Listen to Soundgarden in DTS 11.1 sound on your headphones

 

Mel Martin:

The music is the 20th anniversary release of Soundgarden’s Superunknown album from 1994. You can listen to album samples by downloading the free app at the iTunes store. The idea behind the DTS Headphone: X format is to let you listen as a producer would.

I gave the new mix a listen via the app that is available today. I used the Beyerdynamic headphones I just completed a review of, and the sound really was terrific. The app lets you select the way you are listening; ear buds, over ear, on ear headphones, or speakers. You can hear the spatial cues move with each setting. I didn’t have the plain old 2 channel mix to compare, but the sounds of the DTS 11.1 channel mix did seem to be quite different than standard headphone listening. Rather than hear the music “in my head,” there were instruments in front of me, and arrayed to the sides and behind me. I also felt some instruments originated above me. I thought the DTS 11.1 mix did a good job of sounding likes I was listening to speakers with the instruments in real space. I’d love to hear more music released this way, as hard rock is not always the best way to judge sound quality. I’d prefer to hear some acoustic instruments to really judge the effect.

You can download the app here to test for yourself:

Apple to live stream ‘exciting’ WWDC keynote on Monday

 

Mark Gurman:

Apple has updated its website to announce that it will be live streaming next week’s WWDC Keynote address for all to watch. As per usual, the event will be available on Macs running Safari 4 or later, iOS Devices running iOS 4.2 or later, Windows machines running Quicktime 7, and via an application on the Apple TV. The event kicks off at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern time on Monday, June 2nd. Apple says that it has “exciting announcements” in store for the event (as it says for all of its events), which is likely to include talk of iOS 8 with Healthbook, a redesigned OS X 10.10, and new hardware products.

Facebook’s iOS app now listens for identifiable TV & music when posting status updates

 

AppleInsider:

Facebook on Wednesday launched a new, optional feature that allows its iPhone application to use the device’s microphone to listen for and identify television and music content when posting a status update.

The new feature will make it easier for users to say that they are watching a particular show or listening to a certain song, then share that information with their friends. Upon updating the Facebook app, users are presented with an explanation as to how the feature works, and are given the option to turn it on.

To utilize the new listening option, users can begin to create a status update, then click the “mood” icon. The app will then begin listening to identify any content playing, and users can then select the song or TV show to quickly share it with their friend.

If a user decides to turn off the feature, they can do so by tapping the audio icon at the top right of the screen. But if the functionality is left on, the audio icon will move and attempt to detect a match when a user is writing their status update.

Shazam!

Change your eBay, PayPal passwords now

 

Zach Epstein:

eBay may have been the victim of some kind of breach. The company is apparently preparing to instruct all users to change their passwords as soon as possible, as Engadget has found preliminary notices with a potentially troubling note.

On eBay-owned PayPal’s press site, a notice has been posted under the headline “eBay Inc. To Ask All eBay Users To Change Passwords.” At the time of this writing, the only text in the body of the post is “placeholder text.”

It’s unclear when eBay plans to update the notice or issue a press release on the matter, but one thing is probably pretty clear: Change your eBay password immediately.

Password(s) changed. Over to you..

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

 

Reuters:

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.

End of an era: Microsoft buys Nokia’s devices and services business

 

Zach Epstein:

Nokia’s devices and services business moved over to Microsoft on Friday morning as part of a deal worth more than $7 billion. The deal values Nokia’s handsets division at around $5 billion, which is obviously a painfully small fraction of what it was once worth.

The cell phone maker’s failure to react when Apple first launched the iPhone back in 2007 led directly to the company’s collapse. I remember it like it was yesterday — especially when one Nokia executive told me in 2008 that “Apple is like the annoying fly buzzing around the fisherman’s head. Nokia is still the fisherman and we’ll still catch all the fish.”

Nokia still knows how to make great handsets though especially the Windows Phone Lumia’s.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: It ‘Means More to Us to Get it Right’ Than to Be First

 

MacRumors:

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated “We care about every detail and it takes us a bit longer to do that. That’s always been the case,” he said. “It means more to us to get it right than to be first.”

Cook pointed towards examples in the marketplace where the clear objective was to be first, possibly referring to Samsung and its poorly received Galaxy Gear smart watch. Apple customers “want great, insanely great,” said Cook, and “that’s what we want to deliver.”

Apple is renowed for it’s quality and this statement above reaffirms that.

According to Cook, Apple has many products in the pipeline that the company is excited about, but it is not ready to “pull the string on the curtain.” He did say, however, that Apple has expanded the number of things the company is working on.

Exciting times ahead.