Once upon a time, status-seekers relied on signifiers like nice watches, swanky automobiles and handbags that cost as much as a car. But according to Quartz, times have changed: Now men and women worldwide think it’s their cell phones everyone notices first.
BRB, running to the Apple store.
Let’s get one thing straight first; the new HTC One sounds like an awesome phone. Its got a 4.7 inch 1080p display, a high quality sleek design and is one of the first smartphones to include the quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, which clocks in at 1.7 GHz. In non-tech-speak, the One is top of the line.
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Here's Apple In Your Eye
This must be going over well in Cupertino: The BBC reports that the Institute of Industrial Property, Brazil’s IP authority, have ruled that Apple does not have the exclusive rights to use the term “iPhone” in the country. That’s because the Brazilian company Gradiente Eletronica registered the trademark seven years before Apple. This means the company can continue to sell its own version of the iPhone which, irony of ironies, runs on Android.
Here's Apple In Your Eye
Could it be that after all these years as a must-have device, the iPhone is losing some of its luster? Reuters claims that consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore are beginning to ditch their bright, shiny Apples for smartphones made by Samsung and even (gasp!) HTC.
Dear oh dear.
Google’s text-to-speech engine is arguably one of the most powerful in the world. It almost always perfectly captures our speech, making it far easier to speak our text messages than risk an embarrassing autocorrect faux pas.
We rarely have complaints about Google’s text-to-speech technology, but there is this one really weird bug within the engine: When you open Google Now, click on the microphone to activate text-to-speech and ask the question, “What is a giraffe?” the phone becomes kiiind of possessed. While reading back the definition of a giraffe to you, Google Now randomly inserts the phrase, “And now he praises the iPad.” Pretty awkward given that Google’s currently dueling in the tablet market with iPad’s own creator.
r/findmeaparkingspace ParkWhiz, the Chicago company that enables users to find and reserve guaranteed parking spaces before reaching their destination, today announced that it has closed a $2 million Series A round of funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian also took place in the round along with Hyde Park Angels, Amicus Capital, and others. In a press release sent to Betabeat, the company said that since its launch in 2006, it has driven $10 million in parking revenue to parking operators and provided access to 3 million parking spaces nationwide.
Fab Goes To India Jason Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Fab, took to his personal blog yesterday to announce that his company had acquired new funding. Times Internet, the digital arm of The Times of India Group, India’s largest media company, has chosen to invest in the company. Mr. Goldberg notes in the post, “As part of this investment Fab will be working with Times Internet to explore and execute on our India market strategy in the coming years.” Since launching in June 2011, Fab has raised over $150 million from investors.
Did we mention that winter is coming? Y Combinator is funding less startups in its winter 2013 cycle—less than 50 so far, down from 84 this summer. To reach the smaller number, the accelerator focused on predictors of failure. Turned out, they took a friendlier view of applicants they met after lunch. [Y Combinator]
If you’re not Beyonce and you’re still carrying around a Blackberry, chances are you are over 55, wear a three piece suit to work or–like a family itself–you are desperately beholden to a family plan from which there is no escape.
Where once we touted Blackberry Curves like prized possessions, obsessively BBMing friends and humblebragging about the jitters induced by that phantom blinking red light, we now cluck our tongues in derision at the behind-the-times fogies who dare to wield a device that isn’t an iPhone or Android.
We’ve all done it: An argument breaks out at the bar/dinner table/book club meeting, about a half-remembered line of poetry or factoid about the American Revolution. What was Mick Jagger’s childhood nickname? Only Google can tell you for sure. So someone hauls out a smartphone and lickety-split, the matter is settled. Back to brunch!
Well, the matter isn’t settled as far as Google is concerned, reports The New York Times. Rather than being a mere 30-second in-case-of-emergency argument ender, the company wants its search products integrated ever-deeper into your socializing, like that one dude who doesn’t know when to stop dropping Trivial Pursuit factoids at the cocktail party.
According to the Times:
Via Gizmodo we have learned of PlaceRaider, the scariest damn Android malware you never want hiding on your cuddly old pal, the full-featured smartphone.
Researchers at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center created PlaceRaider and have dubbed it “visual malware.” It was developed as a proof of concept but would also be a great idea to sell to producers seeking spy gadget ideas for the next James Bond film, because PlaceRaider hints at the future of covert surveillance: