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TweakTown News Posts - Page 11

NASA says SpaceX, Boeing one step closer to launching astronauts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 3 days, 6 hours ago

SpaceX and Boeing successfully completed milestones in their effort to launch astronauts into space, according to NASA during a press conference to discuss the Commercial Crew Program.

 

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"I don't ever want to have to write another check to Roscosmos," said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, during the press conference. SpaceX hopes to begin launching personnel into space starting in early 2017, and wants to fly 50 Falcon 9 missions before reaching its ambitious goal.

 

As NASA continues to develop its next-generation space shuttle, the US government has called upon private sector companies to help fill the void. Following political tensions, NASA stopped relying on the Russian government to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA previously relied on SpaceX launches to help resupply the ISS, as additional private sector companies try to jump into the business.

Microsoft saw increased demand for Surface, but is the tablet doomed?

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 3 days, 7 hours ago

Surface tablet revenue has increased up to $1.1 billion in Q2 2015, according to Microsoft's latest quarterly earnings announcement. The increased figure was largely due to the Surface Pro 3 and sales of accessories for the device - an impressive year-over-year growth from $893 million.

 

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Even though this is the first time Surface revenue eclipsed $1 billion, some people are beginning to wonder if Microsoft is going to pull the plug on Surface.

 

"It is currently out of stock [and] unfortunately we do not have specific dates on when products are back in stock, [so] you would have to check back on the site regularly," a Microsoft Store sales representative told Computerworld.

Continue reading 'Microsoft saw increased demand for Surface, but is the tablet doomed?' (full post)

Retailers interested in adopting Apple Pay mobile payment service

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 3 days, 8 hours ago

The adoption of Apple Pay, while still stirring controversy among retailers preferring a non-Apple-centric payment service, continues to help stimulate the mobile pay revolution.

 

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For retailers, they have a monetary incentive to adopt Apple Pay: the payment service charges a fraction of what current credit card companies charge per swipe at checkout, which could help win over additional retailers in the future.

 

"I've never seen a bigger adoption of an alternative-payment system," said Brian Roemmele, a payments consultant, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Continue reading 'Retailers interested in adopting Apple Pay mobile payment service' (full post)

Report: Microsoft shipped 6.6M Xbox units during 2014 holiday

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: 3 days, 8 hours ago

Microsoft reportedly shipped 6.6 million Xbox game consoles to retailers, including both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, during its most recent quarter that ended on December 31, 2014, it confirmed today. Even though it saw a "strong holiday season performance" for its Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Microsoft didn't provide a shipment breakdown for each individual console.

 

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The shipment figures were a noticeable drop from 7.4 million Xbox One and Xbox 360 units shipped to retailers during the same time frame in 2013 - as the aging Xbox 360 is shown the door in favor of its next-generation counterpart.

 

Despite the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 last November and December, Microsoft will have a lot of work cut out for itself in 2015.

Analyst: Apple Pay likely didn't contribute to Apple's 2014 success

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 3 days, 9 hours ago

Apple had a great Q4 2014, but its mobile payment system, Apple Pay, likely didn't have a major impact on that success, analysts believe. Despite drawing tremendous interest from consumers looking to embrace mobile payment, Apple Pay - and rival platforms - simply haven't been able to compete against cash, debit and credit card payments.

 

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"Apple Pay is not likely to be a material revenue stream on its own anytime soon," predicted Colin Gillis, analyst at BGC Partners, in a statement published by CNN Money.

 

However, a growing number of retailers are interested in adopting Apple Pay, and that will lead to future iPhone adoption - along with one day hopefully moving the needle. Most credit card companies charge 1.5 percent up to 3 percent per swipe, while Apple charges just 0.15 percent per transaction.

Disney's 'Frozen' becomes US highest selling Blu-ray disc

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 3 days, 9 hours ago

Disney's 2013 animated smash hit 'Frozen' continues to smash records, be it from the highest grossing animated motion picture of all time, to Academy Awards and now it can add highest selling Blu-ray to that list too.

 

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According to aggregate Blu-ray sales tracking from The Numbers, 'Frozen' has sold just shy of 7.5 million copies in the United States alone, which equates to around $158 million in gross sales.

 

Frozen holds the record for the fifth highest grossing film worldwide, with a total of nearly $1.3 billion. Disney studios are hard at work on an unannounced sequel along with a short film 'Frozen Fever' which will be released next year.

To avoid ban in Turkey, Facebook censoring pages that insult Muhammad

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: 3 days, 9 hours ago

In its latest bid to censor the Internet, Turkey has ordered Facebook to block pages that reportedly "insult" the Prophet Muhammad, with the No. 1 social networking bending over to the demand. If Facebook didn't follow the Ankara court's order, the government could have potentially blocked access to the social networking site.

 

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"In comparison with Twitter and YouTube, Facebook cooperates with the Turkish authorities much better," said Yaman Akdeniz, cyberlaw professor at Bilgi University in Turkey, in a statement published by the New York Times. "Therefore, it's not surprising that Facebook removed these pages right away."

 

The Turkish government previously blocked Twitter and YouTube in 2014, due to published recordings linking corruption to the President Recep Tayyip Edrogan's associates. Under Edrogan's administration in Turkey, there has been a harsh crackdown on freedom of speech and social media - and the issue will likely continue in the future, as pressure mounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking sites.

Oculus plans to create virtual reality movies for its headset

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: 3 days, 10 hours ago

The Oculus VR Story Studio, an in-house laboratory, will be focused on creating movies and other content designed specifically for VR. Facebook opened up the checkbook to acquire Oculus, and while VR continues to impress many consumers, the company understands there must be an incentive for users to adopt the Oculus Rift.

 

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"Oculus is getting focused on films," said Edward Saatchi, producer for Story Studio, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "Story Studio is designed to inspire and educate - inspire by making awesome movies and educate by sharing our information with the community."

 

Story Studio consists of about 10 people, and includes Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm veterans, to help streamline film production.

Continue reading 'Oculus plans to create virtual reality movies for its headset' (full post)

Lizard Squad claims it hacked Malaysia Airlines website

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 3 days, 11 hours ago

The Lizard Squad hacker group crippled the website of Malaysia Airlines for about seven hours on Monday morning, threatening to release stolen information. The website was replaced by a "404 - Plane Not Found" statement, referring to two major airline disaster suffered by Malaysia Airlines in 2014.

 

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Although Malaysia Airlines said user data was not compromised, Lizard Squad posted a screenshot that appeared to be a passenger flight booking from MA's internal email system - and promised that it was "going to dump some loot found on malaysiaairlines.com servers soon."

 

The hacker group has been linked to multiple high-profile cyberattacks over the past year, including bringing down Microsoft Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network on Christmas Day.

Panasonic updates Toughbook 31, boosting battery power up to 18 hours

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Laptops | Posted: 3 days, 11 hours ago

The Panasonic Toughbook 31 device offers up to 18 hours of standard battery life, and can reach 27 hours with an optional second battery, along with increased connectivity and performance boosts.

 

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The Toughbook 31 runs an Intel Core i5-5300U vPRO CPU, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Wi-Fi ac, and runs Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro. Customers can choose between 4GB to 16GB DDR3L-1600 RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, or a 128GB to 512GB SSD option. The Toughbook 31 also uses a 13.1-inch display with 1024x768 resolution.

 

Designed for use by police, military and by employees working in rugged environments out in the field, the laptop has been designed to withstand increased shock, drop, vibration, extreme temperature and high altitude scenarios.

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