Windows Phone (MSFT) Might Go Easier on Smartphone Batteries vs Android (GOOG) Aug 20, 2014 01:59PM

Buying a Microsoft-laden smartphone might acutally net you a few more hours of battery life versus peer devices.

Reports out Wednesday have a brief side-by-side comparison of a similarly spec'd Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android device versus one with Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone 8 (WP8) platform. The smartphone in question is the HTC One M8, which runs both operating systems.

The One M8 has a 2600-mAh battery. The battery is good for 20 hours of talk time and 496 hours of standby on the Android operating system and 22 hours of talk time and 528 hours of standby with WP8.

While the data is manufacturer supplied (and might vary depending on if you head to Verizon or AT&T's website, which the One M8 becomes available for AT&T), having another 10 percent of usage might be critical in certain circumstances and simply convinent in others.

Shares of Microsoft are own 0.7 percent.


3-D Printers on Watch; Gartner Sees Consumer-Level Adoption at Least Five Years Away (VJET) (DDD) (SSYS) Aug 20, 2014 11:03AM

voxeljet AG (NYSE: VJET), 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS), and ExOne (Nasdaq: XONE) are on watch Wednesday following a release issued by research firm Gartner (NYSE: IT) late Tuesday:

3D printing is evolving rapidly, although many technologies are still five to 10 years away from mainstream adoption. Consumer adoption will be outpaced by business and medical applications that have more compelling use cases in the short term, according to Gartner, Inc.

"Consumer 3D printing is around five to 10 years away from mainstream adoption," said Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner. "Today, approximately 40 manufacturers sell the 3D printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups worldwide are developing and selling consumer-oriented 3D printers, priced from just a few hundred dollars. However, even this price is too high for mainstream consumers at this time, despite broad awareness of the technology and considerable media interest."

Based on conversations on 3D printing with organizations ranging from technology providers to end users, government agencies, educational institutions and investment firms, Gartner has identified two themes.

First, the enterprise 3D printing market is very different from the consumer market. It's true that at this early stage there are some similarities between them as organizations are beginning to employ "consumer" devices in order to learn about 3D printing's potential benefits with minimal risk and capital investment. Fundamentally, however, the two markets are driven by different uses and requirements and must be evaluated separately.

Second, 3D printing is not one technology but seven different ones. "Hype around home use obfuscates the reality that 3D printing involves a complex ecosystem of software, hardware and materials whose use is not as simple to use as 'hitting print' on a paper printer," said Mr. Basiliere. The seven different technologies each have pros and cons, and printers work with varying build sizes and materials. This means organizations must begin with the end products in mind: "First, determine the material, performance and quality requirements of the finished items first; second, determine the best 3D printing technology; and third, select the right 3D printer."

Source: Gartner (July 2014)

3D printing and its uses continue to evolve rapidly in response to hype, greater visibility and, more importantly, demand. Naturally, some technologies are maturing faster than others and will be widely available in just a few years. In fact, some are already in general use. An example is 3D printing for prototyping, which has been the mainstay of the 3D printing industry since its inception.

"3D prototyping enables organizations to reduce or mitigate the risks associated with the design, form and functionality of products in research and development programs. It may also be used to support new manufacturing processes, and can reduce new product development schedules," said Mr. Basiliere.

In two to five years, there will be greater adoption of enterprise 3D printing, nurtured in part by the continued acceptance and use of 3D print creation software, 3D scanners and 3D printing service bureaus. "At around this time, 3D printing of medical devices will offer exciting, life-altering benefits that will result in global use of 3D printing technology for prosthetics and implants," added Mr. Basiliere.

Lastly, and reflecting different market drivers, macro 3D printing of large structures and classroom 3D printing are more than 10 years away from mainstream adoption. This is not to say that valid use cases for each do not exist: the work on macro 3D printing shows great promise but has only just begun. Meanwhile, adoption of any new technology within secondary and post-secondary schools, even one as transformative as 3D printing, is always expensive and difficult to implement, especially when considered in relation to the explosion of other educational technology that is competing for attention in the classroom.

More detailed analysis is available in the report "Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, 2014," which is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2803426. Gartner analysts will discuss the ways in which 3D printing enables digital business at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014. The Hype Cycle is part of Gartner's "Hype Cycles 2014" Special Report, which includes a video in which Betsy Burton, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, gives more details of this year's Hype Cycles, as well as links to all the individual Hype Cycle reports. The Special Report can be found at http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/hype-cycles/.


Twitter (TWTR) Adds New Feature to Timeline Aug 20, 2014 10:34AM

Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) is adding a new feature that has largely been met with negative reviews.

TheNextWeb pointed out a previous version of Twitter's What's a Twitter timeline?

  • Your home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter.
  • The newest updates are at the top. You can reply, Retweet, or favorite a Tweet from within the timeline.
  • Clicking anywhere on a Tweet in your timeline expands the Tweet, so you can see photos, videos, and other information related to that Tweet.
    Note: You may see content from accounts you do not follow, such as promoted Tweets, Retweets from accounts you follow, or content that may be relevant to you. Read more about promoted Tweets here, and Retweets here.

    The new version adds:

    • Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that's popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don't follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.

    Many users have complained, looking for an explanation as to why people's posts are appearing in their timeline even though they don't follow that users. Well, here is your answer.

    Shares of Twitter are down modestly Wednesday.


    Amazon.com (AMZN) Skirts U.S. for Initial Drone Delivery Tests Aug 20, 2014 08:14AM

    Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) might not test its drone delivery system in the U.S. after all.

    According to India's Economic Times, Amazon will commence tentative drone deliveries in India. Trials are expected to being in Mumbai and Bangalore, where the e-commerce giant has warehouses.

    Amazon's Prime Air is an octocopter which weighs less than 55 pounds, carries a payload of up to 5 pounds, and can travel at around 50 MPH. Deliveries should take anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours.

    One of the main reasons Amazon selected India is its regulatory body; while the U.S. FAA is taking a cautious approach on unmanned aerial vehicles, India has yet to implement strict regulatory measures on the drones.

    Shares of Amazon are slight lower Wednesday.


    Microsoft (MSFT) to Open 24 More Windows Stores at Chicago-Area Best Buy (BBY) Locations Aug 19, 2014 12:54PM

    Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) posted the following to its official Windows blog on Tuesday:

    Just in time for back to school, we’re thrilled to announce the opening of Windows Store only at Best Buy in 24 new Chicago area Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) locations. Building off the strategic partnership Microsoft and Best Buy entered into last year, these 24 new stores within Best Buy will be the premier destination for Microsoft products in the Chicago-area.

    Last year, we opened 13 Windows Stores at Best Buy in Chicago. Today, the addition of these 24 new stores gives Chicagoans 37 Windows Stores at Best Buy, meaning there’s one near you no matter where you are. With the introduction of the Windows Store only at Best Buy at these new locations, Chicago consumers will have more places than ever to see, try, compare and purchase a range of products and accessories. These comprehensive store-within-a-store experiences range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet. The stores will feature a dedicated Surface area where people can check out the new the new Surface Pro 3. On central showcase tables, shoppers can get hands-on experience with the latest PCs, laptops, 2-in-1’s and more. The back wall will feature software and accessories, including Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office, Microsoft gift cards and much more. In addition, they will be provided expert advice from Windows-trained Best Buy Blue Shirt associates.

    Our goal is to treat Chicago shoppers to a first class shopping experience, so they walk out of the store with the best device for their lifestyle. We’re excited to offer Chicagoans access to a retail destination that combines a great selection, the latest technology, the best service and the lowest prices.

    We’re looking forward to getting to know the Chicago community better and meeting all the student shoppers prior to school starting in September!

    Whether you’re looking for a new Windows laptop, tablet, or 2-in-1 for school or for yourself, the Windows Stores at Best Buy are here to serve you. Visit BestBuy.com/WindowsStore to find the location closest to you.


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