Chat has become popular on many platforms, from computers to mobile. But BitTorrent has a client that seems to be changing how this all works, by removing the cloud storage from the equation, making this a bit more secure.
Today its chat client, known as Bleep, becomes available to all users. It's still in alpha form for the time being, but these things are moving forward.
There's one more smartphone platform on the market, although it's far behind the big, established names. Mozilla has released Firefox OS, which is aimed at emerging markets. Now the organization is taking it to one more, adding an Asian nation to its resume.
Telenor Group is bringing the platform to Bangladesh after hitting India just a few weeks ago. "At a press conference in Dhaka, Grameenphone, the local operator for the Telenor Group, announced that sales of the GoFox F15 (produced by Symphony) will start this week", says Mozilla.
Amazon continues to grow the ecosystem for its set-top box, the Fire TV. While its portfolio of offerings hasn't yet reached Roku level, the platform is much newer and still getting its legs under it. Today it expands a bit more with the addition of Spotify.
The music steaming service launched today on the Amazon box, though it does require users to have a Premium subscription, which will set you back a few dollars per month.
There's no denying Minecraft is a wildly popular game that many people, both old and young, enjoy. It's also multi-platform, making it extremely profitable and available to many customers. Perhaps that's why Microsoft has announced it has purchased the franchise.
It's hard to say the motive behind this move -- the game does run on Xbox and Windows, of course -- but how does the software giant hope to recoup the money? After all, $2.5 billion is an awful lot to recover from.
We've grown accustomed to "transparency" reports in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. We all now realize we are being watched and listened to, and that tech companies like Google and Microsoft, complicit or not, have given up user data, though the latter is currently fighting a court order to do so.
"Over the past year, revelations about government surveillance have shown that we need more transparency into when and how government agencies get access to people’s information online", states Bart Volkmer of Dropbox.
Streaming media service Netflix is upping its game these days. Despite its woes with broadband providers, and the added expenses these have provided, the company continues to move forward on the innovation front. This time it’s the website getting an update.
The company has announced a new search experience, bringing what it hopes will be faster results and easier access to what you wish to watch.
Earlier this year a Kickstarter project I found fascinating came around. Living in an area that experiences severe thunderstorms in summer and the occasional blizzard in winter, I'm no stranger to losing power at times, which can be annoying for anyone.
With this in mind, I bit the bullet and backed the SmartCharge product. I'm not accustomed to paying $35 for a single lightbulb, but the idea was ingenious. Essentially the bulb has a battery inside which keeps itself charged whenever the power is on. When that source no longer exists the bulb switches to battery backup and continues to operate when the switch is turned on.
Home automation and the Internet of Things have become popular topics today. Users either love it or fear it, the latter thanks to very real security problems which have been discovered. Nest is no stranger to problems, thanks to its Protect issue from not long ago, but that hasn't stopped the company from moving forward, adding further integration.
The latest move is to partner with more home automation products in an effort to make everything play nicely together. The company, known for its smart thermostat, has joined forces with Whirlpool, Jawbone and LIFX under a program it calls "Works with Nest". It has also been working with home automation makers to get better integration.
The Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, there's a lot to see in Egypt. However, it may not be a place you wish to travel to right at this moment, though there are no official warnings against it from the State Department. Fortunately you don't need to make the trip now, thanks to Google.
Street View, the ever-growing portfolio of images from the Google Maps team, has visited the North African nation and captured the sites in great detail. Included are all of the things that drive tourists to this location -- Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, ancient burial grounds and more.
Each month Netflix releases its "shame and blame" report, which covers the major US and Canadian ISP services. The streaming service is not kind, as it revealed problems on Comcast before giving in to demands to pay a fee to appease customers having issues.
The latest report has been issued and Comcast has risen in the ranking to a rather reasonable fourth place. However, the provider still lags behind rivals Cablevision, Cox and Suddenlink. But, it ranks above Verizon FiOS, Charter, AT&T and others. Verizon DSL finishes dead last, but that isn't a major surprise.
One problem with DVRs is storage -- if you save too many programs you'll find things being deleted to make room for new recordings. Most DVRs land in the 500 GB range, but some are now coming with one terabyte. Things are slowly improving, but now they will be taking a quantum leap thanks to TiVo.
How about a 24 terabyte monster for your TV show storage needs? That works out to about 26,000 hours of stored TV shows (that's SD, HD reduces things to a mere 4,000 hours), which should be enough for even the biggest couch potato. It is, not surprisingly, named the TiVo Mega and will be whole-home capable.
Customers can opt to subscribe to music streaming service Spotify, but many elect for the free version which is ad supported. Now those ads will get a bit more visible as "Spotify for Brands" takes shape with new offerings being introduced.
The new service comes in two versions called Sponsored Sessions and Video Takeover. This isn't quite as intrusive as it may sound at first. In fact, there is actually some benefit to the users. "Spotify Free users can opt in to watch a brand-sponsored video spot (aka a Sponsored Session) in exchange for 30 minutes of uninterrupted music", explains Spotify's Candice Katz.
Earlier this year I obtained both a Roku 3 and an Amazon Fire TV. I use both devices and find both work very well for any home theater enthusiast and media geek. But what separates the two products, aside from a name?
With extensive playing around with each product, I've discovered what does it for me. While the Roku 3 remote is simpler, and contains a headphone jack (handy for when family is asleep, and you don't want to disturb anyone) it doesn't really have a killer feature.
Smartwatches seem to be a polarizing force in the marketplace these days; love or loathe them, they seem here to stay. So far, when it comes to Google's Android Wear, we've seen three devices debuted and another on the way, all of which should appeal to those looking to this market as the future.
Now, Google has expressed its software plans for the future of its wearable platform. Included in this roadmap is both music and new watchfaces, which should appeal to potential customers, though the hardware already boasts thousands of apps.
IFA, one of the world's largest tech shows, is currently in full-swing in Germany. We've seen tons of announcements and new products coming out of the show, most notable so far are new phones from both Samsung and Microsoft. But Samsung had more up its sleeve than just phones.
The company has unveiled a new lineup of printers, and this series is unique. The printers are powered by Android, and Samsung claims they are designed for business, though home users can certainly still grab one if they choose. "The MFPs are the first printers of their kind to be equipped with an Android operating system, and are designed to be more independent, intuitive and scalable for all types of business environments", the announcement states.