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More EA asset closures on the horizon, EA Partners to be shut down

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 1:46 pm

If any company has had a rough past 12 months, it has to be EA. Sales expectations were not met on big name titles such as Crysis 3, APB, and Kingdom of Amalur: The Reckoning. To top that off, several of EA's major releases such as SimCity have been plagued with issues since launch.

 

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This morning there are several reports that EA will be closing its Partners asset as a direct result of the recent shortfalls. EA Partners is the publishing force of EA that worked with external developers like Valve to produce games like The Orange Box and Portal 2's retail versions.

 

Basically the idea behind EA Partners was to allow smaller developers to leverage EA's skill and experience to help promote titles without the need of an expensive dedicated in-house team. News of this pending closure comes hot on the heels of EA shutting down its Montreal Studio.

 

No official word has been released from EA at this point, but we are hoping to hear something soon.

SMART Storage Systems and Diablo Technologies enter partnership

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 12:00 pm

Today SMART Storage Systems and Diablo Technologies are announcing a new partnership to the world. This partnership has actually been working feverishly in the background for a year and a half developing a radical new storage technology. Details of the new technology are scarce and reading the press release generates more questions than answers.

 

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Luckily, we were able to catch up with Smart Storage Systems president John Scaramuzzo and Diablo founder and CEO Richard Badalone for an in-depth interview to shed more light on this new approach.

 

The high-level takeaway from the announcement is the upcoming release of a new class of storage from this new partnership, vaguely described as Ultra Low Latency (ULL) SSDs. The coming products are the fusion of SMART's Guardian Technology and Diablo's Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technologies. This new class of storage will radically transform enterprise server, virtualization, and cloud environments by taking a new approach to connecting NAND flash to the server.

Continue reading 'SMART Storage Systems and Diablo Technologies enter partnership' (full post)

Nintendo won't be holding a press conference at this year's E3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 11:37 am

It looks like Nintendo won't be having a press conference at E3 in Los Angeles later this year, compared to pretty much every E3 in history having E3 make a big splash with their press conferences at E3.

 

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Nintendo will not be unveiling any new hardware, with their main objective to "announce and have people experience our software". Nintendo will talk about the upcoming Wii U titles, where they plan to have some of these titles in playable form at E3. They're using this years E3 to "establish a new presentation style for E3".

 

Instead of one big event, the Japanese giant are going to "host a few smaller events that are specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market".

Continue reading 'Nintendo won't be holding a press conference at this year's E3' (full post)

Basemark X arrives on iOS, is now available from the App Store

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 10:54 am

Rightware have announced that their mobile benchmark, Basemark X, is now available for iOS. Basemark X is a cross-platform benchmark, something we took a look at a couple of weeks ago when it was released for Android.

 

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The iOS version can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and can be run on iOS devices to see how they fare against Android-based devices. The next step for Rightware is Windows Phone 8, something they're working on - they're having to wait until the Unity engine is supported under Microsoft's mobile operating system.

 

In the near future, we'll also see the release of Basemark X for Windows on the PC, then the fun will really start! You can get Basemark X for iOS from the App Store.

Apple is losing their grip on the tablet market, Android on the other hand is making huge gains

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 10:33 am

After Apple released their Q2 2013 earnings yesterday, market research firms have dived head first into the numbers, churning out some interesting facts. Strategy Analytics were one of the first to start shoving numbers out, with a report released late last night.

 

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Apple sold 19.5 million iPads in the three-month period, taking 48.2% of the global tablet market. This may sound impressive, nearly 50% of the global tablet sales are iPads - but let's rewind twelve months and look at the same quarter of 2012. Apple were enjoying a huge 63.1% of the market, meaning that we've seen a gigantic drop in Apple's dominance of the global tablet market.

 

If we look at Android in the same way, last year they took 34.2% of the global table market, but now they've jetted up to 43.4%. What is Apple's loss, is Google's gain, in more ways than one. We do have Windows, which isn't actually doing too badly, jumping from 0% last year to 7.5%, so Microsoft are even benefiting from Apple's slide.

Continue reading 'Apple is losing their grip on the tablet market, Android on the other hand is making huge gains' (full post)

Verizon reportedly preparing $100 billion bid to purchase Vodafone's shares in Verizon Wireless

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 9:35 am

Reuters have reported that Verizon is looking to buy out Vodafone's 45% share of Verizon Wireless, as Verizon is preparing $100 billion in order to complete the transaction.

 

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Reuters' unnamed sources say that Verizon have hired bank and legal advisers to prepare the bid, raising $50 billion in bank financing plus an additional $50 billion in their own shares. Discussions are said to take place "soon", but if Vodafone aren't willing to play ball, they could take its bid into the public arena.

Apple R&D reaches $4 billion this year, up 33% from 2012

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 8:34 am

I've made my thoughts on Apple quite clear in an editorial back in October, predicting the huge stock tumble and reduced sales on the iPhone, but one area Apple can come back is by releasing something that we don't expect.

 

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These devices are worked on in the company's research and development department, with R&D expenses growing 33% this year and are set to fly past $4 billion in fiscal 2013. Apple spent an additional $278 million on R&D expenses in the recent quarter, and when compared to their R&D expenditure in 2012, this number is up 33%.

 

R&D spending for the first six months of fiscal 2013 is now up $530 million year-over-year, another 33% increase from the first six months of fiscal 2012. If Apple keeps this pace, we should expect them to pass $4 billion in R&D expenses this year alone, comparing it to last years $3.4 billion R&D bill.

Continue reading 'Apple R&D reaches $4 billion this year, up 33% from 2012' (full post)

Google joins the FIDO Alliance's board of directors, wants to beef up their two-factor authentication

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 7:26 am

Google have just joined FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance's board of directors, where they hope to improve their two-factor authentication efforts. FIDO have pushed out press release, announcing that NXP and CrucialTec have also joined the board.

 

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FIDO wants to increase security measures across the Internet, and plan to implement multiple technologies in order to make web security stronger. Biometric verification is one of the technologies the Alliance is investing into, with the technology being reliable for identifying an individual as it uses distinguishable traits, such as fingerprints, voice recognition, eye scanning and face authentication to verify the user.

 

Another technology FIDO is looking into is One Time Passwords, which can be used just once. These passwords are generated randomly, and can only be retrieved by a special device, or through a computer. FIDO are also interested in Near Field Communication (NFC), which is already baked into many smartphones that consumers already own.

LG ships a record 10.3 million smartphones in Q1 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 6:33 am

Thanks to just a few of LG's smartphones, they've seen a record amount of smartphones shipped in Q1 2013. 10.3 million smartphones were shipped in the three-month period, riding the success of some of their LTE and 3G handsets.

 

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The smartphones that helped LG reach their record high are the Optimus G, Optimus G Pro, Optimus L Series and Nexus 4. LG have said that more extensive availability of newer devices is expected to help smartphone sales and shipments even more going into Q2. The US launch of their flagship Optimus G Pro happens on May 3, and should see the South Korean company have great success in Q2 and beyond.

The most reliable Windows PC is an Apple MacBook Pro running Boot Camp

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Apr 25, 2013 6:32 am

Apple's MacBook Pro is a delicious notebook, most people know that, but according to a new study from PC efficiency software vendor, Soluto, the MBP is the world's most reliable Windows PC.

 

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Soluto used "data from its massive online database of PC crashes, hangs, and performance metrics to identify the 10 most reliable Windows PCs you can buy today". Their study found that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with Boot Camp installed is "at the top of the list". Their study found a few other suitable candidates, the Dell Vostro 3560, the Dell XPS 13, Acer's Aspire E1-571, Acer's Aspire V3-771 and Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

 

When it is all swirled together, Apple computers make up 33% of the six most reliable Windows PCs in the world.

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