Facebook And 6 Phone Makers Launch Internet.org To Bring Affordable Access To Everyone

TechCrunch

Facebook has just announced a partnership with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to launch Internet.org, a project aimed at bringing affordable Internet access to the 5 billion people without it. The companies will work together on data-compression technologies and cheap, high-quality smartphones to make the web cheaper.

While it might seem like the whole world is connected, just one-third of the globe’s population has Internet access, and adoption is only growing at 9 percent. Internet.org aims to speed up that rate.

Zuckerberg writes “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.” Zuckerberg has laid out his thoughts on accessibility in a paper called “Is Connectivity A Human Right?

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The three major initiatives of the partnership…

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Google’s Stealthy Helpouts Live Video Commerce Service Makes Its First Public Appearance, Landing Page Now Live

TechCrunch

Last month, our own Rip Empson broke the news that Google was working on Helpouts, a Hangouts-based marketplace “that enables individuals and small and large businesses to buy and sell services via live video.” Today, Helpouts made its first public appearance. The service’s homepage is now live, and while it remains invite-only, its help pages are public and give us a closer look at what Helpouts will look like once it launches.

Google describes Helpouts as a way to allow professionals and experts to “share [their] knowledge with people who want to learn from [them] by giving a Helpout.”

The service obviously isn’t available yet, but Google says it is “currently inviting people with expertise across a number of topics to be able to offer Helpouts when we go live — and to make money sharing their skills and knowledge with the world.” Interested experts can already leave…

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Amazon Japan Sells Out Of Pokemon X & Y Nintendo 3DS Bundles In Just Nine Hours

My Nintendo News

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Amazon Japan has revealed that they sold out of their Pokemon X & Y pre-order bundles in just nine hours as Japanese consumers swamped the online retailer to secure themselves a unit. The popular retailer had an allowance of 100,000 units. The embargo on Pokemon X & Y preorders was lifted at 10am. One hour later the Pokemon Centre bundle with a limited edition golden Nintendo 3DS was sold out. Then at 7 PM, the standard Nintendo 3DS bundle was sold out as well.

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Here’s 151 Pokemon Drawn By 151 Different Artists

My Nintendo News

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Justin’s Blog on Tumblr has just posted 151 Pokemon characters drawn by 151 different artists via Twitter. The project was a definite success, as within the first 24 hours sign-ups were full. Within the first 48 hours, 80% of the Pokémon were already complete. As you can see every drawing looks unique due to the talent of 151 different artists. You can download the full version of the image, here.

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Sony’s Crazy Plan To Improve Mobile Photos Involves Making Attachable Cameras For Phones

TechCrunch

While Samsung and Nokia (and everyone else really) are locked in a sort of mobile photography war by baking elaborate cameras into new smartphones, Sony is apparently testing a slightly different approach. Rather than cramming a high-end camera into a phone, the folks at SonyAlphaRumors have happened upon a set of photos that depict a pair of Sony “lens cameras” that latch onto your smartphone instead.

This isn’t the first time Sony’s curious camera phone attachments have popped up — they were the subject of another leak earlier this year — but now we’ve got a clearer picture of what these things are actually capable of. At first glance, the hefty things don’t seem too different from some other smartphone accoutrements out there right now, but their looks are deceiving.

See, the attachments don’t actually augment your phone’s built-in camera so much as they replace them entirely. That’s the weird…

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Facebook Acquires “Mobile Technologies”, Developer Of Speech Translation App Jibbigo

TechCrunch

Facebook’s latest acquisition could help it connect users across language barriers. It has just announced that it’s acquired the team and technology of Pittsburgh’s Mobile Technologies, a speech recognition and machine translation startup that developed the app Jibbigo. From voice search to translated News Feed posts, Facebook could to a lot with this technology.

Facebook tells me “We’ll continue to support the [Jibbigo] app for the time being.” Jibbigo launched in 2009, and allows you to select from over 25 languages, record a voice snippet in that language or type in some text, and then get a translation displayed on screen and read aloud to you in a language of your choosing.

This made Jibbigo’s iOS and Android apps useful companions for travelers and international health care workers. Why fumble with a phrase book when you could just bring an app with you? Through purchasable offline translator packs, Jibbigo…

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Windows Azure Adds New Features, Including SQL Server Support General Availability And New Push Features

TechCrunch

Microsoft introduced a laundry list of new features today for Windows Azure, including general availability of SQL Server AlwaysOn support, notification hubs and autoscale improvements.

The new features have some common themes, focusing on systems automation that allows for use cases such as with Bing, which is using Azure notifications to send news updates to its users.

SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability is the high availability and disaster recovery that was originally released with SQL Server 2012. It provides multiple database failover, replicas and configuration failover policies. As part of general availability, Azure now supports “the complete SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups technology stack with Windows Azure Virtual Machines – including enabling support for SQL Server Availability Group Listeners. ”

Also available are replicas for backup to assure global availability and disaster recovery. In that vein, Azure is offering on-premise SQL servers that can now be backed up in Windows Azure…

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As Messaging App WeChat Pushes Past 300M Users, Owner Tencent Sets Up Shop In Singapore To Spin It Off

TechCrunch

Tencent has had listed business entity in Singapore since May, although it’s denied rumors that it intends to list WeChat on the Singapore stock exchange (SGX).

A China Daily report on Tuesday quoted an unnamed source saying that the Hong Kong-listed Chinese social networking giant plans to list its WeChat product in Singapore, and that it had opened an office here to support that.

Update: Tencent’s appointed Singapore PR firm just sent us a note to say: “This market news is not true and we have no idea where this market rumor originates from.”

The company, however did recently open an office here, and appointed its founder, Pony Ma (Ma Huateng), as the director as recently as Aug 1 this year.

Sgentrepreneurs dug out the company’s listing with the regulator, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore (Acra), and found that it was registered in May.

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A search on Acra’s…

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Spotify Wants To Be Everything To Everyone

TechCrunch

You can get a little music from a lot of places, but Spotify is on a quest to be your omni-jukebox. It’s already offers on-demand streaming and radio, and it’s just launched Browse, a new way to discover critic and community playlists for different moods and genres. Spotify hopes to combine social, algorithms, and expert curation to beat the platforms and become the only music companion you need.

“It’s a really good time to be in music ” Spotify product manager Miles Lennon tells me. “Five years ago people wrote off the ability for music startups to succeed. We’re really happy to be part of a resurgence.”

The only problem is music is becoming a commodity. Every smartphone manufacturer and operating system want to have their own music service, because the iPod proved that music is a fundamental part of the mobile experience. Apple has iTunes, and soon iTunes…

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Device Captures Signatures and Fingerprints With Tiny LEDs

TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

by John Toon, courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology  -Aug. 11, 2013 — Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology want to put your signature up in lights — tiny lights, that is. Using thousands of nanometer-scale wires, the researchers have developed a sensor device that converts mechanical pressure — from a signature or a fingerprint — directly into light signals that can be captured and processed optically.

The sensor device could provide an artificial sense of touch, offering sensitivity comparable to that of the human skin. Beyond collecting signatures and fingerprints, the technique could also be used in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems. Ultimately, it could provide a new approach for human-machine interfaces.

“You can write with your pen and the sensor will optically detect what you write at high resolution and with a very fast response rate,” said Zhong Lin Wang, Regents’ professor and Hightower Chair in the School of Materials…

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Easy E-Commerce Cart with Smart Cart JQuery

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Last month, we started an E-Commerce project to one of my partner. We encountered and solved so many problems for the project. One of the most important element for an Easy to Use E-commerce Web application is an easy shopping cart. The first idea on my mind is to build my own Shopping Cart System. With a near deadline and little experience in the system, honestly we failed.

The next week, we decided to search for some JQuery plugin to solve this problem and the easiest plugin to configure is the smart cart plugin. Here is the page, http://techlaboratory.net/smartcart.

The Smart Cart is uses an array variabel to pass the shopping cart list. We can easily add products list from database and easily inserts some products orders to database.  Easy to use and easy to configure display. The E-Commerce Project front office is lot more interactive with this Smart Cart plugin and our back office report is easy to print with FPDF PHP plugin that we have posted before.

For some technical problems when using the Plugin, please comments here. We will help based on our experience when using the plugin.

Scientific Breakthrough Lets SnappyCam App Take 20 Full-Res Photos Per Second

TechCrunch

Your standard iPhone camera app is actually pretty slow, able to take just three to six photos per second at 8 megapixels each. But with SnappyCam 3.0, you can shoot 20 full-resolution photos per second thanks to a breakthrough in discrete cosine transform JPG science by its inventor. Twenty frames per second is fast enough to capture shot-by-shot animations or every gruesome detail of an extreme sports crash.

SnappyCam costs $0.99 and lets you hold down your finger to take a constant stream of photos. You can then pick your favorites from a burst you shot, or view them as a “living photo” slideshow you can scrub back and forth through, kind of like collaborative photo sharing app Everlapse.

John Papandriopoulos has a PhD in electrical engineering and has been building SnappyCam for two years. He calls it the fastest smartphone camera app on Earth. He essentially reinvented…

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