Stream is Comcast’s $15 per month internet TV service

Cable provider Comcast has thrown its hat into the streaming TV service ring with its announcement of Stream. Stream will allow Comcast’s Xfinity internet customers to watch live and on-demand TV programming without a cable subscription. Customers will have access to about a dozen channels at launch, including all of the major broadcast networks.

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Seagate lowers Q2 projections; gross margin, revenue drop

Seagate has lowered its financial projections for Q2 2015, which ended July 3. The company expects $2.9 billion in revenue, down from earlier guidance of $3.2 billion to $3.3 billion. Non-GAAP gross margin is also expected to be lower than previously projected at 27%, down from 28.5%. Operating expenses are expected to be $530 million, $20 million lower than earlier forecasts of $555 million.

The company cites lower-than-expected demand as the key reason for the lowered forecast. Over the past quarter, Seagate says it shipped 45 million units, and estimates that it holds a …

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Security firm CrowdStrike to receive $100 million investment from Google

crowdstrike_logo

Security firm CrowdStrike has announced a $100 million investment from Google Capital. CrowdStrike was founded by ex-McAfee executives and utilizes cloud-based tools and security experts called “hunters” to actively combat hacking attempts, sometimes while they are in progress.

CrowdStrike has achieved some success in repelling attacks by Chinese based hacking groups, notably one group called Hurricane Panda. Earlier this year they claimed that the group had commenced an attack on a firm in January, but abandoned the attempt once they detected CrowdStrikes presence on the company’s network.

CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch believes Hurricane Panda abandoned the attempt based on an April 2014 incident involving another company protected by CrowdStrike. That successful response by CrowdStrike likely caused Hurricane Panda to realize “the cost and given the time and money wasted on the previous 0-day, decided it wasn’t worth it” to pursue their latest attack. Alperovitch says this was the first time they saw at attack abandoned in such a manner.

CrowdStrike also made a name for themselves recently by examining the Office of Personnel Management hack and determining it originated in China.

According to Gene Frantz, a partner at Google Capital,


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“We were blown away by CrowdStrike’s incredible growth and impressive customer adoption. They have a truly unique SaaS-based endpoint security model, a highly scalable subscription revenue model, and a visionary technical approach that has huge potential to transform the industry, which is why we’re thrilled to make this investment.”

Google Capital is separate from Google Ventures, a largely independent venture capital firm setup by Google. Google Capital is an investment arm of Google.

source: CrowdStrike
via: Business Insider

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Twitch’s pop-out feature lets you multi-task while watching 

Gamers everywhere have been relying on livestream sites like Twitch to enhance their gaming experience, particularly when it comes to playing on their mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. But what if you wanted to both play and watch a broadcast from the app? While Android device have some multi-tasking features available, it’s still hard to do this. But now Twitch is adding a pop-out feature that would let you do both at the same time.

Even when you’re outside the Twitch app, as long as you enable the pop-out feature, you’ll be able to continue watching the broadcast that has caught your attention, even as you’re doing other tasks on your device. It doesn’t even have to be the game itself that you’re playing. You can text your friends, post on Facebook, scroll through your Instagram timeline and like pictures, all while the Twitch broadcast you’re watching is playing. We are after all living in the age of multi-tasking.

All you have to do to activate this is to click on the pop-out icon on the bottom right corner of the video you’re watching. Take note that if you’re doing this on your smartphone, you’ll only be able to see the icon if you’re on landscape mode. Once the video has already popped out, you can adjust its size by pinching and zooming with your fingers. If you’ve had enough of multi-tasking, you can just tap the icon on the left of the player, and it will bring you back to the app but still continue playing the video where you left off.

The update has already rolled out for Android devices, so just make sure your app is up to date. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

SOURCE: Twitch

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Unannounced Desire 728 passes through TENAA

HTC_Desire_Eye_Back_HTC_Logo_TA

Over the weekend, an unannounced HTC-branded smartphone passed through China’s official certification database — TENAA. The mid-range handset, dubbed the Desire 728, carries the model number D728w and is believed to be targeted at the Asian market.

The device is rumored to pack a 5.5-inch 720p display, a 1.3GHz MediaTek octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter and a 2,600mAh non-removable battery.

Anonymous tipsters claim that the Desire 728 will be available in a multitude of different colours, including black, white, gold, grey, orange and red.

To view the full certification document over on TENAA’s website, hit the source link below.

Source: TENAA

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The next Android Wear update brings interactive watch faces, watch to watch messaging and more

LG_Watch_Urbane_Silver_Main_Silver_Chronos_Watch_Face_TA_01

The Android Wear platform has been around for over a year now, and although it has come a long way since launching with the LG G Watch and Moto 360, we are looking forward to seeing it evolve even more. The next Android Wear update was originally scheduled to be released on July 28th, but this has now been postponed to an unspecified date in August. This doesn’t mean that we have to wait to find out about some of the alleged new features though.

Thanks to the information provided to Phandroid, we are able to see that the next Android Wear update will include the ability to tap the watch display once to change aesthetics, launch activities, inline expansion and more. While there’s already third-party watch faces that offer the tap once gesture, it’s a feature that has to be hacked in by the developer, which often leads to system issues. Below are some examples of what a single tap can do, with the first example showing how the user could cycle through a list of options, i.e. different watch faces.

Android_Wear_Interative_Watchfaces

A single tap could also bring up more information from a watch face, the weather, for example, as seen below.

Android_Wear_Interative_Watchfaces_2Or, the single tap could bring up your fitness information, which could prove handy if you are at the gym.

Android_Wear_Interative_Watchfaces_3

Finally, the single tap could be used to open a new app, which would then slide in from the right of the display. It’s said that Google has informed Android Wear developers of the new features so that they can update their apps accordingly when the update is released. If Google hasn’t been in touch, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get access to the new API.

Together is a new feature that gives the ability for Android Wear users to send messages, emoji’s, stickers and doodles to other Android Wear users, as seen mentioned in the strings of code below:

Stay together by sending messages directly to your friend’s watch face”


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<string name=”wc_doodle_message_received”>%1$s sent you a doodle with %2$s</string>

<string name=”wc_photo_message_received”>%1$s sent you a photo with %2$s</string>

<string name=”wc_sticker_message_received”>%1$s sent you a sticker with %2$s</string>

<string name=”wc_message_received”>%1$s sent you a message with %2$s</string>

At present, it isn’t known whether the Together function will be launched as a system app or limited to just the one watch face. If it was indeed limited in use to the one watch face, it wouldn’t be very useful at all. It should be said that the information given to Phandroid wasn’t up to date, which means it may well have just been the starting point.

Finally, if you’re rocking an LG G Watch R, you’ve probably been waiting patiently for its WiFi capability to be activated, as promised by LG. This next Android Wear update appears to be the one you’ve been waiting for, now its just a matter of time until the update is released.

Are you excited about this upcoming Android Wear update? Let us know what features you would like to see included in the comments below.

The next Android Wear update brings interactive watch faces, watch to watch messaging and more

Source: Phandroid

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The Next Version Of Android Wear Will Reportedly Include Watch-To-Watch Communication And Interactive Faces

nexus2cee_ic_launcher_wear_thumb.pngWe’ve been hearing rumblings about an Android Wear update coming out in the next few weeks, and now Phandroid has some info on what might be included. The next update will have two main feature additions—a watch-to-watch communication system and interactive watch faces.

Android_Wear_Interative_Watchfaces_1-640x254

Regarding the interactive watch faces, you might be confused as some watch faces are already interactive (i.e. you tap and they do stuff). For example, you can tap some faces to pull up additional information like calendar events.

Read More

The Next Version Of Android Wear Will Reportedly Include Watch-To-Watch Communication And Interactive Faces was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sending location from Google Maps to Android Device now allowed

A few months ago, Google updated Search to allow sending directions to your Android phone. That’s from a Google desktop search to a smartphone. It’s one easy way to bring the information and directions you need when going to a certain destination. This time, Google has updated the Maps app to finally allow it to send directly from desktop Maps to the mobile Android app.

Google Maps for desktop now features ‘Send’ links that lets you send the current location indicated on the card. When you click on it, a list of your other Android mobile devices whether tablet or phone will be shown. Only those that are signed in to your Google account will be included. From there, you can send the location to another device which will then receive a notification before the location or directions are displayed for navigation.

send place to mobile device

When you find a place or location in Google Maps on your desktop computer, you can easily send it to your Android device for access whenever you are mobile. You have to make sure first that you are signed in to Map on both your computer and mobile device, search for a place, and Click Send in the card that shows then choose the Android device you want to send the information to. On the device, you will immediately receive a notification just make sure you are connected to the Internet.

Download Maps (version (9.11.0) from the Google Play Store or get it from APKMirror

VIA: Android Police

SOURCE: Google Support

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HTC One M9+ review: an improvement over the M9, but with a major drawback

An increasingly prevalent trend in the smartphone world is the introduction of “Plus” smartphones, that typically bring better specifications and more features over what is available with the main flagship from the OEM. And that can be disappointing for consumers that have already committed to the latter. To the dismay of many, HTC has done exactly that with its flagship One M9, adding a few key enhancements that should have actually been there with the original and releasing the One M9+.

Can this latest high-end offering from HTC be considered the company’s true flagship? We find out, in this comprehensive HTC One M9+ review!

Buy now on Amazon

Design

HTC One M9+-23

The HTC One M9+ is essentially a larger version of its flagship, with a few minor, but noticeable, tweaks. With the 0.2-inch bump in the display size, the M9+ is understandably taller and wider than the One M9, and the rear camera has been redesigned to a circular shape, compared to the rounded square seen with the original. The more prominent difference comes up front though, with the speaker grill below the display being split to accommodate a fingerprint sensor.

HTC One M9+-12

Otherwise, the device still features the same full metal unibody construction, with the build quality that we’ve come expect from HTC. The corners are rounded off, and the tapered back allows for the phone to sit nicely in the hand. The One M9+ is not drastically bigger than the One M9, and is still fairly easy to use in one hand, and will still be within the realm of what most people consider a “normal” sized phone. The metal ridge design that goes around the perimeter of the phone provides for a much better grip as well. The full metal body means that it still isn’t the easiest phone to hold onto, but by no means will you ever feel worried about the phone slipping out of your hands.

HTC One M9+-19

Going around the device, the power button is placed on the right side just below the volume rocker, which is a definite improvement over previous One series smartphones. As is the case with the regular One M9 though, the placement of the power button is a tad too low, which makes it somewhat difficult to reach. That said, the double tap to wake feature is also available with the One M9+, and you won’t be needing to reach the power button all that often anyway. Of course, now there is also the added benefit of unlocking the device and going straight into the home screen by using the fingerprint scanner. The rest of the buttons and ports are in their usual locations, with a large black strip up top for the IR blaster, with the headphone jack and microUSB port at the bottom, and the SIM card tray on the left. Finally, HTC’s tried and true BoomSound speakers return up front, and for better or worse, the infamous black HTC bar still resides below the display.

Display

HTC One M9+-27

The improvements over the smaller namesake start with the display, with the One M9+ featuring a 5.2-inch Super LCD3 with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 565 ppi. The bump is resolution does result in a far sharper screen, although some people will argue that the difference isn’t easily noticeable. Regardless, HTC has delivered another fantastic looking display with the One M9+, putting this flagship at par with the competition.

HTC One M9+-29

The blacks may not be as deep in comparison to the AMOLEDs of the world, but that isn’t surprising with an LCD screen. The screen overall is bright, vivid, with great viewing angles and a brightness that allows for comfortable outdoor viewing. There is a slight bias towards a warmer color tone though, that gives off a slightly yellowish hue sometimes, but otherwise, this display is an absolute pleasure to use in everyday tasks or for media consumption.

Performance

HTC One M9+-9

Another major change with the M9+ comes in the processor, but in this case, it does unfortunately prove to be a step back. Under the hood, the device packs an octa-core MediaTek MT6795T processor, clocked at 2.2 GHz, and backed by the PowerVR G6200 and 3 GB of RAM. In general everyday use, like navigating through the various elements of the UI and opening applications, the One M9+ provides a very fluid and responsive experience. It’s with multi-tasking that mixed results are seen. While switching back and forth between applications can be smooth and snappy sometimes, there are instances where there is a lot of stutter in the animations, and significant delays in the load times between apps.

HTC One M9+ Screenshots-17HTC One M9+ Screenshots-16HTC One M9+ Screenshots-15

The dip in performance is far more noticeable when it comes to gaming though, which really raises questions with regards to HTC’s decision to go with a MediaTek processor. Graphic-intensive games like Modern Combat 5 can run smoothly at times, but there is too much action on the screen, the frame rate drops significantly, resulting in very choppy gameplay. Games like Mortal Kombat X are a little too much for the One M9+ to handle, and even simpler games like Clash of Clans fail to run at a consistent frame. This could be due to a lack of optimization for the MediaTek processor, but is still a huge letdown for anyone that enjoys gaming on their phone.

Hardware

HTC One M9+-11

One aspect of the hardware that enhances the media consumption and gaming experience in general is with HTC’s signature front-facing BoomSound speakers. They are still the loudest and most crisp sounding speakers on any smartphone, unrivaled by anyone. With Dolby audio enhancements, you can easily toggle between a theater mode for a surround sound effect, and a music mode for a more flatter sound.

HTC One M9+-13

The bottom speaker has undergone a slight makeover with a separation in the grill to make way for the fingerprint scanner. The process of setting up the scanner is very similar to both Apple and Samsung’s implementation, that requires a series of repeated presses to accurately record your fingerprint. Up to 5 fingerprints can be stored at one time, and once set up, the sensor works surprisingly well. Using the fingerprint scanner unlocks the phone almost instantaneously the majority of the time, and easily rivals the scanners found on the latest Apple and Samsung devices. While you are able to use the scanner as a dedicated home button, it is actually not a real tactile button, and functions more like a capacitive key.

HTC One M9+-15

32 GB of on-board storage is available with the One M9+, and for those that do need more, the storage is further expandable via microSD card by up to 128 GB. The device also comes with the usual suite of connectivity and sensor options.

The HTC One M9+ comes with a non-removable 2,840 mAh battery that has proved to be quite good. The battery lasts from anywhere between 14 and 16 hours with normal usage, which should be more than enough for most people to get through a full day. With heavy usage, that involved lots of gaming and taking pictures, that number does dip considerably though, down to around 10 to 11 hours.

HTC One M9+ Screenshots-1HTC One M9+ Screenshots-2HTC One M9+ Screenshots-3
HTC One M9+ Screenshots-4HTC One M9+ Screenshots-6HTC One M9+ Screenshots-7

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Exact screen-on times can’t be provided because for some reason, HTC has made determining that number very difficult. What can be said is that there was never a issue with getting through a full day unless you really put the device through its paces, and that did result in needing to reach for the charger in the middle of the day. The use of a MediaTek processor means that the One M9+ doesn’t come with any fast charging capabilities though, which would have been nice, but isn’t exactly a deal breaker.

Camera

HTC One M9+-8

HTC brings back the Duo Camera setup of the One M8 with the One M9+, allowing for the camera to refocus shots after the fact, but considering that many smartphone cameras can achieve the same effect with only one sensor, the re-introduction of the Duo Camera becomes a rather questionable choice. The main camera is still the same 20 MP shooter from the One M9, and a 4 MP UltraPixel camera is once again found up front for some high quality selfies.

HTC One M9+-31

The camera application continues to be minimalistic, with quick toggles to easily switch between the front camera and rear camera, and the ability to take a panorama shot simply by swiping on the viewfinder, or tapping the button on the bottom right. Photo Booth and Split Capture are also available for those you want it. The rest of the camera settings are hidden in the overflow menu, which keeps the interface from getting cluttered, but does result in getting to modes like HDR and manual requiring a few more steps than is necessary. The most notable difference with the camera UI is the addition of the Duo Camera toggle to quickly switch between duo capture and standard high resolution shots.

The Duo Camera works just like it is supposed to, but for best results, you’ll need to make sure that there is a clear subject of focus and a clear background, or the refocusing may not look very convincing. The biggest caveat to using this setup is that photos are capped at 4 MP, so there’s not a whole lot of room to work with if you’re planning to crop.

HTC One M9+-32

When shooting in the normal full resolution, there is plenty of detail in the shots, especially when you’re working with 20 MP, but considering that this the same sensor and software, the One M9+ faces a lot of the issues that plagued the camera experience of the One M9. Good looking shots are possible with the right lighting conditions, but the main problem here is its lack of dynamic range and the way it handles exposure. The exposure can be adjusted by tapping anywhere on the viewfinder, which is a very simple and easy implementation, but even a tiny change in the place you tap will result in major swings in the exposure, leading to two completely different looking photos as a result. HDR does help improve the situation, but with several seconds of processing time between each shot, it’s not always the most practical solution.

The situation doesn’t get much better in low light conditions, and without OIS, it becomes extremely difficult to get a clear shot, especially when the shutter has to to stay open longer to try and capture more detail. At higher ISOs, pictures quickly become filled with noise, which is expected, but results in soft images with very little color. This just goes to show that it isn’t all about just the megapixel count, and it is very evident that this camera is still suffering from the same problems as those seen on the One M9.

Software

HTC One M9+-1

On the software side of things, the HTC One M9+ is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, with the HTC Sense 7 UI on top. The user interface retains everything that many have come to know and love about HTC Sense from previous iterations, and adds a few key features that were first introduced with the One M9. The interface is still fast and fluid, and there are of course the now familiar elements like the vertical scrolling app drawer and Blinkfeed, which now also shows restaurant recommendations during meal times (which can also show on your lock screen if you so choose).

All of the motion launch gestures that make accessing certain functions of the phone a lot faster are still available, including double tap to wake, swipe up to unlock from a sleep state, directly access BlinkFeed, and quickly launch the camera app just by picking the device up in the landscape orientation and tapping the volume down button.

HTC One M9+ Screenshots-9HTC One M9+ Screenshots-11HTC One M9+ Screenshots-10

New features introduced with Sense 7 include the addition of the home widget and a themes engine. The home widget aggregates a selection of applications that will be most useful to you, changing according to your location. Also available is a folder that houses the recently downloaded applications, and there is also a list of recommended apps that will appear alongside it. This feature can certainly be useful for some, but can also be removed easily if you don’t find a need for it.

HTC One M9+ Screenshots-14HTC One M9+ Screenshots-8HTC One M9+ Screenshots-12HTC One M9+ Screenshots-13

On the other hand, the new themes engine is one of the best additions to HTC Sense, and even though the default UI does look great, it is always nice to have a change of scenery. The themes engine is still relatively new, but there’s already numerous options to choose from, that allow you to change virtually everything at the click of a button, including the wallpaper, icons, sounds, fonts, and even the general system UI elements. You can even create your own theme by selecting a wallpaper or photo of your choice, and the theme engine will automatically build one for you; but you also have more granular control features at your disposal, to get it to look exactly the way you want it.

Specifications

Display
5.2-inch Super LCD3
2560 x 1440 resolution, 565 ppi
Processor
2.2 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6795T processor
PowerVR G6200 GPU
RAM
3 GB
Storage
32 GB, expandable via microSD card by up to 128 GB
Camera
Duo Camera (20 MP + 2.1 MP) with dual LED flash
4 MP Ultrapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS + GLONASS
microUSB 3.0
Battery
2,840 mAh
Software
Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Dimensions
151 x 72 x 9.6 mm
168 grams
Colors
Gunmetal gray, silver gold

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

The HTC One M9+ is already available in markets like China and India, and has recently become available on Amazon for purchase in the US, with a price tag of around $710, which does fluctuate though. Available color options include gunmetal and silver gold. Keep in mind that, since it is a GSM version, it is compatible only with the AT&T and T-Mobile network in the US.

HTC One M9+-28

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the HTC One M9+! With such a high price tag, the device will be going up against some stiff competition in the LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6, and even the HTC One M9 itself. If you’re confused between the One M9+ and its smaller sibling, the choice you have to make is with regards to how important a Quad HD display and fingerprint scanner are to you, and if they are worth the price. While these features are great to have, One M9 owners shouldn’t feel like they’ve been cheated, because the One M9+ is not without its shortcomings, particularly with regards to performance.

Buy now on Amazon

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Samsung smartphones could soon measure body fat

Samsung Galaxy S5 127 camera blue heart rate monitor

Smartphones and wearables are progressing to being more than just communication devices as we increasingly use them more to measure health and fitness. Smartphones can measure heart rate and a range of fitness and lifestyle metrics but Samsung wants to take it to the next level by measuring body fat.

The Korean manufacturer was granted a patent that allows it to place the measurement sensors on the device itself or on the screen on a phone case. The sensors would then work together to measure fat levels once they come into contact with the human body and based on the illustration, the sensors would work by measuring readings from both hands.

samsung-body-fat-patent-new

The patent goes on to describe the feature as:

acquiring the object’s impedance information on the basis of the intensify of the input current and the intensity of the measured voltage; and acquiring the object’s body fat information on the basis of the impedance information.

Health and fitness is a focus not only for Samsung but for all manufacturers. Tracking and monitoring forms a large part of the new Apple Watch, while the Huawei TalkBand and Samsung Gear Fit are all fitness-related. Add in the tracking abilities of Android Wear and fitness is a key area that many are contesting but Samsung could dominate with its new patent.

The ability to measure body fat will certainly be interesting not only for consumers but for the medical profession as well. The biggest issue with current fitness features is that, often, the results aren’t accurate enough for professional uses. If Samsung can make the sensor readings accurate enough for use by the medicine professionals, smartphones may become useful in an entirely different way.

What do you think guys? Would you use body fat sensors on your next smartphone? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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