Author Archives: Nate Swanner


OS X Yosemite downloads beat Mavericks on day one

OS X Yosemite downloads beat Mavericks on day one

Remember how cool Mavericks was for OS X users? Early numbers show Yosemite is even more sought after, as the desktop operating system for Mac saw a 67% increase in downloads versus Mavericks. Via Business Insider, we find that OS X Yosemite has a 2% download rate the first day it was out, compared to a 1.2% download on day one for Mavericks. Like Mavericks, Yosemite is a free download. Previous iterations of OS X, like Mountain Lion, cost users $19.99.

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Equil Smartpen 2 still available, ships this month

Equil Smartpen 2 still available, ships this month

Earlier this year at CES, we got our hands on the Equil Smartpen. The physical-to-digital writing instrument was pretty impressive, but like any good product, the Smartpen can improve. Equil’s Smartpen 2 looks to make some necessary adjustments, and even breaks free of the pen-and-paper world as a stylus. Currently enjoying a funding run on Indiegogo that has seen Smartpen 2 lap it’’s goal several times over, the Smartpen 2 is coming soon — but you still have time to snap one up via crowdfunding!

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Is Nexus too big and expensive, now?

Is Nexus too big and expensive, now?

The Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet are official, and available for scrutiny via the Play Store. The two newest flagship devices from Google are also big; bigger than the devices they replace. Are they too big, though? Is the price Google is asking too much? Both new Nexus represent a new direction for the platform, but has Google turned some fans off? A lot of criticism has been levied against them for these two big, more-expensive-than-your-usual-Nexus devices — but is it fair?

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Pre-order your Nexus 9 from Google, Best Buy, or HTC

Pre-order your Nexus 9 from Google, Best Buy, or HTC

Ready for the Nexus 9? Google’s answer to the iPad mini is now available for pre-order! Branded as one “for mover’s and makers”, the Nexus 9 has arrived on the Play Store, with all options listed. The full compliment of official accessories — the keyboard folio and various “origami” stands — are also listed, but are noted as “coming soon”. If you’re not interested in add-ons, you might be able to find the Nexus 9 you want, but some options are missing.

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Report: new Chrome OS boss means “Android is the future”

Report: new Chrome OS boss means “Android is the future”

When Chrome boss Sundar Pichai took over the reigns of Android in addition to his normal duties, the synergy between the two programs began inside Google. Overseeing Google’s two major platforms requires a lot of support, and The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pichai has appointed Android engineer Hiroshi Lockheimer to head up the engineering team for Chrome. His focus is said to be Chrome OS, which makes its home on several computers as a lightweight, web-based operating system.

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Facebook proactively searching for compromised user data

Facebook proactively searching for compromised user data

We see it a lot lately — some hacker makes a big data grab, then dumps the info in a dark corner of the web. The most recent victim of polarizing headlines about compromised data has been Dropbox. While claiming the username/password combinations taken were dated, they still faced a lot of furrowed brows at the data grab. Securing your own servers is a smart measure, but Facebook — perhaps the biggest data fish in the sea — is taking it a step further, and has taken to hunting in the deep waters.

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USPTO’s new chief may be former Google lawyer

USPTO’s new chief may be former Google lawyer

All the talk of patent reform is necessary, and often spot-on, but one thing goes unsaid: there’s no one leading the charge. The US Patent Office lacks leadership, and the Director chair has sat empty for over 18 months. The Obama administration is now trying to fill that seat, and have nominated Michelle Lee to helm the post. Lee is the current Deputy Director of the USPTO, but also has a lineage in tech as a former patent counsel at Google.

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Chromecast stops by FCC, 5GHz WiFi may be coming

Chromecast stops by FCC, 5GHz WiFi may be coming

google’s Chromecast is a tiny wonder, and has claimed the “HDMI 1” port on many TVs across the globe. Our favorite app-to-TV dongle is getting a bit of an upgrade it seems, sopping by the FCC to show off some new stuff. The overall makeup looks the same, hardware-wise, but there’s one small uptick that will have some existing users grabbing a new one. Adopting the 5GHz WiFi standard in addition to the 2.4GHz signal is going to make streaming a pure joy.

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iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — should you upgrade?

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — should you upgrade?

With two new iPad models being announced today, there’s one overriding question: should I upgrade? If you’re reading this on an iPad, you might be wondering if it’s worth plopping down some cash at the Apple Store for a new iPad Air or iPad mini. There’s a lot of cool stuff, but the top-end 128GB iPad Air 2 with cellular connectivity starts creeping into the Macbook Air price range. That’s a lot of cash, especially if you’ve got an iPad you’re happy with.

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Twitter Audio Cards official; listen while you tweet

Twitter Audio Cards official; listen while you tweet

If you find a lot of music via Twitter, it can be a bit bothersome to have to migrate away from the app just to listen to a track. At least with the mobile version of Twitter, that’s about to change. Twitter is announcing a new feature named Audio Card, which lets you click on a shared track for playback right in their app. You can also continue browsing your stream while the track plays, as it docks to the bottom of your screen.

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