Drobo has long had an apps platform to extend the usefulness of its smart drive enclosures, but there’s been limits to what it can do in the cloud and mobile spaces. The company is widening that support this week, and it’s inaugurating the effort with a pair of apps for the Drobo 5N. For us, the real highlight is Plex support, which turns the 5N into a high-capacity, redundant media server that can boost its storage as the content library gets bigger. The more pragmatic among us will like Barracuda Networks’ Copy, which offers unlimited file syncing and sharing that will seem familiar to Dropbox aficionados. Copy is already available for free, while Plex should also be gratis when it’s ready in April — the only real hurdle will be justifying $600-plus for a living room video hub.
Vine video posts have had an ephemeral quality when there’s been few ways to show them off outside of catching a web link the moment it appears. There’s a better way to make those six seconds last an eternity now that the Twitter-run service offers support for embedding its loops on the web. As long as you have access to an existing web link or share a clip through an updated iOS app, you can get HTML code to embed a video in two styles and three different sizes. While it’s not quite the expanded platform support that some are hoping for, embedded viewing does make it easier to see what Vine is about — and potentially delight (or annoy) blog readers who’d have otherwise missed your ultra-short movie projects.
HTC’s Status may not have been a tremendous hit, but it looks like Facebook hasn’t severed its ties with the smartphone maker just yet. According to TechCrunch and New York Times sources, April 4th’s “Come See Our New Home on Android” event is set to feature an HTC smartphone with a custom, Facebook-centric OS. It’s perhaps the next best thing to a phone designed and manufactured by Facebook, but instead, HTC will be tasked with creating the hardware. The integration is expected to run deep, however — when you power on the device, a Facebook home screen is what you’ll see first. Additionally, the device’s camera and messaging apps will default to Facebook, according to the New York Times report. Hardware specifications have yet to be revealed, but software will clearly be the focus here. Tune in at 1PM EST next Thursday for our liveblog, direct from Facebook HQ.
What’s YouTube doing at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco? Talking about integration with video games, obviously. More specifically, the company is hoping to expand an idea we first noticed in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, whereby users could easily stream in-game content to YouTube. Clearly, the company worked in concert with Activision to make that possible, but forthcoming APIs will enable game developers far and wide to add the same functionality to other titles. Unfortunately, details remain murky regarding availability, but we are told that these new tools won’t be limited to just consoles — it sounds as if PC and mobile games will too be able to take advantage.
Google has always been pretty firm in its stance that “open systems win.” Now its going so far as to publicly pledge that it will “not sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.” The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, as the company is calling it, is the latest effort to back open-source software which Mountain View contends is one of the driving sources of innovation in cloud-computing and the internet. The first set of patents that are part of the initiative are related to MapReduce, which is used to process large data sets, though the company will eventually expand it to cover other technologies. The pledge is similar to Twitter’s Innovators Patent Agreement which it announced in April of last year. There wont be any immediate benefit to end users, but anything that encourages innovation and minimizes litigation seems like a net positive in our book. For more details hit up the source link.
Listen, we’re not going to promise you that watching an hour-long episode is the same as going to Expand. The good news for those of you who were unable to attend due to scheduling or geography, however, is that the ticket price is a bit lower, and many of our favorite moments have been saved for posterity. We’ve done our best to whittle a weekend at San Francisco’s beautiful Fort Mason center into one bite-sized chunk of Engadget Show goodness. We’ll take you behind the scenes at the event and show you what it takes to run your very own consumer-facing electronics show.
We’ve got conversations with Google’s Tamar Yehoshua, OUYA’s Julie Uhrman, Jason Parrish and Corinna Proctor from Lenovo, Chris Anderson, DJ Spooky, Mark Frauenfelder, Veronica Belmont, Ryan Block, plus folks from NASA, 3D Robotics, Oculus, Google Lunar X Prize, TechShop, Lunar and IndieGogo. We’ll go for a spin on ZBoard’s latest electric skateboard and show off the da Vinci surgical robot, the Ekso robotic exoskeleteon and the latest UAV from 3D Robotics — we’ll also be taking you out on the town in a Tesla Model S. And for a little bit of high drama, there’s our first-ever Insert Coin: New Challengers competition, including conversations with the semi-finalists and the big moment of truth. All that plus kids, dogs and your favorite Engadget Editors. Join us after the break for a warm and fuzzy Engadget Show, won’t you?
Looking to refresh your polo shirt collection — today — without making a trip to the store? There’s a Google venture for that, and it’s called Shopping Express. The service, which offers same-day delivery from Target, Walgreens, Toys R Us, American Eagle, Staples, Office Depot and a few local shops, has just opened its doors to testers in the San Francisco Bay Area. After signing up on Google’s microsite, you’ll be on your way to six months of unlimited free deliveries from select retailers. The service competes with similar offerings from Amazon and eBay, and, well, doesn’t exactly seem like an obvious fit for Google. We’re eager to see how it pans out — hopefully, if it does turn out to be a worthwhile venture, it won’t succumb to the search giant’s annual “spring cleaning” ritual. The company is only accepting “a limited number of shoppers” right now, so if you’re eligible, sign up at the source link ASAP.
Starting today, Facebook is launching a new threaded Replies commenting system for users with more than 10,000 followers as well as Pages linked to brands and businesses.By placing the most “liked” conversation logs at the top of its related post, the social network hopes this new addition will improve interactions between groups and their readers. Qualified profiles should be able to opt-in to the feature today, but the company advises that it will be activated for all Pages and profiles with more than 10,000 followers on July 10th. As of now Replies is only supported on the site’s desktop version, but Facebook plans to add this feature to its Graph API and mobile applications. While it’s great to see the popular social network finally pulling its commenting system out of the Dark Ages, we can only imagine the flame wars that will ensue between followers. Moderators, start your engines.