How Google made Android 4.4 KitKat support older devices

Android is improving all the time, and the new phone dialer with build-in search is pretty awesome. Strangely enough, despite the effort to reduce the memory footprint, my Nexus 4 feels slower after the update.

How Google Shrank Android For Version 4.4 KitKat

“The goal of Project Svelte was basically to reduce the memory footprint to fit into 512 megs. The way we did it by the way, which we didn’t talk about, was to take a Nexus 4 and adapted it to run at 512 megs,” Burke said.

Software is changing the world (again)

This is a great article. All I can say is that you should read it.

Software Is Reorganizing the World

And this global technology cloud truly stretches over the whole earth, touching down at various locales both in the U.S. — at Sendgrid in Boulder, Tumblr in New York, Rackspace in Austin, Snapchat in L.A., Zipcar in Boston, Opscode in Seattle — and outside it — at Skype in Estonia, Tencent in Shenzhen, Soundcloud in Germany, Flipkart in India, Spotify in Sweden, Line in Tokyo, and Waze in Israel. Cultural connections forming between people in this cloud are becoming stronger than the connections between their geographic neighbors. Palo Alto’s Accel invests in India’s Flipkart, Estonia’s Skype is folded into Seattle’s Microsoft, Israel’s Waze is merged into Mountain View’s Google, and the SoundCloud engineer on a laptop in Berlin builds a deeper relationship with the VC in New York than the nearby Bavarian bank.

Today, the geocenter of the global technology cloud is still hovering over Silicon Valley. But in a world where technology is making location increasingly less important, tomorrow the reverse diaspora may well assemble somewhere else.

LINE’s 300 million users will be a problem for WhatsApp

WhatsApp had an early start in the mobile messaging game, but it’s refusal (or delay) to support desktop messaging or stickers might come back to haunt it. If WhatApp doesn’t take some massive action soon, it runs the risk of being left behind in the wake of newer messaging systems from Asia.

Line has 300 million users, WhatsApp has a problem

The company has resolutely stuck to its singular vision of being an over-the-top messaging provider that works across platforms and devices. Even adding voice messaging, which Line, WeChat, and others have had for many months, was a big deal for the minimalist app. It makes money only by charging users 99 cents a year.

Newegg loses a patent dispute, ordered to pay $2.3 million

Newegg has won the fight against patent trolls before, but it loses this round. Next up will be the appeal.

Jury: Newegg infringes Spangenberg patent, must pay $2.3 million

TQP’s single patent is tied to a failed modem business run by Michael Jones, formerly president of Telequip. The company has acquired more than $45 million in patent licensing fees by getting settlements from a total of 139 companies. TQP argues that the patent covers SSL or TLS combined with the RC4 cipher, a common Internet security system used by retailers like Newegg.

Google to pay $17 million for privacy violation

The Business Insider reports that Google has to pay $17 million for privacy violation.

The case began in 2011 and 2012 when the states discovered tracking of Safari users after visits to Google’s DoubleClick ad network. Cookies are small files embedded in a computer that contain trace amounts of data based on visitor history. Based on the information they have, cookies offer its clients the ability to make tailored Web pages. In the statement given by Schneiderman, he said that Google directly violated customers privacy who deserve the right to know if someone is following them while they browse the Web. He continued by asserting that Google had violated several privacy laws as well.

Why target Safari in particular? Does this mean that Google is already tracking your data on Chrome and other browsers?

Microsoft’s Xbox One launch in Times Square

Microsoft held several Xbox One launch events around the world. The Verge reports on the biggest event held in New York City’s Times Square.

It seems like Microsoft is still willing to pump in money to generate revenue, despite losing $2 billion to the Xbox platform.

Stereopublic: an app to map noise level writes about Stereopublic, a crowd-sourced app to find peace and quiet.

Stereopublic’s creator, Jason Sweeney, explains Stereopublic as an app that navigates users through a city based on noise—in this case the lack thereof. “It was very personal desire to think of future cities as having dedicated quiet spaces that were either built into them or to nurture those spaces that already existed,” he says. “So the idea for the app came about when thinking of a way to make a ‘quiet-seeking’ tool that the public could freely access to participate in this quest for quiet.”

The idea is that as users walk around a city, they geo-tag their favorite quiet spots. You can add a picture, record an audio file and file the spot under different mood categories depending on how you’re feeling, essentially creating an interactive map of the most peaceful spots in a city.

Porsche Design BlackBerry a phone that no one will buy?

The $2,400 Porsche Design BlackBerry P’9982 is a repackaged BlackBerry Z10 for the rich.

There are many status symbols but this is probably a bad idea unless you only need a simple phone for texting and calling.

IDrive backs up you Facebook uploads and media you were tagged in

IDrive launches a new feature to back up your Facebook photos and media, including those that you were tagged in.

The service is now available to all IDrive users (including those on the free 5GB plan) and once all the data from Facebook is backed up, users can access their images and videos from any web browser and the company’s iOS app. An Android app, the company tells me, is “coming soon” and all the data is automatically encrypted with what IDrive calls “an NSA-proof private key option.”

In case someone decides to block you on Facebook, you can still access the photos you were tagged in.

18 months of research to switch to e-books ended in a disaster reports on how a school’s switch to e-books had a disastrous end.

Students experienced problems such as tablets failing to switch on, tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode, devices looping while performing automatic repairs, system board failures and issues with wi-fi.

Principal Gleeson said it was “an informed decision” to choose the HP Elite tablet.

“A year and a half’s worth of research was put into choosing the right device for us.”

They cannot blame anyone if they chose the HP Elite Pad after 18 months of research for the right device.