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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2053

Sony Xperia Honami most likely to be renamed Xperia Z1 or Z One

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 11:03 am

On September 4, Sony will announce the latest flagship to its premium Xperia Android-based smartphone lineup. At the moment, this new phone is known as the Xperia Honami and packs a massive 21-megapixel rear camera. Today, a new report has surfaced that claims the phone will not retain the Honami name but will get renamed to either the Xperia Z1 or Xperia Z One.

 

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The Honami, despite whatever its new name will be, will still pack a hefty hardware list, including a five-inch full HD display, 2.2 GHz quad-core QUALCOMM Snapdragon 800 CPU, and that massive 21-megapixel rear camera. A 3000mAh battery is said to be on board, which will provide many hours of uptime. So what you think of the new name? Since there's already an Xperia Z and Z Ultra, would renaming the Honami to Xperia One or Xperia 1 be too confusing? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Origin begins offering full refund on EA titles within 24 hours

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 10:03 am

Today, Origin announced that it has started offering full refunds on EA-published Windows or Mac games if you decide you no longer want it within 24 hours of the first run. "If something doesn't work out - you aren't riveted by the storyline, or sucked in by the action, or even just if the game doesn't play well with your video card - we've got your back," EA said in a statement.

 

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To obtain a refund, you must simply apply within 24 hours from the first launch of the game or within seven days from when it was purchased. Pre-ordered games can be returned for a full refund within seven days of the game's release as long as it was purchased from Origin's digital storefront. This gives Origin a clear advantage over other digital game dealers as it is the only service with a solid 100 percent money back return policy.

AMD slashes price on its FX-9590 by $500, bringing it down to $400

By: Charles Gantt | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 9:04 am

Let's face it: everyone loves CPUs that are clocked to astronomical speeds. It is the reason many of us run enthusiast grade unlocked processors that we push to the limits. When AMD first announced its 5GHz monster--the FX-9590--I'll have to admit I was a little speechless, as was most of the tech world, but not for the fact that it was able to Turbo to 5GHz, but for the fact that AMD priced it at $900.

 

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Generally known for their low-cost, high-performance CPUs, that $900 price tag shocked many AMD enthusiasts. In the professional world, many reviewers and industry analysts cried foul saying that a $900 price tag would never work. AMD has apparently heard those statements and cries loud and clear and today slashed the price of the FX-9590 by $500, making it cost just a mere $400.

Garmin unveils new rugged action camera named the VIRB

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 8:03 am

Garmin has just introduced a new sports sensory to its lineup in the form of a rugged action camera dubbed the VIRB. The device is designed to capture high definition video during intense action-packed activities such as kayaking, skydiving, mountain biking, skateboarding, or dirt biking.

 

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The VIRB features an IPX-7 waterproof rating, which allows it to be submerged in water up to 3 feet deep for about 30 minutes without the possibility of leakage. The HD video camera is capable of recording 1080p video and features digital image stabilization. The ability to take 16-megapixel still images is present and does not interrupt video recording. The device is said to have up to three hours of recording time, even with its always-on 1.4-inch color display.

 

The Garmin VIRB is being offered in two different models, with the more expensive VIRB Elite featuring built-in Wi-Fi and GPS tracking for $399. The base-model VIRB will run you $299 and while it does not feature integrated GPS or Wi-Fi, it has a built-in interlink that allows you to connect it to Garmin GPS devices. As an avid kayaker and outdoor adventurer, I cannot wait to get my hands on a VIRB Elite!

Continue reading 'Garmin unveils new rugged action camera named the VIRB' (full post)

Apple to launch iTunes Radio with audio, video and interactive ads

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 7:06 am

Apple is widely expected to release its iTunes Radio streaming service sometime next month. The service was first announced back in June at Apple's WWDC conference and we have known that the free service will be made possible by the injection of ads. Today, we found out what type of ads those will be.

 

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According to website TechSpot, Apple injects three different types of ads into the free version of the streaming service. An audio ad will play every 15 minutes, while a video ad will queue up every hour, and finally the third type of ad is what is known as an interactive "slate" advertisement, which fully consumes the entirety of the display. All three of these ads will be present on the iPhone, iPad, and desktops or laptops running iTunes. It is said that users of Apple TV will also experience similar ads.

 

Circumventing these ads is quite simple and requires users to purchase an iTunes Match subscription, which will remove all advertisements from the service. In the beginning, the ads will run across all platforms, but later in 2014, advertisers will have the ability to specify specific devices on which they wish their ads to appear. This means that someone advertising iPhone accessories will be able to target their ads to only display on iPhone devices.

Groklaw is the next to close its doors in wake of NSA spying

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 6:03 am

The owners of the popular "Open Source" legal advice website Groklaw announced today that they will follow in the footsteps of Lavabit and close their doors forever. The official announcement says that Groklaw planned to shut down after Lavabit's owner announced that he had stopped using email and that if we "knew what he knew then we would stop too."

 

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That announcement must have shook the Groklaw owners to the core as they say that without secure email there is no way their website can continue to exist. The official announcement goes on to hit on topics such as Scripture, 9/11, and even into the personal break-in and burglary of the owner's home. I feel like Groklaw is taking the situation as an easy way out and using recent events as a scapegoat to justify the closure of their website.

Continue reading 'Groklaw is the next to close its doors in wake of NSA spying' (full post)

Instagram is fed up with 3rd party apps ripping off its name

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 4:59 am

A catchy name is everything in the mobile app world. After all, there were hundreds of photo filter apps like Instagram; they did the same thing but never caught on. As a result of its popularity, Instagram has seen parts of its name used in dozens of third-party applications that in some form or another tie into the Instagram Service, and this unauthorized use of its name has the Facebook-owned company in an uproar.

 

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According to a report released today by TechCrunch, Instagram has began sending cease-and-desist emails to companies that feature the "Insta" or "gram" wording in their applications. The first to receive the hit is the app Luxogram, an application that allows you to use Instagram via a web browser.

 

As TechCrunch points out, while the Instagram name has always been protected by trademark as well as the company's API guidelines, the use of the terms "insta" and "gram" have not. Until very recently, the use of those terms were actually encouraged in the Instagram API documentation. Apparently, Facebook has decided that allowing third parties to use either of these terms is unacceptable and could damage the Instagram name.

Continue reading 'Instagram is fed up with 3rd party apps ripping off its name' (full post)

Microsoft to release Project Spark in October, anyone can be a dev

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 4:11 am

Earlier today at the Gamescom event taking place in Germany, Microsoft announced that it will launch Project Spark in beta form for Windows 8 in October. For those of you who have never heard of Project Spark, it amounts to an inception-like video game development tool within a game that allows players to build custom worlds, developed characters, and render custom animations all from an Xbox One or Windows 8-based PC.

 

The development suite will let player-developers utilize a Kinect sensor to include voice and motion capture as well as allow players to capture facial animations and body motion to bring the characters they design to life. Users can also record their own face and superimpose it on an in-game character or record custom body motions, which they can then assign as a player's attack moves within a game.

 

 

Gamers also have the ability to fully customize the in-game world to build out that entire fantasy round they have always dreamed. The video above highlights some of the high level worlds and animations that are possible using Project Spark. Microsoft says that the closed beta will begin for Windows 8 devices in early October, and the Xbox One will receive Spark access sometime in January 2014.

Continue reading 'Microsoft to release Project Spark in October, anyone can be a dev' (full post)

Just 5 days in and Plants vs Zombies 2 sees over 16 million downloads

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 3:10 am

Plants vs Zombies 2 released worldwide just five days ago and has already surpassed more than 16 million downloads, landing it at the top spot of EA's most successful mobile game launch in history. The sequel to the popular zombie killing game also found itself amongst some of the top grossing games on opening day the Apple App Store has ever seen.

 

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"We are grateful and delighted with the incredible reception Plants vs. Zombies 2 has received from consumers around the globe," said Tony Leamer, Franchise Business Director for Plants vs. Zombies. "We certainly had high hopes for the game, but to see fans playing the game so quickly and in such huge numbers is truly amazing."

 

EA says that in the five days since launch, Plants vs Zombies 2 rocketed into the number one position in the App Store in over 137 countries worldwide on either the iPad or iPhone charts. It currently has an average rating of 4.5 to 5 stars throughout those countries and has received rave reviews from critics and consumers worldwide. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it pits garden-variety plants against a horde of period correct zombies throughout different historical time periods. EA has released the game under its free-to-play model and we found it in the Apple App Store in seven different languages.

Continue reading 'Just 5 days in and Plants vs Zombies 2 sees over 16 million downloads' (full post)

HTC One set to get Android 4.3 update by end of September

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 21, 2013 2:02 am

Today, HTC confirmed that the company will release an update that upgrades its flagship device, the HTC One, from Android 4.1 to Android 4.3 just as soon as the software has been certified. The company expects this to happen sometime in September with the update beginning to roll out later that month.

 

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The confirmation comes via a leak, albeit barely legible, from the company's president, Jason Mackenzie, who said: "Lots of questions re 4.3 release for One. We r wrking hard (needs cert) to release 4.3 across all US, Canada skus by end Sept. DNA as well." I'm not joking, that really was his tweet, you can check it out for yourself at Source #2 below.

 

As an HTC One owner, this is some very exciting news. During my quest for a new smartphone, many tried to turn me away from the One as it ran Android 4.1 and everyone claimed it would be over a year before an update was available. I knew that HTC had to release an update soon to put it on par with the new Android 4.3 devices that will be arriving this fall. With the addition of Android 4.3, I officially think that the HTC One is the best smartphone ever made, and that nothing released or releasing soon by Apple or Samsung is able to compete.

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