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ECS unveils Intel 8-Series motherboards in three flavors of goodness

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Motherboards | Posted: May 16, 2013 3:29 pm

This morning ECS officially announced its upcoming line of Intel 8-Series motherboards designed around the new 4th generation Intel Core processors. The new motherboard line will come in three flavors: Pro, Deluxe and Essentials.

 

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The Pro series will be optimized for power computing, while the Deluxe line will be geared towards home and office use. The Essentials series will be better suited towards the home theatre or media center crowd who needs the power, but not necessarily the larger footprint of more feature rich boards.

 

 

All boards will feature ECS's new Durathon durability technology, which features triple density PCBs, solid capacitors and extreme testing. Additional features include ECS's exclusive Hyper Alloy Choke technology, Sound Blaster Cinema technology, 4-way video output (DVI, HDMI, Display Port and D-Sub VGA), EZ quick charger, Motherboard Intelligent BIOS III, 4K video output, ECS EZ Bios and ECS ADS (Anti-Dust Shield).

Continue reading 'ECS unveils Intel 8-Series motherboards in three flavors of goodness' (full post)

Android OEM's ship 162 million smartphones in first quarter of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 16, 2013 2:54 pm

IDC just published its numbers on smartphone marketshare and it appears that Android has beaten out all others by orders of magnitude. Google's Android mobile operating system was shipped on over 162.1 million smartphones in the first three months of 2013, giving the open source platform a worldwide market share of 75-percent.

 

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In the same timeframe, Apple managed to squeeze out just 37.4 million (17.3-percent market share) iPhone's, which is four times less than the stellar numbers coveted by Android. Microsoft stumbled into third place with a whopping seven million Windows phones being shipped, which amounts to a mere 3.2-percent market share.

 

It should be noted that Apple is selling a single model, and there are hundreds of different Android models being sold on the market currently. One could point out that Android is by definition, the dominant smartphone operating system on the market. While some analyst point out that selling 34 million units of a single phone is impressive, it still stands that more people are using Android than iOS.

SpaceTT: Serious malfunction shuts down NASA's Kepler Space Telescope

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 16, 2013 2:08 pm

This morning we are waking up to the news that NASA's Kepler Space Telescope may have just came to an early end of mission due to a faulty piece of orientation hardware. The fault falls within one of the wheels that stabilize and help keep the spacecraft pointed in the right direction.

 

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When Kepler needs to be repositioned or stabilized for image capturing, three wheels are spun up to take advantage of centripetal force. Kepler needs three of its wheels running at all times to ensure a stable orientation. On Wednesday NASA officials announced that one of those three wheels had stopped functioning, which put the telescope into "safe mode."

 

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Unfortunately, unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler is far away from our reach and was not designed to be serviceable. Plus, with the shuttle program long gone, it's not like we would have a way to get to it anyway. "Kepler's not in a place where I can go up and rescue it, or any other astronaut," said John Grunsfeld, the head of science at NASA, and the man who is famous for repairing the Hubble.

Continue reading 'SpaceTT: Serious malfunction shuts down NASA's Kepler Space Telescope' (full post)

Mt. Gox bank account seized by US Department of Homeland Security

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 16, 2013 1:45 pm

For the most part, the recent success of the Bitcoin can be attributed to Mt. Gox, the largest and most popular Bitcoin exchange on the internet. Earlier this week the Department of Homeland Security seized the Mutum Sigilum account Mt. Gox held at Wells Fargo bank.

 

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The Mutum Sigilum account was the lifeblood of Dwolla, the PayPal like Bitcoin to US currency processor. The account was seized based on several discrepancies in the paperwork Mt. Gox owner Mark Karpeles filled when opening the account with Wells Fargo. When the application asked if Mutum Sigilum LLC was a business engaged in monetary services, Karpeles stated "No." Below is an excerpt from the actual warrant used to seize the account.

 

The application asks several questions; to include, "Do you deal in or exchange currency for your customer?" and "Does your business accept funds from customers and send the funds based on customers' instructions (Money Transmitter)?" Karpeles answered these questions "no," indicating that Mutum Sigilum LLC does not deal in or exchange money, and that it does not send funds based on customer instructions. Money transmitting businesses are required by 31 USC section 5330 to register as such with FinCEN. According to FinCEN records on May 6, 2013, neither Mt. Gox nor the subsidiary, Mutum Sigilum LLC, is registered as a Money Service Business.

EA confirms Online Pass program is no more

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 16, 2013 12:07 pm

In an attempt to gain revenue from the used games market, EA introduced a program known as Online Pass. Basically, when a person purchased a used game, they would have to buy a new online pass that would allow them to access the online multiplayer aspects of the game. New games would be distributed with a one-time use code.

 

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This program was despised by many gamers and it appears that EA is listening to the customer in ending this program. EA confirmed that this program would no longer be utilized in future games: "Yes, we're discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature."

 

Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn't respond to the format. We've listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward. We're still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.

 

I'm sure many of our readers will be happy to hear that this change is being made.

Dell cuts price on its Windows RT tablet by $200, XPS 10 now available for $300

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 16, 2013 10:06 am

If you're on the lookout for a cheap Windows RT tablet, look no further. Dell has just slashed the price of its XPS 10 Windows RT tablet by $200, bringing the total price down to just $299.99. The XPS 10 was one of the original Windows RT devices to launch back in October of last year. At that time, it retailed for $499.

 

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While Dell didn't come out and say the price cut was due to slow Windows RT sales, we can guess that this was the driving factor behind the reduction. According to Dell, the price was dropped "due to a combination of factors" including Dell's inventory of the XPS 10 and "competitive positioning and other market factors."

 

In other words, it wasn't selling. According to the IDC, Windows RT tablets have only managed to grad 0.4 percent market share in terms of shipments for last quarter. You can buy the XPS 10 at Dell's website.

ReportTT: iPhone 5S to feature fingerprint scanner, says chief information security officer for PayPal

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 16, 2013 8:01 am

According to PayPal's chief information security officer, the upcoming iPhone 5S will feature an integrated fingerprint scanner. This isn't the first time we've heard this rumor, but it's the first time it has come from a decently credible source.

 

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It's widely rumored that a large technology provider in Cupertino, CA will come out with a phone later this year that has a fingerprint reader on it. There is going to be a fingerprint enabled phone on the market later this year. Not just one, but multiple.

 

While it remains to be seen if this will come true, Apple recently purchased AuthenTec, a company that specializes in mobile and network security. Combine that with various other pieces of data and it starts looking like the iPhone 5S will come with a scanner. However, it's a decent idea to remain somewhat skeptical for at least a while longer.

RumorTT: Microsoft will do away with Xbox Points at E3, move to currency system

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 16, 2013 5:59 am

Many Xbox gamers will be excited to hear this rumor. According to The Verge's sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans, Microsoft will be doing away with Xbox Points at E3 this year. Instead, Microsoft will move to a currency-based system that utilizes local currencies and gift cards.

 

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Microsoft would enable purchases via credit and debit cards meaning you would no longer have to go to the store to buy credit for your account. Microsoft will still offer gift cards, but they will be worth money just like Apple does with iTunes gift cards and digital purchases.

 

The gift card currency will be unified and work across Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox. The launch is said to be occurring later this year, with the announcement happening at E3. As with all rumors, take this with a grain of salt.

Google stock closes above $900, shares continue to rise in after-hours trading

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 16, 2013 5:07 am

Google I/O has certainly been good to Google's stock price. After today's opening day of Google I/O, Google's stock closed at a record high of $909.38, only to raise a further $2.81 in after-hours trading. The stock price currently sits at $918.70, the highest the stock has ever been.

 

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It was just three months ago that Google's stock originally crossed the $800 mark. In the time between then and now, not much has happened. The company hasn't really announced anything revolutionary or new, though Glass Explorer Edition has been handed out to developers. Apple's stock, meanwhile, fell 3.38 percent.

Check out the latest Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag trailer

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 16, 2013 4:03 am

Ubisoft continues to tease the upcoming Assassin's Creed game. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will take place across islands and boats and will be launching on the next-generation PlayStation 4. Ubisoft has actually commented publicly about how happy they are with the PlayStation 4 and what it is allowing them to do.

 

 

Assassin's Creed 4 will also be available on current-generation consoles, which means you won't be forced to upgrade to experience the game. However, the experience will likely be much better on one of the new consoles. Let us know what you think of the trailer and if you're excited for Assassin's Creed 4 to come out.

Continue reading 'Check out the latest Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag trailer' (full post)

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