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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2069

Windows Phone 8.1 should launch in a matter of weeks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Apr 5, 2014 6:29 am

Microsoft has been playing catch up in the mobile market, with its latest iteration of Windows Phone being teased at the company's Build Developer Conference during the week.

 

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We should expect Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 8.1 within the coming weeks, with the final version of the mobile OS ready for developers on April 14. The "final feature build" has already been seeded to partners according to reports, with the "Final Adaption Kit" to be completed on April 8. The combination of the latest build and the kit should gel together for the final release of Windows Phone 8.1.

Student to show a flaw in Apple Passbook that gives free air tickets

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 5, 2014 3:47 am

Anthony Hariton, a computer science student at the University of Crete, said that he has found a simple hack for Apple Passbook which will allow him to get free first class tickets for a flight anywhere you choose.

 

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The student plans to present his finding in the Box Security Conference that will be held in Amsterdam. Apple's Passbook iOS app allows you to scan items such as movie tickets, boarding passes, and more so that users will not require to carry any papers. Once the boarding pass is in the app, all you have to do is show the boarding pass on your phone.

 

Hariton also claims that the process is so simple, that even an everyday user can do it. But he also said that one would require a good poker face and nerves of steel along with the software hack. Until the presentation is done, it will be difficult to say if the hack really works. If it does work, those who are caught would most likely be arrested and charged with fraud and theft.

Google pays up on $1.4 million fine in Italy over Street View trouble

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 5, 2014 2:23 am

Google is quite accustomed by this point to paying fines levied against it over its Street View service violating privacy laws both in the US and around the world. Today the Mountain View-based company was forced to pay a $1.4 million fine that the Italian government issued it over its Street View cars not being visible enough to warn citizens of its existence when driving down the road.

 

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"Cars belonging to the giant of Mountain View roamed Italy's streets without being entirely recognizable as such, therefore not allowing the people present in those places to decide whether to be photographed or not," said Italian regulators on the subject. "The fine from the DPA relates to an old case that dates back to 2010. We complied with everything the (regulator) required of us at the time," a Google spokeswoman said. Google has since added more bright colors to the car's paint scheme, and clearly branded it as a Google vehicle.

Microsoft to dig up landfill looking for copies of E.T. Atari game

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 5, 2014 1:12 am

What does Microsoft, a landfill in New Mexico, Atari, and the movie E.T. have in common? That was a hard one for me to figure out too, but it appears that Microsoft is filming a documentary that focuses on the mass burial of the game E.T. that was released on the Atari 2600.

 

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Apparently the game did not do so well back in 1982, and Atari was struggling to keep afloat. With millions of copies of the game being returned to stores by consumers, Atari was forced to take back almost all of the copies it had produced. Legend has it that Atari shipped off this warehouse sized cache of worthless games and had them buried at a New Mexico landfill along with tons of other useless and unwanted stock it was footing the storage bill on.

 

Now Microsoft has been given the OK to begin prospecting at the landfill to find the millions of copies of the game, and to dig them up as part of the documentary. Unfortunately there is no documentation that provides conclusive proof that the mass burial ever took place, but Microsoft is willing to spend millions to find out.

GameSpy is calling it quits, will shut down site and all servers

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 5, 2014 12:19 am

It appears that yet another popular website will be closing its doors forever due to "business issues." Gamespy.com has just announced that it will be shutting down its website along with all of its PC gaming servers, effective May 31st. Gamespy has been a staple in the PC gaming community since 1999, and it appears that it will not make it past 14 years old.

 

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"Just to be clear, we're not being shut down because PC gaming isn't a big, important, and growing thing -- because it is. That's not even debatable. It's not even because the GameSpy staff did a bad job of talking about it. Hell, from where I'm sitting we did an awesome job," said GameSpy's Dan Stapleton. "Why is this closure happening, then? It's a business thing, and like most business things it's not easy to explain or understand unless you spend all day crunching numbers and paying bills. Which I don't. So here's the simple version that even I can comprehend: Ziff Davis wants to run an efficient, focused company, and managing several different sites that all cover videogames isn't exactly the model of efficiency. "

 

Stapleton went on to say that the GameSpy staff will go on to write for other gaming media outlets such as IGN, and that they will continue to bring readers what they need to know about the current state of gaming. It's a sad day to see a staple like GameSpy fall, but such is the way of many sites that have been acquired by Ziff Davis over the years, and I am sure that this will not be the last to shutter its windows.

USB 3.1 Type C spec uses reversible connector design

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Apr 4, 2014 11:59 pm

The USB 3.0 promoter's group have finalized its design for the next USB connector. The USB 3.1 Type C cable and ports are designed specifically for providing easier connectivity with notebooks, tablets and even smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which uses micro USB 3.0 port.

 

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Another main feature is that the connectors are reversible. This way end users shouldn't be confused with which end of the connector goes to the device and the system. The newer connector is said to be as thin as micro-USB 2.0 made to be robust enough for notebooks and tablets, and even slim enough for mobile phones. It will also eventually replace existing micro USB 3.0 connectors.

 

The Type-C USB 3.1 connector also doubles up to 10 Gbps transfer speed. According to a spokesperson, the specification is scheduled to be completed by July, and products with the new connector should be out by end of this year.

Continue reading 'USB 3.1 Type C spec uses reversible connector design' (full post)

Microsoft says that external storage will be headed to Xbox One soon

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Apr 4, 2014 11:08 pm

When the Xbox One launched without any mention of external storage, many gamers quickly grew concerned over how many games they would actually be able to install on the device's internal hard drive. With games like Call of Duty Ghost, Battlefield 4, and Titanfall consuming over 25GB each, and DLC packs averaging between 5GB and 10GB, there was good reason for this concern. As expected, Xbox One owners quickly filled their storage space and had to begin deleting content just to play a new game.

 

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It appears that Microsoft is just about ready to release a fix for these issues, and in a post on Reddit, the company's Major Nelson confirmed that an external storage solution is on the way. When asked about external game storage, Nelson said: "External game storage is coming soon... I need to check on media support." So does this mean that Microsoft is going to open up the USB port to accept that external hard drive you have laying around? Not likely, as we expect the company to offer a 1TB and 2TB Xbox-branded external drive which it will charge a premium for.

Amazon's Fire TV gets torn down earns 6 out of 10 repairibility score

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Apr 4, 2014 10:14 pm

Being one of those people who love to tear things apart to see what makes them tick, I look forward to iFixit's new device teardown every time something new is released. This weeks Amazon Fire TV was no exception, but it is a little disappointing to say the least. iFixit managed the teardown in no time at all, and what was reveled is a single-board design that leaves little repair room that a DIYer would be capable of.

 

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Scoring just a 6 out of a possible 10, the Fire TV is nothing more than another board in a box, meaning that no other electronic components reside off of its PCB. This is the way most devices are being manufactured in modern times as components are continuing to shrink and SoC's are increasingly becoming more powerful and capable of multi-tasking. The device does feature a Qualcomm Processor, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of NAND flash. It's basically any smartphone produced in the last two years minus the screen.

Continue reading 'Amazon's Fire TV gets torn down earns 6 out of 10 repairibility score' (full post)

Government agencies don't do enough after suffering data breaches

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 4, 2014 9:53 pm

aFederal agencies aren't seriously defending against data breaches and personal identifiable information (PII) is increasingly finding its way into the hands of cybercriminals, according to a recent report published from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

 

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The number of government data breaches increased up to 25,566, twice the amount as reported in 2010 - and affected companies often are unfamiliar with how to respond properly.

 

The GAO has criticized federal government branches, specifically the Department of the Army, IRS, SEC, and a few other agencies, falling short of mandating information security programs and being lackadaisical about security efforts.

Continue reading 'Government agencies don't do enough after suffering data breaches' (full post)

Yelp now lets users search reviews by using emojis

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 4, 2014 9:26 pm

Searching Yelp has always been an easy process, and for that matter, searching anything on the internet has always been an easy process. There are those out there however who feel that it should be even easier, and today Yelp became one of those companies. users of the popular restaurant rating service can now search for good eats by simply typing in a single emoji.

 

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That's right, iOS users can now flip to their alternate keyboard when searching Yelp an enter in one of the small cartoon-like emojis that appear on the screen. This move signifies Yelp's commitment to improving its mobile platform, something most of its users now use to access the service. This news follows a recent decision by Twitter to begin allowing the use of Emojis on its mobile platform as well.

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