Google is now a mobile carrier. Today the company has made official its plan to offer wireless service to owners of its Nexus 6 smartphone. It’s called Project Fi, and Google is launching an early invite program beginning today. “Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The service is only available for the Nexus 6 and requires a special SIM card for Project FI — it will work with both existing Nexus 6 devices and new ones. Google says that right now the service is only available as an “early access program,” and during that program it won’t work on other phones.
Google’s new offering is unique in that the company will charge consumers only for the data they use rather than hit them with a flat monthly fee that comes with a preset amount of data. If you fail to use all the data you’ve paid for, Google will refund you the difference.
Comcast said Friday that it has terminated its $45.2 billion merger plans for Time Warner Cable, with the marriage of the top two cable operations in the US likely quashed by opposition from regulators.
“Today, we move on,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a short statement. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.”
News that the deal was falling apart started to emerge Thursday afternoon, with reports saying that increasing concerns from US regulators would end the tie-up. Earlier in the week, Comcast officials met with the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission to discuss potential concessions in the deal.
We are thrilled to announce that we will launch The New Screen Savers on May 2, 2015. The New Screen Savers will be a weekly, tech-themed variety show that reinvents the format for the modern age. Each hour-long episode will feature help and how-to segments, insight on the latest tech innovations, products, and trends, plus lots of fun surprises.
Forget about Geek Squad: Sprint has a new, free service for making house calls when it comes time to upgrade your phone. Starting Monday, Sprint is launching a new service called Direct 2 You that brings Sprint tech support to your door to help you set-up a new phone. Direct 2 You will roll out first in Sprint’s hometown of Kansas City followed by Chicago and Miami on April 20.
Sprint plans to launch the new service in other parts of the country throughout 2015. All told the company plans to have around 5,000 Direct 2 You cars operating in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. before 2016.At launch, Direct 2 You is only for customers eligible for a phone upgrade, but the company hopes to offer other services later on.
The Apple Watch basked in a strong opening weekend that could indicate success for the device, analysts say.
In an investors note Monday, Cowen and Co. estimated that total Apple Watch preorders worldwide reached about 1 million units during the first weekend of availability. Cowen, which has monitored Apple for years and scrutinizes the company’s product launches, extrapolated the preorder number after analyzing preorders at Apple Stores in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Because the aim of the research work is to make the Zurich robots active in their environment and capable of gaining knowledge from it, they are designed to cope with sudden movements in the landscape.
The system’s robust visual odometry – the use of data from motion sensors to calculate changes in position – and probabilistic dense reconstruction algorithms mean the drone is not disturbed by movements beneath it.
The drone still captures an accurate 3D scan of objects under its flightpath.
The visual odometry, planning, and control algorithms run entirely onboard the drone on its smartphone processor.
Posted by Foster BraunComments Off on Microsoft to add ‘enterprise grade’ biometric security to Windows 10
Summary:At the WinHEC conference in China today, Microsoft showed off a new biometric authentication feature called Windows Hello. The ambitious technology, which uses fingerprint and iris recognition to replace passwords, will debut in Windows 10 devices later this year.
For years, biometric authentication has been a sci-fi staple. Bits and pieces of biometric technology already exist in popular technology, most notably the TouchID fingerprint sensors used on late-model iPhones and iPads.
With Windows 10, coming later this fall, Microsoft plans to go big with biometric technology. The new OS will introduce system support for biometric authentication, the company says, “using your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock your devices … with technology that is much safer than traditional passwords.”
At the WinHEC conference in China today, Microsoft executives showed off the new feature, called Windows Hello. At first glance, it sounds like Microsoft’s response to TouchID — biometric authentication that can use a fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor, or other biometric sensor to provide instant access to a Windows 10 device. Show your face or touch a finger, Microsoft says, and you’ll be instantly authenticated on the local device.
Apple’s much-hinted-at subscription TV service may become a reality before the end of the year.
The iPhone maker is in talks with TV programmers to offer a Web-based subscription TV service that would launch in September, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing unidentified sources. The service would offer programming from about 25 channels, including major networks ABC, CBS and Fox, that would be available on all devices running Apple’s iOS operating system, including the Apple TV, according to the report. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)
The service, which is expected to be announced in June, would deliver programming across the Internet, like Dish’s Sling TV product and Sony’s upcoming service. The report did not reveal an expected subscription cost for the service but did note that some media executives pegged Apple’s service at about $30 to $40 a month. Dish’s Sling TV, meanwhile, is a $20 per month live TV package with 12 channels, including ESPN, TNT, CNN, HGTV and the Disney Channel. (Only US details have emerged at the moment.)
Posted by Foster BraunComments Off on Streaming Music Outsells CD’s For First Time
Ian Paul | @ianpaul email@example.com, TechHive Mar 20, 2015 8:12 AM
What, music streaming services are just beating CDs now?! In 2014, the money generated from streaming services finally outpaced compact disc shipments, according to a recent report from the Recording Industry Association of America. Revenue from streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and music video services like Vevo and YouTube hit $1.87 billion in 2014. CD shipments, meanwhile, were valued at $1.85 billion.
Major superstars like Taylor Swift may have little love for streaming services, and businesses like Spotify aren’t yet making a killing from subscription revenue. Nevertheless, streaming is growing fast and is on its way toward becoming the most popular way to consume music.
Posted by Foster BraunComments Off on HBO Announces Stand Alone Service Along With Discounted Apple TV
HBO’s long-awaited standalone subscription service is coming next month, and Apple TV has been announced as the company’s “exclusive” launch device. Viewers will be able to watch HBO Now from web browsers, but Apple TV is the only streaming box getting it to start. An app for iPhone and iPad will be released, as well. “All you need to get HBO Now is a broadband connection and an Apple device,” said HBO CEO Richard Plepler. Priced at $14.99 per month, HBO Now will offer access to HBO’s entirely library of original shows and also its large catalog of feature films.