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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2118

BlackBerry closes down Port-a-Thon program for BB10, claims to have paid out $4+ million in rewards

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 22, 2013 12:02 am

If you were looking to port your popular app or game to BlackBerry 10, you still can, but BlackBerry will no longer provide you a reward for doing so. BlackBerry has announced the ending of its Port-a-Thon event, a program that paid out rewards to developers for porting their game or app to BB10.

 

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BlackBerry says that the interest in the program was far beyond what they expected. BlackBerry says they paid out over $4 million in developer rewards. This works out to around 40,000 apps for their money, as developers were paid $100 per app that was approved for the BlackBerry World app store.

 

BlackBerry has promised more developer events later this year, the first of which will focus on making successful games.

AOL is also working on a Google Reader replacement, currently in private beta

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 11:02 pm

It seems like several different web companies are racing to build replacements to Google's ill-fated Reader product that officially closes down July 1. Digg was one of the first to announce a replacement option, now it appears that AOL has thrown its hat into the ring.

 

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According to the AOL Reader site, the new product is "in private beta now." It promises "all your favorite websites, in one place." Not much is known about the service. In fact, I haven't been able to find anything publicly announced by the company ahead of the launch.

 

On another page, a bit more information about the service can be found. It offers a customizable layout, the ability to import and export your feeds, and an API so anyone can develop web, desktop, and mobile apps on top of the service. We'll have to see how it ends up looking once it is out of beta.

Xbox Live Gold free games to arrive 1st and 16th of every month, first game is Fable 3

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 21, 2013 10:31 pm

The Games with Gold offer that Microsoft announced last week during its E3 press conference has been detailed. Microsoft will offer up a new free game each 1st and 16th of every month. The first game is now available for free for Xbox Live Gold members and is Fable 3. It will be available until the end of June.

 

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Future free games have not been further detailed beyond Microsoft's announcement that Assassin's Creed 2 and Halo 3 will be part of the Games with Gold offer. We'll try to announce each free game as they are available.

 

The games are a free download from Xbox Live, which means you'll need a large hard drive to store them all on. This program is likely in response to Sony's Instant Game Collection program that is part of PlayStation Plus. Whether it will help boost Microsoft's Xbox Live uptake remains to be seen.

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)

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