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After the App Goldrush

The app market is becoming a mature, developed industry, with vastly increased commoditization compared to its early days. Competition is ubiquitous, relentless, and often shameless, even in categories that were previously under-the-radar niches. Standing out requires more effort than ever, yet profits are harder to come by than ever. Full-time iOS indie developers — people who make the majority of their income from sales of their apps, rather than consulting or other related work — are increasingly rare.
App Rot: Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper and early Tumblr CTO) wonders if the heyday for app makers is over even when Apple and Google have paid out a combined $15B to developers in the last 12 months.
posted by gwint on Jul 29, 2014 - 49 comments

2014 won't be like '1984' either

CNBC: Apple, IBM in massive enterprise hardware, software partnership Tech behemoths Apple and IBM announced a partnership Tuesday that could make Apple—traditionally a consumer brand—a major player in the business market. IBM said it would create a class of more than 100 business applications exclusively for iPhones and iPads to run on Apple's iOS platform. In return, IBM will sell Apple's products with 100 industry-specific apps to its clients worldwide. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Jul 16, 2014 - 61 comments

Evolution of the PC, 2004-2014

A Decade of Computer Design [SL-Engadget]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 5, 2014 - 62 comments

Google & Glen Keane - a Duet For the Ages

In March 2012, legendary animator Glen Keane sent out a letter to his colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios that outlined his resignation from the House of Mouse, where he'd worked for over 38 years on beloved Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Beast. His departure left many Disney fans wondering what was going to happen to the great master, whom many believe is one of the greatest character animators alive today, and for a while it seemed that his retirement might be permanent. Last week, however, Keane debuted his first hand-drawn animated short, Duet, which he produced with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group in San Francisco. As you might expect, it's an absolutely breathtaking artistic and technical achievement. And it hasn't even been released in its final interactive mobile format yet. [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Jul 4, 2014 - 53 comments

The Most Inclusive Mobile App Platform. Ever.

Dumbsto.re [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 6, 2014 - 22 comments

John Chen's Plan to Save Blackberry

John Chen's Plan to Save Blackberry Over all, Chen wants BlackBerry to transform itself from being a “mobile technology company” that pushes handset sales to “a mobile solution company” that takes a broader approach to serving the mobile computing needs of its customers. Remaining in the handset business is important—for now, at least. “I think devices are still one component of the solution,” Chen says. “The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen.”
posted by modernnomad on Feb 24, 2014 - 54 comments

eStonia

Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, might just have the most technologically forward-thinking government around.
posted by gman on Feb 9, 2014 - 31 comments

How in-app purchase is( not really)? destroying the games industry

Thomas Baekdal writes on How In-app Purchases Have Destroyed The [Game] Industry:
We have reached a point in which mobile games couldn't even be said to be a game anymore. Playing a game means that you have fun. It doesn't mean that you sit around and wait for the game to annoy you for so long that you decide to pay credits to speed it up. And for an old geezer like me who remember the glory days of gaming back in the 1990s, it's just unbearable to watch.
Drew Crawford answers:
See, in the in-app purchase model actually predates phones. It predates video game consoles. It goes all the way back to the arcade, where millions of consumers were happy to pay a whole quarter ... to pay for just a few minutes.

posted by frimble on Feb 4, 2014 - 147 comments

Pay just 99 cents to read the rest of this post

The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives We are clearly drawn to structured entanglements with chance. We use rules and money to define the stakes, and we use cards or dice or candies not as generators but as channelers — mediums — of the chance we believe is already out there, secretly running the show. Despite whatever other beliefs we have about fate or God or a deterministic universe, we often act as if luck is quite real in our daily lives. Candy Crush Saga has capitalized on this to become the mobile game of the year. Not the best, nor the worst, but the mobile game that dominated the charts, that succeeded at free-to-play in a way that will be studied for years, that penetrated the wider culture and came to stand in for all of addictive, time-wasting mobile gaming in 2013. And yet Candy Crush is not simply game of the year in the way that Stalin was once Time’s Person of the Year. It’s a genuinely compelling game that fully commits to radical unfairness. In fact, this is the primary source of its appeal.
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 25, 2013 - 138 comments

But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your... timepiece?

It's the holiday season! Time to relax in front of the TV and shop for some new gear. Sit back and enjoy some of Samsung Mobile's horrifically tone-deaf commercials from 2013. The latest How to pick up women with Samsung Galaxy Gear arguably being the most cringeworthy.

Then there's Samsung doesn't understand Lorde's 'Royals;' uses it to advertise the Galaxy Note 3 to street urchins. Baffled housewife, studious Asian gamer and corporate ladder-climber discover what an SSD is. Samsung Evolution Kits for burpy, farty boyfriends. 10-year old boy in a Bentley (driven by a butler named "Benson") unpacks a Galaxy S4. And here's some coverage of Samsung's "shockingly sexist" Galaxy S4 launch event. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Dec 22, 2013 - 84 comments

SMS Is Passe

Japan and other Asian countries have moved from SMS to smart phone messaging apps, with great success for all.
posted by reenum on Dec 18, 2013 - 91 comments

Inside the fall of BlackBerry

Inside the fall of BlackBerry: How the smartphone inventor failed to adapt. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 29, 2013 - 108 comments

Well, It Was Time For Skeuomorphism To Die

What should you know about the newly released iOS 7: How to find Spotlight search (aka swipe right to search), a few tricks you should know, 12 new and hidden settings, a ridiculously thorough review, an exhaustive list of the new features and reasons why should and shouldn't update right now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 19, 2013 - 234 comments

Don't put your phone on the dining table...

The guardian of the nation’s etiquette, Debrett’s, has now issued a handy 10-point guide to mobile (cell) phone etiquette in the digital age
posted by Mister Bijou on Sep 5, 2013 - 122 comments

Make sure to like, comment and subscribe.

I Forgot My Phone (SLYT)
posted by 2bucksplus on Aug 23, 2013 - 74 comments

The network is the message

"Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet." -- The end result is an interactive map of Malte Spitz's movements over six months from 31st August 2009 to 27th February 2010 as an example of what you can do with telephone meta data.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 8, 2013 - 10 comments

Mesmerizing!

A contestant on a Spanish talent show builds a mobile using natural materials. It's worth watching to the very end.
posted by carmicha on May 17, 2013 - 32 comments

The day the irony detectors died...

Fairsearch (a group led by Microsoft, Oracle and Expedia) has filed a complaint [PDF] with the EU claiming that Google has a monopoly in the mobile market and is using its mobile position to force its other products on users.
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Apr 9, 2013 - 53 comments

Why the collision of big data and privacy will require a new realpolitik

Why the collision of big data and privacy will require a new realpolitik:
The paper, entitled Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility, took an anonymized dataset from an unidentified mobile operator containing call information for around 1.5 million users over 14 months. The purpose of the study was to figure out how many data points — based on time and location — were needed to identify individual users. The answer, for 95 percent of the “anonymous” users logged in that database, was just four.

posted by stoneweaver on Mar 26, 2013 - 17 comments

Selecting Instagram Filter "Supreme Leader Glow"

Visitors to, and other non-residents in, North Korea are now able to tweet and instagram, as mobile data services are gradually opened up. (Probably) the first tweet sent in this way appeared earlier today. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 25, 2013 - 31 comments

Garmin's Edge

Garmin, the well-known navigation company also makes bike computers. Today they unveiled a GPS-enabled bike computer that adds bluetooth to pair with your phone (and piggyback on your network connection). The resulting product video featuring Garmin's pro team riders is a little Hollywood and a little silly showing riders competing virtually against each other but paints a pretty impressive picture for real-time stats, weather, maps, and data sharing among cyclist friends. More at Wired's Gadget blog and a complete review at the DC rainmaker cycling site.
posted by mathowie on Jan 8, 2013 - 39 comments

It Probably Plays Doom Too

Canonical announces Ubuntu for phones [more inside]
posted by xqwzts on Jan 2, 2013 - 182 comments

"Your app's anti-piracy module, it's not working"

An iOS application developer has come up with an extreme way of fighting software piracy—by auto-posting "confessions" to its users' Twitter accounts. "...Enfour, the maker of a variety of dictionary apps, is auto-posting tweets to users' accounts to shame them for being pirates. But the auto-tweeting seems to be affecting a huge portion of its paid user base, not just those who actually stole the apps." Follow-up. A personal account: Can’t spell “pirate” without “-irate”: on DRM and punishing the customer [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 29, 2012 - 74 comments

A Monument Devoted To The Best In Music, Photoplay And Theatrical Arts

"In 1911, the Saenger Brothers, Abe and Julian, operators of a drug business at Louisiana and Milam streets, decided to enter the amusement field. They were impressed with [Shreveport movie theatre operator E.V. Richards] and induced him to join them in their new field of endeavor ... In 1912 the Saenger Amusement Company was organized with Saenger Brothers, E.V. Richards and L. M. Ash as the stockholders. Richards continued as manager and an expansion policy was adopted which linked Texarkana, Monroe and Alexandria with Shreveport and thus formed the first Saenger chain of theatres in this area ... The company moved to New Orleans where the Strand Theatre, a building of magnificent modernity, was formally opened on July 4, 1917 ... In 1924 the company again inhaled deeply before exhaling a new record of expansion that established branches in 12 southern states. In 1926 and '27 further expansion took the company into Cuba, Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica. During the expansion peak 320 theatres were involved in the holding company." Sadly, few remain. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 8, 2012 - 8 comments

Nokia MeeGon tarina

The Story of Nokia MeeGo
posted by Ad hominem on Oct 10, 2012 - 34 comments

"Now go outside -- It's sunny and you're beautiful."

How to build a Solar Mobile Charger in 5 minutes. Full instructions here. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Aug 25, 2012 - 36 comments

A jury has ruled for Apple in its huge smartphone patent infringement case involving Samsung and ordered Samsung to pay $1.5 billion.

After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected. [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee on Aug 24, 2012 - 417 comments

Is it curtains for Windows 8?

Some early reviews of Windows 8: "The worst computing experience I've ever had." "A technological, ideological and functional failure." "I’ve felt almost totally at sea — confused, paralyzed, angry, and ultimately resigned to the pain of having to alter the way I do most of my work." (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 23, 2012 - 281 comments

The App of Life

"Thanks largely to smartphones, this is probably the best time ever to live in a packed city... Steve Jobs was a lifelong suburbanite, but it turns out he perfected the city." [google cache for those getting a log-in page.]
posted by nickrussell on Jun 17, 2012 - 87 comments

Why Windows 8 Scares Me - and Should Scare You Too

Why Windows 8 Scares Me - and Should Scare You Too [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 1, 2012 - 318 comments

Wireless Emergency Alerts debut

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang has a few more details.
posted by LobsterMitten on May 24, 2012 - 62 comments

UK Police to practice their own form of "phone hacking"

Met Police to extract suspects' mobile phone data [BBC] The Metropolitan Police, covering Greater London, are set to expand their search powers by making it standard practice to swipe contact details, call logs, and texts off of the mobile phones of anyone in custody - and retain that data - regardless of whether the suspect ends up charged with a crime or not. Clearly not everyone is over the moon about this, seeing it as the latest sign of the steady erosion of communications privacy in the UK and a potential breach of human rights law.
posted by LondonYank on May 17, 2012 - 43 comments

Google and Facebook are now irrelevant

We will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead.
posted by Brent Parker on May 2, 2012 - 118 comments

I'm at my best in the flesh - in person

In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right. The flight from conversation.
posted by cashman on Apr 22, 2012 - 38 comments

Inside Africa. Internet, phones etc.

Inside Africa. What about the digital frontier? How is the broadband download performance? How many mobile phones are there in Africa? And mobile subscriptions? How is Twitter doing in South Africa? And how many internet users are there in South Africa anyway? Yes, the other stuff like GDP growth rates, nation brand values and Sino-African trade are there too. And female entrepreneurship..
posted by travelwithcats on Apr 21, 2012 - 4 comments

Not After Eight

A new initiative recently proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint proposes to create the MintChip, a digital currency that’s similar (to BitCoin), but is backed by the Canadian government. Aiming to become “the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day,” in the Canadian Mint’s own words, the MintChip will target micro- and nano-transactions conducted both online and offline, whether at the physical point of sale, on mobile devices, or among peers. Via
posted by infini on Apr 20, 2012 - 37 comments

Understanding Mobile Spectrum

Understanding Mobile Spectrum (NY Times video) - A short video explaining mobile spectrum and the debate. A graphic that also explains. As the FCC plans to license spectrum previously used by TV broadcasters, FCC Chair Genachowski tries to convince the dubious. Mobile carriers say we are going to have a spectrum crunch. Technical details at the excellent FCC Spectrum Dashboard.
posted by Argyle on Apr 18, 2012 - 14 comments

#Help, #sheep #missing.

Twitter is being used as a crime-fighting tool by a tech-savvy village chief in Kenya. Francis Kariuki, the administrative chief of Lanet Umoja, has used the micro-blogging site for everything from tracking down missing sheep to stopping home invasions.
posted by infini on Apr 5, 2012 - 10 comments

A psychopathology of unconscious gesture in search of a purpose

"The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices is cultural anthropology. It seeks to recover those moments of intuitive prehensile dexterity, when the famous and the ordinary alike felt the unconscious desire to occupy their hands for an as yet unknown purpose. Like Roy Neary's obsession with the image of Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), this gesture was vague, uncanny and compelling. It is the intimation in images of a gestural second nature to come." [more inside]
posted by taz on Mar 20, 2012 - 16 comments

/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so [deprecated]

Adobe has partnered with Google to develop PPAPI, codename "Pepper", a modern API for browser plugins. New versions of Adobe Flash will be released only as part of Google Chrome for the Linux platform. The last version of the Flash plugin for mobile browsers will be 11.1, according to the newest Flash roadmap, released today.
posted by helicomatic on Feb 23, 2012 - 49 comments

Can you hear me now?

The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth by the end of 2012. (Never mind the phone chargers.) By 2016, there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
posted by wensink on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

The Browser Wars never ended

Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web.
posted by Artw on Feb 15, 2012 - 57 comments

Adobe kills mobile Flash

18 months after Steve Jobs wrote Thoughts on Flash, and despite their protests that "Flash Player performs as well as, if not better than, comparable multimedia technologies", Adobe today announced they are stopping development on Flash for mobile. [more inside]
posted by fightorflight on Nov 9, 2011 - 175 comments

Phone home

Secret iOS business; what you don’t know about your apps
posted by Artw on Oct 19, 2011 - 125 comments

The Newspaper Map

The Newspaper Map: browse thousands of local, regional and national newspapers from around the world, based on geographical location. Filter and translate languages, see newspaper archives back to the early 19th century, and find fourth estate Twitter and YouTube feeds. A mobile version is also available. via
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 7, 2011 - 7 comments

Real-time cheating

Cheating at exams is hardly new, but last week a user on Yahoo Chiebukuro in Japan (Yahoo Answers) audaciously posted questions online during university entrance exams and received answers before the exams were over. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Mar 1, 2011 - 59 comments

It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This.

Security-in-a-Box. A complete guide to digital security for advocates and human rights defenders (and for you too!). It includes all the info and tools you'll need for anything related to personal digital security.
Mobiles in-a-box: Tools and tactics for mobile advocacy.
Message in-a-box: Everything you need to make and distribute your own media.
NGO-in-a-box: Set up you NGO using free and open-source software.
[more inside]
posted by lemuring on Feb 28, 2011 - 14 comments

Google, mobile computing, and augmenting humanity

Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition, machine translation, and computer vision. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work."
posted by russilwvong on Jan 20, 2011 - 62 comments

China internet stats - more than 450m users

According to official Chinese stats, make of them what you will, there are now 457 million internet users in China. They are said to include 450m who have broadband, and 303m who use mobile internet. 304m play online games, 140m use online banking, and 63m microblog. These users are estimated to spend an average of 18 hours a week online. As a benchmark, the current US population is estimated at 312m.
posted by philipy on Jan 19, 2011 - 26 comments

Playing with Dark Magic

What the Heck is Shadow DOM? Browser developers realized that coding the appearance and behavior of HTML elements completely by hand is a) hard and b) silly. So they sort of cheated. They created a boundary between what you, the Web developer can reach and what’s considered implementation details, thus inaccessible to you. The browser however, can traipse across this boundary at will.
posted by netbros on Jan 18, 2011 - 38 comments

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