Google I/O Registration Date Leaks, Be Ready To Sign Up On March 13 [OFFICIAL UPDATE]


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Here’s a screen grab of what appears to be a landing page announcing registration dates for Google’s massive I/O developers conference in May.

Update:

Google’s made it official. Registration opens on March 13th at 7am PDT (10am ET). Google+ accounts and Google Wallets are required to sign up.

Brief:

Historically, the rush for Google I/O tickets is wild. Around 5,000 developers attended the last year’s conference, yet somehow tickets sold out in less than an hour. Demand is so high, in fact, that Google toyed with the idea of turning registrations into a sort of hacking contest, testing devs’ coding skills before giving them a seat at the show.

However, it appears that idea was scrapped, as I/O 2012 was simply a free-for-all registration, just like 2011.

I/O 2013 is slated for May 15 – May 17 in good old San Francisco, and Google has already hinted that registrations would open up in early 2013. Based on this screen grab, early 2013 is looking a lot like a Wednesday in March.

Then again, it’s pretty easy for someone to throw together this image in photo shop. Still, the timing seems to match up well, and with the speed at which these tickets sell out, it never hurts to have the date marked down on your calendar just in case.

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Google’s I/O conference is growing to be one of the most important tech events of the year, as the search giant often unveils new products and platforms and introduces new tools to help developers make the most out of “open.”

See you there… (hopefully)

Orange Acquired Dailymotion For $168 Million. [NEWS]


Back in January 2011, Orange acquired 49 percent of Dailymotion for $78 million (€59 million), and declared that they wanted to buy out the remaining 51 percent. But Dailymotion had to wait two years before further talks. By spending $80.6 million (€61 million) for the remaining stake, Orange acquired 100 percent of Dailymotion for $168 million (€127 million).

Rumors have been circulating for months that Orange was finally ready to up its stake. The confirmation comes from its earnings documents. The deal was closed on January 10.

With 2.5 billion video views per month and 106 million unique visitors according to its latest public numbers, Dailymotion is a solid video sharing service, but far behind YouTube. When it comes to market share, it competes with Vimeo more directly than with YouTube. As video hosting consumes a lot of bandwidth, it’s hard to cover operating expenses with advertising.

Yet, the company has been profitable for a couple of years. Considered as the platform of choice in France, Dailymotion is very strong in other markets as well. In 2011, only 15 percent of its users were French. The U.S., Turkey, Japan and other countries are important markets as well.

Dailymotion’s immediate future will largely depend on whether Orange is ready to invest and support it. For instance, Orange has been key to Deezer’s expansion by bundling premium subscriptions in many mobile and Internet plans.

According to the AFP, Orange is currently looking for an American investor to buy out a small stake. The telecommunications company doesn’t want to stay the sole investor for long. While diversifying shareholders is a good financial decision, it also means that Orange probably doesn’t want to further integrate Dailymotion in its offerings and business units.

Update: An Orange spokesperson provided the following statement.

Since January 2013, Orange has increased its stake in Dailymotion to 100% (following an initial acquisition of 49% in April 2011). It is not our ambition or our role to remain a 100% stakeholder of Dailymotion and we are currently working to find the right partner/s. Obviously we cannot comment on this until a deal has been reached but it is clear that to accelerate the development of the company, Dailymotion needs to find a solid strategic partner, probably American, that is capable of opening the doors to the US market.

Beyond this, we are very happy with what has been achieved in the past few months (revenue growth of 55% in 2012). Our partnership with Dailymotion is an excellent illustration of the pertinence of our content strategy.

 

#Apple Entering into the Gaming Industry. [INFO]


Apple entering the gaming industry  has been a topic of discussion for a long time. Some people think they already made their move and it’s still playing out. Some people think they are yet to drop the bomb. Most oversimply the issue.

There’s a funny thing, though, about the way proponents of Apple (I say this without denigration) cheer-lead their champion. In a lot of ways, there’s already an Apple in the games industry: it’s the Games Industry. Apple is filling the position in the games industry that Android fills in the mobile world.

Part of what makes it problematic to discuss is that is that it’s really difficult to disentangle content from platform these days, both in mobile and gaming (and mobile gaming, for that matter). The complex network of relationships, channels, and emerging methods for distribution make practically every comparison apples to oranges.

I’m not going to unravel that knot just now. I’ll get to the nut of the issue instead of dancing around it.

One of Apple’s greatest strengths, something that it understood early and has exploited continuously, is the value of the premium platform — including hardware, of course. They were always, and remain, the premium choice in consumer tech. As others have put it, this moots certain comparisons: you can’t, they say, compare a Ferrari to a Toyota. And that idea is not without legitimacy.

So it’s funny when the opposite seems to apply for the games industry. There’s already a premium product out there: the triple-A games produced by huge studios like Ubisoft, EA, Valve, and so on. The Xbox 360 and PS3, and soon the Xbox 720 and PS4, or whatever they’re called, have always been and will continue to be the premium platform — something that has worked well for Apple elsewhere, and something they’ll never be in the games space.

Why? Here’s that content-platform thing again. Apple simply isn’t a triple-A platform for games. Sure, there are great games on it, good-looking games, expensive games. And millions of people play them. But let’s not kid ourselves.

Notice that almost everything relating to the success of games on iOS is in terms of numbers downloaded and hours played. In like wise, one could say that YouTube is far more of a success than Hollywood, based on viewer hours. In a way, it’s true! But what is iOS’s Godfather? What is its Shadow of the Colossus? Angry Birds and Infinity Blade are arguably is the closest thing to either. Talk about comparing a Ferrari to a Toyota.

In the other corner is a premium platform with exclusive, popular content — the very thing Apple was when Android entered the scene. And now Apple is playing the scrappy underdog, eating up all the low-end users, winning on volume instead of quality. It’s the same strategy that provokes such venom against Android! Thousands of options, barely differentiated, priced to sell, with wildly varying quality, except for a few high-end flagship items – am I talking about Android handsets or the games in the App Store? Hard to tell, isn’t it?

And of course, that’s a recipe for success, as either Apple or Google can tell you. But again, as either can tell you, it’s hardly a recipe for total domination. For that, one must control the vertical and the horizontal.

All the same, it’s funny to see the bottom-up strategy of the App Store and Android reviled one moment and then praised the next.


So far, so obvious. But the unknown creeps in when you consider how platforms may evolve over the next five years — which is about what we can realistically expect for the life of the next consoles, with increased entropy due to changing markets.

The platform/content thing enters again, bringing with it quite a bit of uncertainty. How long is Call of Duty and its ilk going to remain a console exclusive? It’s practical now, and I’m willing to speculate that it will be practical two years from now. After that, things get more hazy.

The way people acquire and play games is changing in a serious way. Will the next consoles have huge hard drives to store downloaded games? Will they stream them over high-speed internet? Will they integrate with smartphones? Will they use discs? Will they allow used games? Will they replace your set-top box? Will they be open to hacking? The answers to the questions are maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, and that’s hilarious. And there are a lot of other questions that will need to be answered before we can really start making predictions.

What about Microsoft, whose long-term three-screen plan is in serious jeopardy? What about Sony, which is in many ways falling to pieces (not in all cases a bad thing)? What about Google, which is a total wildcard? What about the publishers, who know which way the wind is blowing but can’t abandon ship yet?

There are too many variables to say with any kind of assurance how things will be in a few years. Apple will continue to make its play for the living room, but supplanting the consoles is out of the question (not that many have advanced this notion). But it isn’t going to enter the space in a way that requires them to abandon the last five years of app and device development, and they’re not going to compete directly against an opponent that offers a product they can’t hope to match. They may like to lead the charge, but they’re no Leeroy Jenkins.

 

Twitter Hacked !! This time for Real !


Twitter is sending out emails to 250,000 users it says may have had their accounts compromised in the last week as the site experienced “unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data.” Twitter tells us that this is “not related” to the widespread, but intermittent, outage the site saw yesterday.

The text of the email is below. In its blog post on the hacking, Twitter recommends that all users make sure they have a secure enough password on their account. In truth, there still seems to be some big unanswered questions. Twitter notes that “attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords”, which can also be interpreted as “may not have had access”, or may not have had access to all of those different elements. The reader who sent in the letter below tells us that he had not seen any unusual activity on the account recently — so any password or other kinds of compromises had not yet translated into actions, for him at least.

One coincidence that appears to be emerging is that many of the people who have been affected were among some of the earliest adopters of Twitter. Our reader signed up in 2007, and we have heard similar reports from others receiving the email.

Twitter says that it believes that other websites may have been compromised.

“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident,” Bob Lord, director of information security at Twitter, notes in the blog post. “The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.”

Twitter would not comment on whether it had any information on which other companies may have had related attacks — although by coincidence Amazon yesterday also had an outage, although we understands that Amazon has determined that outside groups were not involved. Twitter does, however, refer to the security breaches at both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as the recent security issues with Java in browsers, as examples of how hacking is everywhere (and to possibly deflect a little attention from what has just happened on its site).

” 

Hi, ABCD

Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We’ve reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account.

You’ll need to create a new password for your Twitter account. You can select a new password at this link:

ABCDEF

As always, you can also request a new password from our password-resend page: https://twitter.com/account/resend_password

Please don’t reuse your old password and be sure to choose a strong password (such as one with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols).

In general, be sure to:

  • Always check that your browser’s address bar is on a https://twitter.com website before entering your password. Phishing sites often look just like Twitter, so check the URL before entering your login information!
  • Avoid using websites or services that promise to get you lots of followers. These sites have been known to send spam updates and damage user accounts.
  • Review your approved connections on your Applications page at https://twitter.com/settings/applications. If you see any applications that you don’t recognize, click the Revoke Access button.

For more information, visit our help page for hacked or compromised accounts.

According To #Twitter

According to Twitter, it was hacked and 250K accounts were affected, so they received emails from the company to change their password. This is not the first time this has happened, but this time it was a real hack, rather than a blend of real hacks and “false alarm” blast of emails like last time.

Way to start off our weekends, Twitter. Who knows if you’ll even get the email from Twitter about it, I know that I filter all of those things out. You can read all of the details about the hack and the company response here.

I find it really confusing when anything like this happens, because it feels like companies try to diminish the perception of the impact of the situation. Fact of the matter is, its users are seeing sad tweets from their friends about how they got hacked. I even had one person tell me that they felt like they weren’t cool enough because they didn’t get hacked.

Instead, or in addition to, just go change your password. We’re all cool enough to get hacked. The number, 250K affected, seems a bit too tidy to me, and I’m not saying that Twitter is lying, I’m just saying that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Twitter also suggests this course of action, which is way too much for most people’s brains to process on a Friday:

“We also echo the advisory from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and security experts to encourage users to disable Java on their computers in their browsers.”

Sure, OK.

Happy Tweeting (Maybe)! While you’re at it, change all of your passwords for everything. It’s a good thing to do once in a while, especially if you use the same one for every single site you log into.

[Photo credit: Flickr]
[-via TechCrunch]

Nvidia Announces “Project Shield” Handheld Gaming Console Running Android : [CES 2013]


Project Shield is a handheld gaming console running pure, unmodified Android. At its core is the newly announce Tegra 4 ARM chip, but that’s not all.

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The device looks like a standard wireless controller with a flip-up screen. Around the back are I/O ports, and there’s no proprietary nonsense here. HDMI, USB, microSD, and and audio jack. Jen-Hsun Huang even used Project Shield to push a 4K video over HDMI to a 4K TV. Both the gamepad controls and the touchscreen can be used to navigate the Android UI.

Because this is running a full version of Android, all the games you see in Google Play (and more specifically Tegra Zone) will be available on Shield. This is looking like a killer product.

Now Whats the Surprise Pack??

Nvidia slipped a surprise into their CES press conference this evening: a short and sweet look at Dead Trigger 2. As the only technical demo for the screaming Tegra 4 platform, it looked mighty impressive – based on the streaming video, the graphics look just a little behind the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 level. The short demo video showed live game video of the player wielding an M4 machine gun to dispatch an enormous building-sized zombie.

Unfortunately, Madfinger wasn’t on hand to elaborate, so anything beyond the brief look here is speculation. Based on the success of the original zombie shooter, they’ll probably be using the same free-to-play model as before. Expect to hear more about Dead Trigger 2 at the very latest.

BlueStacks – Rumored to bring Android Apps To WindowsRT Devices, Hits 5Million Installs.


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It appears that BlueStacks isn’t just a flash in the pan. The Silicon Valley-based start up, which makes software that allows users to run their Android apps on Macs and PCs, said today that it has passed 5 million organic installs through its homepage. Vanity stats like this are annoying, yes, but what’s notable is that BlueStacks hit this milestone in under eight months. And the news comes on top of its recent partnerships with AMD and Asus, which have announced their intention to pre-load BlueStacks’ technology on over 100 million units.

In September, BlueStacks announced a partnership with chipmaker AMD, which brought its app catalog to AMD-powered Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines through the launch of its new app store, AppZone. As Sarah pointed out at the time, much like AppUp, Intel’s app store for PCs that “has been optimized to run on Intel-powered Ultrabooks,” with AppZone, the chipmaker optimized BlueStacks’ technology for AMD GPUs and APUs.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before the chipmakers began implementing the startup’s technology, as AMD was the lead strategic investor in BlueStacks’ $6.4 million series B raise in October of last year. The round brought the company’s total investment to $15 million and saw AMD join investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Ventures, Citrix and Qualcomm.

It’s unusual for software makers and manufacturers like Citrix, Qualcomm and AMD to show up on the same roster of investors, yet, as Sarah said, it was a demonstration of an eagerness among investors to leverage the Windows ecosystem as a platform to run Android apps.

The partnerships with AMD and Asus and its backing from Qualcomm also set the stage for BlueStacks to team up with additional manufacturers to pre-install its technology on PCs. The big-picture goal for the startup is to help bring the some 750K Android apps to each and every one of the billion-plus PC users out there. It’s a sizable opportunity, another part of the reason investors (and chipmakers) are eager to test the waters.

BlueStacks’ technology allows users to run graphics-intensive Android apps on desktop PCs via its patent-pending “Layercake” technology, which initially enabled Android apps to be compatible with x86-based PCs, followed by Macs, and now includes those developed for ARM processors — Angry Birds Space and Fruit Ninja being two familiar examples. (More on this below.)

The company has been looking to build a developer platform, as well, and has been partnering with the makers of apps like Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Townsmen, Evernote, StumbleUpon and Barnes & Noble (Nook). The main selling point being that developers don’t have to modify or port their apps to run them on PCs, which means less heavy lifting for those who have already developed apps for Android.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 3.08.44 PMTo this point, HandyGames CEO Christopher Kassulke let it slip last night at Mobile Gaming Europe that HandyGames will be launching their uber popular Clouds and Sheep as a PC game using BlueStacks. And the more big app development houses begin signing on, the more BlueStacks thinks that it’s helping to create a crack in the wall between mobile and PC gaming.

But here’s what could be most exciting for developers (and users) looking at developing for (or buying) Windows mobile devices. The newly released Windows RT, for those unfamiliar, is a special version of Windows 8 built for mobile (specifically ARM) devices — so, really, tablets. If somehow you haven’t noticed, Microsoft has been pushing its new Surface tablets pretty aggressively since their initial release in late October, partly manifesting through that snappy, percussive ad campaign you’ve probably seen by now on the tube. The main mobile OS being offered by the Surface? Windows RT.

As of now, consumers can buy a number of ARM-powered Windows RT devices, and there are more coming. But Surface currently has the highest profile among these tablets and devices, yet, the problem is that they’re not selling as well as Microsoft would have hoped. According to Tech Report, MSFT’s initial order of 4 million Surface devices has been cut in half thanks to slow sales.

Leaving the device itself out of it, probably the biggest reason for this boils down to apps. Compared to iOS and Android, few developers have built native apps for Windows 8. Even if consumers want to buy the Surface, many would rather opt for an Android or iOS device, because they offer far more access to the apps we’ve all grown accustomed to using on a daily basis.

So, naturally, rumors have begun to mount that BlueStacks’ next project will be to make its tech available to Windows RT users. As evidenced in this forum, hilariously, it appears that Microsoft salespeople have even begun to suggest using BlueStacks if users want to buy a Windows device and get access to Android apps.

The Droid Guy was one of the first to pick up on the BlueStacks, Windows RT rumors, as a BlueStacks team member recently divulged in a separate forum that the company was in the process of bringing those 750K+ Android apps to Windows RT. BlueStacks Engineer Deepak Sharma, via The Droid Guy: “We are considering offering BlueStacks for Windows RT next year.”

BlueStacks team members approached by TechCrunch would not confirm that this is in fact happening, but from what we’ve been able to gather from other sources, it seems there’s a good chance this could happen in early 2013.

However, as The Droid Guy points out, Microsoft’s Windows Defender could pose problems in this regard, as it could force BlueStacks to release its own app on the Windows Store, which, knowing Microsoft, would likely be disapproved. Until then, BlueStacks works well with Windows 8 Pro-based tablets and devices, but if BlueStacks is able to produce an ARM version of its technology, this could be a big boost both for the startup and for those looking for access to a viable app platform on their new Windows device.

With support for both ARM and Windows 8 Pro, developers could significantly increase their distribution without having to develop native apps for Windows devices — great for them but, again, not something that Microsoft is likely to get too jazzed about.

For more, find BlueStacks at home here.

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(-via TC)

Google Glass – A Live Skydiving Demo. #io12 #googleglass


Google Glass on Google IO stage:

“Being able to share what you’re seeing is amazing,” Brin said. Four skydivers all equipped with Google Glass hardware are just plummeted toward the ground in San Francisco, and video quality in the hangout as about as good as one would expect considering the circumstances. In fact, the hardware may have changed a bit since early demos, as the video seems considerably clearer than the infamous trampoline video that made the rounds a few weeks back.

To emphasis how cool the concept of seamless video sharing is, a small crew of bikers performed a few flips off of a carefully-placed mount, and two people took the Glass on a ride as they ran down the side of the Moscone Center.

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The current iteration of Glass hardware obviously has a camera and microphone capable of recording video and audio, and it also sports a touchpad for navigation along its right side (though that hasn’t really been a secret). To keep users abreast of their surroundings, it also packs gyroscope, accelerometers, and a handful of other sensors.

Glass’s lead designer feels that “Glass as a whole is meant to be close to your senses, not block them,” which prompted her and the team to mount the display slightly above users’ eyes instead of directly in front of them. They also focused on making the device both physically and visually light, so as not to impact either a user’s comfort or their sense of style. All of the components were shifted to one side, which allowed Google to design different form factor for their Glass frames — some of which we may have seen before.

One of Google’s big plans for Glass was to help users capture and share the world as they see it, but that’s clearly not all. As we’ve seen in the concept video, it’s also about facilitating communication and putting more information — think navigation information, or a user’s current speed. The possibilities are certainly “incredible,” but why is Google showing it off? According to Brin, it was because of three things — Google thought it was amazing (it is), it’s very visually striking, and because they wanted to appeal to the developer community. As such, U.S. based developers will be able to pre-order a beta build only at I/O, for the low, low price of $1500.

Google Nexus 7 tablet, a 7 inch HD Gaming Engine with Quad Core.


n e X u s 7

All Gamer’s and Tech Savvy’s, here’s good news for you all as Google’s Nexus 7, Developed and Branded by Asus is out !!

In Detail :

Just as Google’s developer conference was getting started, details of the company’s rumored Nexus 7 tablet emerged. As previously reported, it is a 7-inch tablet powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor that will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and come in 8GB ($199) and 16GB versions ($249).

The display is true high-def — 1280×800, so a bit better than 720p — and there’s a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera and microphone for video chatting, though there’s no rear-facing camera. It also has a micro USB port, GPS, near-field communication and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There’s no mention of an SD card slot for expanding the memory, however.

Not surprisingly, it was built by Asus, the manufacturer that had already made the most headway with quad-core gamer-friendly Android tablets.

Clearly, at a starting price of $199, the Nexus 7 is positioned to compete with the similarly 7-inch Kindle Fire, rather than taking on the 9.7-inch iPad (and the 10.6-inch Surface tablet from Microsoft). And because, with all of those tablets, content seems to be the biggest incentive, Google is playing up the Play store, even granting early buyers $25 in Google Play credit and “some great free content” including “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Even if you don’t think any of the “Transformers” films is truly “great,” it is nice to see Google aggressively pushing content, even adding TV shows and magazines to their lineup. This is how Tablet buyers  get their reason to buy a tablet.

Quick Screens Shots Of The Above Video on Nexus 7:

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Google

Update:

1) The leaks are coming fast and furious — Google’s Nexus Q A / V streamer has just been unveiled, and a short video that came along with it showed a white Nexus 7 device. While it might just be white for the style of the video, it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Nexus 7 come in two colors today.

2) The Nexus 7 page on Google Play is now live — we can confirm that the 8GB Nexus 7 will be priced at $199, while the 16GB model will cost $249. Both models should be shipping within two to three weeks.

3) Modaco.com just pulled up what looks to be the final Nexus 7 specs — as expected, the device will come in 8GB and 16GB variants, with a 1280 x 800 IPS display. It’ll also have a 1.2-megapixel, front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 4,325mAh battery. Unfortunately, the price didn’t leak, but we’re betting the earlier $199 / $249 rumors hold true here. It’s running a Tegra 3 processor, as rumored — and, of course, it’ll have Jelly Bean Android 4.1. Unfortunately, it looks like the Nexus 7 will be US-only, at least at launch.

Nexus 7 Video Shots:

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 -(via Verge, msdn blog, TechCrunch)

Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.


Did Google just out the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus as the first device to get Jelly Bean (which is apparently coming “soon”), confirm that it will indeed by Android 4.1 (not 5.0) and give us a small, blurry look at what to expect with the next major update? Yes, yes and it looks like yes.


Thanks to the checkout page for the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus sold on Google Play, we now know that the next major release of Android, Jelly Bean, will be 4.1.

Below is the screenshot showing Jelly Bean in association with Android 4.1. We confirmed the HSPA+ when purchasing the Galaxy Nexus, the final confirmation page lists the device as, “the latest smartphone from Google, soon the first phone with Android 4.1 Jell…”

I was able to view a new icon for the Galaxy Nexus showing a modified Google search bar (the same one featured in the listing for the I/O 2012 app), assumed to be a part of Jelly Bean, lending even more credibility the the accuracy of today’s discovery.

At this point, we had already assumed that Jelly Bean would end up being Android 4.1, and that the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus would be the first device to receive the update. If anything, this is just a little bit of confirmation that we were thinking in the right direction.

Will we see Android 4.1, Jelly Bean unveiled at Google I/O next week? I think we can confidently say yes. As for when the update will actually reach HSPA+ handsets, “soon” could mean anything. Could be during the announcement, could be a month from now. Verizon and Sprint users, who knows how long it could take for your device to finally get the update. Hopefully it won’t be another six months like last time, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the wait extend into the 4th quarter of the year. Either way, we should know more in just a couple more days now.

More on Google’s Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ :

The phone showed up briefly on Google Play before Google took it down. The blog Droid Life took a screen snap  of the listing, which placed the price at $409.

The listing in Google Play also may confirm reports that Google plans to sell the next Nexus directly, a la Apple. That was also the game plan for the Nexus One in 2010, but Google eventually pulled the plug on that effort because of lack of demand for the $529 model.