Hilton Worldwide spending $550 million to make mobile devices hotel tools

by Justin Herrick on
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The hospitality industry has generally been behind when it comes to adopting newer technology. Hilton Worldwide, though, is ready to roll the dice to make their hotels tech-friendly. The $550 million upgrade costs will allow guests to handle everything from getting a room to entering it without ever having to deal with a front desk. This is Hilton Worldwide’s attempt to bring in a younger demographic to its 4,200 locations around the globe. » Read the rest

Lithium ion battery life could double according to new study

by Jeff Causey on
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Researchers at Stanford, led by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, report they think they have discovered a way to double and perhaps even triple the battery life of a lithium ion cell. This is good news for owners of smartphones, tablets, electric vehicles, and any of the hundreds of other devices that use lithium ion batteries. The researchers turned to nanotechnology in trying to find a way to protect the lithium anodes in a typical cell from degrading as quickly as they do. They discovered that coating the anodes with “a monolayer of interconnected amorphous hollow carbon nanospheres helps isolate the lithium metal depositions and facilitates the formation of a stable solid electrolyte interphase.”

Besides helping to keep the lithium in better condition for a longer time, thus extending the life, the new technique also helps with safety issues resulting from the decay of the lithium in a battery. As the technique is perfected, this should also allow for the use of denser lithium. Of course, the challenge now will be for battery manufacturers to figure out how to incorporate this into current manufacturing techniques if further testing bears out the benefits to be gained.

source: Nature Nanotechnology
via: Engadget

Creators of WordPress release “Selfies” app to Play Store

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Automattic, the company behind the creation of WordPress, has added an app to the Play Store called “Selfies.”

The app does pretty much what you’d expect it to. Nothing  too fancy, but its simplicity might be its strength.

“Selfies” lets users take selfies, caption and filter them, and share them into a stream that can be seen by other users. So basically it’s Instagram for selfies but with a much smaller user base. You can also react to other people’s selfies with your own selfies, adding a Snapchat-like feature to the app.

The chances that this app hits the big time and catches on with the masses is pretty low (considering the saturation of the selfies app market), but the app is still in its infancy, so we’ll see where it goes from here. Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store as well as a photo gallery of screenshots.

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T-Mobile launches a promotion aimed directly at AT&T’s “Best Ever” plan

by James Gray on
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In an angry open letter, T-Mobile CEO/resident rockstar John Legere had some choice words for AT&T. Bashing their “Best Ever” deal for being not the best, ever, he announced a promotion allowing a family of four to get 10GB of data (2.5 for each line) and unlimited talk and text for $100/month until the end of 2014 (when the data allotment drops to 1GB per line). » Read the rest

11.6-inch, Intel i5 hybrid Android Tab Book from LG announced

by Jack Holt on
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Tablet/notebook hybrids seem to be a thing now. Windows devices have been doing this for a little while and it appears that it’s now Android’s turn to do so, although we did see one or two of these make their debut at CES. It’s LG’s turn this time as they announced a new tablet/laptop hybrid that comes with a 11.6-inch IPS (full-HD) touchscreen display with 10-point touch controls. It also comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. You’ll also notice a giant Android home button at the bottom of the tablet.

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HTC provides free One (M8) to owner of melted Galaxy S4

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Talk about free upgrades…

Reddit user TweektheGeek’s Galaxy S4 overheated and partially melted overnight — he contacted Samsung, and was told he’d be receiving both a new device and a mail-back box to send his old device back for inspection.

While the mail-back box came, no new device ever showed up. Enter HTC product manager Leigh Momii.

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Possible photos of the upcoming Moto G successor have leaked sporting a slim design

by James Gray on
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While Motorola’s upcoming flagship, the Moto X+1, is generating a lot of buzz as of late, it looks like a successor to the Moto G is starting to make appearances as well. About a week ago we shared a photo of the device in the wild, and today we have what appears to be the rear panel for the upcoming budget device (or possibly its smaller brother the Moto E).

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Google Hands-Free app icon appears in company post

by Justin Herrick on
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A new standalone application should be on its way if a Google+ post by the company itself is any indication. In the image above (which is a captured still from a GIF), it is on the top right and is seemingly called Google Hands-Free. This is for the Android Eyes-Free setup that Google is working on for device use while driving a vehicle.

The demo Google posted had to do with a user receiving a translation without actually touching the device. Nothing is ready at the moment, but this shows Google is making progress.

Hit the break for the actual GIF from the Google+ post. » Read the rest