Google Paying HTC $1.1B to Bring Over Parts of Its Smartphone Team



About 2,000 HTC staffers to join Google as part of the deal; HTC to continue making its own smartphones, including a new flagship model


Google and HTC Corporation (TWSE: 2489) today announced a definitive agreement under which certain HTC employees – many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones – will join Google. HTC will receive US$1.1 billion in cash from Google as part of the transaction. Separately, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
“As a pioneer of the smartphone market, we are very proud of our history of innovation. Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC. “This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services.”

“HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google. “We're excited and can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team who will be joining Google to fuel further innovation and future product development in consumer hardware.”

Image source: http://news.abs-cbn.com


Friday, September 22, 2017

Instagram adds face filters to live video




Instagram adds Face Filters to live video, rolling out globally over the next few weeks






Starting today, you can play with face filters while sharing live video. Whether you’re channeling a kitten or want to add some stars or rainbow light to your face, you can easily try on face filters while connecting with friends and followers in the moment.

Read more




Bose unveils QC35 II wireless headphones with Google Assistant




Bose launches QC 35 II noise canceling headphones, with a dedicated button that triggers Google Assistant, for $349.95




Today, Bose announced its iconic QC®35 will be the first headphone to offer seamless voice access to your Google Assistant. It also now comes with settings to control the noise around you. The new QC35 II headphones are available from today, and their price remains at £329.95.



“The QC35 is already the world’s most celebrated wireless headphone, and a survival tool for modern life,” said Brian Maguire, director, Bose on-the-go products. “We didn’t change anything that people already love – with the Google Assistant built in, and new choices for what you hear, we made it better.”

Read more




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Minecraft's cross-platform update is now available on Xbox, PC, and mobile




Microsoft rolls out Minecraft's “Better Together” cross-platform play update for mobile, VR, XBox, and Windows 10, says it will come to Switch later this year

It’s probably the most significant update we’ve made in Minecraft’s recent history - we’re releasing a new version of the game that lets players on Xbox, mobile, VR and Windows 10 play together!
And not only that! It lets you access oodles of player-made goodness on Marketplace! It lets you take that Marketplace goodness from one device to another! It lets you play your Realm on console (for example), hop off, then pick up where you left off on your phone! It lets you join massive servers, with communities numbering in millions of players and eccentric minigames to suit every taste!
And that’s just the stuff we’re doing on top of the core game itself. This new version of Minecraft also introduces the supported platforms to parrots, banners, armour stands, stained glass, fireworks, new world start options, new game rules, host options, the recipe book and loads, loads more. All that, and it lets you marvel at the True Beauty™ of coarse dirt for the first time! Wow! Coarse dirt! Just, wow.






New Features:

  • Stained Glass
  • Fireworks (with Elytra boost!)
  • Parrots
  • Banners
  • Armor Stands
  • Jukebox and music discs
  • Recipe Book
  • Book & Quill
  • Ravines
  • Coarse Dirt
  • New world start options: Starting Map; Bonus Chest; Trust Players
  • New game rules: Show Coordinates; TNT Explodes; Natural Regeneration
  • Added '/tickingarea' command to create areas that still update when no players are there
  • Player permissions
  • Zombie Villager spawn egg
  • In-game host options
  • Paper doll viewer
  • Outline selection toggle
  • In-game player names toggle
  • HUD opacity toggle
  • Expanded Xbox Live multiplayer world settings
  • New loading screens with funny and helpful tips
  • How to Play screen
  • Remix 3D export functionality (Windows 10 only)
  • New achievements
  • Server Partners
  • Realms invite links
  • Mash-up Packs and Texture Packs will now decorate the main menu and in-game HUD

Tweaks:

  • Rebalanced most of the game sound effects and music, such as rain being much quieter
  • It is now much easier to see underwater after drinking a Potion of Water Breathing and Potion of Night Vision
  • Blaze Powder is now needed to fuel brewing stands
  • Ice blocks are now transparent
  • Maps can now be held off-hand and show the heads of players' skins
  • Locator maps now track the owner's position, regardless of dimension
  • Worlds can now be set to Invite Only, Friends Only, or Friends of Friends
  • Various improvements and changes to navigating the user interface
  • Redesigned button mapping and added Pick Block for controllers
  • Render Clouds and Fancy Leaves can now be toggled in Video Settings
  • Skins can now be changed from the pause menu
  • Chat messages can now be muted
  • Items picked up are now animated on the hotbar
  • Stained glass and banners will now spawn on End Cities
  • Increased the default player limit on worlds from 5 to 8 on higher-end devices
  • Block placement speed now matches the player's movement speed
  • Temperature decreases with height and it can now snow at high elevations
  • Observer blocks have updated textures and will now blink red when outputting a redstone pulse
  • Adjusted the color that flashes when mobs are attacked
  • Brick Blocks, Nether Brick Blocks, and Clay Blocks have been renamed to better differentiate from other items
  • Underwater particles
  • Jungle leaves are now transparent on higher-end devices when Fancy Leaves are enabled
  • Changed the sound effects for Creeper explosions
  • Added sound effects for placing Eyes of Ender into portal frames and opening The End portal




Nest announces the $499 Nest Secure, its new alarm system



Nest debuts Nest Secure alarm system that has a motion sensor and Nest Tag fob in a $499 pack, an HD video doorbell, and Nest Cam IQ outdoor, a $349 camera




Nest Labs, Inc. (nest.com), architect of the thoughtful home, today announced a home security solution that includes the Nest Secure alarm system, Nest Hello video doorbell, Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera, and corresponding software and services.


• Nest Secure alarm system – A home security system designed to be tough on intruders and easy on you. The Nest Secure starter pack includes these products:

• Nest Guard is an all-in-one security base that provides the alarm, keypad and a motion sensor, along with a friendly voice.

• Nest Detect is a category first: a sensor that detects both motion and open or close movement in one compact, battery-powered product. Put it on a window and it will know when it opens. Stick it on a wall and it senses motion in a room. Place it on a door and it can do both.

• Nest Tag is a convenient fob that can attach to a keychain, allowing you to easily arm and disarm Nest Secure without a passcode. Nest Tags are easy to share with family members and trusted people who regularly enter the home, like dog walkers.• Nest Hello video doorbell – Nest’s first video doorbell combines the trusted security and intelligence of a Nest Cam with the familiar convenience of a doorbell.

• Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera – Purpose-built outdoor security camera that protects homes with best-in-class imaging and intelligence, and tamper resistant, weatherproof components.

"Today, Nest is delivering on the next phase of our strategy to create the thoughtful home," said Marwan Fawaz, chief executive officer of Nest. “We’ve had quite a year so far, expanding into 11 more countries, growing our product portfolio with the successful launches of Nest Cam IQ indoor and the Nest Thermostat E, and today we’re disrupting yet another product industry: home security. By building product experiences our customers love, Nest has experienced more than 60% growth on devices shipped in recent years and continues to expand to millions of homes around the world”

Read more

Google announces it is rolling out new Natural Language API features



Google announces it is rolling out new Natural Language API features: automatic classification of content and sentiment analysis of places or things






From documents to blog posts, emails to social media updates, there’s never been more ways to connect via the written word. For businesses, this can present both a challenge and an opportunity. With such a proliferation of communication channels, how do businesses stay responsive? More importantly, how can they derive useful insights from all of their content?
That’s where Google Cloud Natural Language API comes in. Cloud Natural Language enables businesses to extract critical information from their written data. And today we’re launching two new features that can help businesses further organize their content and better understand how their users feel.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Google launches YouTube Gaming Sponsorship feature




YouTube discontinues paid channels initiative and makes $4.99 sponsorship model available to all YouTube Gaming creators and some others via main YouTube app


YOUTUBE: Starting today, we’re opening up a new way to earn extra money on your channel and better help you connect with your fans on YouTube Gaming: sponsorships!

With sponsorships, fans can purchase digital goods directly from your channel and support you via monthly recurring payments of $4.99 USD (local pricing applies). Sponsors get cool insider perks, such as a custom badge for live chat that will help them stand out from the crowd and custom emoji. These badges and emoji are designed by you for your fans. As you gain more sponsors, you will unlock more emoji to be used on your channel. You can upload and use these in real-time as you pass sponsorship milestones.

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Twitter banned almost 1 million accounts over the last 2 years for promoting terrorism



Twitter removed 300K terror-related accounts in first half of 2017, a 20% decline from previous six months, with 75% suspended before posting first tweet



TWITTER: With our 11th biannual Twitter Transparency Report, Twitter has expanded on work announced in our last #TTR to share more information about government Terms of Service requests we receive and how we handle such requests. In March of 2017, we introduced a new section covering government TOS reports, but it was limited to government requests to remove content under our prohibition of the promotion of terrorism. Today, we have expanded this section to cover a broader array of categories under the Twitter Rules, adding: abusive behavior, copyright, and trademark.

Government TOS reports filed under areas covered by the ‘Abusive Behavior’ section of the Twitter Rules accounted for 98% of global government TOS reports. We took action in response to 13% of these requests, with the majority of requests resulting in no content removal.This was due to a variety of reasons, such as the reporter failing to identify content on Twitter or our investigation finding that the reported content did not violate our Terms. As we take an objective approach to processing global Terms of Service reports, the fact that the reporters in these cases happened to be government officials had no bearing on whether any action was taken under our Rules.




Airbnb Now Lets Users Book Restaurant Reservations




Airbnb rolls out ability to book restaurant reservations in US, powered by Resy, which Airbnb invested $13M in this January


A great meal shared with friends, old or new, can make a trip special. That’s why, starting today, you can book a table at nearly 650 restaurants across the United States directly through Airbnb, powered by Resy.


The ability to book reservations at a curated selection of restaurants is part of our ongoing commitment to focus on the entire trip, not just homes, and follows the launch of Experiences last year. Travelers can now find a table at celebrated restaurants like Petit Crenn in San Francisco, Kismet in Los Angeles, Bateau in Seattle, or Thip Khao in Washington, D.C. without leaving the Airbnb app.





Syntronik - the legendary synth powerhouse is now available for iPad



Cutting-edge virtual instrument turns the iPad into a classic synth workstation delivering iconic synthesizers and string machines with a unique synthesis engine and superb sound quality


IK Multimedia announces that Syntronik, the legendary synth powerhouse, is now available for iPad from the App Store.Syntronik offers the largest and best-sounding collection of classic synthesizers in a virtual instrument for iPad to date. This is thanks to a unique combination of the most advanced sampling techniques with a new hybrid sample and modelling synthesis engine, an arsenal of high-quality modelled effects and innovative instrument features that raise the bar for flexibility and sound quality.

Syntronik for iPad includes 17 amazing Synths covering a wide selection from 37 of the most iconic to ultra-rare classic synthesizers of all time:

99 - Based on the Yamaha SY99
Blau - Classic sounds of the PPG Wave 2.3
Bully - Iconic bass sounds of the Moog Taurus I, II and 3
DCO-X - Based on the Roland JX-3P, JX-8P and JX-10 classic synths
Galaxy - Iconic sounds of the Alesis Andromeda
Harpy 260 - Classic sounds of the ARP 2600
J-8 - Iconic sounds of the Roland Jupiter 4, 6 and 8
J-60 - Based on the Juno 60, including analog modelled chorus
Minimod - Based on the Minimoog, Modular and Voyager synths
Noir - Based on the Moog Prodigy, Micromoog and Multimoog
OXa - Classic sounds of the Oberheim OB-X and OB-Xa
Polymorph - Based on the Polymoog, Opus 3, Rogue, and Concertmate MG-1
Pro-V - Classic sounds of the Prophet-5 and Prophet-10
SAM - Iconic sounds of the Oberheim SEM synthesizer
String Box - Based on ARP, Elka, Hohner, and Roland string machines
T-03 - Iconic bass sounds of the Roland TB-303
V-80 - Classic sounds of the Yamaha CS-80, GX-1 and CS-01

Each of the 37 synths in Syntronik for iPad was meticulously multi-sampled using the most advanced techniques available to capture the "DNA" of the hardware and accurately reproduce the real sound of the classic synthesizers. Adding even greater realism, IK's proprietary DRIFT™ technology varies the phase, colour and pitch of the sampled oscillators in a subtle fashion to keep them moving just like real analog oscillators.
The unique hybrid synthesis engine in Syntronik for iPad provides ultimate sonic authenticity thanks to its modelled filter section built by IK, the company that pioneered virtual circuit modelling. Syntronik offers 7 filter types including 4 of the best sounding analog filters of all time: the Moog transistor ladder, Roland's IR3109 chip, the famous Curtis CEM3320 chip and the Oberheim SEM state variable filter. Also included is a Classic low-pass filter and powerful digital filters like Formant and Phase. Plus, all 7 filters can be selected within each Synth, enabling users to mix and match them - like using an Oberheim filter with Moog oscillators - for unique combinations never heard before.

Syntronik for iPad lets users forge, mangle and shape sounds in all possible ways thank to 36 professional effects ranging from dynamic processors to amps, filters, EQ's, modulation effects, reverbs and more. 5 effects can be simultaneously inserted on every instrument via an attractive "lunchbox-style" interface that allows for immediate visualization and editing of every parameter from a single screen.

The 17 powerful Synths in Syntronik for iPad are easily recognizable by their elegant interfaces with consistent controls for ease of use. Sounds can be loaded into 4-part layered "Multis" with each part containing its own instrument, key splits, arpeggiator and dedicated 5-slot effect section for ultimate sound design flexibility. With 1200 stellar sounding instrument presets, 200 carefully programmed Multis, (available in the full version or with all 17 synths), and 129 compelling arpeggios, Syntronik provides an inspiration factory covering any genre or style of music.


Pricing and availability

Syntronik is now available for free on the App Store and includes 25 instrument sounds from 17 synths. Download it on the App Store.

Syntronik Full offers a more comprehensive experience with introductory pricing of $39.99, available as an in-app purchase.

Individual synths are also available via in-app purchase for just $9.99 each.


For more information, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/syntronikios




Patreon raises $60 million because fans still pay for content



Patreon confirms it's raised a $60M Series C led by Thrive Capital; sources say the valuation was $450M




Patreon: I’ve got some exciting news! Patreon has just secured an additional round of financing ($60M!), which means we will be scaling our team, building faster, and building more — all in service of getting you paid what you deserve to be paid, for the value you give the world. YESSS!
Right now, you and your patrons send us thousands of emails every month asking for features, functionality, and new products. I feel your pain, so hard. And so does every team member at Patreon. We so desperately want to build a world of awesome products for you — every bone in our bodies aches for it. And this new round of financing brings us closer than ever to that world.


Featured image by Miranda Harmon (follow her on Patreon), remixed by Josh Constine


Amazon updates the Fire HD 10 tablet with a 1080p display and a much lower price



Amazon updates the Fire HD 10 tablet with a quad-core processor, 1080p display, hands-free Alexa, and cuts the entry-level price of $230 to $150


Amazon today announced the all-new Fire HD 10, the next-generation of Amazon’s largest tablet, now with a brilliant 10.1” widescreen 1080p Full HD display with over 2 million pixels. The new Fire HD 10 is 30% faster with 2x the RAM and an ultra-fast quad-core processor, plus 32GB internal storage and up to 10 hours of battery life—now only $149.99. Fire HD 10 also introduces Alexa hands-free for the first time on a Fire tablet—just ask Alexa to play or pause a video, find music, dim the lights, set a timer, show your calendar, and more, simply by using your voice. The all-new Fire HD 10 is available for pre-order starting today.

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Google Launches Tez Mobile-Payments App for India



Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app that uses ultrasonic sounds to let you exchange money, launching today on iOS and Android in India



With over 300 million smartphone users in India and rapidly improving connectivity, the internet is becoming a daily part of life for many Indians. That includes messaging friends and family, searching the web for information, reading news, watching music videos, or playing games. But when it comes to paying for things in the real world — vegetables, bus fares, the chaiwallah, splitting the bill at dinner or paying on delivery for something purchased online — those smartphones often go unused. Out instead comes… wads of paper. Indians love cash.
There is a reason for this: cash is easy to use and works everywhere. But cash is easy to lose, difficult to carry around and can be easily stolen. More critically, cash makes it hard for people to build a financial track record, and could result in exclusion from services like credit and insurance.
To make digital payments truly work for India, we need a product that can compete with cash. It needs to be simple, affordable, and work everywhere and for everyone. So today we are introducing a new mobile app from Google, Tez — a simple and secure way to pay for things, big and small, online and offline, in India. Tez is a payments and commerce app built for India on top of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard.


Read more


Apple Pay Cash won't be available in iOS 11 until later this fall



Apple Pay Cash is coming in a future update to iOS 11 and 
watchOS 4 in the fall, not in the iOS 11 launch tomorrow


Starting Tuesday, iPhone and iPad customers around the world will be able to update their devices to iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system and the biggest software release ever for iPad. iOS 11 brings augmented reality to hundreds of millions of iOS devices and new professional capabilities improve images in Photos and Camera. Siri is more natural and useful and a redesigned App Store makes it easier to discover apps and games.












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