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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2076

AT&T announces new "Next" service that lets customers upgrade phones similar to T-Mobile

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 5:09 pm

It appears that T-Mobile's "UnCarrier" strategy is pressuring rival wireless carriers into offering similar services of their own. In what has turned out to be a major plus for consumers, AT&T has announced today that it is launching a new initiative called AT&T Next which will allow customers the option to upgrade their device once every 12 months. The upgrade will come with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee, as well as no financing fees.

 

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This essentially allows AT&T customers to pick up a new device with no down payment and then make monthly payments on it for the next 12 months at which point they'll be able to upgrade to a new device again with no down payment. If the customer wishes to keep their existing device, an additional eight payments will be required, bringing the total payments up to 20 months.

 

Monthly payments fees range from $15 to $50 depending on the device. For example, a $200 entry-level Android phone might run $15 a month, while a $700 iPhone 5 would require the $50 a month fee. "With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment. That's hard to beat, and it's an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility.

Mad Catz unveils Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 for Xbox One

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 4:11 pm

This morning, Mad Catz announced a new addition of its Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 controller for the Xbox One. Now featuring a fully licensed artwork skin from the game Killer Instinct, the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 has become even more intimidating for your opponents. Mad Catz says that the new controller will hit store shelves in time for the 2013 holiday season.

 

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"E3 greeted us with a positive reaction to our Tournament Edition 2 FightStick and we're pleased that the controller will provide passionate fans of Killer Instinct with an even richer gaming experience," said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "We earlier commented how the enhanced performance of the Xbox One opens up additional scope for innovation and believe that the Killer Instinct Tournament Edition 2 FightStick perfectly illustrates our commitment to the next generation of entertainment."

 

Mad Catz says that the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 is expected to be the first fighting game controller for the Xbox One. It will feature arcade-perfect controls that have been extensively designed with the professional gamer in mind. The company says that the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 has been designed with a philosophy that will offer greater levels of customization and quality to the end-user.

ORIGIN PC updates GENESIS line to feature AMD's new FX-9000 series CPUs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 3:10 pm

This morning, ORIGIN PC announced that they have updated their award-winning GENESIS line of desktops to feature AMD's latest FX-9000 series CPUs. The GENESIS will now be available with either AMD's FX-9590 or FX-9370 CPUs. ORIGIN says that with the new FX-9000 series processors, their customers will be able to immerse themselves in the most advanced games like never before.

 

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Starting at just $1551, users would available to purchase an eight-core game-smashing monster that is clocked from the factory at up to 5 GHz. The GENESIS series includes a custom liquid cooled design and ships Windows 8 ready. ORIGIN says that users can customize their model with over 10,000 different building options. Additionally, ORIGIN offers lifetime 24/7 support for the best PC gaming experience.

Sony confirms September 9 launch date for SmartWatch 2

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 2:02 pm

Originally thought to be slated for a July 15 launch, Sony has now confirmed that we will see its SmartWatch 2 released to the public on September 9, 2013. This launch date actually aligns closer with Sony's original plans for a September / October launch. This means that Sony will have beaten all the major manufacturers to the punch in releasing a next-generation SmartWatch.

 

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Sony says that the SmartWatch 2 has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is far more feature-rich than its predecessor. The new watch features a 1.6-inch LCD, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB charging port, and near field communication connectivity. This will allow the SmartWatch to quickly pair with other devices through just a single touch. If that weren't enough, the SmartWatch 2 is both dust and water resistant and carries an IP57 certification.

 

With Samsung's upcoming smartwatch rumored to still be months away from release, and recent developments that have put Apple back to seeing their iWatch released in late 2014, Sony could have a winner on their hands. At a pricing point of $150, which is far less than any high-end analog watch you will find on store shelves today, I think that this new offering from Sony will fly off the shelves.

RumorTT: Next-gen Kinect sensor costs nearly as much as the entire Xbox One to build

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 12:30 pm

The next-gen Kinect sensor that arrives with the Xbox One has had its own world of controversy lately, with all of the always-on, always-listening pieces we've been writing about for weeks now.

 

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But, news has broken from a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AmA) from a Microsoft employee who has said that the Kinect plays a large role in the Xbox One experience. The person said that Microsoft bundled the Kinect with all Xbox One consoles to make sure all developers and gamers had access to it for all games, not just specific ones.

 

He also added that Microsoft took a big risk with the new Kinect sensor, where he noted that it "costs almost as much as the console to make" and "the success of the Kinect carries much more weight." The high price of manufacturing the Kinect sensor could explain why Microsoft couldn't compete with the PlayStation 4's price of $399 - $100 cheaper than the Xbox One which will cost $499.

Instagram CEO says the photo-sharing app 'will be the biggest thing in the world', eclipsing Facebook

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am

Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, has some seriously high hopes for his company. Just how high? Sky high. Instagram has come a very long way, with the company being purchased by Facebook for $1 billion last year.

 

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Since then, their user base has expanded by a very hefty 130 million users. Systrom has said that if Instagram continues to grow at this rate, it will not only be bigger than Facebook, but it "will be the biggest thing in the world." I don't know about that, because Kanye West's ego is pretty big, but hey, who am I to judge?

 

I don't see Instagram maintaining this growth without serious change, as they have nothing like Facebook on offer apart from sharing a 15-second video or some pictures. During an interview with Fast Company, the Instagram CEO said: "Now, will we continue to grow at this rate [and outgrow Facebook]? Different question."

Acer drops Thunderbolt, gives USB 3.0 a big embrace instead

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:24 am

Acer have made quite a bold move today, shifting away from the super-fast Thunderbolt technology and into the arms of USB 3.0 from this point on. Acer spokesperson Ruth Rosene has said that USB 3.0 is less expensive than Thunderbolt, offering close to the same bandwidth, as well as charging devices we use in our every day lives like smartphones and tablets.

 

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Intel are on the defensive, as you can imagine, with the Director of Intel's Client Connectivity Division, Jason Ziller, saying that there are over a dozen new platforms on the market that are powered by Thunderbolt with the Haswell-based fourth-generation Core processors from Intel. ASUS, Dell and Lenovo are all big names who are working with Intel and using Thunderbolt.

 

Ziller did note that Thunderbolt isn't aimed at value or mid-range systems, and that it is designed for premium systems. This will only become more apparent when Thunderbolt 2 arrives, which is capable of bi-directional speeds of 20Gbps.

Edward Snowden reveals that Microsoft have built a backdoor in Outlook.com for the NSA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:01 am

aEdward Snowden is probably the most wanted man in the world right now to the United States, with every single slither of information he releases has huge repercussions for every citizen. Today's revelation? Outlook.com has a backdoor, and Microsoft built it for the NSA.

 

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When Microsoft starting testing Outlook.com, the NSA asked for access. Microsoft were forced to work, asking the FBI for some assistance, which took five month of collaboration to build a workaround that gives the NSA full access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The backdoor access began two months before Outlook.com went live.

 

There is a workaround, supposedly, where enabling encryption on Outlook will stop the NSA and probably half the governments of the world from looking at your private data. An NSA newsletter states: "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden reveals that Microsoft have built a backdoor in Outlook.com for the NSA' (full post)

Google's Q2 earnings report will be released this week, just after their stock prices hit a record high of $928

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 9:19 am

Google seem to be unstoppable, but do did Apple at the beginning of last year, too. But, the Mountain View-based search giant have just seen a record high stock price of $928 today, ahead of their Q2 2013 earnings report this week.

 

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In April of this year, Google's stock price dropped to $765 after they released their Q1 2013 earnings report, but they jumped up to their original price after a few days. Google stock has steadily risen since their Q1 2013 earnings report was released, and it'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.

 

If the stock does drop, I'm sure it'll bounce back and if not, it'll be a few weeks. Google have countless products in the making, and unlike Apple they haven't cut themselves off from the market making their own devices, yet. Products like Glass and Android, as well as the great-selling Galaxy S4 have consumers hearts and wallets, and investors know this.

Refreshed Google Play Store design makes its way to the web

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:24 am

I've been loving the refreshed Google Play Store on my various Android-based devices, but now the web enjoys the same thing. The refreshed, card interface design is now on the web.

 

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Videos can continue to be rented and purchased, with the same going for books and devices. Subscriptions to magazines and Android app installations to your Android-based devices can all be done with the click of your mouse. The benefits of the refreshed look of the Google Play Store on the web include larger screenshots for Android apps and content, and it's all done on Google's webP format which loads much quicker than the previous site.

 

The menu sidebar is also identical to the usual Google apps on Android, which is a nice touch from Google.

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