To say that the U.K.’s Internet porn filter policy has been a predictably hilarious disaster would be understating things. The filters have blocked U.K. web users’ access to legitimate health websites and have even censored websites of anti-pornography politicians simply because those websites frequently mentioned the evils of porn. And now The Guardian reports that the U.K.’s porn filters have been hit with yet another ironic public relations setback: One of the men who helped draw up the porn filter plan is being investigated for allegedly possessing child pornography.
2013 was a truly horrible year for PC sales and 2014 is shaping up to be terrible as well. The latest report from IDC projects that overall PC sales will decline by 6.1% year-over-year in 2014, which is actually an improvement from the 9.8% year-over-year decline that PC sales experienced between 2012 and 2013. IDC doesn’t see things improving for the PC market over the next four years either as it’s projecting an overall 0.2% decline in PC sales between 2014 and 2018.
Ouya, the popular Kickstarter project that turned into a gaming console business has further expansion plans in mind, Slashdot has learned, with the company getting ready to announce an Ouya Everywhere gaming initiative that will not necessarily require a big-screen TV to be connected to an Ouya console for players to enjoy Ouya games. However, it’s not clear how gameplay would work, or whether other hardware purchases may be required.
Intel has acquired wearable device maker Basis in a deal possibly valued at around $100 million, with a source telling TechCrunch that the number may be closer to $150 million. In the past, Google was among the rumored suitors for the company, and Basis was reportedly willing to sell for a price that was less than $100 million.
One of the things that’s been the most interesting about new BlackBerry CEO John Chen is that he’s been refreshingly blunt about some of the challenges facing his company, which he’s likened in the past to a sick patient in desperate need of emergency surgery. In an interview with The Financial Times, Chen says that his BlackBerry turnaround plan’s odds of success are 50% and that everything will come down to how well he and his team execute.
No, you’re not going to see advertisements pop up in the middle of your BBM chats… but BlackBerry just delivered on new CEO John Chen’s promise to adjust its BBM strategy to include actually monetizing the product. Now that BBM has dozens of messaging rivals and is no longer a draw that can attract new business and keep current customers locked in, BlackBerry is tasked with finding ways to turn BBM into a moneymaker. The first step, as we reported recently, is to toss in some advertisements.
With all the conveniences that they offer, we sometimes forget that smartphones lack several key features that we all used to enjoy back when answering machines and wired phones sat on our counters. Now that callers are redirected to our voicemail services, we have to wait until the message has been completed to see what our parents want to know about our day or who the heck is calling you from that area code you don’t recognize. It’s a minor quibble, but an inconvenience nonetheless. A patent awarded to Apple this week might change that.
Goodyear at the Geneva auto show unveiled a new SUV tire concept that’s specifically crafted to deal with multiple types of terrain while improving fuel efficiency, CNET reports. The tire has two rings, each serving a different purpose — a main outer ring that takes up two-thirds of the tire’s width and is used for regular day-to-day driving on regular roads, and an inner one that takes up the rest and is used for off-road action.
Google’s Chrome mobile browser is the best mobile web browser we’ve used and it looks like Google is about to make it even better. DroidLife flags a thread found in Reddit’s Android community that details how Google has added Chromecast support in its latest beta for the mobile version of its Chrome browser. The best thing about the added support, Redditor WhyYouPaul reports, is that it doesn’t just work with YouTube videos but also with other HTML5-based video sites such as Vimeo as well. Chromecasting over the mobile Chrome browser on an Android phone is apparently very buggy and inconsistent so far, but that’s to be expected from an experimental beta feature. Any Chromecast fans interested in trying out the new Chromecast integration can download the latest Chrome beta from the Google Play store.
If there’s one thing that’s even stupider than people who drive while watching videos on Google Glass, it’s people who drive while watching videos on their smartphones. However, Samsung has apparently come up with a way to make sure you can still at least use your Galaxy S5 in the car without risking a major crash. Dutch website KopenGalaxyS5 has posted a leaked screenshot showing the new “Driving Mode” for the Galaxy S5 that will let you use voice commands to execute core smartphone functionalities such as answering your telephone, getting turn-by-turn navigation and playing your favorite music. You’ll apparently be able to access the features simply by saying “Hi Galaxy” while the device is in Driving Mode, much as you can activate Google Now just by saying “OK Google.” The leaked screenshot of Driving Mode for the Galaxy S5 follow below.
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