Amazon Best Customer Service

Amazon’s amazing customer service still finds ways to surprise you

By on June 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM.

Amazon’s amazing customer service still finds ways to surprise you

I was at this grim Helsinki airport hotel two days ago and decided to watch an old horror flick on my laptop since Finnish television stations were running wolverine documentaries and cooking shows. I ended up renting Don’t Look Now for $2.99 on Amazon to figure out whether it really was an overrated piece of pseudo-art or a horror masterpiece. I’m still not sure either way, but the movie was interesting enough. More →

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Best New Netflix Shows The Killing Chelsea Handler

Netflix’s latest wave of new shows is its weirdest and riskiest batch yet

By on June 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM.

Netflix’s latest wave of new shows is its weirdest and riskiest batch yet

The strategy of launching wave upon wave of new, original content has worked like a charm for Netflix. As the second season of Orange is the New Black has received an avalanche of media coverage, Netflix’s share price has zoomed up by 20% over the past month. The company is now prepping launches in France and Germany after it clobbered HBO in Sweden by a roughly 10-to-1 ratio in new subscriber additions. And now Netflix is preparing to unleash a new wave of content that includes some of its most surprising shows yet. More →

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BlackBerry Earnings

Can BBM revive BlackBerry?

By on June 19, 2014 at 9:35 AM.

Can BBM revive BlackBerry?

BlackBerry shocked Wall Street on Thursday by delivering a much narrower loss than expected. The company is now growing its cash pile even though it is shipping fewer than 2 million phones per quarter. This stabilization is a feat in itself, but where is future sales growth going to come from? Messaging app system BBM is the best bet. It now has close to 100 million active users — but some decidedly worrisome trends have emerged in recent months. More →

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HealthKit Interview

Apple’s name grab: An interview with the founder of HealthKit

By on June 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM.

Apple’s name grab: An interview with the founder of HealthKit

On Tuesday morning in Melbourne, Australia, HealthKit co-founder Alison Hardacre turned on her iPhone at 4:00 a.m. Like many entrepreneurs, she woke up thinking about her business and checked her email. To her astonishment, her email box was filling with excited questions. Had she cut a secret deal with Apple? Had Apple acquired her company?

Alison was gobsmacked.

She had founded HealthKit in early 2012 and registered HealthKit.com in the spring that same year. The site was the No. 1 search result for anyone who did a Google search for “healthkit.” How was it possible that Apple had just launched a very similar iOS 8 feature and taken her name? More →

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Used Nokia Sales

That old Nokia phone in your attic might be worth $1,400

By on June 3, 2014 at 2:45 PM.

That old Nokia phone in your attic might be worth $1,400

There is now organized resistance against the modern smartphone. And it appears to be quite lucrative.

A website called Vintage Mobile offers a wide array of defiantly dumb phones from the era when Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson ruled the global handset market and there was a wide range of different designs and form factors.

Refurbished models on Vintage Mobile sell typically for between $100 and 200, but there are some gems that command four figures. Among European connoisseurs of the art of mobile handset, the Nokia 8800 Arte Carbon has achieved legendary status — and the price of a refurbished model in 2014 is nearly $1,400. More →

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HTC Earnings

Not even the world’s best Android phone could save HTC in May

By on June 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM.

Not even the world’s best Android phone could save HTC in May

HTC has faced many setbacks, disasters and bitter disappointments since its handset unit performance started missing projections around Christmas 2011. But May 2014 might have been the most devastating blow yet. That is because HTC had supposedly reacted to miserable sales declines in 2012 and 2013 by revamping its handset design and marketing strategies. Both the product and how it is sold were changed to finally staunch the bleeding by spring of 2014.

Yet despite the new product and branding initiatives, May 2014 turns out to be a chilling omen of a summer of horror for the besieged Taiwanese vendor. More →

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Apple iOS 8 New Features

iOS 8’s new messaging features could scare your carrier to death

By on June 2, 2014 at 3:44 PM.

iOS 8’s new messaging features could scare your carrier to death

This is not the first time Apple has sent a chill down the spines of mobile carrier executives. Years ago, the launch of the iMessage platform on iPhone was a quite obvious and direct attempt to undermine carriers’ highly lucrative text-messaging business. Over the past couple of years, though, it hasn’t been iMessage that has undermined SMS revenues around the world — it has been the cluster of cross-platform messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, Kakao, WeChat, etc. More →

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Google Right To Be Forgotten

Google is being flooded by thousands of demands to erase search results

By on May 30, 2014 at 5:35 PM.

Google is being flooded by thousands of demands to erase search results

Google has been hit by more than 12,000 requests to erase links to personal history after a landmark European court ruling, Reuters reports. On May 13th, the top European court upheld a law that requires Google to erase “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information from search results if individuals request so. More →

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Netflix Vs. YouTube Videos

Netflix’s real rivals: Makeup tipsters, Swedish hipsters and Keyboard Cat

By on May 30, 2014 at 4:35 PM.

Netflix’s real rivals: Makeup tipsters, Swedish hipsters and Keyboard Cat

We’ve already heard a lot about the triumphant success of Netflix and the rapid growth of on-demand video services from cable companies. But a brand new ARRIS Group study shows that Google’s YouTube is already the true mammoth of consumer engagement when it comes to streaming video. More →

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Nintendo 3DS Vs. Smartphones

Nintendo’s horrors multiply

By on May 30, 2014 at 2:21 PM.

Nintendo’s horrors multiply

Game revenue stats from the first quarter of 2014 are grim reading for Nintendo. The ailing giant is now being overtaken by multiple mobile app companies, many of them riding on the success of a single, free download. Nintendo’s entire software stable — consisting of dozens of Wii U, Wii and 3DS titles —grossed just $411 million in the first quarter of the year. More →

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Microsoft Windows Phone Market Share

Microsoft has three monsters to slay

By on May 29, 2014 at 1:39 PM.

Microsoft has three monsters to slay

To paraphrase the Prophesy of Daenerys from Game of Thrones: “Three beasts shall Microsoft slay – one is slate and one is late and one is cut-rate.” It is now becoming increasingly clear Microsoft’s mobile device strategy hinges on conquering three problems that it’s going to have a very hard time tackling. More →

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How Much Money Do Mobile Apps Make

Now we know why companies are spending insane money to buy mobile apps

By on May 28, 2014 at 3:24 PM.

Now we know why companies are spending insane money to buy mobile apps

Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp is not going to be the last jaw-dropping deal in the mobile app industry. If you’re looking for reasons why, search no further than Mary Meeker’s epic, 164-slide “Internet Trends” mammoth presentation. More →

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3D Food Printing Future

Interest in 3D food printing seems to be crashing pretty spectacularly

By on May 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM.

Interest in 3D food printing seems to be crashing pretty spectacularly

The 3D printing market has seen an explosion of creativity in recent months and it’s hard to say whether this stems from healthy demand or from a tech industry bubble that’s still inflating at a frightening pace. Either way, the latest bloom of innovation comes from Oxford-based company called Dovetailed and it has just launched a 3D printer that “extends a molecular-gastronomy technique called spherification.” To put it bluntly, the machine creates spherical blobs of jelly that adhere together forming raspberry-shaped delicacies. The company calls these concoctions “fresh and organic 3D fruits on demand,” although they do sound a lot like plain old jellies.  More →

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