Facebook To Start Inserting Auto-Play Video Ads Into Your Newsfeed

According to Bloomberg’s report, the rumors of auto-play video ads in Facebook feeds are true. Facebook has slowly started peppering our Facebook feeds with advertisements calling them “Suggested Posts”. While they initially said that they would never run ads in people’s news feeds, that was obviously a very flexible rule. If those bother you, then the next step will have you pulling your hair out. 15 second auto-play advertisements will be featured and played directly in your feed later this year.

Facebook will be charging between 1 and 2.5 million dollars per day for the ad space. The cost will depend on the number of Facebook members targeted. As you know, Facebook has been keeping track of everything that you “like, comment, and share” and surely use that information to target advertising to “your preferences”. The only question is, do you want commercials (targeted to you or not) playing automatically in your newsfeed? For most people the answer is a resounding, no.

So far, Facebook has yet to respond to the report.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg made a comparison to the world’s largest televised sporting event. She stated that “Facebooks audience is three times that of the Super Bowl and they are there every day”. After a very rough launch when going public, Facebook is still trying to find different ways to monetize they daily usage of the social media platform.

The commercials will play silently (unless toggled by the user) and only 3 times per day. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly delayed the implementation of the ads multiple times due to the fear of destroying consumer experience and hurting Facebook membership. But, with the implementation of the video ads, it’s stated that it might be the investors driving much of this decision.

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Photo via Facebook’s Official Facebook Page

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Android Phones Can Now Download Microsoft Office

Earlier this year, Microsoft Office was released for iPhone and to the applause of all who use the software. But, there was not an app for Android at the time. Seeing that Android is the world’s #1 smartphone OS, it seemed only fitting that there be an Android version as well. Well, now that has happened. Office 365 users will now be able to download the Office mobile app.

The Android version of the app doesn’t work on tablets. There are other web based alternatives to use via tablets, but as of today they have not released a version to fit large screen mobile devices. Keep in mind that in order to use the app, the users phone must be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above.

The app download is free, but the user must subscribe to Office in order to run the app. Once you have subscribed you are allowed to run Office on up to 5 devices, which doesn’t include the 5 MAC or PC desktop apps that can be running.

Files can be stored and accessed using Skydrive which is a cloud based storage. Office users will receive 20 GB of storage for usage. Windows phones will still have a tad bit more accessibility rights at they will be allowed to open and edit copy-protected files.

Office mobile looks to have a nice clean interface and a good amount of functionality. It is not at the same level as Google Drive, but is a good start for Microsoft. With the expansion to both iPhone and Android users, you can bet that they will be requesting the full functionality soon.



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The Google Nexus 7 Is Still The Best Android Tablet Yet [VIDEO REVIEW]

When Google released the Nexus 7 a year ago, the reviews were astounding. Before the release of the Nexus 7 there was really no “rhyme or reason” to the Android tablet market. While there were many different tablets running Android, there was no consistent user experience. Each tablet was filled with proprietary “bloatware” that eat battery life and rob the user of the true Android OS experience.

The price tag was another true selling point at $199 for a an 8BG version. This was the first true Android device that even got close to the 200 dollar mark. Since, they have released the 16 BG and still has a remarkable pricetag at $249.

The 2nd generation Nexus 7 promises to be even better. The price point should remain close the same at an estimated $229, but the hardware and software will be much improved. The new Nexus will be shipped with Android 4.3 which has lots of new features. The most anticipated is restricted control for different users. The new Nexus will also have a much improved HD screen with a super high resolution of 1920 x 1200. This is much higher than the iPad mini which has a much higher price tag. The Nexus will also have a 1.5 GHZ Snapdragon processor and 2 GB of RAM.

The design will be a bit thinner, less wide and same length. It will have less of a rounded corner feel which should streamline the profile and will have users smiling. Still the standard MicroUSB port and no expandable storage, but with cloud storage cheap and readily available, this shouldn’t be an issue. Also with the new Chromecast device released by Google, streaming directly from the Nexus 7 should be a dream.

New processor, gaming, videos, and other processor intense apps will run flawlessly. The user should experience no lag or choppy video when doing anything on the device and that includes multi-tasking. This new Nexus is set to stun ‘techies’ yet again.

Your local cat-man-du should have these in stock soon after their release.


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Hulu Not Happy About The New Google Chromecast

The buzz in the tech community over the new streaming dongle released by Google called Chromecasthas many tech users super excited. Hulu is not part of that majority. Hulu has stated that is has a HUGE problem with the new Chromecast device because it allows people to stream the FREE Hulu service from their browser.

Hulu is currently working with google to integrate its own app into the Chromecast which will allow people to stream from the Hulu Plus app. This service is available for $8.00 a month. The issue that Hulu is having with the Chromecast browsing mirroring is that much of the content that is available through the Hulu Plus app, is available for free in the browser interface. You can see where this might ruffle some feathers over at Hulu.

A manager in Google’s developer relations group stated that the best way to ensure that people aren’t streaming content they don’t want viewed on TV screens by Chromecast users is to stop distributing that content to the Chrome browser, not that he is suggesting that they do that as many browser users would definitely be disappointed by that.

The big question remains. What is the difference between streaming this content wirelessly from a device (which is trying to be road-blocked) and simply plugging you computer/tablet directly into your television via HDMI and watching this content? Nothing.



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Google Removes 100 Million URLs Linking To “Pirate” Sites So Far In 2013

There is no doubt that pirating music has become an epidemic that is causing huge problems for the music industry. With the limited purchase of CDs and actual “physical” music, artists and labels are now under attack by music piracy. Torrents all across the world are sharing and offering up illegal downloads to music, movies, and software that cost industries billions of dollars each year.

Google has removed more than 100 million urls linking to these sites over the past year. They average 15 million url removal requests per month. While this number sounds huge, copyright holders are still far from satisfied.

100 million urls removed is already double the amount over the entire year of 2012. It is obvious that copyright holders are doing their best to crackdown on illegal downloads and trying to increase profits for their clients and the industry as a whole.

The top three offenders over the last year were FireTube with 5,801,661 URLS, then Torrentz.eu with 2,508,595, and Rapidgator.net with 2,166,977.

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The New Moto X Android Smartphone From Google Is The First To Be Made In USA

Google purchased Motorola in 2012 and since has mainly been “in the background”. They will be releasing the first Google inspired Motorola device this year and the Moto X will be unveiled in New York on August 1st. One of the biggest selling/buying points for this new device is that it is completely assembled in Fort Worth, Texas.

It is expected to create 2,000 new jobs in the Fort Worth and the Moto X leaked images show a Texas Flag wallpaper this is displayed on the device. The Moto X is expected to have a dual-core 1.7 GHZ Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and a removable rear Kevlar shell.

Google is not the only company jumping on the “made in America” bandwagon. Apple has stated that the bold new Mac Pro would also be built right here in the US. Apple even kicked off WWDC with an emotional animated video that concluded with the phrase “designed by Apple in California”.

Photo via cnet

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Google Chromecast Brings Online Video Directly To Your TV

Online video displayed on home television is gaining popularity these days. But, without proprietary software and devices for both iOS and Android devices, it’s difficult to get video from your laptop, phone, or tablet onto your TV wirelessly. Google is changing that, and they are doing it with a very nice pricetag.

iPhones can mirror through appleTV and Samsung smartphones/tablet use the allshare software, but there is no single device that will stream live video from any source until now. Google’s Chromecast does just that. It’s no bigger than the typical USB dongle, yet when plugged into your HDMI port on your television, it allows your to stream online video via the local WiFi signal. This is nice because it won’t suck up your battery and you can do other tasks while streaming.

It currently streams online content from NetflixYouTubeGoogle Play, and Chrome. They are promising more sources in the future. The awesome thing about this device is that it only costs $35.00. Compared to a smart blueray player, roku, or full SmartTV, the price is very cheap.

Google promises no learning curve to use the device, and basic ‘plug and play’ operation. There is no remote. All controls are done via the device you are using to stream.

Watch the video below for an example of just how simple this really is. Wow.


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Best Business Apps For Android And iPhone

Whether you own an iPhone or Android device, you have access to an online app store where you can get games and apps. There are hundreds of thousands of apps that are available for both platforms. A huge percentage of those apps you will never even download to you phone. Finding useful business apps for the professional ‘on-the-go’ can be difficult as you try to weed through all of the games and clutter that has made it’s way onto the platform.

Here are a few apps that you will definitely want to download for you device. Browse over these and let us know in the comments below which of your favorite apps that we overlooked.

1. Documents To Go

Documents To Go allows you to read, edit, and even create business documents in the most popular formats. You can edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more. Granted you will probably not use the app to build your documents from scratch, it makes it nice to be able to make tweaks and corrections to your documents without having to launch your computer. With some formats you can even use your phone as a Powerpoint remote with your notes and everything right there on your phone.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox is a must have for anyone who has to transfer larger documents. You can now share heavy documents and folders with your desktop, laptop, mobile device, and even grant access to other users. If you have a large file that you cannot email to a client or even yourself, upload it to dropbox and it is readily available no matter what device you are using.

3. Hopstop

For the traveler, Hopstop is a must. This app will let you know whether your best travel option is walking, taxi, train, or bus. You can even narrow things down by “fewest transfers” and many other filters.

4. Google Translate

If you are traveling to a country where you have never been before, Google Translate can be a super useful app. Imagine being stuck in a part of town with no way to converse with people in a different country. How do you find your hotel or get to your business meeting. Google Translate will take what you are saying (or what’s being said to you) and translate it to ensure that you are on the “same page” as the person you are talking to. It is suprpisingly accurate as well.

5. ScanBizCards

ScanBizCards will alleviate the problem of having a pocket full of business cards that end up getting lost before you can file them in your contacts. It’s simple. Just scan the business card using your camera. You can even sync the cards back to your PC.

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UN Reports Major Security Vulnerabilities In Mobile Devices

A UN group that advises countries on cyber vulnerability has reported that the mobile device era has opened massive safety concerns when it comes to these devices. Hackers can potentially access over half a billion smartphones.

There is a bug that will actually allow hackers to clone SIM cards. You can imagine the danger in this. Hackers could then use these highjacked SIMs to commit finance crimes and even electronic espionage. Berlin’s Security Research Labs will speak to this at an upcoming Black Hat hacking conference on July 31st in Las Vegas.

“These findings show us where we could be heading in terms of cybersecurity risks,” ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Touré told Reuters.

Cracking SIM cards has been the long term goal of hackers around the globe for many years now. These cards allow them to identify and authenticate users of mobile devices from any where. It’s estimated that there are some 6 billion cellphones in use around the world and companies are now scrambling to find a way to secure the ‘at risk’ devices.

The hacker who accesses the SIM card can now text and talk “As You”. And, if you have your PayPal or Mastercard information synced to that device, they got that too.

Whether you are running AndroidiOSBlackberry, or any other device, you are at risk. Both Apple and Google have declined comment on the subject.

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Apple Applies For Over 30 Patents Including In-Car Dashboard

It’s no big secret that Apple and Android are both trying to be the first to be a standard addition to the dashboard of your next brand new vehicle. Well, Apple has already been granted a slew of patents allowing them to start converting iOS to be the in-dash interface for new vehicles.

The rumors are flying as the auto industry tries to find an infotainment interface that actually works in vehicles. This will most likely be an LCD interface with tactile feedback, head-up display in the armrest, screens that respond to laser pointers, and a camera that can even detect the drivers head position.

The new patent actually builds on a patent that dates back to 1992. The LCD screen might actually have ridges on it to guide the drivers fingers to different areas of the screen without taking their eyes away from the road.

Click here to read more about this new technology.

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