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US Gov Data Request

Several big named tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are publicly requesting that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allow them to transparently publish more information regarding the controversial data mining operations and surveillance programs held by US government agencies.

Dubbed SpyGate, the legitimate controversy has made headlines over legislation of section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the FISA amendment ACT. Not to mention the whistleblower saga that has ensued after former NSA employee and current on the run globetrotter, Eric Snowden, leaked details about the covert operation infamously known as Prism. Many of the allegations summarized in the massive leak state that the US government has backdoor access to the servers of many leading private industry companies and direct access to major US telecommunication carriers. With such access, the government collects and monitors millions of American's information not limited to just metadata. Many private companies have signed a petition of transparency that includes Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Skype and many others. Below is the petition letter in its entirety.

Click to continue reading Apple, Microsoft, Google & others petition US government for transparency in data requests

Read More | The Next Web

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VLC iOS App

The VLC iOS app has triumphantly returned to the Apple App Store after a two year stint due to copyright internal brouhaha within the General Public license (GNU) group over Apple's terms of use. The open sourced app is revamped this time around, bringing with it WI-Fi upload, Dropbox integration, and the ability to download from the web. Also included in the app is third-party integration and AirPlay support, along with an SDK for developers that will be released later this summer. Here's the run down of the features you'll find in the VLC app available on the App Store later tonight:

  • Wi-Fi Upload - Allows users to upload files directly to the iOS version of VLC through a web browser on the PC or Mac.
  • Dropbox Integration - Play media directly from Dropbox or download it for offline playback.
  • Download from Web - Download files from any web server for offline playback
  • Network Streams - Play any network streams support by VLC media player for desktop operating systems
  • 3rd-Party App Integration - Any app with a 'share' dialog can use VLC for iOS for media playback
  • Video Filters - Video playback can be modified for brightness, contrast, hue, saturation or gamma in real time.

Next Gen Nexus 7 Tablet

The alleged next-generation Nexus 7 tablet showed up in the retail inventory at OfficeMax with a SKU placeholder that points toward a starting price point of $229 for the 16GB storage capacity, and $269 for the 32GB version. The sale of the device is said to coincide with Google's Chrome and Android event scheduled for the 24th of July. The new Nexus 7 is rumored to have an astonishing 4GB of RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera, and 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. There's also some speculation of a 1080p display, all which is yet to be confirmed. Check out the video of the purported next generation Nexus 7 tablet below.

Click to continue reading Purported leaked Next Generation Nexus 7 launch date is nigh [Video]

Read More | Androidcentral

iPhone  5S parts

Alleged leaked photos have surfaced from Chinese website EXpreview of the iPhone 5S. Although it will supposedly have the same processor, it will include an upgraded PowerVR SGX 554MP4 graphic chip. Also, included in the upgraded specs is a 12 megapixel camera, dual LED flash, 2 GB of RAM, and support for NFC and 4G LTE Advanced networks. Rumors are pointing toward a fingerprint scanner from AuthenTech, and a display featuring IGZO technology from Sharp. Previous reports have also pointed to a slightly larger battery as well. Take it all with a grain of salt until Apple officially makes the announcement, but as we've seen over the past few years, new iPhone start leaking in the summer, and they are more often than not exactly what we see Apple reveal.

Read More | EXPreview

Tile bluetooth tracker

Tile may be a small Bluetooth accessory, but it is an ingenuous idea, currently being crowdfunded, that helps users find their lost items like keys, wallet, purse or anything you might attach Tile to.

Tile connects to iOS devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 with Bluetooth Low Energy. At this time, Tile is selling for $18.95 each in a KickerStarter-style pre-order system. The price will jump to $25 dollars when it officially goes on sale. One of the cool features includes a crowdsourced search that enlists the help of others to retrieve items that have been lost or stolen. Battery life is about a year, and when it's time to get a new one, they even send you an envelope to send the old TIles back for recycling. So far, Tile has over 25,000 backers and has surpassed its goal of $20,000 by $1.3 million dollars with 5 days left to go. Check out the video after the break for an in-depth look at how it all works.

Click to continue reading Tile, world’s largest lost and found accessory coming soon

Read More | Tile

Scanadu Scout

Fans of the Star Trek franchise can totally appreciate the concept of the Tricorder. Now, what if I told you that it actually exists? Nelson De Brouwer founded Scanadu and actually went about inventing the Scanadu Scout. The Scout is round, small, and fits in one hand. It connects to a mobile app which stores your vital sign readings like temperature and oxygen levels in the blood. Scanadu also includes a plethora of heart readings like heart rate, ECG, HRV and PWTT (blood pressure.) It also has the ability for urine analysis or UA and, my personal favorites, reading test and stress levels. Scanadu Scout is being crowdsourced and sold for $199.99 on IndieGoGo. Check out the video that shows how it all works after the quick jump.

Click to continue reading Scanadu Scout bringing to life the medical Tricorder

Read More | Scanadu

Google Invite

Google is hosting an Android and Chrome event next Wednesday, July 24 hosted by OS honcho Sundar Pichar. Very little is being revealed right now, but the timing is rather interesting in light of the Google I/O event in May and Apple's WWDC event in June. But sure enough, Android will get some much needed attention this time around as it's upgraded to 4.3 (or straight to version 5.0.) Hopefully, it will get some legit support for Bluetooth 4.0 along with the expected new features and UI tweaks. The event kicks off at 12PM EST (that's 9:00 AM for you folks in the west coast.) It will also be live-streamed on YouTube. Stay tuned here at Gear Live as we analyze, synthesize, and slice up the Key Lime Pie.


Sony Xperia i1 honami

Sony is working on an impressive smartphone in the Xperia i1 (codename: Honami,) with specs starting to leak. ePrice reports that the Xperia i1 boasts an incredible 20.7 megapixel ExmorRS camera with Sony Bionz image processing. That, in and of itself, though not quite Lumia 1020 territory, is pretty beast. Add to that a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processor and 5-inch 1080p display, and you've got yourself something worthy of being the next Sony flagship smartphone. We'll find out more at IFA in September, where Sony will undoubtedly show off its new wares.

Read More | ePrice

Google Maps 2.0 iOS

This evening Google released Google Maps 2.0 for iOS, and with it comes a bunch of new features, including full iPad support. That's a welcome change to owners of Apple's tablets, but the new Google Maps brings a bunch more with it.

Enhanced turn-by-turn navigation now includes live traffic updates and incident reports. When you are looking for something specific, Google Maps now drills down into popular categories like restaurants, playing, shopping, and sleeping. Google now owns Zagat, and as such, Zagat ratings are included and listed within the results. Google Offers also gets integrated into Maps, showing you results that have deals as well.

What may be seen as the coolest addition to the Google Maps app is the inclusion for indoor mapping. That means that you can now launch Google Maps to get indoor directions at places like malls, airports, bus and train stations, and more.

You can download Google Maps 2.0 for iOS now from the App Store.


iPhone 5s production

AllThingsD is reporting that Apple is set to ramp up production of the iPhone 5S at the end of July, which coincides with a recent report from Peter Misek. Misek says that Apple likely started a small production run of the iPhone 5S last month in preparation for the full meal deal later this month.

Similar to other iPhone releases, it's been reported that iPhone 5S will be constrained in the supply chain initially, likely due to low yields on the new fingerprint sensor feature that is rumored to launch on the device.

AllThingsD also believes that the lower-cost mid-range iPhone is also already in production:

Interestingly, Misek says that iPhone production ramp up will follow one that’s already under way for Apple’s long-rumored lower-cost iPhone, a device he figures the company will price somewhere between $300 and $400 — without a subsidy. He estimates production plans at 25 million to 30 million units, split pretty much evenly across the 5s and its new lower-cost sibling. And he says the new entry probably won’t be competitive with the truly low-end handsets popular in emerging markets.

It's mid-summer, y'all, and the iPhone rumor mill is chugging along at full power.

Read More | AllThingsD

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