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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2064

Galaxy Note II's 'Smart rotation', is smart, with rotation

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 7:31 am

Samsung's Galaxy Note II is looking like a mighty fine device, for those who want a large 5.5-inch smartphone, but it does have a trick up its sleeve when it comes to rotating your screen. Normally when you're reading something on your smartphone and turn the device, and have "Auto rotation" enabled, it will rotate it when the phone detects physical rotation.




Samsung have gone down a different route with the Note II, adding "Smart rotation". Smart rotation has debuted with the Note II, and is a little different to the Galaxy S III's Smart stay. Smart roation will use the front-facing camera to detect what orientation your face is at, and then match the rotation of the screen with it. So if you rotate your phone into landscape to watch a video clip, but keep your face at the same angle, it won't adjust.


But, if you were laying down and looking at your phone sideways, it would detect this and adjust accordingly. Very cool, and something worth bragging about on the Note II. These little things are what make the phones stand out, and while this is not a killer app by any means, it is building Samsung toward something greater - something magical.

Continue reading 'Galaxy Note II's 'Smart rotation', is smart, with rotation' (full post)

Microsoft Australia drops retail pricing on Xbox 360

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 6:35 am

If you're based in Australia and haven't bought an Xbox 360 yet, or wouldn't mind grabbing a second, or third, or fourth (hey, I've seen people with four or more Xbox's) then this news is for you. Microsoft Australia have just announced that they're lowering the recommended retail price (RRP) of the Xbox 360 and its Kinect bundles.




This price drop is between AUD$50 and AUD$150, where starting October 4, the new pricing will be:

  • Kinect Sensor, $149 (save $50)
  • 4GB Xbox 360, $199 (save $50)
  • 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect, $299 (save $100)
  • 250GB Xbox 360, $299 (Save $150)
  • Limited edition consoles (existing consoles only), $399 (save $50)


Microsoft have stated that this is the biggest price drop on record for Australia. Microsoft also took the time to unveil the RRP of Halo 4, which will cost $89.95 for the Standard Edition, and $129.95 for the Limited Edition. Both copies drop on November 6th.

Android and iOS continue to dominate US smartphone market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 5:29 am

We know that Android and iOS dominate the market right now, but just how much of the US smartphone market have they consumed in the last three months? Well, since May, Android has gone from 50.1% marketshare, to 52.6%, enjoying over half of the US smartphone market.




iOS has also done well, going from 31.9% in May to 34.3% in August. Apple's numbers are interesting, as this was all pre-iPhone 5, meaning that we should see somewhat of a jump for the iOS numbers in another couple of months.


Microsoft, Research in Motion (RIM) and Symbian are all bleeding out right now, losing customers everywhere. Microsoft dropped from 4.0% to 3.6% of the US smartphone share, RIM went from 11.4% to 8.3%, representing a huge drop in users, and Symbian, the little engine that could, dropped from 1.1% to just 0.7%.

Apple Maps has a positive side - uses up to 80% less data than Google Maps on iOS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 4:31 am

We all know that iOS 6's Maps app is pretty craptacular (crAPPtacular?) but there is a benefit to the company's vector graphics-based app. Maps is up to 80% more efficient on data usage than Google's iOS Maps app, which is a raster graphics-based app.




This is all according to a new analysis from Onavo. Because Apple's Maps uses vector graphics, the application doesn't need to re-download map images every time a user adjust the view, which in the end, consumes much less data. Onavo's results are definitely interesting:


On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB - that's approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps' efficiency advantage edged close to 7X.

Lenovo to build PC manufacturing plant in North Carolina

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 3:42 am

Lenovo, who is a Chinese computer-maker, are set to start manufacturing PCs in the US next year. The company will build a production line in Whitsett, North Carolina, that will allow the the company to be more responsive to US corporate clients' demand for flexible supplies and product customization.




With the production of PCs in the US, the cost will be higher, but it will improve the image of Lenovo in the US. At the moment, they're fourth in market share in regards to shipment numbers. Lenovo's North American President, David Schmook, has said:


Us having a [production] facility here in a home country is a differentiator that people will value. Being green is not necessarily the lowest-cost option for a lot of companies, but you do it because your customers and partners value you being green.

Continue reading 'Lenovo to build PC manufacturing plant in North Carolina' (full post)

Steve Jobs envisioned the iPad nearly thirty years ago

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 2:31 am

We know that Steve Jobs was a visionary, as he is constantly described as such, and nearly a year after the Apple co-founder died, historians have found some information that would confirm he truly was a visionary.




The Next Web writes about a speech Jobs gave nearly thirty years ago in 1983 at the Center for Design innovation. After this speech, Jobs gave a question and answer session that covered a wide variety of topics, where Jobs talked about a "computer in a book", where a user could learn how to use it in just 20 minutes:


Apple's strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes. That's what we want to do and we want to do it this decade. And we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don't have to hook up to anything and you're in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.


Well, that's quite the statement, isn't it? It took Apple a lot longer than a decade, but hey, look at them now. The iPad dominates the tablet industry.

Swedish web host of WikiLeaks, PQR gets raided by police

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 3, 2012 1:36 am

Well, things just got interesting for The Pirate Bay and WikiLeaks, with their Swedish web host PeRiQuito AB being raided by police. Forbes reported that Stockholm police raided the company yesterday, which caused technical issues for PQR, shutting down its website and a bunch of torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay.




The police also seized a bunch of servers, but it's not clear which exact servers were taken. PQR have around 2,000 or so customers, with big names such as WikiLeaks, and the North American May-Boy Love Association, which I only found out existed right now, what the?, the Chechen rebel size Kavkaz Central, and more.


PQR was, funnily enough, founded by Pirate Bay members back in 2004, and has been raised twice before: six years ago in 2006 to gain evidence against The Pirate Bay, and in 2010 during a more general file sharing investigation.

FTC slaps a $160M fine onto Scareware creators who scared users into buying fake anti-virus software

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 11:30 pm

The government may finally have your back when it comes to computer-based scams. The Federal Trade Commission has slapped a massive fine onto advertisers who scared users into believing that their computers were infected with malicious files, viruses, and pornography so that they would spend money on a bogus removal program.




The advertisers responsible for peddling this "scareware" have been fined $163 million for misrepresenting "expressly or by implication, that they had conducted scans of consumers' computers and detected security or privacy issues, including viruses, spyware, system errors, and pornography."


In other words, they have been fined for false advertising as these ads for the scareware didn't actually complete any sort of scan to arrive at the conclusion that users' computers were infected. Of course, users were then redirected to buy removal software that would take care of the non-existent problem.


Kristy Ross, Sam Jain, Daniel Sundin will get to share the large portion of the fine, an amount that is roughly triple what they brought in from 2000 to 2008 ($60M).

RumorTT: Microsoft is developing its own Windows Phone 8 device to be marketed under the Surface brand

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 10:29 pm

Microsoft appears to be taking another stab at its partners as rumors have surfaced that Microsoft is developing a Windows Phone 8 device that would go toe-to-toe with the new iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S III, as well as its own partners' devices like the Nokia Lumia 920.




The new Surface-branded Windows Phone 8 smartphone will likely not launch with the first wave of Windows Phone 8 devices that are set to launch in November. Instead, BGR's sources figure it will launch sometime after Microsoft's partners have had their first launch wave. This should reduce the feeling that Microsoft is making an attack on their partners' businesses.


It will likely be a device featuring high-end specs like a fast dual-core processor, 1 Gigabyte of RAM, and an 8MP camera. Not much is known, other than the rumor that it is in late stages development. We will be sure to keep you posted if or when this rumor is confirmed.


Would you buy a Microsoft-made Windows Phone 8 device? Let us know!

Steam software store launches with only 7 titles, all 10% off in celebration

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 9:28 pm

Fans of the content distribution system better known as Steam will be delighted to hear that Steam's software store has launched and now has software available, including the ever-popular 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11. Right now, the store only has seven pieces of software up for sale, but that is sure to grow in the coming days and weeks.




The titles in the store are ArtRage Studio Pro, CameraBag 2, GameMaker: Studio, 3D-Coat, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 11, and Source Filmmaker. The prices on these titles range from free to $89.10, with the 10 percent discount that is currently being offered in celebration of the launch of the new Steam-powered store.


You can check out the new Steam Software store on their website. Publishers will likely take advantage of Steam's proven sales model to bring unknown or older titles to market. What do you think about the new store? Is it the future of content delivery? Wish Steam would focus on games? Let us know in the comments!

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