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RumorTT: Amazon looking to bundle music streaming service with Prime

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 1, 2014 12:36 am

Music streaming services have been the hot topic over the last year with Google and Beats Music both launching streaming services to compete with powerhouses like Spotify, and it appears that Amazon is looking to jump on the streaming music bandwagon as well. Rumors are suggesting that Amazon is looking into integrating a music streaming service similar to Spotify into it's popular Amazon Prime premium member service.

 

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Industry insiders are saying that Amazon is "deep" in talks with several major record labels and music catalog holders and that plans for the service have been unfolding for several months now. Unfortunately instead of adding value to Amazon Prime, sources tell TweakTown that it will increase the subscription fee slightly and is the gateway into Amazon's rumored increase to $119 per month. If anyone can pull it off, Amazon would be the company to do it. Back in 2012, Amazon hired former Sony Music exec, Michael Paull and Rhapsody / MOG manager Drew Denbo as well as Adam Parness who also worked at Rhapsody previously.

Oh the irony, RSA Conference mobile app users exposed

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 11:34 pm

Either just bad luck or a cruel practical joke, it turns out the RSA Conference 2014 mobile app designed to help attendees get through the show mistakenly had a security hole potentially exposing user data.

 

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IOActive found that there were two major vulnerabilities in the app, including a flaw that reveals name, surname, job title, employer, and nationality of the mobile app users. The second flaw opened up the door to man-in-the-middle attackers able to inject code into the app's login, so login credentials could be exposed.

 

"The RSA Conference 2014 application downloads a SQLite DB file that is used to populate the visual portions of the app (such as schedules and speaker information) but, for some bizarre reason, it also contains information of every registered user of the application - including their name, surname, title, employer, and nationality," said Gunter Ollmann, IOActive CTO, in a blog post.

Continue reading 'Oh the irony, RSA Conference mobile app users exposed' (full post)

Sony selling old Tokyo headquarters to dig out of financial hole

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 11:28 pm

Sony has been having a fire sale of sorts lately in an effort to make up for recent financial losses, and today a new report has surfaced that says the company is in talks with an unnamed buyer with the intent of selling off its old headquarters located in Tokyo. This is the same building where Sony's founders, Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka worked on Walkman and Trinitron prototypes that made the company the electronics giant it is today.

 

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The sell could net sony about $145 million to add to the funds it earned last year from selling buildings in New York City and Osaka Japan, but the move is not popular with Tokyo locals who think that the company should remain in its birth city. This sell off comes just after the company sold its VAIO PC business just weeks ago, and the one thing we should all take from this is that Sony is hurting and this is most likely not the last part of its business we will see sold this year.

Oscars will stream for free on the Internet for the first time

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 10:50 pm

aTelevision broadcaster ABC confirmed the Oscars award show will be aired online with pre-show, live Oscars coverage, and post-show content available on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

 

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The WATCH ABC service will be available to cable subscribers using Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, or AT&T U-Verse in the following select markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Raleigh-Durham, or Fresno.

 

"For instance, if one of your favorite actors wins an award, you can see the great acceptance speech and then on 'The Oscars Backstage' experience follow them to a Thank You Cam where they can give a longer speech," said Karin Gilford, ABC Television Network SVP of Digital Media, in a statement.

Continue reading 'Oscars will stream for free on the Internet for the first time' (full post)

Microsoft could soon release a free edition of Windows 8.1

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 10:14 pm

Rumors are circling that Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows 8.1 that the company would release for free in an effort to introduce more people to the company's flagship operating system. The free version is reportedly called "Windows 8.1 with Bing," and will include several key apps from the Redmond software giant that have been limited in functionality in an effort to promote sales of the higher tier versions of the OS.

 

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Microsoft could introduce the free version as an upgrade from current Windows 7 customers, which could significantly boost Windows 8.1's adoption numbers. The free version of Windows 8.1 would also most likely push Microsoft's subscription-based cloud services as a way of generating revenue from the free OS. Many see the free version of Windows 8.1 as a way for Microsoft to combat Google's Chrome OS as well as the growing popularity of Linux-based OS such as Ubuntu. Additional rumors suggest that Microsoft is also using this initiative as a way to push integration of Windows RT and Windows Phone into a single low-cost mobile OS, which could entice more OEMs into releasing Windows-based smartphones.

Yamaha Blu-ray 3D BD-S677 player offers up streaming goodness

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 9:36 pm

Yamaha Corporation has unveiled the BD-S677 Blu-ray 3D player able to stream video, music, games and other content from Apple iOS or Google Android smartphones and tablets.

 

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The Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player adds a unique spin on a changing home entertainment market, where most new generation Blu-ray players include Blu-ray and streaming support - but to stream content from mobile devices should be a feature more widely adopted in the future.

 

"The BD-S677 is a very flexible Blu-ray player that strives to eliminate the line between home and mobile entertainment by providing users the ability to share and enjoy their portable device content on televisions within their homes," said Bob Goedken, Yamaha Corporation of America GM of AV products, in a press statement. "Its ease-of-use will provide our customers quick navigation to a wider array of their favorite videos, pictures and music."

Continue reading 'Yamaha Blu-ray 3D BD-S677 player offers up streaming goodness' (full post)

RPG gamers, prepare for Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal update

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 9:01 pm

Action role-playing game Path of Exile was originally released towards the end of 2013, and garnered strong praise from game reviewers. The company's game is available to download for free and gamers don't have to worry about "paying-to-win," according to Grinding Gear Games, the studio behind Path of Exile. The studio is preparing to release its first major update, Sacrifice of the Vaal, next week to the delight of RPG gamers that have helped offer game input and criticism that is continually being improved.

 

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Grinding Gear Games plans a major game upgrade every four months, with continued work to improve gameplay, add new items and features, and make sure gamers of all levels have new challenges and quests.

 

The levels are randomly generated so players have a unique environment with monsters in randomly spawned areas to fight. The Path of Exile Skill tree also has more than 1,400 nodes in the skill tree, so character customization also greatly alters each playing experience.

Continue reading 'RPG gamers, prepare for Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal update' (full post)

Tesla / Apple talks almost certainly about Li-ion battery factory

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 8:15 pm

A few weeks back the internet was set ablaze with speculation and rumors after Elon Musk met with Apple's executives, and while everyone else was hung up on acquisition rumors, I reported that the talks were more than likely about investing in a new battery manufacturing facility. A little over a week later, my suspicions were confirmed when Elon Musk announced what is to be the world's largest battery factory.

 

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Musk says that Tesla will build the largest battery manufacturing facility ever with the help of investments from others totaling $5 billion of which $2 billion Tesla will invest itself. Musk's goal for the new "Gigafactory" is to have the 10 million square foot facility producing more batteries annually by 2020 than the entire world's current annual production. This would allow Tesla to ramp up its production to the levels of that of Ford, GM and other major manufacturers today.

 

With Apple one of the largest consumers of Lithium-Ion based batteries in the US, and tons of reserve cash just sitting in banks, it made perfect sense for Tesla to approach the Cupertino-based company as a potential investing partner. With Tesla only looking for $1.6 to $2 billion in extra funds, Apple could easily front the money in exchange for deep discounts, or better battery technology that results from the deal. With battery manufacturing mostly an automated process due to the extreme hazards of the chemicals involved, labor cost would be very low, making the investment even more attractive for Apple.

Target, other retailers trying to come to terms with data breaches

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 7:46 pm

Popular retailer Target is still dealing with continued fallout from a data breach in late 2013 that left more than 70 million customers affected. The malware targeting Target's point-of-sale solutions should have raised immediate alarm bells for other retailers trying to prevent similar attacks.

 

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Target is now being sued by a handful of smaller banks that accuse the store of not doing a good job of protecting customer data.

 

"So far, seven financial institutions have filed class action suits against Target alleging the retailer didn't adequately protect customer data," according to the Wall Street Journal's Joel Schectman. Other banks could join the class action suit, accusing one of the largest U.S. brick and mortar retailers of not boosting its security defenses when warned of possible malware threats.

Continue reading 'Target, other retailers trying to come to terms with data breaches' (full post)

Secunia: 1,208 vulnerabilities in the 50 most popular programs

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 7:16 pm

Third-party applications are responsible for 76 percent of vulnerabilities now plaguing the 50 most popular programs, according to IT security firm Secunia. The company's research looked at the top 50 programs used on private PCs - including solutions approved and maintained by IT experts - with vulnerabilities largely stemming from non-Microsoft applications.

 

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Of the 1,208 total vulnerabilities found in 2013, 76 percent were sourced to third-party applications - even though they account for just 34 percent of the top 50 programs.

 

Despite continually improving security, many users still blame Microsoft for a wide variety of security loopholes - but Secunia's research indicates it's these downloaded and installed third-party apps that continue to cause problems.

Continue reading 'Secunia: 1,208 vulnerabilities in the 50 most popular programs' (full post)

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