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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2055

LG slashes 55-inch OLED TV price by 50 percent in just a few months

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 9:40 pm

LG Electronics grabbed headlines when it announced its 55-inch curved OLED HDTV in 2013, which originally sported a $14,999 retail price tag. Early into 2014, LG decided to issue yet another price cut so the TV can be found for $6,999 at major North American electronics e-tailers.

 

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Prior to the 2013 Christmas holiday shopping season, LG cut the TV's retail price from $14,999 down to $8,999 to draw interested buyers with deep pockets. It's no surprise to see the price drop even lower in early 2014, but seeing it slide down to $6,999 in such a short amount of time may be all that is needed to entice some consumers to pull the trigger.

 

LG's price cut will also make it more competitive with Samsung's rival OLED HDTV that started with a price tag of $8,999.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella should end 'Scroogled' campaign

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Newly selected Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will carefully push the company towards cloud computing and mobile technologies, while other less successful efforts will be shut down. There is growing sentiment that Microsoft should leave behind its "Scroogled" campaign notorious for trying to make fun at Google's expense.

 

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The Microsoft online store features Scoogled-branded t-shirts, hats, mugs, hoodies, and other products - though it's doubtful these items have been flying out of the warehouse.

 

Instead of giving Microsoft the edge with Scroogled, in which ads available in print and online, along with broadcasted TV commercials, consumers have largely thought the ads are silly and show desperation. However, Microsoft obviously believes its campaign has been a success, with some advertising industry experts also agreeing that the ads have been effective.

 

Nadella, only the third CEO in Microsoft history, obviously has more pressing concerns - but don't be surprised if it takes a while for a new Scroogled ad campaign, if ever again.

IMAX 3D "Gravity" tops $100 million, movie goers still unsure on 3D

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 7:25 pm

Warner Bros. Pictures recently announced the IMAX 3D version of "Gravity" has topped $100 million in 639 theaters since release on Oct. 3, 2013. Movie industry analysts saw tremendous demand for the 3D version of Gravity, with the film designed to make a fantastic viewing experience in 3D theaters.

 

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The original IMAX version of the film was the highest-grossing IMAX movie of 2013 in the United States and international markets, box office records reveal.

 

"We congratulate our longtime partners at Warner Bros., along with writer-director-producer Alfonso Cuaron, and producer David Heyman, for crafting a visually and emotionally stunning film that appeals to IMAX audiences around the world and has also garnered widespread acclaim," said Greg Foster, IMAX CEO, in a statement.

 

3D movie technology has largely improved over the past two years, but movie goers don't like the viewing experience and higher price tag of 3D movies. However, select movie titles can generate good box office results, although it is difficult to determine which movies will succeed.

 

TweakTown published a Gravity review in late October, which can be read here.

Microsoft asks for help migrating people from Windows XP to Windows 8

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 5:53 pm

In less than two months, Microsoft will officially pull the plug on Windows XP after more than 12 years of general availability of the popular OS. XP served as a dependable OS that already surpassed Microsoft's expectations, though the software company is anxious to migrate users to the still struggling Windows 8/8.1 operating system.

 

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Microsoft will officially end support for XP on April 8, and is now urging home users, small and midsize-businesses, and corporations to finally migrate. Consumers that might be more interested in Windows 7 will be discouraged that Microsoft pulled the OS from its retail stores, and stopped selling to OEMs long ago - though many e-tailers still have Windows 7 OS copies - and Windows 7-powered PCs and laptops available.

 

Despite 8/8.1 frustrating some users, the OS is significantly more secure than XP - and has modern support from hardware and software makers - but XP still controls around 29 percent of the desktop OS market.

Army developing injectable sponge that stops bleeding in seconds

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 3:55 pm

Medical researchers are working on a military-funded project to find ways to stop wounded soldiers from bleeding out, the top killer of wounded on the battlefield, according to the U.S. military. The RevMedx-created XStat uses a small injector that implants 92 sponges able to stop bleeding in a mere 15 second, with the sponges expanding to put pressure on the wound.

 

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"If you pack gauze into a wound and take your hands off, there's no pressure on the [blood] vessel," said John Steinbaugh, RevMedx VP, in a press statement. "Every minute you're holding pressure, that's time a medic can't treat someone else because he's trying to stop bleeding."

 

An Army study two years ago found blood hemorrhages made up 90 percent of cause of death in survivable battlefield wounds - and despite casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan - contractors continue to improve military technology. Officials have showed higher interest in using XStat for wounds in which tourniquets aren't as effective, including locations on the arms and legs.

Internet helping giant pizza chains destroy the little guys

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 2:34 pm

Major pizza chains are able to use customized online ordering systems to woo Internet users, while mom and pop shops are having trouble trying to keep up. Papa John's, Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, and other large chains are able to support online ordering using automated systems tested across multiple locations - but smaller local pizza shops traditionally need to use walk-in and telephone orders to handle customer interactions.

 

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Younger customers are more inclined to order delivery through mobile or online services ,with smart TV and game consoles giving customers the chance to easily place orders.

 

"Most of the small and regional chains who still continue to sell the majority of the pizza in the U.S. simply aren't able to play on these technology platforms with the level of sophistication that we have," said Patrick Doyle, Domino's CEO, during an investor's financial call.

 

Local pizza shops often provide lower prices, better service and higher quality pizza, but trying to compete with organized online ordering is difficult. However, services such as Eat24 level the playing field, though larger corporations can more easily afford to pay the commission per order. Even so, the larger chains tend to be able to provide bigger online ordering coupons and discounts, making it more appealing for those just looking for a quick meal.

Windows Phone 8.1 Notification Center teased in leaked shots

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 12:30 pm

Winphollowers has posted some leaked screenshots from an internal Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, which show off Windows Phone 8.1's heavily improved Notification Center.

 

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The Notification Center, or "Action Center" as Microsoft seems to call it, will display itself with a quick swipe from the top of the screen. From here, four basic settings are on-hand, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. These four actions are customizable, so you can play around with them, but the basic Action Center will also display the date, and battery level percentage.

 

If you continue to pull on the Notification Center, a full "Action Center" will be displayed with even more information and settings. Microsoft's update to its mobile OS will also push forward a split in volume controls for ringer/notifications and media/apps, too. Windows Phone 8.1 will also bring forth Microsoft's own personal assistant, "Cortana". We should hear more about Windows Phone 8.1 at Microsoft's Build developer conference in April.

Cloud computing market to top $121 billion by 2015, report says

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 11:30 am

Cloud computing is predicted to reach $121.1 billion by 2015, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets, though other analysts guess the market will have a difficult time in 2014. Embracing the cloud gives users the chance to utilize a scalable and cost-effective way to access and share information from any Web-connected device.

 

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For companies trying to sell cloud services to the consumer or B2B markets, it's quickly coming down to service quality. Any company trying to drive innovation in the cloud market must pay attention to good product support, customer support, and clear lines of communication with users.

 

Companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon tend to get a lot of headlines for their respective cloud efforts, though software providers like Red Hat and CA are expected to have a difficult time growing this year.

Smart HDTVs, streaming products help drive connected living room

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 11:05 am

Manufacturers have finally figured out how to attract consumers to connected high-definition TVs (HDTVs), using third-party Web-based apps to draw in users. Smart TVs will capture the "majority of television shipments" this year, and more U.S. consumers will have smart TVs than connected TVs by 2015, according to Business Insider.

 

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Original Web TVs initially seemed appealing, but were wrongly predicted TV viewers would want to use the TV to browse the Internet in a traditional manner. Some companies embrace open platforms, such as LG, Roku and Google Chromecast supporting open source, while Apple, Samsung and other companies rely on closed infrastructures.

 

Apple TV and Roku set-top boxes lead the market for streaming devices, though Google Chromecast also sold a large number of units. Apple TV racked up 8 million units shipped during all of 2013, while Roku shipped 4.5 million units.

Facebook estimates it has over 100 million fake accounts in use

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 10:36 am

During Facebook's Q4 earnings report, we found out that there are over 1.23 billion monthly active users, 757 million daily active users, 945 million monthly active mobile users, and 556 million daily active mobile users.

 

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These are some interesting numbers, but just how many of these Facebook accounts are fake? The social network says that at least 67.65 million fake accounts were used last month alone, with this number exploding out to as high as 137.76 million accounts, if its higher-end estimate is to be believed.

 

Facebook estimates that in 2013, between 5.5% and 11.2% of its total users, were fake. It's a huge number, but not totally surprising.

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