Ask a Dev: How to Ensure Your Web Apps Are Top Notch
Want to make sure your web apps are up to snuff? It's all about quality assurance.
For Two Washington Mudslide Survivors, All That's Left Is One Painting
Two women rescued from the devastating March 22 Washington Mudslide left everything behind — except for one painting. See also: Amid the Rubble, Comfort Dogs Bring Hope to Mudsl...
Fly Like a Giant Prehistoric Lizard With Kinect-Powered Simulator
A new exhibit at New York's American Museum of Natural History lets visitors 'pilot' extinct birds, called pterosaurs, using custom flight simulators.
Thank You Notes: Mardi Gras, Frozen Margaritas, Kraft Singles
Jimmy pens thank you notes to Mardi Gras, frozen margaritas, Kraft Singles and more. Subscribe NOW to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: http://bit.ly/1...
Taiwan Fitness Startup iFit Raises $900K In Seed Funding | TechCrunch
Last year, iFit says its e-commerce business hit $2 million. Its goal for 2014 is to make $3.5 million in revenue and grow to two million registered members. Its marketing tactics include creating content about exercise and weight loss in the form of illustrated cartoons for members to share on their social networks.
iFit’s future growth strategy include a “multi-screen” experience with content for its site, mobile apps, fitness audio books, bi-monthly magazines, and fitness TV shows. It also plans to gameify its site so members can compete against each other. The company, which is run by married couple Alice Chen and Ming-Yuan Xie, already sells branded home fitness equipment and energy snacks targeted to women. The startup is currently working with fitness companies to create more branded products and seeking a wearable tech partner.
AwesomenessTV Buys YouTube Network Big Frame For $15 Million | TechCrunch
AwesomenessTV announced today that it acquired multichannel network Big Frame in a $15 million deal that further consolidates the number of companies built around creating video content for YouTube.
Windows Phone 8.1 Preview - CNET
The Start screen, Microsoft's name for your phone's home screen, now supports an extra column of tiles, even if you don't have a large phablet. You can now also set a home screen wallpaper, using one of the standard backgrounds that come with Windows Phone 8.1, or your own photos. Just like before, there's still a white or black space between the tiles (depending on your phone's set theme), but instead of a solid color background on each tile, you'll see a piece of the larger wallpaper image.
How "One Microsoft" Is Going To Get A Lot More Real At Build 2014
The fact that we have built a common core we did that with Windows Phone 8 so now we have the same kernel and class systems and device driver and security and all the stuff under the hood is consistent. And we have a user experience that cuts across that range of devices. It is not identical, but it is consistent. We have cloud services that connect them all. We have an app (ecosystem) that needs to be more consistent and we are getting there and that is kind of what we will talk about at Build.
Samsung Rolls Out Smart Home Service In Korea and US
Users can register for the Samsung Smart Home app with their Samsung account — and they can download it now from Samsung Apps and Google Play. A separate Smart Home app will be available “soon” for one of Samsung’s wearable devices, the Gear 2, while another app for Samsung’s 2014 Smart TV models will be available in April. To assure users of security, Samsung notes that all data transmitted by its app is encrypted.
This is not a machine for the faint of heart. It's an open source project, which means part of the joy – and frustration – of the device is that it is continuously improving. This will be perhaps the only laptop that ships with a screwdriver; you'll be required to install the battery yourself, screw on the LCD bezel of your choice, and you'll get the speakers as a kit, so you don't have to use our speaker box design – if you have access to a 3D printer, you can make and fine tune your own speaker box.
Fantastical, The Best Calendar App, Is Now Available For The iPad | Cult of Mac
The app is designed to “give you your bearings of the month like a map,” according to Michael Simmons of Flexibits. After testing it for several weeks, I can safely say that Fantastical is the best and easiest-to-use calendar app for iPad that I have tried so far. For existing Fantastical users, it’s a must buy.
This 'Game Of Thrones' Emoji Recap Will Give You A Smiley Face
Text messaging has gotten approximately 1000 times better since the creation of emojis. Can you even remember a time when you had to send texts without the help of tiny cartoon animals and food items?
Tax Day Advice From A Bitcoin Expert | TechCrunch
Second, your bank or bitcoin exchange might file a Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”). U.S. banks and bitcoin exchanges are required to file SARs for wire transfers that are “suspicious” and larger than $5,000 ($2,000 in the case of bitcoin exchanges). The meaning of “suspicious” is very vague and highly discretionary. Out of an abundance of caution, many banks automatically treat all international transfers as “suspicious.” So, if you’ve sent or received a wire transfer of more than $5,000 to/from an international bitcoin exchange like Mt.Gox or BTC-e, you can be pretty sure that your bank has already filed a SAR against you (although they are prohibited from telling you if they did, so you’ll never know for sure). The larger and/or more frequent you SAR filings, the more likely they will become a legitimate red flag and trigger an investigation. Although FinCEN is generally concerned with money laundering activities, the IRS does have access to FinCEN filings and it is common for IRS special agents to participate in FinCEN investigations.
Here's why Amazon's Fire TV could become a big seller: Kids
Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming box offers a lot of the same content that’s already available through competing devices like Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast — but there’s one big difference that could help the company to sell millions of units: Amazon’s focus on kids’ content, paired with the ability to lock down the device, make this the first streaming device with real parental controls. Add gaming to it, and you’ve got yourself a potential bestseller.
Sookasa Raises $5M Series A Round To Help Companies Safely Use Public Cloud Services | TechCrunch
Sookasa wants to help companies use popular cloud services like Dropbox and Gmail while at the same time transparently encrypting sensitive data to ensure that companies don’t run afoul with regulations like HIPAA and FERPA. The company today announced that it has raised a $5 million Series A round led by Accel Partners with participation from existing investors First Round Capital, SV Angel and other angel investors.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Teardown Reveals Camera, Heart Rate Monitor And Fingerprint Sensor Innards | TechCrunch
The Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be officially on sale in the U.S. until next week, but already people have gotten their hands on early hardware and torn it apart to see what makes it tick. Chipworks (via 9to5Google ) has disassembled one of Samsung’s new flagships, and it provides an interesting look at that fancy new 16MP camera, which shares elements in common with the HTC One’s UltraPixel tech, as well as with Sony’s Cybershot line of dedicated cameras.
Nokia Lumia 930 image leaks ahead of launch, looks like Icon - CNET
If photos for the upcoming Lumia 930 prove accurate, we're looking at a global version of a phone that Verizon already sells.
Top News Headlines for April 2, 2014 - IGN
Naomi Kyle is IGN's news host and on-camera personality. You can find her every day on The Daily Fix, kicking ass and taking names. You can follow her on Twitter
Amazon unveils Fire TV $99 set top box as rival to Google and Apple
With Amazon's staple DVD business facing slow decline as more people download their films rather than waiting for them to arrive by post, the company unveiled a Fire TV device on Wednesday that will take on Google and Apple as they vie to become the television distributors of the future.
Lyft Raises $250 Million in Car-Sharing Battle With Uber - Digits - WSJ
Lyft, the smartphone app for sharing rides, has closed $250 million in funding that will help it compete with rival Uber.
Windows 8.1 Update available April 8th, includes keyboard and mouse improvements
After months of leaks, some by Microsoft itself , Windows 8.1 Update will finally be available next week. Microsoft plans to distribute its latest Windows 8.1 update to existing machines through Windows Update on April 8th, although MSDN and TechNet customers can download it today. The software maker has been accused of going too far with its Windows 8 vision and forgetting the huge amount of people that still use desktop PCs and laptops. Windows 8.1 Update is the latest effort to address those concerns. "I think we did a little too much too quickly, and we didn’t do enough for the mouse," admits Microsoft’s Chaitanya Sareen. Windows 8.1 Update is aimed squarely at mouse and keyboard users.
North Korea names space agency 'NADA,' mimics NASA logo - CNET
NASA may well be the most-recognized space agency in all the world, so it's not a big surprise North Korea might want to riff on it when naming its own space agency. That apparent line of thought seems to have ended with the choice of "National Aerospace Development Administration" for the official name.
Housing Activists Challenge SF’s Google Bus Program On Environmental Grounds | TechCrunch
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency had previously exempted the pilot program, which was passed back in January, from environmental review. The program is set to charge $1 per stop fee, in part because the city’s transportation agency wasn’t legally allowed to create a revenue-generating program. So the pilot program can only pay for its costs, which are expected to be $1.7 million.
Demand for Drone Hunting Licenses Overwhelms Tiny Colorado Town
It's unclear what happens from here. The last vote on the ordinance was a 3-to-3 tie, and the measure will now go to voters. Even if the voters do give it the greenlight, the drone license is potentially illegal, since it's against the law to destroy federal property. This is all assuming that Phil Steel, the town resident who proposed the ordinance, was actually serious about this from the beginning. In interviews with the local news, Steel admitted that he'd never seen a drone flying over the town and called the measure "a very symbolic ordinance."
Reinventing a newspaper chain for the digital age is really hard -- just ask Digital First Media
Digital First Media is shutting down its ambitious Project Thunderdome experiment, which was aimed at helping re-engineer the chain’s dozens of small daily and weekly newspapers for a digital age, but appears to have run out of time and money
Classic Paintings, Explained With Tweets, Status Updates, and Emojis | Underwire | WIRED
Edward Hopper—the painter famous for documenting American society in the early 20th century—once noted that “a nation’s art is greatest when it most reflects the character of its people.” If Hopper truly believed this, then his ghost should be pleased to discover that in the 21st century, his art is being festooned with the characters that best represent not just his country, but the digital nation : emojis.
Google X Product Designer And Video Star Mike LeBeau Joins Facebook As Product Manager | TechCrunch
Mike LeBeau is a Staff Software Engineer and Product Designer at Google and Google[x], where his projects have included: Project Glass, Android Voice, Android Search, iPhone Voice Search, acquisition of GrandCentral and its evolution into Google Voice, Google Maps for Mobile with Voice Search, and 1-800-GOOG-411. Prior to Google, he worked at Tellme Networks, eBay, and PayPal.
Amazon Lights Up Gaming With Fire TV: $40 Controller Could Rival Consoles
is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 34 million unique visitors worldwide and 15 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.
Wearables: one-third of consumers abandoning devices
The Endeavour Partners study, and those for-sale adverts (both physical and on eBay) point to something still unsolved by this first tranche of wearable devices. They're just not that good at exciting us. The problems to be solved - usefulness, battery life, appearance - clearly haven't been. Nor has the real killer app appeared (although there seems to be increasing evidence that people find the notifications on smartwatches useful).
Building a Better PHP — Part 3: Getting Started with Hack
You can still use standard PHP arrays in hack, although in strict mode they must be typed for all arguments and return values. When creating a new array without explicit keys otherwise, all values must be of the same type — failing to do this will result in a hack error.
Apple lawyer to jury: Samsung “crossed into the dark side”
Further ReadingApple v. Samsung: Apple says Samsung is free-riding on $1 billion in marketingOn day two of testimony, jurors hear secretive history of the iPhone. The earlier 2012 trial led to a billion-dollar jury verdict against Samsung, which is now on appeal. However, Apple wasn't able to get an order barring any Samsung products from the market. This new trial concerns patent claims and counter-claims over a newer array of products: Samsung's Galaxy III, Note II, Stratosphere, and Galaxy Nexus phones. Samsung, meanwhile, has counterclaims that accuse the iPhone 5 of infringing two patents it purchased.
Microsoft says Windows will be free on phones, small tablets
It comes a week after new Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella unveiled new versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel applications for Apple Inc's iPad. A year's free subscription to Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 service will be offered on the new devices running the free Windows, Microsoft said.
Automated Investment Service Wealthfront Raises $35M From Index, Ribbit Capital | TechCrunch
It’s important to note that there are a number of competitors in the space who are looking to become the next-generation financial advisory platform of choice, including Betterment, Personal Capital, and SigFig. And taking on dinosaurs like private banks and even companies like Fidelity is ambitious to the say the least. But with trillions of dollars in assets at stake, there is room for many players in the online wealth management space. And as technology companies (with an eye for design) continue to disrupt traditional verticals like transportation, hospitality and health, financial services is going to have its own Ubers and Airbnbs of the world. Wealthfront could be that company.
The colorful Lumia 930 shines at Build (pictures) - CNET
The device packs a 20-megapixel PureView camera with photo editing features via the Creative Studio app. The phone will launch in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and India beginning in June for $599.
Roku Gets Another Huge Competitor Today. No Big Deal, Says Anthony Wood. (Video)
Roku Gets Another Huge Competitor Today. No Big Deal, Says Anthony Wood. (Video)
Ex Microsoft employee pleads guilty to theft of Windows 8 trade secrets - CNET
Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.
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Microsoft introduces universal apps that scale across phones, tablets, and PCs | PCWorld
In other words, developers will be able to write one app using common code and have it work across phones, tablets, PCs, and yes, even the Xbox One—something that Apple and Android can't claim. Developers will also be able to create tailored experiences for each device type, if they so choose, but reuse the bulk of the code for all the apps.
Parsing Free Windows | TechCrunch
By cutting the cost of Windows for smartphones, Microsoft is sweetening its pitch towards OEMs, providing new incentives to adopt its mobile platform. OEMs, often paying a per-device fee to Microsoft to ship devices running Google’s Android, now have a separate option that includes no software payments. That’s interesting.
Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Plex and more services launch on Amazon Fire TV (update: full list)
Update : Amazon could not confirm that HBO Go is coming to the Fire TV, only saying "we're working to get more content." We checked with HBO, which said the service is not there and that there are no plans to add it at this time, a quote echoed by Ultraviolet-connected service Vudu.
Digits Show: Kamer Maker Builds the World's First 3D Printed House - Digits - WSJ
Turns out architects in Holland are already doing this. WSJ’s Carl Nasman interviews Dutch architect Hans Vermuelen, who has started construction on the world’s first 3-D printed house–which he is expected to finish in 2017.
Samsung: Our 'next big thing' ads drove Apple's marketing chief 'crazy'
"We will show you internal Apple documents, documents that haven't been made public before, and showed how Apple was really concerned about competition from Android, and in particular Samsung," John Quinn of law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which is representing Samsung in the trial, told an eight-person jury. "This new, edgy marketing strategy ... it drove Apple crazy."
Manhattan, our real-time, multi-tenant distributed database for Twitter scale | Twitter Blogs
Focus on the customer Even though our customers are our fellow Twitter employees, we are still providing a service, and they are still our customers. We must provide support, be on call, isolate the actions of one application from another, and consider the customer experience in everything we do. Most developers are familiar with the need for adequate documentation of their services, but every change or addition to our storage system requires careful consideration. A feature that should be seamlessly integrated into self-service has different requirements from one that needs intervention by operators. When a customer has a problem, we must make sure to design the service so that we can quickly and correctly identify the root cause, including issues and emergent behaviors that can arise from the many different clients and applications through which engineers access the database. We’ve had a lot success building Manhattan from the ground up as a service and not just a piece of technology.
Former Nokia CEO unveils three new Lumia phones at Microsoft Build
Elop also introduced the 630 and 635, two new entry-level phones. The 630 comes in two versions for GSM 3G networks and is primarily targeted at the international market—a $159 single-SIM phone and a $169 dual-SIM variant which will allow users to use two numbers on the same phone. The Lumia 635 will be a 4G LTE phone that will be sold worldwide. It arrives in the US in July and is priced at $189 before carrier subsidies and taxes.
Tesla Drivers Are Using Their In-Dash Browser To Keep Up With The News, Quantcast Says | TechCrunch
While the Tesla Model S is the first large-scale production car shipped with a standard web browser, it’s not clear that browsing behavior from the Model S can foretell the future use of connected cars as a media platform. Connected cars will evolve as automakers begin to offer native app environments from Google and Apple. The current browsing activity appears to be more reflective of Tesla owners, half of whom live in California and are self-selected to have higher incomes and be early tech adopters. What we can say is that Tesla owners are using their in-dash browsers for news, finance and more, even though they presumably have smartphones on hand. Tesla drivers have validated the value of an in-car browsing experience that goes beyond destination finding—an early indicator that the connected car is a new media platform to watch.
I never used it. I'm not comfortable with anything 'in the cloud' so it doesn't matter whether their service was competing with something else or not, I just was not interested. So I won't miss it. I did buy a NAS box in the last 6 months (and I'd been looking at buying one for a long time), and it saved my hide just a month ago when a drive (500GB, 82% full) failed with (initially) 17 bad blocks, then 120 bad blocks the next day (when I ran ddrescue on it), and 643 bad blocks after finishing ddrescue. After that, I couldn't even format the thing. But the NAS was very useful.
Streaming Device Showdown: Who Wins the Battle for Your TV?
It turns out that you really don't have to spend that much money to get all of the goodness of streaming videos, music, and plenty of your apps up on your television at will. Available now, the Roku stick beats out fellow budget pick Chromecast for a number of reasons. One, it carries more apps that you want, like Amazon, Vudu, and Showtime. Sure, Chromecast will keep adding partners, especially now that Google has opened up its developer SDK , but who knows how long you'll be waiting?
When data journalism meets hyper-local -- Oakland Local launches Police Beat
After investigating police brutality during the Occupy protests, the non-profit news site Oakland Local decided to harvest 22 years of court data to create a database of alleged police misconduct and has made it free under a Creative Commons license.
Microsoft Updates Visual Studio With Support For Universal Projects, TypeScript 1.0 And .NET Native Code Compilation | TechCrunch
Also new is support for.NET native code compilation for Windows and Windows Phone. Somasegar told me that developers told Microsoft that .NET was always a very productive language to program in, but it didn’t always deliver the performance they were looking for. “We’ve been working on a lot of innovation to show developers that .NET is still a very viable platform for developers who want to build apps in this modern world,” he said. With the .NET native ahead-of-time compiler, developers will see faster startup times, lower memory usage and overall better performance, Microsoft promises. This new feature is currently in preview and allows developers to target both the X64 and ARM platforms.
Day 1 Keynote (Channel 9)
Join Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, David Treadwell, Stephen Elop, and Satya Nadella for keynote from day 1.
Apple may use bayonet mounts for interchangeable iPhone camera lenses
Apple is investigating the use of bayonet lens mounts — one of the most common lens attachment mechanisms used in modern photography — in its iOS device lineup, suggesting the company is mulling interchangeable lens accessories for its iOS device lineup.
Canonical Shuts Down Cloud Storage Service Ubuntu One | TechCrunch
“Additionally, the free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB-50GB free storage,” Jane Silber wrote on the blog. “If we offer a service, we want it to compete on a global scale, and for Ubuntu One to continue to do that would require more investment than we are willing to make.”
Amazon Set-Top Features Voice Search, Gaming - Digits - WSJ
Amazon.com introduced its long-awaited set-top box on Wednesday and the big selling points seem to be voice-activated search and gaming capabilities.
Apple in talks to buy smartphone display chip company Renesas
Electronics manufacturers Japan Display Inc and Sharp, along with South Korea's LG Display, are set to make larger screens for Apple's next iPhone - dubbed by analysts the iPhone 6 - which is widely expected to be released this autumn, supply chain sources said.
The Most Exciting New Features of the Latest Windows Phone OS | Gadget Lab | WIRED
Microsoft VPs announced a slew of new features for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at its annual BUILD developer conference Wednesday. The updates promise to make the experience of using both OSes — particularly Windows Phone — more personalized, more efficient, and more intelligent. Here are some of the highlights.