Author Archives: Nate Swanner


LG has a stranglehold on smartwatch display market

LG has a stranglehold on smartwatch display market

If you own a smartwatch, you understand how crucial the display is to your experience. On such a small screen, interaction is crucial and paramount to the experience, but varies from watch to watch. A new report tells us that while your experience may vary, the company behind the actual display might not. According to DisplaySearch, LG makes about 67% of smartwatch displays, with their partnership with Apple for Apple Watch driving those numbers. LG also commands about 90% of the smartwatch display revenue.

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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Duet now links iOS mobile and Windows desktop fluidly

Duet now links iOS mobile and Windows desktop fluidly

We don’t all live in a contained operating system environment. Some of us have a tablet that runs different software than our phone, or even the desktop. For those users, Duet has introduced a new feature many didn’t see coming (we sure didn’t). Now, you can link your iPad to your Windows desktop, and use Duet to add a second screen to your experience. Duet now supports Windows 7 or Windows 8, and brings a full 60fps experience; so game on PC fans, or extend those videos to the small(er) screen.

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Facebook pushes further into eBay, Craigslist ‘for sale’ space

Facebook pushes further into eBay, Craigslist ‘for sale’ space

When you want to buy something gently used, you might turn to a site like eBay, or take your chances with Craigslist. Recently, Facebook began venturing into this territory, formalizing the buy and sell experience via groups. A novel idea, but ultimately a contained environment within your Facebook experience. A new discovery shows Facebook is trying to peel those ‘for sale’ groups away from the shadows and bring them to your main page, showing you a list of all items for sale in groups you belong to.

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Paper by FiftyThree intros Think Kit for better graphs and charts

Paper by FiftyThree intros Think Kit for better graphs and charts

Paper by FiftyThree is a pretty robust app for those who have artistic flair. For the rest of us, it’s an app for doodling. And for the rest of us, FiftyThree now has a new set of tools named Think Kit, which is aimed at the more linear thinking crowd. The tools allow for the easy drawing of graphs and charts via Paper while still retaining some artistic flair. The backbone of Think Kit is FiftyThree’s Intention Engine, which recognizes your terrible drawings and corrects them into something a bit more visually appealing.

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Verizon buys AOL for $4.4 billion cash

Verizon buys AOL for $4.4 billion cash

Here’s one we didn’t see coming: Verizon has agreed to purchase AOL. The deal, worth $4.4 billion in cash, gives Verizon something they’ve been wanting for some time — an instantly powerful ad network. AOL’s most recent earnings highlight that; 7% year-over-year growth in revenue, all on the back of third party ad sales, which grew 19% versus last year. As the AOL we knew shrinks from us (you can no longer use it for Apple sign-ins, for instance), the ad network kept them relevant enough for an acquisition.

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Self-driving cars have accidents, too — but humans are to blame

Self-driving cars have accidents, too — but humans are to blame

Autonomous cars have many excited, and enough worried about their safety. In a new blog post, Google’s self-driving car lead, Chris Urmson, says while the autonomous vehicles do suffer the occasional fender-bender, it’s not their fault. Those accidents also aren’t much more than paint-swapping incidents; 11 accidents with no injuries to passengers in the car and light damage to the vehicle. Urmson also says none of the accidents autonomous cars were involved in can be attributed to the tech inside.

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Rumor: 5.2-inch LG-made Nexus phone in the pipeline

Rumor: 5.2-inch LG-made Nexus phone in the pipeline

As Summer nears, Nexus rumors are starting to find their way to our doorsteps. We’ve already heard a flagship from Huawei was in the works; how believable that is, we just can’t tell. A new rumor i now finding its way to the light of day, and suggests we’re about to get a second Nexus device from Google. This second device is said to be developed in conjunction with LG, who were responsible for both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 handsets.

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Tiny CHIP computer destroys Kickstarter goal in days

Tiny CHIP computer destroys Kickstarter goal in days

On a severe budget, but still want to tinker with DIY gadgetry? CHIP may have recently sparked your interest. If it didn’t, you might be in the minority of tech fans; at $9, CHIP has absolutely demolished its Kickstarter goal of $50,000, earning upwards of $735,000 (at the time we publish this article). As small as it is, CHIP is still a full-fledged computer, and can support peripherals like a keyboard or mouse. CHIP even links to any screen you like, making those tiny set-top computers seem downright massive.

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Google suspends ‘Map Maker’ feature because of pranks

Google suspends ‘Map Maker’ feature because of pranks

Remember the news of a Google Map edit that showed an Android mascot relieving itself on an Apple logo? Well, that — among other low-brow or similarly bad taste edits — have caused Google to suspend edits via Map Maker. The feature, which allows us to make our own edits to maps based on local knowledge, has been sidelined for a limited time, at least to some respect. It seems Google now wants to manually review submissions. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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