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Samsung rumored to announce the Galaxy S6 next month at CES 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

CES 2015 kicks off in Las Vegas on January 6, with the latest rumors pegging Samsung on unveiling its new Galaxy S6 smartphone. The second rumor is that the Galaxy S6 will be announced alongside a new Galaxy Edge of some sort, with a new curved AMOLED screen.

 

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MAS analysts are predicting Samsung is aiming to sell around 45 million Galaxy S6 handsets, while 10 million or so Edge handsets should be sold. The Galaxy S6 is rumored to sport an 8-core processor, 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440) panel, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. We should hopefully see some new cameras baked into the flagship handset, and hopefully more.

 

The news comes just weeks after Samsung shifted out some of its top executives after the 'failure' of the Galaxy S5, and promised to cut down the amount of smartphone offerings in 2015.

Ubisoft pushes back Assassin's Creed: Unity patch, more things broken

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

Ubisoft had planned to release another patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity, which is still broken for some people, but the company has delayed the fourth patch to the game citing "additional issues that need to be corrected in the game before the update can be made available" reports Joystiq.

 

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The company issued a community update, where it said "We are committed to delivering major performance improvements, which requires that we refurbish the Paris map and that will take a few more days to hit the high level of quality our players deserve." Ubisoft has been updating AC:U since its release, with various game-breaking bugs, performance-related issues and much more, with this latest patch being another notch in AC:U's troubled launch.

'Frozen' Director apologises to parents for catchy songs

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

Disney's animated hit 'Frozen' might have hit screens last year, but ask any parents of young girls and they'll reassure you that the 'Frozen' juggernaut is as alive as ever this holiday season.

 

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However, the films financial and critical success and longevity might also be a bone of contention with weary parents whom have been subjected to repeat viewings of the film and its signature power ballad "Let it Go". In an interview with Variety magazine, the film's co-director Jennifer Lee laments:

 

"A year ago, I'd meet people who, when they found out who I was, they'd say, 'Oh, we love the songs! We sing them all the time.' Now they're like, 'Yep, we're still listening to those songs. I've gone from, 'Thank you,' to, 'Sorry!'"

 

Disney studios are hard at work on an unannounced sequel along with a short film 'Frozen Fever' which will be released next year.

Latest mod for GTA IV on PC brings next-gen graphics to last-gen game

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 19 hours ago

The latest version of the iCEnhancer for Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC is here, adding some very impressive in-game effects such as improved lighting, rain, color processing, texture detail, depth of field and much more. The gameplay and visual fidelity of GTA IV has been improved greatly, bringing it up to the next-gen version of GTA V on the Xbox One and PS4, and in some ways, surpassing it.

 

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iCEnhancer is continuously updated, with the latest version dubbed iCEnhancer C, which promises a simplified system. We should expect improved stability, less fog effects, improved shaders, and much more. The modder behind iCEnhancer, Hayssam 'icelaglace' Keilany has said that the new GTA IV iCEnhancer C mod is based on two presets: the first of which is a less realistic one. The second on the other hand, adds some improved graphical effects that make the game look even better than some next-gen titles out today. A list of features, something that is quite long, can be found below:

 

  • 2 presets, one more realistic than the other.
  • I had to create a new time cycle so the look is quite different...
  • No "red sky" at night...
  • Quite different than 3.0, no godrays, etc. no fancy effects.
  • Anamorphic lens flare (Sponsored by Mountain Dew and Doritos.)
  • Some little extras that I'll show on videos or pictures.
  • I spent a lot of time fixing IV shaders themselves which means no more weird sphere/blob lights in interiors or exteriors
  • Fixed almost all the lights during night, no more over brightness let's say. Even interiors should be fixed now. (will release as stand-alone patch for ENB modders as it's an issue that is quite annoying)
  • Did some pretty water that looks good even on Very High (used to play on Medium for the water because it's nasty)
  • Less tweaking and stuff, it's a drag&drop package with not much things to change, sorry.
  • Overall or TL;DR : Much more stable stuff, less fancy bloomy whatever. Clean as f*ck and cool stuff coming with it.
  • Also few things I experimented with, that might arrive with, not sure yet as some gives me some trouble.:
  • Displacement mapping on some objects ( currently having issues with peds, displacement on peds is nasty brah)
  • Full reflections (trees, peds, etc) (currently having issues with fresnel on cars and dual reflections)
  • Procedural details on cars. (Allows wet textures like Project Cars too) (Seems to work fine, might keep it)

Robots beginning to take over work force, as human employees struggle

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 days, 20 hours ago

American workers will need to diversify and learn new skillsets, as a growing number of robots are beginning to take hold in the workforce. Recent technological developments have allowed newer generations of humanoid robots, such as models being used in manufacturing, logistics, clerical work, and other key industries.

 

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Economists and researchers have shown concern that robots in the workforce could cannibalize human jobs, despite creating a number of new positions. However, there is great potential for humans to work alongside robots to help complement skillsets and help human workers boost productivity, while robots ease the workload.

 

"This isn't some hypothetical future possibility," said Lawrence H. Summers, former US Treasury secretary, when speaking about robot workers being developed. "This isn't some hypothetical future possibility. This is something that's emerging before us right now."

Continue reading 'Robots beginning to take over work force, as human employees struggle' (full post)

Anonymous targeting Swedish government for sinking The Pirate Bay

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 2 days, 20 hours ago

The Anonymous hacker collective and Lizard Squad aren't happy with the Swedish government for dropping The Pirate Bay, and is launching cyberattacks to compromise government officials. Hackers provided the URL and IP addresses used by the Swedish police force, inviting other hackers to target its website. Additional attacks related to the remove of The Pirate Bay are expected to continue in coming weeks from a number of different groups.

 

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Last week, Swedish ISP Telia also suffered cyberattacks, causing online services disruptions and connectivity issues for subscribers throughout the country. Usernames and passwords of numerous Swedish government officials were posted online by Anonymous. Hackers also targeted government email addresses for representatives in Argentina, Israel, India, Mexico and Brazil.

 

Trying to prevent these cyberattacks proves difficult for government agencies and companies, especially with Anonymous operating as an organized, decentralized collective of skilled hackers.

Google Android continues to dominate smartphone OS market share

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 21 hours ago

Google Android continues to dominate the smartphone OS market, with its lead continuing to expand, now controlling 83.1 percent after Q3, according to the Gartner research group. Apple iOS (12.7 percent), Microsoft Windows Phone (3.0 percent), and BlackBerry (0.8 percent) greatly trail Android. Both Windows Phone and BlackBerry lost share, as Android is able to attract a growing number of consumers worldwide.

 

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"Microsoft needs to keep the momentum going from the third quarter, when Windows Phone-based devices grew quarter-on-quarter thanks to the introduction of more mid-range devices," said Annette Zimmerman, Gartner research director, in a press statement.

 

The iOS is only available on iPhones, while Android can be found on a number of smartphones from a wide variety of manufacturers. Android is expected to keep its dominant stance as the No. 1 smartphone OS for the foreseeable future, as Google continues to develop the popular OS.

Major US wireless carriers endure brutal week as stock prices drop

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 2 days, 22 hours ago

Investors fled from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, dumping their stocks on the market, as financial analysts showed concern about the current wireless price wars. It's a great time for consumers to switch wireless carriers and get a killer deal for consumers, but investors are deeply worried about long-term profitability.

 

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Since mid-November, the four major US wireless carriers lost $45 billion in total market value, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sudden volatility in the stock market stems from Verizon and AT&T feeling pressure from T-Mobile and Sprint, with a fierce war underway. Other reports revealed Sprint dropped a whopping 16 percent, T-Mobile slid 10 percent, AT&T lost five percent and Verizon dropped six percent last week.

 

To end the current stock volatility, at least one carrier will need to shift focus back on profits instead of cutting prices - or if regulators begin to warm up to the idea of industry mergers.

Gartner: 3 of top 5 smartphone manufacturers are Chinese companies

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 22 hours ago

Smartphone sales to end users increased 20.3 percent during Q3, while worldwide sales of mobile phones were flat, according to the Gartner research group. Samsung continues to lead the market, with 24.4 percent market share ahead of Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo.

 

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Of note, three of the top five smartphone makers are Chinese companies, as Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo see increased sales - both in China and globally - as the smartphone market continues to intensify.

 

"Over the holidays we expect record sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but we should not underestimate the Chinese vendors and local brands," said Annette Zimmermann, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "Chinese players will continue to look at expanding in overseas emerging markets. In Europe prepaid country markets and attractive lost-cost LTE phones will also offer key opportunities for these brands."

Volvo cuts back on auto shows, shifts focus to generating online sales

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 2 days, 23 hours ago

Volvo is shaking up its sales and marketing strategies in 2015, and will turn attention away from glitzy auto shows, so will begin selling vehicles online. The company hopes increased spending on digital advertising will help it increase Web sales of its vehicles. Volvo is undergoing a "massive" effort to revamp its social media offering and main website to begin boosting Web sales.

 

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"We have been doing what is expected in the car industry so far, and we're going to do things that are unexpected," said Alain Visser, Volvo marketing and sales head, in a statement to Bloomberg. The company wants to "stand out and challenge things," in its effort to promote new vehicles.

 

Volvo will attend one auto show in North America, one in Europe and one in Asia, instead of trying to spread itself thin by attending dozens - if not hundreds - of shows.

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