the Evo to be a little on the unwieldy side. That the Evo manages to only feel a little unwieldy is impressive by itself — it’s easy to expect that a device with a 4.7-inch display could hurt some people more than it would help, but it wasn’t too difficult to put the phone through its paces with one hand. Your mileage may vary on that front, of course, but the device’s thin waistline definitely helps make it feel more manageable.

Though the Evo comes in at 8.9mm thick, it has a remarkably solid feel to it. The Evo has its mostly metallic build to thank for that — while the glossy black top half of the Evo’s rear end is made of polycarbonate, the dark matte material below is actually anodized aluminum. The end result is a device that’s very light, but also manages to inspire some confidence in the user. HTC has had a great track record when it comes to the build quality of their devices, and that trend continues with the Evo in spite of their design tweaks.

And now we come to the part where I have to eat a little crow. I’ll admit, I may have judged the Evo a bit too harshly when it came to style. Don’t get me wrong, the Evo still pales in comparison with its AT&T-bound (or international) cousin, but I found the peculiar two-tone finish (well, three-tone, technically) growing on me after playing with the Evo for a while. Would I call the whole package sexy? Not really — it perhaps stays too faithful to the original Evo 4G’s design language, but that shouldn’t stop Sprint customers from giving it some serious thought.



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Chris Velazco

April 4th

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Phones Were More Interesting in 1979 [Video]

Sure, most of the handsets in this Bell advertisement are pretty hideous—but it was the late 70s, man. These were hideous times. And besides, I'll take the wacky "Sculptura" and "Stowaway" over today's sea of black blech rectangles. More »


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Sam Biddle

April 4th

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Keen On… Carl Bass: Why Autodesk Remains “Incredibly Relevant” [TCTV]

Screen Shot 2012-04-02 at 11.14.55 PM

It’s not just start-ups that radically innovate. Take, for example, Autodesk, the 3D design, engineering and entertainment software giant that, according to its President and CEO Carl Bass, continues to be “incredibly relevant” in the innovation economy. “The most creative people use our tools,” Bass told me about popular Autodesk software like Sketchbook, Pixlr and Instructables, when I talked to him at The Economist‘s Innovation event in Berkeley last week. And Bass’ optimism extends to the future where, he told me, all of Autodesk’s products will have migrated online and the cloud, mobile and social will have radically transformed its business. Indeed, in 5 years time, he predicts, computing will become an “abundant resource” thereby providing Autodesk with even richer opportunities to create innovative design, engineering and entertainment software.

This conversation is part of a series that I recorded last week in Berkeley at the Innovation event. Check out my interviews with Stewart Brand, Clay Christensen and Vivek Wadhwa. Tomorrow, I’ll publish interviews about innovation with Don Tapscott and Laura Tyson, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Clinton Administration.



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Andrew Keen

April 4th

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Watch a Nikon D4 Shutter Fire at 1000 fps [Video]

The new Nikon D4 DLSR is a beast. Its fires off 11 shots per second with gusto. The inner workings of such a task are hard to appreciate with the naked eye. But if you have a Phantom camera, your eye is considerably less naked. In this video, enthusiasts Jason Kolsch and Jayson Jordon used a Phantom Gold to capture the D4 at 1000 fps. Skip to about :55 seconds for the good stuff. [FStoppers] More »


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Michael Hession

April 4th

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Google and Paramount strike a deal: 500 movies coming soon to YouTube, Google Play

Google on Wednesday announced a new deal with Paramount Pictures that will allow more than 500 movie titles to be rented through YouTube and the Google Play marketplace. The Mountain View-based company now has rental deals with five of the six major Hollywood studios — including Paramount, Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures — and 20th Century Fox is the only studio that hasn’t yet reached an agreement with Google. “Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Paramount has been responsible for some of the most memorable films in cinema history,” said Malik Ducard, YouTube’s director of content partnerships. “With the addition of Paramount, we now have five of the six major studios and over ten independent movie studios offering nearly 9,000 movies for rent to millions of people around the world. It’s still early days for us, and we’ll continue adding new titles and expanding our service to more countries this year.” The majority of the movies tied to this deal are available now, and the rest will be added to YouTube and Google Play over the next few months.

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Dan Graziano

April 4th

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Ghostly Neon Skeleton Is a Macabre Addition To Your Man Cave [Art]

A glowing neon Budweiser sign helps set a festive mood in your man cave. Unless you're going for more of a goth-like feeling of despair and hopelessness. In that case you'll totally want Eric Franklin's glowing skeleton sculpture hanging over your bar. More »


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Andrew Liszewski

April 4th

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Uber Simplifies Sign Up Process: Just Hold Up Your Credit Card & You’re In!

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On-demand black car service Uber is making it easier for new users to sign up for rides, thanks to its newly-announced Card.io integration. For those unfamiliar with the mobile payments startup Card.io (a competitor with Jumio), it’s a mobile toolkit that allows app publishers to speed up the process of collecting users’ credit card information. Instead of requesting users to fill out forms by typing in their credit card details on their phone’s tiny keyboards, Card.io allows you to simply hold up your credit card in front of the phone’s camera. The app then “sees” the card, reads the numbers and enters the information for you.

Like its well-funded competitor Jumio, Card.io’s service is now available both on mobile and the web, and developers can choose to associate it with their own merchant account or can choose to use Card.io as their complete end-to-end solution.

Uber (disclosure, CrunchFund-ed) says it has implemented the new feature in their latest iPhone app update, and plan to add it to their Android app next. Although Uber didn’t name which of the services it chose in its brief company blog post, Card.io CEO Mike Mettler confirmed it’s indeed them that Uber is talking about over there.

Uber, while a buzzy name in the startup scene, is actually only one of some now 200+ developers that have integrated the toolkit into their apps. The company has $1 million in seed funding, and expanded to support online merchants last month.



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Sarah Perez

April 4th

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Sodastream Refreshes With Sleek New Look [Beautiful]

The Sodastream not only reduces waste, but saves your arms the stress of lugging multiple jugs of sparkling water home from the grocery store each week. There is one area, though, where the home soda-making gadget is not helping things, and that is how it looks in your kitchen. The thing is just kinda awkward looking. More »


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Michael Hession

April 4th

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