Amazon adds 5 NBC shows exclusively to Prime Instant Video catalog
Amazon has signed a deal with NBCUniversal to add the previous seasons of five shows exclusively to its Prime Instant Video Roster. Grimm, Suits, Covert Affairs, Hannibal, and Defiance will be available on the streaming service over the course of this year and 2014. A number of other shows, including Smash, Alphas, and Warehouse 13, will also appear on the service, though under a non-exclusive distribution deal.
Google+ Hangouts to gain SMS integration, outbound calls, Google Voice
The new Google+ Hangouts app will soon have SMS integration, though this is likely to be only within Android. The Next Web notes that the permissions list for the app includes listings for reading and sending SMS messages from within the app, something which would bring Hangouts in line with Apple's iMessage app. A message by Google employee Dori Storibeck confirmed that SMS integration is on the way, along with outbound calls and Google Voice features.
Hangouts conversations to carry between iOS, Android, Web
Google has shown a significant number of changes to Google+ at its Google I/O developer event, as part of its attempts to attract users. The redesign of the social network is accompanied by the rumored unified messaging system, branded Hangouts, and the automatic enhancement, editing and highlighting of photographs uploaded onto its service.
Google Maps preview page shows maps customized by searches
Google has updated its Google Play app store, just before the first day of the company's developer event, Google I/O. A new sign-up page for Google Maps also briefly appeared online before an expected reveal at the conference, which gave more information about the search giant's plans for its navigational product.
SOHO Printing line boosted by Brother
We've mentioned before that we are far from a paperless society. For now, at least, there are tasks that require a piece of paper for confirmation, proof of purchase, or a litany of other needs. Laser printers have existed since the first practical commercial model in 1984, and have since been known as one of the best products for high-quality text and printing at a consumer or business price point. One name present in printing for decades at this point is Brother -- the lineage grew this year with the LED Brother HL-3170CDW color printer with duplexer. Electronista has been living with one for a few months now, see what we think of this new printer!
Improves Mac performance
E-on Software has released LumenRT 4.1 Studio, an update of one of the developer's 3D modeling tools LumenRT meshes 3D models into realistic natural or urban environments, for instance adding people, plants, animals, and/or car traffic. The v4.1 patch introduces new animated water materials, ranging in scale from ponds to oceans.
Unified messaging service could be formally revealed next week
Google will be unveiling its unified messaging system at Google I/O, according to a report. The name Babel will be retired in favor of Google Hangouts, the same name as its Google+ video-based chat-room system, as the search engine continues to try and encourage its users to use the Google-produced social network and surrounding ecosystem.
'Light Leak' effect simulates broken-down cameras
The developer of Pixelmator has released an important v2.2 update for the image-editing software. Codenamed Blueberry, the update makes several enhancements to the app's shape tools, for instance adding "smart" controls that rapidly adjust outlines. The Shape Style palette has new Fill, Stroke Style, Shadow, and Inner Shadow options, and the Custom Shapes palette now includes dozens of preset objects.
Full-screen map images include recommendations from reviews, Google+
Google may be updating the Maps user interface in the future. Screenshots of the alleged interface upgrade shows a page where the sidebar, usually used for location searches and more information on routes and places, has been removed in favor of Google Now-inspired index cards on top of a full-screen map.
YouTube Trends Map shows popular videos in areas of US
Google has created a new map that shows videos trending on YouTube by area. The Trends Map displays the most popular videos being viewed in major markets across the US, with the added option of viewing the top videos in areas by age band and gender. While it is covering the United States initially, the YouTube Trends blog states that there are updates due in future, which could include providing data on regional viewing habits in other countries.
Basic portfolio service to promote sharing, showcasing work
Adobe's move into a subscription model with its rebranded "CC" suite doesn't mean it is entirely leaving behind users who haven't yet or opted not to join Creative Cloud, the company reports. In its press release heralding the improvements and features of its now fully-integrated Creative Cloud programs, Adobe added that it would continue to offer a non-CC version of Creative Suite 6 for the foreseeable future, and is obligated to support existing software for years to come. In addition, the Behance portfolio feature is available to non-Cloud users as well.
Pressure-sensitive stylus and digital ruler still in development
Adobe showed off a hardware project for drawing it has been working on at its MAX Conference. Project Mighty is a pressure-sensitive stylus for tablets that is connected to the Adobe Creative Cloud, while Napoleon is an accompanying ruler that effectively works as a protractor for Project Mighty to work with in the tablet app.
Flash rebuilt with 64-bit architecture, Dreamweaver gains CSS Designer tool
Adobe has outlined a large number of changes for its web-development products, as part of its major announcements today. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt to be more modular and streamlined, Edge Animate CC and Edge Reflow Preview 3 add some workflow improvements, and Dreamweaver CC introduces a visual editing tool for CSS, PhoneGap build support, and other extra tools.
InDesign gets modernized interface, engine
As a part of today's major Adobe announcements, the company has gone into detail for the upgrades present in its design software. Illustrator CC features a new Touch Type tool, which lets people manipulate individual characters in text while still maintaining control over font and other edits. Multi-touch devices have been added as a form of input.
Company continues subscription push
Adobe has introduced a wide range of software updates, dropping the Creative Suite branding as the company continues to embrace its Creative Cloud subscription service. New features have been added to Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Pro, After Effects, Muse and Dreamweaver, among other titles.
Barnes & Noble discount Nook HD, HD+ for Mother's Day
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets as part of a Mother's Day promotion. For the next week, the retailer will be selling the 7-inch Nook HD from $149 for the 8GB and $179 for the 16GB models, while the 9-inch Nook HD+ is priced at $179 for 16GB of storage and $209 for 32GB. The discounts, varying between $50 and $90 depending on model, will apply until May 12th.
Google adds remote desktop feature to Google+ Hangouts
Google+ users can now remotely control a desktop in Hangouts, something suggested by the company to help in long-distance technical support. The feature uses the same background tech from Chrome Remote Desktop, according to Google staffer Daniel Caiafa in a Google+ update. When enabled from the Apps section, Hangouts Remote Desktop will ask permission to allow the other user to control the computer, while still allowing both sides to talk and see each other throughout the control session.
Developer promises app-wide speed boosts
Flying Meat has released Acorn 4, an upgrade of its Mac photo-editing utility. The update adds several major features, such as non-destructive filters and a curve editor, which offers more precise control over shadows, midtones and highlights. The new Merlin HUD lets users control the radius and center points of a filter while still on the canvas.
Skype in Outlook.com accompanied by Windows client update
Microsoft has added the ability to make Skype calls within the Outlook.com e-mail service. The site, which left beta in February, will allow Outlook users in the United Kingdom to access their Skype contacts, make calls, and communicate using instant messages, all from within the browser instead of launching external applications.
Social toolbar to shut down on June 6th
Google is going to close the Meebo Bar tool on June 6th, almost an entire year after the Meebo social service was discontinued by the search company. The social toolbar, appearing on a number of sites and providing connectivity to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, will cease functioning, forcing website owners to remove the feature from their pages.
Friend finding through Facebook, Twitter enabled, 'via' feature restored
Pinterest has made some adjustments to its design and functionality, only a month after the social network revealed its new look. A number of items dropped from the site have been brought back after users provided feedback, with the team also adding improvements to notifications, search, and alerts relating to new pins being added to the home feed.
Feedback requested on search labeling agreement
The European Commission has opened itself up to comments from Google's competitors, concerning how the search giant should display links to rival services next to its own. The feedback request comes after Google struck a deal with the EC to end its two-year antitrust investigation into its search practices, with the agreement including a number of concessions in search results and other products.
New startup wizard, connector technology, Solution Pak added
Graphic manipulation software developer CS Odessa today announced free upgrades to the company’s ConceptDraw Pro business graphics and diagramming package. ConceptDraw Pro 9.4 features an enhanced startup wizard, new connectors technology and ConceptDraw Solution Park additions to help users produce documents more rapidly.
Advertising campaign app connects CRM with social listening tools
Salesforce.com is increasing its involvement in social media advertising by launching a new self-service, cloud-based product. Social.com aims to simplify campaigns for advertisers and ad agencies, by connecting social media advertisements with customer relationship marketing (CRM) and monitoring social media itself, in order to optimally advertise to the public.
Google Street View covers 50 countries, pushes large update
Google has added Street View coverage to areas of Hungary and Lesotho. Users of Google Maps can now explore the countries in Europe and Africa, making the total count of countries covered by Street View now 50. A Google blog claimed it as the largest single update of Street View imagery, which includes updates for nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries.
Facebook adds VoIP calling to Android app in US.
Facebook has enabled its free voice calling feature in Facebook Messenger to Android users in the United States and around the world, months after the iOS version. After an initial roll-out in Canada and the UK, the Android version of Facebook Messenger allows users to tap the 'i' button on a contact, and then offers the Free Call option. The sudden release of the feature in the US follows the launch of the Facebook Home launcher, which introduces an Android overlay that allows for greater use of the social network.
More promised at Adobe MAX conference
Adobe has posted a brief teaser video for an upcoming Photoshop feature, Shake Reduction. The option will allow people to globally or selectively reduce the blur created by factors like camera shake and/or slow shutter speeds. Adobe hasn't said when the technology will be integrated into Photoshop, but as with other recent changes, it will probably be offered to Creative Cloud subscribers first.
App allows for easy layout and sharing of visually-oriented stories
A new app for digital content presentation called Stampsy (free) has debuted for the iPad, with the goal of giving users easy-to-use tools to help them arrange and integrate visual images and text into cohesive "digital experiences" that can be shared on the web. Pictures can be imported from a photo library or Dropbox and combined with text and layout tools, making the ability to post a visually-interesting, creative effort online more expressive that is seen in template-driven methods such as Tumblr or blogs.
Change should speed up browsing
Google has made two significant changes to the way mobile web search results are presented, an official blog post states. The first is the concept of an expandable sitelink; some results now show a series of drop-down menus below them, which when opened reveal links to specific pages or subsections. Google uses the example of Rotten Tomatoes, in which tapping on the "In Theaters" menu will display "Best Movies in Theaters" and "New Movies in Theaters" links.
New video ad spots could earn Facebook $4 million per day
Facebook may add video advertisements to the news feeds of its users, in order to supplement its income from its existing advertising system, according to a report. The social network is in talks with a number of agencies to fill as many as four ad-spots, and is planning to play as many as three video spots per day to its users.
Promotes real products, designers
Autodesk has release a new iPad app, Homestyler. The app is meant suggest home decoration ideas using 3D models. After taking a photo of a room, people can insert 3D models of real furniture, rugs, mirrors, and other objects. Users can also hang light fixtures, or change the colors of walls.
Google Map Maker extended to United Kingdom
Google has added the United Kingdom to the list of countries able to contribute improvements to its mapping data. Enabled in North Korea earlier this year, Google Map Maker allows users to submit adjustments to the main Google Maps database, including new roads not picked up from Street View cars, changes in coastlines, and areas not usually covered by Google's normal cartography efforts. The changes are then periodically reviewed and rolled into Google Maps itself.
Facebook adds emotion selection to status updates
Facebook is introducing the option to add emotions to status updates. The new addition adds a drop-down box with a list of emotions to choose from, such as "Happy," "Sad," or "Tired," which can be added to the post, writes TechCrunch. Options to add content being consumed in various ways are also available, with items being added to the user's About page automatically. The system is currently being rolled out to Facebook users based in the US.
Lighter Play appearance, streamlined payments
Google has updated its app store with a new visual style, and is rolling it out to Android tablets and smartphones from today. Previously leaked by a YouTube employee, the fourth generation of the Google Play Store uses cards reminiscent of Google Now's own, as well as a clearer layout for easier navigation, with products being displayed with much larger images than before.
Includes better search, post- and post-roll clips
Sorenson has released Squeeze 9, a major upgrade of its video transcoding software. The focus of the new version is on HTML5 support; using the appropriate preset will automatically generate MP4 and WebM videos along with an HTML5 page, the latter of which can be used on its own or as a source of code to embed. Using the twin video formats allows a clip to be seen in any major web browser.
Other fixes implemented, including developer improvements
Google has released a new beta of its Chrome browser for the desktop and mobile. New in this release is a revamped user interface for HTML5 date and time input forms, DevTools updates, the ability for Chrome Packaged Apps to use the Sync FileSystem API for offline storage, support for live audio input with the Web Audio API, and up to five percent faster content loading.
Intended to kickstart grid-based design concepts, more
Desktop and web publishing developer Quark has updated its DesignPad app (free) to version 1.5, bringing a number of improvements to the program. The app lets designers concept and start layout projects from the iPad, and now offers precision image placement, the ability to change text boxes to image boxes and vice-versa, undo an re-do, a blank document option, text outlining, shadow colors and new controls for box adjustments. The "Pro" version is an in-app upgrade and adds further features.
New browser engine designed for modern hardware, Android, ARM
Mozilla and Samsung will be collaborating on an "advanced technology Web browser engine." Servo will be the two company's attempt at rebuilding a web browser that works with modern hardware in mind, with the initial construction efforts of the browser engine focussed on Android and ARM-based systems.
Glitch buried App Store links
Strange search results when looking for iOS apps are connected to technical problems, says Google. AppsFire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon has pointed out that when handling searches for apps, Google's servers have recently been burying App Store links, potentially up to several pages deep. "We've been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily," Google explains in an official response. "We're working with the team there [Apple] to ensure search users can find what they're looking for."
Dreamweaver new feature showcased, to be added to new version
Adobe has announced availability for a final release of Lightroom 4.4, along with an updated Camera Raw and DNG Converter (both now at version 7.4). The major changes in all three revolve around the addition of Raw support for 25 new camera models, corrections to the demosaic algorithms for some Fujifilm lens profiles, adjusting the default white balance for some Nikon profiles and fixing reported bugs. In addition, the company updated its Edge Reflow to Preview 2, and offered a "sneak peek" of a CSS Designer feature in Dreamweaver.
New version allows for better iPad, tablet support; cloud installations
The Extensis digital asset management (DAM) tool Portfolio Server has been upgraded to version 11. Boasting powerful new features such as a web client able to be customized with company branding, and Amazon Electric Compute Cloud (EC2) support, Portfolio Server 11 lets users adapt the solution to specific needs. Additionally, the DAM server includes robust iPad and video capabilities -- offering instant access to digital media with streaming HD video playback and video conversion for tablets, mobile devices and the web.
Two budget chips, three performance chips start new lineup
Nvidia today updated its line of notebook graphic processing units (GPU) -- the 700M series. The new Kepler-based lineup includes the mainstream 720M and 735M, coupled with the performance-oriented 740M, 745M, and 750M. All five of the new chipsets include three technologies meant to balance performance with battery life -- Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0, Nvidia Optimus, and GeForce Experience software.
New version fixes long standing bugs, adds dozens of new features
Autodesk has unveiled the latest version of its 3D modelling, animation and rendering suite, Maya 2014. The new version offers improved display technology, accelerated modeling workflows, robust new systems for handling complex data, and creative toolsets. A new Modeling Toolkit panel presents a streamlined environment that enables artists to access new selection, transformation, and mesh-editing tools in one place for increased efficiency.
Gains MicroStation, Revit integration
E-on Software has released LumenRT Studio 4, an upgrade of its 3D rendering tool. The software inserts 3D models into natural environments, and exports the results as stills and videos for use in presentations. Users can add animated animals, humans, vegetation, and water, as well as skies and appropriate interior and exterior lighting.
Social news site does not appear in Google search
(Updated with Google response) Social news website Digg has disappeared from search listings on Google for reasons unknown. Searches for the site on the search engine appear with listings that refer to Digg, but nothing for Digg itself, with the extra search using the query "site:digg.com Digg" coming up without a single result, leading to speculation that it may have been de-indexed.
Company ups full-year EPS forecast despite Q1 results
Adobe has cracked over 500,000 paid, individual subscribers to its Creative Cloud service, the company announced on Tuesday as a part of its quarterly results. Free and trial memberships have topped 2 million, Reuters reports. Of the paid subscriptions, about 153,000 were added during the most recent quarter; the company expects to reach 1.25 million by the end of the year.
'Device independent message distribution platform' patent granted
Twitter has been issued a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for Twitter itself, a request it filed in 2008. The patent, described as a "Device independent message distribution platform," is listed as invented by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, both of which are founders of the micro-blogging service.
Volta GPU expected in 2015, up to four times as fast as Kepler
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang speaking at the 2013 GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, CA unveiled the company's mobile Tegra chipset roadmap, and discussed future GPU technology in the pipeline for the company. Also shown was the rack mountable GRID Visual Computing Appliance (VCA), offering virtualized GPU computing and remote graphics capabilities to allow a server to handle processor-intensive rendering jobs, with the output streamed to lower powered clients.
FairSearch group complains about .search, .fly, .map
Google has come under fire from an anti-Google lobbying body over a number of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) it has applied for. The FairSearch group, made up of companies including Microsoft, Oracle, Nokia, Expedia and others, has filed objections with ICANN against Google's requests to control .search, .fly, .map as closed registries.
Cross-platform system to consolidate existing IM systems
Google is looking towards unifying its messaging platforms into one single service, according to rumors. Called Babble, the new service would provide cross-platform communications between the various Google services, such as Google Talk, Google Hangouts, and Google Voice, replacing them all with a single common method.