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  • TiVo to make version for those without cable Sep 1, 2014 7:22 AM
    Here’s a sign more households are going without cable or satellite TV: TiVo Inc. is making a digital video recorder just for so-called cord-cutters.

     
  • DuPage business innovation center opening in Naperville Aug 31, 2014 6:44 AM
    Chicago has roughly 55 “innovation hubs” where startups can get business services and support, but the rest of northern Illinois ise home to only two. Come Monday, the score will be Chicago, 55, suburbs, 3, as the first members of Rev3 Innovation Center start moving in to a new space in Naperville. “It's exciting to be working with these people and slowly getting them moved in,” said Nic Zito, project manager for Rev3.

     
  • ‘Secret’ loophole debunks anonymity on social media Aug 30, 2014 6:55 AM
    Secret is just one of the many popular anonymity and privacy apps for mobiles devices that allow people to communicate in a safer, more secure environment. But for many of these companies, the technical controls don’t match the marketing.

     
  • Apple said to prepare new 12.9-inch iPad for early 2015 release Aug 30, 2014 6:33 AM
    Apple’s suppliers are preparing to manufacture the company’s largest iPad, with production scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

     
  • Study: Social media users shy away from opinions Aug 30, 2014 6:55 AM
    People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center. The study, done in conjunction with Rutgers University in New Jersey, challenges the view of social media as a vehicle for debate by suggesting that sites like Facebook and Twitter might actually encourage self-censorship.

     
  • App reviews: Foursquare reboot; Fly video editor Aug 30, 2014 7:43 AM
    You may know Foursquare as a check-in service — a network where you let friends and the public know your whereabouts. But the company has gone through a reboot, taking its expertise in processing location data and applying it to a new Yelp-like service that relies on “tips” from previous customers to judge local businesses.

     
  • Amazon cloud welcomes Twitch gamers Aug 30, 2014 7:42 AM
    To a non-millennial, someone who plays video games all day is a couch potato, and someone who watches the players is beyond understanding. Yet Twitch, the game-play video-streaming service, had to find a buyer because it needs more hardware to meet overwhelming demand.

     
  • Review: The case against binge-watching TV Aug 30, 2014 7:33 AM
    It’s no secret technology is changing our television-viewing habits. Americans are increasingly engaging in a practice known as television binge-watching — going through several episodes of a TV show in a single stretch. But there are as many reasons to hate it as there are to love it.

     
  • Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov Aug 30, 2014 5:14 PM
    The form is called a 1095-A, and it lists who in each household has health coverage and how much the government paid each month to subsidize their premiums. Nearly 5 million people have gotten subsidies through HealthCare.gov.

     
  • A Closer Look: Reading tablets decent, but needed? Aug 30, 2014 7:37 AM
    E-book readers are great for reading books, but they can’t be used get directions or watch videos of people dumping ice over their heads. Tablets can. In partnership with Samsung, Barnes & Noble released a reading-centric tablet last week, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Amazon, meanwhile, has the Kindle Fire tablets. Of course, you can simply install Nook and Kindle reading apps on an iPad or a non-Nook Galaxy. The iPad even comes with iBooks installed. Are reading-centric tablets really a better way to experience the printed word? Let’s take a closer look. — GALAXY TAB 4 NOOK ($179): Turn it on, and you’re greeted with a banner that takes up roughly the top third of your screen. This is your library, where you’ll find novels, comic books, magazines and newspapers that you’ve recently read or purchased, along with non-reading content that Barnes & Noble sells — namely, movies, TV shows and games. This library banner isn’t available on other devices, though Amazon tablets have a similar feature called Carousel. If there’s a book or newspaper you read regularly, you can pin it to the home screen. Usually, you can do that only with apps. A book icon on the lower left corner of the home screen takes you to where you left off in the Nook reading app. If you stop reading to send an email, you can click the book icon to relaunch the Nook app and resume reading. This feature is also found only on the Nook tablet. Unfortunately, you have to go back to the home page first. It would be better to have that book icon wherever you are, whether that’s email or Tinder’s dating app. The tablet’s reading app works much like the one on other devices. You see what page you’re on and the number of pages left, but not the estimated time left to finish. The app on the Nook tablet and other Android devices also lets you hide the device’s status bar, so you’re not distracted by notifications at the top. That way, you’re not tempted to set aside your book to check Facebook. Unfortunately, the iPhone and iPad version doesn’t offer that option. At roughly the size of a paperback, the Samsung Nook tablet also feels nice in my hands. The Nook GlowLight e-reader, which Barnes & Noble designed on its own, has a larger frame surrounding the display. That makes it bulky, even though its screen is just 6 inches diagonally, compared with 7 inches on the Nook tablet. Beyond that, the new Nook tablet works just like any other Android device. It doesn’t outshine rivals, but it works well at the basics. You can buy e-books, movies and other content through Barnes & Noble. Or you can use Google’s online Play store — though you’ll need Google’s apps to read or watch what you buy there. Pictures taken with the 3 megapixel rear camera aren’t as sharp as what other tablets offer, but at least it has one. Previous Nook tablets didn’t. One disappointment: Although you can create separate profiles for members of the family, including limited-use ones for kids, you need to use the same Barnes & Noble account across the various profiles. — KINDLE FIRE HDX (starts at $229): Although the Kindle Fire uses Android, Amazon has modified it so much that it has little resemblance to other Android tablets. And there’s no Google Play store to be found. Everything gets bought through Amazon. While you can install a Kindle app on the Nook tablet, you can’t get Nook on the Kindle because Amazon’s store doesn’t have it. The Kindle reading app is good and comparable to what’s found on the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader and the Kindle apps for other devices. You get not just the page number, but also the estimated time left based on your reading speed. And Amazon has packed its devices with reading extras, such as quick access to character summaries, details about places mentioned and other information culled from Wikipedia and other sources. The Kindle Fire is less reading-centric than the Nook. A tab up top offers quick access to shopping, for instance. The Kindle is also too big to grip comfortably with one hand. The 7-inch version of the Kindle Fire has the same screen dimensions as the Nook, but the Kindle has a larger frame. The width is more like that of a CD case than a paperback. That said, the Kindle’s screen resolution is better than the Nook’s, so text looks sharper. There’s also a Quiet Time button to block notifications. It’s easily accessible by swiping from the top, whereas the feature to hide the status bar on the Nook is buried in the settings. You can turn Quiet Time on and off manually, enable it during certain hours every day or have it turn on automatically when you’re doing a specific task, such as reading a book or watching a movie. The Kindle also comes in several flavors. There’s a larger one, with an 8.9 inch screen. There are also versions with cellular capabilities. The only choice you get with the Nook tablet is the color of the frame. Only the 8.9-inch Kindles have rear cameras, though — at 8 megapixels. Although you can’t set up separate profiles for others in your family, you can enable a kids mode with restrictions on use. — AND THE REST: I still believe dedicated e-readers are better for reading. Hiding the status bar and turning on Quiet Time can help block distractions, but with e-readers, you don’t have distractions to begin with. The Kindle Paperwhite is the best of the e-readers I’ve tried. A tablet is good if you want to do more than reading and don’t want to carry multiple devices. I don’t think you’ll want to buy either the Nook or the Kindle Fire simply because it’s a reading-centric tablet. You’d want them because they are good tablets. But they are not the only good tablets out there.

     
  • 'Orange Is the New Black' is the second-most pirated TV show in the world Aug 30, 2014 6:00 AM
    “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix's hit series about a women's prison, was the second-most-pirated TV show in the world. Online viewers are rampantly sharing files of the stolen videos, bypassing payments to cable firms and broadcast networks that rely on viewers to watch ads.

     
  • Illinois agency issues long-awaited fracking rules Aug 29, 2014 7:04 PM
    The new rules would require companies awarded drilling permits to submit lists, some of them redacted, of the chemicals used in fracking. The redacted list would be made available to the public by department and be submitted to the public health department. The industry says releasing the full list would expose trade secrets.

     
  • LiftMaster now offers gate operator via your smartphone Aug 28, 2014 5:13 PM
    Kukec's eBuzz column features Elmhurst-based LiftMaster and its new technology for a wireless device that can open and close the gate on your property. It works with your smartphone or tablet.

     
  • Hanover Park homeowners get discount on solar panels Aug 27, 2014 4:03 PM
    Hanover Park homeowners can cash in on a double-digit discount on the cost to install solar panels on their rooftops. The village has joined Solar Chicago -- a first for Illinois -- that works to make the renewable energy source more mainstream.

     
  • Amazon gambles consumers won’t budge amid supplier spats Aug 24, 2014 6:55 AM
    Jeff Bezos is betting consumers are so hooked on Amazon.com’s easy shopping and fast delivery that they won’t revolt even as negotiations with suppliers make it harder to find some items on the site.

     
  • Facebook to track users across devices to study shopping habits Aug 24, 2014 6:42 AM
    Facebook Inc. will let advertisers know where a promotion was first viewed and when it led to a purchase by tracking users between their electronic devices, a tool that may reignite privacy concerns.

     
  • Google buying photo-analysis startup Jetpac to expand tech tools Aug 23, 2014 6:59 AM
    Google Inc. is buying Jetpac Inc., a software developer for analyzing digital pictures, as it seeks to organize the world’s information and deliver it alongside advertisements on desktops and mobile phones.

     
  • Apple-Google rivalry moves to companies Aug 23, 2014 7:39 AM
    Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. rose up by riding consumer demand for their products. Now the companies are trying to keep their growth streaks going by tapping another type of customer: businesses.

     
  • Two Europe navigation satellites in the wrong orbits Aug 23, 2014 5:37 PM
    The European Space Agency and launch company Arianespace say the satellites ended up in off-target orbits after being launched Friday from Kourou, French Guiana, aboard a Soyuz rocket.

     
  • Review: Video blackouts impede baseball online Aug 23, 2014 7:40 AM
    Major League Baseball shows what can be done right when it comes to making its games available on the Internet. It also underscores frustrations fans have with online sports coverage in general: The business of sports is set up to feed TV sets, and Internet viewers are an afterthought.

     
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