Mozilla shuts down its Firefox OS

On the smartphone market, there is a fight that never seems to end. All these smartphones are running a particular operating system. Of course, there is a fight, too. However, this fight seems to be taken by Android and iOS, which are probably the best OS at the moment. 

These two operating systems are not alone, because there are other OS on the market, like Windows 10 or Firefox OS. These days, Mozilla has made an interesting announcement, declaring that they will stop selling its Firefox OS to carriers and even cease development of the operating system for smartphones. This is a surprising announcement, because Mozilla has declared that Firefox OS is one of its major projects. 

“The current Firefox OS team will stay intact and continue to work on the new experiments across connected devices,” has declared Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla senior vice president of connected devices. “Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs,” the statement added. “However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible, and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels,” he continued. 

This is a bad announcement, making developers realize how hard is to compete with giants like Android and Apple’s iPhone. Without a doubt that these two companies are dominating smartphone sales. This is the second announcement made by Mozilla this week, after the famous company declared that they will intend to shut down email client Thunderbird, a project that was not updated since 2012. Firefox OS was a huge opportunity for this company to find relevance in the mobile world, but it looks like they did not manage to find the right way to survive on the market. 

Firefox OS was first called Boot to Gecko in 2011, but the first version was released in 2013. This was a change for Mozilla to get Firefox in front of mobile phones, considering the fact that Google and Apple bundle their own web browser by default in the user’s mobile operating system. Unfortunately, there wasn’t so much interest from customers to buy their smartphones. However, probably Mozilla will have more luck improving the web experience for users that are already using other platforms. 

Tag Heuer has started production of its new smartwatch

Approximately a month after Tag Heuer has unveiled their first Android smartwatch, now, they have boosted their production to keep up with demand. So, now, famous Swiss watchmaker, Tag Heuer is producing approximately 2,000 devices per week, up from 1,200. 

This is incredible news knowing that their new smartwatch is not as cheap as other devices on the market. Moreover, they also declared that their online sales will be suspended until May, to give priority to their existing stores. 

The new Tag Heuer Connected Watch is available at the price of 1,500 dollars and comes with a good-looking titanium case and runs Android Wear. Moreover, customers will also be able to upgrade to a limited edition mechanical watch, but for 1,500 dollars more. 

As it was earlier mentioned, Tag Heuer has also suspended their online sales because they are trying to move sales away from the web. Why? Well, probably to encourage sales at physical stores because there is the true market for this kind of watch. Moreover, watch sales have first happened at such stores, but now, with the web, manufacturers have started to lose control over the sales process. 

It’s a pity that watch shops have started to lose their stability on the market, because watches like Tag Heuer, Rolex and many other famous brands should be bought from their original store. However, returning the their new Connected Watch, Tag Heuer has made an interesting move on the market and now they are starting to compete with other famous brands, like Samsung and Apple. 

So, in partnership with Google and Intel, Tag Heuer has released its 1,500 dollars luxury wearable, which has a textured rubber strap. However, Tag Heuer did not opt for a more futuristic look, meaning that their watch doesn’t look like a smartwatch. The new Connected Watch has a natural look and looks more like a normal watch.

Under the chassis, users will find an Intel Atom processor with 4GB of memory and a battery that will last an entire day. Moreover, this watch also features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Mark Zuckerberg wants to donate 99% of his Facebook shares

These days, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has made a surprising announcement. He declared that he and his wife want to give 99 percent of their Facebook shares.

 Of course, they also added that they will donate this amount of shares “during our live.” This means that during their entire life they will donate the announced number of their shares. However, it is a surprising announcement, knowing the fact that the holdings are currently worth approximately 47 billion dollars. To be added that these shares will be donated to charitable purposes. 

The questions that emerge in this context are why did they make this announcement and why they are willing to donate their shares? Well, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, made this announcement through an open letter to their newborn daughter, Max. As a reminder, their daughter was born about a week ago. So, they also declared that they are forming a new organization, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” they declared. 

However, these charitable plans are commonly met among billionaires, but now it looks like it also started to grow interest among Silicon Valley’s billionaires. Moreover, compared with previous generations of business philanthropists, these young and famous billionaires are willing to spread their money while they are still young. To be added that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are 30. So, with this announcement, they have entered on the charity area, but they have not yet declared how the money will be spent or where they will give the money. 

To be added that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are not at the first charitable act. In 2010 they gave approximately 100 million dollars to improve the public schools in Newark. 

“We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation,” they also wrote in the letter to their daughter. “We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.” 

Apple’s new battery case

Even if Apple’s devices are already famous for their sleek lines, the giant manufacturer has come with something new and interesting. We are talking about a battery case that will boost battery life. Every company has a long and strong battle with battery life, including Apple, which now has something interesting that will probably solve the problem, at least for the moment. 

So, Apple has released its own Smart Battery Case that is suitable for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. The famous company posted this new product on its online stores, available at the price of 99 dollars. 

Apple is claiming that this product will extend the iPhone’s battery life to approximately 18 hours of internet usage on LTE networks, 25 hours of increased talk time and more than 20 hours of video playback. This is an important step forward for Apple, knowing the fact that many users are complaining about the smartphone’s battery life. 

Well, here is a new product that will probably solve this problem. However, there is one little problem. The Smart Battery Case is about the size of a credit card and it will probably ruin the sleek design of the iPhone. So, will customers put a higher priority on the phone’s battery life or will they want to have a sleek or good-looking phone?

This new Smart Battery Case looks like a regular case and it is available in two colors: white and charcoal. Therefore, it looks more like the same as any other of Apple’s current cases, but with an extra bump on the back. To be added that this case can be charged via a standard Lighting port. This is a good thing, because this means that it is compatible with official docks, so users will not have to carry extra cables. Moreover, another interesting thing is that users will be able to charge the phone and the battery case simultaneously. 

To be added that the battery case will also display a few notifications on the screen, including the battery status. Of course, all these notifications will be displayed only when it is in use. 

Nokia Ozo, a 60,000 dollars virtual-reality camera

When Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business, everyone thought this was the last time they will hear about Nokia. Well, it looks like this is not the case because Nokia has managed to purchase Alcatel-Lucent for 16,6 billion dollars and they also released a new tablet. Now, this company has also plans to move on the virtual-reality market. How? 

Well, they have announced to release the new Nokia Ozo Camera. The company also communicated its price tag and shipment will start somewhere around early 2016. The new Nokia Ozo is designed for making 3D films and games that can be watched. 

However, Nokia is not the only company that invests in this kind of gear. Famous companies like Sony, Google, Facebook and HTC have decided to enter the virtual-reality market. Furthermore, not only that they have entered, but they have also made heavy investments so that people could have the opportunity to experience virtual reality and explore simulated environments through films and games. Unfortunately, at this moment there is a huge lack of high-quality VR content. So, this is where the new Nokia Ozo steps in.

It is well known that fact that creating VR content is not that easy, and it requires specialist equipment to capture the entire panorama of a given environment. So, the new Ozo camera has the ability to record stereoscopic 3D video and spatial audio, with the help of its eight synchronized shutters and integrated microphones. 

This new virtual-reality camera also has the ability to operate wirelessly and to store the data into a single file. “Expertly created. Intelligently designed. Purpose-built. OZO is the world’s first professional Virtual Reality camera,” Nokia has declared. “Capturing 360° spherical video and 360×360 surround sound with unique interactive monitoring, OZO increases both the quality and efficiency of Virtual Reality production,” the company has added. 

To be added that Nokia Ozo is not the only camera on the market, because Google has partnered with GoPro, with the purpose to release the Odyssey. This camera will home 16 of GoPro’S action cams. However, Nokia has not given up of making phones, because in 2016 they will be free to enter the smartphone market once again, after they have sold to Microsoft their handset business.

Samsung has decided to pay 548 million dollars to Apple

There are approximately five years since Apple has sued Samsung for infringing smartphone patents. Well, after all these years, the giant South Korean manufacturer has decided to pay up. So, Samsung has confirmed that they are willing to pay 548 dollars to Apple before December 14th. 

This is a huge win for Apple, especially after five years of lawsuits and appeals. Approximately half a billion dollars is a lot of money, even for Samsung, so even if they are willing to pay this huge amount of money, the South Korean manufacturer is also trying to claw back some money. 

So, the court statement notes that the South Korean manufacturer “continues to reserve all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple,” even if Apple disputes these rights. However, for those who doesn’t know, Apple has sued Samsung somewhere around 2011, claiming that Samsung had infringed on several of Apple’s iPhone patents. 

Some of these features include multitouch gestures and tap-to-zoom. Therefore, at that time, Apple had asked approximately 2.5 billion dollars in damages. However, after various appeals from both companies, Samsung has settled down to 548 million dollars, in May this year. This is the amount of money that Samsung has agreed to pay. 

“Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue or as a result of any petition for writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court,” Samsung officially stated. 

On the other side, Apple has wrote that “Apple notes that Samsung purports to reserve rights to obtain partial reimbursement in the future of judgment amounts it has paid. Apple disputes Samsung’s asserted rights to reimbursement.” That is not all, because Apple has also asked Samsung to pay approximately 1.8 million dollars for court costs. However, winning 548 million dollars remains a huge victory for Apple.

A five dollar computer

Now, everyone in the world will have the chance to own a computer. So, instead of buying a bottle of soup of a bag of chips, customers will be able to buy a computer. Isn’t this great? A five dollar computer will be a great opportunity for everyone to own such a device.

In other words, this could mean that at the market, when customers are waiting for a five dollar change after they did their shopping, they might go ask for a computer instead. So, here is the new Raspberry Pi Zero, the world’s cheapest computer. Probably, everyone will be interested in this new device, as it will definitely be affordable for everyone. 

However, an interesting story is flying around the new Raspberry Pi Zero. So, this computer was originally supposed to cost around 60 dollars, but after the Raspberry Pi Foundation founder, Eben Upton, had a meeting in January 2013 with Google chairman Eric Schmidt, things had changed. Why? Because Google had recently awarded a 1 million dollar grant to Raspberry Pi. He made this donation, so that the Raspberry Pi Foundation could distribute 15,000 units to schoolchildren. 

During that period, Eric Schmidt was curious to know what the foundation was working on next, and Eben Upton said that they were thinking about making the Raspberry Pi a little bit more expensive, somewhere around 60 dollars, but also a bit more powerful. Eric Schmidt said that this is not a good idea, because this company should aim to an even cheaper computer. “He said it was very hard to compete with cheap. He made a very compelling case. It was a life-changing conversation,” Eben Upton claimed. He also said that it’s conversation with Google’s chairman was a life-changing conversation. 

So, the new Raspberry Pi Zero consists of a 5 mm-deep circuit board and comes with a Broadcom microprocessor at 1GHZ, accompanied by 512MB of onboard RAM. It also has sockets that allow users to plug in a mouse, keyboard and monitors. Moreover, there is a USB data port and sockets for video and power. To be added that Raspberry Pi Zero also has a socket for Wi-Fi dongle. 

Yahoo Messenger is back

Probably, everyone has used Yahoo Messenger at least once in their life. This instant messaging client was very famous, especially in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Unfortunately, when smartphones and tablets started to gain field, this instant messaging client was gradually forgotten. 

Now, there are several apps that can be used for instant messaging. Every smartphone user probably has two or even more messaging apps on his device. But, it looks like Yahoo Messenger has not given up and it has hit the market with a new version and lots of new features. 

On a market where WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and Skype are the most used and popular messaging apps, Yahoo Messenger has decided to take a chance. So, this new messaging app has big plans and wants to become a big player on this market. 

At first sight, the new version of Yahoo Messenger is approximately similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or any other messaging apps. Users will have to log in with their phone number and after that the app will scan their contacts for people they know who also use the app. To be added that users who have a connected Yahoo Mail account will see that their contacts from this service will also appear.

However, the new Yahoo Messenger also has some new and interesting features that will probably be well received by users. So, for starters, the new messaging app has a built-in GIF search, plus the ability to share larger numbers of photos almost instantly. This is a good thing and a huge plus compared with other messaging apps that can be found on the market. To be added that these larger number of photos can be shared no matter if users are logged on a Wi-Fi network or a data connection. Another interesting thing is that users can also like individual messages. 

“We built this not just as a single app but as a platform that allows messaging to be integrated with other products in Yahoo. There are a lot of other Yahoo properties that could benefit from adding a lightweight communication layer,” has declared Austin Shoemaker, senior director of product management for Yahoo Messenger. 

Thunderbird will probably have a new home

The Mozilla Foundation wants to separate from Thunderbird, the free email, chat and news client. This is a surprising move, because Mozilla has developed Thunderbird since 2004, although it stopped updating it in 2012. 

So, why do they want to separate? Well, Mozilla has declared that they want to sharpen its focus on development of Firefox browser. These plans were given to the public in a company-wide memo. 

“I believe Thunderbird should would thrive best by separating itself from reliance on Mozilla development systems and in some cases, Mozilla technology,” has wrote Mitchell Baker, the executive chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and of Mozilla Corporation. 

“The current setting isn’t stable, and we should start actively looking into how we can transition in an orderly way to a future where Thunderbird and Firefox are un-coupled,” she continued. Probably, this surprising move has been made after viewing the growing popularity of Web-based alternative forms of communications. 

However, going back in 2012, Mitchell Baker stated that “once again we’ve been asking the question: is Thunderbird a likely source of innovation and of leadership in today’s Internet life? Or is Thunderbird already pretty much what its users want and mostly needs some on-going maintenance?” Baker was also very attached to Thunderbird and she said that this free email and chat application has helped her to organize vast parts of her life. 

It is also known the fact that Firefox browser goes through a long-term fight with competitors like Google Chrome with the purpose to gain more market share. So, probably Mozilla has engaged all its engineers to work for a bigger campaign. “Engineers working on Thunderbird must focus on keeping up and adapting Firefox’s web-driven changes. Engineers working on Firefox and related projects end up considering the competing demands of Thunderbird, and/or wondering if and how much they should assist Thunderbird. Neither project can focus wholeheartedly on what is best for it,” Baker has declared.

We must add that Thunderbird has been released on the market in 2004, a time when many consumers were still addicted to desktop clients to access email services. So, at its release, Thunderbird had 1 million downloads in the first 10 days.  

The new Fitbit Charge HR

The fitness tracker market is filled with several bands that will help users have a healthier life and do more exercises. The new Fitbit Charge HR is one of those fitness trackers, and it also comes with a couple of new features. 

For starters, this tracker has some similar features as many other devices on the market, including tracking the user’s steps or monitoring its heart-rate. Moreover, this new fitness band also tracks sleep at night, heart-rate levels when working out or resting and it tracks exercises during the day. But, one of its most interesting features is that the new Fitbit Charge HR has the ability to sync with approximately every major computer or smartphone on the market.

Probably, customers will have a lot of expectations from the new Fitbit Charge HR, but the heart rate measuring feature is not so excellent. The app store is also very limited and unfortunately, the LED display that also doubles as a watch could have been better designed. However, these are the minuses that this new fitness band has, but probably for many customers they will not turn out to be a huge problem. Therefore, probably that the new Fitbit Charge HR is the first smart band the feels so small, costs this little and connects with so many devices. To be added that Fitbit Charge HR also folds nutrition-tracking, heat rate-tracking, social challenges with friends and sleep tracking. 

The new Fitbit Charge HR also comes with an impressive battery life, even if it has such as small design. The company claims that its battery life can go up to approximately four days, beating major competitors on the market. Its little LED display that also doubles as a watch is nice and easy to use. Owners just have to lift their arm to see the time or to tap the display to see steps and any other data that they are interested in. 

Fitbit Charge HR is available on the market at the price of 150 dollars, but it can cost even lower, if customers will find it on sale.