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Bitcoins fuel new assassination market that targets US officials

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 19, 2013 1:50 am

Bitcoin has a long history of being on the wrong side of the law, and was even at the center of the largest online illegal drug market place in history. Today, as US officials took to the Senate to testify on the virtual currency's validity and legitimacy, new information has been released that tie Bitcoins to a new "Crowdfunded Assassination Market."

 

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The site cleverly named "Assassination Market" is offering bounties for the assassination of President Obama, Federal Reserve Chair, Ben Bernake, and many more government officials all over the world, with some bids going as high as 124 bitcoins. At current market value, that equates to over $70,000. Unfortunately this type of marketplace has been tried in the past. Back in the 1990's a group called cypherpunks poised a similar model that never got off the ground. It is still unclear who started the site, but I am willing to bet that law enforcement agencies worldwide are keeping a close eye on this new market.

iPad mini Retina display of color gamut and accuracy is not the best

By: Idene Saatchi | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 19, 2013 1:10 am

Although the screen still looks great, the color gamut in the iPad mini with Retina colors are not up to par with other tablets in its league, for example the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX. The color gamut on the iPad mini Retina is essentially the same as the original one-year old iPad mini. Some users are disappointed with this.

 

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AnandTech were very impressed with the iPad mini with Retina but were disappointed in its color gamut: "Although display resolution is no longer a concern on the mini, color gamut hasn't changed between the old and new minis. The iPad mini with Retina Display has the same color gamut as the standard iPad mini, which is narrower than the iPad Air and less than the sRGB coverage we normally look for. The biggest issue here is that there are other smaller tablets in this price range that do offer sRGB coverage" (e.g. Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9)

Continue reading 'iPad mini Retina display of color gamut and accuracy is not the best' (full post)

Despite troubles, BlackBerry will release two handsets in 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 19, 2013 12:50 am

After what can only be described as a disastrous year for BlackBerry, it appears that the original smartphone maker will not be going down without a fight. A new report is suggesting that the Canadian company will be releasing two new BlackBerry 10-based smartphones in 2014 despite the company's financial woes.

 

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BlackBerry is said to be working on a new device for both its Z and Q lines of smartphones. The Z50 is said to be a 5.2-inch 1080p device that is powered by a quad-core processor. Like its predecessors, the QWERTY keyboard-based Q30 will be much less powerful and feature a much smaller touch-screen. Unfortunately, both devices are said to launch sometime in Q3 of 2014 and by that time, the Android-dominated smartphone landscape will be littered with 2k devices running 6 and 8-core processors and 4-8GB of RAM.

Battlefield 4 hit by massive DDoS attack over the weekend

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 11:48 pm

Battlefield 4 players may have experienced an excessive amount of server disconnects over the past weekend, and while many may have attributed them to bugs released with the game, EA says that they were the result of a massive DDoS attack. A new report from Bit-Tech claims that an EA employee has confirmed that Battlefield 4 was targeted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

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While Battlefield 4 players have come to expect random server crashes, the number reported this weekend seemed to rise exponentially despite the fact that EA released an update around the same time that was said to fix the issues. It is still unknown who launched the denial of service attacks, or why they did it. The rep from EA did say that the company was working on preventing this from happening in the future, and they are continuing to work out bugs in-game that affect gameplay.

Google agrees to pay $17 million to states for privacy intrusion

By: Idene Saatchi | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 11:37 pm

Google bypassed security settings on Apple's Safari browser to implant cookies. Google promised to pay $17 million to 37 states for disregarding user privacy. Google will be removing the cookies and "shall not employ HTTP Form POST functionality that uses javascript to submit a form without affirmative user action."

 

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Google had a similar incident last year which they paid $22.5 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit says users specified they did not want to be followed and Google was still tracking them.

 

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman: "Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them. By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust."

Sony PS4 owners will have to wait until 2014 for hardware replacement

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 10:48 pm

Many of those who bought PlayStation 4 consoles early are experiencing frequent and sometimes system bricking errors, and today we are learning that replacement systems will not be arriving until 2014. Call it sabotage, an acceptable margin of failure, or poor design, the fact still stands that many PlayStation 4 owners will have to wait months to get their consoles replaced.

 

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The issues range from poor thermal dissipation which leads to overheating, while other reports suggest a red-ring-of-death type event where the PS4 will fail to boot, and will flash the status LEDs indicating an error. While this is common for the first devices off the assembly line, the true cause could be much more nefarious and could involve internal sabotage at the time of manufacture.

 

A report from Geek.com says that Sony is now telling customers that replacement PS4 units will not be available for shipping until February . If you purchased your dead PS4 from Amazon.com and opted for the extended warranty, then you could get your replacement console as early as January 2014, but you should expect to wait until Feburary like everyone else. Best Buy and GameStop also could see replacement units arrive as early as January, but that is still up in the air as well.

Continue reading 'Sony PS4 owners will have to wait until 2014 for hardware replacement' (full post)

Qualcomm will release its Toq smartwatch for sale on December 2nd

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 9:32 pm

2013 has undoubtedly been the year for wearable technology as many of the major players in the industry have released smart devices including fitness tracking bands and smartwatches. While many of these products feature a Qualcomm processor or other technology, it appears that the mobile processing giant will be releasing its own smartwatch in just a few weeks.

 

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Dubbed the Toq, the new device from Qualcomm features an ultra-low power Mirasol display that is designed to give the device a exceptionally long battery life despite the fact that its display is always-on. Qualcomm says that the inclusion of this display will enable the device to have "multiple days of battery life" and will be brightly visible in even the brightest of sunlight.

 

The Qualcomm Toq will connect to smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0 and will display call information as well as text messages and calendar alerts. Additional apps for weather, stock tickers, and music playback will be featured for download as well. Qualcomm will bundle a pair of wireless earphones with the device as well that will showcase the companys WiPower LE wireless charging technology. The watch will also be charged using this technology as well. The Toq will release on December 2nd and will retail for $350.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm will release its Toq smartwatch for sale on December 2nd' (full post)

ReportTT: Foxconn halting iPhone 5C production at Zhengzhou plant

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 8:23 pm

Reports of Apple's dwindling iPhone 5C sales have been coming in for weeks now, and it appears that many of the rumors about Apple scaling back production on the device are true. A new report from Digitimes is claiming that Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant is halting all production lines building the colorful iPhone 5C.

 

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The plant is said to be able to produce upwards of 9,000 iPhone 5C units per day, which means that halting its production lines further scales the devices daily production from a current 80,000 phones per day to just over 70,000. This puts 5C production drastically down from its high of 320,000 phones per day around launch. The device's poor sales numbers can be directly equated to its retail price of $549 off-contract, which is just $150 cheaper than the company's flagship, the iPhone 5S.

Sony answers to PlayStation 4 blinking blue light problem

By: Idene Saatchi | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 8:20 pm

Sony released the PlayStation 4 last Friday on the 15th. Users are reporting a few issues with the console such as the HDMI problems and some consoles are arriving bricked or have a blinking blue light. Sony has a support thread up on their forums to help users that have got this problem.

 

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Sony has not pointed out what is causing the issue, their posts on the Sony forums are listed as "no video/audio output" "console powering off after blinking blue light" and "blue indicator light blinking" The Issue might be caused by TVs not being compatible or not being up to date on their firmware, according to Sony. Currently 40% of Amazon reviews are a one star for the PlayStation 4. Sony says they will be replacing all the affected consoles.

Verizon release date for Nokia Lumia 929 could be November 21

By: Idene Saatchi | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 7:50 pm

A Verizon insider reports the release date for the Nokia Lumia 929 could be November 21. The Lumia 929 will come with the latest version of windows phone and will be available in black or white. The device's specifications are 2GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, a 20 Megapixel duel LED flash camera, and a Qualcomm 2.2GHZ quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor.

 

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The Lumia 929 will come with a 1920 x 1080 5 inch HD screen with 441 ppi. Unfortunately the memory is not expandable; it does not come with a micro SD slot. It will also include Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC. It is rumored the device will be $199 with a two year contract.

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