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Moto X benchmarks hint at a mid-range smartphone, nothing overly special

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 11:27 am

We know that Motorola and Google are going to unveil the Moto X smartphone on August 1 in New York City, but now we have more of an idea of what to expect to be baked into Motorola's highly anticipated smartphone.

 

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I knew we weren't to expect anything in terms of a high-end handset, but I was hoping for something special at least. But according to Android Police, who have some photos of the AT&T Moto X "Ghost" which ran the AnTuTu and 3DMark tests. These results from the Moto X aren't that surprising, but we know it will arrive as a mid-range Android 4.2.2-based smartphone.

 

Inside the Moto X, we should expect a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM and a 720p screen. 16GB of on-board flash storage will be on offer, as will NFC. As for the cameras, we should expect a 10.5-megapixel rear-facer and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. As you can see, there's nothing to get crazy about, but we might not be seeing the whole picture here, either.

Continue reading 'Moto X benchmarks hint at a mid-range smartphone, nothing overly special' (full post)

Streaming music services like Spotify are beginning to put a dent in digital music sales

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 10:25 am

As a daily user of Spotify, I'm loving streaming music services and it looks like many millions of others are, too. According to figures released by Billboard and Nielsen, a 4.6% decline in overall album and track sales in the first half of 2013.

 

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Digital download sales dropped 2.3% while physical CDs fell by a huge 14%. During the same time, streaming music jumped by 24%. The company that will most likely hurt from this the most in the long run will be Apple, who are all-digital with iTunes. Streaming services like Pandora and Spotify offer their music with an all-you-can-eat model, which is free.

 

If you don't like the restrictions of the free model, there's various premium models on offer, too. Spotify is only $10 a month for unlimited music, which is an amazing deal. This is what I pay for each month, and for less than half the cost of a physical album, why wouldn't any music listener do this?

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet sees the company with a $900 million write-down for the poor performing tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 9:25 am

It looks like Microsoft haven't had a good run with their Surface RT tablets according to their quarterly and full-year financial results. Microsoft have just finished their fourth financial quarter, where they saw revenues of $19.9 billion and an operating profit of just over $6 billion for the three-month period.

 

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Just how bad was the Surface RT for Microsoft? Well, the Redmond-based giant included a $900 million write-down to pay for the slate, that's how bad. In the first paragraph of their latest financial report, Microsoft says: "These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments."

 

Microsoft really missed the mark when it came to predicting consumers' purchasing habits on the Surface RT, with many estimating that Microsoft made as many as six million Surface RT's. Obviously a bunch of these didn't sell, at all, but according to Brian Hall, the General Manager of Surface marketing, "Microsoft is 100 percent committed to Surface RT and Windows RT going forward and has no plans to drop work on either product."

Google, Apple and others will be targeted in a huge crackdown on tax dodging

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 8:29 am

We have reported previously about big tech companies such as Google and Apple who dodge huge amounts in tax, but now the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are going to put a stop to this, and quick.

 

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Bloomberg are reporting that the OECD will pump the brakes on corporate tax dodging, with a plan that will "develop rules over the next two years preventing companies from escaping taxes by putting patent rights into shell companies, taking interest deductions in one country without reporting taxable profit in another, and forcing them to disclose to regulators where they report their income around the world."

Expect AMD to release 'Carizo' in 2015, the successor to their Kaveri APU

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 7:58 am

AMD are continuing on with their APUs, having named a successor to their not-even-released 'Kaveri' APU expected in 2015. Kaveri is their Steamroller-based x86 CPU with a GCN-based GPU and HUMA memory architecture, and won't see the light of day until the second half of 2014.

 

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But, AMD have named its successor already, which will be known as Carizo. Carizo will arrive in 2015, and will feature even more improvements on the unreleased Kaveri APU. Carizo will probably feature AMD's upcoming Excavator CPU core and hopefully an even better rack of GCN GPU cores. We should expect the memory architecture to receive an injection of speed improvements, too.

Over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each day, Google Play Store passes 50 billion downloads, too

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 7:30 am

Late last week, Google CEO Larry Page revealed that over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each and every day. This is up from last September's numbers of around 1.3 million each day.

 

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Google are inching closer to having one billion Android-based devices on the market, with Page stating that it is "pretty amazing given the first Android phone launched less than five years ago." Moving onto the Google Play Store, the Google CEO revealed that over 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play Store.

 

This number should astound people, myself included, because last September this number was just 25 billion. This represents a 100% increase in under a year, which is an amazing number no matter which way you look at it. Google Chrome received a mention, too, with the web browser from Google now enjoying 750 million users, one of those being me.

Could the Xbox One-exclusive 'Dead Rising 3' be the best game in the series yet?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 6:30 am

During an interview with the developers behind Dead Rising 3, we have found out a few more details on the game itself. The video is called "Zombie Apocalypse Evolved", and has three of Dead Rising's creators talking about the game's new features and creatures. Check it out, below.

 

 

Dead Rising 3's Producer, Mike Jones, has teased us all by stating that Dead Rising 3 is bigger than both predecessors combined "multiple times over", which means the game is going to be absolutely gigantic. There's new zombies, which will arrive in the form of cops, prisoners and football players, who will all be smarter and more dangerous than previous Dead Rising zombies.

 

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Jones teases "every zombie is a snowflake". Dead Rising 3 is an Xbox One exclusive, and will make great use of the next-gen Kinect sensor, which will make audio in the game a huge factor. Executive Producer and Creative Lead, Josh Bridge, explained that DR3 gamers can distract zombies by yelling at them through the Kinect sensor.

Homeworld and Homeworld 2 are being remade in HD thanks to Gearbox Software

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 5:28 am

I have fond memories of the first Homeworld game, with its incredible graphics and space setting, but now the first two Homeworld games are being remade in HD, thanks to Gearbox Software.

 

 

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Gearbox will be releasing the HD-capable Homeworld and Homeworld 2 on Steam, which is a nice bonus to the digital gaming world we now live in. There's no word on Homeworld: Cataclysm, but we could see this receive a HD makeover, too. What are your thoughts on the original two Homeworld games arriving in HD? With Gearbox behind it, does it give you faith, or are you scared of what they might do to it?

Google updates Chrome OS with new 'immersive' mode

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 4:35 am

Google has updated Chrome OS in the beta channel with a couple of new features. The new build is version 29.0.1537.32, and also arrives with a number of bug fixes, security updates, and additional feature enhancements.

 

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The biggest feature of this is the new "immersive" mode, which sees a fullscreen browsing session open up, hiding the navigation bars. Google have also updated Kernel 3.8 for both the Chromebook Pixel, and Samsung 550. Chrome OS owners can now pin apps to the shelf by using drag-and-drop from the Launcher.

 

The update also includes a Consumer Kiosk Mode, which lets users build a Chrome OS-based kiosk. Google didn't finish there, though, as there's now a two-finger method to navigate browsing history as well as the ability to sync default wallpaper selections across devices. The app launcher search feature has also been improved, and overall, the system dynamically learns what users search for, and can now search for apps within the web store if now matching apps are installed. There's also a tweaked interface that shows apps in a better way.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra will launch for $799 in Hong Kong next week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 22, 2013 3:31 am

Sony's Xperia Z Ultra smartphone will launch at the end of this month in Hong Kong for $799, which includes 3G connectivity. There's also a 4G version which will be available for $824, just $25 on top of the 3G version.

 

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What makes the Xperia Z Ultra special is that it is the world's largest smartphone, coming in at 6.4 inches. This beats Samsung's also-huge Galaxy Mega 6.3, but the price tag might turn people away. While it hasn't been formally priced for the US market, we should expect the same pricing. Sony are marketing the Xperia Z Ultra as the 'world's thinnest' Full HD smartphone too, as it measures in at just 0.27 inches (6.5mm).

 

Sony have crammed in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, which is a quad-core processor clocked in at 2.2GHz, while including the Adreno 330. There's 16GB of on-board flash storage backed up by microSD storage that can provide another 64GB. There's an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that features a mobile Exmor RS sensor.

 

You can read more on Sony's 6.4-inch 'phablet' right here.

Continue reading 'Sony Xperia Z Ultra will launch for $799 in Hong Kong next week' (full post)

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