Posts Tagged London

New app helps parents decode kids’ text messages

LONDON: Scientists have developed a new app which will help parents decipher the modern-day text message lingo their kid uses.

TextGenie, a new app created by a UK-based software solutions company, DCML deciphers text language and slang from incoming SMS messages and translates them into plain English for confused parents, The Telegraph reported.

Research by DCML claimed that 84 per cent of parents with teenagers admit to receiving text messages from their children which they simply do not understand.

Parents often find messages littered with abbreviations and text speak hard to understand – such as 2go2 (to go to) or 2nyt (tonight).

Drawing on an existing catalogue of 1,500 abbreviations, TextGenie allows people to build up their own database of words and phrases often used by their children.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 63 per cent of teenagers now send text messages every day – compared with just 39 per cent using their phone to make calls.

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E-books overtakes traditional paperbacks in UK

LONDON: Days of hardbound and paperback could soon end as e-books take over!

With growing popularity of virtual books which can be downloaded on book reading devices, the real paper books have taken a back seat, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The online retailer ‘Amazon’ which started selling downloadable books in the UK in August 2010, has sold 114 internet book downloads for every 100 print books this year.

Amazon’s eReader devices, the Kindle range, have been a huge seller in Britain despite the fact consumers pay up to 70 per cent more than those in the USA.

“We hit this milestone in the United States less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle,” vice president of Kindle EU Jorrit Van der Meulen was quoted as saying.

“As a result of the success of Kindle, we’re selling more books than ever before on behalf of authors and publishers,” Meulen added.

However, this virtual success has been seen to be disastrous for independent book shops and are almost disappearing from most high streets.

On the other hand, this has proved to be a good move for authors who can publish their books on-line, get direct access to readers and earn a big share of the sale money for themselves.

The most popular downloads in the Kindle store so far this year have been the controversial Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by the British writer EL James.

More than two million digital versions of the sexually charged novels were sold in just four months.

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Microsoft opening new London Xbox studio

The day after reports of Microsoft reducing its Vancouver-based development studio, the company has announced it will open up a new one in London. MCV speculates the studio will focus on first-party free-to-play and online casual experiences, based on job listings.

“EMEA is a key market for us and we continue to cultivate the best talent and focus on growing our business, with this role focused on the continued expansion of our Microsoft Studios business in the region,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft’s Xbox presence in the UK includes Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare.

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Facebook to open engineering office in London

LONDON: Facebook has announced its plans to open an engineering office in London, its first engineering office outside the United States.

The new office, which will be based at Facebook’s new British headquarters in Covent Garden, will focus on the crucial and fiercely competitive field of mobile technology

It will focus on its services for third party app developers as well as its mobile products, which are seen as vital to its future success.

According to the Telegraph, Facebook sees London as a ‘hotbed’ of mobile development talent.

The new team will bring Britain closer to the heart of Facebook’s operations, the report said.

“London is a perfect fit for Facebook engineering – it’s a global hub, and it has a vibrant local start-up community with lots of great technical talent,” Philip Su, a Facebook engineer wrote in a post on the social networking site.

“Our team in London will start small, focusing on building a core of great engineers, and then grow over time and eventually focus on building products in key areas like mobile and platform,” he added.

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