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Amazon's next-gen Kindle Fire to sport better display, ships Q3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2012 3:31 am

Amazon's first-generation Kindle Fire started off with a bang, but sales of the tablet are dropping off, which means we're headed toward next-generation territory. Sources close to AllThingsD have said that Amazon are looking to unleash the next-gen Kindle Fire in Q3, and are talking to developers about hardware already.

 

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The next-gen Fire is meant to be both thinner and lighter than the original Fire, sporting a built-in camera and much-improved display. Developers have also been told to build their apps for a display with a 1280x800 pixel display, different to the 1024x600 display of the current Fire.

 

This makes the next Kindle Fire's screen to look better, as well as featuring a new aspect ratio, meaning the display has an entirely new width-to-height ratio. DisplayMate President Raymond Soneira told AllThingsD:

 

The really interesting thing here is that the screen shape is changing slightly: From an aspect ratio of 1.71 (tall and narrow in its standard Portrait mode) to an aspect ratio of 1.60. That's a 67 percent increase in total pixels, and it is visually significant. It gives the display a PPI (pixels per inch) of 216.

Continue reading 'Amazon's next-gen Kindle Fire to sport better display, ships Q3' (full post)

Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon is paying off, $4.3 billion payout is theirs shortly

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2012 2:32 am

U.K.-based Vodafone owns a very tidy 45-percent stake in U.S.-based Verizon Wireless, America's largest mobile phone network. After a long hiatus, the company begin sharing profits with their first payment to Vodafone being $10 billion, shared with Verizon's majority owner, Verizon Communications.

 

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The results of this were $4.3 billion total, with $3.09 billion distributed to its shareholders through a 4-percent dividend in February. This number could rise from $4.3 billion to $4.6 billion this financial year, and balloon out to $6.1 billion by 2016, according to broker Liberum Capital. Liberum analyst Lawrence Sugarman says:

 

We expect news shortly that the payment will be repeated at a higher level. Verizon has material scope to increase its dividend going forward, and crucially, because of the need to fund the Verizon group dividend, has a significant incentive to pay one.

 

It should be noted that Verizon Wireless generates $1 billion in cash each month, with revenues continuing to rise.

EU court rules that digital downloads can be resold

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 11:17 am

One of the things that sucks about digital media is the fact that until now, once it was downloaded, that was it. No trade-ins, no selling them to friends or someone over the Internet. But, the Court of Justice of the European Union thinks you should be able to resell those games.

 

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The court thinks consumers should be able to resell any software they buy, no matter if it was physical media, or in a downloadable form. Where did this judgment pop up from? A case involving UsedSoft, who is a company that resells Oracle licenses acquired from previous owners. Oracle tried to stop UsedSoft from selling licenses, but it didn't fare well for Oracle. You can check out the full ruling here, as well as the official press release, a snippet can be seen below:

 

Under that directive, the first sale in the EU of a copy of a computer program by the copyright holder or with his consent exhausts the right of distribution of that copy in the EU. A rightholder who has marketed a copy in the territory of a Member State of the EU thus loses the right to rely on his monopoly of exploitation in order to oppose the resale of that copy. In the present case, Oracle claims that the principle of exhaustion laid down by the directive does not apply to user licences for computer programs downloaded from the internet.

Continue reading 'EU court rules that digital downloads can be resold' (full post)

WikiLeaks set to unleash 2.4 million Syrian e-mails

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 10:18 am

WikiLeaks are back in the news this week, with reports saying the whistle-blowing website is set to unleash 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian officials and government accounts. The e-mails would likely reveal communication between the Syrian government and Western companies, that would put them in a spot of controversy over the alleged collusion between the Syrian regime and its supposed "enemies".

 

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Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks told journalists that the leak will cause embarrassment to both Syria and its opponents, with e-mails dating back to as far as August 2006, and as recent as March of this year, with some of the e-mails originating in Syria's Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

 

Of course, the source of the leak hasn't been confirmed, but Harrison claims that WikiLeaks is confident that they are genuine. WikiLeaks have begun posting some of these e-mails online, with the rest of them to follow.

Microsoft says their top 4 franchises "outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 9:18 am

Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer, has some words to say against his competitors Nintendo and Sony. First off he has stated that the Wii U is graphically equivalent to the current-generation Xbox 360, and he's got some even nicer words for Sony, saying that Microsoft's top 4 franchises outsell the top 11 franchises from Sony.

 

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He told GamesIndustry:

 

We have always been about trying to create hits that really push our platform and reach millions of people. I've never looked at our first-party mandate as trying to simply pump out content that only a few select people will go out and buy. If you look at our top franchises in our first-party, they do incredibly well relative to other first-party franchises. If you rank our top four franchises against the other franchises, our top 4 outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises or something like that. In the end, it's about creating something to scale and something that matters.

 

What do you think? Sony have some powerful IP, but I personally think Microsoft have it this generation. Halo, Gears of War, etc. Sony will need to try very hard to win with the next-gen of console wars, as Microsoft seem to be on a roll right now with Windows 8, making hardware (tablets), and more.

Continue reading 'Microsoft says their top 4 franchises "outsell like the top 11 Sony franchises"' (full post)

Facebook adds gay marriage icons, Apple follows suit with iOS 6

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 8:26 am

Up until the weekend, if you were to declare you were married on Facebook, it would show the traditional cake-topper style icon of a male and a female together. Well, with the whole gay marriage debacle going on across the world, Facebook have gotten with the times and updated the options for marriage.

 

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Considering the social networking site features more than 900 million users, it is a move that should've been done a while ago. In the U.S. over the weekend, users started to notice new icons, either two males, or two females. James Lazar, a 38-year-old Chicago man was married to a man, but refused to change his status due to the male-female cake-topper style icons. He says "I don't like being forced into typical gender roles -- because we aren't. I think it's offensive".

 

Eventually, he changed his relationship status on Facebook to married and shortly after his icon changed to two men. He said in an interview with CNN, "I honestly didn't realize it was going to show up in my feed. I have 80,000 people 'liking' it and congratulating me and I'm like, 'Well, it was seven years ago!'"

Continue reading 'Facebook adds gay marriage icons, Apple follows suit with iOS 6' (full post)

Samsung sees a strong quarter, thanks to their GALAXY S III smartphone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 7:33 am

Samsung are expected to release their financial results for the latest quarter later on in the month, but the company is expecting to post a near-$6 billion profit. This quarterly profit can be attributed to the great sales of their GALAXY S III smartphone.

 

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Executives within Samsung are still anxious about the rumblings in the euro zone, where debt concerns could threaten Samsung's sales successes. Analysts are pegging Samsung's April-June operating profit to surge 77-percent to $5.9 billion from the same quarter a year ago. Comparing this quarter to the January-March quarter, this is a nice 14-percent increase, which previously held the quarterly profit record.

 

Samsung's mobile division has been the strongest part of this, driving most of the profits. With profits doubling year-over-year on the sale of around 50 million smartphones. Mobile now accounts for more than 70-percent of Samsung's earnings. Samsung do still have to worry about the European debt crisis, as Europe is Samsung's largest consumer electronics market, so the company fears they may have to cut costs and increases prices if the value of the euro drops.

Seagate expects to miss quarterly sales forecast, will be $500 million short

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

Seagate are looking to expect revenues of $4.5 billion for the quarter, $500 million less than they previous expected. The company has said this is due to a supply quality issue, and a slower-than-expected rate of market share growth.

 

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Seagate just last month said they would acquire LaCie, and have also said their gross margins on a non-GAAP basis would be lower than expected, by nearly a full percentage point. Seagate's shares fell by 64 cents, or a little over 2.5-percent, in after-hours trading to $24.44, after closing at $25.08 during the regular session. Seagate's shares have increased more than 55-percent this year.

 

The Thailand floods last year definitely caused the hard drive manufacturer some issues, considering Western Digital was hit with the brunt of the supply issues. The HDD industry didn't just die, but it has taken Seagate a little while longer to get where they'd like to be.

GIGABYTE announces world's first dual-port Thunderbolt motherboards

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 6:19 am

GIGABYTE have just announced the very latest 7-series motherboards that are the first to offer fully certified dual on-board Thunderbolt ports. The motherboards allow you to connect up to 12 devies, plus 3 digital displays simultaneously.

 

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The Thunderbolt-powered motherboards allow users to daisy chain up to 12 devices simultaneously through an incredible bi-directional 10Gbps data pipeline that features both PCIe and DisplayPort traffic. GIGABYTE has worked closely with some of the world's largest device partners, including PromiseĀ® Technology, LaCie, BlackMagic, Western Digital, Seagate, Elgato, CalDigit and cable manufacturer Sumitomo.

 

Thunderbolt is no slouch when it comes to performance, meaning that these GIGABYTE dual-port Thunderbolt motherboards transferring at their top speed of 10Gbps, could transfer a full HD 1080p movie in under 30 seconds - imagine that!

 

The three motherboards to sport dual Thunderbolt ports are, the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5 TH, Z77X-UP4 TH, and finally, the Z77MX-D3H TH.

Olympus show off MEG 4.0, a Project Glass-style wearable display prototype

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Augmented Reality | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 5:37 am

Google's Project Glass augmented reality wonder device may be on everyone's wish lists for Christmas 2013, but that is a fair while away. Olympus have just announced their own prototype of a glasses-mounted heads-up display, the MEG 4.0.

 

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Olympus have reportedly been working on wearable displays for a few years now, but considering the fan fare Google received and how they're moving the technology closer to consumers, the timing seems perfect for Olympus to unveil their product. Olympus' MEG 4.0 floats a 320x240 screen above the user's regular eye-line and hooks up through Bluetooth to a nearby smart device. MEG 4.0 weighs around 30g and has a decent 8-hour battery life in intermittent display mode that will automatically turn on the display every 3 minutes for just 15 seconds only.

 

MEG 4.0 features a built-in accelerometer that detects the position of the user's head and reacts accordingly. One major thing Olympus' MEG 4.0 doesn't include is a camera, which is something that Google's Project Glass sports, and will most likely be one of the strong points of Google's product versus Olmypus' offering. At the moment, Olympus haven't hinted at pricing, or availability, and there's no video demonstration of their technology, either.

Continue reading 'Olympus show off MEG 4.0, a Project Glass-style wearable display prototype' (full post)

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