Kobo adds audiobooks to its iOS and Android apps

Audiobook fans have a new option to comparison shop against. Rakuten Kobo has announced it’s adding audiobooks to its iOS and Android ebook apps, with two ways to buy them: a la carte, or with a $10 per month subscription service that nets you one book per month. The service launches today in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand via an update to the apps.

Kobo, which was bought by e-commerce platform Rakuten in 2011, is best known for being one of the only e-reader makers around not named Amazon. But while it doesn’t have the same kind of name recognition, Kobo does have an almost completely global reach. It sells e-readers or ebook services in 190 countries, according to the company, and has a library of 5 million ebooks. The company also offers access to discounted ebooks, and library card compatibility, too.

The new audiobook offering is only coming to the mobile apps, though, so don’t expect to be able to listen to books on any of the company’s e-readers any time soon. Kobo hasn’t said how many books will be available at launch, but you can try out the service for free for 30 days.

[“Source-theverge”]

Niagara Gear Adds In-House Machining Capabilities

Image result for Niagara Gear Adds In-House Machining CapabilitiesBuffalo, NY – Niagara Gear, a division of Gear Motions, Inc., recently completed the installation of its first machining cell. The in-house machining capabilities were added to reduce lead-time and provide more flexibility and control to meet customer delivery requirements. The machining cell consists of two turning centers, a vertical machining center, and marking capabilities. Products will be produced for the Niagara Gear division, as well as other divisions of Gear Motions.

Paul Andruszko, Vice President of Buffalo Operations, said “having this new capability has allowed us to control lead times for gear blanks” on new or existing projects with extremely tight delivery schedules. It was this capacity that allowed Niagara Gear to help a new customer in the flexographic printing industry by providing complete hardened and precision ground gears with a lead time of less than three weeks. Andruszko said, “Before we made the investment, outsourcing the turning would have resulted in a lead time closer to 7-8 weeks, unless other customer commitments were pushed out”. With our new in-house capabilities, we were able to meet the extremely tight delivery required to help make the project successful.

This new investment further demonstrates Gear Motions’ commitment to exceeding their customers’ precision gear manufacturing technology needs from start to finish.

About Gear Motions:
Gear Motions, Inc. is an employee-owned company, with gear-manufacturing facilities in Syracuse and Buffalo, NY. Specialists in precision ground gears, the company manufactures cut or precision ground gears for customers around the world, along with precision cut spur, helical, bevel and worm gears, and multiple types of belt sprockets, timing pulleys and splines. For more information, visit http://www.gearmotions.

[“Source-advancedmanufacturing”]

AT&T Adds Security Apps For Networks

Inside An AT&T Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures

The AT&T Inc. logo is seen past a customer and a retail sales consultant at an AT&T store in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Getty Images

AT&T is expanding its lineup of products for business customers that use its services for managing data centers and large networks.

Customers that want to add security features can now forgo buying specialized hardware from outside companies like Palo Alto Networks (PANW, +0.41%), Juniper Networks, and Check Point Software (CHKP, +0.81%). Instead they can use software to do the same thing, saving money and avoiding headaches, says Thaddeus Arroyo, who oversees the AT&T unit focused on large business customers.

“Once we get the basic service installed, it’s as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone if you want,” Arroyo says.

AT&T’s corporate division has been trying woo customers away from buying proprietary networking gear in favor of cheaper hardware that can be upgraded by downloading software. The push moves AT&T from just deploying and managing gear made by others on its customers’ networks to selling its own hardware and collecting recurring revenue for the applications, as well.

The new Flexware line, which changed its name from “AT&T Network Functions on Demand” last year, can already run network routing software from Juniper (JNPR, +0.52%) and Cisco Systems, security features from Fortinet (FTNT, +0.65%), and programs from other well-known network gear manufacturers.

The new security applications can provide services like firewalls to keep out hackers or filters to block phishing emails from reaching employee e-mail in boxes.

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The carrier’s latest push follows the larger trend to cut costs in corporate data centers and cloud computing facilities by relying more on software. This market is expected to grow 53% annually for the next four years, reaching $12.5 billion in total sales in 2020, according to market research firm International Data Corp.

AT&T’s pitch is that customers can spend much less with Flexware than if they bought all the dedicated hardware to connect to their networks from the same vendors. Implementing the same functions in software on generic computers is less costly overall.

AT&T (T, -0.03%) says it has sold 2,000 Flexware devices since the name change last October. The product is available in 200 countries now, up from 150 last year, AT&T said.

The participating network software companies are hoping to keep customers in the fold as the shift to cloud computing and more generic networking gear gains momentum. But it hasn’t been easy. Some of the larger companies like Cisco (CSCO, +1.89%) and Ericsson (ERICCSON) have seen sales slump for key, high-profit networking gear. In March, Cisco paid almost $4 billion to acquire AppDynamics, a leading provider of network monitoring services via the cloud.

AT&T’s bid to get customers to switch to more software-based networking mirrors its own efforts to cut costs through software in its own massive network. The carrier said 34% of its own network was software-driven at the end of 2016, with a goal of 55% by the end of 2017 and 75% by 2020.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Netflix adds a screensaver to its TV apps to promote its original content

Netflix quietly launched a new discovery feature this week aimed at promoting its original programming to users who are watching via an app on their television. Now, when you leave the Netflix application idle, a screensaver will eventually appear displaying a rotating selection of Netflix’s Originals.

The company didn’t make a formal announcement about the new addition, which seemingly confused some users who didn’t expect to see this.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Netflix confirmed with TechCrunch that the screensaver rolled out globally to the TV experience this Tuesday, though it had been tested prior to now. It features the cover art for Netflix programming, including movies and TV shows.

There is no option to disable the feature nor configure any settings related to it — like how long before it appears after the screen remains idle, for example.

Right now, the screensaver is focused on Netflix Originals, instead of other featured programming, popular content or new releases. The idea here is to better promote Netflix’s original content that users may not be as familiar with — perhaps because they aren’t titles from traditional television, or blockbuster movies, or because they feature unknown actors.

The company did not confirm a detailed device lineup, but users have already reported seeing it on a variety of streaming players and TVs, including Android TV, Fire TV, Mi Box, Xbox One, PlayStation, Roku, various smart TVs and more.

According to Netflix, however, the screensaver feature is broadly available across all of Netflix’s TV apps, with the exception of some older and legacy devices.

[“Source-techcrunch”]