Scribd for Android updated with redesigned book view, improved library management, and more

The Scribd Android app has been updated with several design tweaks and functionality improvements today that make browsing and reading even easier. The new version includes a redesigned book view with descriptions and the ability to read user reviews. Browsing between books is now seamless, and an updated library manager allows you to download books to your phone or add them to collections.

You can grab the Scribd update for free on the Google Play Store. The change log is below:

  • A redesigned book page that includes in-depth descriptions, reader reviews, and related books
  • Seamless book-to-book browsing
  • Streamlined management of your Library – tap the new “+” sign on books to instantly save them to your device, add them to your library, or add them to a collection

AT&T launches Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 for $370 or $270 on contract

Following the launch of WiFi-only models of the new Galaxy Tab 4 series in May, today AT&T announced an LTE variant of the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 will arrive for its customers today. You’ll be able to get the tablet through AT&T for $270 on the usual two year contract or for $0 down and $18.50/month for 20 months on the company’s instalment plan. The instalment plan brings the total cost of the tablet not on contract up to $370.  Read more

Boston Dynamics’ LS3 support robot enters simulated combat with a group of Marines (video)

LS3

Boston Dynamics’ LS3 aka Legged Squad Support Systems is starting to earn its stripes. The creepy rough terrain robot recently trotted through its first set of training exercises with the US Marine Corps. These simulated drills took place at a pretend combat zone in Hawaii, where the mechanical gear-hauling quadruped demonstrated its ability to maneuver through hostile land.

Read more

Two HTC executives reportedly leaving the company

htc logo

HTC’s Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho and President of Engineering and Operations Fred Liu have resigned from the company, according to Bloomberg. These two departures and a recent move by the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s VP of design describe the type of major personnel changes taking place at HTC. In his short time with the company, Ho oversaw the firm’s “Here’s To Change” marketing campaign, which featured a series of commercials starring Hollywood A-lister, Robert Downey Jr.

Read more

Google announces ‘Project Zero,’ wants to put an end to online targeted attacks

Google Personal Search

Google today announced a new initiative it is calling “Project Zero,” a broad attempt at reducing the number of internet users that are harmed every day by a variety of different types of targeted attacks. Google believes that everyone should be able to use the internet without constant worry that attackers might use software vulnerabilities nefariously, and due to that, the Mountain View corporation has assembled a team of experienced security researchers to help improve security across the internet.

Read more

Google’s smart contact lens one step closer to reality as licensing deal signed

Hand holding

Google’s vision (sorry) of smart contact lenses that monitor glucose levels in diabetics are one step closer to reality as it signed a commercial licensing deal with Alcon, the eyecare division of the pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

The lens uses sensors to measure the glucose content of tears and transmit that data to a smartphone app that automatically alerts users if their levels are too high or too low. Google reported back in January that it has completed several clinical trials, and that it would be partnering with other companies to manufacture the devices …  Read more

Samsung, Nest, ARM and others say Smart homes need more than WiFi and Bluetooth, propose Thread IP6 mesh network

nest

Wifi and Bluetooth may work fine for today’s limited number of smart home devices, but neither is ideal for future homes in which every switch, socket and lightbulb may be a connected device – that’s the claim of a consortium of companies that includes Samsung, Nest and ARM.

GigaOM reports that the companies have jointly created a new radio system which they believe is more suited to smart home networks than existing systems.

Dubbed Thread, it is a low-power, mesh network protocol that also supports IPv6. The standard is built on the existing radio hardware used by ZigBee devices (802.15.4), which means that a company could update their ZigBee devices to support Thread with software if they chose …

Read more

Chromecast support now available for Popcorn Time for Android

android_0_2_popcorn_time_0

Controversial torrent streaming application, Popcorn Time has added Chromecast support for its Android app. This comes just one week after the software’s development team pledged streaming support for Google’s popular media dongle. If you’re not familiar with Popcorn Time, it’s like a black market version of Netflix’s video streaming service that uses peer-to-peer tech to get the job done. People often use the software to watch movies and TV shows that are still in only available in theaters, which of course is rubbing the motion picture industry the wrong way.

Read more

MIT working with Google’s Boston Dynamics to develop shapeshifting robots

Sqish-Bot

A team of eggheads at MIT are working with Boston Dynamics to develop next-generation shapeshifting robots built from simple materials like wax and foam. Not quite like Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat, these pliable contraptions possess the ability to squish into smalls spaces, while maintaining their durability. So don’t worry about these machines stealing your identity just yet. To change shape, these low-cost robots use embedded wiring to heat and contort specific parts of their waxy builds.

Read more

Chromebooks could get even cheaper thanks to support for a new MediaTek chip

Chromebook2_015_Detail2_Titanium Gray

Chromebooks are already being marketed as affordable alternatives to traditional laptops, but Google’s browser-based computing platform could soon offer hardware at a sub-$200 price point. Taiwanese SoC maker MediaTek recently added an ARM Cortex A7 board codenamed “Moose” to the open source Chromium OS base. This system is based on the company’s low-end MT8127 quad-core processor, which clocks in at 1.5GHz.

Read more

Samsung reportedly launching all-metal Galaxy Alpha smartphone next month

SAMSUNG CSC

According to a new report out of Korean news outlet ETNews, Samsung is preparing to launch an all-metal device as early as next month called the Galaxy Alpha. According to the report, Samsung intends to heavily market the device as a competitor to Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6.

According to industry insiders on July 13, the Galaxy Alpha, which Samsung will launch next month, is a premium smartphone made of a metal. It is forecast to counter the iPhone 6 scheduled to be released in September. It appears that Samsung will rebound from its recent poor performance with a new smartphone lineup, not the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note Series.

Read more