Xiaomi Confirms It Sold 61M Phones In 2014, Has Plans To Expand To More Countries

TechCrunch

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that raised $1.1 billion last month, has confirmed that it sold 61.12 million phones last year, bringing in an apparent revenues of 74.3 billion CNY ($12 billion) in the process.

The new figures were released by CEO Lei Jun on Weibo and are right in line with the company’s expectation for the year. Xiaomi sold 18.7 million devices in 2013, and 7.2 million in 2012, so the four-year-old company is continuing to grow its business at a rapid rate — its recent funding round valued it at $45 billion and it is now the world’s third largest smartphone maker.

lei jun

Graph plotting Xiaomi’s annual sales figures

Lei Jun previously stated that Xiaomi expects to sell 100 million devices in 2015 and, with the company doing business in seven countries in Asia right, it has developed beyond its original focus on China with greater capacity to grow its business…

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All Of Samsung’s New Smart TVs Will Run Its Tizen Operating System

TechCrunch

In its latest attempt to make the operating system happen, Samsung announced today that all of its smart televisions will include a Tizen-based platform in 2015.

In theory, this means that the new smart TVs will be able to sync with other Samsung devices that use Tizen, the company’s own open-source operating system. For example, they can stream content over wi-fi or connect automatically by Bluetooth. In its announcement, Samsung said its “Tizen’s compatibility with other devices establishes Samsung’s Smart TVs as the control center of any Smart Home.”

This, of course, means that Samsung will have to drum up developer interest in the OS, which was first announced in 2012, but so far as failed to emerge as a viable competitor to Android.

That hasn’t stopped Samsung rolling out products use Tizen. The decision to build Tizen into all of its smart TVs isn’t a surprise because Samsung has previously…

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The One Where Netflix Started Streaming All Ten Seasons Of Friends

TechCrunch

Christmas was about a week ago, but that doesn’t mean that the morning of January 1, 2015 doesn’t have an awesome surprise in store for you. Starting today, every. single. episode. of Friends is available to stream on Netflix.

Go ahead! Celebrate for a minute!

Friends is one of those mythical shows that has long been locked out of the new (streaming) world. But that hasn’t stopped the sitcom, which is now more than ten years off of the air, from being one of the most beloved and popular shows ever.

2015 is already looking to be a significant improvement over last year.

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Microsoft Is Rumored To Be Building A New Browser That Is Not Internet Explorer

TechCrunch

Remember when Chrome  was fast? Microsoft might, if ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley’s recent report that the software company is building a lightweight browser, codenamed “Spartan,” bears out.

According to Foley, Spartan is “new” and “isn’t [Internet Explorer].” Her post notes that it could be set free inside of the Windows 10 release schedule. In short, Microsoft may be building a speedy, simpler browser that maintains use of Internet Explorer’s rendering engine.

Internet Explorer has had a ribald history, growing from zero market share, to market-dominating heights, to slow decline in the face of Firefox, to faster decline in the face of Chrome, to a recent re-acceleration under a new, standards-based approach. Its life has been bitcoin’s late 2013 to date, but stretched out over several decades.

Whether the company’s recent moves have been enough to salvage Internet Explorer’s tarnished brand, however, is open to interpretation. Microsoft certainly wants its browser to gain market…

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Healthcare Predictions For 2015

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Julie Papanek is a principal at Canaan Partners where she invests in healthcare startups. 

Next year will be big for healthcare. We felt small tremors in 2014 of the seismic changes underway. In 2015, I predict five changes to the core of the U.S. healthcare system: insurance, pharmaceuticals, supplies, medical services and payments. Let’s take a look at each of these trends, what they mean for the healthcare sector, and what they mean for you.

Walmart becomes your healthcare insurer

This October, Walmart tipped its hand by launching a healthcare insurance exchange online. However, the insurance products currently sold on its exchange do not have Walmart as the carrier, which will change in 2015.

Walmart’s public announcements thus far provide a clear preview of the insurance plan’s future design. Primary care through retail clinics and $4 generic drugs at the pharmacy will drive traffic into stores. For specialty care, the plan will…

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Crowdfunding Startups Are Looking To Refashion The Business Of Fashion

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Dennis Mitzner lives in Tel Aviv and is the Chief Editor of Inside3DP. He writes about startups, technology trends and politics.

Crowdfunding is enabling new fashion startups to fight against the industry norm of manufacturing in Asia by bringing production closer to home thanks to lower minimum orders, willing local manufacturers and the trend of unique, customized clothing.

Fashion startups such as Before the Label, I Am La Mode and Out of X use the crowd to provide an alternative to mass manufacturing for the masses. Small startups online are not looking to produce quantities comparable to big retailers, but instead respond to a growing demand of personalized and unique clothing.

The concept of these new fashion crowdfunding startups is simple and similar to Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Each item has its own campaign with a minimum threshold to make the final cut. After the item gets…

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Christmas, 2014

Merry christmas

Wind Against Current

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

Our 2014 Christmas treeMaybe it’s because we spent last Christmas on the waters of the Florida Everglades. Or maybe it’s because this year has held more than the usual vicissitudes. For whatever reason, this year we found ourselves focused intently on the traditional trappings and rituals: A live tree, with real candles. A wreath, with ribbons and a bell. Roast goose, mashed potatoes, and cabbage. Christmas carols.

And they were wonderful: As the sun set on Christmas Eve, the apartment filled with the scent of roasting goose (overpowering the fresh fragrance of pine). Dinner that night was magical, with light glittering everywhere, and the sound of Christmas carols on the air.

Johna's favorite ornamentChristmas Day, we slept late, then spent a splendid several hours opening gifts. Okay, more like a few minutes doing the actual opening—but since most of the gifts…

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Quito Week Two

inneedofdirections

Where to begin? Too much has happened in the past week so I’m gonna have to do a list, I know I do Arts but I’m not an English major so gimme a break:

1. School excursion to ‘Mitad del Mundo’ aka the middle of the world – a museum dedicated to the Equator and the indigenous people who used to live there. To be honest I thought it would be pretty boring, what’s so great about Earth’s waistline etc but it was actually SO interesting, physics is magic to a scienceless mind like mine and there is some cool stuff you can do at 00° 00″ 00′ latitude. The whole thing about water swirling clockwise/anticlockwise when you’re in the southern/northern hemisphere is absolutely true, even if you’re only a metre above/below the equator. Also, because there’s no directional forces on the line itself (I think, the guide only spoke…

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