qWN19ZCThe threat of “Game of Thrones” catching up with George R.R. Martin has always been a worry for fans, and also for HBO,  but never more so than it is now. Season four finale of “Thrones” is less than two weeks away, and fans of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels have really do have to worry, that Winter is Coming.

As of season five, award-winning showrunners and writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will start using material from the next two novels in the series: “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons,” two behemoth-sized books that take place concurrently, but feature different sets of characters and locations.Many believe that “Feast” and “Dance” contain enough material to carry across two seasons of “Game of Thrones.” Except that “Thrones” has already started adapting material from those books, as early as season three, in fact. At the current rate, certain characters on the show will have caught up with their book counterparts by the end of this season, let alone next season.Fans hope that “The Winds of Winter,” the penultimate novel in Martin’s series, will be on shelves before much longer. Even then, there’s cause for concern, based on the fact that Martin’s editor Anne Groell recently said (via Hypable) that the “Ice and Fire” saga, currently planned to end with the seventh book, could go as long as eight books.
“There are really technically eight kingdoms,” she said, “So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.”
“Game of Thrones” simply cannot wait for George anymore.There are millions of dollars invested in the series. There are thousands of jobs on the line. There are countless fans who have been dazzled and wowed by the world of Westeros as rendered by HBO. These things can’t be at the mercy of Martin’s deliberate pace. They have to be at the mercy of Benioff and Weiss, the creatives at the helm of the HBO series.
“Game of Thrones” is its own beast now. Even if it’s always tied to “Ice and Fire,” even if they always share DNA, they are two separate properties. There are already significant differences between the two stories: Characters who die or exist on “Thrones” that don’t die or exist in “Ice and Fire,” and story lines that are accelerated or wiped off the board entirely.
Benioff and Weiss have a story of their own to tell. Maybe it’ll be an exact mirror of what Martin has planned for the books. Maybe it’ll be a close approximation with a few twists and turns. Maybe it’ll be wildly different from whatever happens in the final pages of “A Dream of Spring.” Who knows.

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craig_mavericksOS X is Apple’s premiere desktop operating system, and it’s getting a big update with OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”. The “flat” user interface that was first introduced with iOS 7 has been deftly transferred to OS X. So for people that weren’t too keen on Apple’s design direction with iOS 7 likely won’t be too impressed with the vibrant colors, flat icons, and translucency of Yosemite.

A lot of this translucency and use of bold colors has been seen on past and present desktop operating systems from Microsoft. However, for those that don’t want all the colorful bits in Yosemite, Apple is also providing a “Dark Mode” which gives user a more familiar, traditional OS X look.

The Notification Center in Yosemite has added a “Today View” which is similar in concept to what’s available on iOS 7. Users can download widgets from the App Store to further customize the Today View in OS X.

iCloud Drive is an extension of the existing iCloud service, and allows you to have functionality similar to Drop Box or Google Drive. This means that you can easily share and access documents from within Finder across Macs (and even iOS devices). Apple will also provide an iCloud Drive app for Windows users, which is a pleasant surprise.

The biggest chance to the Mail app is a new MailDrop feature. Many of us have run into a situation where we send an email with an attachment that is too large for the recipient. This means that the message gets bounced back to us, and never reaches the recipient. With MailDrop, large attachments (up to 5GB in size) will be automatically routed through iCloud, and then rejoined with the original message on when the receiver opens the message (that’s if both users are in the Apple ecosystem). If the recipient isn’t an Apple user, the attachment will be made available via downloadable link — automatically.

In building on the idea of “Continuity” between iOS and OS X, Airdrop finally works between iOS devices and Macs. Continuing on with that, you can continue work started on your Mac to your iPad/iPhone and vice versa. For example, you could be typing an email message on your iPhone, walk up to your Mac, and then pickup up right where you left off. Likewise, you could be working on an iWorks documents on your Mac, then move over to your iPad and pickup right where you left off.


Your iPhone will now act as relay to send SMS messages to all of your devices (instead of just iCloud messages). It will also allow your Mac to accept calls from your iPhone, even showing you caller ID information on your screen. Your Mac then works as a speakerphone allowing you to talk with the incoming caller. This works even if your phone is in another room in your house (or office).
– See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Reveals+OS+X+Yosemite+Gives+it+a+Fresh+Coat+of+Paint/article34999.htm#sthash.g285WMSi.dpuf

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The Bitcoin is the first widely traded digital crypto-currency that is decentralized and unregulated. Find out more from the What the Heck is a Bitcoin infographic by SumAll.

Exchanges rising and falling, disputes over inventorship, wild accusations, rapid inflation and deflation, anger, confusion, and sadness. We’re talking about everyone’s favorite unicorn money: Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s six year road to the spotlight has been fraught with more turbulence than a flight through a hurricane in a Learjet, and since mid 2013 it’s only gotten more crazy.

SumAll has just added bitcoin exchanges, mining pools, and mining workers to our range of data platforms to allow our customers to keep tabs on the market and the progress of mining pools. For those who own or mine bitcoins, SumAll is now their one-stop-shop for keeping tabs on all things bitcoin, monitoring their mining efforts, and keeping a close watch over their investments.

For those who don’t own or mine bitcoins, chances are you have no idea what we’re talking about.

If you have an interest in bitcoins and don’t want to be that out-of-the-loop guy at the party who just keeps nodding his head in agreement and staring at your drink, we made this handy infographic to explain a few basic concepts to get you started. Soon you’ll be buying all your pizza–and rent–with bitcoins

Good design that tells a story to the audience, but this one uses too much text.  I wish they had included some data visualizations about the difficulty to mine bitcoins or the strength of the encryption.  The one dataset they did visualize was the value of bitcoins from Jan-Dec 2013.  The value changes so rapidly, including that one data visualization can quickly make the infographic feel old and out-of-date.  For a longer Online Lifespan, the design should focus more on the long-term, consistent information about bitcoins and not the most recent trending data.

bitcoin-info-render

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201405271725267372Mozilla is now taking pre-orders for its unlocked “Flame” smartphone, which runs the company’s Firefox OS. Flame is aimed squarely at developers and will be available globally.

“We worked with the manufacturer to keep the price as low as possible,” explained Mozilla when talking about the launch of Flame. “We’re excited that we are able to bring a high quality reference device to our developer community at an affordable price.”

That “affordable price” is $170 including free shipping from overbuying.com.

The Flame is by no means a “specs monster” and is admittedly Mozilla’s vision of what a mid-tier smartphone running Firefox OS would look like. Keeping that in mind, the specs for the Flame are as follows:

  • 1.2GHz, dual-core Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon processor
  • 4.5” screen (FWVGA 854×480)
  • Cameras (F/R): 5MP with auto-focus and flash / 2MP
  • Frequency: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • UMTS 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • 8GB memory, MicroSD slot
  • 256MB – 1GB RAM (adjustable by developer)
  • A-GPS, NFC
  • Dual SIM Support
  • Battery capacity: 1,800 mAh
  • Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0

While pre-orders for the Flame are now open, we surely hope that you aren’t in any hurry to get the smartphone. Mozilla says that it will take four weeks for the devices to ship. – See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/Mozillas+170+Firefox+OSpowered+Flame+Smartphone+Available+for+Preorder/article34972.htm#sthash.4dOEUMhq.dpuf

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