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Romney uses targeted Google ads to counter Obama's Barnard commencement speech

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: May 14, 2012 9:31 pm

President Obama has used technology to his advantage. Technology most likely won him the election in 2008 as he was able to reach out to the young, hip crowd through this new medium. His opponents, apparently, aren't as far behind as everyone thought as Romney's campaign has bought targeted ads to counter Obama's Barnard Collage commencement address.




People who search Google for "barnard commencement" will end up seeing an ad like above if they live in the New York City. The ad links to Romney's website and is entitled "Obama's Wasteful Spending." The ads are targeted to the zip code where the college is located. This zip code happens to be 10027.


The 2012 presidential campaign has seen targeted advertising before, so this is just another example. Previous advertisements have been as narrowly focused as this in that they focused on a single zip code. While I'm not sure just how many people are going to see it, it seems like it could be a good way to take a bit of press away from Obama and the event.

Counting Crows releases album through BitTorrent in advance of a concert tour

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: May 14, 2012 8:34 pm

In a move quite contrary to current trends, Counting Crows has released an album using the BitTorrent protocol to spread the music for free. Both the band and label have approved this new move, which comes in advance of a new concert tour the band is about to embark on. "I don't know why everybody's not doing it," said Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz.




Torrents allow musicians to get more exposure. Sure they don't sell as many albums, at least not right away, but they get more exposure and people talking about them. This conversation, in turn, yields higher ticket sales to concerts and events. Once a band starts selling out where they are playing, they often get to move to a bigger arena or charge more for tickets. Either way, they make more money.


Of course, it is important to note that P2P BitTorrent traffic is usually illegal as it consists of copyrighted files. As such TweakTown does not condone or encourage this. However, in this instance, it is legal to download Counting Crows' release as they have released it to be free to share. Duritz said: "We're trying to create a business model for a business that hasn't existed yet: Independent bands doing well. For a new band, I highly recommend giving away the whole record."

Facebook Mobile gets an update to better use white space

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 14, 2012 7:31 pm

I'm pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg is even more OCD about GUI layout and usage than even Steve Jobs was. The latest example of this is the new update that has been released for mobile users. The update aims to make better use of the limited screen real estate that is often a restriction on mobile design.




Facebook plans to make better use of the real estate by reducing the amount of white space, or blank space. Instead, some of the content will be more densely packed so that more fits onto the screen. Above is a before picture and below is an after. You can clearly see the change in the size of the 4 photos posted.




Starting today, we're rolling out an improved design for posts in news feed on your mobile phone. Now photos are up to 3x larger, and all posts will fill your mobile screen from edge to edge. The new design will be available on iOS, Android and Check out some before/after screenshots below.[above]


It is likely that if you go to use Facebook Mobile you will immediately see the change. Whether or not you like it, however, is another story. Part of the problem is that there are too many features to pack into a mobile experience. However, it seems as though what Facebook can fix, they will.

Benchmarks point to Verizon's Galaxy S3 having a dual-core processor

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 14, 2012 6:32 pm

In a move that is sure to upset some, it appears that Samsung has only included a dual-core processor for the North American version of its Galaxy S III. Now, they haven't come out and said that outright, but benchmarks have surfaced which point to the State-side phone featuring only a dual-core Snapdragon S4.




The site where the benchmark surfaced doesn't clearly state that it is a Snapdragon S4 either, but the evidence is pretty clear and points to the fact that it is. The benchmark entry makes note of the 1.5GHz core clock and the inclusion of the Adreno 225 GPU. The rumors that claim this are certainly gaining some steam with the new benchmarks.


Now, while this is only a Verizon phone, I would have to think that the rest of the carrier variants will carry the same Snapdragon S4 processor. This processor is the same as the HTC One X which could cause some people to choose that phone over the S3 since the S3 won't have anymore horsepower than the One X. We can't fully confirm this story until an official launch.

Wireless emergency alert texts set to go live this month on AT&T, Sprint, other carriers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 14, 2012 5:32 pm

It was just a matter of time before the government decided to start blowing up users phones with text messages. At least they aren't campaign text messages, but rather something of a bit more importance. The message in question will be a warning about severe weather warnings in the user's area.




The alerts will be based upon the cell phone's location rather than where it is subscribed. This way, if a user is traveling, he will also get the message and be better aware of upcoming or worrying weather conditions. It's a slightly better method than looking up at the sky like I do. The service is free and actually uses a different method than texting, but it will look like a text when received.


Almost every carrier is participating, including AT&T, Cellcom, Cricket, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. Once the system is up and kicking, every single user will be automatically signed up for three types of alerts. Yes, while the system is for weather, the government has demanded use for national emergencies to.


The three types of alerts are: presidential alerts for national emergencies, AMBER alerts for missing children, and weather alerts for severe weather. Users can opt out of the AMBER alerts and weather alerts but there is no such luck for opting out of the presidential alerts. Let's hope that these stay being used only for national emergencies.

Kickstarter API bug allowed 70,000 unpublished projects to be visible by public

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 14, 2012 4:29 pm

Programming bugs almost always make their way into production code through some inadvertent way. This time it is Kickstarter who has found a flaw in some of its code. This bug allowed access to 70,000 unpublished projects' project description, goal, duration, rewards, video, image, location, category, and user name.




On the Kickstarter Blog, they have made it abundantly clear that no financial data was ever publicly visible. Of the 70,000 "visible" projects, only 48 were viewed, and that includes views by the Kickstarter team trying to verify and patch the bug. The bug had been introduced into the code with the April 24 homepage redesign.


The bug was introduced when we launched the API in conjunction with our new homepage on April 24, and was live until it was discovered and fixed on Friday, May 11, at 1:42pm. The bug made accessible the project description, goal, duration, rewards, video, image, location, category, and user name for unlaunched projects. No account or financial data was made accessible.


Based on our research, the overwhelming majority of the private API access was by a computer programmer/Wall Street Journal reporter who contacted us. Outside of that person's use, our research shows that a total of 48 unlaunched projects were accessed during the three weeks this bug was live (this number includes a number of views by Kickstarter's developers working on the API itself).

RumorTT: Apple MacBook Pro redesign keeps Pro style, just thinner, sports USB 3, Retina display

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 14, 2012 3:30 pm

There are always a lot of rumors associated with Apple as their products are surrounded by security up until they launch. Today brings another rumor who is citing sources in the supply chain. As always, until it is confirmed by Apple (so, at launch), it is a rumor, so take some salt, throw it over your shoulder and read on.




As Apple's Tim Cook said at the close of the iPad 3 launch, "There's a lot to look forward to." Not only is he promising us more releases, but he is promising them to be good. If the sources are correct, one of these good upcoming releases will be the next generation 15-inch MacBook Pro. The rumor says that it will not be Air-like in its unibody construction.


Rather, it will be a thinned down version of the current unibody design. In order to thin the case, Apple will be removing the optical drive, but who uses those anyway? This means that the power button will be moved to where the eject button used to be on the keyboard. Of course, it features a compliment of connectivity ports along the side.


It will also feature a Retina display, according to the rumor, along with USB3.0. The Retina display is a logical next step as it has been intro'd on the iPhone and iPad. The USB 3.0 is being introduced finally because Ivy Bridge is the first Intel chip to natively support USB 3.0.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Apple MacBook Pro redesign keeps Pro style, just thinner, sports USB 3, Retina display' (full post)

Buffalo Technologies launches and releases 802.11ac router and media bridge

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: May 14, 2012 2:02 pm

With the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec coming of age, it's about time that some products get released to take advantage of the improvements it has brought. Back at CES 2012, Buffalo Technology was the first company to publicly demonstrate the 802.11ac technology. A few months later, Netgear seemed to steal the spotlight when they released the R6300 802.11ac model on April 26th.




Lucky for Buffalo as that turned out simply to be a paper launch which means that there was no availability to go along with it. Now that it is Buffalo's turn, they are launching their new products along with making them available today. First up is the new AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router.


This router features 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports which are important for a network's speed. It also comes with a USB port that uses a physical eject button. The physical design of the case has also been redesigned some over previous models. While the predecessors to this had sharp edges, in this model they have been replaced with more pleasing curves.




To compliment this router, Buffalo is also releasing WLI-H4-D1300 the wireless media bridge. This device is a perfect companion for the router as it is meant to extended the abilities of a wireless network. It can extend the wireless single to up to four wired devices through its four gigabitE ports. It is also backwards compatible with 11a, 11b, 11g and 11n.

Continue reading 'Buffalo Technologies launches and releases 802.11ac router and media bridge' (full post)

Poll Results - Now that Intel Ivy Bridge processors are officially out...

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: May 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Our latest poll had almost 3,200 people who answered, Now that Intel Ivy Bridge processors are officially out...




The results for this poll were quite mixed. 26% of TweakTown readers said that yes, they are going to buy an Ivy Bridge based CPU.


13% said that they were 'on the fence' and undecided. With the most votes, 40% said no, they aren't buying and that they are happy with their current system. On the mobile side, 7% said they might consider an Ivy Bridge based laptop and 15% think Intel have started in the construction business and are now building bridges.


For the actual numbers, go here. In our latest poll, we ask you about... Diablo III Let us know! Go here to vote!

Deal of the Day: Xbox 360 4GB Console Bundle w/ Extra Controller and Free Game - $238.97 Shipped!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 14, 2012 11:29 am

Our Deal of the Day is Xbox 360 4GB Console Bundle w/ Extra Controller and Free Game - $238.97 Shipped!




Awesome Xbox 360 Bundle from Walmart! You get the Xbox 360 4GB Slim Console, Extra Wireless Controller, and your choice of game for just $229 + $9.97 shipping! You can choose from 11 games, but I would recommend these: Modern Warfare 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Skyrim, or Batman: Arkham City.




Check our TweakTown Daily Deals page for more tech bargains!

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