YouTube has introduced YouTube Capture, an iOS app that lets you shoot videos and then share them on social networks. The app, which is set to go live Monday afternoon, will make it easier to upload videos from your iPhone. Features include color correction, stabilization and editing. You can also add free background music from YouTube and write a caption. The app also reminds you to rotate your phone to avoid "vertical video syndrome." So far, there's no Android version of YouTube Capture. The company has not indicated when one will be available. YouTube's current iOS app is strictly for viewing. However, with an iPhone or iPad, you can easily shoot video and upload it to YouTube. YouTube Capture just removes a step or two. The introduction comes after Apple dumped YouTube as a standard app in iOS. YouTube released a new version of the app in September that featured a much better selection of videos than the previous iteration.
It's official: Google Maps for iOS is a huge hit. Jeff Huber, senior vice president of commerce and local at Google, revealed on his Google+ page on Monday that the new mapping app experienced more than 10 million downloads in less than 48 hours. "We're excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world," Huber continued. "Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years."
Google has officially announced that it's removing support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol (Google Sync) as of January 30, 2013. Those currently using Google Sync to connect their mobile devices to their Gmail will remain unaffected, but new users will not be given the option to use Google Sync. The company is suggesting that those looking to synchronize their non-Android devices up to their Google accounts use a combination of CalDAV, CardDAV, and IMAP for Google Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail respectively. So what does that mean for mobile users? In short, here comes the fun. The situation isn't quite so dire for those sporting one of Apple's iPhones, as the company natively supports both CalDAV and CardDAV for data synchronization. Users will no longer be able to "Add" their Gmail accounts, Calendars, and Contacts via Microsoft Exchange - which basically means that iPhone users will be stuck having to use a non-push-friendly IMAP connection to synchronize their Gmail to the iPhone's Mail app. Unless, of course, they just download Google's Gmail app, which is the more likely (and preferred) solution for those looking to receive push notifications from one's Gmail account. And then there's Microsoft. Specifically, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Unlike Apple and Google, Microsoft does not currently support CalDAV or CardDAV on its major mobile platform. That leaves Windows Phone users without a convenient way to synchronize their contacts or calendars with their Google account.
The Apple iPhone 5 price, as well as that of the iPad tablet, has been reduced by retailer Walmart. The latest devices will require a service contract but will be available with steep discounts from the retail store for customers who may have been in the market for either of the items. As reported by an ABC News blog earlier on Sunday, there will be discounts on the 16GB iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S in Walmart stores for the next four weeks. The iPhone 5 is reduced from $199 down to $127, while the 4S goes from $89.97 down to $47. The catch is that customers need to sign up for a two-year cellular contract. This can be through AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, based on the customer's preference. There's also deals on the third-generation Apple iPad. The 16GB tablet with Retina Display starts at $399. Keep in mind this is the previous model of the device, with the fourth-generation currently selling at regular price. Walmart is also offering a deal on Dec. 17 where there will be a $30 iTunes card with the iPad. As of this report, there are no Walmart discounts online or offline involving the latest generation ipad or the new iPad Mini.
Viewers, beware: while you're watching TV, your TV might be watching you back. A security firm discovered that Samsung's Smart TV can give hackers access to the device's built-in camera and microphones, allowing them to watch everything you do. The Malta-based firm ReVuln posted a video showing its team of researchers hacking into one of the Samsung TVs and accessing its settings, channel lists, widgets, USB drives, and remote control configurations. The security flaw allows hackers to access any and all personal data stored on the TV. "We can install malicious software to gain complete root access to the TV," the video writes. With this access, hackers can use the Smart TVs built-in camera and microphones to see and hear everything in front of it. Instead of just watching TV, viewers could themselves be watched without knowing it. But this flaw isn't present in just one specific model. The vulnerability affects all 11 Samsung televisions of the latest generation. The Smart TVs have many of the same features as a computer, but lack the same kind of protection. The devices do not have security features such as firewalls and antivirus software.
Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves are crowdfunding the prototype on Indiegogo, and have already raised almost $100,000. They plan to distribute 1,000 units to villagers during a test stage, before developing and commercializing further. They estimate the current cost at $10 per machine, but reckon they can halve that by scaling up, and finding better materials. The two initially worked with SolarAid, an NGO that wants to eliminate kerosene lamps in Africa by 2020, because the fuel is expensive and the fumes are bad for people's health when trapped in a small space. But they soon found that solar has limitations. One, panels and batteries are still relatively costly, especially for durable models. Two, batteries deteriorate over time, and need to be replaced. And three, you have to dispose old units, presenting a potential environmental challenge. By contrast, GravityLight works inexhaustibly as long as you have the strength to lift it, and provides light whenever you need it. You don't need the sun to shine, or to store up enough power for evening's use.
Google announced today that it will pick up the pace on Google Fiber installations early next year. The search giant started 1 gigabit Internet installations in Kansas City last month. "We started slowly in Hanover Heights and Dub's Dread, bringing Fiber to a few homes each day," Rachel Hack, a community manager for Google Fiber, said in a blog post. "But now that we've gotten into a good rhythm of installations and customer support, we're ready to pick up the pace." Google will "hit the ground running" in 2013, Hack wrote. The next "fiberhoods" to receive the Google Fiber hookup in the Kansas City area will be Piper Schools, Delaware Ridge, Painted Hills, Open Door, and Arrowhead. The company also expanded the boundaries in those areas so that more people can sign up for Google Fiber. Google is offering three service packages. The Web-only 1-gigabit-per-second Internet plan is $70 per month. With gigabit + Google Fiber TV, Google promised hundreds of channels and on-demand shows, as well as 2TB of DVR storage and eight tuners, and a new Nexus 7 tablet to serve as a remote control - all for $120 per month. There's also the option for free 5 Mbps Internet if you pay the $300 installation fee.
While 2012 was a good year for some and one that some others would probably like to forget, it was great for Hulu. The video streaming service has posted a look back at 2012 on the Hulu Blog, along with plenty of statistics on how much it grew throughout the year. The company announced today that it pulled in approximately $695 million in revenue, which you can see is quite the jump over 2011?s revenue in the graph below. It gets even better for Hulu though, as it reports that Hulu Plus now has 3 million paying subscribers. The number of Hulu Plus subscribers doubled in the past year, as it was sitting below 1.5 million when 2011 came to a close. Hulu Plus grew steadily throughout the year, receiving its biggest boost in quarter one. We can probably expect a similar jump in Q1 2013, as many people will have just received a new device capable of playing Hulu's videos.
That's hippy talk!- Raspberry Pi, the low-cost, credit-card-sized linux computer platform that hit the market nine months ago, just reached a new milestone with today's launch of the Rasperry Pi Store. The online marketplace, available directly on the computer through the popular Raspbian operating system, as well as through a browser interface, will allow the community's rapidly growing user base to share applications they've created or ported for the $35 board. Contributors can submit binary code, images, audio or video, and will soon be able to supply projects coded in Scratch - a popular drag-and-drop tool used to build games for Raspberry Pi. At the time of launch, there were 23 items available in the store, all free aside from the £1.99 game Storm in a Teacup. The Raspberry Pi store lets developers choose whether to charge for their work, while tip jars allow downloaders to support the items' creators. The store's announcement page notes "even if you're not charging (and not charging will get you far more downloads), you still have the opportunity to make some money from your development work if people really like it."
Facebook and many other social media websites have been blocked in Iran since they were famously used as tools to organize popular anti-government dissent. Despite this, and even as the country prepares to sever ties with the global Internet, Facebook still gets visits from millions of Iranians who use proxies to access the site. And Friday, Facebook got one more Iranian user: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei's Facebook page features photos of the Supreme Leader and advertises "regular updates and news about Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei." It has 1,500 likes as of Monday morning.
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Ellen from Seattle asks "iPhone or Android as a Christmas present this year?"