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FCC spending $115 million to bring broadband access to 400,000

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 7:33 pm

It would appear that the United States government is actually doing something useful with its money. The FCC has announced a plan to spend $115 million over the next three years bringing broadband internet access to 400,000 individuals and businesses who don't have access to such services as of right now.




The government's money will be complemented by tens of millions of private funds. This new undertaking is part of the FCC's Connect America Fund project and works to bring broadband access to rural areas that may still be stuck using dial-up. It's a pretty big issue as the United States is an extremely large area.


The FCC realizes that high-speed internet access has "gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society." The FCC had the following statement: "Today's action is just the beginning of our efforts to unleash the benefits of broadband for millions of homes and small businesses in unserved rural communities across the U.S."

Samsung Galaxy S III update removes functionality on international model

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 6:29 pm

It's probably a good idea to not update to the latest version of the Galaxy S III software if you enjoy or need local search. The latest update to the international version of the device removes its ability to earch applications, music, contacts, bookmarks and quite a few other things. This is an update the North American version received a few weeks ago.




The XXBLG6 firmware is the update to avoid if you want to continue being able to search the above listed items. It's likely that this update is to avoid litigation with Apple as this feature is what caused the Google Nexus to be temporarily banned in the United States earlier this month. The patent concerned is one that deals with multiple source search.


It is seen as a away for Apple to protect Siri. What's interesting here is that the international Galaxy S III is never sold in the United States. Thus, it isn't a necessity to issue this update to the international version unless they are trying to avoid issues with Apple in court going forward.

Google purchased Motorola's patents for $5.5 billion

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 5:38 pm

Think back to that deal closed back in May when Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion. Well, in an SEC filing, Google explains just how it valued Motorola's worth and in that we find that Google valued "patents and developed technology" at $5.5 billion, the largest portion of the acquisition.




Other amounts of money were much smaller than the $5.5 billion: $2.9 billion of the purchase price for Motorola's cash, $730 million went to customer relationships, and $670 million to other net assets. The remaining $2.6 billion was for goodwill, or the value of the company above and beyond its assets.


Google from the beginning has said that the acquisition was to acquire the patents that Motorola held. It would appear that they wanted the patents so much that they were willing to pay a $7 billion premium to get their hands on them. Google reported Motorola's financials for the first time last week and they contributed over $1.25 billion to revenue. However, the mobile firm reported a $233 million operating loss.

Sony offering PlayStation scholarships

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 4:49 pm

Birmingham City University students, get ready. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has once again teamed up with that university to offer the chance to students to win a scholarship. The scholarship, if won, will see the student having half of the fees paid to attend the Gamer Camp Pro, which is a master's degree program with a gaming focus.




Furthermore, the students will then get a six-month placement in one of Sony's UK development studios. They'll even be paid for that, too! In order to have a chance to win, students must be signed up for Gamer Camp by August 9 and be automatically entered. The cheaper Nano version will work. Winners will be selected by interview from the initial pool of perspective candidates.


"We are delighted to offer PlayStation Academic Scholarships in partnership with Gamer Camp: Pro for the second year running." said SCEE's Dr. Maria Stukoff. "It's a great opportunity for the next generation of British videogame talent to acquire professional development skills before they embark into a competitive industry."


"Having an active and influential partner in Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is a massive benefit to the Gamer Camp programme," says Gamer Camp co- founder Guy Wilday. "Access to Sony development hardware, experienced industry support and these PlayStation Academic Scholarships provides Gamer Camp students with an unparalleled educational opportunity.

RumorTT: AMD 7990 dual-GPU card launch pushed back until late-August

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 3:31 pm

If you've been saving your money patiently waiting for the next big thing to come out of AMD, you may just get a chance to save a bit longer. Reports are coming in that the dual-GPU card based upon the 7970 silicon may not be released until late-August. This is directly opposed to other reports that it could be available this month.




It's not fully clear why the card has been delayed. AMD certainly needs to challenge the GTX 690's performance and hopefully win the performance crown back, so it's not like AMD is liking having this delay. If they were ahead, then a delay like this could be the result of them trying to keep it in reserve as a later challenge to NVIDIA.


One possible reason for the delay could be due to a shortage of PEX8747 PCIe bridge chips by PLX. These chips have been reported to be experiencing a shortage and are needed at the heart of every dual-GPU card, including the GTX 690. Another issue could be AMD is trying to work out how to provide the best price-performance and performance-Watt ratios.


Throw on top of all that NVIDIA's upcoming 660 and 670 Ti launch and AMD is starting to feel the heat. They really need to get this card out the door, as long as it is ready, so as to put some pressure back onto NVIDIA and possibly slow down their momentum created by Kepler.

Google adds 34-button calculator to search results

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 2:07 pm

Google, once again trying to be the one-stop-shop for all of your knowledge needs, has added a 34-button calculator to search results. Now, instead of just spitting out a text answer when typing in a math question, you will be able to process sines and cosines, tangents and logarithms, as well as simple addition and subtraction.




Google had given no heads up about this change, but an official Google Twitter account posted that they had rolled out the latest stage, 3.9, of its Panda algorithm last night. It's not clear whether or not the two events are linked. This calculator is just one feature in the past months designed to change Google away from just being a search engine.


Now what they really need to add is graphing capability. Then college and high school students around the world could rejoice in the fact that they could leave their graphing calculator at home and still easily have access to one.

ARM reports Q2 earnings, enjoys a nice profit, and currently has 'record order backlog'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 11:25 am

ARM Holdings, who supplies microchips to Apple for their iPhone and iPads, Samsung's Galaxy line of smart devices, and now Microsoft's Windows 8 devices, has reported strong earnings for Q2.




The company had reported $213 million in earnings, which beat analysts' estimates of $206 million. Net profits was up 48-percent to $61.2 million, compared to $41.3 million this time last year. Next quarter's profits should be even better, as the company has said they have a "record order backlog", but have warned that macroeconomic uncertainties may impact what happens in Q4.


ARM noted in a statement that "Macroeconomic uncertainty may impact consumer confidence, and some analysts have become less confident in the semiconductor industry outlook in the second half". ARM did note that they expect overall revenues for 2012 to be in line with market expectations. They are heading for full-year revenues of $860 million.

Angry Birds makes its way onto Samsung Smart TVs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 10:26 am

Angry Birds is already everywhere, on your phones, tablets, in vending machines as prizes, and more. But, now they've just ventured somewhere new, on Samsung Smart TVs.




Any Samsung Smart TV owner can download the game, with it being a first for TVs without the need of a separate box or device. Samsung revealed earlier this month that they were bringing Angry Birds to its Smart TV platform, which sport both gesture and voice control.


Samsung's 2012 LED 7500 and up, as well as their Plasma 8000 models are eligible for the game. The confirmation of the news came from Samsung Brazil, who hinted on their Twitter account that these irate ornithoids have indeed gotten Smart on us, where they said "Hello, TV. Farewell, evil pigs".

Qualcomm release their first quad-core tablet, packs a $1,300 price tag

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 25, 2012 9:30 am

Qualcomm have shown off their first tablet, which is powered by the companies Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 SoC, backed up by an ADreno 320 GPU. It's a quad-core processor clocked in at 1.5GHz.




It's also very fast, and beats Samsung's Exynos 4 Quad which is found in the Galaxy S III, as well as HTC One X's NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip. Of course, it also beats Qualcomm's own Snapdragon S4 processor in a bunch of synthetic benchmarks. But, what is this beast priced at?


$1,300. Considering that Google's Nexus 7 is just $199, and Apple's iPad is a shave under $500, $1,300 is a huge price to pay for a tablet. But, if you want the best performing tablet on the market, this seems to be it. After the quad-core 1.5GHz chip, we find 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm release their first quad-core tablet, packs a $1,300 price tag' (full post)

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