It was only two weeks ago now that we reported the development team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R., GSC Game World, closed their doors. But it seems now, there is a slight, slight glimmer of hope amongst all this doom.
There has been a tweet from GSC's official Twitter feed, which is offering some hope to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fans:
Dear Stalkers: We will not be releasing any official news until around mid January. However there is cause for hope! Good hunting!
What does this mean? Could we still see S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2? Could we expect a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-related announcement? Well, I'd expect as much from that tweet. As soon we hear something, you can be sure we'll report on it.
Our Download of the Day today is Macrium Reflect 5.0.4196.
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In the event of a total loss of the Windows operating system your PC can be started using the Reflect recovery CD.
In just a few months, iOS hackers Grant Paul (chpwn), Steve Troughton-Smith and Ryan Petrich have worked together to release Spire, a new installer that will easily set up Siri on your jailbroken iOS-powered device.
Apple have tried their hardest to keep Siri an iPhone 4S-exclusive, Siri now runs on iPads, iPhone 4, iPod Touches and the iPhone 3GS. They've done this before, but this time it is legal, avoiding the copyright infringement inherent in previous hacks.
Once it is installed, it will start a 100MB download of Siri directly from Apple, and you'll require your own proxy server with donated info from an iPhone 4S to hold the line between Apple's backend and yourself. Spire is available right now on Cydia, and Troughton-Smith tells 9to5 Mac that the next major step might not come until after the iPhone 4S has been jailbroken, so they can avoid the proxy servers altogether, making it a much easier process.
I've covered SOPA-related news for the past few days, as it is getting quite serious with GoDaddy being hit hard. It has just been announced that Jimmy Wales decision to find a new home for Wikipedia, away from the SOPA loving hands of GoDaddy.
Wales is quite unhappy with GoDaddy's position on the Stop Online Privacy Act, by announcing the shift in the following tweet:
I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us.
He then updated, and posted another tweet the next day:
Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?
SOPA is starting to snowball into a serious issue, it needs as much airtime as possible.
Well, this certainly feels like it came out of nowhere. But, in the first real update since their acquisition by Nuance, Swype Beta for Android has a major update and now ships with Dragon Dictate technology which replaces Google's own voice recognition.
The Verge have tested it and have said it actually works quite well, and doesn't make you speak slowly and deliberately to recognize your voice like other voice recognition software, but of course doesn't pick everything up perfectly. Languages supported include English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish with more languages set to arrive next year.
There is a problem with it, though. If you try to use a language that isn't currently supported, instead of defaulting to Android's built-in voice input, it will default itself to American English.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Lenovo US (ThinkPad) - Multimedia Remote with Keyboard for $43.99 with Free Shipping.
Offer: This compact remote features a backlit keyboard and an optical keyboard, all in a sleek design. This is the next generation of the extremely popular multimedia keyboard that didn't have the backlit keyboard and the older (but still effective) roller mouse. No ecoupon needed. Special pricing expires 12/26/11.
Apple's cloud-based iTunes Match launched last month in the U.S. and while it has lagged behind a little, they've finally launched a website that is purely dedicated to iTunes Match. The new iTunes Match website tries to clear up most of the confusion that has risen since it was announced.
Apple thoroughly explain the basics of iTunes Match, quoted below:
With iTunes in the Cloud, the music you buy from the iTunes Store automatically appears on all your devices.1 And for music you haven't purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the perfect solution. iTunes Match is built right into iTunes on your computer and the Music app on your iOS devices.2 It lets you store your entire collection in iCloud, even music you've imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. When it's in iCloud, it's available on all your devices. So you can enjoy all your music anywhere, anytime - on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV.
LG have just announced that their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates will arrive on a selection of 2011 smartphones. The ICS update was announced through LG's Facebook page.
The first bunch of phones to receive the ICS update will be the LG Optimus LTE, LG Prada 3.0, LG Optimus 2X, LG Optimus Sol, LG myTouch Q, and the LG Eclipse. Q3 2012 will see the following handsets receive ICS: LG Optimus 3D, LG Optimus Black, LG Optimus Big, LG Optimus Q2, and LG Optimus EX.
The rollout is expected to be global, with exact dates to vary by region and carrier. It's currently unknown if the re-branded handsets will get some ICS lovin', with the T-Mobile G2X (Optimus 2X), LG Thrill (Optimus 3D), and LG Nitro HD (Optimus LTE) on that list.
LG have also said they are "taking all possible measure to offer a smooth OS upgrade in a timely manner" and will be providing further updates, such as specific release dates, as they become available.
It looks as though the iOS platform is the platform for mobile shopping, with a retail analysis coming from RichRelevance. In the months between April and December 2011, RichRelevance analyzed 3.4 billion shopping sessions and found that consumers making purchases from mobile devices accounted for roughly 3-percent of total sales.
Let's take April, where 88-percent of these purchases were made from an iOS-powered device, mostly the iPad and iPhone. Fast-forward to December and it increased to 92-percent. The increase in mobile shopping is being spearheaded by iOS. RichRelevance also add that the average order value (AOV) of purchases made from an iOS device is also more than the other platforms. iOS's AOV sits at $123 in December, where Android's AOV is just $101.
RichRelevance CEO, David Selinger says:
The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic's doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating.
Apple are set to ship 111.4 million phones in 2012, according to investment firm Susquehanna. They also estimate that Apple will ship 30.3 million phones this quarter, an increased estimate from the original claims of 27.1 million.
What is helping, is the iPhone 4S demand which seems to not be stopping. It has been reported that Apple have managed to fix some of their supply chain issues that they were experiencing in the past few months. This success has allowed Apple to increase their product rate going into Q1 2012.
Jeffrey Fidacaro, an analyst with Susquehanna, said in a release note:
Demand appears solid as iPhone 4S continues to ship in one to two weeks online and stores are generally sold out for in-store reservation and pickup (still hoping Santa has a few left). These factors, combined with positive color from Best Buy and AT&T, led us to increase our iPhone shipment forecast for North America and modestly for Western Europe and Asia Pacific.