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ReportTT: FAA to relax in-flight electronics use policy

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 10:03 pm

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the FAA is readying relaxed guidelines for in-flight electronics use. According to the report, the new policy could soon see the ban lifted on low-altitude use of personal-electronic devices. This means you will likely not have to turn off your devices during takeoff and landing.

 

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The news comes from a draft report that will be delivered to the FAA. The report didn't dive into cell phone usage during flight as that still remains quite controversial. It's expected that cell phone usage will remain off limits. However, the report does seem to be going with the times and taking new technologies into consideration as part of the update to rules that haven't really been changed since the 1960s.

 

For us technology users, this is good news. We will no longer have to fake turning off our iPods and other music players during takeoff and landing.

Facebook reports bug that allowed access to 6 million e-mails and phone numbers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 9:41 pm

Facebook has just reported about a bug that "may have allowed some of a person's contact information (email or phone number) to be accessed by people who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them."

 

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It's important to note that only phone numbers or e-mails were affected. The bug was present in the Download Your Information (DYI) tool.

 

The bug doesn't likely present a huge security risk as the information was provided about people who were already connected with you in some form or another. This means that it probably isn't an issue if their e-mail or phone number shows up in your data; you likely already have it.

 

Of course, Facebook needs to be careful as they are the stewards of quite a bit of personal and private information. We're glad that it was just phone numbers and e-mails, but Facebook needs to make sure things like this don't happen in the future.

Continue reading 'Facebook reports bug that allowed access to 6 million e-mails and phone numbers' (full post)

Vizio's MT11X-A1 is an 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet powered by AMD now shipping

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 9:29 pm

Vizio's MT11X-A1 is a new 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet powered by an AMD APU. This 11.6-inch tablet packs some fairly impressive specs into a slim chasis. It features a 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, an AMD Z-60 APU, and 64GB of internal storage. It comes with a 2MP front-facing camera, stereo speakers, micro HDMI ports, and USB ports.

 

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The AMD Z-60 APU will quickly become outdated with newer Haswell-based CPUs and new Temash-based CPUs. The graphics provided by the APU are definitely quite powerful for a tablet. All of this performance has been packaged into a device that weighs roughly 1.8 pounds and is just 0.4 inches thick. Vizio sacraficed some battery size, resulting in a battery life of up to 5 hours.

 

The price for this tablet is $600.

Google makes their News offering opt-in only in Germany so as to avoid paying copyright fees

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 8:48 pm

Google has decided to make its News product opt-in only in Germany in light of new copyright laws. The change will take place August 1. After that date, only news sites that have opted-in to the program will have their news stories appear in Google's News search engine.

 

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The issue came about because Germany passed a new copyright law that takes place August 1. This law could see Google possibly having to pay publishers fees for indexing and returning snippets of their stories. Google wants to limit liability, so the only way to do that completely is to eliminate everyone and force opt-in.

 

Interested news publishers can head to Google's Webmaster Tools. Once there, they can opt-in to be indexed and returned as part of Google News. If publishers don't opt-in, they will be removed from the index on August 1.

 

Google argues that they were providing a free service that increased publishers' traffic. Some German publishers will be sure to opt-in, but a fair amount probably won't.

Tesla shows off new battery pack swapping technology for its Model S, faster than filling up with gas

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Tesla Motors, one of Elon Musk's brainchildren, has just shown off its new battery pack swapping technology. At an event in Hawthorne, California, founder Elon Musk explained that the whole process will take around 90 seconds with the driver never exiting the vehicle for the entire process.

 

 

During the demonstration, Musk pitted a motorist at the "fastest gas station in California" against not one, but two Tesla Model S vehicles. The Model S battery packs were changed on stage while the petrol fill up took place on site at the gas station.

 

In the amount of time it took to fill the traditional gas car, both Model S sedans had their battery packs changed in succession with time to spare. The overall gas fill-up took roughly four minutes, while the battery pack swaps only took about 90 seconds each.

 

Tesla says that the pack swapping service will become available overtime at every Tesla "Supercharger Station" with each station costing roughly $500,000 to build. The first stations will be built on busy corridors such as California's Interstate 5 and will offer the pack swapping service for free if I understood the video correctly.

Continue reading 'Tesla shows off new battery pack swapping technology for its Model S, faster than filling up with gas' (full post)

Sony drops major hints that we will see a smartwatch released next week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 5:56 pm

We have all heard about the rumors of a smartwatch from Apple and Samsung, but it appears that Sony is going to beat everyone to the punch with the first modern smartwatch. Today the company hinted at a possible smartwatch release next week during the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.

 

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Sony posted two teasers on its Twitter feed, both of which were accompanied by the clever and original hashtag #itstime and #MAE13. The first image shows a trio of human analogs with the middle one being highlighted and wearing a watch on its wrist. The second tweet shows off what looks to be a rendering of the actual smartwatch itself.

 

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This watch looks quite similar to another watch released by Sony last year and it could just be a stock image Sony is using to keep actual device images from leaking. Either way, we are sure to see some kind of watch device released from Sony next week or you can rely on TweakTown as always for full coverage of the event.

Let the he said, she said battle begin - Leaseweb responds to Megaupload file deletion

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 5:34 pm

Earlier this week, the internet was set abuzz when Kim Dotcom tweeted that all Megaupload files had been deleted by hosting company Leaseweb. Dotcom called the act "a massive data massacre" and took to Twitter to let the world know that petabytes of their data was gone forever.

 

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Like all arguments, there are two sides to every story and Leaseweb has responded with theirs. Leaseweb says that when the raid took place on Dotcom's home in New Zealand, 60 of the servers directly owned by Megaupload were confiscated by the FIOD and transported to the US. This left 630 dedicated servers rented by Megaupload. These were owned by Leaseweb. Leaseweb says that they took the servers offline, and stored them to preserve data without any request to do so.

 

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TechSpot says that another one of Megaupload's host, Carpathia, is losing nearly $9000 per day due to inactive Megaupload servers. While this figure is most likely a loss of revenue and not indicative of any out of pocket losses, this still affects the bottom line. If Leaseweb is experiencing similar loses that means that they have lost an estimated $4.9 million dollars due to the idle Megaupload servers.

Continue reading 'Let the he said, she said battle begin - Leaseweb responds to Megaupload file deletion' (full post)

Sony to fix bricked PS3 units on June 27th via software patch

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 4:20 pm

Earlier this week, many PlayStation 3 owners were shocked when an official software update bricked their console. The software update caused the system to hang on startup and locked the device from turning off. Owners had to physically unplug the device to simply power it down.

 

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When word began to spread, Sony quickly pulled update version number 4.45 offline and began telling customers not to update their systems until further notice. This morning Sony has released an update on a fix for the broken systems.

 

On their Twitter account, the company said that they have identified the culprit and are working on a new system update to be released on June 27th that should resolve all issues including the bricked consoles.

LeakedTT: Possible images of iPhone 5S surface, could get fingerprint reader if rumors ring true

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 3:41 pm

It never fails. When an Apple product is a month to a few weeks away from launch, we begin to see leaked rumors, images, and hardware info begin to surface from just about every corner of the internet. The past few weeks have been no different with the upcoming so-called "low-cost iPhone".

 

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This morning images have appeared over at MacRumors of the alleged iPhone 5S. A shot of the internal hardware alongside a shot of the back are said to be of a very early prototype with a larger battery that is present in the production model. The processor does bear the Apple logo, but no model number such as A6, is present. A date code visible on the bottom of the main chip reads "1243", signifying that the chip was manufactured in the 43rd week of 2012, corresponding to late October, which lends some credence to it being an early prototype.

 

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Taking a look at the rear shell, we can see that the LED flash window is now elongated and vertical, which seems to prove the rumors that the 5S would be getting a dual LED flash system. This aligns with external case designs we have seen from third parties recently as well.

 

Finally Reuters is reporting that the new iPhone 5S will in fact include a fingerprint reader for biometric security, and password authentication.

Cambridge Audio introduces Minx M5, a powerful 2.1 audio system

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 3:10 pm

Cambridge Audio has just announced the Minx M5, a 2.1 audio system that "reproduces computer audio with clarity, emotion and passion." The company says that the new system combines the benefits of Cambridge Audio's proprietary sound technologies and an in-house design expertise.

 

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A pair of satellite speakers are said to reproduce amazingly rich and detailed sound on a much larger scale than one would imagine from such a small package. The compact active subwoofer delivers a deep and powerful bass while also providing a hidden housing for the amplifier.

 

Unlike many of the multimedia audio systems on the market today, the Minx M5 features a USB audio connection in lieu of the traditional 3.5mm audio jacks. A high-quality digital to analog converter handles the signal processing to ensure that the sound being output is always crisp and clear.

 

The unit features a single 2-inch driver per satellite and a 5.25-inch subwoofer, all of which is powered by a 30W amp. Weighing in at less than a pound each, the satellite speakers take up a mere three inches cubed of desk space while the subwoofer tops the scales at 10 pounds and about eight inches cubed. The Minx M5 is available from Cambridge Audio now at a price point of $229.

Continue reading 'Cambridge Audio introduces Minx M5, a powerful 2.1 audio system' (full post)

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