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Showing posts from April 5, 2011

Twitter Announces Fire Hose Marketplace: Up to 10k Keyword Filters for 30 Cents!

Like a prism to a ray of sunlight, stream-hacking startup Mediasift CEO Nick Halstead took the stage today with Twitter's Ryan Sarver at the Data 2.0 conference to announce Twitter's second data resales channel partnership. Halstead's service will allow customers to parse the full Twitter fire hose along any of the 40 fields of data hidden inside every Tweet, with the addition of augmented data layers from services including Klout (influence metrics), PeerIndex (influence), Qwerly (linked social media accounts) and Lexalytics (text and sentiment analysis). Storage, post-processing and historical snapshots will also be available.
The price? Dirt cheap. Halstead told me after the announcement that customers would be able to apply as many as 10,000 keyword filters to the fire hose for as little as 30 cents an hour. The most computationally expensive filtering Mediasift will offer won't be priced above $8k per year. (Pricing approximate but indicative, Halstea…

Which gadget brands depreciate so quickly?

Been helping friends sell a number of their gadgets for years now and have noticed that in recent years, gadget prices have depreciated much faster than before. Devices like laptops and cellphones are among the most notorious when it comes to depreciation. I think there are several factors that contribute to this effect. Product Lifecycle. Before, devices like cellphones usually have a lifecycle of around 9 months to 12 months before they are replaced with a newer model. Today, it’s around 6 months or sometimes even shorter. Purchasing Power. People can afford these device more than ever before. Remember when a prepaid SIM card used to cost around Php950 a piece? Now, they’re just Php40 a pop. Supply & Demand. People want more so manufacturers make more of these products to sell. Competition. There are more players competing in the same market so movement of products are faster and pricing is more aggressive. Some brands aren’t affected by these market forces, like Apple as …

How Fast Is Your Site? Measure It With Google’s Page Speed Online

Editors note: The following guest post is written by Josh Fraser.  Josh is the co-founder of a new startup called Torbit which automatically optimizes websites for speed.
Yesterday Google announced Page Speed Online, which provides a quick and easy way to accurately measure the speed of your website directly from the web. Previously available only as a browser add-on, Google Labs launch allows you to analyze your site from anywhere and receive instant feedback on making it faster. Chances are, your website could perform better—all of ours could.  There are a lot of tools online that only measure server response time, giving an inaccurate picture of your site’s speed. For example, blazing fast servers might return your HTML in a fraction of a second, but visitors to your site will still be waiting for images to download or javascript to be executed. In contrast, Page Speed Online uses a webkit-based renderer to time all components of your site for a more complete picture of …

Cellular South Introduces the MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi

Cellular South announced availability of the MOTOROLA XOOMTM Wi-Fi tablet to consumer and business customers. “When paired with our Novatel MiFi hotspot, this tablet will give our customers unparalleled access to their personal content and work files over our industry-leading mobile broadband data network.” The award-winning MOTOROLA XOOM, which was selected as “Best of Show” at CES – the world’s largest consumer electronics show – earlier this year, is the first device operating on AndroidTM 3.0 Honeycomb, designed especially for tablets. In addition to widgets, true multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization, the tablet also features the latest Google™ Mobile services, including Google MapsTM 5.0 with 3D interaction and delivers access to over 3 million Google eBooksTM and thousands of apps on Android MarketTM. Featuring a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, the 10.1-inch widescreen HD tablet gives Cellular South customers a new type of mobile computing …

Quora Hires Facebook Recruiter

The growth rate of Quora (and we mean the actual company, not just the Q&A site) may soon increase at a rapid pace.  Quora has hired Andy Barton, a recruiter with an interesting resume, and presumably wants him to do more than turn away random applicants. A quick note on the current state of Barton’s professional network: as of this moment, he has four recommendations (good) and over 500 connections (way above average) on LinkedIn. Now let’s have a look at Barton’s background, since it’ll show the caliber of people he’s been in touch with before.  Most recently, Barton spent about four and a half years working for Facebook as its manager of technical recruiting, and it doesn’t get much more impressive than that. Yet from April of 2004 to April of 2005, Barton actually worked for Google as a recruitment consultant, which is something not a lot of people can say.  It’s hard enough to collect a paycheck from the search giant, never mind be named a gatekeeper. So Barton should…

Quora: The Stats Behind the Buzz [INFOGRAPHIC]

Quora‘s beautifully designed, elegantly executed Q&A might be burning up the blogs, but how is the site performing in the real world?
Web analytics firm KISSmetrics has just published an infographic about “The Wonderful World of Quora.” The charts show some interesting details, such as the growth of Quora’s userbase as well as the upward trend of monthly uniques. KISSmetrics also points out the myriad ways to use Quora beyond just asking and answering questions.
The infographic was created with help from Semil Shah, an active Quora user and fan.
What do you think of Quora’s chances of long-term success? Do you use the platform, yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Third-gen Intel SSD's offer 300 and 600 GB capacities

The fact that Solid State Drives (SSD) offer significantly better performance over hard disk drives is now well established. They're faster, require less power to run and – as they contain no moving parts – offer a more rugged storage solution. At the moment, though, HDD solutions are much cheaper and can store more data on a single device ... but the gaps are closing. Intel has now upped the available storage capacity on its new third generation SSD 320 Series to a spacious 600GB, and has managed to lower the cost by 30 percent. Intel has added a couple of storage capacities to its new Intel SSD 320 Series, which replaces the company's X25-M drives launched in 2008. In addition to new SATA II (3Gbps) 40, 80, 120 and 160GB models, there will also be 300 and 600GB versions – with the 1.8-inch format drives running to 300GB, while the 2.5-inch will go all the way up to 600GB. Based on the company's 25nm NAND flash memory, the new Series "features an advanced a…

Nyko Power Pack+ and Charge Base for Nintendo 3DS review

When we reviewed the Nintendo 3DS (both times) there were some things we liked and others we didn't, but one thing stood out as a true flaw: the battery life. Three to four hours on a charge just doesn't cut it when portable game systems are traditionally known for shrugging off entire international flights. The 3DS would struggle with a puddle-jumper. Now, Nyko says it has a fix, and have released a battery backpack that promises twice the life of the stock console. Does it deliver? Not quite, but close.

Hardware and installation
Lest you get confused, Nyko actually has two distinct products here: the battery itself and the Charge Base which you plug it into. For $19.99 you can get yourself just the Power Pack+ (the battery), but using it sadly will prevent you from using Nintendo's standard charging base, with its trick, flip-out charging contacts. So, Nyko also offers the Charging Base as well, which is $29.99 and includes the battery pack. So, $10 more for the…

Switched On: Techonciliation

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
"Don't throw the past away. You might need it some rainy day."

-Peter Allen, from the song "Everything Old Is New Again"
During the late '90s and early '00s, the hype bubble grew large about a number of ideas that never reached critical mass. WebTV was going to democratize the Internet, but it devolved into a market niche after being acquired by Microsoft. WiFi providers such as MobileStar and later Cometa Networks hoped to build vast WiFi networks that would compete with cellular plans. Those bubbles popped back in the day, but curiously, companies are now willing to pump some energy back into them. The question is whether they are in any better position to float this time around.

TV and the Web.
WebTV and its MSN TV successors faced a number of challenges trying to create a Web experience on a standard-definition television, and didn't help their prospects mu…

ContourGPS Connect View app hands-on

The $350 ContourGPS sits among the top-tier of consumer-friendly helmet cams, but it's always posed one major problem: you can't really tell where it's pointing. Sure, it shoots a pair of wicked lasers out of the front, but it's always a challenge to gauge the extents of its 135 degree lens. We knew there was a secret trick in there waiting to be unleashed, which we got to play with at CES, and now here it is. Contour has released its Connect View functionality for iOS, letting you view live footage from the camera right on your phone. Keep reading for our full impressions. Hardware

The ContourGPS helmet camera has a GPS receiver built in, as you might have guessed. Interestingly, though, it also has Bluetooth functionality lurking within, disabled at first but now unleashed with the release of a suitable receiving app. The latest camera firmware turns it on and, if you install the (free) app from Contour onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can pair t…

Linux is the Future of Technology !!!!!!!!!!!!??

From embeded spaces to mobile phones to desktops and servers, there's not a single one of those except it's being overtaken by the gradual but consistent revolution called Linux. Here's why

The Breakdown of the Psychic Barrier
The situation where people simply state Linux is not for them because it's either too difficult or unfriendly is what I like to call the psychic barrier to use. However, that barrier is being broken down gradually thanks to distros like Linux Mint and Ubuntu. I never cease getting amazed at the sheer number of Ubuntu powered laptops I keep seeing on campus, mostly owned by people who hardly even know the distinction between Linux and Windows.

There's no gainsaying that Android has indeed come to stay. Having claimed Symbian as its first victim and set to be the most popular smartphone platform by the end of this year, there's little doubt that Android is securing that space as the purview of Linux for a long time to co…

Apple debuts first iPad 2 ad: 'We Believe'

With the initial buzz surrounding the iPad 2 now gone, Apple has released the first television advertisement for its second-generation tablet.
Like everything else Apple, the company’s newest ad, dubbed “We Believe,” continues Apple’s marketing message that the technology we use is less about the device itself than how it fits into our lives. This time, however, they just come right out and say it.
“This is what we believe: Technology alone is not enough,” says the slow, soothing voice-over at the opening of the ad. “Faster, thinner, lighter — those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical.”
Apple’s governing philosophy is, of course, accompanied by bodiless hands pinching, swiping and zooming a wide variety of apps that are accessible on the iPad 2.
All of this carefully crafted marketing theater has a single purpose: To convince consumers that Apple’s iPad 2 is the best tablet on the market. That it’s ea…

Mozilla Aims to Speed Up Slow Firefox Add-Ons

Firefox add-ons are a great way to add features and improve security in Mozilla's browser, but they can seriously slow performance too. Now Mozilla is taking action against those speed-killing extensions. In an April 1 blog post, Mozilla product manager Justin Scott outlines a series of initiatives designed to minimize delays caused by add-ons. "Firefox performance is extremely important to our users, especially how quickly it starts up and loads websites. Customization is also extremely important, and while most add-ons cause only a tiny performance impact, others can significantly slow down Firefox," Scott writes. Sluggish Surfing The slowdown can be significant, particularly if you're running several add-ons at a time. According to Mozilla, each add-on adds about 10 percent to Firefox's startup time. The company's performance data shows that installing 10 add-ons will double the amount of time it takes the browser to launch. In an era where speed …

Webroot gets into Android security with new app

Webroot Mobile Security for Android is available at Best Buy for $14.99 per device per year. (Credit: Webroot) Security firm Webroot has announced a new app for Android users.
Dubbed Webroot Mobile Security for Android, the application, which runs on both smartphones and tablets, scans apps for malware prior to installation. It also checks URLs to block phishing attacks. The app's identity-protection feature lets users remotely lock and wipe the device, while a map and "loud alert" help users find their lost hardware. The app also features the ability for users block calls and text messages.
Webroot Mobile Security for Android might be coming at the right time. Last month, several malicious applications were found in the Android Market that had made their way onto about 260,000 Android-based devices. Google eventually removed the apps from its marketplace and deleted them from the devices they were running on.
Just a few days later, Adobe announced a Flash Player f…

The HTC Incredible S comes to Canada

Today, HTC announced that its Android-powered device, the HTC Incredible S is now available in Canada through Bell and Virgin Mobile.
The device sports both front-facing (1.3 MP) and back-facing (8 MP) cams, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 4-inch (WVGA) touch screen. The exterior is similar to the HTC Desire HD although it’s a tad smaller and seems to have a slightly different contour than the Desire HD model. This should bring users a more comfortable grip on the phone, one of only a few drawbacks we found with using the HTC Desire HD.
Aside from a superior experience while watching media, the Incredible S allows content creators to shoot high-definition video. HTC Incredible S captures video at 720p and supports SRS WOW HD virtual surround sound through the use of a headset. It also offers a noise suppression feature that aims to bring better sound quality to calls.
In Canada, the device can be purchased through Bell or Virgin Mobile for $99 on a 3 year contac…

Report: Sony launching Honeycomb tablet this year

Sony CEO Howard Stringer at CES in January (Credit: James Martin/CNET) Sony might be joining the tablet craze as early as this summer, according to a new report.
According to Bloomberg, which cited a report in Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said that his company will be launching a tablet by the end of the summer. The tablet, according to the report, will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Following that news, Engadget found a report from Japanese publication AV Watch, citing a Sony spokesperson who said the company will be releasing a tablet "this year." The representative said details on the device and the launch will be revealed at a later time.
This isn't the first time Sony has discussed tablets. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Sony Deputy President Kunimasa Suzuki said his company would "really like to take the No. 2 position (in the tablet market) by 2012" behind Apple's iPad. Sony's String…

Boost Mobile set to unveil Galaxy Prevail April

Samsung Galaxy Prevail (Credit: Engadget) Boost Mobile is holding a press event tomorrow in New York City where the prepaid carrier should unveil, among other things, a new Android handset. Rumors had been gathering steam over the last few days that Boost will announce a no-contract Galaxy phone, dubbed the Prevail.
Engadget obtained a PDF document that outlines Boost Mobile's plans for the near future. Included in the file are the first preliminary details for the new smartphone.
Though an exact release date remains unknown, it appears that Boost will debut the Galaxy Prevail with a $179.99 sticker. Details for the handset include a 3.2-inch touch screen, a 2-megapixel camera, and support for microSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
Though the processor and memory haven't been disclosed, I can't imagine that the former will be dual-core stuff. Boost Mobile's target demographic, after all, isn't tech enthusiasts or early adopters.
On the surface, the Galaxy…