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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2102

Windows 8.1 Preview is now available, want to try it out?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 3:31 am

Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 Preview at their BUILD 2013 conference on Wednesday, where it's free and some people can get their hands on it right now. Microsoft have promised an ISO image of the OS, but for now it's only available through the Windows Store.

 

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This means the Preview of Windows 8.1 is currently locked down to those running Windows 8 and Windows RT - so not me then. Remember, that this is just a beta - so don't replace your full OS when using it. Maybe partition your hard drive, or use a spare one (if you have one). The Windows 8.1 Preview should be unleashed to all of us in the coming days, and we'll write up a guide on how you can install it in our Tweakipedia section once it goes live in ISO format.

The NSA has been intercepting SSL traffic too, no one is safe from their technological grip

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 3:02 am

NSA's PRISM system is quite the beast indeed, but now it is being revealed that the US security agency have been intercepting SSL traffic too - which is meant to be a secure link - after all, it stands for secure sockets layer.

 

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Obviously not, as the US security agency have been using their PRISM system to gather and store huge quantities (see: all) of SSL encrypted data for later cryptanalysis. Netcraft also reports that this huge volume of data is logged so that if an SSL private key later becomes available, they can be decrypted.

 

There are 'legal' methods of getting these private keys: a court order, social engineering, an attack against the website, or through cryptanalysis. But, it's the NSA - do you really expect them to use legal means to break your encrypted data that they weren't meant to take in the first place? Yeah, I thought so.

RumorTT: Verizon to acquire Canadian provider Wind Mobile for $800 million

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 2:30 am

Verizon is wanting to extend their control of the wireless market, with the new rumor circling around that they will acquire Canadian wireless provider Wind Mobile.

 

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Verizon have reportedly offered Wind Mobile a tentative offer of between $600 million and $800 million with the final price being decided once the company completes its due diligence. Verizon aren't stopping there, where they might be whipping out their credit card to acquire rival wireless startup Moilicity.

 

The Canadian government previously flexed their muscle, denying Teleus's bid to license Mobilicity spectrum. Government officials should okay this deal though, as it will increase competition in the Canadian wireless market.

Windows Phone sees more than 200 million app downloads per month

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 2:03 am

Microsoft has announced a discount to its Windows Phone developer program. Microsoft is offering developers a discount on the fee normally paid to join the developer program. Instead of the yearly $99 fee, Microsoft is currently offering it for just $19. In the blog post detailing the discount, Microsoft also provided some interesting statistics regarding the Windows Phone platform.

 

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These numbers are, of course, the good numbers as Microsoft would be unlikely to report the bad numbers. One of the most interesting and often tracked numbers is how many apps the platform has. In the blog post, Microsoft reported that the total number of apps on the Windows Platform is 160,000. Furthermore, Microsoft said that those apps drive 200 million app downloads each month.

 

For comparison, iOS has surpassed the 50 billion download mark. Windows 8 has around 100,000 apps available in its app store. Windows Phone also experienced the greatest year-over-year increase in marketshare, doubling its market penetration. To read the whole blog post, head over to Microsoft's site.

Google removes all clouds from Earth imagery

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 1:33 am

Google has processed hundreds of terabytes of Earth imagery to construct a cloud-free version of its satellite imagery used in its Maps and Earth products. The data is also now higher resolution, providing the ability to see the Earth in greater detail. The new imagery comes from NASA's and USGS' Landsat 7 satellite. Due to a hardware failure early in life, this was no easy feat.

 

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Landsat 7's imagery has black stripes in the normal images due to said hardware failure. Google had to combine multiple images in order to remove those black stripes. This same process is essentially how they managed to get a cloudless version of their imagery, even in tropical zones that almost always have some cloud cover.

 

Google has also focused on bringing the new imagery to zones that hadn't been updated in a while. This means the new imagery focuses on Russia, Indonesia, and central Africa. Google notes that the new image is over 800,000 megapixels. In other words, it would take a piece of paper the size of a city block to print it out at the standard 300dpi.

Continue reading 'Google removes all clouds from Earth imagery' (full post)

Sony removed PS4 camera to beat Microsoft on price

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 1:02 am

According to sources close to Sony, the entertainment giant decided to not bundle the PlayStation 4 camera with every console so they could beat Microsoft's $499 price point. But not only did Sony do this to beat Microsoft on price, they didn't let retail partners know that the price changed. The only information they provided to retail partners was that the PS4 camera would no longer be included with the console.

 

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This might have been a great move. Not only was Sony able to beat Microsoft on price, but it turns out that people don't like an always-connected camera in their living room. Sony has been able to avoid accusations that the device might be spying on its users.

 

On the other hand, it will likely cause the PlayStation camera accessory to see less uptake in the market. By not requiring every user to have it, game developers will have to deal with a fragmented landscape where only some gamers have the camera. This means developers are unlikely to make as much use of the camera, which in turn provides less incentive for users to buy a camera. It's the classic chicken and egg scenario.

NVIDIA delays Shield shipping until next month after discovering mechanical issue

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 12:27 am

NVIDIA has announced that they have delayed the shipping of their upcoming handheld gaming console. Project Shield was originally slated to go on sale tomorrow, but NVIDIA has decided to push that date back to sometime in July due to a mechanical issue. The issue stems from a third-party component supplier who's part isn't quite up to NVIDIA's "exacting standards."

 

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NVIDIA doesn't have a confirmed shipping date beyond sometime in July, so we'll let you know as soon as NVIDIA releases a firm ship date. NVIDIA has also extended apologies to those who preordered Shield and those who were looking forward to buying the console. NVIDIA believes that the console will be well worth the wait.

 

It's probably better for the company to wait and perfect the device than release a product that wouldn't garner the reviews and experience that they want.

Instagram CEO: Windows Phone and BlackBerry app not coming 'anytime soon', Google Glass app sometime after that

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 12:04 am

It looks as though it could still be a long time before Instagram finds its way onto the Windows Phone and BlackBerry platforms. This fact comes courtesy of Instagram's CEO, who noted during an interview that Google Glass is towards the bottom of their list for new platforms. This is because Instagram considers where its users are and where the growth is.

 

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Shortly after explaining that a Glass app is towards the bottom of their list, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom warned that BlackBerry and Windows Phone apps may not be coming anytime soon. "I'm just saying that in order of priority, the way we evaluate where to expand to is really simply where our users are, and where the growth is," the executive explained. "It took us a very long time to get to Android."

 

We're actually quite surprised that Instagram hasn't brought an app to the other mobile platforms as of yet. Instagram is owned by Facebook, a massive company that could easily afford to port the application to the other platforms. If you're planning on using Instagram on Google Glass just be warned that it could be a very long time until an app is released for the platform.

Dish no longer wants Clearwire, withdraws offer after Sprint increases their bid

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 26, 2013 11:29 pm

Sprint recently sweetened their offer for Clearwire and it was apparently enough to push Dish away. Dish has announced that they have withdrawn their offer to acquire Clearwire, citing a "change in recommendation" at Clearwire. In plain English, this means that shareholders now prefer Sprint's sweetened offer and are suggesting the board take it instead of Dish's.

 

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Interestingly enough, Sprint is about to be acquired by Softbank as soon as it clears all of the regulatory hurdles. In other words, Softbank will be acquiring Clearwire and the spectrum that Clearwire owns. It's not clear what Sprint plans to do with Clearwire after the acquisition, though they'll likely make use of the spectrum for faster LTE.

Apple seeds new version of OS X 10.8.5 update to developers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 26, 2013 11:04 pm

Apple has made an update to OS X 10.8.5 available to developers. Mountain Lion build 12F13 is now available for developers to try out and look for bugs. The new operating system can be downloaded through the Mac Developer Center or through the built-in Mac App Store Software Update functionality.

 

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The build contains no known issues, but Apple has asked that developers continue to focus on Wi-Fi, Graphics, Wake from Sleep, PDF viewing and Accessibility, and Mobile Device Management during their use. This software is just an update to Mountain Lion, with the OS X 10.9 Mavericks developer previews having been seeded to developers earlier this year.

 

It's not clear when this update will be made available to the general public, though it should be sooner rather than later if there are no known issues with it. We'll let you know when the actual update becomes available for you to download.

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