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Microsoft opens four new retail stores, has a store count of 45

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 8:28 am

Microsoft opened up four new physical retail store locations in the last few days, with two of them in New York on Friday, and the other two in New Hampshire and Delaware on Saturday.




The retail stores will show off the Redmond-based company's hardware and software offerings running on their Windows platform. These new stores add to Microsoft's retail store tally, pushing them up to having 45 retail stores open.


There were cheering crowds at the Microsoft store openings at all four locations, where the company gave out free prizes including a Samsung Series 9 notebook, Xbox 360 console and other goodies. Microsoft are looking to open up stores in Puerto Rico and Canada in 2013.

Maingear unleash 17-inch customizable gaming notebook

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 7:32 am

Maingear has just unleashed their Nomad 17 customizable gaming notebook, which offers a choice of six sleek "custom automotice paint jobs", a Full HD 1080p matte display, multi-touch trackpad with gesture support, and dual speakers with a built-in subwoofer.




Getting to the good stuff, we'll find a third-generationg Intel Core i7 processor running at up to 3.8GHz, options for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 675M or 680M, Blu-ray drive, up to two 512GB SSDs or dual 750GB 7200RPM drives, and up to 32GB of RAM.


Connectivity isn't left out either, with HDMI, DVI-I, Firewire, Ethernet, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. Maingear's Nomad 17 starts at $1,700 on the base configuration and will begin shipping on October 14.

Microsoft introduces new Xbox Live Rewards program, wants you to play on your Xbox more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 6:33 am

The Xbox 360's Gamerscore has been around for such a long time, it has really lost its bragging rights - until now. Microsoft's Xbox Live Rewards program is now offering gamers special perks if they have higher Gamerscores.




The rewards are then split into three categories, Contender, Champion and Legend. The first category, Contender, rewards gamers with a Gamerscore of 3,000 to 9,999 with a "special gift" during their birthday month - this gift is valued at $0.25 and would most likely be an Avatar item.


Champion level is higher, with Gamerscores between 10,000 and 24,999 and these Champion's will receive a special gift, as well as a 1% rebate on Xbox Live Marketplace purchases every month. Finally, Gamerscores exceeding 25,000 and higher get access to Legend status, which includes everything the Champion levels get, but an increased rebate: 2% versus 1%.

Continue reading 'Microsoft introduces new Xbox Live Rewards program, wants you to play on your Xbox more' (full post)

Sony start to rollout ICS to Xperia U, Xperia Sola and Xperia Go

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 5:29 am

Sony are unleashing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onto three of their Xperia-branded smartphones: Xperia U, Xperia Sola and Xperia Go. These three phones were all released with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, as they were more aimed at the entry-level market.




Sony are now rolling out ICS updates to these three entry-level handsets, which should provide them with the following new features:

  • Lock screen with better functionality
  • Resizable widgets
  • Improved control of data consumption
  • New ways to experience your Sony content in WALKMAN, Album and Movies
  • The Xperia Sola will also be getting 'glove mode', which will add Sony's "floating touch" technology to make it work well while wearing gloves


The update should be made available between now and a few weeks from now - depending on where you live, phone version, and more.

CyanogenMod ditches ROM manager, will go to an over-the-air system

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 4:31 am

After sitting on a ROM manager, CyanogenMod are moving to an over-the-air (OTA) updating system. Android Police report that the CyanogenMod team wanted to go down the route of an update solution that didn't revolve around closed source software.




This will make the entire ecosystem of the OS completely open source, so the team decided to build one themselves. The new updater is a revised version of the older version, which we saw in CyanogenMod versions 5 and 6. CyanogenMod 9 and above, will have the system look for an update at pre-selected times, and download the ROM if it is new.




The new updater will come backed into an update that should be available pretty soon - after you flash to the new update, go into Settings, then About, where you'll be able to set your update preferences.

Windows 8 gets the nod of approval from Bill Gates

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 3:32 am

Getting the nod of approval by someone like Bill Gates should make yourself feel quite proud, with the co-founder of Microsoft saying that he is happy with Windows 8, and is already using it, according to his recent interview with the Associated Press.




The AP was interviewing Gates to talk about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's participation in a global mission to end polio, where he also talked about the upcoming OS from Microsoft.


Gates' comments were in favor of the touch-friendly OS, and he believes that Windows 8 will be a big thing when its out, because hardware partners are doing "great things" to take advantage of Windows 8's new features.

RumorTT: Apple are experimenting with carbon fiber components

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 2:43 am

If reports from Japanese site Macotakara are to be beleived, Apple and Foxconn have been trying to source unknown parts from a company who deals in carbon fiber materials:




According to my source, some engineer of Apple and Foxconn Technology came on Japanese company, which has carbon production in mid-March, and they requested to develop some sample.


I don't have information which is ordered by Apple, source told the number of parts is too large to be called "sample".


Apple have been toying with the idea of carbon fiber-based products for a while, with rumors a few years ago we could've seen, or could still see, a carbon fiber-based MacBook Air. With carbon fiber being stronger material, while weighing less, it would make sense for Apple to build a MacBook Air with carbon fiber.

Minecraft creator disses Windows 8 again, after Microsoft asked Notch to help certify Minecraft for Windows 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 1:50 am

We know that Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson isn't too happy with Windows 8, but in the last few weeks the developer was asked by Microsoft if he wanted him certifying Minecraft for Windows 8.




He declined, telling the company to instead stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform. That wasn't all, either - Notch also took to Twitter to say that he'd rather have Minecraft not work on Windows 8 at all, than to play along with Microsoft.


Notch hopes that he can swing the decisions of others too, swaying users from Windows 8. I personally will only be moving because I'm a tech junkie, and I want to test it out - but I have absolutely no plans to push my multiple systems to the new OS. I wouldn't mind buying a new Windows 8-based Ultrabook, but that's completely different.

RumorTT: ASUS offer to acquire ASRock

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Sep 30, 2012 7:27 am

Quite the juicy rumor for the weekend, where SemiAccurate are reporting that they've heard that ASUS have made an offer to acquire ASRock's motherboard division. If this were to happen, we're looking at ASUS becoming bigger than they already are, and making a bigger threat for the number two in the market, Gigabyte.




ASRock sit at number three, so a combination of number one and three's forces would be quite significant for the market. If it were to happen, we're be looking at ASUS and Gigabyte, followed by the smaller players like MSI, ECS which don't see anywhere near the same numbers as ASUS, Gigabyte or ASRock, and then there's a few much smaller players, too.


If the deal does go through, there will be downstream effects to many of the other companies and suppliers to these companies - so it would cause quite the stir. But, with Intel talking about making motherboards pretty much redundant, could we see this as a preemptive move from ASUS to take more control of the already tight market?

Tesla Museum raises over $1.3 million, puts Indiegogo on the map

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 30, 2012 6:26 am

We all know about Kickstarter, but there's another crowdfunding kid on the block - Indiegogo. Indiegogo, along with Matthew "The Oatmeal" Inman, launched an Indiegogo campaign that aimed at buying some land for a Nikola Tesla dedicated museum.




Inman raised $850,000 within a week, which was his funding target, and within less than a day to go, $1.35 million has been raised. Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo's co-founder, has said that the "Operation Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum" is the largest campaign in Indiegogo's history.


Just how much money is thrown around on these crowdfunding sites? Well, Kickstarter has said that its users have pledged an amazing $350 million since April 28, 2009 - which is around $2 million per week on average. I'm looking forward to seeing the Tesla Museum built, and would eventually like to go and check it out once it has been completed.

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