Articles of Interest

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Why new Microsoft CEO Nadella wants to be the ‘anti-Ballmer’

%name Why new Microsoft CEO Nadella wants to be the ‘anti Ballmer’ by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Early approval ratings from Glassdoor.com show that new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is already much more popular than his predecessor Steve Ballmer and now Forbes is out with a new report explaining why: In terms of management style, Nadella has been the “anti-Ballmer” so far and it’s winning him fans.

What does it mean to be “the anti-Ballmer?” Well, by Ballmer’s own admission he was “big, bald and loud” and often gave off the impression of being a bull in a $330 billion china shop. By contrast, Forbes says that Nadella is building a reputation as someone who is calm, quiet and deliberate.

Table-pounding bravado is out; good-natured curiosity is in,” Forbes writes. “The floorboards of old business models are being pried apart. There’s less talk about seizing billion-dollar opportunities or hitting financial targets — and more emphasis on investing profits to win hordes of new users.”

Judging by the early moves that Microsoft has made ever since Nadella took over as CEO, we can definitely see that there’s been a change in business strategy. The company is much less interested in protecting Windows than it traditionally has been and it’s much more interested in getting its software onto more devices no matter what platform they use. He’s also shown that Microsoft will be willing to sacrifice profit in the short-term to pick up users, as evidenced by his decision to make Windows Phone a free-to-use mobile platform.

Forbes‘ entire report on how Nadella operates is worth reading and can be found by clicking the source link below.

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The Galaxy S5 looks like an even bigger hit than the Galaxy S4

%name The Galaxy S5 looks like an even bigger hit than the Galaxy S4 by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

For all its faults, the Galaxy S5 is still a pretty great device, especially if what you prize the most in your smartphone is a big, beautiful display. New data from Chitika indicates that North American Android fans agree, which is why they’re seemingly adopting it an even faster rate than they adopted the Galaxy S4.

According to Chitika’s analysis, the Galaxy S5 accounted for 4.3% of all North American smartphone traffic 25 days after its release, while the Galaxy S4 accounted for just 2% of North American smartphone traffic 25 days after its release last year. This isn’t conclusive evidence that the Galaxy S5 is outselling the Galaxy S4 so far but it does at least indicate that the Galaxy S5 is being used more on the web than the Galaxy S4 so far, which should make Samsung happy from the perspective of having good user engagement.

Chitika speculates that the Galaxy S5 has a few factors going for it that have helped make it a hit: First, it has a bigger display than any flagship Galaxy device released so far, which is drawing in consumers who are increasingly looking to buy phones with big eye-catching screens. Second, its new water-resistant and dust-resistant casing has proven to be genuinely impressive under torture tests and thus might be appealing to people who want to carry their smartphone around without worrying about breaking it.

Either way, it looks as though Samsung has churned out yet another hit despite griping from the tech press about the device’s case being once again made from cheap-feeling plastic.

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Amazon expands Sunday delivery service to 15 more cities

%name Amazon expands Sunday delivery service to 15 more cities by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Amazon pleasantly surprised its customers late last year when the company announced it would begin delivering packages on Sundays. Partnering with the United States Postal Service, Amazon brought Sunday deliveries to New York and Los Angeles last November, but on Thursday the biggest online retailer in the world revealed that the service would be expanding to 15 more cities.

The cities that are now eligible for Sunday deliveries include Austin, College Station, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, TX; Cincinnati and Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Lexington and Louisville, KY; New Orleans and Shreveport, LA; Oklahoma City, OK and Philadelphia, PA.

Amazon has been keeping track of Sunday deliveries as well to see which items consumers are most likely to have delivered over the weekend.

“So far, the most common items delivered on Sunday include baby supplies such as newborn apparel, books and toys,” said Amazon VP Mike Roth. “We know our Amazon customers love the convenience of everyday delivery, and we’re excited to be offering Sunday delivery in more cities across the U.S.”

Combine this expansion with Amazon’s recent additions to its same-day delivery program and it’s easy to see why consumers will subscribe to Amazon Prime, even at a slightly higher price.

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AT&T really doesn’t want you saying it’s in a price war with T-Mobile

%name AT&T really doesn’t want you saying it’s in a price war with T Mobile by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Is AT&T feeling the heat from the “Uncarrier?” Not if AT&T CFO John Stephens is to be believed. CNET reports that Stephens told an investor conference on Thursday that all of the talk about AT&T being in a “price war” with T-Mobile is just media hype and that the company isn’t under pressure to react to moves being made by the scrappy carrier that has shook up the wireless industry over the last year.

The competition is more noisy than disruptive,” Stephens said, in a veiled shot at the often loud-mouthed T-Mobile CEO John Legere. He also said that T-Mobile’s decision to pay off new customers’ early termination fees hasn’t hurt AT&T so far and added that he doesn’t think such a scheme is sustainable over the long term.

It’s not something that a company with a best-in-class balance sheet would jump into,” Stephens said of the T-Mobile ETF initiative.

While Stephens is right that AT&T has held up better than expected under T-Mobile’s attacks, it’s also true that AT&T took the extraordinary step of preemptive T-Mobile’s ETF announcement by saying that it would pay any T-Mobile subscribers switching to AT&T up to $450 per line. What’s more, T-Mobile’s subscriber growth over the past couple of quarters really has been off the charts and it added a stunning 2.4 million net customers last quarter alone, including 1.8 million total postpaid additions. Even if AT&T isn’t taking the brunt of T-Mobile’s assault, the company is definitely taking notice.

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Leaked specs show the Galaxy S5 mini will be better than the S4 mini in every way

%name Leaked specs show the Galaxy S5 mini will be better than the S4 mini in every way by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

A new set of specifications for the Galaxy S5 mini appear to have leaked this week. GFXBench recently posted a performance sheet for an unannounced Samsung device with the code name “SM-G800H,” and based on the specs, the device is likely the Galaxy S5 mini, or Galaxy S5 Dx if recent leaks are to be believed. Based on the performance sheet, the phone will feature a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and most surprisingly of all, a 4.8-inch 720p display.

To put the display size into perspective, the S4 mini featured a 4.3-inch screen and the full-sized Galaxy S5 display only stretches 5.1 inches. If the performance sheet is legitimate, the S5 mini will be a monstrous smartphone, but it might explain the name change. Galaxy S5 Dx doesn’t carry the same connotation as the S5 mini would, clearing the way for an affordable alternative to the flagship without compromising the size of the device.

That said, there’s also the distinct possibility that these specs are off base and the screen will retain a more reasonably “mini” size when it launches later this year. Other specs listed line up fairly closely with previous leaks: 7-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, 2-megapixel front camera, Adreno 305 GPU and Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean. Whatever the true specs turn out to be, the smaller Galaxy S5 is shaping up to be a much beefier phone than its predecessor.

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Rumored $3.2 billion Beats deal would be Apple’s largest ever acquisition

%name Rumored $3.2 billion Beats deal would be Apple’s largest ever acquisition by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Beats By Dr. Dre, the audio specialist that was at one point in time partially owned by HTC, may soon be acquired by Apple. The news comes from Financial Times, which reports that the deal could be Apple’s largest ever acquisition at $3.2 billion. Senior management at Beats will reportedly be retained and will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Also part of the acquisition in addition to the company’s consumer electronics line will be Beats’ digital music on demand service, of course. Unnamed sources told FT that the deal could be announced as soon as next week.

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Microsoft is now offering $65 worth of free apps and content with flagship Lumias

%name Microsoft is now offering $65 worth of free apps and content with flagship Lumias by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC’s newest smartphone-peddling rival is none other than Microsoft. As the biggest software company on the planet continues to increase its focus on hardware, it is now tasked with building Windows Phone’s global market share almost entirely on its own. In an effort to get things moving in the proper direction at the high end of its newly acquired smartphone lineup, Microsoft on Thursday announced a new promotion: Buy a new Lumia Icon, Lumia 1520 or Lumia 1020 and get $65 worth of games and other content for free.

In terms of a breakdown, the deal includes nine popular Gameloft games such as Asphalt 7 and Assasin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles, worth a total of $40, and then a $25 voucher that can be used to purchase movies and other videos in Microsoft’s on-device store.

The new deal is available in 39 countries including the United States and it runs from now through June 30th. More details can be found on the Lumia website, which is linked below in our source section.

For more on the specific Lumia smartphone models this promotion applies to, check out our Lumia Icon review, our Lumia 1520 review and our Lumia 1020 review.

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Our first look at Sunset Overdrive, one of the most anticipated games of 2014

%name Our first look at Sunset Overdrive, one of the most anticipated games of 2014 by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

At the beginning of the year, we christened Sunset Overdrive one of our most anticipated games of the year, and one of the Xbox One exclusives that might sway some of the undecided gamers Microsoft’s way. Sunset Overdrive comes to us from Insomniac Games, a developer that has been a champion of Sony’s home consoles since Spyro the Dragon released on the original PlayStation in 1998. After a successful run on the PlayStation 3 with both the Ratchet and Clank series and the Resistance trilogy, Insomniac has jumped ship for Microsoft this generation, bringing its first new title exclusively to the Xbox One.

Until now, the only footage we had seen of Sunset Overdrive came in the form of a pre-rendered cutscene at Microsoft’s E3 2013 press conference. Nearly a year later, Sunset Overdrive is back with actual gameplay, showing off the bright, colorful locale that is Sunset City, which has sadly been overrun by mutants after an energy drink launch party led to the end of the world.

Sunset Overdrive appears to take cues from some of the most popular franchises in the industry, including Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Prince of Persia, Infamous and Insomniac’s own library. Featuring a fully-explorable open world, traversal is the key to survival — your character is able to run along walls, grind on power lines and grapple on to zip-lines in order to gain a tactical advantage over the masses of energy drink-overdosed mutants (the OD’d, as they’re known in Sunset City) which roam the streets below you.

Check out the full gameplay trailer below, and prepare for plenty more information about Sunset Overdrive in the weeks leading up to E3.

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Study: iPhone owners fly more, Android fans ride the bus

%name Study: iPhone owners fly more, Android fans ride the bus by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

A new study looking at iPhone and Android users reveals that iOS device owners are likely to have flown at least once in the past year, own stock and prefer wine to beer, Re/code reports. Meanwhile, Android users are more likely to take the bus, have eaten at McDonalds last month, and prefer tobacco and beer. Android users also describe themselves as religious, the study says.

Interestingly, the Battery Ventures study reveals that no matter what mobile operating customers choose, they’re just as likely to own a gun. Also, iPhone and Android users are equally likely to own a home.

Battery Ventures’ Jonathan Sills, who conducted the study, further told the publication that many differences go away when the user base is adjusted for income. Even so, such demographics differences may be useful to airlines or car companies looking to advertise their respective businesses on mobile devices.

This isn’t the first time a study has looked at the preferences of these two particular groups, which count members in the millions. For example, last year, studies have revealed that iPhone owners are more loyal than Android users, and that iPhone owners tend to consume more mobile data than Android users.

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Video: Check out the toughest Android phone the world has ever seen

%name Video: Check out the toughest Android phone the world has ever seen by Authcom, Nova Scotia\s Internet and Computing Solutions Provider in Kentville, Annapolis Valley

Are you a tough guy or gal who loves traversing the open terrains or who works in a heavy-duty industry like construction? Do you require a smartphone that can take a beating and keep on taking Instagram pictures? If so then you might want to check out the new Cat B15 smartphone built by tractor manufacturer Caterpillar that’s been specifically designed to be “a tough, rugged phone that means business.”

To show just how tough the B15 is, Catepillar has posted a video of the new device being dropped from 35 feet into the air into a pool of water and then being pulled out and run over by one of Caterpillar’s Cat 277D Multi Terrain Loaders.

From an aesthetics perspective, the Cat B15 obviously isn’t as pleasing to the eyes as an iPhone 5s or an HTC One (M8) as it features a very thick frame with awkward-looking corners that make it look like it won’t fit very comfortably in your pocket. That said, if you’re buying the B15 you don’t care if it looks pretty or feels comfortable in your hand — you want it to survive lots of wear and tear.

Specs for the device include a 4-inch touch display, a 5-megapixel camera, a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 2,000 mAh battery and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean — in other words, the device’s specs are pretty dated.

You can watch a video of Caterpillar’s torture test for the phone below.

Read more here: Boy Genius Report