Walyou » Technology http://walyou.com Cool Gadgets, New Gadgets, Tech News and Geek Design Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:14:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Sony partner with Spotify and kill Music Unlimited in the process http://walyou.com/sony-partner-with-spotify-and-kill-music-unlimited-in-the-process/ http://walyou.com/sony-partner-with-spotify-and-kill-music-unlimited-in-the-process/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:14:32 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214981

In a twist that is not surprising at all Sony has decided to partner with Spotify to create PlayStation Music, eliminating the need for Music Unlimited in the process.

PlayStation Music is a new service announced by Sony and Spotify that will allow gamers to do something else with their consoles whenever they’re taking a break: to access the endless supply of music in Spotify’s library of tunes. And because of this, Sony realized there was no point in Music Unlimited existing anymore, so their support will end the 29th of March, right on time for Spotify to finish the new program.

Music Unlimited used to be Sony’s on-demand service, and it launched as Qriocity in 2010. While it was supported in 19 countries, the service was unavailable in many others that had local versions of Sony’s offerings and services. It seems that the service was more of a hassle for Sony, who now seem happy to get rid of it and hand the responsibility off to a third party, like many other companies outside of the video game field have done.

PlayStation Music will let users access and manage their Spotify playlists and songs from the consoles, and link both Spotify and PSN accounts even letting users pay for Spotify via their PSN wallets. The service will be available for all of Sony’s home consoles (PS3 & PS4) but not for the portable PS Vita. The idea is to let users listen to music while they play their favorite games.

Current Music Unlimited users will receive the next month for free as well as a free Spotify trial once the new app launches. All in all, the service will be available in: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK and USA.

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Immersis, or a shared virtual reality experience http://walyou.com/immersis-shared-virtual-reality/ http://walyou.com/immersis-shared-virtual-reality/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:32:39 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214977

The company Catopsys has a new trick under it’s sleeve, and it’s called Immersis. With it they plan to enter the virtual reality race and take everyone head on.

Ever since the Oculus Rift became mainstream (well, sort of), companies started making great strides in the field of virtual reality as no one wanted to be left behind: there were Samsung with the Gear VR, or Sony with Project Morpheus, for example. Yet, all of these ideas were based around the same premise: a headset a user can put on to enjoy an individual experience.

This is the idea Catopsys wanted to challenge – the French-American company switched the concept around, and created a projector with a fisheye lens that can immerse (hence its name) the users inside a virtual reality world of their choosing. If it sounds similar to Microsoft’s Illumiroom, it’s because the idea is basically the same: to project a world around us, and turn the walls into our “headset”.

As of now, Immersis can currently be used with all kind of computers, but not cellphones or video game consoles (consoles use proprietary formats and codecs). It’s capable of a 1920×1080 resolution, with a 180º horizontal field of view and 120º vertical. It can connect via both HDMI and DVI, and comes with an SDK so users can create and adapt material to this platform.

Catopsys are currently trying to crowdfund Immersis via Kickstarter, and although they’ve already reached the initial goal, there are still many interesting stretch goals that might be worth researching for tech geeks. The first few Immersis sets will come out in October.

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Microsoft Will Offer a Windows 10 Free Upgrade Later This Year http://walyou.com/microsoft-will-offer-a-windows-10-free-upgrade-later-this-year/ http://walyou.com/microsoft-will-offer-a-windows-10-free-upgrade-later-this-year/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:00:34 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214941

At the company’s Windows 10 preview event, Microsoft revealed that a Windows 10 free upgrade will be offered to existing Windows users.

When Windows 10 was announced back in late 2014, consumers and critics watched carefully to figure out how Microsoft planned to make amends for Windows 8. Windows 8 removed the Start bar and introduced the tiled Metro lay out which made navigating on a desktop computer or non-touchscreen laptop nigh on impossible. The bizarre design decisions were so polarising that many Windows users jumped ship to Apple’s iMacs and Macbooks or stayed on Windows 7 just to steer clear of Windows 8 altogether.

So the fact that Windows 10 would reverse these things – bringing back the Start bar and allowing users to decide what sort of navigational menu they use – was heralded as a fantastic decision on Microsoft’s part. The problem with this is that while everyone talked up Windows 10′s new features, there were still millions of people stuck on Windows 8, unable to access its successor without having to pay for it.

But Microsoft will remedy that, having now announced plans to offer a Windows 10 free upgrade.

Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, announced the plan on stage at the Windows 10 preview event. Myerson explained that for the first year following Windows 10′s launch, those using Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to their latest operating system for free. Other than hardware requirements (which will tell you if your device can run the operating system or not) that have yet to be announced, there don’t appear to be any strings attached.

Myerson also said that the policy is part of their new ‘Windows as a service’ stance. As a result, devices (including those that upgraded to Windows 10 for free) will be consistently updated during the “supported lifetime for the device.”

While this is obviously an attempt to bump up Windows 10′s numbers early on, and avoid the abysmal adoption rate that Windows 8 suffered from, it would be unwise to turn our noses up at it. Not only does it get us a free operating system, but as this allows developers to “target every single Windows device” we could very well have more games and apps to play with too.

Windows 10 will launch later this year. We’ll keep you posted once we know more.

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Trimmed Down Facebook Lite App Is Coming to Android http://walyou.com/facebook-lite-android-app/ http://walyou.com/facebook-lite-android-app/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:45:22 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214956

Seeing as not all Android users need the fully-fledged Facebook app’s bells and whistles, the social network is now working on a slimmed-down version that has a smaller impact on the storage and the resources.

The company pointed out that the Facebook Lite app for Android was specifically created for developing countries where bandwidth matters. That’s only one side of the problem, the other being the phone’s storage. Users cannot install that many apps on older Android devices, and Facebook Lite might provide them access to the social networking without having to make compromises in that area. At 252KB, Facebook Lite will be barely noticeable.

On top of that, the social network’s new Android app will work perfectly fine when using a 2G connection. In case there’s no 3G or 4G in a specific area, but you really need to update your status or check-in, you can now do that using a slower connection. I guess that’s better than not being apple to use the app at all.

This is not exactly the first time the social network rolls out something called Facebook Lite. In 2010, a browser-based trimmed-down app was created, but that didn’t see the light of day for long. For the time being, the Facebook Lite Android app is only available in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, but it should launch globally soon enough.

As an Android and Facebook user, I had the social network’s app installed on my phone, up to one point. More specifically, when the company decided that there should be a main app and a messaging app, I wondered if I really needed any of them. The friends I talk to most often also use Google’s Hangouts or WhatsApp, so whenever I need to share something with them, I turn to one of those two apps. Bandwidth is not a problem for me (I have an unlimited data plan), and neither is storage, even though I only have 16GB. What determined me to uninstall both the main app and Messenger was the huge impact of these apps on my CPU and RAM. With that came a lower battery life and all that jazz. Facebook Lite could make users like myself reconsider using the app on my Android smartphone.

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Virgin to Launch the ‘World’s Largest’ Internet Satellite Constellation http://walyou.com/virgin-to-launch-the-worlds-largest-internet-satellite-constellation/ http://walyou.com/virgin-to-launch-the-worlds-largest-internet-satellite-constellation/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:56:52 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214910

As several other Internet providers reveal plans to provide the world with Internet, Virgin joins them, announcing plans for Internet satellite constellations.

Despite only having been around for two decades, the Internet has already massively impacted our lives. For some it has provided fame and fortune, for others it has provided jobs and friendship and for everybody else it just gives them a way to binge watch TV (Netflix!) when they have a bit of free time.

But as the world becomes more Internet focused than ever (kitchen appliances are already being hooked up to the net, for example) some people risk being left behind. Not only that but for those in remote areas or for those in poor, rural communities, the Internet could offer them a new source of livelihood. Unfortunately though, with them being unable to trump up the cost for fibre optic (or slower copper wired broadband) they haven’t got a chance.

This is something that Sir Richard Branson’s company, Virgin, would like to remedy. Off the back of his galaxy spanning Virgin Galactic program (which takes people to space and lets them float about in zero gravity conditions) they have now announced plans to work with a startup called OneWeb to launch “the world’s largest ever satellite constellation”.

Branson says that Virgin Galactic will “help make… frequent satellite launches (possible) at a much lower cost and greater reliability.” This will work by sending the Launcher One 51,000 feet into space via the WhiteKnightTwo cargo aircraft where it then releases a sub-500 pound device into a near-Earth orbit. This strategy, along with the fact that the launch uses much less fuel than conventional rocket launches, makes it ideal for putting together an Internet satellite constellation on the cheap.

With the lofty goal of 648 satellites, Virgin hopes to deliver Internet and phone reception to “billions of people” the world over. However, there are clear issues with this already. For one, the Virgin Galactic program has been going though some issues lately including the crash of SpaceShipTwo which killed a pilot and threw up questions of Virgin Galactic’s safety. At the time Branson assured people that Virgin Galactic is safe and that all the necessary precautions were taken but there are doubts nonetheless. There’s also the question of just how people in remote areas will be able to access these phone and Internet connections as presumably, if they’re remote enough to be off the grid then it’s likely that they’re remote enough not to own a smartphone or a laptop either.

And on top of this, Internet satellite programs have been attempted before. Iridium tried it in the mid-90s before failing (though they are looking to try again this year), while a Bill Gates backed program called Teledesic was officially suspended in 2002. That doesn’t bode well for Virgin’s chances but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Source: Virgin

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BlackBerry boss wants to force developers onto their platform http://walyou.com/blackberry-boss-force-developers/ http://walyou.com/blackberry-boss-force-developers/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:46:56 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214902

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has recently made a very strange blog post where, in the name of net neutrality, suggests that developing apps for BlackBerry should be mandatory.

The BlackBerry blog saw an update yesterday where their CEO John Chen weighed on the topic of net neutrality, and somehow managed to turn the issue about him while managing to completely miss the point. In Chen’s opinion, companies like Apple and Netflix (that he specifically mentioned) are flagrant offenders of the net neutrality principles because Netflix and iMessage are not available for BlackBerry.

Don’t believe us? Read his very own words:

Unfortunately, not all content and applications providers have embraced openness and neutrality. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service. Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them. Many other applications providers similarly offer service only to iPhone and Android users. This dynamic has created a two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem, in which iPhone and Android users are able to access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems. These are precisely the sort of discriminatory practices that neutrality advocates have criticized at the carrier level.

Therefore, neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet. All wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose, and applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.

This proposal, first of all, has nothing to do with net neutrality. Chen is saying that app developers should be compelled to develop apps for every mobile platform. Nevermind that creating an app for one operating system is time-consuming and expensive, which is why many apps debut on only iOS or Android.

What this confusing rhetoric boils down to is the claim that it’s unfair to lock BlackBerry users out of apps because of their platform of choice, and that the law should force companies to create versions of their apps for Android, BlackBerry, iOS … and whichever other OS exists out there – imagine forcing Volkswagen or Ford to have to sell their cars on every retailer, and that is how crazy this sounds.

Right now these declarations are making the rounds around the world where media outlets are proceeding to explain how crazy and impossible this is, and even making fun of the company who now looks incredibly desperate.

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The MacBook Defect That Apple Doesn’t Want You to Know About http://walyou.com/the-macbook-defect-that-apple-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about/ http://walyou.com/the-macbook-defect-that-apple-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:00:33 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214885

After filing a class action lawsuit against Apple, consumers allege that the company purposefully hid a a MacBook Pro defect from users to avoid fixing it.

Apple’s line of MacBook computers are incredibly expensive; for the price of one Apple MacBook you could buy three average Windows powered laptops. But it’s a price that millions of people the world over are willing to pay as Apple promises and assures the highest quality.

With the 2011 MacBook Pro Apple made one of these very promises, explaining that “The powerful 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications”. Many people bought the 2011 MacBook Pro specifically for this feature, after all, Apple had told them exactly what to expect.

So imagine their disappointment when some time after, these very graphics cards packed up, offering severely diminishing visuals. Rightfully, these consumers were angry and in a class action lawsuit against the company, they allege that Apple knew the graphics cards were faulty and attempted to cover them up.

Following the lawsuit filed against Apple in October 2014, law firm Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP has now written:

“Specifically, we allege that between early- and late-2011, Apple released a software update that dramatically reduced the graphical performance of the GPUs in order to prevent them from reaching temperatures that would cause the GPUs to effectively self destruct.”

As far as an allegation goes, that’s pretty damning, especially given how much money Apple could have made from this not just in terms of MacBook sales but in repair fees, with many users having to pay Apple to fix their computers and replace the graphics cards. Some consumers even saying that their replacement graphics cards broke too. Just to prove that Apple did do this, several members of the lawsuit have put their MacBook Pros forward for testing by a computer hardware expert.

While it’s yet unclear just what will happen, we know that Apple is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case on January 29th and that Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP will respond with a filing on March 5th. This could a drawn out court case then but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Source: AppleInsider

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WhatsApp Hits 700 Million Users, 30 Billion Daily Messages http://walyou.com/whatsapp-hits-700-million-users-30-billion-daily-messages/ http://walyou.com/whatsapp-hits-700-million-users-30-billion-daily-messages/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:00:40 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214880

After Facebook bought messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 it has gone from strength to strength, now having achieved 700 million active users.

There are few smartphone users who haven’t heard of messaging service WhatsApp. As tariffs threaten to deplete your bank balance to pay for texts and calls, apps like WhatsApp, Kik and even Skype have proved to be popular free alternatives to communicating with friends and family via your mobile network operator.

And that’s exactly why WhatsApp was snapped up by Facebook in February, 2014 for the cool price of $19 billion. At the time, plenty thought that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had lost his mind as although the service was on the rise, the fact that it was free for most people (although you have to pay an annual $0.99 subscription to continue using the service for more than a year) led many people to think that the Facebook money man would never get a return on his investment.

WhatsApp is doing its bit to prove those doubters wrong though, as after hitting 600 million active users in August, 2014, the service has now blitzed past that figure and now sits at 700 million active users as of January 6, 2015. That, fact fans, is over half as many users as Facebook.

And that’s not the only metric that WhatsApp has to be proud of either. Users also send 30 billion messages daily, which equates to over four messages sent per person on the planet. More than looking good in a headline, that figure means that people are using the service regular and are incredibly likely to pay for that minimal $0.99 subscription once their free trial year is up.

Even more impressive are analysts predictions that WhatsApp will be able to reveal even better data at the end of the year. In China, India and South Africa smartphone sales are massively increasing due to their low cost and with WhatsApp also allowing users to keep the costs down in terms of messaging it means the service could increase its user base in these particular countries. Co-founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum also said this in a post on Facebook:

“As humbled and excited as we are by these numbers and our continued growth, we’re even more excited to keep building a great product in 2015. Most of all, we’re grateful that so many of you are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with your friends and family, business colleagues and classmates. We promise to continue working hard to make WhatsApp even better.”

It’s unclear just how Koum and co. will be making WhatsApp better but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Source: Mashable

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Microsoft introduces the Surface Hub http://walyou.com/microsoft-introduces-surface-hub/ http://walyou.com/microsoft-introduces-surface-hub/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:24:01 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214889

Microsoft talked long and lengthy about Windows 10 today, but still managed to show new hardware along with it: enter the Surface Hub.

Microsoft showed Windows 10 to the world today, but along with came a hardware piece that will be making the rounds. Meet the Surface Hub, a completely new type of product that is equal parts tablet, TV, mobile and computer. The Surface Hub is sort of an all-in-one computer / TV with sensors, WiFi, microphones, cameras and the rest of the smartphone and tablet essentials, but measures 84 inches and is capable of 4K resolution: it’s a true monster.

The really funny thing about the Surface Hub was that it was in front of the audience eyes the entire time, and was used throughout Microsoft’s presentation – no one batted an eye up until the point of the keynote today where the speakers introduced it. Of course, it’s going to be running Windows 10, and act as a collaborative hub in office environments – we don’t think this is viable for homes as most people don’t even have 84 inches of free wall to put up something like this up.

The Surface Hub will take advantage of its monster resolution to run many apps or display documents at once, and obsiously, has Skype for business built in. We hope it has a Netflix app, though, that would be useful for lunch time.

Microsoft haven’t announced the release date just yet, but we will update you as more information becomes available.

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Google to invest in SpaceX, the satellite and rocket company http://walyou.com/google-to-invest-in-spacex-the-satellite-and-rocket-company/ http://walyou.com/google-to-invest-in-spacex-the-satellite-and-rocket-company/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:31:00 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=214855

Recent reports by a series of websites around the web suggest Google might be getting ready for a big investment in SpaceX, a company dedicated to create rockets and satellites.

As reported by The Information, Google might be getting ready to drop a huge sum of cash in SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company who creates and develops satellites and rockets, and use these resources to create a satellite network capable of providing internet to non-urban and hard to access areas where finding a decent provider at a price that is not a rip-off is a huge task.

These Google satellites would orbit Earth at lower altitudes than regular satellites (1.200 km instead of the usual 35.000), which would generate an advantage when it comes to coverage and speed compared to other competing technologies like optic fiber. Elon Musk hismelf was quoted saying that the speed of light was “40% faster in the vacuum of space than it is through fiber”.

Rumor has it that Google’s investment will be around the 10 thousand millions of dollars, and combining that with the effort Google’s partners are expected to put forth, it’s just a massive, incredible sum of money.

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