Interest in smartphones is flattening

Worries about sales hit both Apple and Samsung stock prices.

Both Apple and Samsung this week predicted slow growth for smartphone and mobile phone sales in early 2016, making investors queasy.

Apple’s stock dropped 6.5% at Wednesday’s market close after CEO Tim Cook told investors he expects iPhone unit sales to decline for the current quarter compared to a year ago. Apple’s iPhones make up the majority of its revenues. Trading in Apple was flat this morning.

Samsung’s stock also dropped by 2.5% late in the day of Thursday trading after the South Korean company reported a 10% drop in mobile sales in the last quarter of 2015. The company said it would be a challenge to maintain operating profits for 2016.
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After many promises, Microsoft accelerates Windows 10 preview delivery

Microsoft yesterday issued a new Windows 10 preview to its Insider testers, making good — at least in one instance — on a December promise to quicken the pace of its beta releases.

Build 11102 of Windows 10 was delivered Thursday to Insider participants on the “Fast” ring release track. The new build followed its predecessor by just eight days.

The eight-day interval was significantly shorter than the averages in both the first and second halves of 2015, according to Computerworld’s records. In the first six months of last year, the average stretch between Insider builds was 27 days, or nearly a month. During the second half of 2015, Microsoft reduced that average to 17 days.
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U.S. military wants to create cyborg soldiers

The U.S. military is working to create a chip that can be implanted in a soldier’s brain to connect it directly to computers that can deliver data on an enemy’s position, maps and battle instructions.

The implanted chip would essentially create soldier cyborgs that would be safer and better fighters.

“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said Phillip Alvelda, manager for DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design program. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
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Can Wikipedia live forever?

LONDON: Wikipedia, the crowd-sourced digital encyclopedia which seems to have all the answers when you need them the most, turned 15 years old on January 15. But will it be here for us forever?

Often seen as only months away from extinction, it has not only survived but stood the test of time as it continues to surprise us by achieving one milestone after another.

“Wikipedia seemed like an impossible idea at the time — an online encyclopedia that everyone can edit. However, it has surpassed everyone’s expectations over the past 15 years,” the Guardian quoted co-founder Jimmy Wales as saying on Wikipedia’s 15th anniversary.
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IT spending tanked worldwide last year

Worldwide IT spending fell nearly 6% last year — the largest one-year decrease research firm Gartner says it has ever seen. The global forecast for 2016 is for an improving, but relatively flat, $3.54 trillion. That would be a 0.6% increase.

Gartner blames a strong U.S. dollar for the global decline, because it effectively increased the price of exports by as much as 20%. Political and economic instability in countries such as Russia and Brazil also contributed to the spending problems. By comparison, the U.S. saw an increase in IT spending.
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Jump up and down to charge your phone

LAS VEGAS: A little exercise not only does your body good, it can charge up your smartphone. Evanston, Illinois-based Ampy showed off its Ampy Move, a wearable battery pack that charges with up and down motion that makes a couple of magnets bounce up and down inside coils.

That’s an electricity-creating process invented by Nikola Tesla in the late 1800s. And on a small scale, it’s good for a quick boost of energy that can get you to the end of the day with power.
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Android Auto is coming to 40 car models this year

Car makers will also be able to develop custom Android Auto apps starting this year.

Google is positive about the road ahead for Android Auto, saying it will come to 40 car models and support more apps this year.

Android Auto brings messaging, mapping, entertainment, media playback and other apps to cars, but via a smartphone. The apps run on an Android smartphone, which plugs into an in-car display via a USB port.
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These 10 companies tried to buy Facebook

These 10 companies tried to buy Facebook
Facebook, the biggest social network in the world, now has over 1.5 billion monthly active users. According to David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect, the company was a very popular M&A target in its startup years.

As early as 4 months after Facebook’s inception, people with money and people representing companies with money began lining up to beg Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take their cash and sell the company. Obviously, Zuckerberg turned all their offers down. But some offers were much more tempting than you probably realize.

Meet the 10 companies that tried to buy Facebook back when it was a startup…

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Meet Nadine, a life-like robot with a personality of her own

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University have created a robot, Nadine, (on the right) that has a personality, moods and emotions. The robot was built to look like its creator, roboticist Nadia Thalmann (on the left). Credit: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Researchers create robot that could act as a helper for the elderly or assistant in the office.

Scientists have built a robot that will recognize you and remember your name the second time it meets you.

The robot, named Nadine, has something else that makes her stand out from the robotic crowd.

Nadine, according to her creators, has a personality.

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UK police force hire ‘Britain’s greatest fraudster’ to help tackle cybercrime

Once described as ‘Britain’s greatest online fraudster’, reformed Tony Sales has been hired by West Midlands Police in the UK to help tackle cybercrime.

Mr. Sales, who stole over $43 million over a six-year period, started life as a scammer at the age of 13, going onto make a name for himself as a leading figure in Britain’s largest network of ‘online gangsters’.

Since his days as an underground fraudster, Mr. Sales has completely turned his life around. He now helps some of the biggest names in UK banking, retail and insurance to safeguard themselves against online fraud. Continue reading UK police force hire ‘Britain’s greatest fraudster’ to help tackle cybercrime

…bringing your imagination to life.