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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2126

Instagram has instagrown, has enjoyed 78% more uniques in April, thanks to Facebook

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: May 28, 2012 2:20 am

Instagram have been doing more than just rolling around in pools of money since their acquisition from Facebook, the exposure to millions upon millions of socially-connected users has its benefits. Last month, the photo sharing website saw a 78-percent surge in unique visitors in the United States.

 

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This surge made Instagram the highest gaining site on the Internet for the month, according to analytics firm comScore. From comScore's reports, Instagram.com had close to 14.6 million unique U.S. visitors in April, which is up from the 8.2 million the month before. Considering that Instagram's bread and butter is from mobile applications for the iPhone and Android, this is a pretty big feat for the photo sharing service.

 

But, April was a huge month for Instagram: on April 3 they released their long-awaited Android app, and just a few days later Facebook announced they were acquiring the company for close to $1 billion in cash and shares. Both of these events would've triggered a surge in Instagram activity, as seen from the comScore report.

After a week, Facebook is the biggest IPO flop of the decade

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 28, 2012 1:18 am

We've surely all read or heard about the IPO from social networking giant Facebook, and how it has been a disaster since day one, but ranked as one of the worst of the decade? Well, according to Bloomberg, it is. Bloomberg have declared it as the worst large IPO of the past decade, based on the first five days of trading.

 

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During an interview on Bloomberg TV, markets reporter Sheila Dharmarajan compared Facebook to four other poorly performing IPOs: Blackstone Group, General Motors, Mastercard and MF Global. Given that these companies aren't just run of the mill small businesses, it's a good comparison to the social networking giant. As the picture shows above, Facebook are in quite the pickle, compared to say VISA who were trading very well after a week.

Continue reading 'After a week, Facebook is the biggest IPO flop of the decade' (full post)

Foxconn produces 70% of iPhones, wants to produce even more

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 25, 2012 10:20 pm

Foxconn recently inked an agreement with Sony to learn how to make the new touch screen for the Apple iPhone. New reports have surfaced that show that Foxconn wants to completely take over the iPhone manufacturing business. Currently Foxconn's Zhengzhou produces about 200,000 iPhones per day which accounts for 70% of production.

 

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If Foxconn has their way, they would like to double that plant's output to 400,000 a day. With this increase comes the risk of damaging workers' health or having to hire additional workers. It remains to be seen just how Foxconn intends to increase the production of this plant. It's current productions account for 52.7 percent of the total exports of the Henan province.

 

This is great for Foxconn if they are able to. But it's not the best strategy for Apple. Think about what would happen if there were a fire at the plant and all of a sudden there was no iPhone being manufactured. It's unlikely that this would happen as I'm sure there are plans in place to prevent it, but it shows that Apple shouldn't put 100% of production into one company or factory.

Google releases video taken using Project Glass prototype

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Augmented Reality | Posted: May 25, 2012 9:28 pm

Google is sure throwing quite a bit of money and support at the Project Glass augmented reality glasses. They are trying to cram so much technology into a tiny, and hopefully fashionable, package that they should become every geek's dream gadget. We still don't know much about the project other than it's being publicly tested by Google executives.

 

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We've seen some pictures released that have been taken using the glasses and, to be honest, they aren't that great. Most modern smartphones could easily outpace the resolution and quality, but the glasses do have one advantage: Point-of-view. Pictures can be taken hands-free and are from the perspective of the wearer.

 

Google has now released a 15-second video that was taken while the user was jumping on a trampoline. This really is where these glasses start to shine. It would have been near impossible to take a video like this without these glasses. The quality of the video isn't stunning by any means, but for users who video blog their lives, these glasses are an invaluable piece of technology.

Continue reading 'Google releases video taken using Project Glass prototype' (full post)

Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 25, 2012 8:29 pm

With the SOPA and PIPA protests becoming distant memories, the attacks on internet freedoms have been renewed by Congress in the form of CISPA. There have been no protests like there were against PIPA and SOPA and that has Reddit's Alexis Ohanian concerned. An entrepreneurial group now wants to create the internet equivalent of the Bat-Signal.

 

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The idea is that SOPA-like mass protests could be started at the push of a button when internet freedoms were deemed in danger. Website owners can sign up on the group's website and add a piece of code to their website that can be activated when a political crisis like SOPA rears its ugly head. Owners can also receive the code by e-mail when the signal is turned on.

 

"People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something," says Ohanian. "Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actionsÂ…If we aggregate everyone that's doing it, the numbers start exploding."

 

The code can do more than just display a banner. Tiffiny Cheng, co-director of Internet-focused political advocacy group Fight for the Future, explains how it could implement a SOPA-style blackout: "We'll invent something at the time, and it will be some really unified and shocking action. We're creating the tools and the forms of protest that allow for viral organizing. That's how the SOPA protests were able to get started and grow to the level they did."

Continue reading 'Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'' (full post)

Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 25, 2012 7:33 pm

Ever see a game on Facebook that looks interesting but you don't want to play it because of all the hassle of installing and uninstalling if it's bad? Facebook is looking to change that with a new feature which will allow game developers to demo their wares in the news feed. Developers won't be given any information about the users.

 

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If players like the game then they are able to click through onto the full version. This new feature is great, although I'm not sure that the news feed is a proper location for it. Personally, my news feed is already overflowing with the posts of my friend and the posts of quality content here on TweakTown, so I don't think I want more posts, especially ones that take up a lot of room.

 

Facebook has provided some examples of games already using the new feature. These games include: Idle Worship, Angry Birds, and Bubble Witch Saga. Developers of these games receive statistics about impressions of the story and how many people use the game contained within. Facebook has provided examples of how current games are using the new feature:

 

  • Angry Birds lets users challenge friends to beat your score on a level.
  • Bubble Witch Saga enables sharing coins with friends, they can earn a multiplier for a high score.
  • Idle Worship lets users share a mini-game which gives friends a glimpse of the full game.
  • Tetris Battle allows publishing a replay of a two-player battle.

Continue reading 'Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed' (full post)

KingSpec set to launch OCZ RevoDrive competitor at Computex with its PCI-E SSD?

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: May 25, 2012 7:13 pm

The Computex news train continues to roll as bits and pieces of exciting new hardware comes in.

 

KingSpec, a SandForce partner is getting a new PCIe product ready for the show. Coming from the new Multicore Series, this PCIe solution has four SandForce SF-2281 controllers and four mSATA slots that may be used to expand the capacity size and controller count.

 

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The details are thin now, but we do know that the maximum capacity is 2TB and the PCIe configuration is 8 lanes. The high number of PCIe lanes will let this product really stretch its legs.

 

We've reviewed several OCZ RevoDrive products and they were limited by the PCIe 4 lane interface. In theory, the new KingSpec Multicore PCIe could double the performance of the RevoDrive 3!

Sony patents a method for in-game advertising that stops a game while an ad is shown

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 6:31 pm

Sony wants to show you ads while you're playing on the PlayStation. Or at least that's what a new patent indicates. A sharp-eyed person who goes by the handle onQ13 on NeoGAF spotted the patent on Thursday. The patent is titled "Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content" and appears to stop the game in order to show an advertisement.

 

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In-game advertising isn't a new idea. Many games feature ads in the environment where one would expect them to be. Common locations for these in-game ads are on vending machines or billboards. Never before, however, has a game actually been stopped in order to show an ad. Nintendo does nag users about taking a break every now and again.

 

Now, advertising is fine when it is paying for things like broadcast TV, but if a user shells out $60 for a game like Call of Duty, I imagine that user is going to be a bit upset. Additionally, if this is used during multiplayer settings, every user would need to be shown the ad at the same time or the game will be broken beyond repair.

 

This patent does have uses for free games. Similar to how games are ad supported on iOS and Android, free games on PlayStation could become ad supported. But with the multiplayer issue, users could only be paired with other free users or users would have to be limited to only single player play. It is an interesting idea.

Unsealed legal agreements hint at 2013 launch for Xbox 720, 2014 launch for PS4

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 25, 2012 5:31 pm

Microsoft and Sony aren't saying much about the release dates for their next-gen consoles. Microsoft has let us know not to expect it at E3 this year, but that is about all they are saying. But thanks to the Activision lawsuit, some confidential agreements have been unsealed and given some possible launch time frames.

 

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A little history behind this lawsuit: former Activision developers sued Activision saying they were owed royalties and bonus checks due to the massive success of the Call of Duty series. Activision countered the claims saying that the developers had breached the contract and thus not due any funds from Call of Duty.

 

The documents unsealed show a high-profile deal between Activision and Bungie, the developers behind Halo. The deal calls for four games to be developed and released starting in fall of 2013. Dudley, of the Seattle Times, has interpreted this information in an interesting way. The theory is somewhat likely. Here is what he said:

 

Microsoft hasn't said when the next version of the Xbox will go on sale, but the Bungie contract suggests that it could happen in the 2013 holiday season, with "Destiny" as a key launch title. That would be similar to the way Halo was a cornerstone of the first Xbox launch in November 2001.

 

Additionally, the documents further say that it will be released for the PlayStation 3 successor in the fall of 2014. Of course, the names could change between now and the release.

Continue reading 'Unsealed legal agreements hint at 2013 launch for Xbox 720, 2014 launch for PS4' (full post)

Apple brings 'free app of the week' to App Store

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: May 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Amazon has had a feature like this for sometime and it looks as though Apple is finally following suit. It's no surprise that iOS users like to save money just as much as Android users who get this feature from the Amazon app store. The only announcement regarding this is a tweet by Apple, so this could be a one time thing, but I doubt it is.

 

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The tweet by Apple says "Cut the Rope: Experiments is our #FreeAppoftheWeek. Go to the App Store for your free download. tw.appstore.com/uUj" so I'm going to guess it will be a continuous thing going forward. To go along with this, the description of the app says "***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***".

 

The app itself is actually a pretty fun game. I've played it before on a Windows 7 tablet that was running Windows 8. The object of the game is to cut various strings and manipulate objects to get the piece of candy over to the monster. While I'm not sure I would pay for the app, I'd definitely take it if it was free as it is now.

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