Marissa Mayer planning to push Apple to replace Google with Yahoo! as the default iOS search engine

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer eat pizza with other industry executives

Jony Ive and Marissa Mayer (right) eat pizza with other industry executives

Re/code reports that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is planning an attempt at persuading Apple to switch its default iOS search engine from Google to her company’s own offering. According to Re/code’s sources, Mayer has built what she hopes will be a convincing arguement in favor of the change.

Yahoo! current powers the weather and stocks apps and Notification Center widgets found in iOS 7 as well as a few Siri functions, such as sports, but lost out on the chance to power Siri’s web search to Microsoft’s Bing. Both Yahoo! and Bing are included as optional search engines in the Safari browser, but the default selection is Google.

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Google, Android manufacturers agree to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

 

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Google has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Google introduced the Android Device Manager application last year, allowing users to locate or wipe lost or stolen devices. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:
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Report: Amazon phone to feature four IR cameras for 3D interface, 13 megapixel camera, 4.7 inch display, 2GB RAM

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Boy Genius Report has posted its knowledge of Amazon’s next smartphone. Although it technically hasn’t been confirmed to be an Android device, it is almost certain that it will be powered by Android at some level, given Amazon’s existing Android ecosystem. BGR claims to have the first pictures of the phone, shown above.

According to the report, the phone will feature a 3D interface. This feature is enabled through a set of four front-facing Infrared cameras that track the position and orientation of the user’s face. The user interface can then update in response to facial movements. Apparently, the four sensors are located in each corner of the front face. The Wall Street Journal reported that the product would feature a 3D interface last week and is set for a June launch.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 vulnerable to same fingerprint hack as iPhone 5s

The same German security researchers who demonstrated a hack of the iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor have released a video showing that the same hack also works with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The hack relies on photographing a latent print from something like a glass in a bar, then using lab techniques to transfer the image of the print into wood glue, which is then applied to someone else’s finger to activate the sensor …  Read more

Video: Hands-on with Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box

Amazon recently surprised us with its Fire TV set-top box, offering a native solution for customers to stream movies, music, and even play games. Fire TV will only set you back $99, and in my opinion, it’s just what Amazon needed. Instead of relying on third-party streaming solutions, Amazon now has the power to take its media services in a new direction. Take a look at our overview video above to see Fire TV in action.

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Review roundup: Samsung Galaxy S5 is very good, but perhaps not good enough

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The early reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S5 are in, and the general verdict appears to be that it’s a very good phone – but perhaps doesn’t offer any really persuasive reason to upgrade from the S4.

Re/Code took the view that the waterproofing was the only real standout feature.

I’ve been testing the new S5 for a couple of weeks, and I like it, though I didn’t find it especially exciting or novel. In every major hardware area, it’s a very good phone, with a sharp, gorgeous screen that, at 5.1 inches, is a teeny bit bigger than the five-inch display on last year’s model, the S4 [...]

Overall, the Galaxy 5S is a very good phone, but not one compelling enough for me to recommend that you buy it to replace last year’s Galaxy or the current iPhone. But there’s one caveat: If you drop your phone in water a lot, you want this one …

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