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Logitech and Steelseries enter price war over iPhone gaming pad

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 28, 2014 12:00 am

Everyone but manufacturers love a good old-fashioned price war, especially consumers, and today a those interested in a new hand-held gaming pad for their iPhone might want to pay attention. This morning Logitech announced that it has dropped the price of its new PowerShell iPhone game controller from $99.99 to just $69.99.

 

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The $30 price drop was most certainly due to a recent price drop of $20 from Steel Series on its Stratus controller. This is the first set of major price drops in the MFi gaming space,but will most likely not be the last. None of the hand-held controllers designed to encase the iPhone have seemed to catch on, and personally, I feel the market is just not there for such a niche device. With Android taking more market share from iOS every quarter, I do not see devices like this sticking around much longer.

Stratasys unveils Object500 Connex Color, a multi-material 3D Printer

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Maker & DIY | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 11:00 pm

Today Stratasys launched what it is calling the worlds first multi-material, multi-color 3D printer that can print in several different materials and colors simultaneously. The new Object 500 Connex 3 3D Printer allows for "virtually unlimited" combinations of rigid, flexible, and color rich printing to be completed all on the same machine at the same time, and will allow engineers and designers to test multi-material prototypes right in the lab almost instantly.

 

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The printer features six palettes for the new rubber-like Tango color lone which includes opaque, transparent, and solid variations. Stratasys says that the new Object Connex 3 is designed with the automotive, consumer, sports, and fashion industries in mind, and the addition of flexible materials will only serve to make 3D printing an even more valuable process in every design and engineering workflow.

Continue reading 'Stratasys unveils Object500 Connex Color, a multi-material 3D Printer' (full post)

Apple delivers record Q1 2014 sales, over 51 million iPhones sold

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 10:41 pm

After some major slumps in revenue, Apple is back, bigger than ever for its Q1 2014. Revenue reached $57.6 billion, setting a new quarterly record for the company, with profits reaching a nice $13.1 billion.

 

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Device sales are where it gets interesting, with iPhone sales bursting through the 50 million mark - the first time it has ever done so in a quarter. iPad sales also reached a new record, selling over 26 million units. The iPod didn't see the same success, with sales dropping to 6 million, down from 12.7 million at the same time last year.

 

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Apple has seen its share price completely erode from 2012 when we saw it coming - from $700 down to under $400 throughout 2013. At the moment, it is half way back sitting at around $550. Today's earnings report should help Apple claw back some of that much needed increase in stock prices.

DICE tweaks Battlefield 4 to fix overpowered vehicles

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 10:00 pm

As with Battlefield 3, DICE is tweaking in-game settings to make Battlefield 4 a more well-rounded and enjoyable experience, and today DICE has listed out its latest round of tweaks coming soon in patch form. DICE says that the tweaks are based on user feedback and are designed to make the battlefield a more level and even playing field.

 

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DICE says that all of the forth coming tweaks involve vehicles that are considered overpowered and a reduction in their power, feed rate, or blast radius will occur with the upcoming patch. Notably the amount of missiles carried by mobile Anti-Aircraft vehicles have been reduced from 6 to 4, and the velocity of the MAA's 20mm cannon has been reduced from 1200mm/s to 800mm/s which matches the vehicles 30mm cannon. This reduces the effective range of the vehicle and should prevent players from camping in the spawn area with the vehicle.

 

Direct damage inflicted by the attack helicopters gunner's cannon has been increased slightly and the new effect is said to feel more like how it did in Battlefield 3. Additionally the scout chopper's 25mm cannon's splash damage has been reduced as it caused too much damage to the infantry over the 7.62mm mini gun.

 

Tanks have also taken a hit, with the STAFF shell power being reduced by 25-percent. On the other hand, the M2 SLAM has been reduced in power and is vehicle damage radius is now 3-meters over its previous effective range of 6-meters. MTB LAW Missiles have had its intelligence reduced down some as well.

Continue reading 'DICE tweaks Battlefield 4 to fix overpowered vehicles' (full post)

NSA uses insecure mobile apps to view and collect user information

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 9:30 pm

The National Security Agency (NSA) and British spies use popular mobile games such as Angry Birds to covertly collect information on player location, age, sex and additional personal details, recent documents indicate.

 

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The NSA and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHW) also accessed address books, phone logs, and embedded geographic information during their joint efforts.

 

As more personal information is posted and shared online, with users accessing the Internet from PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and a variety of other devices - this is a significant problem that will plague users in the future - because the NSA and other spy agencies aren't going to suddenly stop their invasive activities.

 

Following months of continued public backlash, President Obama said NSA reform will take place, though critics still don't believe it's enough.

Samsung reported to be releasing Galaxy Glass as early as September

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 9:02 pm

A new report from the Korean Times is suggesting that we might see Samsung release a direct competitor to Google's Project Glass before the end of the year. The report states that an unnamed Samsung official has confirmed that the company is currently working on a smart glasses product similar to Google Glass, and that it could arrive as early as September of this year pending any delays.

 

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With smart glasses quickly becoming bigger than smart watches were in 2014, Samsung would be crazy to overlook the potential they have to brand yet another wearable electronic with its Galaxy brand. The Korean Times report states that Galaxy Glass would feature functionality almost identical to that of the Galaxy Gear, and would connect to a users smartphone and would let users make calls, search the internet, and record video. This is of course very similar to Google Glass, and I would not rule out a lawsuit down the road from either company claiming IP violations. Either way, competition in the smart glasses world is only a good thing for the consumer, and could drive down the currently sky-high prices.

CJ's back on the block in GTA San Andreas for Windows Phone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 7:54 pm

Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest franchises in gaming history, and it's latest installment is the most expensive video game ever made. Now GTA fans have even more reason to get excited... if you happen to own a Windows Phone that is. Today Rockstar Games announced that it has released GTA: San Andreas onto the Windows Phone platform.

 

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While San Andreas has been available on Android and iOS for about a month now, Windows Phone users are getting their copy of the game today. GTA: San Andreas on the mobile platform has surprisingly been a huge success with no real major issues popping up, something you would expect from such a drastic platform port. Compatible Windows Phone devices include Lumia 1520, 1320, 822, 820, 810,and HTC's 8XT, with no mention of other Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 920, or Samsung's entry into the Windows Phone realm, the Ativ S.

Bitcoin executive targeted in Silk Road money laundering scheme

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 7:28 pm

BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem was recently arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, accused of funneling funds for the now defunct Silk Road website. Specifically, Shrem and his accused partner, Robert Faiella, allegedly sold more than $1 million in Bitcoin to Silk Road users, with the funds later used to purchase drugs and other illegal goods.

 

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"The charges announced today depict law enforcement's commitment to identifying those who promote the sale of illegal drugs throughout the world," said James Hunt, DEA spokesperson, in a statement. "Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way."

 

Shrem also used Silk Road to order marijuana brownie edibles, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Internal Revenue Service lending a hand in the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

 

This is a major blow to the Bitcoin community, as Shrem has traveled the world to promote the use of Bitcoins for consumers and businesses alike. As federal investigators continue to look for financial backers and supporters of the Silk Road operation, additional high-profile arrests are possible later down the road.

Google acquires Deepmind, an AI development company for $400 million

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 6:44 pm

Google has apparently been in a spending mood lately and has been buying up companies that could turn the search giant into one of the largest defense contractors in history. Just a few months ago, we saw Google purchase Boston Dynamics, a company that is responsible for developing the four-legged robotic hell hounds that can run at highway speeds while carrying automated weapons.

 

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Today word is spreading around the internet of yet another Google acquisition involving intelligent technology. Google has reportedly purchased Deepmind, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence based out of London, England. The purchase is worth a reported $400 million USD, although that figure has not officially been confirmed yet. Deepmind's website says that it works on developing "general purpose" learning algorithms, something that could be used to further Google's research into automated vehicles, Android, or even some of its robots at Boston Dynamics.

Google Android ended 2013 with a bang, extending market share lead

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 27, 2014 5:57 pm

The Google Android mobile operating system ended 2013 by boosting its market share in key markets spread across the world, according to research group Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In the United State,s Android held a slim lead against iOS, 50.6 percent compared to 43.9 percent held by iOS, in what should be a fun market share battle for 2014.

 

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Through Q4 2013, Android dominated iOS in Europe, picking up 68.6 percent market share compared to the iPhone's 18.4 percent. The Microsoft Windows Phone OS collected 10.3 percent - and the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain remain the most lucrative European markets. Android easily dominated iOS in China, picking up 78.6 percent of the market compared to just 19 percent for iOS.

 

Moving forward, Android can continue to expand in emerging markets - where Apple and its higher-price devices tend to struggle - while also increasing marketing efforts in the United States, Western Europe, and select mature markets.

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