Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

After British Criticism, Google Assembled Team of 200 to Fight Child Pornography

November 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Four months after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron called for search companies to step up their fight against child pornography, Microsoft and Google are announcing that they have cleaned up results for 100,000 potential queries, with Microsoft contributing picture-detection technology and Google’s YouTube contributing video identification. Showing warnings to searchers has also reportedly already led to a drop-off of 20 percent in such activity. In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Google put together a team of 200 people in the past three months to address the problem.

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Sony Sells More Than One Million PlayStation 4s on First Day, But Some Are Defective

November 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

More than one million units of Sony’s latest gaming console, the PlayStation 4, were sold within 24 hours of its Friday debut in the U.S. and Canada. The company had previously said that about a million of those units were preordered before launch day. The number makes it seem likely that Sony will meet its year-end goal of three million units sold worldwide — a marked contrast from 2006, when manufacturing problems kept a large number of PlayStation 3s out of consumers’ hands. Some early adopters have reported problems with overheating and TV connectivity , with both problems already receiving derisive nicknames online: The “Red Line of Death” and the “Blue Light of Death,” so-called after the “Red Ring of Death” that plagued early owners of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. We’re awaiting comment from a Sony representative reached via email about the hardware glitches. No clear answers to these problems and no estimate of just how many people are affected have yet emerged. Since Friday, the company line has been that 0.4 percent of the consoles (or 4,000 out of a million) are potentially defective, “which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”

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Some People Take the PlayStation 4 a Lot More Seriously Than Others (Slideshow)

November 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In AllThingsD ’s Q&A with Jack Tretton this week, the Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO explained at length why he thinks the new PlayStation 4 can weather the storm of changing media habits and increased competition in the living room. For the superfans, though, that’s all moot. The gaming world may be a very different place from what it was in 2006, but one thing hasn’t changed: Sony (and, no doubt, Microsoft next week) can still expect the faithful to treat midnight console launches as celebrations. Here’s what happened at Sony and GameStop’s PS4 launch party in San Francisco on Thursday night.: (Photos by Vjeran Pavic)

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Ballmer on Ballmer: His Exit From Microsoft

November 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Steve Ballmer paced his corner office on a foggy January morning here, listening through loudspeakers to his directors’ voices on a call that would set in motion the end of his 13-year reign as Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive. Microsoft lagged behind Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in important consumer markets, despite its formidable software revenue. Mr. Ballmer tried to spell out his plan to remake Microsoft, but a director cut him off, telling him he was moving too slowly. “Hey, dude, let’s get on with it,” lead director John Thompson says he told him. “We’re in suspended animation.” Mr. Ballmer says he replied that he could move faster. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Netflix Gives Most, but Not All, of Its TV Viewers a New Look

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix is giving itself a makeover. The video service has overhauled the presentation most subscribers see when they watch Netflix on TV, using devices like Roku boxes, Sony’s PlayStation consoles, smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The new look is supposed to debut today, but you can get a sense of what it looks like by checking out the screenshot above, or the embedded video at the bottom of the post. Or you can trust my description: Netflix is adding more images, and information, to its screens. It’s all designed to make you more likely to click on a video and watch it. The goal, of course, is to get you to watch more Netflix, so you’ll be more likely to keep paying $8 a month for the service. Netflix executives are proud of the facelift, which they described as the “biggest change to the Netflix experience in our history.” What’s at least as interesting to an outsider, though, are the reasons you won’t see the new look on all the devices that connect Netflix to TVs. In some cases, there’s a technical limitation, though the Netflix folks said they’ve worked hard to design software that’s lightweight enough to work on relatively primitive devices. But the reason Netflix can’t overhaul its look for other devices — like Apple’s Apple TVs, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One — is because the device manufacturers have specific rules about the way app developers can present their stuff on their devices.

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Nokia’s Lumia 1520 Phablet Hitting AT&T for $199 With Contract, Pre-Orders Starting Friday

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

AT&T said that it will start taking orders for the 6-inch Lumia 1520 phablet on Friday, charging $199 for those that sign a new two-year contract. The large-screen Windows Phone, which will hit shelves Nov. 22, was announced last month by Nokia .

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A Blueprint for a Massive Mobile Company

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Abraham Williams It sounds cliche, but mobile is the single-biggest secular technology platform shift of our time. It’s so big, it bears repeating, and for entrepreneurs (and investors like me), presents edge-of-our-seats opportunities waiting to be unlocked. This is no surprise, of course, as every big company and small startup is trying to focus on mobile. With so much competition in the mobile world, entrepreneurs could benefit by knowing a secret, and in this post, I will share one secret I’ve uncovered through my years of being a mobile entrepreneur and working on the “Facebook Home” team at the social network. This secret, I believe, could unlock an ever-lasting, durable, mobile technology company, not just an app someone launches on their phones and forgets about. I’ll cut to the chase: The secret is that there’s an opportunity for a mobile-focused startup to build the equivalent of Google’s Chrome Browser

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Samsung Extends Agreement to License Nokia Patents, Though Deal’s Price Tag Yet to Be Determined

November 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Nokia announced Monday that Samsung has extended for five years a patent agreement that was set to expire at the end of this year. However, a clause in the deal means that the price to Samsung will have to be determined through binding arbitration that likely won’t be concluded until 2015. “This extension and agreement to arbitrate represent a hallmark of constructive resolution of licensing disputes, and are expected to save significant transaction costs for both parties”, Nokia Chief Intellectual Property Officer Paul Melin said in a statement. Nokia is set to sell its flagship phone business to Microsoft , but it is hanging onto its massive patent portfolio, with intellectual property revenue slated to be one of three key businesses for the remaining Nokia, along with networking gear and its mapping unit.

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Departing Skype Exec Gillett to Become Head of "Value Creation" at Silver Lake

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Earlier today, I broke the news that top Skype exec Mark Gillett was leaving the Microsoft-owned telephony unit. The internal memo I referenced did not say, where he was headed, but apparently it is back to a place he has worked before: Private equity giant Silver Lake. (Mystery managed , as the British Gillett might say!) He will become head of value creation there in December, replacing Charles Giancarlo, who will transition into a senior advisor role. Until today, Gillett was corporate VP at Skype and Lync at Microsoft, in charge of its product, engineering and operations globally and managed 2,500 developers. He had been at Skype since before Microsoft bought it in 2011. He had previously led Silver Lake value creation team in Europe, with the deal for Skype being his most prominent effort. “Mark’s accomplishments at Skype have transformed the company,” said Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban in a statement. “He is poised to make a significant contribution to our portfolio companies going forward.” At Silver Lake, according to a press release, Gillett will “lead the firm’s value creation activities as Silver Lake professionals continue to partner with the senior management of portfolio companies to refine and evolve business and technology strategy, enhance operational performance and accelerate business transformation.” (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds important.) Giancarlo, who is a well-known tech exec, is expected to eventually move to a top operational job at a company. His name had been raised as a possible CEO of Yahoo, for example, among others. He will remain at Silver Lake through the end of the year, before taking up his advisory role.

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Five Key Features of Mavericks, Apple’s New Operating System for Macs

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Big cats are out. Big waves are in. I’m referring, of course, to Mavericks OS X, the new operating system for Mac computers. It’s Apple’s 10th OS X operating system and it’s the first one in many years without a large-feline moniker, named instead after famously formidable surfing waves off the coast of California. More notably, Mavericks — or OS X 10.9 — is free for Mac users to download. In fact, there’s a lot of free software being thrown out there by Apple. (The hardware will still cost you plenty.) Since the OS is a free upgrade, this column is not about whether the upgrade is “worth it.” Instead, I’ve focused on a handful of key features that consumers can expect with Mavericks. Some of them are really useful. Others feel obvious, because, in some cases, Apple is playing catch-up. [ See post to watch video ] To start, Apple says that Mavericks will only run on machines from 2009 and later, though it might work on some computers from as far back as 2007. You’ll also need at least two gigabytes of RAM, and two hours of your time to complete the Mavericks install process. In my experience, the installation on my 2012, 13-inch MacBook Pro took closer to two and a half hours. Battery Optimization Okay, you’ve installed Mavericks. Now what? Well, Apple claims you can expect better battery life while Web browsing or watching an iTunes movie. At a launch event last week, the company used words like “timer coalescing” and “compressed memory,” which is enough to make any non-techie’s head hurt. Basically, this means that the new software groups tasks together so the processor can remain in an idle, low-power state more often. I ran three battery tests using AllThingsD ’s usual method, which includes setting the display to 100 percent brightness, playing iTunes music on a loop, leaving Wi-Fi on, running a Mail client, and never allowing the computer to sleep. My 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion lasted five hours and 13 minutes. Then I installed Mavericks, and started again.

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