The way NASA has marketed Curiosity has resulted in a soft spot in my heart for the Mars rover. This morning, Curiosity tweeted out a time lapse video of all her work over the last nine months. The video runs for just one minute, six seconds and is the work of Karl Sanford, a fan of Curiosity.
The pictures used for the time lapse video are from Curiosity's Front Hazard Avoidance Cameras and were obtained from NASA's Curiosity picture dump. Thankfully, NASA has provided all of this data for public use. Without that, this time lapse video wouldn't have been possible.
We want to hear your thoughts on Curiosity and the video embedded above. Should funding for NASA be increased to fund projects such as this? Let us know!
Microsoft is "confident" that the new Xbox One won't suffer from the same Red Ring of Death problem that the Xbox 360 originally suffered from. This is good news for gamers who suffered at the hands of the RRoD as it was frustrating and often just months after purchase.
Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, says that Microsoft learned a lot from the Xbox 360 launch and put it towards future Xbox products. He notes how the Xbox 360 Slim, or Trinity, had a very low rate of failure.
The last Xbox was Trinity [Xbox 360 Slim] and our success rate on Trinity was very high. We learned a ton from the 360 launch and we took care of our customers with the extended warranty, but I think Trinity is telling. Xbox One is built by the same Trinity team with the same learning that went from Xbox 360 into Trinity, and I'm confident in the quality of the new box.
There is still quite a bit that the general public doesn't know about the Xbox One. More details regarding the console should continue to show up ahead of its launch, which will likely take place towards the end of 2013. We'll find out more on June 10 at Microsoft's E3 briefing.
It looks as though Google could be readying a user interface revamp for Gmail on the web and its app. Several screenshots have been leaked and in them a radically different Gmail can be seen. The question is, are they real? TheNextWeb was provided with the following screenshot by a source:
It seems to show that there will be a few default tabs at the top to help you sort through your e-mail. The categories are reportedly Main, Social, Offers, Notifications, and Forums. It would appear that e-mail will automatically be categorized by Gmail into these various tabs.
Google's spokesperson said that they don't comment on rumor or speculation, so for now, take these images with a grain of salt.
Rumors have made the rounds that Facebook is interested in the social mapping service. According to a Bloomberg report, Google may also be considering a Waze buyout. This is good news for Waze as the two companies would likely enter into a bidding war; it's not such great news for the companies themselves as the price will go up.
The report states that Google and others have approached Waze since the news of Facebook's talks were made public. Waze is reportedly seeking in excess of $1 billion, so it's very possible that talks fall through and Waze remains an independent company. Greg Sterlin, an analyst at Opus Research, suggests that Google may acquire Waze to prevent competition or add social features to its own Maps product:
If they put a lot of effort behind it and really try to develop a social mapping product, it could be something significantly differentiated from what Google is offering and could grow into a competitor for Google Maps.
We're still a good distance away from Waze being acquired as the acquisition would likely undergo scrutiny from the FTC and other government groups. If Waze does enter into an acquisition deal, you'll be able to read about it here on TweakTown.
Good news for Windows Phone users! Microsoft and Google have apparently kissed and made up and are now working jointly on a YouTube app that follows the YouTube API guidelines. The new app will serve ads using YouTube's iFrame API and is due out as soon as next month.
Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube's API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks. Microsoft will replace the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time.
Windows Phone users should ultimately be the winners from this agreement as they will gain a polished YouTube app. It's not clear exactly what brought the two companies together or what Microsoft had to provide to Google to get them to play ball. Microsoft needs a YouTube app to make Windows Phone a viable mobile platform.
We'll let you know when the newly polished YouTube app is released for Windows Phone.
It looks as though Microsoft may charge retailers a fee to resell used games rather than users themselves. According to reports by Eurogamer and MCV, retailer will be required to pay a fee in order to sell traded-in games as used games. A cut of that fee will go to Microsoft and the rest will go to the publisher.
Once a game is marked as 'traded-in', it will wipe it from the user's account and console. This could explain the need for the Xbox One to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours. The specific fee isn't known as of yet and Microsoft could vary it per game or depending on how it's received by the market.
This will inevitably raise the price paid for used games or reduce the price paid for trade-ins. Likely, it will do both. Microsoft still has time to change the system, though we are still waiting for the full details. We probably won't get those until closer to the console's launch.
Today has been a good day for Apple customers. First Apple reduced the price on refurbished iPads, now Best Buy will be running a $50 discount on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 for the next four weeks. The discount will go into effect on Sunday and will be valid on any device purchased with a new two-year contract through Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T.
This discount could signify that a new iPhone isn't too far off in the future as Apple devices usually only get discounted ahead of new model launches. It could also be to help drive sales. After all, the iPhone 5 has been out since September of last year and it has to compete with the newly released Galaxy S4 and HTC One.
Best Buy is also offering some short-term Memorial Day discounts. From May 26 to June 1, the Galaxy S3 will be available for $49, the HTC Droid DNA will be available for $49, and the HTC One X will be available for free. All of these require their respective carriers and a new two-year contract.
We promise you, Instagram did not randomly delete your account last night. Instead, the popular photo sharing app suffered a glitch that prevented some users from logging in. Users, however, jumped to conclusions and the hashtag #Dontdeletemyaccount made its rounds, ultimately being used on over 500,000 photos.
Today, Instagram has issued an apology and explanation: "Yesterday we experienced technical issues that caused people to be unable to access their accounts for a short period of time. We restored access as soon as the issue was brought to our attention, and we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you."
Rumors swirled that Instagram was deleting accounts to clear server space or punish users who violated the company's Terms of Service. It's highly unlikely, for future reference, that Instagram or any web company would randomly delete user accounts. Next time, wait a few days as it's most likely a glitch.
According to several reports around the Internet, Hulu has received bids from four different companies seeking to acquire the next-day TV streaming service. Reports from The Los Angeles Times and Reuters state that the Chernin Group and Guggenheim Digital Media have both placed bids for Hulu.
DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are also said to have put in bids for the company. Hulu, despite companies looking to acquire it, continues to do well, turning $695 million in revenue for last year. Bloomberg adds that KKR and Silver Lake have both entered into the bidding, bringing up the total bids to six.
GIGABYTE has introduced a new small form-factor desktop PC powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU's. It seems interesting that GIGABYTE would launch this new product so close to Intel's introduction of its new Haswell CPU's. The BRIX, as it's called, can be fitted with a wide array of Ivy Bridge chips, SSD's, and RAM.
Exact pricing hasn't been detailed, but because of the wide array of customization, GIGABYTE notes that it covers a "range" of price points. It features two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-in, an Ethernet port, and a Mini Display Port, which GIGABYTE says can power up to two monitors simultaneously.
If you want a SFF PC to use as a set-top box or HTPC, this new BRIX system could be for you.
Looking to get an iPad but don't want to pay full retail price? Check out Apple's refurbished store. In fact, just today, Apple lowered the prices on its refurbished iPads to that almost every model is now at a 15 percent discount compared to a brand-new model.
The changes, as noted by MacRumors, are as follows for the iPad mini:
16 GB Wi-Fi: $279, down from $299 previously and $329 brand-new
32 GB Wi-Fi: $359, down from $389 previously and $429 brand-new
64 GB Wi-Fi: $439, down from $489 previously and $529 brand-new
16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $389, down from $429 previously and $459 brand-new
32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $469, down from $519 previously and $559 brand-new
64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $549, down from $619 previously and $659 brand-new
For the fourth-generation iPad, changes are as follows:
16 GB Wi-Fi: $419, down from $449 previously and $499 brand-new
32 GB Wi-Fi: $499, down from $549 previously and $599 brand-new
64 GB Wi-Fi: $579, down from $649 previously and $699 brand-new
16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $529, down from $579 previously and $629 brand-new
32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $609, down from $679 previously and $729 brand-new
64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $689, down from $779 previously and $829 brand-new
In other news, Apple has also reduced the price of its refurbished Thunderbolt and LED Cinema Displays by $30.
Several commenters were very quick to point out that the APU has a speed advantage over discrete GPU's as the APU does not have to send data over a PCIe bus then back to the CPU, which adds massive latency. While it is true, I must point out that no AMD APU on the market, or being rumored, can come close to the benchmark scores put up by even one generation old flagship GPU's, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. The massive number of cores combined with large amounts of RAM are just not feasible for an APU.
APU's really shine when it comes to mid-level performance in laptops, and productivity machines where the power consumption and extreme performance levels of a discrete GPU are not warranted. Don't get me wrong here, I am an AMD fan boy from way back and have to admit that I do like the APU architecture.
Amidst the launch of Google's Trend Visualizer, Microsoft has launched several new features to its Bing search engine. The most notable are in the service's news search where a new Trending Topics section is displayed in carousel form.
This new feature displays trending topics in a carousel of images with related personalities being displayed in a box to the left. These new features do not take one to a specific page, but rather to a new page of search results based on the topic you chose.
Bing has also extended its trending results to include data from the last several years and not just the last two weeks as previously done.
Samsung has been working on Tizen, its in-house mobile operating system for a while now, and we see a new leak on the OS every month or so. This month actual images of a Samsung phone running Tizen surfaced via a user agent profile on Samsung's own website.
The user agent profile is for the GT-i8805 running on Tizen 2.1 with a Cortex A9 processor, screen resolution of 720x1280 and LTE connectivity. The device is said to be in the mid-range category, which debunks claims made by Samsung's Lee Young-Hee who said the GT-i8805 would be a high-end smartphone back in March.
The leaked images show a silhouetted Samsung branded phone with the screen listing the codename "Redwood" and the OS being Tizen 2.1.0. Samsung S Voice is also seen in one of the images which could lend credit to rumors that Tizen is just a heavily skinned version of Android.
If you missed it, yesterday NVIDIA launched its long anticipated GeForce GTX 780, the company's newest flagship GPU. Alongside that launch the company released its GeForce 320.18 WHQL drivers for the GTX 780 and all modern NVIDIA GPUs.
SLI profiles have been added or improved for a number of titles including Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Dead Island: Riptide, Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, GRID 2, Remember Me, Natural Selection 2, Resident Evil 6 and TrackMania² Canyon.
The driver introduces game-specific performance improvements for Tomb Raider (by up to 20%), DiRT Showdown (up to 20%), Metro: Last Light (up to 10%), Assassin's Creed III (up to 8%), Far Cry 3 (up to 6%), Bioshock: Infinite (up to 5%).
Hot on the heels of its underwhelming Xbox One announcement, Microsoft has stated that it plans to continue Xbox 360 sales for the next five years with a 25 million unit sales goal for the period. With sales totaling 77.2 million units to date, that means the company will have to sell 1.25 million units per quarter until 2018.
This announcement comes via an interview with Xbox's Interactive Entertainment Business Senior VP, Yusuf Mehdi. While current sales numbers may be able to sustain those goals, Redmond is going to have trouble pushing that many units once US, UK and Asian markets see the release of the Xbox One. The company plans to bolster 360 sales with a "Huge Announcement" at the upcoming 2013 E3 show, according to the report.
Microsoft Game Studios executive Phil Spencer recently told GameSpot:
"I think the Xbox 360 is going to be very vibrant for many years. In fact, we have a huge, I think it's huge, Xbox 360 announcement for E3 that I keep wanting to talk about, but I can't. I think it will surprise people. I loved what we did last year with Minecraft; bring Minecraft to the box; six million units later it's kind of a beast. I think there's a lot of life in the Xbox 360 for years to come."
Recently Google's Larry Page took a trip to Samsung's OLED production facility and was so impressed that he agreed to a deal that secured Samsung as the official display provider for Google Glass. This news comes via The Korea Times, where an official of a parts supplier for Samsung Display said, "Samsung will supply its high-end OLED screens for Google Glass."
This statement seems to be backed up by hints dropped at a recent keynote speech given by Samsung Display CEO Kim Ki-nam who explicitly referenced Google Glass several times during his talk on the potential uses of Samsung OLED product. With recent advances in flexible OLED technology, we can only hope that we will see a bendable, hard to break screen in the production version of Google Glass.
In other Glass news, Google announced this week that the winners of its #ifihadglass contest will start receiving their headgear soon. For the rest of us, there's still about a year to go until we will be able to don the title of official Glasshole.
After selling more than 10 million units in less than 30 days, Samsung is releasing its flagship, the Galaxy S4 in several new colors, including Blue Arctic, Red Aurora, Purple Mirage and Brown Autumn. This morning we are learning that AT&T will have exclusive rights to the Red Aurora version as it did with the burgundy version of the Galaxy S3.
These new colored models feature all of the same hardware and the existing Galaxy S4 models, and it is unknown at this time as to which carriers will be getting the remaining three colors. AT&T has opened up pre-orders for the Red Aurora model and will begin shipping on June 14th.
The exclusive Red Aurora model will run you $199.99, which is the same price as existing Galaxy S4 models at AT&T, and at the moment, only the 16GB version will get the new color treatment. Personally I prefer a black smartphone, but I will admit that the brushed aluminum look of the HTC One is beginning to grow on me.
Intel are just days away from launching their fourth-generation Core processors otherwise known as 'Haswell', and now they're teasing the world by stating that Haswell-based notebooks will offer 50% more battery life than Ivy Bridge-based counterparts.
Haswell CPU's were designed with mobile devices in mind, with one of their core focuses being lower power consumption, according to Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Intel Architecture Group, Rani Borkar, when speaking in a media briefing. Longer battery life also will not be coming at the cost of lowered performance, as in idle or standby mode, Haswell chips will do even better, extending battery life to something like 20 times what Ivy Bridge products can offer.
The big question here is, is this enough for consumers to get back into PCs again? Smartphone and tablet sales have no signs of stopping, while PC sales are moving backwards, let's hope this ignites a fire under consumers' feet.
Google have updated the Chrome beta for Android, which has reached version 28 (28.0.1500.21) and includes a bunch of requested features as well as a new code base. Chrome users on tablets will now enjoy the same full screen experience that was included in version 27 for smartphones.
This means that the toolbar and omnibox disappear as you scroll down the page, which is very useful to use more of the screen. Automatic translation of pages not in the device's native language is now available, which desktop users have enjoyed for a while now. Here are the full details of the new version:
Google Translate: When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar
Fullscreen on tablets: Simply scroll the page to dismiss the toolbar
Support for fullscreen API
New graph showing your estimated bandwidth savings when you use the experimental data compression feature