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LeakedTT: Images leak of BlackBerry A10 as the company prepares layoffs and executives jump ship

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 13, 2013 12:37 am

Just as news is beginning to spread of BlackBerry's pending plan to lay off thousands of employees and a few executives leave the company, images have just leaked showing off the company's next-generation BlackBerry 10 equipped touch-screen smartphone.




Dubbed the A10, this new device features a five-inch display, making it almost a full inch larger than that featured on the company's current Z10 model. Unfortunately, the larger screen is nothing to get excited about as early rumors state that it will be limited to 720p.


It also appears that the A10 will continue with a less than impressive dual-core processor, which is said to be a QUALCOMM Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.5 GHz. Fortunately, BlackBerry did have enough common sense to include 2 GB of RAM to keep things running nice and smooth.

Two more high-level executives exit from BlackBerry, could this be the beginning of the end

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 11:32 pm

Today, we're getting reports that BlackBerry has lost two more high-level executives in the last few weeks. According to a recent report, T.A. McCann, BlackBerry's vice president of social networking, is said to have left the company two weeks ago, while the senior director of handheld applications, Marc Gingras, apparently left the company around the same time.




The Wall Street Journal says that McCann was responsible for BlackBerry Messenger as well as all social networking applications on the BlackBerry's OS. He first came to the company through its acquisition of the contact management services company Gist back in 2011. Gingras was also the product of an acquisition in 2011 when BlackBerry scooped up the social calendar company


News of these two executives leaving the company comes hot on the heels of yesterday's report that BlackBerry would lay off several thousand employees before the year's end. All of this is the direct effect of underwhelming sales from what can only be described as a failed launch of the new BlackBerry 10 devices.

Square Enix attempts to police jailbroken iPhones with Deus Ex, prevents firing of guns on jailbroken devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 10:31 pm

Square Enix has introduced a new "feature" to its latest IOS title, Deus Ex: The Fall, that effectively prevents anyone with a jailbroken iPhone or iPad from playing the game. Users can still load the game but when they attempt to fire their guns a message screen pops up that says "we're sorry but you can't fire on jailbroken devices."




This new "feature" (and I use the term loosely) was first reported on the popular media sharing website Reddit. After news began to spread, the game's App Store page was quickly updated to warn users that the "play experience is currently restricted on jailbroken devices" and that interested parties "should not purchase if you have voided your warranty and have jailbroken your device."


At the moment, it is unclear why Square Enix chose to implement this new "feature," but some industry insiders are speculating that it could be to prevent piracy of the $6.99 game, while others say it is because the company would like to mitigate future support issues that could arise from a jailbroken device. I think it's a combination of piracy concerns as well as support issues.

Next-generation Nexus 7 will arrive in the next few weeks

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 9:31 pm

A new report from Digitimes claims that the next-generation Nexus 7 is on the verge of launching and will arrive at some point in the next few weeks. The report claims that Google and ASUS are planning to launch sometime near the end of July or early August.




The new pure Android tablet will feature an upgraded seven-inch display that sports a 1980x1200 pixel resolution along with a quad-core QUALCOMM Snapdragon 600 processor. A 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera as well as a 5 megapixel rear camera will handle the imaging duties while 2 GB of RAM keep everything running nice and smooth.


Industry analysts are speculating that Google could sell as many as 8 million units worldwide but others are quick to point out that this number seems to be inflated as there are many more choices in the low-cost tablet market than there were when the original Nexus 7 launched. We are expecting the second-generation Nexus 7 to be sold at a price point of $199 to $249 for the Wi-Fi-only model.

Twitter finally agrees to hand over anti-Semitic tweet info to French authorities

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 8:33 pm

A few months back, I reported that the French authorities were pushing Twitter to release user data on one of its members who posted an anti-Semitic tweet to his account. Today, the company said in a statement that it has complied with a French government request to hand over tweets related to a rash of anti-Semitism on the site.




The offenses took place last October when several anti-Semantic tweets and hashtags appeared on the short message social network. I won't repeat the tweets here because they are quite offensive, but if you must read them, you can head over to Source #1 below. The tweets caused an uproar in the Union of Jewish French students and other anti-racism groups around France.


The UEJF took their case to the French court system and won a ruling in January that said that Twitter must hand over the account information and names of those who posted the anti-Semitic tweets. Just two months later, the UEFJ sued Twitter for $50 million when the company failed to comply with the court's request.

Continue reading 'Twitter finally agrees to hand over anti-Semitic tweet info to French authorities' (full post)

Ever wanted access to your very own satellite orbiting the earth? Now you can have just that for a mere $250 per week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 7:29 pm

Traditionally, it has been pretty hard to get access to a satellite that is in orbit, but one California-based company is looking to change that. NanoSatisfi is developing small cube satellites that cost considerably less than $1 million to develop and launch, which is considerably less than traditional satellites that range anywhere from $500 million to several billion just for development.




The satellite in question is what is known as an ArduSat which is a cube satellite based on the open source Arduino development platform. This satellite is made of the same stuff that you blink your LEDs with. The satellite contains multiple cameras, a Geiger counter, a magnetometer, as well as an ambient light sensor. The entire package measures just 10cm x 10cm x 10cm and weighs in at a mere 2.2 pounds.


Some you might remember the ArduSat from its Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $100,000 and went on to garner an additional $1.2 million from external investors. The satellite is set to launch on August 4 and for just $250 a week, any interested parties can borrow the tiny vessel and explore everything that outer space has to offer.

Continue reading 'Ever wanted access to your very own satellite orbiting the earth? Now you can have just that for a mere $250 per week' (full post)

Nokia introduces official Camera Grip Case for 41-megapixel Lumia 1020

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 6:28 pm

Nokia has just unveiled a brand new case for the just launched Lumia 1020 41-megapixel Windows Phone. While a new case for a new phone is hardly anything to talk about, this case is different than any other you have ever seen. Knowing that the 41-megapixel sensor would attract shutterbugs, Nokia designed and released a case that effectively turns the Lumia 1020 into a compact digital camera.




The Camera Grip clips onto the phone and gives the user the freedom to use the camera one-handed without the fear of dropping their brand new $300 smartphone thanks to a ergonomic palm grip and wrist strap. The grip features a two-stage shutter button that allows photographers to accurately focus before snapping the photo.


The grip is equipped with an additional 1020mAh rechargeable battery which almost doubles the battery life of your Lumia 1020. Also featured is a standard 1/4-20 threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the case which obviously lets you mount the phone to a stationary stabilization device. Like the actual phone, the case comes in yellow, black, and white and features the same refined and sleek curves of the Lumia 1020. The case will retail for $79 when it is released later this month.

Continue reading 'Nokia introduces official Camera Grip Case for 41-megapixel Lumia 1020' (full post)

Best Buy to offer $250 gift card to those who trade in their old iPad 2 or 3 this weekend

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 5:31 pm

If you happen to be one of the thousands of people who just happen to have an unused iPad 2 or iPad 3 just laying around collecting dust, then Best Buy just may be the place you need to visit this weekend. The retail giant is holding a trade-in event beginning today and ending when the stores close tomorrow night.




Best Buy is offering up to $250 on a gift card depending on the model and condition of the iPad. So obviously newer, less used models with the most storage will land you the full $250 trade-in, while lesser, more worn models will gain you a smaller trade-in reward. Best Buy says that it will be recycling all models traded in and will not sell the device for profit. I find this hard to believe as if they were truly headed for the recycling center to be dismantled, normal wear and tear would not matter much. I suspect that these tablets will be reconditioned and sold to retailers in emerging markets around the world.

Snowden to file for asylum in Russia, then head to Latin America

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 4:26 pm

Human Rights Watch's Senior Russian Researcher Tanya Lokshina has just revealed that Edward Snowden is planning to file for asylum in Russia and will then prepare to travel to Latin America. Lokshina was a member of the team of human rights experts that were invited to meet with Snowden recently. New York Times reporter Ellen Barry replayed Lokshina's reports via Twitter early this morning.




Latin America would be a very friendly place for Snowden to travel to as Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador have all offered him asylum. Venezuela is the only official offer that is outstanding. The other countries listed require Snowden to be in-country before the request for asylum can be processed.


Russian president Vladimir Putin commented that his country would only grant asylum to Snowden if he ceased any activities with which he intends to harm Russia's "American Partners." Snowden replied by saying "No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US." I wonder if he meant no harm when he disclosed US spying activities to the Chinese?

Continue reading 'Snowden to file for asylum in Russia, then head to Latin America' (full post)

Google's Eric Schmidt spotted with a Motorola Moto X

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 12, 2013 3:29 pm

Sun Valley may be known for its world class skiing during the winter months, but in the summer its claim to fame is undoubtedly the Allen and Company media conference where the tech industry's top executives gather to rub elbows, talk shop, and do whatever CEOs do behind closed doors.




Among the attendees at this years conference is Google's Eric Schmidt, and it appears that he brought along a shiny new toy for everyone to play with. The "mystery" phone that Schmidt has been carrying around appears to be none other than the legendary Motorola Moto X. It appears to have a white carbon fiber-like appearance similar to the Nexus 4. The phone also appears to have a curved back which can be seen in a photo looking at the top of the phone.


When asked about the device, Schmidt said that he "could not comment on the nature of this phone," which was an obvious ploy to generate as much hype and speculation about the device as possible. We here at TweakTown are almost positive that this is the new Motorola Moto X (Previously called Motorola X Phone) and judging from other industry analyst, everyone else thinks it is the X as well. One thing is certain, with Google's top man using the device in public, a public launch can not be far away.

Continue reading 'Google's Eric Schmidt spotted with a Motorola Moto X' (full post)