Curio 9 Digital Notebook, Whiteboard And Sketchbook App Launches



Zengobi the developers of the awesome Curio app, has announced the release of its latest version of the popular Mac OS X digital notebook, whiteboard and sketchbook in the form of Curio 9.

Curio 9 as you would expect is packed with plenty of new features, enhancements and tweaks and includes a new user interface built specifically for the latest Mavericks and Yosemite Mac OS X operating systems.

If you are looking for a digital notebook to store all your creative process, designs, sketches and notes. With the ability to link directly through to your Evernote account then Curio 9 might be worth more investigation. Its creators explain a little more :

“Curio 9 includes more amazing mind mapping and brainstorming features, and dozens of other enhancements, your creativity and productivity will soar.
In Curio, create a project to represent your real-world project, then fill it with everything related to that project including notes, images, documents, web links, and much, much more. Use Curio’s integrated collections, such as lists and mind maps, to organize all of this information or just place it anywhere on Curio’s freeform pages, which we call idea spaces.
Anything placed into Curio can be associated with tags, flags, checkboxes, priorities, ratings, and start/due dates and durations, for fast and easy searching and task management.”

For more information on the new Curio 9 which is available to purchase for $99 or upgrade to for $49 jump over to the Zengobi website for details via the link below. There is also a 25 day free trail available for you try out the new features and functionality before you purchase.

Source: Curio
Friday, October 24, 2014

Etsy Credit Card Reader Unveiled



This week Etsy the e-commerce website specialising in handmade or vintage items has announced the launch of their new Etsy credit card reader, and goes in direct competition with the likes of PayPal, Amazon, Square and others.

The Etsy credit card reader combines with an Android or iOS companion smartphone application and allows users to take credit card payments directly from their smartphone or tablet with costs ranging between 3% + 25¢ per sale.

Etsy has designed the new credit card reader to integrate with their updated Etsy seller application allowing small businesses and individuals to sell items in person. Yet allowing the transaction to be captured in their Etsy Shop Stats, with their Etsy online inventory adjusting in real-time. Etsy explains a little more:

“Choose items from your Etsy shop or use the Quick Sale feature and just enter a price. Your total sales will increase either way. There’s no Etsy transaction fee for sales made in person, and no listing fees for Quick Sales. Manual card entry costs 3% + 25¢ per sale. Accept credit cards wherever you sell. We’ll add the funds to your existing Etsy account and offer email receipts to your buyers.”

For more information on the new Etsy credit card reader jump over to the Etsy website via the link below for details and to request free reader. Unfortunately the service is only available to sellers based in the US at the current time, but at Etsy is planning to roll it out further afield very soon.


Source: Etsy

LG G Watch R Launched Globally



The LG G Watch R comes with the recently released Android Wear update, and the device will go on sale in France, Spain, Italy and the UK at the start of November and with then launch in North America, Asia and CIS regions.

“While the original G Watch was designed to be a no-nonsense, pure Android Wear device, the G Watch R was developed with a more aesthetic eye,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The G Watch R represents LG’s commitment to meld form and functionality together in perfect harmony and to create a device that not only looks great but more importantly, offers technology that makes life more convenient.”

You can see a full list of the LG G Watch R specifications below:

● Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400
● Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320)
● Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB RAM
● Battery: 410mAh
● Operating System: Android Wear™
(compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above)
● Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass)
Barometer
PPG (Heart Rate Monitor)
● Color: Black
● Other: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)


Source LG

Microsoft Lumia Branding Revealed



Microsoft has now released some pictures of the new Microsoft Lumia branding, as you can see in the photos, these new devices will feature the name ‘Microsoft’ on the front of the handset where the Nokia logo used to be.

On the back of these new Microsoft Lumia smartphones will be the Windows Phone Logo followed by the name Microsoft, this is how the devices will look for all future Microsoft Lumia devices.

Microsoft will continue to use the Nokia name for lower end devices, like the recently launched Nokia 130, Microsoft has liscensed the Nokia name for these types of handset.

The company also confirmed that there is a new Windows Phone smartphone on the way, the device will be the first smartphone to launch with the Microsoft Lumia branding, although no details about the handset were released.


Source Microsoft

Amazon posts massive quarterly loss



Amazon.com has announced financial results for its third quarter that ended on September 30. The news is not good for Amazon. Net sales increased 20 percent to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, compared with $17.09 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Despite this increase, Amazon’s net loss was $437 million in the third quarter, or $0.95 per diluted share. In 2013 the net loss was $41 million, or $0.09 per diluted share in the same time period.

The company missed Wall Street estimates of a $0.74 loss per share, and quarterly sales estimates were also off target. Forecasts were expecting $20.84 billion in sales, with the company turning a profit. Trading after hours on the news has hit Amazon’s stock for almost 10 percent of its closing value.

It isn’t all bad. Amazon is calling the quarter a success, using the Kindle Voyage, and Kindle Fire HDX line refresh as examples. Other positives of note are Amazon Web Service expansions, a 3D printed project store and an expansion of AmazonFresh. All of those things should keep making money for them. Amazon did not give sales numbers from its hardware division. For this next quarter, net sales are expected to be between $27.3 billion and $30.3 billion, or to grow between 7 percent and 18 percent compared with the fourth quarter 2013. The company is expecting to fall between a $570 million loss, and $430 million gain.

Source Electronista

Survival Motoped Bike



Universal mounting rack. Three gallons of fuel. In critical times, Motoped's Survival Bike puts escape in the hands of your feet. The military-inspired superhauler has a back rack assembly primed for multiple bolt-on mounts, harnesses, and fitments so riders can pack mule their lives the hell out of Dodge and into the mountains of Banff National Park to wait out society's complete dissolution and develop their plans to rebuild it. This machine of post-apocalyptic preparation, or present-day urban warriorism if you prefer, will arrive on two wheels fitted with a 49cc engine around February 2015.



Motoped Survival Bikes can be purchased fully-assembled and ready to ride (including a stock 49cc engine), as a partially assembled kit (no engine), or as a KD box-kit buyers assemble themselves from the ground-up. Termed a "tactical blank canvas" the bike's design accommodates fat wads of gear, plus enough fuel in a full primary tank and 2 side-mounted spare tanks to carry its passenger 400 to 500 miles without a fill-up.



Max engine horsepower for the 49cc is 2.47 at 7500 RPM, and max torque is 1.70 ft-lbs at 5500 RPM. Speeds top off at 24 MPH. Additional Survival Bike features include:

- Patented Jacksaft Pedal Drive System
- 165mm Square Tapered Aluminum Crank Arms
- DNM Adjustable Front and Rear Suspension (8" active travel)
- 4130 Chromoly Single Tube Frame (2.8" Wall Thickness)
- Double Heat Treated 6061 Aluminum Swing Arm
- Hayes Prime DH Hydraulic Forged Mono-bloc 4-Piston Calipers Front & Rear
- Hayes 224mm (9") Rotors Front & Rear
- Alex Rims 26", 24" Rear 36H 13 gauge spokes
- 2 x Rotopax 1 Gallon Fuel Tanks
- 22" by 6" Aluminum Rear Rack (50 lb max load)







Source Motoped
Thursday, October 23, 2014

France is Building World’s Largest Business Startup Incubator (video)



Plans have been unveiled by the Journal du Net this week, that France has started construction work to create a 323,000-square-foot business startup incubator space that will be capable of housing at two 1000 start-up companies.

The new start-up incubator space that will be located in a railway building which was first constructed way back in the 1920’s and is located within the country capital, Paris, bringing new life to the old building once again.

The French government will be underwriting 10% of the costs for the development and is hoping that the size of the project will help invest more interest into the country’s international digital reputation. Watch the video below to learn more about the interesting development which sounds perfect for start-ups to develop their new technology, concepts and ideas.

The cost of the project is thought to be in the region of $190-million and is being lead by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. Previously Niel founded Iliad SA, a broadband and wireless company that offers low-cost and free services.

There project will be completed in 2017 and earlier this week French president François Hollande lay the first ceremonial stone brick to mark the commencing of the the incubator renovation project.


Source: Journal du Net

Apple To Open 25 More Apple Stores In China



Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has announced that the company will be building 25 more Apple Stores in China over the next two years, the company currently has 15 Apple Store in the country.

The news was announced on a recent visit to China by Tim Cook, where he met with China’s Vice Minister Ma Kai to discuss the ‘protection of users’ information.

At the moment around 15 percent of Apple’s overall revenue comes from China, the country has massive potential for Apple in terms of increasing their revenue, and the additional 25 Apple Stores should help Apple increase their revenue from China.

“We’re investing like crazy in the market,” Cook said on the call. “When I look at China, I see an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history.”

Apple’s latest financial results were announced recently, the company reported record revenue for the last financial quarter, they also announced record iPhone sales.

Sales of Apple’s iPad were down slightly, although this is expected to change with the launch of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 which launched yesterday, and expanding their retail stores in China could also help the company gain more iPad sales.

Source Reuters

Highway Glow In The Dark Markings Unveiled in Netherlands (Video)



The testing of the new highway glow in the dark markings for the Smart Highway by Daan Roosegaarde and construction company Heijmans, is now installed on part of the ‘N329- Road of the Future’ in Oss, in the Netherlands, making the project the very first light-emitting highway pilot in the world.

The new highway glow-in-the-dark lining absorbs energy during the day and then starts to glow as darkness falls for for up to periods of 10 hours, providing a safe and sustainable alternative to conventional highway lighting.



Daan Roosegaarde has won the INDEX Award 2013 thanks to his new Smart Highway. The INDEX: Award is an international, highly prestigious prize for ‘Design to Improve Life’ that is presented every two years.



For more information on the new very first glow in the dark highway markings jump over to the official Smart Highway website for further details and more images.

“Studio Roosegaarde of artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde creates interactive landscapes that intuitively respond to sound and motion. These innovative artworks are a dynamic fusion of architecture, people and technology.
Sculptures such as ‘Dune’, ‘Sustainable Dance Floor’ and ‘Intimacy’ form a ‘tactile high-tech’ environment in which the observer and the space become one. Roosegaarde calls this connection between design and content, between ideology and technology, ‘techno poetry’.
Roosegaarde’s work is internationally renowned and is exhibited in various places including in the Tate Modern Art Gallery in London, the National Museum in Tokyo, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and in various public places in Hong Kong and Rotterdam.”


Source: Gizmag

Google Launches Inbox, The Reinvented Gmail App (Video)



Google launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way.

Google said it was sending out invitations to selected Gmail users to try out the new service. Users can also email the company at inbox@google.com to get an invitation.

For now the new service is being provided alongside Gmail, which was launched in 2004. It will be available on the Web as well as on Android smartphones and iPhones.

"Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it's a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters," the company said in a blog post.

Google said Inbox displays real-time updates to emails - for example, showing the delivery status of items bought online.

It also shows reminders in a more accessible way that allows users to more easily keep track of chores and appointments.

The company said the new application also enhances features that are already available in Gmail that allow users to view purchases and bank account statements grouped together.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Evolution of Virtual Offices



The Information Age and innovative technologies that seem to come out every other day, have changed the office landscape. Escaping your desk like Houdini at 5 p.m. and hoping for the large corner office one day is now a thing of the past. Employees don’t want the corner office. They want a virtual office that affords them flexibility and freedom.
Instead of looking at the evolution from a chronological standpoint, let’s look at it from the everyday tasks that are performed. It might just give a sense of how far we’ve actually come.


Office Memos to Reply All Snafus

There was a time when communication was sent through snail mail. If you ask the youth of the world, email is actually too slow for them at times. But that is a story for another article.

Believe it or not, sending message by post did not end too long ago. The first email systems were created in the 1970’s but these were not immediately used commercially. Businesses did not adopt email systems until the 1980’s and 1990’s. There are some of you reading this article who were the first in your company to use email. You’re not old; you’re experienced.

The “office memorandum” on your desk started to disappear in exchange for company-wide emails. This also led to a sharp increase in panic attacks due to accidental “reply-alls” to emails. It is worth noting that the previous statement, while potentially true, may not be factually correct.




Receptionists

The smiling receptionists asking you if someone has a case of the Monday’s has slowly started to disappear along with the memorandums on your desk. Instead of keeping in-office receptionists, it has become increasingly common to outsource the work.

These friendly, virtual receptionists handle all of your companies calls. There is a good chance that your incoming callers don’t even realize the receptionist is not an employee of yours.



Call Centers/Customer Support

Love them or hate them, outsourced and virtual call centers are here to stay. Corporations love to outsource their customer support to businesses that provide that type of support at a fraction of the cost of in-office employees.

While customers may not always appreciate it, this transition to virtual substitutes for customer service reps saves the business a lot of money.



Conference Rooms to Conference Displays

Another major area where the office has evolved virtually is with conference rooms. Virtual conferencing, or videoconferencing, is another area that evolved not too long ago. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that videoconferencing became commercially available. Even then the quality was poor, the connection was weak, and the costs were high.

In the 1990’s, internet-protocol-based videoconferencing became available. This much improved version of videoconferencing permitted personal computers to connect to one another.

A decade later, in the 2000’s, videotelephony services such as Skype and iChat were introduced. These quickly become ways for smaller businesses, individual employees, and contract workers to connect using video displays.

Other services such as GoToMeeting, introduced in 2004, have also become widely popular amongst businesses. This type of virtual meeting allows users to share screens, change presenters, and much more.

While in-person conferences are not obsolete, they have certainly become less common especially when traveling can be avoided.



Office Space to Shared and Remote Office Space

Due to so many innovations with productivity tools and office necessities, office space itself has evolved. Many companies are ditching the high overhead costs of owning their own building or renting out office space.

It has become common for many companies to rent conference spaces or shared offices spaces. These shared spaces allow a smaller company to reap the benefits of an office without paying for a ridiculous lease on an actual building. They can downsize or expand in the shared space as needed without needing to search for a new location. This is the perfect setup for today’s startups and tech companies.



Gantt Charts to Team Project Management Tools

So Gantt charts are a very particular type of project management. Regardless, project managers and teams no longer have to rely on hand-written boards or papers to track project progress.

Virtual tools have made project management and team workflow ridiculously easy and intuitive. Certain types of companies can benefit from different types of management tools. For example, software development companies often prefer Trello for their dev projects. Basecamp and Asana both offer teams a collaborative environment to keep up to date with projects and deadlines without actually needing to meet face to face. These productivity tools are the solution for teams working remotely.



File Cabinets to the Cloud

You are just about as likely to find a filing cabinet in a retro store as you are in an office. The old school way of filing documents just isn’t conducive to offices anymore. First, all of the paper is waste and environmentally unfriendly.

Secondly, cloud storage has allowed companies to transfer all paper documents to safe, secure, and space-efficient cloud servers.



Floppy Disks and CD’s to Shared Drives

While we are on the subject of storage, we might as well mention floppy disks and CD’s. Both floppy disks and CD’s have gone about the wayside in terms of storing and transferring data. You might still be able to make a case for flash drives but overall, services like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive are by far better tools for an evolved office.

All three services take advantage of cloud storage but with the added functionality of sharing. Large files that can’t be sent through email can be delivered through a URL to a shared folder. This evolved way of transferring information complements an evolved office where each employee might be working from a different location.



About the Author.
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndrewFujii2/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewfujii/




Olloclip 4 in 1 Lens For iPhone 6 Launched



Olloclip have launched a new version of their Olloclip 4 in 1 lens, the latest version of this add on camera gadget is compatible with Apple’s latest smartphones.

The Olloclip 4 in 1 lens has had a redesign specifically for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the device is now compatible with the front facing camera on the new iPhones as well as the back facing camera.

The new lens comes with four different lenses for your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which include a wide angle lens, a fish eye lens, a 10x macro lens and a 15x macro lens.

If you want to get you hands on the new Olloclip for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the device is available to pre-order for $79, you can find out more details at the link below.

Source Olloclip, Mashable

How Automatic Speech Recognition Works (Infographic)



Back in 2012, Apple ran a series of ads for the iPhone 4S featuring celebrities including director Martin Scorsese and actress Zooey Deschanel carrying on conversations with their mobile devices. Although critics were quick to point out that the iPhone’s Siri interface does not work as seamlessly in real life, the commercials did illustrate what the ideal automatic speech recognition program looks like.

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is any program that translates spoken language into readable text in order to allow a user to give voice commands. This technology has been around much longer than most people think; it has been researched by the government and military since the 1950s, and it actually became available as a tool to assist individuals with musculoskeletal disabilities back in the 1980s. However, it is only in more recent years that it has become incredibly pervasive in our culture, thanks in large part to the implementation of ASR programs on smartphones.

ASR devices work by translating a user’s words (spoken into the device’s microphone) into a wave form. The wave form is then broken down into phonemes, which are the individual sounds that make up all the words in the language the device is programmed to recognize (English has 44 phonemes, for example, while French has 33 and Italian has 49). Each phoneme functions like a link in a chain. The device will identify the first phoneme and then use statistical analysis to determine what phonemes (and on a larger scale, words) are most likely to follow. This is what allows these devices to respond to queries and commands in real time.

There are two primary types of ASR: direct dialog and natural language programming (NLP). Direct dialog is the type of interaction you have when you call a business or customer service number and are asked to speak a command or menu option in order to access a certain recording. For example, you might be able to call your bank, speak or manually enter your account information, and then speak the command “Check my balance” in order to access a recording that will tell you how much money you currently have in your bank account. Direct dialog conversations are close-ended, meaning there are only a certain number of voice commands that the program will recognize and respond to.

Natural language programming, on the other hand, is more open-ended. A program may come with a set number of vocabulary words, some of which are “tagged” based on the likelihood that they will be used (for example, “weather forecast” might be tagged because many people ask their phones to look up the local weather). The program will also store data from past interactions, which will help it determine what words and phrases are statistically likely to be used together. This process is referred to as “active learning.”

Of course, ASR technology is far from perfect. The average accuracy of these programs is 96%, but that’s only under “ideal conditions.” Factors such as loud background noises, speech characteristics that do not match the training data (such as accents), and multiple people talking at the same time can all muddle a program’s wave forms and cause the accuracy level to drop. However, ASR is steadily continuing to improve, and we’ll likely see devices that are much better at accurately responding in real time—even when conditions aren’t ideal—in the coming years.To learn more about ASR, check out this informative infographic from West Interactive.

iOS 8.1 Jailbreak To Be Released Soon



Apple released iOS 8.1 on Monday, and now it looks like a working iOS 8.1 Jailbreak has been created, although it has not as yet been released.

The iOS 8.1 jailbreak was apparently created by the Pangu team, who originally released the iOS 7.1 jailbreak tool, and the team initially announced that they would be releasing a developer version of the tool.

The developer version of the iOS 8.1 jailbreak tool was apparently released and then pulled, the developer version does not install Cydia on your device, instead it is just a pure jailbreak.

It looks like the Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak will be released some time in the future, when Cydia and other services are ready for the tool.

The jailbreak is said to work with all iOS 8.1 compatible devices, which would include the iPhone 5S, new iPhone 6 models, and a range of iPad models including the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.

Source Reddit, 9 to 5 Mac

Apple To Sell Its Billionth iOS Device This Quarter



Apple launched their first iOS device back in 2007, the iPhone, since then we have had a number of new iPhones, plus various versions of Apple’s iPad and also the iPod Touch.

The company launched their first iPad back in 2010, and since then Apple has managed to sell over 225 million iPads, with their latest models, the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 launching today.

According to Ryan Jones from Seeking Alpha, Apple are about to sell their one billionth iOS device, which certainly would be impressive and it should happen in Apple current financial quarter.

''Tim Cook was pleased to announce that in FY2014, Apple sold 250 million iOS devices. That means that since 2007, Apple has sold over 950 million iOS devices in total and is on track to sell it’s billionth iOS device sometime in Q12015. The only other platforms to ever reach the billion milestone are Windows, Facebook, and Android.''

Apple just released its latest financial results this week for their fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, the company announced record iPhone sales of 39,272 million, the company also sold 12,316 million iPads in the same quarter.

To date, Apple has sold a total of 950 million iOS devices since they launched their first iPhone, and they should hit their one billionth iOS devices sales by the end of their current financial quarter. These are some impressive figures considering that the first iOS device was launched just seven years ago.

Source Seeking Alpha, The Loop

Image credit: Minimally Minimal

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