Siri Raspberry Pi Hack

Raspberry Pi hack lets Siri open garage doors [video]

By on December 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM.

Raspberry Pi hack lets Siri open garage doors [video]

The holidays are over, but if you find yourself the owner of an iOS device with Siri and a Raspberry Pi computer, you can combine the two to automatically open up your garage door with this cool little hack by “DarkTherapy.” Using “SiriProxy running on the Raspberry Pi, along with wiringPi to access the Pi’s GPIO pins and turn a relay on/off,” DarkTherapy was able to upgrade his iPhone 5′s personal assistant with a nifty new skill — the ability to open garage doors. Brave geeks can head over to DarkTherapy’s forum post for instructions on the hack and a video of Siri the butler opening a garage door follows below.

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ZTE Nubia Z5 Specs

Phablet wars heat up with ZTE’s quad-core Nubia Z5

By on December 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM.

Phablet wars heat up with ZTE’s quad-core Nubia Z5

2013 is shaping up to be the year of the “phablet” with virtually ever major handset maker preparing to challenge Samsung’s (005930) impressive Galaxy Note lineup. While there’s no clear definition on how large a phablet is, most tend to have screens that hover in the 5-inch range, though Huawei’s upcoming 6.1-inch smartphone will only push that boundary. ZTE’s newly announced Nubia Z5 packs a 5-inch display with full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, an aluminum case, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear, a 2-megapixel front camera, Dolby sound and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It even edges out HTC’s (2498) slim DROID DNA in terms of size with slightly thinner dimensions and a larger battery: 2,300 mAh versus the DNA’s 2,020 mAh. The only deal-breaker is the Nubia Z5 likely won’t be available in the U.S., but importers drooling over its specs can pick one up in China for about $554.

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Google Enterprise Consumerization

Google Enterprise boss says company is ‘doubling down’ on business services, targeting Microsoft

By on December 26, 2012 at 7:50 PM.

Google Enterprise boss says company is ‘doubling down’ on business services, targeting Microsoft

In an interview with AllThingsD, Amit Singh, Google’s (GOOG) VP of Enterprise, said the company is embracing the consumerization of the enterprise in 2013 based on the successes its seen with Google Drive and Google Apps this year. Singh says Google is finally confident that it can deliver enterprise services and tools that rival those of Microsoft (MSFT) with cloud applications that scale better and have stronger security. Not only that, but Singh believes Microsoft is stuck in the past, creating services built around the desktop and not around Web services. More →

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Rumor
Microsoft Windows Blue Rumor

New alleged details of Microsoft’s Windows 8 successor emerge

By on December 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM.

New alleged details of Microsoft’s Windows 8 successor emerge

Microsoft (MSFT) is rumored to be switching to an annual release for its operating system starting with “Windows Blue” in mid-2013. According to a PCBeta forum user who goes by the pseudonym “maxy” and has been unofficially identified as a Microsoft official, “Windows Blue” or “Windows 9 Dev” as some call it, will get customization options in the form of Windows Phone 8′s resizable app tiles. Microsoft will also reportedly still keep the legacy “desktop view” around, but remove the gloss on elements including the taskbar, “flattening” it to mesh better with the Metro UI. Maxy also says a new kernel (6.3) will be used, which should give the entire OS more polish. It’s still too early to deem whether the rumor is legitimate or not, but refining Windows 8 with small nips and tucks while overhauling the underlying framework does sound highly plausible.

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Free Gmail Voice Calling Extension

Google extends free Gmail voice calling through 2013

By on December 26, 2012 at 4:05 PM.

Google extends free Gmail voice calling through 2013

Google (GOOG) announced on Monday on the Official Gmail Blog that its free Gmail voice calling service will be extended through 2013 in the U.S. and Canada. The company has provided free domestic calling within the U.S. and Canada for the last two years, further extending the complimentary service repeatedly just before the new year. Google product manager Mayur Kamat didn’t detail why the company is extending the service in his post on the company’s blog. It’s still unclear why Google is keeping free Gmail voice calls separate from its Google Voice service bit either way, free is free and we’re not complaining.

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iPhone Theft NYC Crime Rate

Apple device theft drives NYC crime rate up for first time in 20 years

By on December 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM.

Apple device theft drives NYC crime rate up for first time in 20 years

Apple’s (AAPL) stock might be taking a beating, but that doesn’t mean the products dreamed up by Jonathan Ive and company aren’t still hot commodities. On the contrary, Apple products are still so hot that thefts of iOS devices helped drive New York City’s crime rate up for the first time in 20 years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The news isn’t shocking considering the data the New York Police Department released in October, which revealed Apple-related crimes were up 40% this year. Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman told the WSJ, “Overall crime in the five boroughs is up 3% so far this year, driven by the thefts of Apple products.” Browne said there would actually be a “slight decline in crime citywide” had thefts of Apple products remained the same.

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Rumor
BlackBerry 7 2012

Purported photo of new BlackBerry phone with QWERTY keyboard leaks

By on December 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM.

Purported photo of new BlackBerry phone with QWERTY keyboard leaks

Research In Motion (RIMM) CEO Thorsten Heins recently said during the company’s Q3 earnings call that BlackBerry 7 is still a “strong success” in the Asian-Pacific markets. Despite the company putting most of its weight behind BlackBerry 10 and the Z10 and X10, Heins said RIM will continue supporting BB7 and consumers “might expect us to even build one of the other new products” based on it. Heins suggested on the earnings call new BB7 phones will target entry-level markets with lower price points over its BB10 devices; now, MobileSyrup has posted a photo of a mystery BlackBerry phone sitting next to the BB10-powered Z10 and X10. Could this HTC (2498) Status/ChaCha look-alike be a new BB7 smartphone? It could be, but then again, it could also be a prototype that will never be released or another new BB10-powered QWERTY phone.

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Online Holiday Shopping Growth ComScore

Online holiday shopping in 2012 grows 16% from last year

By on December 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM.

Online holiday shopping in 2012 grows 16% from last year

Shopping online is becoming more popular than ever according to market research firm comScore. The company’s latest report shows consumers spent $38.7 million online during the first 51 days of the “November-December holiday season” – a 16% increase over the same period last year. ComScore says December 17th a.k.a. “Free Shipping Day,” saw 76% in growth compared to last year with “a strong $1.01 billion in spending.” A 53% growth rate in spending was also recorded on December 21st over the same period from last year, which comScore calls “a notable accomplishment this late in the season.” More →

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Online Shopping Discounts

Online retailers caught using ‘discriminatory’ practices to target shopping discounts

By on December 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM.

Online retailers caught using ‘discriminatory’ practices to target shopping discounts

With online shopping on the rise every year, it’s no surprise retailers are resorting to sketchy tactics to decide how to dole out discounts. According to the The Wall Street Journal’s research, online retailers including Staples, Orbitz and Home Depot are all guilty of using “discriminatory” information such as location and income to decide how much of a discount an online shopper will receive. More →

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Nokia Windows RT Tablet Specs

Nokia Windows RT tablet will reportedly have a Surface-like keyboard cover, 10-hour battery life

By on December 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM.

Nokia Windows RT tablet will reportedly have a Surface-like keyboard cover, 10-hour battery life

New details on Nokia’s (NOK) rumored 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet have leaked out from The Verge. The tech blog says Nokia’s tablet will go head-on with Microsoft (MSFT) Surface tablet with its own “keyboard cover” that will also double as an external battery. The 10.1-inch slate will reportedly also have an ARM-based processor of course, a display that is “similar to Microsoft’s Surface RT screen,” two USB ports, HDMI and 10-hour battery life “with fast charging that boosts the battery capacity to 50 percent in a short period of time.” Nokia’s tablet will also have built-in support for cellular data with AT&T (T) cited as a U.S. carrier partner. Nokia is rumored to be planning an unveil at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February 2013.

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Instagram 3.4.0 Mayfair Filter

Instagram diverts attention from botched policy change with another new filter

By on December 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM.

Instagram diverts attention from botched policy change with another new filter

Instagram messed up big time this week when it freaked everyone out with changes to its privacy policy related to licensing user photos for advertisements. After days of backlash, Instagram reverted back to its old terms of service. While the damage has already been done, Instagram is hoping a new update to its iOS and Android app will silence everyone. Instagram 3.4.0 adds a new filter called “Mayfair” that adds another hint of lavender to images and brightens up the center, support for 25 languages, photo sharing from any album, Facebook (FB) iOS 6 integration and various bug fixes. Version 3.4.0 comes hot off last week’s update that added the new “Willow” filter and numerous UI tweaks. Is a new filter enough to keep users from flocking to the new Flickr or Twitter apps; both with built-in filters? Instagram certainly hopes so.

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Facebook Privacy Shortcuts Release Date

Facebook’s new easier-to-manage ‘Privacy Shortcuts’ rolling out globally

By on December 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM.

Facebook’s new easier-to-manage ‘Privacy Shortcuts’ rolling out globally

Managing Facebook (FB) privacy settings can be a daunting nightmare. Facebook’s new “Privacy Shortcuts” is designed to make sharing items as transparent as possible with always-visible privacy button on the top toolbar. The update also brings “an easier-to-use Activity Log, and a new Request and Removal tool for managing multiple photos you’re tagged in.” The new Facebook privacy controls are rolling out globally starting on Friday and will arrive for all users by the end of the year. For the full details on all of the new changes, be sure to visit Facebook’s Newsroom here.

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Samsung Galaxy S III Hardware Failure

Samsung is replacing faulty Galaxy S IIIs that are suddenly dying for no reason

By on December 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM.

Samsung is replacing faulty Galaxy S IIIs that are suddenly dying for no reason

Samsung (005930) is reportedly quietly replacing faulty Galaxy S III devices according to many users on XDA Developers. The issue appears to be related to the NAND becoming corrupted and killing off the Galaxy S III’s mainboard, which causes the phone to essentially “brick” itself. Users have reported the issues have affected some devices after 150-200 days after purchase. Users on XDA Developers and Reddit are also saying Samsung is replacing affected smartphones (rooted or not) with new ones that could potentially be just as faulty in another 200 days. The Galaxy S III made headlines last week when an XDA forum member discovered that a security hole in its Exynos-4 processor was vulnerable to app-based malware attacks. Samsung has since said it will patch the hole as soon as possible.

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