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The Latest From Dice

Google, Facebook Battled for Mobile Crown in 2014

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Nielsen recently released its list of the top smartphone apps of 2014, and the results were utterly unsurprising, with the top 10 split almost entirely between the Facebook and Google app ecosystems. The “basic” Facebook app came in first place with 118 million users (a 15 percent increase over the year before), followed by Google Search with 90 million users, YouTube with 88 million users, Google Play with 84 million users, and Google Maps with 79 million users. For more… continue…

Here Are Google’s Top Apps of 2014

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Not to be outdone by Apple releasing its list of 2014’s top apps, Google has just published its list of the apps most downloaded from Google Play, its online apps storefront, over the past twelve months. As subdivided by category: Education: Duolingo Health & Fitness: MyFitnessPal Music: Pandora Photography: Flipagram Social: Facebook Entertainment: Netflix Sports: NFL Mobile Travel: TripAdvisor Health & Fitness represented Google’s fastest-growing app category, which isn’t shocking in light of the number of fitness trackers and health monitors that have appeared (for all… continue…

You’ve Built Your App. Here’s How You Market It

Fiksu
It takes blood, sweat, and tears—or at least a whole lot of programming knowledge, late nights, and energy drinks—to build a good mobile app. With all the energy devoted to bringing something new into the world, however, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the world won’t see your creation unless you spend an equal effort in marketing it. Every so often, an app builder gets lucky, and their app goes “viral” (a good candidate for 2014’s most overused term) without… continue…

Android Lollipop Offers API Sweetness for Developers

Google Android Lollipop
When Google unveiled the next version of its Android operating system at its I/O conference this summer, it chose to stay a little cagey about the name, referring to the upgrade simply as “L.” With the software set for release “in coming weeks,” Google has finally revealed the full name: “Lollipop.” That’s not much of a surprise, considering how Google names each successive generation of Android after a different dessert—maybe “Lemon Meringue Pie” or “Licorice” could have substituted, but the… continue…

‘Swing Copters’ and the Danger of App Copycats

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Game developer Dong Nguyen has launched Swing Copters, a follow-up to his blockbuster Flappy Bird. Within a day of Copters hitting the iOS and Android app stores, rival developers released what seemed like dozens of clones, many of which made only the slightest alterations to Nguyen’s game—an altered color here, or a slightly different design there. Click here to find game development jobs. The same thing happened with Flappy Bird once that game became a raging success, and developers realized… continue…

Slashdot: News for Nerds

Dell Continues Shipping Fresh Linux Laptops

posted 1 day | from jones_supa

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jones_supa writes: In its latest move, Dell will be bringing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to its top-of-the-line Precision M3800 workstation laptop and the latest model of the Dell XPS 13. Both systems will be running Ubuntu 14.04.1. According to Barton George, Dell's Director of Developer Programs, programmers had been asking for a better, officially-supported Ubuntu developer laptop. This came about from a combination of the efforts of Dell software engineer Jared Dominguez and enthusiastic feedback. Specs of M3800: 15.6" LCD @ 3840x2160, Intel i7 quad core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro GPU, up to 16 GB RAM. The bad news is, as Dominguez explained on his blog, this version of the M3800 doesn't support its built-in Thunderbolt 2 port out of the box. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support.

Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

posted 2 days | from itwbennett

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itwbennett writes: Although Apple has never officially acknowledged issues surrounding Yosemite and Wi-Fi connectivity, the company is clearly aware of the problem: Leading off the improvements offered in the update 10.10.2 update released Tuesday was 'resolves an issue that might cause Wi-Fi to disconnect,' according to the release notes. Despite this, Apple's support forum was filled with tales of frustrated users. And Mac owners aren't the only Apple users experiencing wireless connection failures after updating their OS. Wi-Fi connectivity issues have also dogged iOS 8 since Apple released the mobile OS on Sept. 17.

Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol

posted 2 days | from anonymous coward

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An anonymous reader writes: Security researcher Simone Margaritelli has reverse engineered the Bluetooth low-energy communications protocol for his Nike+ FuelBand SE, a wrist-worn activity tracker. He learned some disturbing facts: "The authentication system is vulnerable, anyone could connect to your device. The protocol supports direct reading and writing of the device memory, up to 65K of contents. The protocol supports commands that are not supposed to be implemented in a production release (bootloader mode, device self test, etc)." His post explains in detail how he managed this, and how Nike put effort into creating an authentication system, but then completely undermined it by using a hard-coded token. Margaritelli even provides a command list for the device, which can do things like grab an event log, upload a bitmap for the screen, and even reset it.

US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 Billion

posted 2 days | from anonymous coward

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An anonymous reader writes: The FCC's recent wireless spectrum auction closed on Thursday, and the agency has raked in far more money than anyone expected. Sales totaled $44.89 billion, demonstrating that demand for wireless spectrum is higher than ever. The winners have not yet been disclosed, but the FCC will soon make all bidding activity public. "The money will be used to fund FirstNet, the government agency tasked with creating the nation's first interoperable broadband network for first responders, to finance technological upgrades to our 911 emergency systems, and to contribute over $20 billion to deficit reduction. In addition, the auction brought 65 Megahertz of spectrum to market to fuel our nation's mobile broadband networks. The wireless industry estimates that for every 10 Megahertz of spectrum licensed for wireless broadband, 7,000 American jobs are created and U.S. gross domestic product increases by $1.7 billion."

UK Broadcaster Sky To Launch Mobile Service

posted 3 days | from anonymous coward

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An anonymous reader sends word that British pay-TV company Sky will launch mobile services next year. UK pay-TV firm Sky is launching a mobile phone service next year in partnership with O2's Spanish parent Telefonica. Sky will use Telefonica UK's wireless network, enabling the satellite broadcaster to offer mobile voice and data services for the first time. It takes Sky into the battle for "quad play", adding mobile to its existing services of internet, landline and TV. Offering all four services is seen as the next big UK growth area for telecoms firms and broadcasters.

Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed

posted 3 days | from mojokid

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MojoKid writes Dell's 2015 XPS 13 notebook made a splash out at CES this year with its near bezel-less 13-inch QHD+ (3200X1800) display and Intel's new 5th Gen Core series Broadwell-U processor. At 2.8 pounds, the 2015 XPS 13 isn't the absolute lightest 13-inch ultrabook book out there but it's lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air and only a few ounces heavier than Lenovo's Core M-powered Yoga 3 Pro. The machine's Z dimensions are thin, at .33" up front to .6" at its back edge. However, its 11.98" width almost defies the laws of physics, squeezing a 13.3" (diagonal) display into an 11.98-inch frame making it what is essentially the smallest 13-inch ultrabook to hit the market yet. Performance-wise, this review shows its benchmarks numbers are strong and Intel's Broadwell-U seems to be an appreciable upgrade versus the previous generation architecture, along with lower power consumption.

Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

posted 3 days | from anonymous coward

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An anonymous reader writes Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice."

The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

posted 4 days | from hughpickens.com

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HughPickens.com writes: Five years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and insisted that it would do many things better than either a laptop or a smartphone. Will Oremus writes at Future Tense that by most standards, the iPad has been a success, and the tablet has indeed emerged as a third category of computing device. But there's another way of looking at the iPad. According to Oremus, Jobs was right to leave out the productivity features and go big on the simple tactile pleasure of holding the Internet in your hands.

But for all its popularity and appeal, the iPad never has quite cleared the bar Jobs set for it, which was to be "far better" at some key tasks than a laptop or a smartphone. The iPad may have been "far better" when it was first released, but smartphones have come a long way. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and their Android equivalents are now convenient enough for most mobile computing tasks that there's no need to carry around a tablet as well. That helps explain why iPad sales have plateaued, rather than continuing to ascend to the stratospheric levels of the iPhone. "The iPad remains an impressive machine. But it also remains a luxury item rather than a necessity," concludes Oremus. "Again, by most standards, it is a major success. Just not by the high standards that Jobs himself set for it five years ago."

Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug

posted 4 days | from mask.of.sanity

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mask.of.sanity sends this report from El Reg: The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application.

The impact of the flaw is troubling because BlackPhone attracts what hackers see as high-value victims: those willing to invest AU$765 (£415, $630) in a phone that claims to put security above form and features may well have valuable calls and texts to hide from eavesdroppers.

FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

posted 5 days | from alphadogg

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alphadogg writes: The FCC on Tuesday warned that it will no longer tolerate hotels, convention centers or others intentionally interfering with personal Wi-Fi hotspots. This issue grabbed headlines last fall when Marriott International was fined $600,000 for blocking customer Wi-Fi hotspots, presumably to encourage the guests to pay for pricey Internet access from the hotel.