Meanwhile, it was no secret that Apple had a headphone problem. Their EarPods, bargain-priced in-ear headphones, are brittle, and will effectively #$%$ off everyone within a 10-foot radius on your train or subway car. And, the existing 3.5 mm headphone jack, or “TRS” connector, doesn’t exactly provide a gateway to high-quality sound. So, similar to Apple’s 30-pin to Lightning transition with the launch of the iPhone 5, the Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac reported that the company is planning to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the “TRS.”
Now, there are some added benefits. “The Lightning headphones will be capable of receiving lossless stereo 48 kHz digital audio output from Apple devices and sending mono 48 kHz digital audio input,” said the report, adding, “The headphones will be able to draw power from an Apple device (even if the device is asleep), which for some products could eliminate cost associated with an internal battery. It could also work the other way around by providing power to an Apple device from an internal battery or external power source. That enables you to listen to music and also use a passthrough setup so you could charge the device simultaneously, much like you can with an audio dock that uses a Lightning connector. The headphones will also be capable of receiving firmware updates.”
The problem? You’d need a very expensive pair of studio-quality headphones (think: over $500) to register that 48 kHz pristine digital audio. But oh, there’s more. It stands to reason that Apple would no longer have any use for the standard headphone jack, and future iOS devices would thus be stripped of this and outfitted with a Lightning port. That could mean that any pair of non-Beats/Apple headphones would be rendered incompatible with Apple products without a clunky Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter, which is just cumbersome enough to force you to toss your old headphones in favor of some Beats by Dre.
At Google IO, it was announced that the current number of Android device users had reached 1 billion, the largest of any mobile device ecosystem.
Improvements in the next generation Android L OS will make it even more competitive with Windows Phone and iOS.
New product announcements in Android Wear watches and Android TV demonstrate that Google can move quickly into new product categories.
IO confirmed that Google has become an even tougher mobile device competitor.
There were many other developments at IO, including Android Auto and improvements to Chrome OS that I've simply run out of space to talk about. I encourage interested investors (whether Apple or Google) to watch the IO keynote at the very least. The fundamental takeaway for investors of any stripe is that Android just keeps improving and becoming more competitive with iOS and Windows Phone. The idea that iPhone is "crushing" its competition, which is mostly Android, is a fanboy fantasy rooted in an ignorance that investors in Google's mobile competitors can ill afford. [Is he talking about AE? LOL]
When iPhone 6 arrives this fall, I believe it will still be superior to the wave of Android L phones it will compete with. The point I make repeatedly is that technological superiority does not guarantee market success. In "Why iPhone 6 Won't Reverse Apple's Market Share Decline" I predicted that iPhone's market share would subside to about 16% in calendar Q4 with iPhone y/y revenue growth declining to 7.8%, down from 15.6% in Q4 2013. The strengths of Android L may indicate that these numbers are optimistic.
From Mark Hibben at Seeking Alpha
"Intel has failed in its previous attempts in making a space in the growing TV market. However, the new partnership with Google can mark a turnaround. Here, in the new deal, Intel doesn’t have to worry about assembling the content. It will be more convenient for Intel to work on Android TV. Hopefully, becoming an enabler instead of the provider can bring success to Intel in the TV market."
[Looks like this is finally going to happen. Not to mention the importance of the partnership with Google.]
Intel is chasing the lucrative TV market once again by aligning with Google on Android TV despite multiple failed attempts in the past few years.
Much like the existing Google TV, Android TV is an interactive entertainment platform for smart TVs, set-top boxes and other devices. It will initially be in TVs from Sony and Sharp, and will also work with Google’s US$35 Chromecast device, through which videos can be wirelessly streamed from mobile devices to TVs.
Google and Intel will “work together to bring this platform and experience to market,” Intel said in a statement. An Intel spokeswoman said more details about the partnership will be shared at a later date.
It is likely that Intel will supply chips for TVs, set-top boxes and devices like Chromecast, analysts said. The goal is to put as many Intel chips as possible in more consumer electronics, which is a hot market right now.
“You’ve got to be in consumer electronics, that’s where everything is going on,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.
The partnership is perhaps the best way for Intel to attack the TV market following previous failures, analysts said. Intel was planning its own cloud-based TV service called OnCue, but sold those assets to Verizon Communications for an undisclosed sum in January. Intel in 2009 announced its intent to get into the TV market with the CE4100 chip, and went on to release chips for TVs and set-top boxes with Google TV software. However, Intel exited that market in late 2011 and the void was ultimately filled by Marvell, which supplied ARM chips for Google TV devices. Intel also sells gateway chips for content delivery via cable networks.
From PC World
2. Budget driverless car
Google’s driverless car dominates the headlines, but the reality is that it’s unlikely to be available any time soon and it’s certainly not going to be within your price range. But one startup is hoping, at least, to change the latter. Cruise Automation, based in San Francisco (where else?), is developing a car automation accessory that will retail for $10,000.
Kyle Vogt, the founder of the project, is hoping to start installing his “RP-1” invention onto cars early next year. It only currently works on an Audi A4 or S4, but Vogt is hoping to modify the device so it can be retrofitted on to any car. It works largely in the same way Google’s driverless car works in that it has multiple sensors that can scan the immediate area for routes and potential collisions.
Vogt describes his invention as a “highway pilot”. He essentially means that it will work as a driving aid, rather than a system to fully takeover driving responsibility. Users will be able to switch on the system by tapping a button on an inbuilt interface in the car, and then let system take over. The driver can regain control of the car by tapping on the brake pedal or by placing their hands on the steering wheel.
Incredibly, the project only began in November 2013. Vogt and his team have worked around the clock to make it into a reality and they plan to start installing it onto cars early next year. Watch the video here.
1. SCiO molecular scanner
SCiO is like something straight out of science fiction. Aside from the fact that it looks like a cheap flashing toy that Dr Who might point at something with flailing tentacles, the concept itself if genius.
SCiO is the brainchild of Israeli startup Consumer Physics, which is a collaboration of brains from MIT, Stanford, CalTech, Harvard, Wiezmann Institute, The Technion, and Tel-Aviv University. SCiO is an affordable handheld molecular sensor that lets you scan and discover the molecular makeup of anything it’s pointed at, which then beams the data to your phone in real-time.
What that means is that you can scan anything and get a complete report on its molecular structure on your phone. How old is that apple you’re about to buy? Or which watermelon is the sweetest? How many units of alcohol in that glass of wine? That kind of thing.
The possibilities are as exciting as they are endless. Not least the wealth of information, data and analysis that could be built up from millions of people scanning everyday objects. The first batch won’t be shipped to Kickstarter backers until January next year. But it will go on sale in March 2015 for $249. You can watch the video of how it works on their Kickstarter campaign here.
"Just imagine that. And Weaver sold at 25. Its funny as hell. Just like I said, when Weaver kraps his panties and sells, the stock will go up."
[Lucy, it's the weekend - can't you go 2 days without trying to bite someone?
PS. You need teeth to bite. Stop trying to gum people. .]
[No idea if there is anything to this. ]
Intel Smart Watch
According to a report in The Verge, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says that Intel is developing its own Smart Watch.
Unlike the wildly popular Pebble and the much-aligned Samsung Gear, Intel’s device won’t need to be tethered to a smartphone to work – it will have its own connectivity (like the Geak, the Neptune Pine and and the InWatch).
The device will also offer geofencing which will provide location-sensitive alerts.
“Wearables are not everywhere today because they aren’t yet solving real problems and they aren’t yet integrated with our lifestyles,” said Krzanich in a statement. “We’re focused on addressing this engineering innovation challenge.”
[Wow, that's a lot of smartwatches. Information on each in the article. ]
The following smart watches will soon be available for purchase. Some are available for pre-order now.
Note: we only cover the best smart watches that we believe have some chance of succeeding in the market.
Click a name to read our review.
Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo
Samsung Gear Fit
Neptune Pine (watch phone)
LG G Watch
Motorola Moto 360
Agent Smart Watch
"AAPL and GOOG over $600, and INTC can't close over $31.00. Ever think that Yinz bought the wrong stock, huh? marco the genius :-) You can't even go out to a nice dinner at Mario's Spaghetti & Meatballs for that, including tax and tip."
[It doesn't matter what happened with any other stock, Lucy. You were still wrong about Intel. This is just stuff you say to make yourself feel better about being wrong. ]
At least he's consistent.
And the oversold/undersold technicals are among the least reliable of the technical indicators. I'm listening to a book of interviews with some of Wall Street's best traders ever and one said forget these indicators as they are worthless.
"it isn't always the wisest thing to hold thru the weekend."
[But if it gaps up on Monday morning, you'll be kicking yourself. Do you really want any advice from a guy who is 1 out of 99 on his last 100 predictions? Especially when he's a biter? ]
Russia warned Ukraine today that it faces “grave” economic consequences, including potential new restrictions on trade, after President Petro Poroshenko signed a free-trade agreement with the European Union.
Such retaliation would certainly harm Ukraine, which sends about one-fourth of its exports to Russia. But the construction of new trade barriers only underscores the bunker mentality that underlies President Vladimir Putin’s management of Russia’s economy—and the increasing risk it poses to the country’s economic health.
In an eye-opening report today, Bloomberg News journalists in Moscow describe an economic system that’s increasingly run by the Kremlin, isolated from global markets, and starved for financing. Among the key points:
• State-controlled enterprises now account for more than half the national economy, up from 30 percent when Putin came to power in 1999.
• The central bank is pouring unprecedented sums into a troubled banking system that’s largely under state control after foreign competitors were squeezed out.
• Now the overstretched central bank is being ordered to step up long-term financing to designated industries.
Read more at Bloomberg
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Trading volume is expected to end up quite elevated Friday due to the annual rebalancing of the Russell indexes.
"bagholders. All of WWs efforts to pump are irresponsible. I hope you don't believe any of it."
[Lucy, we knew of course that you would soon revert to trying to bite people. You're a child.]
IoT Ignition Labs Swindon will see Intel collaborating with both established and early-stage British companies, in areas such as smart buildings, retail, and transport.
“This ignition lab will provide our customers a place to build and test end to end IoT solutions that will transform our businesses and everyday lives,” said Rod O’Shea, marketing director for IoT at Intel EMEA. “We pride ourselves in bringing innovative solutions to market and these labs are a testimony to our commitment to this space.”
Ignition Labs Swindon is Intel’s fourth innovation centre for IoT in the EMEA region, following Stockholm, Munich and Istanbul. All four are part of Intel Labs Europe, and have a broader aim of enabling smart sustainable cities.
At the Ignition Labs, customers will be able to develop new IoT applications, test Intel’s hardware and software tools and receive guidance on design and deployment.
The facility could also be used for educational workshops with local schools, where young kids can learn basics of engineering and software development
During the opening ceremony, Intel demonstrated how its API Management Platform can monitor air quality within a town. Data collected by sensors would then be analysed, and the changes could be reflected on city signage through the Retail Client Manager product. Finally, analytics could establish historic patterns to predict how air quality would change in the future.
These are just some of the connected technologies promoted by Intel. In April, Krzanich launched a family of new ‘gateway solutions’ based on Intel’s Quark System-on-a-Chip and Atom processors, designed to harvest valuable data from previously unconnected industrial systems.
CINCINNATI (MarketWatch) — The major U.S. benchmarks are closing out an otherwise strong second quarter on a flattish note.
Nonetheless, the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have registered successful tests of well-defined support this week — around Nasdaq 4,350 and Dow 16,740 — and these areas remain useful bull-bear inflection points.