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Samsung and Spotify working together to bring streaming music to 2012 Smart TVs in Europe

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Oct 10, 2012 3:34 am

Samsung have just announced that they have inked a deal with streaming music and discovery service Spotify, where they'll see the launch of a new application for Samsung's Smart TV, Blu-ray player and home theater systems later on this year.




Getting Spotify onto the Samsung Smart TV, Blu-ray player or HT system will be quite simple, as all you'll need to do is have your device connected to the Internet and then just download the Spotify app and log-in. Premium Spotify subscribers will get the extra benefits of being able to see all of their playlists and more, and Spotify have also adjusted the application to work on the big screen.


Dan Saunders, Director of Content Services, Samsung Electronics Europe says:


Great music demands great sound quality. With the new Spotify app, people no longer need to fuss about connecting cables from their laptop or tablet to Hi-Fi equipment. Spotify for Samsung Smart TVs and home theatre systems brings Spotify's huge music library directly into your living room.

LG's Nexus-branded smartphone smiles for the camera, twice

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 10, 2012 2:31 am

LG's Nexus-branded phone continues to make waves on the Internet, where some new photos of the device have popped up. The black plate looks like Sprint's model of LG's Optimus G smartphone, with the front of the device looking like Samsung's Galaxy Nexus - so you'll hear no complaints from most people as it looks great so far.




It does sport a chrome-like bezel, with a speaker grille sitting at the top of the device. The home screen and buttons all look Nexus-like, which should be expected. But, now we have some specs:

  • CPU: quad core ARMv7 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Memory: 8GB (no SD slot)
  • GPU: Adreno 320
  • Android version: JellyBeanMR1
  • Kernel 3.4.0
  • Screen: 768x1184 (320 dpi)
  • Camera: 8 MP




So we're looking at a powerful device, sporting a quad-core processor clocking in at 1.5GHz, but also 2GB of RAM. 8GB of internal storage is included without an expandable microSD slot, which is a disappointment but these specs could change over time. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean fills out the software side of things, and the screen has a resolution of 1184x768, which should give us a DPI of around 320 and works out to an approximately 4.7-inch display, and finally, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Microsoft confirms Points are not going away for Xbox 360, local currency for Windows 8

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 10:31 pm

Microsoft is making a move that only serves to produce confusion in the marketplace. For Windows 8, Microsoft has confirmed that purchases will be made in local currency. However, they also confirmed that purchases on the Xbox 360 would continue to be made in Microsoft Points, the bane of every gamer's existence.




"Microsoft Points continue to be the currency for purchasing content for the Xbox 360 console," a spokesperson told The Verge. This will surely make some people sad, some people mad, and some people confused. Here's the kicker: Xbox Video or Xbox Music will be available for purchase on Windows 8 and Xbox 360, so you will have to use Windows 8 to make the purchases in cash.


It would be so much easier for everyone if Microsoft were to go to strictly cash transactions in the local currency. While Microsoft Points aren't going away quite yet, they are definitely on their way out.

Acer provides details on Iconia W510, includes price and launch date

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 9:31 pm

The market is about to see a flood of Windows 8 tablets in both the ARM and x86 variety. For the most part, it seems like OEMs are opting for the x86 version, using the Intel Atom and Intel Ivy Bridge ULV processors to power these laptop-hybrid devices. Acer has already announced details on the Iconica W700, an Ivy Bridge Windows 8 tablet.




They have now given us a glimpse of what to expect for the W510, a lower-end version of the Iconia W700. The W510 will release shortly after the W700, coming out on November 9. It will also pack a cheaper price tag, only setting customers back $500 for a 10.1-inch IPS, 1366x768 Windows 8 tablet.


Instead of utilizing an Intel Ivy Bridge chip, the W510 will take advantage of Intel's recently released Atom Z2760 processor, which has been designed specifically for tablets. It will also come with 2GB of RAM, which seems a bit low. The base model will come with 32GB of SSD space, with an upgraded verson featuring 64GB.

Pandora releases some interesting facts about payments to artists, usage numbers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 8:31 pm

Everyone's favorite online radio, Pandora, had its CEO reveal some interesting numbers at the SF Musictech Summit in San Francisco. Among these tidbits of information is the bit about how some artists are making over $2 million dollars in revenue from Pandora. "You would be surprised how many artists are making over $100,000."




These payments to artists are hurting Pandora's bottom line. As it stands right now, Pandora has to pay much more in royalties than satellite providers and typical radio stations do. "We want the same standard being extended to web radio that currently is being applied to our competition," said Westergren.


Pandora pays over 55 percent of its entire revenue to Soundexchange, an agency that collects for licenses for performing musicians. This is something that normal radio stations don't have to do. Instead, they just pay money to composers. As Pandora has gained users, their losses have continued to mount. If musicians want Pandora to be able to stick around, they're going to need to lower their fees.


Another interesting bit that was released by Pandora at the summit is the fact that the company now streams more hours of music per month than YouTube streams hours of video. I'm sure YouTube is still transferring more data overall.

Sprint to get 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, will support Wi-Fi hotspot feature

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 7:31 pm

Sprint will end up getting a 4G LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. First, I just have to ask why they are bothering with the LTE. I mean, Sprint has barely any LTE coverage--I should know, I own a 4G LTE iPhone 5--and the rollout isn't exactly taking place at a blistering rate, so it seems a bit useless to pack it into a device.




That said, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a powerful and sleek device. Under the hood it packs a 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset along with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The screen is a, as the name implies, 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT display, which supports a rather low resolution of 1280x800.


One of the cool features of the tablet, though, is that it can act as a hotspot and share its 4G LTE connection with up to 10 devices by leveraging its wireless capabilities. Another cool feature of the tablet is its ability to operate as a universal remote. As it stands, pricing and availability are unknown and will be announced at a later time.

Verizon to get a Nokia Windows Phone 8 device as well, this one dubbed Atlas

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 6:30 pm

I was a bit saddened by the announcement that AT&T would be getting exclusive rights to the Lumia 920 and 820 as I felt it would hurt Nokia's Windows Phone 8 positioning in the United States. However, it was later found out that Nokia will be releasing a phone for T-Mobile, called the Lumia 810, and it has now been leaked that Verizon will also be getting a Windows Phone 8 device.




A fresh leak from evleaks has shown a Verizon Wireless, Nokia-built Windows Phone 8 device. Right now, we only have the picture to go off of, but we can make some educated guesses as to its specifications. The device will likely share the technical aspects of the Lumia 820 and 810, though the exterior design is completely different.


It should support Verizon Wireless's high-speed LTE network and should arrive sometime in November. Expect the announcement for the device to come October 29 at the official Windows Phone event. We'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on the latest Windows Phone 8 devices in case you are looking at purchasing one.

Borderlands 2 picks up its extra character a week early, should bring back players that already beat the game

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 5:46 pm

Borderlands 2 was released on September 18 to wide acclaim. The game was extremely popular and called a better version of the original. At launch, players could play as four different classes, each with its own special skills and benefits. However, none of them were well suited for new players.




This is where the new Borderlands 2 character comes into play. The Mecromancer class was designed to be suitable for both new players and seasoned veterans. Its skill trees contain features which make it easier for a new player to start getting into the game, as well as features that make it a powerful class for old players.


It should bring back some players to the game who have already beaten it and should help keep interest for those who are still playing. The Mecromancer character controls a robot named Death Trap. Death Trap is a powerful robot capable of dealing heavy damage in battle along with taking heavy damage.


The new class is available for $9.99 or for free to those who preordered Borderlands 2.

Megaupload's winning streak ends, judge denies Megaupload's request for dismissal

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 5:02 pm

It's time for another update in the ongoing legal battle between Kim Dotcom, founder of MegaUpload, and the US Government. Kim Dotcom and his lawyers requested that the case against him and his company be dismissed upon the grounds that he does not have a United States-based address at which he could be served.




Of course, the courts didn't exactly let him off this easy. In fact, they went as far to say that the absence of a U.S. address under criminal law "does not require a result so extreme as dismissal" of an indictment. It looks like, for now, Kim Dotcom and his lawyers will have to continue fighting the charges brought by the US Government.


Those charges, for the uninitiated, include criminal copyright charges that claim Kim Dotcom encouraged users to upload pirated content to the service so that he could make money from the advertising and premium subscription fees. Megaupload argues that they fall within the safe harbor provision of the DMCA.


Only time will tell how this case will end. However, it could be a long time off as Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing was pushed off until March 2013, more than a year after the initial raid on his New Zealand mansion.

TDK to manage 10TB hard drive by 2014 using its new ultra-dense platter technology

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 4:16 pm

Data centers and archivers, TDK has your back. They have been working on increasing the storage density of traditional hard drives and managed to squish 1.5TB onto a single square inch of platter. This means a 3.5-inch disk's platter can hold 2TB of data. Multiply that by 5 platters and we will soon have 10TB drives.




The new technology relies on H/TAMR (Heat/ Thermal assisted magnetic recording) technology. This allows the bits to be flipped on the ultra dense platters. The technology has not yet been squished into a working hard drive, but rather the 2TB per platter was tested on a spin plate.


Drives based upon the new technology is due out commercially by the end of 2013, or early 2014. A working 10TB drive based upon this technology is set to be exhibited at the CEATEC show in Japan. This is the single largest jump forward for hard disk technology in a long time and will have large effects on notebook drives and data centers.

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