Less Than 2 Weeks to Amazon Prime Day; Apple Patents Concert Recording Killer Tech

Get your plastic ready, Amazon Prime members! The 2nd Prime Day is coming up July 12th, and Amazon is touting 100,000 deals according to geekwire.com. They also say some customer complaints have been addressed…you’ll be able to track deals by item and category through the mobile app now. Prime Day last year eclipsed Amazon’s biggest Black Friday for sales.

Apple has patented a sure fire way to make sure no Deadheads ever buy another iPhone. Thenextweb.com reports that they’ve patented a way to block recordings of concerts using infrared signals. It can basically remotely disable your camera! On the plus side, the tech also would allow messages to pop up about museum exhibits, or you could point it at an item and get a tip about a discount, so there’s that. Before everyone starts marching on Cupertino, keep in mind just having a patent granted doesn’t mean Apple is going to be using the tech, either soon or ever.

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Samsung Working on a Glass-Like Visor; Huawei Sticking With Android for Now; Twitter Adds Stickers

Digitaltrends.com says Samsung recently filed a patent application for Samsung Ahead, a headset described as a “wearable computer” built “in the shape of a helmet.” Yes, that smacks a bit of Google Glass. The application describes an operating system for a “digital electronic device” that sports built-in support for “electronic display modules” like a screen, plus headphone hardware capable of “MP3” and “MP4” playback and “digital communication” and such peripherals as “digital camera” and “camcorders.” Somehow, ‘Helmet Heads’ or ‘Samholes’ doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘Glassholes.’

Just last week, The Information reported that Huawei has assembled a team working to replace Android for their smartphones and tablets. Bgr.com reports that the company’s CEO Richard Yu went on social media site Weibo over the weekend to confirm that Huawei will continue to use Android as long as Google keeps it open. Samsung has already shown just how tough it is to launch a new OS and have it take hold. Tizen has been in various stages of release since 2012, but try to find someone that’s not a mega-nerd who has even heard of it.

Thenextweb.com notes that Twitter is introducing stickers for images uploaded to your feed, which are also searchable when tapped. Here’s how it works: you upload an image to Twitter, then pick a sticker or stickers to put on it. Once you post the image, stickers become searchable when tapped. You can only use Twitter’s stickers, not 3rd party ones. It may seem a bit silly, but with a sticker, you don’t have to use up your 140 characters with hashtag words, so it can save big space on your posts.


Sharp May Be Third Supplier of OLED Screens for 10th Anniversary iPhone; Netflix May Launch Downloading

According to 9to5mac.com, Apple may not need to rely completely on the two major manufacturers of OLED screens for the iPhone 8. While Samsung and LG currently manufacture most of the world’s OLED screens, Sharp expects to be doing the same ‘before 2018’.

A story in Light Reading picked up by bgr.com says Netflix will go live by the end of the year with downloading, which would allow offline viewing as an option. Not surprisingly, Netflix will not confirm or deny this. Although most people are generally happy streaming TV shows and movies, this would be a big plus for road trips and flying, or places where you know they aren’t going to have a fast or reliable internet connection.


Samsung Gets Laptop That Converts to Tablet; Repositioned Sensors on iPhone 7 Mean New Cases

Samsung is getting in on the growing market for laptops that convert to a tablet, thanks to a bendy hinge. Lenovo has had success with their convertibles, and Mashable.com reports that now Samsung had dropped the Notebook 7 Spin in 13.3 and 15.6 screen sizes. They run Windows 10 with Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processors, and start at $800 for the 13 incher and a grand for the 15. The Notebook 7 Spins should be in Best Buy stores the 26th.

Besides moving the antenna bands, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus should be indistinguishable from the 6S models…that is, unless you are a case or screen protector maker. According to appleinsider.com, Apple has moved the ambient light and proximity sensors, on the front panel. Those, in addition to the larger camera openings needed will make present case models and screen protectors obsolete. I will probably go for the larger phone model anyway, but for those who aren’t…thanks a lot, Apple….you’ll have to buy new cases when you upgrade.


Minor Refresh of iPhone 7-Big Changes Next Year; Samsung Gear 360 Cam Now in Limited US Availability

After we noted reports here Monday that Apple would keep the audio jack on iPhone 7, several similar stories appeared Tuesday in WSJ, CNBC, & Business Insider, saying Apple WILL ditch the 3.5 mm phone jack. Looks like Apple may have planted these stories….sorry headphone fans, we’re all screwed. You will either need a Lightening adapter and dongle, or new Lightening or wireless headphones. Music companies will love this, as with no analog output, digital rights management will make sharing music harder. Also, reports are the 7 won’t be a major update…1 mm thinner, and moved antenna bands, but basically the same as the 6S and 6S Plus, albeit with upgraded processor and memory, and the dual camera on the Plus. Apparently, the tech isn’t ready for what Jony Ive wants until next year…OLED screen, and all glass phone…no physical button, and no bezel around the edges for iPhone’s 10th anniversary.

Samsung announced their Gear 360 VR camera earlier this year, and said it wouldn’t be available for a while in the US. That time has arrived, according to cnet.com. The cam is in limited availability for $350. If you’re able to score one, you can shoot your own VR videos for VR headsets. This week, you can only buy it at VidCon in Anaheim, and Samsung says they will have more details about further availability later. They have been on sale in South Korea and Singapore since April.