Posts tagged Reportedly

Pinterest Is Reportedly Planning To Launch A ‘Buy’ Button Early This Year by @mattsouthern

According to a report released today by Recode, sources say Pinterest is working on its own “Buy” button that could launch in as little as three to six months. The button, which is said to start out as a limited test, would give users the ability to buy products discovered on Pinterest without ever leaving the network. If this feature is indeed being released soon, as the report indicates, it certainly has the potential to turn Pinterest into something completely new. What was once a social network purely for discovering things would become a place where you could go to […]

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Apple Reportedly Wants To Make iOS 9 Bulletproof

After the kludgey mess of iOS 8’s buggy updates and the swarm of negative user sentiment they triggered, Apple has reportedly gone all out to make the next version of its mobile operating software rock solid.

According to sources cited by 9to5Mac, Apple engineers made bug fixes a “huge” priority in iOS 9. Instead of throwing all of their effort into brand new features, they concentrated on nixing the main issues that plagued the previous version—namely bugs, erratic performance and file sizes that choked software updates or forced users to delete data from their devices to make room.

See also: Apple Really Needs To Get It Together

None of those problems should plague iOS 9—or so, at least, Apple appears to hopes. Because there’s a lot at stake with this update—including its upcoming smartwatch and the fate of Apple’s last 4-inch phone.

You Can’t Build On A Shaky Foundation

Apple software updates come in different shapes and sizes, from mere bug fixes to the bigger introduction of all-new functions—like the introduction of Apple Pay and HealthKit features, both launched among iOS 8’s rapid-fire releases.

Too bad the software updates were often frustrating to install and, once running, frequently glitchy. As device performance tanked, so did Apple’s reputation for simplicity and ease of use.

If the latest report is true, then it’s clearly Apple’s attempt to restore some good faith in its users—which may be key during a year that will launch a new, $350 Apple Watch into the market. No one wants to spend a large chunk of change on an unproven gizmo that hinges on glitchy software.

iOS 9: Bad News For Apple Phablet Haters?

That’s not to say iOS 9 won’t be anything but a glorified patch. The next major update could fill in other gaps in Apple’s software ecosystem, including transit information and indoor maps.

As for improving stability and performance, 9to5Mac notes that the task could be easier if Apple retires its older devices. For instance, if the iPhone 5c, first iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch get the old heave-ho this year, there would be no dusty older gadgets to keep humming. The devices left would be newer ones with advanced processors, allowing iOS 9 engineers to focus on getting the most out of modern 64-bit A7 and A8 processors.

See also: Apple’s 4-Inch iPhone May Be Doomed

That would be great news for owners of later-model iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, as well as the new Apple Watch. But it would also mean there’s only one option remaining for people who don’t want a phablet: the iPhone 5S.

Put another way, iOS 9’s release could also mark the end of the last 4-inch Apple smartphone. Hopefully the software update will be worth it.

Photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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White House Privacy Bill Would Reportedly Crimp Data Harvesting

The White House’s forthcoming online-privacy bill will would place restrictions on the handling of consumer data while giving more power to the Federal Trade Commission to enforce those restrictions, Politico reported.

The current draft would require Internet companies like Google and Facebook—as well as online advertisers and mobile app developers—to get user permission before collecting or sharing personal information. The report also says the FTC would gain the power to levy fines against companies that violate online privacy laws. 

Earlier this month, the White House said it will introduce a version of its Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights by February 26:

Online interactions should be governed by clear principles … that look at the context in which data is collected and ensure that users’ expectations are not abused.

Related online-privacy legislation the Obama administration intends to propose includes the Student Digital Privacy Act, a measure based on California legislation that would prevent companies from selling student data for non-educational purposes.

But critics said the bill, which will face a hostile reception in the Republican Congress, will need to stake out some serious enforcement powers.

“It’s encouraging that the Obama administration is proposing more privacy reforms,” Mark. M Jaycox, legislative analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in an email interview. “But they can’t be hollow bills.”

For instance, he noted:

EFF supported the California bill that the administration is basing its student privacy proposal on. But just this morning, Education Week reported the administration bill does not contain an explicit prohibition on vendors amassing profiles of K-12 students for non-educational uses.

Jaycox added that the student-privacy bill also won’t prohibit companies from collecting information in an educational context and then using it to target advertising to students elsewhere.

Critics like Jaycox argue that weaknesses in the student privacy bills could foreshadow similar problems with the consumer privacy bill. Outsiders, however, haven’t yet seen the language of either bill firsthand. Politico attributed its reporting to sources that offered a limited reading of the draft legislation.

Photo courtesy of the White House

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Google Reportedly In Talks To Invest In SpaceX

The Internet of outer space could get a fuel injection, as two technology giants reportedly prepare to join forces. The Information reported Monday that Google is about to sign off on an investment deal in SpaceX. If true, the arrangement will fund the use of satellites to deliver Internet access to parts of the world that currently do without.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently called the project “a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date.” In this scenario, his company would build and launch thousands of low-flying satellites that would deliver connectivity to several disparate and disconnected regions. Satellites usually fly as high as 22,000 miles, but these compact units would ascend to an altitude of only 750 miles.

But, he said, the space network would cost $10 billion and take five years or more to pull off. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is considering a $1 billion investment in Musk’s satellite project, which leaves a lot of money to be raised. Further out, Musk hopes to extend the system out as far as Mars, bringing Internet connectivity to a planet the CEO wants to colonize.

This wouldn’t be Google’s first push to make Internet access available from the skies. With Project Loon, the company imagined hot-air balloons delivering connectivity to remote areas; another project involves drones. Google also pursued its own satellite-based initiative last year, but the project fell apart after Greg Wyler, a crucial lead and satellite expert, left the company. 

Initially, Wyler was going to work with Musk on SpaceX’s efforts, but has since started his own competing effort, OneWeb, which is backed by Virgin and Qualcomm.

SpaceX’s effort won’t trifle with wireless spectrum, since it doesn’t rely on radio waves. Instead, it plans to use optical lasers to transmit the signals—which sounds like science fiction and, say skeptics, may not amount to much more in reality.

That may be par for the course for Musk, who has a reputation as king of the moon shots. Apart from the interstellar ambitions of SpaceX, the Tesla founder is also currently pursuing his slightly more grounded Hyperloop project, setting forth plans to build out a test site for the superhigh-speed transportation system in Texas.

Neither SpaceX nor Google immediately responded to a request for comment.

Satellite photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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Samsung Reportedly Wants To Buy BlackBerry For $7.5B

The BlackBerry Classic announcement 

Samsung has supposedly approached BlackBerry in a $7.5 billion takeover bid, reports Reuters. Its sources say that executives from both companies were in talks as recently as last week—presumably during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

If true, the deal could offer relief to the venerable but ailing smartphone maker. It would also presumably give the South Korean tech giant a slew of patents covering everything from enterprise technology, security and to Internet of Things initiatives, where BlackBerry has recently been making its push.

See also: BlackBerry Goes Back To The Future With Its “BlackBerry Classic”

Samsung’s mobile business also had a dismal earnings year. Now it appears to be pursuing mid-tier devices, including its just-announced Z1 smartphone in India, the company’s first handset powered by its own homegrown Tizen software. Samsung hopes to turn the open-source mobile operating system into a platform for its own take on the Internet of Things. A BlackBerry acquisition might help it strengthen its position.

BlackBerry has been struggling back to relevance in recent years, though its stock has jumped 29% on the heels of the Reuters report. 

Screen shot of BlackBerry press conference captured by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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Google Is Reportedly Working On A Real-Time Translation App For Mobile Devices by @mattsouthern

One month after Microsoft announced its real-time translation service for Skype, reports are emerging that Google intends to announce plans to update it’s translation app with similar features. The Google Translate app, which already offers translation of text in 90 different languages, will soon be able to recognize which language a user is speaking and translate it into written text in another language of the user’s choice. It’s understandable if you’re going to take a wait-and-see approach rather than getting too excited about this announcement, as anyone who has used Skype’s real-time translation can tell you the experience leaves much […]

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Verizon Reportedly Talking To AOL About Partnership Or Buyout

Telecom giant Verizon has reached out to AOL about a potential acquisition or joint venture, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources.

See also: Why Verizon Is Tracking All Your Mobile Web Traffic

These individuals, who asked not to be named because the talks are supposed to be kept private, said that Big Red has yet to make a formal proposal to the shrunken media outfit. Spokespeople for Verizon and AOL declined to comment.

The sources noted that Verizon is primarily interested in AOL’s programmatic advertising technology, which automatically buys and sells ads online. Verizon could potentially pair that product with a future online video service, according to Bloomberg.

Photo by Daniel Oines

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Google Reportedly Working On A ‘Buy Now’ Button To Compete With Amazon by @mattsouthern

The latest in an ongoing battle between Amazon and Google sees the Wall Street Journal reporting that Google is preparing to take on Amazon with its own unique e-commerce solution. This solution would come in the form of a ‘buy now’ button that may be embedded right into the search engine results pages. The inclusion of a ‘buy now’ button next to product pages in search results would allow searchers to put the item in a shopping card and check out with a single click. To be sure, Google doesn’t intend to open its own warehouse filled with products. The sales […]

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Seo Jisoo Reportedly Will Not Attend Lovelyz Debut Promotions Due To Shock – KpopStarz

Seo Jisoo Reportedly Will Not Attend Lovelyz Debut Promotions Due To Shock
Woollim Entertainment's new girl group Lovelyz held a showcase in Seoul on November 11, where Seo Jisoo did not appear. Immediately prior to debut, Seo Jisoo was embroiled in an Internet rumor scandal revolving around her sexual orientation and …
Stern action vowed against rumors about Lovelyz memberK-POP HERALD

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Amazon Reportedly Hitting The Bricks With A Store In New York, king of e-commerce, can’t seem to leave the physical realm alone—first e-readers, then tablets, TV boxes and smartphones. Now, Jeff Bezos wants a genuine brick-and-mortar shop to peddle them all, say the Wall Street Journal

Citing people familiar with the plans, the paper reported that the online retailer has its sights set on a New York City store, smack dab in the middle of a high-traffic Manhattan shopping district. If true, the new establishment would go up at 7 West 34th Street—just in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. 

A first for the tech giant, an Amazon store would give consumers some hands-on time with products. And, because the company is an expert at delivering the goods, the store may also front a warehouse of sorts.

From this site, Amazon would be able to send out same-day deliveries within the city, and let people pick up or return items they’ve ordered from the Internet.  

Amazon has quietly offered same-day delivery in New York and other cities for years. But a physical store would give Amazon an on-the-ground presence—a key advantage that Apple has when selling gadgets. 

Photo of 7 West 34th Street via Google Maps Street View

Update: In response to the Journal’s report, Amazon has said it hasn’t announced any plans for a store in Manhattan. 

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