News, information and reviews, with pictures, of computers, games, gadgets and technology.

11/01/2013

When will the patent trolling stop?

So, the patent wars have begun in earnest. The Rockstar Consortium, an organization backed by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, is suing a collection of vendors for patent infringement. What do the targets all have in common? They are all Android device manufacturers.

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Facebook hurting with fewer teen users? Probably not

Facebook blew the barn doors of its latest quarterly results, sending the stock price surging in after-hours trading Wednesday after the numbers were released.

The company posted quarterly earnings of $425-million. Revenue was up $1.8-billion. Profit margins are up to 37 per cent. And most of all that growth was from mobile.

Plus, there are more than 800 million active users on the network.

Traders responded well, initially, as FB soared more than 14 per cent in after-hours trading.

But then, they digested a little more of the social network's quarterly report, and were less impressed. The stock price dipped in after-hours trading by 3 per cent.

Why? A small caveat that Facebook now faces – fewer younger users are active on Facebook.

One analyst told the Globe that they may be on Twitter, and these young teens could be seeing Facebook as the ghost of MySpace (shudder).

Instead, these teens are spending their time on Instagram and Snapchat.

But what many people don't realize – even some analysts seem to be forgetting this – but Facebook owns Instagram.

Oh, and Instgram hasn't even been monetized yet, despite Facebook's purchase of the photo-heavy social network for $1 billion.

So while teens are turning to Instragram feeds over Facebook feeds, there are no ads in Instagram to make Zuckerberg & Co. any money – yet.

It's no secret that advertising is coming to Instagram next year, and Instagram is as mobile-dependent as water is critical to the survival of fish.

With this in mind, it seems as though mobile advertising revenue has the potential to pick up even more steam for Facebook.  

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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10/29/2013

OLED TVs – the future centrepiece of your living room

CURVE_OLED TVPlasman, LCD, LED ... and now OLED. Get used to the acronym folks, because the display technology is here and it's here to stay.

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It's a screen technology that essentially produces images using a thin layer of semiconductors.

But unlike LED TVs, there is no backlight with an OLED. There is just a rail-thin film that displays beautiful images with deeper blacks and higher contrast ratios.

This week I had a chance to check out the first curved OLED TV for sale in Canada from LG. That's right, the TV is somewhat concave, much like the screen at your local Cineplex movie theatre.

To be honest, a curved TV like this one is best viewed straight-on.

Sure, you could watch something from the edges just as you can peer over someone's shoulder in line to read the newspaper they're holding, but a curved set isn't conducive to that – especially for long periods of time.

It's not cheap – the 55-inch unit is sold at Future Shop and Best Buy for $10,999. That's more than my car is worth.

But some might argue that it's totally worth it.

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10/28/2013

Why are people changing their Facebook profile photos to giraffe pictures?

This week, I noticed something unusual in my Facebook feed.

Besides all the new baby photos, ambiguously stressful status updates and Nike running updates, someone changed their profile photo to that of a giraffe.

Giraffe_facebook_photoAnd as I kept scrolling through the news feed, I noticed another giraffe. And then there were three, and so on.

What gives?

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10/25/2013

Carrot Dating wants you to bribe your way into a date

Would you go on a date with someone if they bribed you? Carrot Dating is hoping you will – and it has built an online dating site to test it out.

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10/24/2013

Little Rooster offers more enjoyable female wake-up call

Ladies: do you ever sleep through the alarm clock? Or, perhaps even worse, get jarred out of bed by a horrid, loud beeping that leaves you out of sorts for the rest of the morning? Now, there is a product that combines technology and titillation to wake you up in a more relaxing way. Behold, the Little Rooster, an alarm clock that doubles as a vibrator.

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Spending time online results in less work, sleep

Surfing eBay or scrolling through Twitter updates? Chances are you're spending less time actually working, or even worse, less time sleeping.

I know I wrote about sleep and texting last week. But this study is a little different, and a little more encompassing.

Researchers found that the more “computer leisure time” people spend online, they actually work less and spend less time getting shut-eye.

The study was conducted by the Technology Policy Institute and presented by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the States.

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10/23/2013

Asus MeMo Pad FHD 10 provides great value for a large tablet

Asus_memo_pad_fhd_10While many eyes are on Apple's new tablets, people shouldn't forget that there is still competition from the Android camp.

And quite often, tablets running Google's Android operating system cost significantly less than comparable devices from Cupertino.

One of the newest on the market is from Asus, the MeMO Pad FD 10, available for only $349. By comparison, the Apple iPad 2 sells for $399.

With the Asus, you get a 10.1-inch LED backlit screen that displays relatively sharp and vivid images, even in bright sunlight. There are some better screens out there, but the difference isn't really noticeable (and is negligible in this price range).

The base model ships with 16 GB of on board storage space, though a 32 GB model is available (I'd go for the latter) and you can always bump it up even further with a microSD card. There is 2 GB of RAM.

But what's powering this tablet is different – there is an Intel chip behind the glossy screen.

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10/22/2013

The big news from Apple's iPad announcement: free software

IpadDuring Apple's big announcement this week, the company announced something new that really put them ahead of the competition.

It wasn't the fact that the new iPad Air will weigh 1 pound.

Neither was it the fact that the new iPad Mini will feature a Retina Display.

Apple's big announcement was notable because of all the free software they're going to make available.

I love free software. Especially good free software.

You see, There are hundreds and thousands of apps out there, but only a few really good useful apps exist.

And these apps get downloaded as often as people seem to be subscribing to Netflix these days. Which is to say, quite often.

But really good apps, such as iPhoto and Garage Band, cost money. Such as around $20, until now. Starting today, they're free on new devices.

Apple says iWork and iLife have both been redesigned for the new look of iOS 7, and to take advantage of the new operating system for its laptops and desktops, OS X Mavericks.

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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