Must Read Bits & Bytes

Swatch smartwatch in 2-3 months with big battery boast

Swatch smartwatch in 2-3 months with big battery boast

Swatch plans to launch a smartwatch in the next three months, focusing on battery life and mobile payments as the company readies its retort to wrist-worn rivals like Apple Watch. The watch firm, known for its affordable, plastic, and fashionable models, will release a smartwatch that is connected "without having to be charged," according to CEO Nick Hayek, and is intended to work with Android and Windows, though there's no mention of Apple's iOS. The company - part of the Swatch Group which also owns high-end brands like Glashütte, Omega, and Rado - has been cautious on smart wearables in the past, though has quietly been building up its tech portfolio to suit the segment.

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Olympus E-M5 Mark II adds 5-axis OIS and 40MP mode

Olympus E-M5 Mark II adds 5-axis OIS and 40MP mode

Olympus has taken one of its most popular interchangeable lens cameras back to the lab, revamped it, and returned with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Toting a 16-megapixel sensor, 5-axis image stabilization, HD video recording, and integrated WiFi, the new version builds on the success of the original E-M5, with features like a 40-megapixel shot mode that combines multiple frames for extra detail, up to 10fps RAW still capture, and 81-point Fast AF.

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HTC’s silly video just ruined the HTC One

HTC’s silly video just ruined the HTC One

As someone who is lucky enough to see several modern smartphone slide across his desk, I can say the HTC One (M8) is among the nicest I’ve ever been lucky enough to toy with. Sense is enough overlay to improve Android, and the build quality is special. It’s that phone HTC is trying to defend in their latest video, and it’s that very same phone which makes that video so confusing. Rather than improve on their efforts, HTC is in attack mode, but why?

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Philae isn’t lost just yet

Philae isn’t lost just yet

While the European Space Agency (ESA) lost contact with their comet lander Philae in November, "there is good confidence" they'll be able to make contact once more. So says Stephan Ulamec, lander manager at the German Space Agency (DLR). Ulamec also warned that should the ESA get in contact with Philae via Rosetta, "it may be that they only get very limited periods of operation in the [dark] pocket, and they will have to plan for more modest science sequences." If Philae is able to reach out to Rosetta, that is.

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Super Bowl weekend gets ‘beaconized’ courtesy of Gimbal

Super Bowl weekend gets ‘beaconized’ courtesy of Gimbal

As the sporting world steadies its gaze on Phoenix this weekend, there’s more than just a Super Bowl going on. The event, once just a game to decide the champions of the NFL, has morphed into a festival. Much like the NFL has grown, so has their coup de grace. If you’re weaving your way through the festivities orbiting the Super Bowl this weekend, you might even find your phone is getting in on the action, helping you find great stuff to do.

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Google blames growth stall on Nexus 6 supply

Google blames growth stall on Nexus 6 supply

During Google's Q4 2014 earnings call this afternoon, the company's Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette spoke about the many ups and downs of the past three months. In explaining the downs of this past quarter, Pichette spoke of two points in particular. One was the Exchange Rate between the United States and international consumers. The other reason Pichette gave for Google not hitting goals they'd set for themselves was the less-than-stellar supply they had with the Nexus 6. Pichette also mentioned Google Glass, as it were, as an example of what Google does when a project doesn't work.

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Sorry Samsung, Apple’s probably the smartphone king

Sorry Samsung, Apple’s probably the smartphone king

Apple's Q4 2014 may not only have been its best quarter ever for iPhone sales, but the point at which it overtook arch-rival Samsung in the smartphone business. The Cupertino firm announced a massive 74.5m iPhone sales in the final three months of last year, setting itself a new record and - according to at least one research firm - putting it on at least level-pegging with Samsung. The South Korean company has played coy with its Galaxy numbers, but it's clear that Apple's rapid ascent has dramatically closed (if not destroyed) the gap between the two.

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Qualcomm admits “large customer” loss amid Samsung speculation

Qualcomm admits “large customer” loss amid Samsung speculation

They're not naming names, but we can pretty much read between the lines. In its Q1 2015 fiscal report, chip maker Qualcomm is lowering its revenue outlook for the second half of this fiscal year due to a number of huge factors. Aside from a shift in share among OEMs and higthened competition in China, where is actually facing some legal battles, Qualcomm also mentions the loss of a "large customer" of its Snapdragon 810. Given how things are going, it's hard not to believe that it is referring to Samsung.

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Apple crushes it in China

Apple crushes it in China

Perhaps you expected that Apple's last seven quarters in China were going to be an indicator of a less-than-stellar holiday quarter reported this week? Analysts like Ben Bajarin suggested earlier this month that Apple's China iPhone sales would be monstrous, and could very well overtake sales in the USA - as it turns out, this wasn't very far off the mark. With $16,144,000,000 in profit in Greater China this quarter alone, year-over-year change was a whopping 157%, and Apple boosted sales in China quarter-to-quarter by 70%.

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Happy Birthday iPad, you’re dead

Happy Birthday iPad, you’re dead

If you take a look, today you'll find a collection of articles written from the perspective of an iPad hater. Not because the iPad is dying, but because sales figures from Apple suggest that iPad sales aren't growing. They're taking a bit of a dive, as it were. Tablets in general aren't selling all that well, and more than a couple of analysts are on quests to find out why. Is it because everyone already has a smartphone that's big enough to be called a tablet? Does everyone already own an iPad, not needing another?

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