Must Read Bits & Bytes

eBay was down: what happened?

eBay was down: what happened?

Over the past 24 hours, eBay USA was offline - and several of eBay’s international entry points have been down for the count. At the time this article is being written - right around 1:30PM CST - it would appear that eBay, or at least eBay’s USA-based shops, have returned to service. Also at this time, believe it or not, eBay has made no official comment on the situation whatsoever.

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Birdman movie trailer reminds us Michael Keaton is not Batman

Birdman movie trailer reminds us Michael Keaton is not Batman

This is not Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law. Nor is it a story about a man with super-powers - not so far as we’re supposed to know so far. Instead, it’s a story about a washed-up actor who became famous for depicting the superhero Birdman. It’s a real mystery of a concept for now, but eventually it’ll be a comedy-drama superhero film - promise!

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HTC J Butterfly (M8) is a beast you cannot have

HTC J Butterfly (M8) is a beast you cannot have

Over the past several years, HTC has released a high-end smartphone or smartphones in the United States as well as a slightly more awesome device overseas. The most recent example is the HTC J Butterfly, a smartphone that takes all of the high points in the HTC One (M8) and supercharges them. In this case, you also get full waterproofing and a set of bright colored back panels - bright red or blue from the start. Will this model ever come to the United States?

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eBay is down, it’s not just you

eBay is down, it’s not just you

Believe it or not, eBay appears to be down in the United States. Downtime began at approximately 8 minutes after 10PM Central Time and continue through the publication time of this article. At this time it would appear that eBay remains active through servers around the world outside of the United States, suggesting that the downtime is centered on eBay’s USA-based servers.

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No Apple TV set this year

No Apple TV set this year

This week it’s been tipped that Apple’s media content parters - or prospective parters - for the Apple TV are "dragging their heels." This means no Apple TV release inside of the year 2014, and it means the Apple TV box that’s already on the market will stay there.

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iPhone 6 may be in limited supply (at first)

iPhone 6 may be in limited supply (at first)

The iPhone family has used Sapphire Glass for components for several generations. Both the back-facing camera lens and, in the iPhone 5s, the Touch ID home button work with Sapphire Glass to keep them tough. The iPhone 6, as it’s assumed to be called, has been teased more than once to be working with a full Sapphire Glass front panel.

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Tablets “crashing” warns Best Buy chief

Tablets “crashing” warns Best Buy chief

Tablet sales "are crashing" Best Buy's CEO has warned, describing a resurgence in laptops he ascribes to users stumbling across the limits of the "post-PC" revolution. The ominous news comes on the heels of Apple recording a drop in iPad sales in the most recent quarter, while tablet demand as a whole has dropped across the industry. According to the retail chief Hubert Joly, that's a problem the tablet makers still haven't addressed.

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Meet the chip that wants to make your smartphone an SLR

Meet the chip that wants to make your smartphone an SLR

Mobile chips don't necessarily need to get faster, they just need to get smarter, at least that's what video processing specialist Movidius believes, and it's launching a highly-focused vision processor, Myriad 2, to prove it. The follow-up to the original Myriad 1 co-processor - found inside Google's Project Tango 3D-scanning tablet - Myriad 2 promises a 20x boost in performance at computational photography, such as real-time mapping, 360-degree panoramic video, and more, all with the eventual goal of making the cameras we carry as clever as human vision. I caught up with Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane to find out why you might want Myriad 2 inside your next smartphone or wearable.

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NVIDIA stacks screens for high-res wearables on a budget

NVIDIA stacks screens for high-res wearables on a budget

Sandwiching several cheap LCDs together to fudge a higher resolution version could be the secret to making cheap head-mounted displays, NVIDIA researchers are suggesting, taking an unusual approach to competing in the pixel density race. While Samsung, LG Display and others have been pushing development of high-resolution screens for wearables like Oculus Rift, where smoother quality makes for a more realistic, immersive experience, NVIDIA's strategy is to chase the same goal only with much cheaper parts, potentially pushing chips like the Tegra K1 in the process.

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