With the sudden glut of 5-inch (and larger) smartphones hitting the market, one may wonder if Apple plans to introduce one of its own. In response to a question on today’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook maintained his stance against such a move because of his unwillingness to make tradeoffs in areas like resolution, quality and app compatibility caused by such a devices. He stated specifically that Apple would not ship such a phone “while such trade-offs exist”, leaving just enough wiggle room for a future announcement where it can claim all those issues have been solved.
Tag Archives: Quality
itwbennett writes “Here’s a bright spot in Beijing’s off-the-chart bad air pollution: The market for mobile apps that monitor air quality is thriving. ‘When the pollution went beyond the air quality index, all the social networks in China and media began paying attention to the problem,’ said Wang Jun, one of the developers of the China Air Pollution Index app. ‘This caused the downloads to increase 30 times.’” Obviously a Spaceballs fan, a Chinese man is even selling fresh air in cans.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
On Jan. 13, local developer Wang Jun found that downloads for his app had suddenly skyrocketed, totaling 58,000 in a single day.
Editor’s note: David Teten is a partner with ff Venture Capital and founder and chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York.
The good news for TechCrunch readers: Every major study conducted to date has placed angel investors’ internal rate of return (IRR) between 18 and 38 percent, as summarized by my Partner John Frankel and Professor Robert Wiltbank in previous TechCrunch articles. The bad news: The data on angel returns has historically been difficult to obtain, analyze, verify and, therefore, rely upon.
Ubitus might call itself “the worldwide technology leader in cloud gaming solutions,” but we’ve yet to hear of the Japanese cloud gaming company. But that’s about to change, as the company just announced a partnership with Google TV to bring “console and MMO games” to various GTV-enabled devices. That means both Smart TVs and set-top boxes with Google TV will now have access to Ubitus’ library of cloud-based games; Resident Evil 5, Lost Planet 2, and Super Street Fighter IV are all shown in an image we got with the announcement. Whether that means worldwide or Japan-only remains unknown for now, but we’ll be sure to find out as CES 2013 kicks off in earnest today.
Withings new flagship Smart Body Analyzer scale now measures air quality, heart rate (update: hands-on video)
Now that Withings has added a “low-end” model to its connected-scale pantheon, it’s time for the flagship model to get a refresh. The company’s latest Smart Body Analyzer may look like its predecessor, but now comes with heart rate and air quality monitoring sensors to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen. As before, the data is then pumped over WiFi to Withings’ website and mobile app, which can be shared as far as your dignity allows. Priced at $ 150, it’ll be arriving at some point in Q1, at which point we can validate our paranoid fantasies about airflow.
Filed under: Misc
GoPro’s lineup of mount-anywhere cameras has been dazzling extreme sports enthusiasts for years. The original HD Hero first delivered stills and wide-angle HD video in 2009, and those capabilities improved with a higher-res sensor, faster burst mode and a wider field of view in the Hero2. Now, GoPro has rolled out the Hero3, which packs even greater performance (up to 4K video!) in a cube that’s almost a full centimeter thinner than its predecessors.
What kind of powerful imaging gear did the company boffins shove in that diminutive package? Just how pro do videos from the new GoPro look? To find out, we took a Hero3 up in a jet, strapped it to the roof of a car and recorded a base jump out of a hot air balloon (from the safety of the basket, of course). Join us after the break to see the results and find out how we got along filming with the Hero3.
Gallery: GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition
Filed under: Cameras
If you like having your classics read to you by your handheld device but don’t care for the usual robot-stuck-in-a-well tones, Google Play Books has been updated with a more dulcet option. The “read aloud” function (which has been around for several versions, despite Google saying it’s new) now has a high quality voice option, which only works if you’re connected to the internet. We gave it a whirl ourselves, and it’s now far more tolerable to listen to “Oliver Twist” or other flowing text books, thanks to a more natural sounding voice — as heard in the audio file after the break. In addition, Google has added pinch or double-tap zoom options, text editing features for notes, personalized recommendations and “numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements.” To give it a look (or listen) for yourself, check the source for more info.
Via: Android Central
Source: Google Play Books
3Scale Discounts Cost Of Managing APIs Through Nginx Open-Source Server, Gives Developers Access, Services, Quality
3Scale has discounted the cost for managing APIs in the enterprise through a new plug-in it has added to Nginx, the open-source web Server technology. The plug-in runs inside Nginx and connects to the on-premise 3Scale service, which allows a customer to extend the modules that Nginx has for security, policies, etc. It connects to 3Scale features such as analytics and security services. 3Scales’s Steve Willmot said to me in an interview here at the Defrag conference that the service starts at $ 2,500 per month for five million API calls per day or 150 million calls per month. They also offer a standard tier of 250,000 API calls per day at $ 125 per moth. 3Scale also offers a free service. With Nginx, Willmot said a developer enters a URL for their API endpoint, then defines mapping rules through the 3Scale interface. It is then configured and added to the 3Scale service. API evangelist Kin Lane said 3Scale offers a pretty robust service for the price that it charges. It’s a cloud-type model with a freemium offering. You essentially pay as you go. This includes the integration of Swagger, a “specification and framework implementation for describing, producing, consuming, and visualizing RESTful web services.” 3Scale uses Swagger to provide an open-source spec of the customer’s API that provides interactive documentation to make calls on the service. According to Swagger, the documentation of methods, parameters and models are tightly integrated into the server code, allowing APIs to always stay in sync. Willmot said that the company wants APIs to be easy to create, but it is important to have capabilities such as access control and analytics to make the service complete. Integrating open-source technologies gives 3Scale the capability to offer affordable API management services. In comparison, the Apigee platform costs $ 100,000. Anant Jhingran, Apigee’s vice president of data, said the company has also launched its own cloud service that is free to start but increases in price after the enterprise customer surpasses 3.5 million API calls a day. Mashery’s costs are in the range of $ 2,500 per month and up. Jhingran told me today at Defrag that the market for APIs is broad and deep. There will be customers who want a platform like that from Apigee and those who want a service like 3Scale. It’s a rising tide that will benefit a broad market of users. Mashery CEO Oren Michels said it is hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison
Many high-end smartphones are equipped with 8MP to 12MP image sensors, and offer either an illuminated sensor or a flash, or a combination of both. For many, the camera on their smartphone is the only camera they own, or is the primary one they use, while the proliferation of photography apps, such as Instagram, make
Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn has denied earlier reports that thousands of workers went on strike on Friday at a plant that assembles Apple’s latest iPhone — reportedly causing production of the device to be “paralysed”. Today Foxconn said no such strike took place and claimed production of the iPhone 5 is on schedule, Reuters is reporting.
Unbox that shiny new iPhone 5 only to find it marred with scratches and blemishes? Good news: Apple is asking Foxconn to adhere to stricter quality demands for its flagship handset. Not so great news: workers at the firm’s Zhengzhou factory are striking over the demands. According to China Labor Watch, three to four thousand workers stepped off the production line to protest the new standards, which only allow for a 0.02mm appearance defect. “It’s tough under such stringent quality requirements,” writes Sina Weibo user and Foxconn employee Yefudao. “A 0.02mm appearance defect is already beyond that of our vision. With such a demanding task, workers’ mental pressure becomes so immense that they have to vent it out.”
China Labor Watch reports that the issue stems not only from the higher quality demands, but the fact that workers are being asked to meet them without receiving the training necessary to do so. The situation hasn’t broken out into a riot, but a dispute between line workers and quality control inspectors reportedly sparked a fight that led to property damage, injury and some hospitalization. Production lines have temporarily been frozen by management while Foxconn deals with the situation.
Just a little over a week after a brawl broke out at one of Foxconn’s factories in China, we’re now getting reports that Foxconn workers have gone on strike due to iPhone 5 quality demands. China Labor Watch is reporting that the strike happened today at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou Factory and involved three to four thousand
Let’s face it: many free WiFi hotspots are tacked on as bullet point items to get customers into a shop or hotel, without much concern for quality high enough that it keeps visitors coming back. Wicoms is hoping that a strategy to offer free Skype WiFi in Ireland and the UK will reverse that neglect. Instead of leaving stores to go through carrier partnerships or devise their own solutions, the partnership has stores pick up a £49 Wicoms router and commit to either a £10 ($ 16) monthly rate or prepaid brackets of £49 ($ 79) for six months and £95 ($ 153) for a year. The aim isn’t just to provide a more consistent level of performance — the Skype deal also provides a ready-made sign-in process, whether or not visitors have Skype accounts, as well as someone to turn to for help. While temptations exist to go with earlier alternatives, Skype and Wicoms are giving away the router during October to help sweeten the pot, even for those outlets that drop the Skype WiFi solution later on. Let’s hope the hotspots work well enough on the public-facing side; we could all use a few more shelters from low data caps and oversaturated access points.
Filed under: Networking
If you’ve got a collection of videos up on YouTube right this minute that you’d just love to have in a folder in your secure harddrive back home in their original format, Google has just answered your prayers today. In another lovely update to their Takeout menu, the Data Liberation Front has added the ability
Editor’s Note: This is Redpoint VC’s Tomasz Tunguz’ second article in a series examining trends in the public and private technology markets.
Last week, we discussed four trends in the public technology markets. Today we compare the current state of the US venture capital to historical norms.
First, we will examine the inflows into the venture capital market: dollars raised by venture capitalists. Then we will explore the outflows, VCs’ investment pace, contrasting the dollars deployed over time. Last, we will investigate market sentiment and consequent price fluctuations.
BlackBerry 10 smartphones, delayed until early 2013, will have the “best browsers in the industry” and will come in touchscreen-only models as well as those with traditional physical keyboards, a Research in Motion executive said Thursday.
New submitter seb42 writes “Pixel Qi announces new screens that can match or exceed the image quality of the screen in the iPad3, with a very low power mode that runs at a full 100X power reduction from the peak power consumed by the iPad3 screen. Hope the Google tablet has this tech.” The claims are pretty bold, and specific: “We have a new architecture that matches the resolution of the ipad3 screen, and its full image quality including matching or exceeding contrast, color saturation, the viewing angle and so forth with massive power savings.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
According to a study released this week, the technology behind the vibrant colors of the new iPad’s gorgeous Retina display contributes to a 20 to 30 percent increase in power consumption. It’s no surprise that the higher-resolution Retina display would be more power hungry, but it’s interesting to note that a portion of that may
With the incredible resolution that is the Retina Display, a lot of critics are taking a closer microscopic look into the various apps and content that have been around since before the improved technology. One of the companies that has been given such a critical eye is Conde Nast for its digital publications. Obviously, digital
The most fabulous Twitter application for Apple‘s iPad has been upgraded again, this time for the 2012 iPad with its high definition Retina-quality display. This app allows Twitter users to see their timeline on the right, a menu of lists on the left, and settings all around. This app not only allows you to work
This update to the racing game series that’s captivated the mobile gaming audience on Apple products for over a year now delivers an enhanced version of episode 6 with Retina-quality graphics and tweaks that’ll give you giggles galore. This game now brings on the same fabulous big-name collection of racing car manufacturers in addition to
Blu-ray’s been atop the home entertainment mountain, with only fleeting competition from HD-DVDs, ever since its introduction. Since then, home internet connections have gotten faster and the quality of downloadable content has improved such that iTunes can offer 1080p versions of your favorite movies. But, does iTunes really provide the crystal clear quality we’re accustomed to seeing from its disc-based competition? The good folks at Ars Technica decided to find out using the film 30 Days of Night, and results were mixed: text and color reproduction were virtually indistinguishable, but the compressed iTunes version showed warts when dealing with bright spots and dark gradients. Highlights in the downloaded movie were a little blown out and lacked the detail of their Blu-ray counterparts, and banding was visible in the downloaded movie during a darker scene. So, it seems that supreme video quality still comes via optical drive, but if you’re willing to sacrifice a smidge, the iTunes alternative is still pretty darn good. Don’t take our word for it, though, there’s lots of photos detailing the difference at the source below.
Netflix is in talks to partner with cable providers for bundles, could mean higher quality streaming
After CEO Reed Hastings recently hinted at the possibility of Netflix’s Watch Instantly service coming bundled with cable services, Reuters is reporting the company has met with “some of the largest US cable companies” to discuss partnerships. The report goes on to mention it could stream through cable set-top boxes and appear as another line item on customer’s bills, however for that, Netflix would have to rework content licensing agreements that bar its service from cable boxes, which has kept it off of TiVo Premieres offered by companies like Suddenlink and RCN. We’ve also spoken to the infamous people with knowledge of the discussions and are hearing that while deals are being discussed, what’s initiated the talks is the increasing bandwidth load that Watch Instantly is placing on networks — see the Comcast vs. Level 3 dustup from 2010.
What the deals being discussed could bring is a setup where your cable company offers bundled services (TV, internet, etc.) that include premium access to Netflix — higher quality audio and video streams that don’t count against bandwidth caps, and maybe even a discount from the standard rate. Cable companies could obtain revenue from Netflix under the deal, and also keep customers around thanks to the advantages of the bundled offerings, while Netflix could have more reliable distribution for its video, and a leg up on competition from Amazon and Redbox / Verizon FiOS. We’ll wait and see what happens, but in an interesting twist, Netflix could quickly join sports as a tool for providers to keep customers from cutting the cord, instead of a reason for it.
HTC kicked off its new strategy of offering fewer but more differentiated phones in 2012 with the launch on Sunday of the HTC One series of phones, emphasizing high quality photo and audio technologies.
Nestled deep within the iLounge hall of CES, surrounded by numerous vendors of cheap phone cases and yesterday’s news, we stumbled upon a company that didn’t quite belong. Known as NuForce, the firm is recognizable amongst audiophiles both for its high-end gear and consumer lineup that often shames overpriced competitors. As it happened, we stumbled upon a mysterious product known as the Air DAC, and happily, NuForce CEO, Jason Lim was on hand to give us a tour. Withholding technical specs (for now), the product is built for high quality wireless audio streaming and will ship as two distinct products — one that operates over USB and another built for Apple’s dock connector. We’re also told that each transmitter can be paired with four Air DAC receivers and vice versa. Also, the product can be daisy-chained together to cover larger distances.
The DAC unit itself is rather spartan, which features only a power connector and two RCA analog outs. Yeah, digital ports would’ve been more alluring, but the Air DAC seems to be targeted at the average consumer and we’re told it’ll have a price to match. The sound quality was absolutely fantastic when played through the Icon system, which includes a separate amplifier and the Icon S-X speakers. Then again, we wouldn’t have expected anything less, given the quality of the Icon setup to begin with. For an introductory look at the system in action, be sure to check the video after the break.
Gallery: NuForce Air DAC hands-on
I get asked a lot why Instagram is so popular. It might be because we just threw the first iPhone photography conference, 1197, or because I allegedly run a company that studies and designs interfaces. It could also be the world of photography is changing so fast that lots of us nerds are talking about how a tool like Instagram can pass 10 million users in 355 days. The interface implications are fascinating, the company and technology dynamics of serving content to 10 million users with less than ten employees are fascinating, the artistic content is fascinating, and the reasons why people like me are so addicted to the damn thing are fascinating. Here’s a crack at why, since I think some other attempts haven’t quite captured it.
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Video Rating: 5 / 5