Though Huawei seems to spend just about as much time denying spying claims as it does building handsets and telecom equipment, it's just taken that rhetoric up a notch. The company's vice president, William Plummer, just demanded the US and UK "shut up" about such allegations unless they can prove them. That's in response to a recent statement from former CIA head Michael Hayden, who accused the company of sharing "extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems" it worked on with the Chinese government. UK watchdogs also piled on, saying they would conduct a review of Huawei's new Cyber Security Evaluation Center over a lack of information about its links to the Chinese government. The beleaguered outfit responded that "these tired, unsubstantiated, defamatory remarks are sad distractions from real-world concerns related to espionage, industrial and otherwise." Those remarks show that Huawei's hit a whole new level of frustration, but given recent White House accusations against China, it's not likely to get any better.
Apple's gone shopping again, this time picking up Locationary, a small Canada-based company that deals in local business data and locations. The deal's been confirmed by Cupertino, although as is often the case, it told AllThingsD that it doesn't discuss the purpose or plans behind its buys. You'd imagine, however, that the small startup will most likely be involving itself in Apple's very own mapping software, which continues to make up for its messy launch on iOS. Locationary uses a large data exchange platform and crowdsourcing to constantly gather, merge and verify data and geographic points for local businesses -- hopefully meaning the next time you pop out to your nearest Best Buy, it'll still be there.
Though there's no official word from Google yet, it looks like the Chrome launcher has come out of developer preview mode and into full release, at least for Windows. On our own PCs, the installation placed the launcher app on the start page, taskbar and desktop for Windows 8 and in Windows 7's menu bar. From there, you can quickly access Chrome, the Chrome store, Gmail and any other apps that work with Google's ubiquitous browser / OS. We're not sure when it'll hit OS X or Linux (Chrome OS users have had it for awhile), but if your Windows workflow revolves around Mountain View's myriad products, you can enable it at the source.
Source: Chrome Webstore
In today's sci-fi-inches-closer-to-reality news, Sony has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for integrated camera sensors that can tag movies and photographs with your vital signs. The application, which can be read in full at the source below, describes a system of intensely personalized filings on your mobile device or camera. Rather than tagging those awkward family photos as "The Johnsons at Christmas dinner," you would theoretically be able to attach your own biological data to the image, including body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level and skin conductance. Camera units would contain dedicated sensors for vitals that would attach such information to the file, like a weirdly personal time stamp. Why you'd want to have your blood pressure associated with your photos, we're not quite sure, but Sony, at least, is determined to fill a void we didn't even know existed.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
While Machinima lets you produce epics out of your gaming exploits (occasionally resulting in comedy gold), so far it's kept non-fanboy productions confined to YouTube. According to Reuters, that might change soon, as the company -- which just received $35 million in Google-backed funding -- is looking for another $80 million to start a subscription-based online video service. It has reportedly sought investment from the likes of Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures, who already produce content for Machinima's infamous YouTube channel and Xbox 360 app. Calling its typical user "crazy, engaged and ravenous," CEO Allen DeBevoise said it wants to "be a company in the spirit of HBO and AMC, but in an over-the-top (online) world." He added that it wants to license full-length, 44-minute fare (sans ads), to which it would retain foreign marketing rights. With 20.4 million viewers who stayed an average of 76 minutes last month, Machinima is already YouTube's 7th largest channel -- so, it's no surprise that it'd like to become the Netflix of gaming.
Forget robotic drones; Honda's new lawnmower can turn a dreary task into an X Games sport. Honda aptly calls it the Mean Mower and claims it can reach speeds up to 130MPH and can go from 0 to 60MPH in just four seconds. For a lawnmower to reach those staggering numbers, the company's UK arm reached out to Team Dynamics, its British Touring Car Championship partner. They redesigned one of the company's machines, equipped it with a motorcycle engine to make it more powerful and replaced some of its parts with fiberglass to shave off some of its weight. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you can cut grass while speeding and drifting like Vin Diesel -- its cutting cables only work if you slow it down to 15MPH. No word yet on whether the Mean Mower will hit the market, but speed devils can live their Fast and Furious lawnmowing dreams vicariously through the driver in the clip below.
Source: Honda UK
Mac users have enjoyed Evernote 5 for nearly eight months now, while those with Windows have had to glare at them in envy and make do with the web version. But never fear, PC aficionados, as you too will get your own taste of the popular note-taking app today -- well, almost. Though the final version isn't completely ready, the beta version is, however. For those brave enough to venture into the beta waters, Evernote 5 offers several improvements over its predecessor. Namely, the interface is fresher and more modern, and new search and discovery tools have been added to help you find those hastily scribbled notes that much faster. As ever with beta software, Evernote warns that data loss might be a possibility and that certain key features like Reminders have yet to be implemented. But if you're a Windows fiend who just can't wait to see what's new with Evernote, head on over to the source, or just peek at the video after the break, to get acquainted.
Source: Evernote Blog
The makers of Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja want you to destroy the planet. From the halls of the first annual PAX Australia comes Colossatron: Massive World Threat. Sure, the game's whole mass-destruction-via-aliens concept sounds a lot like Rampage, but as the announcement trailer shows, it's oh so much more. Players take control of a modular robotic snake, using all manner of upgradeable weapons and abilities to wreak wanton top-down chaos on an unsuspecting populace. The goal? Causing as much property damage as possible. Think of it as a modern take on Godzilla with a campy anime slant and you're mostly there. The Queensland, Australia developer's latest will be playable at its booth for the duration of the show. Can't make it to the expo? Skip past the break for the debut video.
Filed under: Gaming
Source: Halfbrick (Facebook)
Apple was quick to invite developers to the iWork for iCloud beta in the aftermath of WWDC, but us commoners have had to settle for watching from afar. The company is quickly opening things up, however -- it just started sending out beta invitations to ordinary iCloud users, including some Engadget readers. While this isn't likely to represent Apple's promised public beta, it's clear that we're now much closer to the day when everyone can give the web-based iWork a try.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
VideoLAN's original VLC for iOS had a brief and rocky history: open source licensing quirks led to the media player being pulled from the App Store just months after launch. More than two years later, it's back with a compatible license -- and it's bringing a slew of new features in return for the wait. VLC 2.0 supports all the file formats of its desktop counterpart while throwing in AirPlay, background audio, network streaming and numerous smaller tweaks. It's also better suited to sharing with support for Dropbox, the iOS sharing prompt, web downloads and WiFi uploads. The revived VLC app is gradually rolling out now, and its source code should be available for tinkering by July 19th.
Via: The Next Web
Source: App Store
Life-sharing service Path has had a rollercoaster of a year. When it wasn't spamming its' userbase's contacts, it was uploading their personal information without consent. That doesn't seem to be slowing down its rate of expansion, though -- there aren't many mobile ecosystems where you can't find the stylized P. Starting today, we can add another platform to that burgeoning list, as the app is out on Kindle Fire HD. Now that it's available on the 7-inch, 8.9-inch WiFi and 8.9-inch 4G tablets, everyone with the shopping giant's other hardware foray can slap stickers wherever they may be.
Source: Path Blog
Netflix's push into original content has received its latest positive feedback from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, netting 14 nominations for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Most of those went to standout series House of Cards, which was nominated for Most Outstanding Drama, with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright nominated for outstanding lead actor and actress awards. The fourth season of Arrested Development also received recognition with three nominations, while Hemlock Grove is on the list for two. Netflix will need to launch a few more hits if it wants to pass other players in the entertainment space (HBO's Game of Thrones received 16 nominations by itself while the network totaled 108, for example), but with these first-ever nominations for streaming content, it's off to a good start.
If you've been experiencing unstable WiFi as well as flickers while Photoshopping on your new mid-year MacBook Air, Apple's got you covered. The tech giant reports that the patch addresses the aforementioned issues cropping up in "rare instances," as well as a bug that causes audio levels to jump around during video playback. The software update -- 1.0, if you're interested in the details -- is available from Apple Support in the links below.
Source: Apple Support
Own a Nintendo 3DS? You're probably all too familiar with the frustrations of the device's StreetPass feature -- in the United States, crossing paths with another 3DS in the wild just isn't all that likely. It's one of the disadvantages of living in a less densly populated country, but Nintendo is delivering a hotfix: sometime in the next few weeks Nintendo Zone locations at Best Buy, Starbucks, various AT&T hotspots, malls and other locations will begin saving and relaying 3DS StreetPass data, allowing gamers to interact by proxy. Once a system nabs one of these timeshifted StreetPasses, its own data will be uploaded to the Nintendo Zone hotspot to be shared with the next user, creating a chain of delayed passive interaction. Convoluted? A little, but how else are you going to complete your Puzzle Swap collection?
Filed under: Nintendo
Take a look at your Android phone. See that background shot? It's probably kind of cute, but hardly inspiring. In fact, is is bringing you any joy whatsoever? Is it helping you to make rent? Believe it or not, there's now an app for that. Locket has just launched into the Google Play Store, enabling a limited (for now) selection of advertisers to place ads on your lock screen and then paying you one cent for each time you unlock. Of course, it's capped at $0.03 per hour (so every other unlock is just making the company money), and you'll be allowed to cash out, toss the funds on a gift card or donate your earnings to a charity. For now, it's restricted to users based in the United States. Oh, and don't worry, we already did the math -- you can earn $262.80 by unlocking your phone's screen three times each hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Or you can just mow some grass.
Yelp just made its partnership with OpenTable very, very awkward with the announcement that it'll purchase a competing reservation service known as SeatMe for $12.7 million. The 16-person operation, based in San Francisco, runs a web and app platform that focuses on restaurants and nightlife activities. According to TechCrunch, SeatMe sent an email to its current customers in the wake of the announcement, with a promise that the service will continue operation. Meanwhile, Yelp is positioning the acquisition as a compliment to its existing offerings, which suggests that the company may bide its time before re-evaluating its partnership with OpenTable. If anything, it looks like Yelp's getting very serious about reservations and appointment bookings, and that could mean a more convenient future for you.
Filed under: Internet
Feeling productive? So are the folks at 6Wunderkinder, who've been busy little bees translating the popular desktop and mobile productivity tool, Wunderlist, into a packaged application for Chrome. The Wunderlist for Chrome experience is about as close to native as it can get -- because it's a packaged app, it works outside your Chrome browser, just like the desktop version. Included with the app are nifty features like voice dictation for your to-do list, desktop notifications, offline availability and a tagging system. Linux users will be especially happy to know that the Chrome version brings Wunderlist back to their OS, after having lost it when the company abandoned HTML5. To get your productivity on, head on over to the source link below to download the free app. And for a quick preview, check out the video after the break.
Filed under: Software
Though ESPN 3D's imminent demise might be evidence to some that 3D TV isn't exactly killing it, BBC has confirmed that it will cover Wimbledon again this year with that extra dimension. In particular, it will broadcast selected matches, including the men's and women's finals and semi-finals, in free-to-air 3D for those with the Red Button service and supported sets. Wimbledon marked its first-ever 3D broadcast two years ago, and the BBC is also experimenting with 4K coverage this year with Sony, albeit exclusively at a live spectator "experience zone" on the finely manicured grounds. The network also said it would up its live streams from six to ten to go with its YouTube coverage -- meaning UKers who miss a single grunt will have only themselves to blame.
Researchers at Bluebox Security have revealed a disturbing flaw in Android's security model, which the group claims may affect up to 99 percent of Android devices in existence. According to Bluebox, this vulnerability has existed since Android 1.6 (Donut), which gives malicious app developers the ability to modify the code of a legitimate APK, all without breaking its cryptographic signature -- thereby allowing the installation to go unnoticed. To pull off the exploit, a rotten app developer would first need to trick an unknowing user into installing the malicious update, but hackers could theoretically gain full control of a user's phone if the "update" posed as a system file from the manufacturer.
Bluebox claims that it notified Google of the exploit in February. According to CIO, Bluebox CTO Jeff Forristal has named the Galaxy S 4 as the only device that's currently immune to the exploit -- which suggests that a security patch may already exist. Forristal further claims that Google is working on an update for its Nexus devices. In response to our inquiry, Google told us that it currently has no comment. We certainly hope that device manufacturers do the responsible thing and distribute timely security patches to resolve this issue. Absent that, you can protect yourself by installing updates through the Play Store and Android's built-in system update utility.
If you're like us, you were wondering what impact Samsung's acquisition of Boxee would have on Boxee's Cloud DVR service. Unfortunately, we don't have good news. Boxee is shutting down the service on July 10th, and customers will lose access to their TV recordings at the same time. We're not surprised by the move, but it effectively shuts the company down within the space of a week. When Boxee's apps, the Boxee Box and the Live TV add-on are either gone or on their way out, there aren't really products left to offer -- it's all Samsung from here.
Via: The Verge