Switch from Google Search to DuckDuckGo Now!


Chris Smith:

DuckDuckGo touts its service as “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” a reminder that’s still posted on its home page. Following the numerous reports detailing the various sophisticated mass-spying tools that allow the NSA and other secret agencies to collect data in bulk from various devices connected to the Internet, and from online services, many users have switched from DuckDuckGo from other search engines, an earlier report revealed.

Hopefully, Apple will make DuckDuckGo one of the default browser choices in OS X and iOS this year. I urge you to make it your homepage for your PC or Mac.

The Diminishing Relevance of Blu-ray


Yoni Heisler:

Just last week, Sony warned shareholders that revenue from the company’s 2013 fiscal year would be much lower than previously anticipated. This was, of course, in large part due to Sony’s decision to exit the PC business. But also playing a role in the company’s bleak financial picture was the diminishing relevance of Blu-ray.

Anybody in their right frame of mind could see back then that Blu-ray was never going to last. Yes, it had great quality with arguably better quality resolutions compared to its streaming and physical rivals like Netflix, iTunes etc, but the physical disc format will follow the floppy disk, CD-ROM, HD-DVD etc.,and will gradually become irrelevant going forward. Digital is the future.

New Samsung Galaxy S5 ad forced to cherry pick lines from lackluster reviews



He added, “the Galaxy S5’s finger sensor is unusable. It has failed to recognize my finger just about every time I have tried it. It has been so terrible that the sensor feels more like a marketing gimmick than a legitimate feature. And it makes me wonder about Samsung’s capacity to keep up with Apple’s innovations.”

Talking of Samsung, this is a great read. Shocking how far Samsung went to get positive review quotes from reviews that upon reading, were far from positive.

Apple’s iPad is still the most beloved tablet


Ben Zigterman:

Despite an onslaught of competititon, Apple’s iPad received the highest marks on the latest J.D. Power tablet satisfaction survey. According to the survey of over 2,500 tablet users, the iPad ranked first in every category except price and its overall satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000 beat Samsung at 822, Asus at 820, Amazon at 817, and Acer at 769.

The survey mesaured satisfaction across five differrent categories with some categories receiving more weight than others. They include performance (28%), ease of operation (22%), features (22%), styling and design (17%), and cost (11%).

Samsung performed well in the features, styling and design, and cost categories.

Apple has traditionally performed well in J.D. Power surveys. The iPhone has received it’s highest ranking for the past few years, and in 2012 and 2013, the iPad was the top tablet, although in a survey from the second-half of 2013, Samsung briefly took the lead. Overall, Samsung’s tablets have improved their satisfaction ratings over the past couple years, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire’s ratings have declined.

There’s iPad – then there is everything else.

Samsung fires its mobile design leader



Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s biggest handset maker, has replaced the head of its mobile design team amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S smartphone.

Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, a Samsung spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Will be interesting to see if Samsung stop their blatant copying from now on in their new products or whether Mr Dong-hoon was just a fall guy to show the court (and their shareholders) that it’s not really Samsung’s strategy to go down a route that ends in expensive and very public litigation.

Facebook Adds ‘Nearby Friends’ To Notify You if Your Friends Are Close


Buster Hein:

The new feature is a lot like Apple’s Find My Friends in that it allows you to share your location with friends and family so you can hopefully get in touch with each other in the real world. Nearby Friends will also send you push notifications to let you know when a group of pals just happen to be close by.

A similar ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature was rolled out by Facebook in 2012 but was quickly pulled, but Facebook swears this Nearby Friends will hit iOS and Android in the next few weeks.

Facebook mentions that the entire feature is opt-in: first you have to turn in on, then you can only see friends’ proximity if you choose to share it with them, and vice versa.

Precise locations can also be shared with friends for set periods of time – like say you just want friends to know where you’re going to be at in the park for the next hour. It can also be turned on and off whenever you want so you don’t have to worry about friends stalking you all week.

Privacy concerns to one side, I like how the feature can be automatic, unlike Find My Friends which needs manual intervention to set alerts.

Unlike Android, iPhone users are totally safe from mobile malware


Luke Dormehl:

For those keeping score at home, this means that 99% of mobile threats are aimed at Android. That number’s increasing, too. In the same three month period in 2013, just 91% of new mobile malware was aimed at Google’s mobile platform.

iPhones, for their part, benefit from Apple’s stricter security measures. The single instance of iOS malware detected by F-Secure was designed to target jailbroken iPhones — meaning that the majority of iPhone users are 100% safe from mobile malware.

How’s that for a statistic to throw out next time someone tries to make a point about the merits of Android vs. iOS?

iOS is not perfect and there have been some scares recently, but overall for the average user this is certainly a telling statistic and is a big reason to own an iPhone.