Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall. More →
A coalition of Internet giants has agreed to support a “do-not-track” button that can be embedded in most Web browsers. The Digital Advertising Alliance, which includes Internet heavy weight Google, represents over 400 companies and will work to begin adopting and honoring the system within nine months, reports The Wall Street Journal. The feature, which is already implemented in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, will restrict the data that websites can collect about a user through cookies when activated. Even people who clicked on the button within FireFox, IE or Safari, were still being tracked, however, because advertisers and tracking companies hadn’t agreed to honor the system. Google is expected to update its Chrome Web browser by the end of the year to include a do-not-track button. More →
Last week, it was revealed that Google and other leading advertising companies had been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of unknowing Safari users. The Mountain View-based company maintained its innocence and claimed it “used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled.” Microsoft is now claiming that the search giant has used a similar technique to bypass privacy settings in Internet Explorer. By default, IE blocks third-party cookies unless the site provides a “P3P Compact Policy Statement” indicating how the cookies will be used and agreeing to not track the user. Microsoft claims that Google is improperly representing certain cookies, which allows them to pass through IE’s security without disclosing the company’s intent. Google has not responded to Microsoft’s claims. More →
Mozilla announced on Monday that it will release a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 platform. The browser will require “a new Firefox front end and system integration points” and be based on the Gecko layout engine. “The feature goal here is a new Gecko-based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment,” said the company’s planning document. “Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.” The company may also produce a live tile that would display updates on the home screen. Mozilla hopes to unveil its new browser in the second quarter of 2012. More →
Mozilla is developing a push notification system for the company’s Firefox Web browser. The system will allow users to receive notifications from any website, even if the site is not open in a tab or window. The system will also be able to relay push notifications to mobile devices. Mozilla is seemingly looking to close the gap between desktop Web apps and native mobile apps, which utilize push notification systems on a number of mobile platforms. “Push notifications are a way for websites to send small messages to users when the user is not on the site,” said Mozilla developer Jeff Balogh on the company’s blog. “iOS and Android devices already support their own push notification services, but we want to make notifications available to the whole web.” The system is currently in early planning stages and there is no available time table for release. More →
With the relaunch of BGR over a year ago, I decided to switch comments to a more robust platform that I thought would give us more than useful sign-in options like Facebook and Twitter, but also features to help moderate comments and better reduce noise. One request we receive regularly is to do a better job at moderating the comment section. While we can’t moderate every comment all the time, I believe that discussion on BGR is incredibly important. In the early days, I couldn’t find a better place to engage with passionate people about the topics we covered. Now, a very small group of people are ruining the discussion with personal attacks on other commenters, on us, and on each other.
We’re working on a much-improved solution for commenting on BGR. In the meantime, we’ve added a feature that allows readers to turn comments off at will, and by default keep comments off until they are re-enabled.
I’m disabling comments for a bit, though. I’m tired of reading nonsense and of interacting with people that solely troll this site just to get a rise out of other commenters and start a holy war in the comments section. I’m tired of having to delete crap and I’m tired of people complaining that a few thousand people ruin it for millions.
Mozilla on Tuesday released the latest version of its Firefox browser. In addition to allowing users to run full-screen apps, Firefox 10 offers the following enhancements:
- The forward button is now hidden until you navigate back.
- Most add-ons are now compatible with new versions of Firefox by default.
- Anti-Aliasing for WebGL is now implemented.
- CSS3 3D-Transforms are now supported.
Mozilla also made some HTML5 changes and noted two bug fixes. The company said that it has fixed a Java-related crash, which Mac OS X users experienced in earlier versions, as well as a crash related to moving bookmarks. Firefox 10 is available immediately as a free download. More →
AMD is reportedly planning to undercut Intel by offering cheaper ultrabook components later this year. The notebooks are expected to cost between $700 and $999, which is a good deal cheaper than the $999-$1,200 price tag that many ultrabooks carry now. DigiTimes notes that AMD’s technology will not add any new innovative functions but will instead be focused on delivering consumers thin and light devices at a much more wallet-friendly price. The first round of AMD-powered ultrabooks is expected to hit the market in June. More →
Google’s flagship device, the Galaxy Nexus, has been widely acclaimed and we had great things to say in our review of the world’s first Ice Cream Sandwich phone. The device is fast, responsive, and Android 4.0 is the most polished version of Android yet. Numerous users are reporting a bug that randomly reboots their devices, however, and the exact cause of the issue is unclear at this time. The majority of these reports come from owners of the GSM version, although Verizon’s CDMA model isn’t immune immune to the problem. The issue is widespread, with users suffering reboots while streaming music, playing games or even while the device is idle. Additionally, affected customers are reporting that the reboots seem to occur more frequently as time progresses. Google has indicated that the company aware of the problem and is investigating it. More →
HP recently circulated a short video of a new ultra-thin notebook that is purportedly its upcoming HP Envy Spectre ultrabook. While there aren’t any specs discussed in the video, we’re definitely impressed by what appears to be a very sleek design. HP’s first ultrabook, the Folio 13, was unveiled in November and it offers the latest Intel Core processors, a 128GB SSD and more for a relatively affordable $900 price point. The Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner so hopefully we’ll hear a bit more about the Spectre next week. The clip follows after the break. More →
If you turned on your television over the holidays you most likely encountered one of many Google advertisements. The Mountain View company has been pushing brand awareness with commercials highlighting Chrome web browsing, Google Search and social networking on Google+. It would appear the advertising is paying off, as Google+ is reportedly adding new users at a rapid pace. The social networking site has over 62 million users and is adding 625,000 new users each day according to unofficial Google+ statistician Paul Allen. What is astonishing is that nearly a quarter of all Google+ users joined in December alone. If the rate of new sign-ups continues, Allen predicts that Google+ will reach 100 million users on February 25th, 200 million users on August 3rd, and will finish 2012 with 293 million users. However, he also believes that 2012 will be the breakout year for the social networking site, and that it could reach more than 400 million users by the end of the year. Impressive nonetheless, Allen’s numbers only show how many people are signing up for Google + and there is no indication how frequently those users actually make use of their accounts regularly. More →
It’s scary to think that we’ve grown so much with just a small group of talented people. With that said, we’re looking to expand our team and hire a full-time editor on the East Coast, as well as a full-time writer on the East Coast. If you’re an amazing writer, have a ridiculous (read: unhealthy) obsession with tech and mobile gadgets, and you want to be part of our family, we want to hear from you. Please contact us (jobs at bgr dot com) with the following information in the body of your email (no attachments please):
- A brief introduction followed by your resume — please be sure to highlight related experience in your intro
- College degree in a related field preferred but not required
- Experience reporting on tech business, mobile and/or consumer electronics preferred but not required
- Experience with live coverage of press conferences and trade shows preferred but not required
- Three sample posts written in a style similar to what you might find here on BGR — these may be posts published on other websites or new content