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New OUYA console released, features 16GB of on-board storage

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 1, 2014 11:34 pm

OUYA have announced a new console, which expands on the already cheap Android-powered console with a few nips and tucks, and additions, too. The new OUYA console is priced at $129, $30 more than the previous model.

 

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The new console has 16GB of on-board storage, the latest firmware, better Wi-Fi, and a "refined" controller. It should hopefully fix most of the issues that the first console presented. The original $99 OUYA console with 8GB of storage can still be found, if that's what you're after.

AT&T cuts prices, offers incentives for new family plan subscriptions

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 1, 2014 10:42 pm

AT&T is responding to increased pressure from rivals by unveiling a new family subscription plan with major benefits to generate interest from consumers.

 

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Of note, an AT&T subscription with four subscribers will cost $160 per month and include unlimited voice, unlimited text, and 10GB of shared data. The plan begins at $130 per month for two smartphones in the family, and each additional line costs $15.

 

The new AT&T plan officially launches on Sunday. The company recently added 566,000 paid subscribers during Q4 2013.

 

There is increased competition in the U.S. wireless subscription market, as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint fight for subscribers. AT&T is the No. 2 wireless carrier in the U.S., but has suffered against No. 1 Verizon and No. 4 T-Mobile - and each company has made purchase incentives available to customers.

Ford using Oculus Rift to help design new generation of vehicles

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Feb 1, 2014 9:17 pm

Automaker Ford is using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to aid in development of new cars, including vehicle color, materials, design, and possible modifications. Ford reportedly is using three systems in Detroit, and plans to expand the next-generation engineering platform to new facilities in the near future.

 

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Working inside a 3D program, engineers are able to visualize vehicles while manipulating the environment to make improvements. Ford worked with Vicon, a company specializing in motion-capture technology, which captures engineer position and orientation from installed motion-capture video recorders.

 

Each system has an estimated cost of about $30,000, making it a fairly affordable design platform that has great potential for Ford - and other automakers will certainly follow Ford's progress.

The Oculus Rift Dev Kit has become popular with immersive driving simulators, as it provides gamers with a unique driving experience. It makes sense auto makers are interested in using the same technology to design prototypes.

RumorTT: iOS8 to feature Healthbook, other health tracking features

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Health Technology | Posted: Feb 1, 2014 12:11 am

The upcoming iOS 8, Apple's latest mobile operating system due to be delivered later this year, is rumored to be health-centric. The headlining feature of the new operating system is said to be "Healthbook", an app that will function similar to how Passbook functions, but will be all about tracking a user's health-related data.

 

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It's likely that the Healthbook app is being designed to interface with the long-rumored iWatch that Apple is reportedly developing. The Healthbook app will reportedly be able to track numerous different aspects of a person's health, in addition to the usual steps walked and calories burned. The iWatch/Healthbook combo is rumored to be able to track blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and possibly several other blood-related data points. Users can also enter information about medications and the software will remind users to take medication at appropriate times.

 

Of course, this is just a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt. The source also warns that health integration could be removed for the final cut of iOS8. However, it's fairly likely that the iWatch will make a debut sometime in 2014.

GCHQ forced The Guardian to destroy PCs containing Snowden files

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 11:36 pm

Under the direction of the Prime Minister of Britain, the GCHQ oversaw the destruction of computers owned by The Guardian on which files from Edward Snowden were kept. The Guardian today released a video of the event that took place back on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Despite the fact that the files exist elsewhere in the world, the GCHQ forced several Guardian editors to take dremels and other power tools to their computers.

 

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To see the full video, you'll have to head over to The Guardian's website as they they don't allow their videos to be embedded. However, above and below, you can see some screen grabs from the video that detail the destruction done to the computers.

Continue reading 'GCHQ forced The Guardian to destroy PCs containing Snowden files' (full post)

Yahoo accounts hacked, e-mail addresses and passwords taken

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 11:16 pm

Internet giant--no, we're not talking about Google--Yahoo has seen a breach of its security. An undisclosed number of e-mail addresses and passwords, collectively accounts, were compromised, Yahoo informed users via its Tumblr page. Yahoo says, "Upon discovery, we took immediate action to protect our users, prompting them to reset passwords on impacted accounts."

 

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Yahoo believes that the information was obtained from a third-party database, not their own systems, but they are working with law enforcement to hopefully find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Yahoo says that they have implemented additional measures to keep accounts safe. Impacted accounts have had their passwords changed and Yahoo is allowing "second sign-in verification" to allow users to regain access.

 

If your account was compromised, you may have received an e-mail notification or SMS, if you had added a mobile phone to your account. As always, Yahoo reiterates good user security:

 

In addition to adopting better password practices by changing your password regularly and using different variations of symbols and characters, users should never use the same password on multiple sites or services. Using the same password on multiple sites or services makes users particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks.

Amazon looking at a possible Prime price hike of $20-$40 for US users

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 10:24 pm

Everyone's favorite online shopping destination is considering a price hike for everybody's favorite two-day shipping club. That's right, Amazon is considering increasing the price of US Prime memberships by $20-$40. This piece of information was given out yesterday during Amazon's earnings call, during which it detailed its earnings.

 

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It's not exactly clear why Amazon would want to increase the price for US Prime memberships, especially considering they reported record membership numbers. One reason provided was higher shipping costs, though I'm not completely convinced this is the real reason. Since its inception, Amazon Prime has expanded beyond two-day shipping by adding free Kindle rentals and instant streaming of over 40,000 videos. I would venture to guess that the cost of adding content to the streaming service is the real reason for the contemplated price hike.

 

It's possible that Prime memberships could end up having different tiers, though Amazon's CFO dodged a similar question during the earnings call yesterday. One thing is clear, don't be surprised if you start having to pay more for your Amazon Prime subscription.

AT&T patents a system to limit high-bandwidth users

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 9:50 pm

AT&T has recently filed for a patent that would institute a credits-based system. The new system is designed to allow AT&T to lower the bandwidth allotment for file-sharers, but the implications of the patent go much further than that. The new patent could have a chilling effect on content distribution networks, including Steam, Origin, and Netflix.

 

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The patent, titled "Prevention Of Bandwidth Abuse Of A Communications System", would theoretically allow AT&T to create Internet plans that would only allow access to certain sites or protocols. The patent has a brief description:

 

The user is provided an initial number of credits. As the user consumes the credits, the data being downloaded is checked to determine if it is permissible or non-permissible. Non-permissible data includes file-sharing files and movie downloads if user subscription does not permit such activity. If the data is permissible, the user is provided another allotment of credits equal to the initial allotment. If the data is non-permissible, the user is provided an allotment of credits less than the initial allotment

Continue reading 'AT&T patents a system to limit high-bandwidth users' (full post)

Opera spells out the 5 TV web trends to follow this year

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 9:11 pm

The wide adoption of connected high-definition TVs opened the door to great potential for consumers accessing apps, streaming video, and other dynamic content. Software maker Opera recently shared several web trends that consumers can expect to see from connected TVs and other entertainment devices in the living room.

 

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Opera believes Internet video will explode on TV in 2014, as the amount content also drastically catches up. Next, TV apps are going to become more relevant and viewers will become more comfortable using these types of apps as the overall experience improves. Due to new connected technology apps available, TV ads also are going to become interactive, providing a more targeted, entertaining experience.

 

Moving forward, smart TVs will become even more affordable, so casual consumers will be able to explore different options available. As more people begin to upgrade their TVs and purchase newer models, the amount of content will also increase - on-demand, Netflix, Hulu, and pay operators are expanding their streaming offerings.

Facebook and others unveil new designs at Open Compute Summit

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 31, 2014 4:10 pm

The Open Compute Project (OCP) is an initiative started by Facebook to build the most efficient computing infrastructures at the lowest possible cost. OCP focuses on total control of the architecture, from custom-designed server components to software and operating systems. This has led to massive disruption in the enterprise space and the upending of the old model, which relied upon massive systems provided by a group of OEMs that were prohibitively expensive. The Open Compute Project relies heavily upon the open source model of information sharing and has drawn in the other titans of the computing world. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are among the 150 members, along with a bevy of hardware suppliers, that contribute to the OCP and their ideals.

 

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The Open Compute Summit is the yearly meeting of the leaders of the movement, and a great forum to showcase the ideas and resulting hardware driving the movement forward.

 

This radical new way of thinking has saved tremendous amounts of both energy and money, with Facebook disclosing that they saved 1.2 billion dollars over the last three years, and also saved the equivalent of enough energy to power 40,000 homes and the emissions equivalent of 50,000 cars.

Continue reading 'Facebook and others unveil new designs at Open Compute Summit' (full post)

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