HTC harvests smartphone power to help solve world challenges

HTC is looking to harness the power of users' cell phones to engage in some altruistic pursuits, like finding a cure for cancer, researching climate change, and bringing food to the world's hungry.

Working to solve complex world issues often means crunching massive amounts of data. Analyzing this data takes supercomputers and time -- and this is where smartphone-maker HTC fits in with its "Power to Give" initiative.

The company has partnered with a host of scientists and research institutions to give them unused processing power from Android smartphones. This means scientific data can be crunched faster. … Read more

Mobile word processor Quip plays well with others

Editors' note: This review was updated on February 27, 2014, to cover new features added in the latest version of the app.

Quip has a bold vision. The app, built by former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor and Google App Engine creator Kevin Gibbs, aims to be "Microsoft Office for the mobile age." However, in its current state, it has a ways to go before achieving that title. The iOS app launched in July 2013 and made its way to Android in December.

That's partly because Quip's designers chose to focus their efforts on helping people collaborate … Read more

Square acquires peer-to-peer mobile payments app Evenly

Square's latest acquisition is aimed at making it easier to collect money from friends. The mobile payments company announced Wednesday that it had bought the startup Evenly, which designed an easy payment app.

"At Square, we are committed to creating a better experience for our merchants by helping them focus on their customers, rather than on the payment itself," Square product engineering lead Gokul Rajaram said in a blog post. "Evenly's app made it easy for anyone to send or collect payments from friends, anywhere, anytime. But more importantly, the team showcased the importance of … Read more

Yahoo buys Siri-like natural language software startup

Yahoo on Monday announced that it has acquired SkyPhrase, a "natural language processing" company that aims to make human speech more recognizable to computers. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The startup's team of four will join the tech giant's Yahoo Labs department, and will be based out of Yahoo's New York office. "In Yahoo, we have found a company that not only shares our vision, but delivers a rich collection of information and services to a massive user base," SkyPhrase said in a statement on its Web site.

Neither … Read more

ARM unveils graphics chip design with up to 16 cores

ARM, which designs processors for smartphones and tablets, has disclosed a new graphics chip design with many more processor cores than in the current generation.

A future Mali-T760 graphics processing unit (GPU) -- due in products in the coming years -- will have up to 16 processor cores, ARM said Tuesday in a statement.

By comparison, the iPhone 5S' A7 chip boasts four GPU cores. The A7 chip is based on a design from Imagination Technologies, an ARM competitor.

In addition to offering up to 16 cores, ARM said the Mali-T760 chips will see an increase in both performance per … Read more

Review: PowerPhoto Photo Processing Tool offers many features

PowerPhoto Photo Processing Tool offers a number of powerful editing and photo capture tools for your iPhone that, while not necessarily better than other photo editors, are more varied. As a result, you can do quite a few things with this app, from creating GIFs with a custom crafted camera tool to adding watermarks and special effects directly in camera, even before editing.

When you open PowerPhoto Photo Processing Tool, you can choose from a number of options, including opening anything from your library and editing it, or taking a new photo with one of the three camera options provided. … Read more

Get Kingsoft Office Professional 2013 (Win) free

This is an update of a deal I wrote about a few months back -- for those who missed it the first time around!

Earlier this year I noted that Kingsoft Office Free 2013 might just be the best Microsoft Office alternative you can get, especially if you need only the core elements: word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Kingsoft offers a Pro version, of course, one that includes more goodies. A one-year license normally sells for $29.95, but today only, BitsDuJour has Kingsoft Office Professional 2013 (Win) absolutely free.

Why bother with the Pro version when the free version … Read more

Review: Process Explorer Portable gives you plenty of control of your processor

Process Explorer Portable is a light download that gives you tons of control over your computer's processor. If you're familiar with the installed version, you'll feel right at home. It helps you diagnose, find, and solve processor errors in a matter of seconds.

This is a portable program, so you can stick it on a USB drive or any portable drive to scan any computer. However, due to the nature of portable programs, your anti-virus might flag it as suspicious. It's free from any malware, though. This utility gives you a more detailed look at your … Read more

End of Moore's Law: It's not just about physics

The end of Moore's Law may ultimately be as much about economics as physics, says a DARPA director.

"My thesis here is that it's time to start planning for the end of Moore's Law, and that it's worth pondering how it will end, not just when," Robert Colwell, director of the Microsystems Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, told CNET.

Colwell gave a presentation at the Hot Chips Conference at Stanford University on Monday titled "The Chip Design Game at the End of Moore's Law." On Tuesday, he … Read more

Get the Super Writer word processor (Win) for $9.95

Gone are the glory days of software development, when little-guy developers were often on the same playing field as the big boys.

That's a shame, as there are plenty of good coders out there with good ideas. Which brings us to today's deal: for a limited time, Tumbling Dice Software is offering the Super Writer word processor for $9.95 when you apply coupon code TDS-45K2D478BJ at checkout. Regular price: $19.95.

I'll just stop right here and note that there are any number of word processing programs you can get for free, everything from Google Docs … Read more