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Facebook testing new event reminders that show up with other notifications with some users

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 2:23 pm

If only they had had this feature a couple of months ago, I would have missed that really important going away party, but alas, they have only been testing it with a small portion of their user base, and I clearly wasn't one of them. The feature I'm referring to is one that sends a reminder notification to the regular notification center an hour before an event starts that you RSVP'd "yes" to.




This is a feature we've been testing for a couple months with a small percentage of users. How it works is that people who RSVP "Join" to an event will receive a push notification and a jewel notification an hour before the event begins.


This feature should be of great use, and I'm not sure why they haven't done a complete rollout as of yet. Certainly just having the event on the rarely-checked right-hand side of the screen helps somewhat, but I certainly barely look to that portion of the screen as there is really no useful information over there.


This is likely just one of many new notifications that users will soon be receiving. Facebook is toying with the notion of releasing its notification APU, which would allow other people and programmers to take advantage of sending out notifications to users, such as President Obama apparently did when he sent out a notification about voter registration deadlines in Illinois.

Google continue to be the US search engine champion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 12:25 pm

ComScore's latest numbers for the US search market are making Google look even stronger than ever when it comes to the competition. Yahoo's Bing-powered search lost some percentage points, dropping from 12.8% in August to 12.2% last month.




Google added 0.3% in the same time frame, Microsoft stayed steady with 15.9% in both months, the Ask Network increased by 0.3% from 3.2% in August to 3.5% in September and AOL saw a 0.1% increase from 1.7% to $1.8%.


This means that Google commands a 66.7% chunk of the US search market, which is undeniably strong. comScore has also said that in September alone, around 16.3 billion searches were made, which is reportedly 4% down from August.

US Secretary of Defense warns that cyberattacks could threaten infrastructure

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 11:28 am

US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has earned of cybersecurity on Thursday during a speech that the agency is aware of foreign hackers that have remotely gained access to control systems for vital American infrastructure. Examples of this would be chemical, electricity and water plants.




Panetta stated:


We know that foreign cyber actors are probing America's critical infrastructure networks. We know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems.


Panetta also warned of recent cyberattacks on US financial institutions have been "unprecedented" in both their scale, and speed. If you're a reader of our site, you might remember us reporting in August that the world's largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, were cyber-attacked.

Continue reading 'US Secretary of Defense warns that cyberattacks could threaten infrastructure' (full post)

Mozilla pulls Firefox 16, claims it has "serious security flaw"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 9:30 am

Mozilla have taken to their Security Blog to update users on a security vulnerability they've found in their latest version of Firefox, version 16. The company have stated that there is an update arriving on October 11 on Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux.




This update should fix the problems with the security hole, which Mozilla have stated:


Mozilla is aware of a security vulnerability in the current release version of Firefox (version 16). We are actively working on a fix and plan to ship updates tomorrow. Firefox version 15 is unaffected.


The impact of the hole itself:


The vulnerability could allow a malicious site to potentially determine which websites users have visited and have access to the URL or URL parameters. At this time we have no indication that this vulnerability is currently being exploited in the wild.


For the meantime, Mozilla have cleared Firefox 16 from its current installer page.

Grand Theft Auto V seems to be ready, is being shown off to the press

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 8:26 am

Well, one very lucky son of a gun gets to look at Rockstar's upcoming sure-fire hit, Grand Theft Auto V, reports Kotaku. Game Informer's editor-in-chief, Andy McNamara, teased the world yesterday on Twitter saying that he was at Rockstar checking out Grand Theft Auto V for the magazine's December cover story.




You can see his tweet above. If Game Informer are looking at the game, that would indicate it'd be in a near-final form. Game Informer normally reveals their covers during the first week of each month before the one on the issue, so we should hear more on GTA V in early-November.


Are you excited? I think GTA V is going to be the last, truly huge seller on current-gen consoles before we see a transition over to next-gen consoles next year.

There are 6 billion cell phone subscribers across the world

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 7:30 am

If the current estimates are true, there are over seven billion people on Earth. According to the UN telecom agency, there are around 6 billion cell phone subscriptions, which works out to around one for 86 of every 100 people.




The International Telecommunication Union said on Thursday that China takes a huge chunk out of those users, representing 1 billion subscribers alone. India is close in second place, where they're expected to cross the 1 billion milestone later this year.


The Geneva-based agency says that 2.3 billion people, or roughly one third of the estimated 7 billion on Earth, were using the Internet by the end of 2011. The ITU has also said that 70% of people who use the Internet live in wealthier, industrialized countries, compared to just 24% who live in poorer, developing nations.

Google Play Magazines launches in Australia, except it doesn't work yet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 6:31 am

I was laying in bed last night and grabbed my Nexus 7 that I have on my bedside table, I turned it on and hit the Google Play store to have a look around. I noticed that the menu looked different, so I looked closer and noticed that "Magazines" now appeared - finally, the Australian Play Store has magazines!




Cool, I thought, I'll check it out and purchase a magazine to see how it is. I download the app, purchase a magazine from an Australian technology magazine "PC & Tech Authority", lay down and proceed to enjoy reading it. Well, I couldn't because Google Play Magazines doesn't quite work yet.


The app itself doesn't open, and requires an update, which you can't tap the option to do so. You can see in the picture above, just below where it says "GOOGLE INC.", there should be an "Update", and "Open" tab, but there is not. So I have now wasted $4.99 on a magazine that I can't read. I'm sure it'll work soon enough, but it's disappointing to see Google launch a new section of their Play store, and have it fail on day one.


Anyway, the new Magazine part of the Play store offers countless titles from major Australian publishers like Haymarket Media, ACP Magazines and Pacific Magazines. Also thrown into the mix are a bunch of publishers from overseas, and the option of a once off purchase or subscription-based service is offered. Prices aren't too bad, where they either match the price of Apple's Newsstand, or they're slightly cheaper.

Continue reading 'Google Play Magazines launches in Australia, except it doesn't work yet' (full post)

PC part suppliers are concerned Windows 8 demand won't be strong this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 5:33 am

DigiTimes is reporting that upstream component makers are concerned that the PC replacement trend that is expected to spark when Windows 8 drops in two weeks time may not actually happen this year at all.




They're estimating that it will begin in the first quarter of 2013, according to DigiTimes' "sources from upstream supply chain". They say:


Since an operating system usually needs to have serious debugging after launch, the sources believe consumers may hold back their new PC purchases until some time later and their actions would impact demand for Windows 8-based systems in the fourth quarter.


Component makers do have "high hopes" that Windows 8 will bring increased growth. But I'm sure that if you look at the market, the 'replace your desktop PC' days are over. Throw an SSD into a 2-3 year old machine and it's like new. There have to be some serious changes to the standard desktop PC before I can see huge growth coming from Windows 8. Such as a serious drop in the price of touchscreen-based LCD screens.

Sharp's Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E is the first to sport the low-power IGZO display

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 4:31 am

Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo has unveiled a great-looking smartphone from Sharp, the Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E, the first smartphone to bake the IGZO display. IGZO's display uses indium gallium zinc oxide technology that promises higher translucency compared to normal LCDs.




This technology reduces the demand for backlighting on the screen which should result in reduced battery use. The phone sports a 4.9-inch, 1280x720-pixel display, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, Adreno 320 graphics, NFC and 4G LTE compatibility through NTT DoCoMo's network.


The IGZO display-powered Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which is probably the only downer on an otherwise well-specced smartphone. There's no word on whether this will land anywhere outside of Japan, yet.

Twitter opens up shop in Korea, wants to focus on launching localised features and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Oct 12, 2012 3:23 am

Social networking site Twitter has opened its wings and flown across the pond to Korea, where they hope to focus on localised features and building partnerships with brands and celebrities in the country. Yonhap News is reporting that Twitter has looked at Korea as one of its most important markets, which is mostly thanks to its increasing Internet users as well as the quality of service in the country.




Vice president of the Marketing Department for the Asia-Pacific region, James Kondo, said that the areas that Twitter would focus on when it came to furthering their business were partnerships with handset manufacturers such as natives Samsung and LG, mobile operators, media companies, celebrities and talent agencies - hopefully they give Psy a call.


Othman Laraki, Twitter's vice president of Growth, International and Revenue, the social network are already working with Daum (Korea's second most popular web portal) and LG Uplus, who are Korea's third-largest mobile operator. Laraki adds:


[Korea is] a country where we've seen a lot of early adopters that have taken to Twitter in a very energetic way and we don't necessarily see that in all countries.

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