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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2069

Half of all US adults now own a smart device

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 8:29 am

We know that smartphones and tablets are popular, but just how many US adults own a smart device? According to a new study by Pew (Pew?) Research - half of all adults in the US own a smartphone or tablet.




Pew Research says that their findings have "major implications for how news will be consumed and paid for" in the future, with close to 20% of mobile news respondents revealing that they had paid for an online subscription within the last twelve months.


Roughly half of the tablet-based readers said that they now spend more time consuming news, while close to a third of readers said they are receiving news from sources they didn't before. Some of the numbers from Pew Research's results are also interesting, where last year 81% of those interviewed owned an iPad, where this number has dropped significantly to just over 50%.

Continue reading 'Half of all US adults now own a smart device' (full post)

Ultrabook sales are dropping, 'high prices and confusing marketing' are to blame

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 7:38 am

Ultrabooks were meant to be the next big thing, but I really think they were released too early and should've waited for Windows 8. But, the number of Ultrabooks to be shipped by the end of the year is now said to be estimated at just half as previous estimates.




IHS iSuppli's latest report, just 10.3 million Ultrabooks will be shipped by the end of 2012, compared to the previous estimate of 22 million. The report states that "nebulous marketing and unappealing price" are the two biggest factors behind slumping Ultrabook sales. iSuppli specifically points out Intel's constantly changing definition of what is, and what is not an Ultrabook as a perfect example of poor marketing.


As for price, IHS iSuppli says that Ultrabooks are too expensive at the $1,000 price point, and will only see surging numbers if they drop $200-$300 from this price. I think we're going to see a surge when Windows 8 comes out, and instead of just thinner notebooks (because that's mainly what an Ultrabook is), we'll see tablet hybrids, touch-screen Ultrabooks, higher-res displays, and more.

Sharp begins production of 5-inch 1080p displays for smartphones

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 6:31 am

Give me one, now. Sharp have begun the production of 5-inch 1920x1080 displays at their factories - the joy! At 5-inch and 1080p, we're looking at 443 pixels per inch (ppi).




Considering the iPhone 5 only sports 326ppi - this is going to be a huge thing for new smartphones sporting the seriously packed 5-inch displays. We could also be staring down the barrel of 5-inch tablets with 443ppi displays, such as a smaller Nexus tablet to compete with the impending release of Apple's iPad mini.


Then we'll have the worry of "will people be able to see the quality in these screens" at this size, and resolution? If you've ever looked at an iPhone 5 and a third-gen iPad, you'll know that quality trumps. I think we'll begin to see some very beautiful looking smart devices with these 426ppi displays.

Google now lets Gmail search for text inside attachments - oh the joy!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 5:36 am

Gmail becomes more awesome with each day, and I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love it. I'm a huge Google user and every little thing that they add to their software suite makes it better and better with each day.




Now the search giant have pushed out a new feature - letting you find old attachments by searching for text inside of them, yes, inside of the attachment itself. Before now, you could only find an attachment if your searched for the message's text, filename, or file type.


But, Gmail's new super power now lets you search for text within .doc, .pdf, .ppt, and other files where Gmail will display them in its search results. Google are rolling this feature out now, and the indexing within your Gmail account will take a little while, as expected.

Google passes Microsoft to become the second most valuable tech company

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 4:34 am

I still remember the old days of HotBot, Yahoo, Alta Vista and so many other search engines. If I wanted to search for something particular, I'd use a specific search engine, then this 'Google' came out and I tried it out - oh how it has grown since, not just in its power, but the value behind it.




Google threw Microsoft to the side today, overtaking them to become the second most valuable tech company in the world. The Mountain View-based company's stock value increased 0.7% to $759.98 giving the company a market capitilization of around $249.2 billion. The now number three company, Microsoft, saw their shares drop 0.3% to $29.67 a piece, giving them a valuation of around $248.7 billion.


We know that the PC hardware space is struggling, and Google don't really have much product in that market. Google have a huge chunk of the mobile OS market with Android, owning roughly 64% of the smartphone OS market. Apple is still way out ahead in terms of value, with their latest valuation pegging the iPhone maker at $632.9 billion.

Left 4 Dead series has sold more than 12 million copies

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 2, 2012 3:42 am

When Valve's Left 4 Dead first launched onto the scene, most people probably didn't think it would be the runaway success it was - but look at what it has turned into. A huge series, sequel, DLC, fan films and more.




The Left 4 Dead series has passed 12 million copies sold, direct from Valve write Chet Faliszek during an interview with VG24/7. Faliszek talked about Valve's approach to promoting their games, where he said the company doesn't really need marketing that much because "when a game does really well at pre-release, they're going to know that you're not just talking a bunch of PR crap".


He adds:


We just let the game speak for itself because the internet has made this thing where you can't pull the wool over people's eyes any more. They're going to know you're hyping.

RumorTT: Apple to send out press invitations on Oct. 10 for iPad mini event

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 11:31 pm

A rumor has surfaced from CNN who cites a major Apple investor as the source. The investor, in turn, cites the fact that he has heard this from "multiple sources." The rumor states that Apple will mail invitations to a press event, at which the new iPad mini will debut, on October 10.




Following Apple's traditional time frame, this would yield an event on Wednesday, October 17, with the product likely going on sale Friday, November 2. This would put the product on shelves in time for the critical holiday season, and could steal quite a bit of thunder from the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 tablets, both the Wintel version and RT version.


The iPad mini is rumored to be a 7.85-inch device and cost less than its big brother, the iPad. It would slot in between the iPhone/iPod touch and the normal-sized iPad. Pricing would likely slot into that same range, making Apple a bit more competitive with the $199 Android tablets that have been so popular.


As always, throw some salt over your shoulder as this is just a rumor. Nothing has been confirmed, and likely won't be, until the event invitations get mailed.

Google acquiring facial recognition firm Viewdle, possibly to add automatic tagging across its services

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 10:54 pm

Google is getting close to finishing out a deal that would see the search giant buying Viewdle. Viewdle is a Ukrainian maker of facial recognition technology. This technology can be used to automatically tag photos, or suggest tags to users of Google+, Picasa, and other Google services.




The acquisition started more than a year ago with Motorola originally being the company planning to buy Viewdle. Motorola was then acquired by Google, and Google has continued the acquisition. Of course, representatives from Google and Viewdle declined to commment on the story, though an anonymous source has provided more than enough information.


The deal between Google and Viewdle could close as soon as tomorrow. The purchase price is said to be toward the high end of $30 million to $45 million, according to an unnamed CNet source. It will be interesting to see how quickly the technology gets integrated into Google's offerings.

Apple shuts down Chomp website and app, disables existing installs

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 10:25 pm

Apple acquired the app Chomp earlier this year. Chomp was an app discovery platform that allowed users to search through the App Store in a method that differed from Apple's. Apple took the Chomp-style store and implemented it into iOS6 and has now decided to shut down the remaining Chomp business and app installs.




Apple had already killed the Android part of Chomp back in April, shortly after acquiring the service. The iOS app and website remained up and functioning until yesterday's announcement and closing. The Chomp website,, now redirects to Apple's main website. The app has been removed from the App Store.


What I find really interesting here is the apparent ability of Apple to shut down an existing install of an App. As you see in the picture, Apple effectively disabled the software that was installed on the device, which is a bit scary, if you ask me.


The new Chomp-styled store isn't getting quite the feedback that Apple would like, with many users complaining search and discovery is much more difficult. I tend to agree that the old store format was better.

Twitter's password recovery process exposes accounts to hacking, according to victim

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 10:01 pm

A victim of a hacker has written up a long piece regarding Twitter's security processes and how he believes he became a victim. Twitter's password recovery system is reportedly to blame, as it allowed a hacker to use a brute-force style attack on his handle. A brute-force attack tries common passwords as quickly as it can until it finds a match or exhausts a word list.




The issue seems to stem from the fact that Twitter doesn't limit login attempts per account, rather they limit them per IP. What this means is a hacker just needs to use a proxy network or some other way of IP switching and they would be able to brute-force an account indefinitely, or at least until the password was found.


However, why the victim, Daniel Dennis Jones, had chosen to use a simple, common password that could be brute-forced is beyond me. His story makes sense, though, and is why most password recovery systems limit login attempts on a per account basis, or at minimum throw up a CAPTCHA after a few failed attempts at logging into an account.


The happy ending: Eventually Jones was able to recover his @blanket handle with the help of Twitter.

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