Almost all of the Pentagon’s 600,000 smartphone users currently tote BlackBerry devices in their holsters, but that’s about to change.
The Pentagon has given the green light to both Apple and Samsung to bid for the smartphone and tablet business contracts for its defense staff.
And so it begins…
Humans are already starting to sympathize with robots, but US and Chinese researchers want to give robotics an even more humanlike touch — quite literally. A pair of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and a colleague at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have developed a new kind of 3D circuit array capable of providing the touch sensitivity of a human fingertip. “This would be useful in applications such as artificial/prosthetic skin, smart biomedical treatments and intelligent robotics in which the arrays would sense what was in contact with them,” explains a Georgia Tech news release.
Definitely some applications for this type of technology in the oil field.
For all the Facebook naysayers, Mark Zuckerberg has proven himself an innovative leader time and time again, and in the past 24 hours he has done it again. With declining user growth, the headlines counting Facebook as washed out piled up to the ceiling, however they didn’t count on Facebook being able to turn on an advertising mechanism that can grab literally billions of advertising dollars. Yesterday Facebook announced [link] that they will be testing a mobile ad network/exchange.
So instead of cluttering their already slow mobile apps with ads, the company has decided to leverage the large scale behavioral/interest driven memory banks that they’ve spent that past few years accumulating.
On a practical basis what this means is that Facebook will sell ads based on user interests on third party websites. So if you ‘Like’ a number of fashion designers on Facebook they will sell ad slots to those designers and have the banners appear when you visit sites such as MSM, ESPN, et al.
Some users will feel like this is a breach of privacy, however I personally would rather see advertising based on my interests than generic companies. This is the reasons why I’ve made more purchases based on Facebook ads than any other online mechanism for the past few years.
The company has not said if they will venture into the desktop ad exchanges and compete with the likes of Yahoo and Google, however the high ceiling for mobile revenue should keep investors happy for many years to come.
Who would have guessed that smartphones would be the key to home automation truly going mainstream?!
LIFX Kickstarter project, a WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy-efficient LED light bulb that is designed to integrate technology that allows you to control it with your iOS or Android device. It’s similar to how a NEST thermostat integrates with your existing heating system, but works in any of your lighting products around your house. The project is just over 24 hours old and already it has achieved its $100,000 goal, reaching $230,134 from 1,780 backers. (via LIFX Hits Kickstarter to Completely Reimagine the Lightbulb)
Despite the fact that I’ll choose the iOS platform over Android for app development, this usage data illustrates how quickly an inferior product can dominate when it fits a certain market need.
A little bit of humor for your Thursday.
Looks like Amazon is looking to be the ‘poor man’ version of Apple and Google in yet another sector.
So it looks like Amazon is entering the smartphone space as well — or at least thinking about it, if Tim Culpan, Olga Kharif and Ashlee Vance’s sources are correct.
And they likely are. This is the obvious next step after the Android-powered Kindle Fire. The one glaring problem would be patents — as in, Amazon likely has little or no mobile patents — but the article suggests that Amazon is already hard at work on resolving that potential roadblock.
The entire time I’m reading this news, I’m thinking: if they’re both being honest, doesn’t it seem obvious that Google and Amazon should team up in this endeavor? Think about it: Amazon’s strength is content and distribution — two of Google’s glaring weaknesses. Google strength is in mobile software/services and post-Motorola deal, mobile patents. Both have some hardware experience now, but neither yet holds a candle to Apple in that regard. But perhaps with their combined expertise…
And yet, it will never happen. While the two companies may not outright hate each other, post-Kindle Fire, they’re clearly at odds with one another. Google also just moved more forcefully into the developer cloud space that Amazon owns. And there are about a dozen other rivalry overlaps.
A joint effort by Amazon and Google to make a truly killer phone makes a lot of sense to me on paper. Sadly, that’s where it will stay.
It’s about time that the emergency notification system recognized the fact that there are millions of people who could be quickly notified of incoming storms.
National Weather Service to send severe weather warnings directly to smartphones
Starting today, the National Weather Service (NWS) will send severe weather warnings to smartphone users in the path of dangerous conditions. The Wireless Emergency Alerts system will notify people of approaching tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, flash floods, extreme winds, blizzards and ice and dust storms by sending an up-to-90 character message to their smartphone. The system is only compatible with newer devices, and will not be available in all areas, but the NWS says that “millions of smartphone users” will start receiving messages soon. Apple intends to support the service this fall, but it’s not clear whether the support will be limited to new hardware, or if all its devices will receive an update.
The service is free and users can opt out if they don’t appreciate the weather spam. Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist at the national Storm Prediction Center tells the Associated Press that “even in those areas of the country where there’s a lot of severe weather, the frequency with which you would be alerted is pretty low.”
The more smartphones are universally adopted, entry level phones are going to become increasingly feature rich.
iPhone 4S features could be available this year in entry-level smartphones.
A new platform from MediaTek allows currently high-end features to be cheaply manufactured into budget and mid-range smartphones. The company has combined a 1GHz ARM processor, a PowerVR Series5 SGX graphics processing unit, and a 3G modem onto a single die, allowing for smartphone manufacturers to cheaply manufacture devices capable of running Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”.
The technology will enable entry-level phones capable of utilizing an 8 megapixel camera, stereo 3D cameras, 1080p video playback and recording, or 1280 x 720 pixel displays.
Expect to see devices featuring the MT6577 platform shipping from late 2012.
Love them or hate them, social gaming, especially on smartphones, has become a nascent force to be reckoned with in our technologically driven society. Two of my favorites are ‘Words with Friends’ and ‘Draw Some’. Considering that both are still in their respective infant stages and rarely debated on philosophical terms, I wanted to compare them and discuss the game theory mechanics behind each and what they illustrate about the evolution of our culture.
Words With Friends is nothing more than a digital form of Scrabble. It first gained popularity on Facebook, before launching into the stratosphere of usage after launching in the Apple and Android app stores. Celebrities such as Alex Baldwin have even been ‘put in timeout’ due to how additive the gameplay can be. Pretty much anyone who has played the game with regularity can attest to how habit forming it can become. This is a game that quite quickly can bring out the worst in users, the number of ‘cheat’ apps that you can readily download from the app store bear witness to how this application’s focus in to try and get you to beat your opponent, by any means necessary.
Compare that to ‘Draw Some’, which is a social pictionary-esque game that pairs users up with their friends and both parties work to guess what their partner drew/painted on their turn. Besides for pride and bragging rights (the Pegasus below this post is one of my masterpieces), there is no real competition involved in this game. Users’ entire motivation resides in how well they can draw specific words and phrases.
And please do not take this post to be a: peace, love and campfire song manifesto, instead I just thought it was interesting to observe how different humans behave, simply based on the circumstances they find themselves in.
Whether it’s for business or relationships, it made me contemplate how important it is to ensure that I’m always working to create a positive, cooperative environment in every aspect of life. Just by doing that, we can make it much easier to bring out the best in people and work for the common good.
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