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Samsung introduces Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Note 5
Samsung has introduced the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the Note 5. The S6 Edge Plus has a curved screen, and the Note 5 is slightly thinner than the Note 4. The two devices sport 5.7-inch screens and wireless power charging. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/13), Computerworld (8/13), The Verge (8/14)

Report: Apple is pushing back live TV service to 2016
Apple was expected to unveil live network streaming abilities in September, but continuing negotiations with TV networks are causing the company to delay the announcement until 2016, sources say. Bloomberg (8/13)

Roku devices now support Fusion's TV Everywhere app
Roku's streaming media players and TV models now support Fusion's TV Everywhere application. The Watch Fusion app features a live stream of programming, as well as video on demand content. Rapid TV News (U.K.) (8/13)

Connected car firm Mojio debuts app store
Mojio has opened its own application store called Mojio Drive to add a range of new apps to their aftermarket connected car solutions. The store offers apps to track vehicle theft, gather driving history to lower insurance rates, manage fleets and diagnose vehicle problems. Ars Technica (8/12), Mobile Marketing Magazine (8/13), TechCrunch (8/12)

Can Tesla's electric vehicles become this century's Model T?
Elon Musk says Tesla will produce half a million cars a year by 2020 -- but to do so, he'll have to match the rapid growth and market dominance achieved by Ford's Model T. "If you go five years in the past for Tesla, we were producing 600 cars per year -- now we can produce 600 cars in three days. So I think going from here to 500,000 cars a year is a much smaller leap," Musk says. Bloomberg (8/10)

CEA: Future of fast-growing wearables market is still unclear
Wearables have grown from a $240 million market in 2011 to an expected $6 billion in 2016, making it the fastest-growing category in consumer electronics, CEA data indicate. But 56% of consumers report no interest in owning one of the devices, so where the market may peak is unknown, CEA reports. EBNOnline.com (8/13)

Chrome OS changes let businesses run legacy apps
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/13)

Indonesia is becoming an e-commerce hot spot
Retailers and e-commerce companies are racing to reach the growing number of mobile shoppers in Indonesia, where more than 250 million people were using smartphones last year, Google and TNS data indicate. Two-thirds of Indonesians used smartphones to shop online during the past year. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/14)

You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction."
-- George Lorimer,
journalist and author

 

Lenovo lays off 3,200 as Motorola sales drop
Lenovo Group is laying off 3,200 workers after Motorola handset sales dipped by a third -- the news resulted in the company's shares falling nearly 9% this morning. The restructuring effort will save the company $1.35 billion annually. "I still believe mobile is a new business we must win," CEO Yang Yuanqing said. Reuters (8/13)

"Halo 5" gets T rating, a first for the series
"Halo 5: Guardians" will be the first game in the first-person shooter series to receive a T for Teen rating instead of M for Mature. The game will launch on Xbox One on Oct. 27. UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum will make an appearance in the game. VentureBeat (8/11), International Business Times (8/12)

Yamaha aims for better sound in smaller spaces
Yamaha has unveiled its SRT-700 TV speaker base, which is aimed at packing high-quality sound into a 21-inch-wide speaker and can sit under a TV. The speaker will go on sale by the end of August for $350. Digital Trends (8/11)

Touchjet Wave seeks $100,000 to turn TVs into Android tablets
TheNextWeb.com (8/11)

Nextbit to unveil its Android smartphone on Sept. 1
Nextbit will unveil its first Android smartphone on Sept. 1, priced between $300 and $400. The phone is designed to adapt to users, although the mobile developer has not yet made clear what that means exactly in terms of software. Nextbit is run by former employees of Amazon, Apple, Google and HTC. The Verge (8/11)

Nokia positions itself for mobile market re-entry
Nokia can't return to the smartphone market until late next year, but the company is already making mobile moves, including launching an Android tablet and its Z Launcher Android application, which is designed as a content organizer. Nokia head Rajeev Suri says consumer products are in design. Reuters (8/10), Tech Times (8/11)

Smartphone-maker ZUK, backed by Lenovo, launches its first handset
China Daily (Beijing) (8/12)

Sensor turns skin into an electronic-device controller
Scientists in Germany have developed a sensor worn on the skin, able to detect touch input pressure, to control mobile gadgets. The sensor allows wearers to answer calls, play music, adjust volume and more. "[O]ur sensor is a flexible and stretchable sensor, so it can cover many locations," co-developer Martin Weigel said. Reuters (8/10)

Polaroid's mobile "Zip" printer spits out photos in a minute
Polaroid's Zip Instant Photoprinter is about the size of an iPhone 6 and prints digital photos in a minute. The inkless printer uses special paper to turn mobile snapshots into hard copies. Digital Trends (8/11)

Amazon's change to site ads may be a move to limit Google
Amazon is eliminating the photo ads seen below its search results, which were popular with businesses that didn't sell directly on the site, and will instead offer text ads. Although Amazon didn't detail the reason behind the move, the new text ad units will likely replace Google-placed text advertisements, writes Greg Bensinger. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/11)

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
-- Helen Keller,
author and political activist

 

Google forms a holding company called Alphabet
Google is setting up an umbrella company called Alphabet, under which a "slightly slimmed-down" Google will be housed, Google CEO Larry Page said. Google will focus on core Web businesses, while Alphabet will be the vehicle for the company's other interests, such as its "moonshot" ideas, life-science ventures and Nest smart thermostats. Page and co-founder Sergey Brin will run Alphabet, while Google will be headed by Sundar Pichai, its former product chief. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/10), Fast Company online (8/10)

 

Report: Australians will average 24 IoT home devices by 2019
The average Australian household will have 24 smart devices by 2019, putting the industry on track to reach a value of $3.2 billion in Australia that year, data from Telsyte indicate. StartupSmart.com.au (Australia) (8/11)

Sony tests out PlayStation Now subscription service in Japan
Sony will test out its PlayStation Now subscription service with select gamers in Japan, in hopes of bolstering PlayStation interest in a market that is slipping away from console play, Takashi Mochizuki writes. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/11)

Future Apple hardware may look different with liquidmetal patent
Apple may be exploring new designs for wearable and mobile hardware with a patented liquidmetal manufacturing technique, John Biggs writes. Apple can now layer metals on top of metals in the casting process, opening doors to new design possibilities. TechCrunch (8/11)

Tesla puts out a call for hackers
Tesla has gone on the defensive to protect its connected cars by trying to recruit hackers to help strengthen the cars' software against cyberattacks. Tech Times (8/10)

Plex revamps iOS app with better search, playback features
TechHive (8/10)

Why Gibson retooled as a consumer electronics shop
Nashville-based Gibson Guitars has been renamed "Gibson Brands," encompassing its rising focus on crafting consumer electronics, which accounted for 75% of its revenue as of May. Gibson began snatching up audio and home entertainment brands to evolve with a music market that relies on more than just guitars. American City Business Journals/Nashville, Tenn. (8/10), The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (8/8)

H.h. gregg plans hiring spree ahead of holiday rush
Retailer h.h. gregg is anticipating early holiday shoppers and is in the process of adding 550 employees to its 227 retail locations well before Thanksgiving, the company confirmed. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (tiered subscription model) (8/10)

"I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else."
-- Booker T. Washington,
educator, writer and orator

 

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" said to have split-screen feature
First-person shooter game "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting Nov. 6 and will reportedly have a two-player split-screen option and a variety of eSports enhancements. The Inquisitr (8/9)

 

3D designer prints retro TV case to house NeoPixel screen
David Choi is using a 3D printer to create a 1950s-inspired television case to house a NeoPixel TV screen he built for the Thingiverse "Light It Up Challenge." Once the project is complete, Choi estimates he will have clocked roughly 200 hours in 3D printing time. 3DPrint.com (8/9)

Ford shows off RS gamer-designed paint job, touts GT supercar for Xbox
Ford showed off its "Ford Focus RS" with the winning paint design from a competition among Xbox One "Forza Motorsport 6" gamers last week, at Gamescom in Germany. The auto company will see more game time with its GT supercar highlighted in Microsoft's "Forza Motorsport 6" Xbox title. Examiner.com (8/9)

MasterCard tests security of "selfie" for payments
MasterCard is testing out facial recognition technology aimed at letting shoppers confirm their identities with a selfie instead of a PIN. The credit card company's efforts come as more payment players are seeking to replace passwords with easy, secure biometric transactions. TechCrunch (8/9)

Dell designs tough-tablet to weather harsh conditions
Dell's Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is designed "to survive four-foot high drops, vibration, shock, high temperatures, high altitude, salt fog, explosive environments and solar radiation," Tech Radar reports. It touts 12 hours of battery life, 512GB of storage and the ability to stay Internet-connected with 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Small Business Trends (8/9)

Hack exposes data for 2.4M Carphone Warehouse customers
Hackers accessed personal data for 2.4 million Carphone Warehouse customers, the U.K. retailer said, including the encrypted credit-card data for about 90,000. The company has launched an investigation and put new security measures in place to avoid additional data thefts. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/8)

Alibaba takes 20% of electronics retailer Suning
China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has purchased 20% of brick-and-mortar electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group for $4.6 billion. Suning will get its own dedicated store on Alibaba's Tmall.com, and Alibaba's payment service will be used at Suning's more than 1,600 stores across China. Forbes (8/10)

China's increased interest in OLED is good news for LG
The Korea Herald (Seoul) (8/9)

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
-- Arnold Bennett,
writer

 


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