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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2114

Nikon launches 18-140mm lens designed for APS-C DSLRs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Aug 8, 2013 3:39 pm

This week, Nikon introduced a new wide-angle zoom lens for its DSLRs that feature APS-C sensors--the DX Series. The focal length is between 18mm and 140mm and the company says that it has been designed to be a versatile all-around shooter.




The new 18-140mm lens features Nikon vibration reduction technology, with Nikon promising that photographers are now able to shoot in low light with a shutter speed up to four stops slower and still keep images blur free. The new lens features 17 elements in 12 groups with one extra-low dispersion element and a single aspherical lens element that delivers excellent resolution and contrast while reducing aberration and color dissection.


The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR retails at an MSRP of $890 and will begin to hit store shelves at the end of this month.

Lego releases source code for Mindstorms EV3

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 10:05 pm

Today, the source code for the new Lego Mindstorms microcontroller brick was released. This little controller box features an ARM9-based microcontroller that runs a flavor of Linux. The EV3 Mindstorms line features Lego compatible motors, touch sensors, color printers, IR sensors, as well as IR remotes.




The source code has been uploaded to GitHub and those interested can head over to Source #2 to clone the repository for themselves. The linked Source #1 will contain all the information you need to get started hacking your own projects using Lego's Mindstorm EV3 controller.

AOL releases Q2 earnings report, post higher revenue than expected

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 9:31 pm

Today, AOL released its earnings report for the second quarter of 2013. The company says that its revenue grew to $541 million, which is up more than 2 percent during the same period last year. This equates to a diluted earnings per share of $0.35.




Net income per quarter was $28.5 million, which was actually significantly lower than the same period in 2012, but AOL was quick to note that this is because it sold $1.1 billion worth of patents to Microsoft in Q2 2012. However, Q2 2013's net income is up $3 million over quarter one 2013.


"AOL takes a major step forward today with another quarter of growth and our agreement to acquire the video marketplace platform that will make AOL a clear global leader in the most important growth segment in our industry - online video," AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said in the report. "AOL continued to get leaner during Q2 while growing consumer traffic, growing all advertising revenue lines, and improving our subscription trends."


The company says that ad revenue grew by 7 percent, totaling $361 million with a 5 percent growth in the domestic market and 19 percent internationally. Third-party network revenue grew by 9 percent, while search advertising revenue managed to grow 8 percent. The company did admit that its ISP subscription rates were down 5 percent.

Casio unveils EX-ZR800 compact camera with 5-axis image stabilization

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 8:57 pm

Casio announced today the launch of a new compact digital camera to its lineup. The new EX-ZR800 is an Exilim engine based model that features five-axis image stabilization, continuous shooting, and an ISO sensitivity of 25,600. The camera is also capable of composing high dynamic range (HDR) shots within the built-in software. Additionally, the camera features a 16-megapixel sensor and 18x zoom.




Video capabilities include 1080p at 30 frames per second, which is encoded in h.264, and a zoom range of 25mm to 450mm ensures that you will always get the perfectly framed shot. Casio says that the EX-ZR800 will launch in Japan on August 3 in red, white, or black and will retail for about $410. It is still unclear when the device will land in Europe or the US, but we do know that it is coming.

Facebook finishes US rollout of Graph Search

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 8:07 pm

Today, Facebook has announced that it has finished rolling out its Graph Search feature to everyone using US English as their primary language. Eight months ago, the company launched the advanced search feature to a handful of select beta testers and then began to slowly roll the service out a few months later.




Graph Search lets users search using common phrases such as "pizzerias in my city that my friends have visited and liked." In the early weeks of the beta program, the service received much criticism as the level of search capable was just to much for some people to be comfortable with.


A search phrase such as "photos of friends of my friends at the beach" would return photos of all the friends of your friends who were at the beach. This became a problem because many of those photos featured women in bikinis. Facebook has since restricted certain search phrases and this issue is no longer a problem.


I have had Graph Search since the beginning of last October and was one of the original groups of beta testers. The novelty wore off after only a few weeks, and I have not used the search terms more than three or four times since. I am hoping that with everyone now using Graph Search the algorithms will become smarter and return more relevant results.

TOR advises users to steer clear of Windows and switch to another OS

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 6:48 pm

Today, TOR began advising its users to avoid using Microsoft Windows at all cost. The advisory comes after NSA spying was discovered that used malware injected by using the Firefox zero-day vulnerability to gather users' machine names and Mac addresses, which were then being sent back to US government servers.




The security advisory posted by the TOR Project states that the only sure-fire workaround to this exploit is to switch away from Windows. They advise this because the JavaScript that was used to inject the malware was specifically written to target Windows machines running the Firefox 17 ESR browser that was packaged with the TOR Browser Bundle. This allowed the attackers to unmask TOR users without actually installing any backdoors into their host machine.


Mozilla has since patched this vulnerability, but the TOR Project says that there are still many out there who use the affected version of the browser. "Disabling JavaScript will reduce your vulnerability to other attacks like this one, but disabling JavaScript will make some websites not work like you expect," TOR wrote. "A future version of Tor Browser Bundle will have an easier interface for letting you configure your JavaScript settings."

LeakedTT: New images spotted of iPhone 5C, appear to be legit

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 5:33 pm

Today, new photos have surfaced of what appears to be Apple's budget friendly iPhone 5C. The photos appeared on the blog Sonny Dickson, which published a rather large gallery of images showing off the back housing of the rumored low-cost iPhone.




As with all leaked images of pre-launch devices, take these photos with a grain of salt, but also make note that they appear to be extremely legitimate. These photos appear to be the actual device with real electronics inside instead of just a plastic housing. Furthermore, they add credence to leaked videos we saw a earlier in the week.

Continue reading 'LeakedTT: New images spotted of iPhone 5C, appear to be legit' (full post)

LG announces G2, a 5.2-inch Android based smartphone / phablet

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 4:12 pm

Today, LG Electronics unveiled its latest flagship smartphone in the form of the LG G2. This is the first device introduced under LG's new "G" series which is reserved for premium devices only. LG says that the G2 is a beautifully designed smartphone that brings together functionality and convenience in a comfortable package.




The G2 features a 5.2-inch full HD 1080x1920 IPS display that packs 423 pixels per inch, and is powered by a quad-core QUALCOMM Snapdragon 800 clocked in at 2.26Ghz. 2 GB of low-power DDR3 800 is present and a 3000mAH battery keep things up and running for quite a long time. A 13-megapixel rear camera handles imaging duties, while a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera is in control of the selfies.


LG says that there is also graphics RAM built into the display which cuts down on power usage and improves graphics performance. The device is available in 16GB and 32GB configurations. The usual complement of LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 are also present, and the biggest shocker of the day may just be the fact that LG has decided to place the phone's volume buttons on the back of the device located near the camera. Stay tuned to TweakTown for more information on LG's new G2 as it becomes available.

Continue reading 'LG announces G2, a 5.2-inch Android based smartphone / phablet' (full post)

id Software founder John Carmack joins Oculus VR as CTO

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 2:54 pm

This morning Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift, announced a new addition to the team. The company said that id Software co-founder and legendary programmer John Carmack has joined the Oculus team as the company's new Chief Technical Officer. Oculus says that Carmack "is one of the brightest minds of our generation - pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can."




For those of you who might be too young to remember, John Carmack is the brains behind revolutionary pioneer first-person shooter games such as DOOM, QUAKE, RAGE and Wolfenstein. Carmack is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of 3-D graphics and has recently worked as a programmer in the aerospace industry at Armadillo Aerospace. Carmack prepared a statement which I have pasted below.




"I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming - the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer's early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It's certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don't even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It's going to be awesome!"

Continue reading 'id Software founder John Carmack joins Oculus VR as CTO' (full post)

LG G2 press images leak ahead of today's launch

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2013 2:04 pm

Today, LG will launch its G2 phablet in in New York City at 11 AM EST, but no product launch is complete without official press images leaking hours before the event starts. This morning, our favorite leakster @evleaks has gotten his hands on the official press images for the LG G2.




The phablet has already leaked several times, but this is the first time we're getting a look at what the device will officially look like. The G2 is rumored to feature a QUALCOMM Snapdragon 800 processor, 5.2-inch full HD screen, 2GB of RAM, and 13-megapixel rear camera will take all the selfies you can handle. Finally, a 2,610mAh battery will keep the phablet up and running for most of the day. Stay tuned to TweakTown for full coverage of the new LG G2.