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Showing posts from 2014

The modern day Santa's Letter

The modern day Santa's Letter


Marques Brownlee originally shared:

Generation Z



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RRAM, 1TB on the size of a stamp, Crossbar to demonstrate it at IEDM :)

RRAM, 1TB on the size of a stamp, Crossbar to demonstrate it at IEDM :)

I remember in July that a company called Crossbar Inc found a breakthrough in RRAM offering 1TB of non-volatile memory on the footprint of a stamp. And they might be demonstrating a working prototype next week :)

Crossbar - Crossbar to Demonstrate Breakthrough Resistive RRAM Innovation at IEDM 2014

Crossbar to Demonstrate Breakthrough Resistive RRAM Innovation at IEDM 2014. December 08, 2014. Unveils Major Technical Milestone in the Development of Ultra-High Density Non-Volatile Memory Solutions. SANTA CLARA, CA – December 8, 2014 – Crossbar, Inc., a start-up company pioneering a new ...

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Apple and Google should allow developers to charge for upgrade

Apple and Google should allow developers to charge for upgrade

Totally think they should allow developers to charge for upgrades. They got to help developers out for all the hard work they do.


Chris Lacy originally shared:

Action Launcher 3 will release soon. It will be a paid upgrade.

Here's how it will work:

1). On release day (TBC), the existing Action Launcher Play Store entry (com.actionlauncher.playstore) will be upgraded to the new app, Action Launcher 3.

2). Also on this day, I will re-release Action Launcher 2 as a new app in the Play Store (com.actionlauncher.holoedition.playstore). This app will be the exact same version of Action Launcher 2 as is currently in the Play Store today.

3). Action Launcher Pro will only work with Action Launcher 2. People who bought Action Launcher Pro previously can still use all the functionality they paid for. You just have to install a different app to access it.

I realize I risk putting a few people offside by the decision to charge (full price) for Action Launcher 3's functionality, so please allow me to explain my thinking here with this mini-FAQ which will hopefully address the majority of questions people might have.

"Why is Action Launcher 3 a paid upgrade? Why aren't you releasing it as a free update like all other apps do?"

The answer is simple: Action Launcher 3 isn't a "app X gets an update for Material Design" release. In fact, it's not an update at all. It's an entirely new version. It is a total re-imagining. It is both a complete re-design and a complete re-write. Every feature from Action Launcher 2 that has been brought over has been rethought and polished. It has a headline feature new not just for Action Launcher, but all launchers. It is the culmination of many months of effort.

Considering the vast majority of Action Launcher 2 sales occurred over a year ago, and I make my living selling my apps, it's very tough to justify from a business perspective giving all this hard work away for free in an update. I feel very happy with how many updates Action Launcher 2 received over the previous 2 years (11 major updates, >100 in total), as well as the value for money Action Launcher Pro users have received for their $2-$4 purchase. But charging for Action Launcher 3 is the right move to ensure the product has the opportunity to grow as I want it to going forward.

"No seriously. I already bought Action Launcher Pro! You're telling me I have to pay again?!?"

Here's the good news: the app you previously bought, as well as all its previous functionality, will still available for you to use. And it works as well or better than the day you bought it. The only difference will be, this app has been renamed to Action Launcher 2: Holo Edition, and requires a separate install. If you want to use this version of Action Launcher, please feel free to do so. But yes, if you want to use Action Launcher 3's premium features, I am asking that you buy those features.

"You're being greedy charging for this upgrade. You posted recently that Action Launcher Pro had sold 100k copies!"

I'm immensely grateful to everyone who has bought the app to this point. But as I said above, the majority of those sales happened over a year ago. It would have been very tough for me to justify the months and months of Action Launcher 3 development time if I wasn't going to charge people for the upgrade. I hope/think once most people see/use Action Launcher 3, they will be very happy I spent this time developing it, and accept the decision to charge for it.

"What other options did you consider before deciding to charge for Action Launcher 3's upgrade?"

Pretty much everything I could think of. I almost went with an annual subscription, but I balked here because I had strong doubts the market at large would accept it.

"Will Action Launcher 3 have a free version to try out?"

Yes, Action Launcher 3 can be installed and trialled in a time-unlimited manner. Unlocking the premium features occurs via an in-app purchase.

"I get that you are charging for the upgrade, but why not release the new app as a separate app?"

The main reasons are:

* SEO. There are a lot of web articles that link to com.actionlauncher.playstore, and I want people following these articles to be taken to the best possible version of the app (Action Launcher 3).

* Action Launcher currently has a 6 figure active install count, and I want all of these users to have the latest version pushed to their device when it becomes available.

"What about the alpha/beta features in Action Launcher 2? Will you at least finish those?"

Sorry, but no plans to do this. Generally speaking, those features were labelled alpha/beta or put in Labs for a reason.

"You owe it to Action Launcher 2 customers to at least fix all the bugs!"

This depends entirely on how many Pro users keep using Action Launcher 2 once Action Launcher 3 releases. If as I suspect/hope, the vast majority transition to Action Launcher 3, it's tough to justify my spending the time on software rarely being used anymore, when instead that time could be spent making Action Launcher 3 better. There are a few bugs in Action Launcher 2 I'm not thrilled about. A few are AOSP bugs, but most are my fault. And to my knowledge, all are fixed in Action Launcher 3.

(For what it's worth, it's rarely as simple as taking a fix from Action Launcher 3 and bringing it to Action Launcher 2. That's kind of like taking a piece from one jigsaw puzzle and trying to make it fit in a different jigsaw puzzle (again, Action Launcher 3 is a complete rewrite)).

"I bought Action Launcher Pro recently! I want my money back!"

If you bought Action Launcher Pro in the last 30 days and find yourself wanting to refund this purchase in light of this news, please do the following: buy the Action Launcher 3 Plus in-app purchase when it releases. Make sure you use the same Google Account used to purchase Action Launcher Pro. Then email support@digitalashes.com with a subject of "Action Launcher 2 Refund". Once I verify that you have purchased the new upgrade in Action Launcher 3, I will refund the Action Launcher Pro purchase (be aware this won't happen instantly, but I will get to it assuming these steps are followed).

"Why are you telling us this now?"

I appreciate this is not a normal course of action, and I expect the idea will take a bit of getting used to for some. My hope is that by informing everyone about the decision and why I have made it ahead of time, people will have had time to process it by the time Action Launcher 3 releases. Hopefully on release day, the topic of discussion can (mostly) be the quality of the app itself and what it brings to the table, rather than pricing model of it.

"Are all features that are present in Action Launcher 2 present in Action Launcher 3?"

No, there have been features cut. I may bring some/most/all features back at some point, but the goal with Action Launcher 3 was to make the best experience possible, and if that means a few features that I tried in the past but never quite clicked are cut, then so I think that’s fair. When you see Action Launcher 3, hopefully it will make sense why certain features were cut.

"Can you tell us what is in Action Launcher 3?"

It contains the best features of Action Launcher 2, some great features of Google Now Launcher, and a new headline feature I'm immensely proud of.

"When is Action Launcher 3 releasing?"

As soon as it's ready to go. I can't be more specific, because I just don't know when I'll have all the bugs done. I've got 10 to go as of writing. Hopefully no more appear before launch.

”You know what, this is kind of like the way I buy a new Call of Duty every year. Or that fact that my having bought Captain America 1 on Blu-ray doesn’t entitle me to a free copy of Captain America 2. I was mad reading the headline of this post, but you've convinced me, and I'm actually fine with this move!”

Terrific! Thanks for your understanding!

"I've read all this, but I still think this is wrong. There's no way I'm paying for an upgrade."

I'm sorry you feel that way, but that is of course your right. Hopefully you'll check out the free component of Action Launcher 3 when it releases all the same.

To sum up, charging for Action Launcher 3's premium features will help ensure ongoing Action Launcher development remains a viable business proposition going forward. While there will no doubt be some Action Launcher Pro customers who remain upset at this decision, given making it will result in a far higher quality app in the long run, it is a decision I hope most will agree is the right one.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Now it's back to work for me so I can get this app to you all ASAP.



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Oh Lollipop, you are so buggy, sort it out +Android team

Oh Lollipop, you are so buggy, sort it out +Android team

So this happened to my phone yesterday... you can see the icons and widgets on the launcher has gone transparent. Even the Google Now window to the left also went transparent. Think it is the Google Launcher causing the problem.

Also had the App Icons on the dock completely disappeared. Only a reboot of the device would sort it out both problems

Also as reported by many users, the device gets extremely slow. Again only a reboot sorts it out.

There is definitely a memory leak somewhere on the device and I suspect the kernel is not optimised... The sooner the kernel gets to the main branch of the Linux Kernel the better!!!

Also Lollipop has broken or disable features.

Lollipop - Unable to restart music via headphone remote button
https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=80765&q=lollipop&colspec=ID%20Type%20Status%20Owner%20Summary%20Stars&start=100

Lollipop breaks data toggle on Widgets
https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=80517&q=lollipop&colspec=ID%20Type%20Status%20Owner%20Summary%20Stars&start=100
This one actually breaks tasker apps that switches data off based on timer as well

Please star these defects as for an Open Source project, breaking or disabling features is a no-no!!!



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When you have been debugging for two hours and you realised you forgot to add a Service to the AndroidManifest...

When you have been debugging for two hours and you realised you forgot to add a Service to the AndroidManifest..... #AndroidProgramming 



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Lollipop has broken toggle data via a widget

Lollipop has broken toggle data via a widget

Looks like the new Lollipop update has broken the ability for an app to toggle data on and off. It looks like the app needs to be installed on the system partition, which is not something I am going to do as I do not want to root... :(

Fix this Google!!!!



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No wonder it smells so good :)

No wonder it smells so good :)





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Thanks +E John Feig for this video on Android Wear data syncing

Thanks +E John Feig for this video on Android Wear data syncing

I haven't got much time as I don't develop as part of my job and I am building a wear app where I need to start sending data from wear to the phone. This video gives a good overview of what needs to be implement.

I use an SQLite Database on my mobile app, and I need a similar structure on the wear device so I can keep track of a certain activity. I was always thinking if I insert or update things to the wear DB how I would keep that in sync and transfer the data back to the Mobile app.

But listening to this video I think I can get away from having a SQLite Database on wear and send a DataItem with what I need to the phone and use the DataMap.putDataMap(String key, DataMap value) method to define all the key value pairs needed to update/insert the data on the mobile phone.

Also I need to think how often I need to send data, maybe I will put an Alarm to ping every 30 minutes or something as it is not important to keep syncing the data.

Thanks again for the awesome video!



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This is what our world would look like with driverless cars

This is what our world would look like with driverless cars



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Nuclear Fusion, Unlimited Power, YEAH!

Nuclear Fusion, Unlimited Power, YEAH!



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Android L - Oreo?

Android L - Oreo?

Nice one +Sundar Pichai. Looking forward to tomorrow's announcement!

Sundar Pichai originally shared:
Met some sweet new friends today. #NationalDessertDay #Android 




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Impression of the Android Wear Platform

Had the Moto 360 for the past few days and it is a brilliant little device. There are lots of reviews out on the internet so it is pretty much pointless to write a review on it. This post is more about the Android Wear Platform and what things I want to see happening on both the hardware and software side to make it more of a mainstream product because currently in this form it is very much a beta piece of kit.

Moto 360 running my app, C.Y.P.O - work in progress...
But before I talk about this, one thing I have notice is on my Moto 360 is that the time goes out of sync whenever it has been disconnected from its phone. It only happens when the two devices goes out of range and disconnects, not when you deliberately disconnect the device. It does eventually sync back up but this should not be happening on a watch which primarily purpose is to tell the time. This has got to be fixed.

Hardware

As said earlier this is not review of the Moto 360 so I won't go too much into this hardware as there are lots of reviews out there that will do a better job than me. It is a solid but light device, the best looking wearable device by miles. The interface is smoother than I thought and the battery life is... "meh". It can easily last a day but really it should be hitting the 3 or 4 day mark for me... The sooner Yi Cui can get the coulombic efficient up from 99% to 99.9% the better (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/186952-stanford-creates-holy-grail-lithium-battery-could-triple-smartphone-and-ev-battery-life). In order for wearable technology to succeed this needs to be solved.

I would love to see NFC as standard on all Android Wear Devices. This will open up touch to pay for instance which is more convenient than taking out your phone and also because the footprint of the wearable is smaller, the success rate when touched to the receiving device is greater, meaning it will work first time. I believe there are many more use cases and innovation that will come out of NFC like automating or accessing rooms without keys, or even some social interaction. However there is a downside of this, Security. NFC I believe is secured, but the weakest link in security is not necessarily the protocol, but who has the access or the keys to use the protocol.

Security seems to be something of a second thought for the first version of Android Wear. There is no lock on the watch and anyone with access (if not worn on) can scroll through the notification and applications quite easily. Google has said that new version of Android Wear will allow the wearable device to be able to unlock your phone device through bluetooth trusted devices (you can do this already through 3rd party apps). The main problem here, and what I have said about the weak link in security earlier is that you are trusting a device, in this case the Android Wear device to unlock your Phone when the wearable is not even protected? This does not sound right to me... There are plenty of opportunity that the watch is off your wrist; when it is charging, when you are playing sports, when you taking a shower or even when you are mugged. At that point your watch is potentially leaking data to anyone who has access to the watch.

Having a pinlock or pattern lock (3rd party apps available for this) on such a small screen solves the problem but is just stupid idea and defeats the purpose of a wearable device that is designed to quickly grab bits of information. It is a barrier to using the device if you have to unlock the watch over and over again. So how do you solve this? One solution could be the use of a proximity sensor. 

It is a fair assumption that when the watch is on your wrist that it going to be used by the person who has it on and that only this user has access/control over it. It is at this point that the watch should challenge the wearer that you are the owner/authorisor of the watch. I think entering a pin or pattern lock at this point is fair and that it should remain in this state until the user takes off the watch. By placing a proximity sensor at the rear of the watch would allow the device to know that it is on the wrist and after the challenge to authenticate the user will allow the device to stay authenticated until the proximity sensor senses that it is no longer in contact with the wrist. You could even use NFC to authenticate the watch with your phone. I think this simple solution will solve this security problem.

The wearable device has one advantage over a phone. It should always be on you therefore the location of where you are is more defined, plus it is easily accessible. I think having a GPS on the device will again make the watch more of a standalone piece of kit. I do a lot of running, but I never run with my phone because it is big and bulky and I am afraid I will drop it, plus it is an added bit of weight that flaps around waiting for it to fall on the ground. Now running with a watch which can track my progress is much better than lugging a phone around. I know future Android Wear devices like the Sony Smartwatch 3 will have GPS but all 2nd generation wear devices should have GPS baked in.

Software

Now comes to Android Wear Version 1.0. It is a good effort from Google, but man is it beta. I mentioned earlier at the beginning that the time goes out of sync when disconnected with your phone. A watch that cannot tell the time properly? Google needs to fix that.

I would like a proper baked in launcher. It is pretty much documented that it is a pain to get to the apps, so Google needs to fix that.

I think the search on Google is clumsey. The voice recognition is not as good as on the phone and it is slow. This I believe can easily be fixed with a software update. I would like custom voice hot word and a watch that recognises only my voice (like the Moto X).

But the main thing I would want to talk about is the UX.

First the watch face. Love it, but I hate the notification peek card. It blocks your watch face. Yes you can dismiss the cards to clear it but that is not the point. I want to have those cards accessible for me to view them when I want to look at them not have 1 card being persistant all the time when on the watch face.

The card at the bottom of the watch occupies some of the watch face
Next thing I want to discuss about is the navigation system. When you are looking at your cards, you can swipe from left to right to clear the card or right to left to see more information of that card. Sometimes swiping right to left to see more information of the card does not work and you will have to tap on the card to see more information. Once you are inside the card, a swipe from left to right will get you back to the main screen of cards, but then sometimes you will dismiss the cards.

Basically the system is inconsistent and it is confusing. This is how I would design it.

The main list of cards will work the same way. You scroll up and down to see brief information about it. The difference is to dismiss the card away you can swipe left or right, instead of the just the left.

To see more details of the card you will tap on the card. This is a deliberate interaction to the card and I think shows that you want to interact with it. Also there has to be an animated transition to show that you have clicked to go into the card. Once in the card you can swipe to the right to see more details or actionable functions depending on what the application offers. However one UI change I would have is an BACK arrow to the left of the first card. This is a hint to the user that to get back to the main stack of cards, a simple swipe from left to right will return you back. Also having a different animation to show this transition will not confuse the user on what he/she is doing. Basically adding material design to Android Wear.

Android Wear has a lot of potential and has done a lot of things right. It has kept it simple and shows information that you need at just the right time (Google Now) and notification from your phone. It is simple to use and for a tiny screen that sits on your wrist, Google has got the right idea in design the software for this form factor. The next version of Android Wear should make things more intuitive to use, add more security but keep things simple. You would not want to "type" on this small screen for a start and that is a big NO NO. I also think maybe Google should open up API's to the Play Service to tap into the Google Now technology for application developers to launch cards to the user at the right time. Overall huge potential for Android Wear, but it is very much a beta piece of software which has got the basic right first time.

Puts our exo planet hunting into perspective...

Puts our exo planet hunting into perspective...

Samantha Renne originally shared:

Our Planet Hunting Neighborhood

It’s good to get a little perspective occasionally. All the exoplanets found in the last few years, all the super-Earth and planets in the habitable zone - they’re all located in this one small part of the Milky Way.



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Mike Elgan nailed it, Google+ is a social network for people who passionately share their interest

+Mike Elgan nailed it, Google+ is a social network for people who passionately share their interest

I hardly use Facebook because I found it a bit annoying and seeing too many uninteresting topics on family and friends. Twitter I like for real time news, but Google+ I always seem to use but I just could not put my finger on why. I think Mike Elgan nailed it. You get to see articles which are carefully constructed and you see the effort put in by its creators which makes you come back for more. Mike Elgan articulate it brilliantly. A must read!

Mike Elgan originally shared:
Why Google+ is the place for passions

The single biggest controversy about social media, and one that has persisted for two or three years now without resolution, is whether Google+ is a dying wasteland of non-activity, or a hive of conversation and engagement.

It can't be both. So which is it? And why can't this fundamental question be answered?

I believe I have the key to the puzzle, and I'll attempt to solve it once and for all.

Here what the Twitter people and the Facebook people don't understand about the Google+ people:

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2824613/why-google-is-the-place-for-passions.html

#googleplus

(Pic props: http://goo.gl/K75VYX )



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Another late one at work, but good to know that my Moto 360 won't be out of juice 😁

Another late one at work, but good to know that my Moto 360 won't be out of juice 😁



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Need to develop apps for Moto360? this is the first place to go to :)

Need to develop apps for Moto360? this is the first place to go to :)

http://blog.timmattison.com/archives/2014/07/16/common-android-wear-tasks-for-developers/

Common Android Wear Tasks for Developers - Tim Mattison

Getting started with development on the Android Wear platform can be challenging. Here are my notes on how to get started quickly. Before you do …

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So... This came in the mail today #Moto360

So... This came in the mail today #Moto360



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So... just order my Moto 360 :)

Bash exploit looks pretty bad :(

Want any Android app running on Chrome OS? This little hack is pretty handy

Want any Android app running on Chrome OS? This little hack is pretty handy

With Chrome OS gaining some capabilities for running Android apps (4 to be precise) someone has hack the android app runtime on chrome which pretty much allows any APK to run :)

This to me signifies that the runtime is pretty much ready... however I would like Google to take another approach

Within the Manifest, you should define that the android app is able to run on Chrome OS. When that flag is set, all layouts should be defined in the layout-chrome resource. Within that you define how the application is presented (could even be in HTML, but might be quite hacky to be compatible with other layouts). This will allow better integration with Chrome and also force developers to think better when making apps, i.e. use freaking fragments!!!

http://www.omgchrome.com/new-hack-install-android-app-chromebook/

This Hack Lets You Run Any Android App on Your Chromebook
It's barely been a week since Google announced the first crop of Android apps to run on Chrome OS. Now, a hack that allows virtually any Android app to be installed has been detailed.

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Google Cardboard is awesome!!

Google Cardboard is awesome!!

I paid £6 for this and man it is brilliant. It is slightly too small for my Nexus 5, however my old Nexus 4 fits nicely inside it.

To think that this VR is basically my phone is mind blowing... Now I understand that we do need more pixel in our phone... lets hope for over 1000PPI :P



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The no. 1 feature I would want for Chrome OS is local passwords to login

The no. 1 feature I would want for Chrome OS is local passwords to login

With the recent leak of Gmail passwords to the web, the one thing I would love is the ability to set a different password that will only be tied to the Chrome OS device you are using.

At the moment I do use a very long password for Google which I memorise, but I also use a password management tool, lastpass to make sure I create very long and complicated passwords. The problem is for a Google account not everyone is like me and remembers a very long password because you need it to log into your Chrome OS device.

I would like when you first log on to a new Chrome OS device that it gives you the ability for that particular Chrome OS device to set a local OS password that only the device knows. Then the next time you log on, you can either use your Google password or the local password you have given to that device. This means I can continue to use LastPass and set really long passwords whenever I need to change my Google password.

Note: If people have not turned on 2 factor on their Google Account, please do!!!

Which Features Do You Want Most in a Chromebook?
The IFA 2014 trade show earlier this month brought a wave of new Chromebooks, but what features mean the most to you?
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Google Voice in Hangout? Will UK users get a Google Voice Number?

Google Voice in Hangout? Will UK users get a Google Voice Number?

Does anybody know if people outside of the USA will get a Google Voice number??? I hope that starts rolling out worldwide, and maybe perhaps the UK? Pretty please +Google 

Hangouts 2.3 Update Brings Remaining Google Voice Integration And A Big Visual Overhaul [APK Download]
We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issue which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, wh... by Bertel King, Jr. in Applications, Downloads, News
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This is how you travel light

This is how you travel light



Scott Buehler originally shared:

High efficiency #packing. I see this being really useful on long-distance backpack #hiking. #gif





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Don't screw up +Motorola Mobility, +Lenovo!!! #Moto

Don't screw up +Motorola Mobility, +Lenovo!!! #Moto .

+The Verge has a brilliant article on Motorola new product line up, and it struck me how much Motorola has change in 2 years since +Google took over them. Their design has got so much better and concentrated on hardware and leave the main bulk of the software with people who knows what they are doing.

You can see the amount of effort that has gone into designing their product range and it can only be done if people are given the freedom to do what they think is best instead of hitting numbers.

Lenovo, please do not screw it up, you have something special here!!!

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/5/6110857/rounding-up-the-blood-sweat-and-tears-behind-moto-360

Rounding up: the blood, sweat, and tears behind Moto 360
I want a brown strap for the Moto 360, but there’s none available at launch. "Patience, grasshopper," Jim Wicks tells me, looking over a colorful sample book of leather swatches.

from Google+
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Meet the iPhone 6

Meet the iPhone 6

Want a sneak peek of the new iPhone???



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Rosberg hit Hamilton on Purpose :O

If the price is to be believe, that will be like £200 in the UK :D #Moto360

If the price is to be believe, that will be like £200 in the UK :D #Moto360 .

Android Police originally shared:
Nobody ever said Best Buy was good at keeping secrets.

Moto 360 Shows Up At Best Buy With Full Specs And $250 Price Tag, Listed As 'Coming Soon'
We owe many thanks to BestBuy for outing the details of several products a bit before their time. It seems the retailer is at it again with a posting of th... by Cody Toombs in Moto 360, News
from Google+
https://plus.google.com/104872135529411360480/posts/j4R8grLTEXV

+Lindsey Stirling is amazing, awesome video again!

+Lindsey Stirling is amazing, awesome video again!



Master of Tides - Lindsey Stirling: http://youtu.be/RrutzRWXkKs





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The Premier League starts tomorrow. Come on #LFC !!

The Premier League starts tomorrow. Come on #LFC !!



Copa90 originally shared:

The Premier League returns this weekend! Who are you backing?





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Wouldn't it be amazing if suddenly the whole tube/subway broke out into song...

Wouldn't it be amazing if suddenly the whole tube/subway broke out into song...





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Beauty is from the inside

Amazing defence in table tennis at #Glasgow2014 must watch

Google Fibre in the UK? HELL YEAH!!!!

Google Fibre in the UK? HELL YEAH!!!!

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/07/18/google-considers-bringing-ultra-fast-fibre-optic-network-britain

Google considers bringing ultra-fast fibre optic network to Britain

Google is said to be investigating ways of bringing its ultra-fast fibre optic network to British cities in the first international...

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What was missing at I/O? Non-Developers stuff!!!

What was missing at I/O? Non-Developers stuff!!!

I have read a couple of these articles on what was missing at Google’s Developers Conference and most are saying Google+ was missing, Hangouts was missing and where are the Nexus Devices. It all lead to why they were missing? Are Google killing them off. Well, no they are not. It is because Google had nothing to announce for Developers

This years keynote differs a lot from other key notes. No one jumping out of planes and not many new devices apart from Cardboard. This is good and I hope that I/O continues as announcements for products should be kept separate.

This year was all about Android and creating a platform for Android. Android is no longer a Mobile OS, it is a platform to create things on. It feels to me, you build one app, do it well and it can be installed on your watch, your car and your TV. It is brilliant and makes sense. The keynotes told developers what they can do on their apps and how by making a few tweaks will make it work everywhere and have a consistent look. More eyes, more money!

Now what about Google+, the social ghost town network. Why was there no announcements? Well Google+ is a closed platform is it not? Take a look at the API, you can read stuff but you can’t do anything else. The only write API are Moments and that is pretty much the only thing you can write to Google+. If Google had already taken the decision (last year) that it is closed then why announce new features to the platform at a keynote for developers for things developers cannot contribute to...

What makes Google+ so good is the quality of post, and it is because Google Controls it. If Google was going to create a bunch of API’s for Google+ then yeah they will show it off. But no they did not, hence why there was only one session on Google Identity, a sub component of Google+.

Same thing with Hangouts. Everyone expected Hangouts to be integrated to Google Voice and that we should seen an announcement. However nothing was announced and if you think about it the new integration will require Zero support from developers.

Hangouts killed Google’s Talk XMPP which means it is no longer using an open standard that developers can use, and now Google Voice disable 3rd support, again discouraging developer work.

Same things for Google X products like Cars, Glass, Loon e.t.c. Developers again cannot contribute to the platform that is not ready for prime time so why show anything off? Nexus devices only gets release when the next version of Android is ready to ship and the “L” release (I want a desert name) is definitely not prime time.

What I will take away from I/O this year is Google has for its conference kept developers and partners at the forefront of their minds. By release the developer preview of the next Android will allow OEM partners or potential partners to know exactly the direction Google is going to take Android to, which should mean that when “L” is release that everyone can release or update their devices at the same time. It also means developers can now start to plan what they will need to do with their apps, especially with Material Design UX language and the whole new Android Ecosystem.

Android Headlines originally shared:
AH Primetime: What was Missing at Google I/O http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/06/ah-primetime-missing-google-io.html

#Android #Google #IO14 



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Android apps on Chrome - finally

Android apps on Chrome - finally

At last we have the ability to code once and deploy to the Chrome platform. This opens up so much possibility if they fully implement ART on chrome.

Not only would you have native client on chrome but you pretty much have the Java API as well making it so much more useful for developers to make apps.

Also finally watching the 2 and a half hour key note it seems that now android is a platform to build anything on. With material design plus fragments introduce in Ice Cream Sandwich you build the core of your app and then fit fragments around to best suit the device you are on. This is amazing stuff! 

Native Android apps are coming to Chrome OS

Google is working to bring Chrome OS and Android closer together, and that'll eventually mean having Android apps running right on a Chromebook. "We're in early days," Sundar Pichai, Google's...

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Hmm should I buy one??? #glasshole!

This is like Bootstrap but for Android, iOS and the Web

This is like Bootstrap but for Android, iOS and the Web

This is pretty interesting stuff. Making consistent UI/UX is essential and having something that will help you get started to plan for a consistent look and feel is brilliant.

Now my next wish is to have a common programming language for both Android and Chrome development... Just imagine having your apps powered by a common set of code for Android and Chrome... Lets get Davik/ART on Chrome :)

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/06/11/exclusive-quantum-paper-and-googles-upcoming-effort-to-make-consistent-ui-simple/

Exclusive: Quantum Paper And Google's Upcoming Effort To Make Consistent UI Simple

There have been a lot of leaks and rumors leading up to Google I/O this year. From Gmail to your Android device's home screen, nothing has been spared. Thr... by Liam Spradlin in Design, Exclusives, Google, News

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I don't always code in Java...

I don't always code in Java...

I think this pic is so funny :)



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Ready for the World Cup? #WorldCup2014

Ready for the World Cup? #WorldCup2014 



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Cancer resistant blind mole rate - can it help tackle cancer? #sciencesunday

Cancer resistant blind mole rate - can it help tackle cancer? #sciencesunday

A very interesting read. Two animals after 40 years of study has never developed cancer and maybe understanding why could help us develop ways to tackle it.

Buddhini Samarasinghe originally shared:
The Cancer-resistant Blind Mole Rat: Clues from the Genome

Although the Naked Mole Rat and the Blind Mole Rat have similar sounding names, they are not close relatives. The two species diverged over 70 million years ago, and blind mole rats are more closely related to rats and mice than to naked mole rats. But both these species are resistant to cancer; in over 40 years of studying blind mole rats, not a single spontaneous tumour was recorded among thousands of captive animals. Intriguingly, the two animals have evolved this resistance independently. Studying the mechanisms for cancer resistance in these two animals can therefore provide a deeper understanding of how cancer arises at the cellular level. The recent publication of the blind mole rat's genome sequence (http://goo.gl/CxlnDH) provides some intriguing hints about these mechanisms.

✤ The blind mole rat lives underground. Life underground requires several evolutionary adaptations. Of these, one of the most remarkable is its adaptation to low oxygen (highly hypoxic) environments found in underground burrows; O2 as low as 7.2% and CO2 as high as 6.1% have been reported. Low oxygen environments are also found inside tumours, and tumours are able to survive this environment through mechanisms I have explained here: http://goo.gl/8LWVXq

✤ Hypoxic environments typically cause cells to undergo apoptosis - a type of programmed cell suicide. This process is regulated by an important protein known as p53 (see here for more information about apoptosis and: http://goo.gl/lYJRdm). Hypoxia-induced apoptosis would be disastrous for an underground-dwelling blind mole rat, so their p53 protein has a mutation that prevents the induction of apoptosis. Even more interestingly, this mutation is almost identical to a similar p53 mutation found in many human cancers. Both mutations seem to encourage the cells to stop dividing, rather than to self-destruct.

✤ Understandably, the massive loss of cells due to hypoxia-induced apoptosis is undesirable for the blind mole rat, so the p53 mutation can be explained that way. But mutant p53 also means cancer, as many human cancers have a similar mutation. It sounds counter-intuitive that a cancer resistant animal has nearly the same mutation that actual cancers do. How does this work? Clearly, the blind mole rat has other mechanisms in place to compensate for this 'weakened' p53 status. But what are they?

✤ Instead of apoptosis, the blind mole rat relies on a different mechanism for guarding its cells against cancer. This mechanism is necrotic cell death; messier than apoptosis, it is a mechanism that involves the immune system and inflammation. The genome sequence of the blind mole rat has an extra copy of the gene Ifnb1 which encodes a protein known as interferon beta 1. In comparison, the mouse, rat and naked mole rat genomes have only one copy of Ifnb1. The blind mole rat has extra copies of this gene, which results in extra amounts of this protein, leading to a stronger necrotic cell death response. This compensates for the 'weakened' p53. Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that several other genes from the interferon signalling pathway, along with other genes that regulate cell death and inflammation are also expanded in the blind mole rat genome, indicating that this immuno-inflammatory response is heightened in the blind mole rat.

✤ In summary, the blind mole rat genome has acquired a mutant version of p53 (i.e. weakened) as an adaptation to underground hypoxic conditions. This would normally lead to a lowered ability to resist cancer, as p53 is vital for tumour suppression. Therefore as compensation, the blind mole rat genome has extra copies of genes involved in necrotic cell death in order to remain cancer resistant.

✤ It might seem a bit disconnected to study an underground dwelling blind mole rat that is so different from us, in order to understand our own cancers. But as these findings show, understanding the evolution of cancer resistance mechanisms can increase our knowledge of cancer; with this knowledge comes the power to someday develop therapies against cancer, or measures for cancer prevention.

Image credit: Blind mole rat (http://goo.gl/IE5wT3).

#ScienceSunday 



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Google, take note. Make Hangouts awesome!

Google, take note. Make Hangouts awesome!

Google does have all the pieces to do this and they have got to get it right when they will undoubtedly announce something for Hangouts at I/O.

They have recently updated the app that syncs phone numbers on tablets (non cellular devices) so I am sure something is about to happen especially with 3rd party support ending for Google Voice.

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2014/06/hey-google-heres-how-you-win-messaging/

Hey Google, Here's How You Win Messaging

This week I saw a demo of the best messaging system yet. It had only one major flaw: it's trapped on an iPhone.

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#GreatScott - Back to the Future in London

#GreatScott - Back to the Future in London

They are going to build Hill Valley in London... I have to see this!

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/attractions/secret-cinema-travels-back-to-the-future-9469325.html

Secret Cinema goes Back to the Future in London

Key scenes from Back to the Future will be recreated at a secret location in London this summer for epic screenings of the time travel movie.

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... best PhotoSphere ever!

The best photosphere ever!


Marcus Dietrich originally shared:

... best PhotoSphere ever!



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Problems that a new iPhone 6 Resolution and Screen Size will cause

Problems that a new iPhone 6 Resolution and Screen Size will cause

Just reading some articles (9to5 linked) on the latest rumoured iPhone 6. It is said to be 4.7 inches at least which is brilliant. Anyone who worry about a screen being "too big" will soon forget it any love the real estate it gives you as many have found out on the Android platform.

The problem is with the Apps. The way iOS apps are developed is that they are built with scale in mind. When the original iPhone was released it had a 4:3 resolution screen at 480x320. When the retina came out they doubled the resolution to 960x640 but they kept from a developer point of view a 480x320 resolution, hence the more detail display. Also the screen size stayed the same at 3.5 inches.

When iPhone 5 came out, they increase the height of the display to 1136 and made the screen a 16:9 resolution. What this done to the old pre iPhone 5 apps was it cause black bars at the top and bottom of the phone as the apps were made to the 4:3 resolution. It was fixed eventually by developers updating their apps however this here is the inflexibility of developing for iOS.

Now if rumours are true and iPhone 6 will keep the same 16:9 resolution as iPhone 5 but increase the screensize to 4.7 inch (or maybe 5.5 inches) this letterbox effect we saw early with a 4:3 to 16:9 switch will not be apparent, you do get another problem

Because apps are developed to specific screen resolutions, in this case for iPhone it is developed to 568x320 for post iPhone 5 (2X of retina) it is built to the same dimension.

All iPhones have the same width of 51.60mm. The new iPhone 6 with an increase screen size of 4.7 inches will bump the width to around 60mm. If the target is still 51.60mm width then all a bigger iPhone does is make everything bigger. You basically gain no advantage of a bigger screen because everything is just blowing up bigger.

A bigger screen should allow more information to be displayed and that is what you won't get initially with the iPhone 6. That will need to be sorted when the new iPhone comes out with iOS 8. To some extent this is what happened to iPad mini with everything being too small as it scaled with the bigger iPad.

WWDC is next week and Apple needs to sort this out. They have to make it by default that everything should scale regardless of screen size. I think iOS7 moving towards vector graphics shows the direction they are moving towards but changing the fundamental way of building apps on a platform is going to be hard, especially something as crucial as the UI which was imbedded from the conception of the iPhone

http://9to5mac.com/2014/05/14/likely-iphone-6-with-sharper-larger-1704-x-960-resolution-screen-in-testing/

iPhone 6 with larger, sharper 1704 x 960 resolution screen in testing
Apple is preparing to release a new iPhone with a larger screen later this year, and while multiple reports have indicated that the screen will be larger, the exact dimensions of the screen and its...

Solar Roadways is the new Concrete!

Solar Roadways is the new Concrete!

The potential of this is huge! Not only would we solve the environmental and energy crises, but it also provides things that we might need later that we have not thought off. I like the fact that each panel will be connected together not only mean that the system can tell if a solar panel would need to be replaced but more importantly we could run high speed internet through it.

I love the idea that it can be heated therefore no need for ice on the streets and I like the way it can also display different light patterns for road lines but also for informational messages on what's ahead.

Obviously there are challenges ahead to get this mass produced. This looks super expensive to produce and scale, plus making sure the glass is durable and ideal for road tires is a big safety concerns. But this is all solvable and with enough investment and funding this is achievable. I do think a company like Google should buy them out as they need a lot of money to get this off the ground.

It seems to be that this is the next big thing in construction and for me is a replacement for the good old concrete :)



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YouTube to offer crowdfunding - Take on Patreon?

YouTube to offer crowdfunding - Take on Patreon?

I think this is a big thing. Not every YouTuber would want to have adverts on their video because viewers like me hate it. Services like Patreon allows viewers to donate a small fee to help support the creator. It was just a matter of time YouTube will allowed this on their services, but I am not sure if they will match Patreon 5% fee...

This is a good move and it allows another way to help the creators.

This does not mean that Advertising is going to go away. I think advertising is good, but I would feel content producer would like to have more control, maybe to select companies they would like to advertise and maybe the exact videos they would like to show, which currently they cannot do. But it is good to see many ways of helping the creators!

YouTube will soon let you crowdfund projects directly on the site
Plenty of users weren't happy when YouTube ditched its commenting system in favor of Google+, and following that backlash the video-sharing service has

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GIF I won't want to make that Lion angry

GIF I won't want to make that Lion angry



Christian Verano originally shared:

Playing with the king of the jungle.









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Mario Cats

If eBay wants user to change their passwords, a good start will be to actually say it on their website...

If eBay wants user to change their passwords, a good start will be to actually say it on their website

Pretty much been report on all the news website that eBay has been hacked and they recommend all users to change their passwords but it would be good if they actually posted it on their front page!!!

Anyway, good to change your password, and use something like +LastPass  to generate long passwords and store them securely.

eBay makes users change passwords

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