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Microsoft’s New Spartan Browser Will Not Enable ‘Do Not Track’ By Default

The Microsoft company has officially announced that it will not enable the “Do Not Track” (aka DNT) header by default any longer in its new, next-generation internet web browser called Spartan, This decision is a big reversal for the tech industry conglomerate, and it weathered some substantial criticism from a number of industry groups after it made the decision to enable DNT by default in Internet Explorer 10 and in Windows 8.

New Microsoft Browser - SpartanMicrosoft has blamed this change directly on the Worldwide Web Consortium. This latest version of DNT standard says that the signal that is sent has to reflect the preference of the user, and not the choice of a vendor, a site, an institution, or any network-imposed mechanism that is outside of that user’s control. This equally applies to the general preference as well as the exceptions. The basic principle is a tracking preference expression is transmitted only when it is reflecting a choice deliberately made by the user.

The issue with this is that there’s an overwhelming user majority in each and every context that never even change the default web browser setting. This is the idealistic reason why Microsoft had enabled DNT by default, and that’s also why putting the standard back into neutral will also mean that the majority of individuals will most likely never even use it.

The bigger issue currently at hand is that the DNT standard has literally been “watered down” to a point that is almost entirely useless. Most of the larger companies completely ignore the header and the whole point of DNT was that it was supposed to be a voluntary buy-in, and/or a collaboration between advertising companies and privacy advocates facilitated through the Worldwide Web Consortium (aka W3C) itself. Some of these debated proposals could have very sharply limited small advertising firms’ and/or businesses’ abilities to track user information, all while carving out huge exceptions for Facebook and Google simultaneously.

CalTech Has Developed 3D Imaging Sensor For Smartphones

A 3D imaging chip that is tiny enough to fit inside of a smartphone has been invented. Pretty soon, people will be able to take 3D images of objects with their smartphone handsets and have them replicated in a 3D printer.

3d camera soon in your smartphoneIn order to print in 3D, a digital model that has width, height and depth of the object you are replicating is required. A considerably large system must be used for 3D scanning of an object these days.

The California Institute of Technology (aka CalTech) works on a small chip that could literally bring this 3D imaging ability to smartphone handsets. This technology is based on a compact, cheap, yet extremely accurate new device that’s called a nanophotonic coherent imager (aka NCI). By using an inexpensive tiny silicon chip that is smaller than a millimeter square, this NCI provides the “highest depth-measurement accuracy of any such nanotrophic 3-D imaging device.

Every pixel on the chip is its own independent interferometer, which is an instrument that utilizes light wave interference to make very precise measurements, which detects the frequency and the phase of the signal in addition to its intensity. This information was shared by the Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Science, Ali Hajimiri.

This new chip uses an established ranging and detection technology that’s called LIDAR, in which a specifically targeted object is lit up with these scanning laser beams. This light that reflects off the object then gets analyzed based on the laser light’s wavelength, and LIDAR can collect info about the size of the object as well as the object’s distance from the laser in order to create an actual image of the object’s surroundings.

Apple Watch Launch is Delayed in Switzerland Over Patenting Issues

The Apple Watch might not be launched in Switzerland until late in the year 2015 because of a patent dispute. This is according to a Swiss television broadcasting company’s report.

Apple watch delayed in SwitzerlandA patent dispute that involves an apple image and a written word “apple” is apparently delaying the release of the upcoming Apple Watch smart watch device.

This controversy was initially reported by RTS, a Swiss television broadcasting company, according to a story done on April 4th by Reuters. Apple apparently can’t use the image of an apple nor can they use the word “apple” for the launch of its Apple watch within the country of Switzerland, which is the “home” of luxury watches, because of a 1985 patent. RTS reported this, and cited a document that was from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

This document was officially published by Business Montres & Joaillerie, a trade magazine. According to this story, the patent actually runs until December 5th of this year, and it belongs to William Longe. Apparently Longe owns a watch brand called Leonard that initially filed the patent that is in dispute.

This alleged Swiss patent dispute came about just when Apple was preparing to start taking its first preorders in the U.S. for its Apple Watch on April 10th, beginning at 3:01 a,m, EDT. The new Apple Watch will be made available to consumers beginning April 24th, 2015.

While the Apple company announced the details of its first preorders a few weeks ago, it just unveiled the additional preorder steps, which include the ability to configure its Apple Watch bands, models, colors and more in Apple accounts online so that consumers can actually place preorders more easily whenever the process officially starts.

OnePlus Releases Own Android Lollipop-Based OxygenOS ROM

OnePlus missed its original deadlines that were supposed to be sometime at the end of March, but on Saturday, April 4th, the company announced the official release of its OxygenOS custom ROM.

Oneplus oxygen OSThe OnePlus OxygenOS custom ROM is based on the Android 5.0 Lollipop for the OnePlus One smartphone device. The ROM is now available for download and for flash. The co-founder, Carl Pei said in his announcement via blog post that with the 1st public build of this new Android Lollipop-based OxygenOS, the company was focusing on standing out with simplicity and adding things like battery life and performance over bloated features and gimmicks.

The company also made a feedback application as well. Apart from reporting bugs,  it is also for suggestions for future implementations of new features. Peis claims that the company wants to emphasize that the initial version was built so that consumers could start taking a direct role in Oxygen’s future. In order to make sure they are heading in the right direction, they need consumer input.

On top of vanilla Android 5.0 Lollipop, the premier build of the OxygenOS offers users 3 major differences. Support for the OnePlus One device’s gestures controls, which includes off-screen gestures such as double tapping to wake and a camera shortcut; customization of lock-screen wallpaper, choice of software and hardware navigation keys, and a customizable quick-settings screen and a new file manager as well.

Users of the ROM will need both Fastboot and ADB installed, they will need to back their data up and will also need to have a custom recovery tool already installed before they attempt to flash their smartphones. Complete instructions on downloading and correctly installing the new OxygenOS 1.0.0 ROM on the OnePlus One smartphone are located on the company’s forum.

Microsoft Makes Cheaper Version of Surface Pro 3 Tablet Called Surface 3

The Microsoft Corporation has officially released its new Surface 3. This latest addition to the Surface series is both smaller and lower in price than the larger and more expensive Surface Pro 3.

surface pro 3With this latest Surface gadget, Microsoft is hoping to drive new unit volume. This new Surface carries a price of $499, which is considerably lower than that of the Surface Pro 3, which is currently priced at more than $799.

So, while the smartphones are continuing to get larger in size and more powerful, there has been a pressure on tablet devices to keep the attention and interest of the customers. The Surface 3 is presently the most recent attempt made by the Microsoft company to capture that attention and hopefully spark the interest of consumers.

Up until now, the only 2 versions of the Surface device were the Surface Pro and the Surface RT. The Surface Pro ran Windows and the RT only ran apps. The RT actually flopped because there were not that many apps available to run on it.

The Surface 3 is also the successor of the Surface 2. It features a 10.8 inch screen and the processor is not quite as strong as the Pro’s but it is only noticeable in the required boot time.

Once the Surface 3 has booted, there’s no real noticeable difference between it and the Pro. All of the apps run smoothly. The only downside is the power brick on the Surface 3 doesn’t have the 2nd USB charging jack that the Pro has.

In comparison to the Pro, the Surface 3 is a lot lighter and considerably easier to hold in your hands for longer periods of time, and the cameras are noticeably better.

The new Surface 3 also has a battery life of 10 hours, and the power cord connects with the micro USB jack, making it usable for multiple devices. The Surface 3 is also able to be connected to another computer for charging purposes.

Smartphones Sales Growth Highest Ever In Latin America In 2014 With Over $1.2B USD

Marketing smartphones, as well as other devices like laptops, tablets, and other devices is Apple’s trademark as having a worldwide reputation of high quality standards when it comes to their products. The recent outcome of 2014’s sales of Apple’s products in Latin America has squashed all previous predictions and speculations that forecast 2015 would be the year that Apple’s sales will go down. Even now in the first quarter of 2015, Apple still leads the consumer electronics market in sales.

smartphone usage upBased to the statement of a sales analyst from a Germany-based think tank, GfK way back in 2014; smartphones sales soared up to $1.2 billion USD in the previous year in Latin America. The amount of sales jumped from 55% (in 2013) to 79% (in 2014)! This is by far the biggest sale by Apple to date on a particular region on the planet and it shows that by offering upgraded communication technologies such as 3G and 4G to these areas, people are willing to spend more.

“It is the same trend that has driven growth at different times in all regions. LatAm has been one of the later adopters of smartphones and of 3G and 4G technology,” Kevin Walsh, director of trends and forecasting at GfK, told CNBC by phone.

“GfK forecasts that smartphone price bands above $150 will see a decline in their market share. At the next level down, $100-150, sales will remain Smartphone sales soarstable, but it is the cheaper smartphones priced below this point that will gain share.” He added.

Theories and speculations rise again about the possibility of decline in smartphone sales in 2015; however, that has yet to be proven as sales figures continue to defy predictions ever so. According to the most recent surveys of countries whose sales on smartphones are on the top selling charts, respondents are more concerned about replacing their older models smartphones with newer models with larger screens. The smartphone sales of these countries has reached a saturation point mainly because of this kind of trend which largely contribute to the sales of these electronic devices.

Here are the latest figures on Smartphone sales:

Units Sold in Millions (2014)                                           Sales Value (in Billion USD)

Latin America                                                                                                    109.5                                                                                        31.4

North America                                                                                                  177.6                                                                                         71.8

Central and Eastern Europe                                                                           69.8                                                                                          17.2

Asia Pacific (Emerging Markets)                                                                  149.9                                                                                         28.4

Middle East and Africa                                                                                   135.2                                                                                          39.4

Western Europe                                                                                               128.0                                                                                          55.8

China                                                                                                                  392.8                                                                                         99.0

Asia Pacific (Developed Markets)                                                                65.1                                                                                             38.1

 

Pertaining to this table above, regarding to countries and or regions which has the greater growth of population in smartphones customary used the Latin America takes the lead (Second only to North America). In countries such China, India and Africa, smartphone sales has already been observed and tracked with unprecedented demand in dozens of emerging markets over the past couple of years. It should not be a coincidence when other markets will follow.

Pile of smart phonesThough prices of smartphones is expected to go down, larger screens smartphones will do great significantly and could be the biggest segment share market as of 2015 and is expected to be reach 14% more units sold which should be from $150 to $100; in order to maintain its momentum and will reach $1.368 billion USD.