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Apple, U2 Working on Music Format

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U2 might basically be the Apple house band, but the Irish rockers hope to be even more than that-- frontman Bono tells Time the band is working with the company on nothing less than the salvation of music.

Cook U2But how will the U2-Apple team up save music, exactly? Via the creation of a new digital music format, one "so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music," at least according to Bono.

Apparently the point is not to help U2-- which is already more than successful enough-- but other, less well known artists who cannot make money from live performances, arguably the only means musicians can make money in the early days of the 21st century.

“Songwriters aren’t touring people,” Bono says. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”


Dixons Carphone, EE, Vodafone to Divide Phone 4u

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Phones 4u storeAccording to Bloomberg, Dixons Carphone, EE and Vodafone are set to by at least some shops from Phones 4u, which shuttered down last week following the loss of business from mobile networks, including EE and Vodafone.

EE plans to buy 58 stores and take 359 employees, pending court approval, and is reportedly also set to buy the Phones 4u Life mobile service resale business.

On the other hand Vodafone says it will buy 140 shops and take on around 900 employees, pending court review of the sale.


Nvidia Boosts Shield Tablet

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Nvidia announces an upgrade on its gaming-focused tablet, the Shield, one providing double the built-in storage and 4G LTE connectivity for internet connections on the go.

Nvidia ShieldAs well as mobile internet the upgraded Shield tablet carries 32GB of storage, up from 16GB in the first version. Otherwise the specs remain the same-- being an 8-inch tablet powered by an 192-core Tegra K1 mobile processor. It runs on Android and can stream games from GeForce GTX-powered PCs via GameStream technology.

An optional wireless controller for console-style gaming is also available, and a preloaded Hub app store provides a number of Shield-optimised games.


A Keyboard for all Devices

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Logitech announces the K480 Bluetooth multi-device keyboard at IFA 2014-- a perhaps self-explanatory device the company describes as "the first desk keyboard designed for use with up to three devices."

K480 keyboardIn other words, customers can use it with up to three Bluetooth-enabled devices (Windows or Mac PCs, iOS or Android smartphones and tables), with an "Easy-Switch" dial allowing for, well, easy switching between whatever it is connected to.

It features a full-size keyboard layout complete with all familiar shortcut keys, and an integrated stand in which one can slot a tablet or smartphone.


Facial Recognition Reaches the Front Door

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Chui doorbell Startup company Chui debuts at CEDIA Expo 2014 with a device combining facial recognition, advanced computer vision and machine learning to create a smart doorbell able to put a face to the user's key.

According to the company the doorbell can recognise individuals and perform tasks specifically to them, such as unlock doors, activate connected devices and setting said devices to individual preferences. So for instance it can adjust the thermostat to a specific temperature and switch on the TV once the homeowner arrives at front door.

It also provides smartphone text alerts to let homeowners know who is at the door, as well a 2-way audio feature.


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