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Samsung Galaxy S5: First impressions

There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -among them, its relative lack of features.
Don't get me wrong. The company's new flagship smartphone has plenty of innovations, including water resistance, a heart rate sensor and a fingerprint reader to bypass security passcodes. The screen measures 5.1 inches diagonally, which is slightly larger than its predecessor's 5 inches and much bigger than the iPhone's 4 inches. The S5's camera is capable of taking 16 megapixel images, an improvement from 13 megapixels in last year's Galaxy S4 (Review I Pictures).

What's most notable, though, is Samsung's decision to focus on features people might actually want. Some of the S4's features - such as automatic scrolling of content when you tilt your phone or head - came across as clutter or gimmicks that often didn't work as advertised.

Samsung also simplified the phone's interface. Like other Android phones, the Galaxy S5 is still more complex to use than Apple's iPhone, but the flip side is you get many more ways to customize it, including the ability to unlock a phone by drawing a pattern on the screen rather than using a passcode. In the S5, Samsung plays down or removes many of the S4's less useful features, while rearranging the settings and layouts to make things easier to find.
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Microsoft on One Windows, the future of Windows RT, and more

Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, has provided more details of the idea behind 'One Windows'. He also shared updates on the 'Windows Embedded' platform as well as the future of Windows RT.

In an interview with ZDNet, Myerson said the One Windows concept may have been misunderstood. According to him it "is the one developer platform across the Internet of things, phone, tablet, PC, Xbox, PPI (Perceptive Pixel touch displays), the cloud." He adds that through this concept, the developers can target the whole Windows ecosystem at a time, and not keep themselves limited to specific OS versions or devices.

When the future of Windows RT was brought up, Myerson seemed to give further credence to the rumours that a future version of Windows may run on x86 and ARM systems, instead of being a separate fork like Windows RT. "We want to take advantage of the innovations in ARM, he said. "I think ARM chipsets have a bright, vibrant future, and Windows will run on those chipsets."

Furthermore, Myerson was quite bullish about the future of desktop. "We actually value using the desktop. I feel highly productive using it. It's very familiar to me. We plan - (as) we talked about at the Build conference - to bring modern apps to the desktop. We are going to have machines that have a great desktop experience. The desktop is part of our future. It's absolutely core to Windows."
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From Apple to HTC, the biggest tech companies still don't 'get' the Internet

This may sound very familiar - a fan learns something about his favourite brand. He gets to see something in advance and very excitedly wants to share this with everyone he knows. He posts on Facebook and Twitter, and uploads a video on YouTube. And then the giant brand that he loved starts to make threatening comments, and brings the might of its legal team to bear on the hapless fan.
The result? A lot of alienated fans.

What's sad is that one could be talking about just about any major company in recent times. In March, a YouTube user made a video showing the then under wraps "All New HTC One". How did the company's Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon, react? He tweeted, "It's not going to be a good week for you, my friend." Faced with what seemed like the digital incarnation of Don Corleone, the leaker, Roshan Jamkatel immediately tried claiming that it was a fake video, but to no avail.

Apple meanwhile lost not one, but two prototypes across two years, and in the first case with the iPhone 4, had sent police to recover their lost phone from Gizmodo, and had threatened to pursue criminal charges, though they eventually did not.

It's not just the hardware firms that are doing this. FOX went to equally laughable lengths to prevent people from seeing a video of the new Family Guy game, which the company accidentally released early. According to a report on TouchArcade, one of the site's forum users legally downloaded the game when it appeared in the New Zealand App Store, and shared his impressions on video. The company first reached out to the user Hans Kasou and asked him to take the video down until the game was launched officially.

When Kasou did not respond, the company followed up with a copyright infringement claim, blocking his YouTube account, and took it a step further and shut down his Twitch channel as well, because he had briefly streamed the game there.
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