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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2072

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.

Wintel tablets said to be delayed by Intel software bug, will hamper efforts to compete with Apple

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 7:25 pm

Intel's recently released Clover Trail-based Atom processor is destined to be in tablets running Window 8 come its release at the end of this month. However, a delay inside Intel in delivering a much-needed piece of software designed to conserve battery life is preventing the development of Wintel tablets.




Microsoft will not approve the tablets without the power-management software, which is the delayed software in question. This delayed approval process is cutting into the time manufacturers will have to revamp designs if Microsoft rejects them, and is delaying development, production, and could push back the release date of said devices.


Any delay in the release of new Wintel tablets before Christmas could be devastating to sales, as this is a typically good time for hand-held electronic sales. Apple is widely expected to release a new iPad in March or April of next year, so delays could also cause would-be consumer to hold off for the new iPad.

Apple employees getting three extra paid days off for an 'incredibly successful year'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 6:11 pm

If you work at Apple, you will be happy to find out that Tim Cook does appreciate you. And to show appreciation for all of your hard work this year, Mr. Cook is offering you three additional paid days off. Most people will be getting these days off the week of Thanksgiving, though retail and some others will have to take them at another time.




In addition to giving these extra days of paid vacation, Cook issued an e-mail thanking employees for their hard work and everything they do. This break is similar to the one that was announced by Cook during last year. Just how much this will boost spirits and affect productivity has yet to be seen, but it must have worked well last year for the company to be doing it again.

Continue reading 'Apple employees getting three extra paid days off for an 'incredibly successful year'' (full post)

Netflix debuts 'Just for Kids' for iPad

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 4:28 pm

Online streaming provider Netflix has debuted a new mobile app for the iPad. This new app takes a feature of the Netflix site and mobilizes it on the iPad. Dubbed "Just for Kids," users tap the tab in the mobile app and "find their favorite shows and movies by swiping through a row of their favorite characters, many of which they will instantly recognize."




The app currently supports the iPad 2 and new iPad (iPad 3). The old iPad and Android device support will be forthcoming. The iPad is becoming a more attractive platform for kid entertainment. Though brittle, the device can contain hours and hours of fun packed into a small, easily portable device.

Windows 7 market share increases over XP

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 1, 2012 3:02 pm

XP has long held the most market share out of any operating system. That was the case until it was overtaken in August by Windows 7 and a small margin. However, that once tiny margin has continued to grow and Windows 7 is now nearly 3 percent higher than XP in terms of market share and it shows no signs of stopping.




For the month of September, Windows 7 saw 44 percent of all web traffic, as recorded by Net Applications. XP was a close second, taking 41.2 percent. XP was a great operating system when it came out and businesses, who are slow to change, flocked to the operating system. Now, 10 years later, those businesses have reached their refresh cycle and are starting to upgrade to Windows 7-based devices.


Microsoft is helping to push the transition along, making Internet Explorer 9 and 10 not supported on the older operating system. The long-term support will also cease in April 2014, so users will no longer receive patches and bug fixes. Microsoft is also pushing the end of Vista, but not as hard as it only has 6 percent of the market.

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