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Microsoft Offering Free Windows for Devices With Displays No Larger Than 9″

windows-free-iot-100259240-largeMicrosoft wants to make friends with mobile and connected devices. Sorry desktops, you’ll still need to pay. This means manufacturers of phones to not have to pay Microsoft to license the new operating system on phones. The new operating system will be on board to compete with the likes of Google’s wearable operating system or even electronically connected devices in your home, your car, or your clothing:

We’re bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices. Build a smart coffee mug, build a talking bear, build a robot, or build something else entirely. All this using a platform and tools you already know and love. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

Facebook Acquiring Drones to Connect Africa to the Internet

Social network giant, Facebook, is seeking to deliver the internet to parts of Africa using 11,000 Solara drones. The unmanned aerial vehicles would behave as low flying satellites, capable of streaming internet data to underdeveloped regions that currently have limited access. The drones will come from Titan Aerospace, a company that Facebook is looking to acquire. Below, you can view a video of the technology behind Titan Aerospace’s Solara.
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Samsung’s New Product Launches Dominated Mobile World Congress

Samsung dominated social media platforms during the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – garnering at least 44.2% of all brand mentions. According to research from Synthesio, the technology company was mentioned across social media, blogs, and comments at least 1,246,000 times. Samsung’s rival Nokia came in second with 586,200 mentions, a paltry 20.8% in comparison.

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Facebook Bringing Online Courses to Rwanda With Affordable Nokia Smartphones

internet  dot orgFacebook’s pilot program, SocialEDU, is on a mission to bring education to young students in Rwanda. The online education program is a joint partnership between the Rwandan government, Airtel telecom company, Nokia mobile company, online education provider edX, and Facebook.

Based on the success of MOOCs (Massice Open Online Courses), the joint venture is an extension of the’s mission to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that does not have digital access. The MOOC-list is a huge database where students can find open-access courses available online. They are free, but do not come with course credits. Read more

Snapchat’s New Security Feature ‘Find the Ghost’ Fails Almost Instantly

snap-tchaSnapchat’s security issues are aplenty, and the latest attempt to keep out the robots with the app’s mascot ghost was no real deterrent for hackers. The app introduced the new feature on Wednesday – users had to select illustrations with the ghost mascot in order to proceed as a real person. Unfortunately, since the ghost is a repeating image with no real geometrical changes, a simple image detection hack took a developer less than one hour to crack.

In a blog post about the techniques, computer programmer, Steven Hickson said he was able to hack the app’s Ghost Captchas in less than 100 lines in about one hour: Read more

See Mike Draw: What Happens When You Walk and Use Your Smartphone

We get a lot of warnings to pay attention to basically everything instead of our smartphone, so much so that maybe, just this once, we should pay attention instead of telling people everywhere to pay attention. Do you know what I mean? SeeMikeDraw does…

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T-Mobile Gets Into Banking with ‘Mobile Money’

Mobile Money by T-Mobile AppT-Mobile is bringing its prepaid, contract-free phone model to banking. It introduced a “Mobile Money” service Wednesday, offering basic banking services via a prepaid Visa card and a new smartphone app with the same name.

Customers can deposit checks via the app, pay bills, transfer money to other card holders and withdraw cash from 42,000 in-network ATMs without facing a fee. Non-T-Mobile subscribers will face small fees, such as a $5 monthly account fee and an initial $4 cost to purchase the card. The mobile phone carrier is touting the service as an alternative to pricey fees from check cashing, payday lenders and “other predatory businesses.” Read more

Positive Selfie Endorsement: Dove’s New Short Film Helps Girls Redefine Beauty

Debuting at the Sundance Festival is this beautiful video from Dove, that continues the brand’s exploration of Beauty – a touching story about high school girls whose selfie portraits helps them to discover the self-empowering role of social media.

Directed by award winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade, the short film shows girls and their moms at their most vulnerable moments, discussing their own insecurities about their own beauty. It’s not an emotional tear jerker, but a great way to brighten up any cold, snowy afternoon.

Drink Responsibly: Guinness Targets Phone Addicts in Latest Print Ad

guinnessA few years ago while I was still in college, my male friends started playing the phone stacking game. At the beginning of a meal or dinner, everyone would relinquish their smartphones and it would be stacked up in the middle fo the table, the first person to use their phone would be responsible for the tab of the meal or drinks. The most telling aspect of the game? It’s usually the same person who reaches first.

Since then, the stacking game has become fairly popular – so popular, you’ll see people using very tall stacks of phones as bragging rights. It’s also big enough to be used as marketing media – like this Guinness beer ad that features a phone stack in the shape of the classic Guinness glass. Read more

Exclusive: Interactive Image Comparisons Between Various Smartphones and DSLR Cameras

headerToday, we’re looking at photos taken by various smartphones and DSLR cameras in a 10 scene interactive comparison for your visual judgment. The shots were taken both using natural and indoor lighting as well as in wide and macro shots. Just use the tab next to Choose Photo Type to switch between photo scene types:

For our comparison, we chose the most recent top-line smartphones from the largest manufacturers. Included was the Apple iPhone 5s, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, and the Sony Xperia Z. The DSLR we used for this test was a Canon 5D Mark II coupled with a Canon EF 24-70 lens. Read more