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Google Maps for Android updated with even more features

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 5:34 am

Google has pushed out an update to Maps for Android, which now provides quicker access to flight, hotel and restaurant reservations that are linked to your Google account.

 

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These details will show up in your search history on mobile, but are limited to just the United States right now, and in English. Some UI tweaks have been brushed into the update, which shoot you into navigation and traffic overviews quicker. The new update to Google Maps for the web also sees some improvements, with multiple stops when planning driving routes, and search results for upcoming events nearby.

 

These additions will be showing their heads in the Android version in the coming weeks.

Instagram for Android to roll out, will include some needed fixes

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 4:27 am

Instagram for Android will soon receive an update, which will introduce the straighten control, as well as a new sound and data usage controls to videos to the Facebook-owned app.

 

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The iOS version of Instagram has had this feature for quite sometime now, so this update will bring the Android version of Instagram up to speed. You can check out the Google Play Store to see if you can grab the updated Instagram for Android app, if not, you'll have to continue to wait a little while unfortunately.

Yet another GTA V rumor, which says its coming to PC in Q1 2014

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 3:33 am

I wasn't going to write about this, but we all know that Grand Theft Auto V is one of the biggest games of all time. A franchise which started out on the PC, so news of it hitting the PC is a big deal.

 

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Eurogamer has "multiple industry sources" who have whispered into its ears that Rockstar's title would hit the PC in the first quarter of next year. Eurogamer says that Rockstar wants to mirror how GTA IV was handled, where it hit consoles in April 2008, and eight months later it reached the PC. If this was to happen, we should expect it to hit PC on May 2014 then.

 

But, the problem is that May 2014 is not Q1 2014, so I think we'll see it released somewhere around Q1 2014, maybe not in that three-month window, but very close to it.

Steam Machines confirmed to run both AMD and NVIDIA hardware

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 2:34 am

Valve have teased us quite a bit in the last couple of weeks with its unveiling of the Steam Box, Steam OS and Steam Machines, with the latter being announced with NVIDIA GPUs.

 

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Most thought that the Steam Machines would run AMD GPUs too - like myself - but this wasn't full confirmed, leaving many to believe that maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA had secured a very tight contract with Valve. The Half-Life developer has come out and confirmed that the Steam Machines would indeed support the three primary graphics vendors today.

 

Valve spokesperson, Doug Lombardi, said: "Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes. Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of NVIDIA cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are NVIDIA-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."

Continue reading 'Steam Machines confirmed to run both AMD and NVIDIA hardware' (full post)

T-Mobile poised to offer free international data roaming and texting

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 11, 2013 12:25 am

Today T-Mobile announced that it will be eliminating international roaming fees on data usage and text messages. The company is also looking to end the high rates charged for voice calls and said that they will now be charging a fixed rate of $0.20 per minute for all international voice calls with no additional plan or fees needed.

 

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The free connection is not speedy though, and company officials say to expect something close to 128Kb per second which is not enough to stream video, but will be plenty for light web browsing, email, and MMS sending. For those who need a faster connection, T-Mobile will be selling "speed packs" that boost the connection speed in 24 hour increments for about $15 each.

Sony launches the Xperia Z1F smartphone, features a 4.3-inch screen

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Sony's flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z1 is highly regarded as one of the best smartphones on the market today. Looking to build off of that momentum, Sony has announced the launch of a smaller version of the phone. The new Sony Xperia Z1F is a shrunken down version of the of the Z1 and sports a 4.3-inch screen.

 

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The smaller display retains the 1080p resolution of its larger counterpart, and a Qualcomm quad-core 2.3GHz processor is present. 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage is also featured. Sony did opt to keep the same 20.1-megapixel camera on the rear of the device, which should make many small screen loving users very happy people. The device is expected to launch in Japan in December with a world wide launch still uncertain.

Dropcam launches next-generation Wi-Fi video monitoring camera

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 10:24 pm

Dropcam has upgraded its Wi-Fi video monitoring camera and today announced its launch. The Dropcam Pro features quite the list of improvements including an all-new six-element glass lens that provides 130 degrees of view. The improved optics are placed in front of a larger imaging sensor that is said to be twice as sharp as its predecessor.

 

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Dropcam has also implemented a new digital zoom function that is said to retail the HD image quality while featuring no mechanical parts to wear out. Users will now be able to pinch-to-zoom on the Dropcam mobile app. A new microphone has also been utilized which is said to bring higher quality audio, and the Wi-Fi radio has been upgraded to a dual channel model.

Fairfax Financial fails to secure funding to buy BlackBerry

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 9:24 pm

BlackBerry's board of directors have once again resumed talks of breaking the company up into pieces and selling things off to the highest bidder. The breakup talks have resumed after Fairfax Financial announced that it has failed to secure capital to fund the $4.7 billion needed to purchase the company.

 

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A breakup sale might actually turn out to be more beneficial for BlackBerry as the company's patents are estimated to be worth over $3 billion alone, the rest of the company could be sold for another $2 or $3 billion as companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung could buy bits and pieces to strengthen their grip on the smartphone market.

Google purchases monorail after engineer jokingly submits request

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 8:24 pm

In what can only be described as a happy accident, Google has acquired not one, but two monorail cars for use as meeting rooms. The acquisition came after Paul Cowan, a site reliability engineer for Google submitted a request for a monorail as a joke. The joke stemmed off the fact that Google operated two facilities a distance apart in Pyrmont, Australia.

 

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After hearing that a third office may be opened up, Cowan jokingly submitted a ticket requesting a monorail system connecting all three facilities. At first the company denied the request, but fast forward a few weeks and Cowan got called into a meeting with a member of the facilities team. Cowan was informed that Google wanted to purchase some of the monorail carriages from the defunct Sydney Monorail system and they wanted him to pick out the cars.

 

 

Fast forward to today and as you can see in the photo above, Google has taken delivery of two of the monorail cars. Google's plans for the monorail cars is to use them as unorthodox meeting rooms. The cars were lifted into the company offices with the aid of a crane and the removal of a second story window.

Sapphire launches new line of AMD R-Series video cards

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Oct 10, 2013 7:23 pm

This has been the week of AMD R-Series GPU launches, and Sapphire Technology does not want to be left out of the party. Today the company announced the launch of its first two lines of AMD R-Series video cards. Sapphire is introducing two lines with three models each today which include the R9 280X TOXIC Edition, R9 280X Vapor-X edition, R9 280X Dual-X edition and the R9 270X TOXIC, R9 270X Vapor-X, R9 270 Dual-X edition.

 

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The R9 280X TOXIC Edition features Sapphire's new Tri-X Cooler design which utilizes three airfoil section fans in conjunction with 10mm heat pipes to deliver unmatched cooling performance. The GPU features 3GB of GDDR5 memory and supports Direct X 11.2. Resolutions up to 2560x1440 are supported and 4K displays can be utilized via a built-in HDMI 1.4a port.

 

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Sapphire's R9 280X Vapor-X edition is a slightly toned down version of the R9 280X TOXIC, and features vapor-chamber cooling. This cooling solution provides a more quiet but efficient method thermal dissipation that allows you to game at max while keeping the ambient noise low. Additionally a 280X Dual-X cooler edition has been announced that features the two Aerofoil fans, and heat pipe technology.

 

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Finally we have Sapphires new R9 270X line of GPUs. The 270X series features all three of the cooling solutions as above, but only sports 1280 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. The 270X series supports 1080p resolutions and Direct X 11.2. Both of the new lines of GPUs boast the latests GCN architecture from AMD, and feature Eyefinity multi-monitor support. The Sapphire R9 280X series starts at just $299 while the R9 270X series begins at the $199 level.

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