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Facebook study shows culture has effect on profile picture choice

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Social Networking | Posted: May 28, 2012 3:27 pm

It's always a difficult task to choose the next profile picture that you're going to use. You put a lot of thought into the process and probably look at several photos for a while before deciding. You may even ask a friend or two what they think. It turns out that there is also some cultural influence into the decision as well.

 

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Your profile picture has different qualities depending on your culture. According to a new study, Americans tend to focus on the face and usually have a close-up shot where the face takes up most of the frame. This is contrary to Taiwanese users who tend to have some background visible and a much smaller portion of the frame taken up by the face.

 

The study was done twice after the first one found the correlation. The second time around they increased the sample size and locations in which they were drawing participants from and the findings still held true. The study also showed that Americans preferred a more intense facial expression such as a huge smile while Taiwanese tended to have a less intense expression.

 

The researchers explain:

 

Overall, the two studies clearly showed that East Asian Facebook users are more likely to deemphasize their faces compared to Americans. Specifically, East Asians living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan exhibited a predilection for context inclusiveness in their profile photographs, whereas Americans tended to prioritize their focal face at the expense of the background.

Continue reading 'Facebook study shows culture has effect on profile picture choice' (full post)

Huawei to release custom Android UI called "Emotion UI" in July

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 28, 2012 2:03 pm

Details surrounding Huawei's new Emotion UI aren't plentiful or clear, but we do know somethings. Samsung, HTC, and now ZTE all have custom user interfaces for their Android phones so it seems as though Huawei doesn't want to be left behind. As such, Huawei is now working on a UI called Emotion UI, likely for ICS.

 

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Considering the other manufacturers' UIs works on Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes sense that that is what Huawei will be targeting. The new UI will be unveiled June 9 and will become available sometime in July. Updates will be pushed to currently shipping Huawei Android phones so that they will get the new user interface.

 

Functionality of the new UI is not clear. Huawei is using words such as "emotional," "simple," and "smart" when describing it, but that doesn't exactly tell us that much. This UI also may not make it out of China, although it could as Huawei is trying to become a global manufacturer. The only downside to this custom UI is that updates will now take longer when new Android versions come out.

Download of the Day: Dropbox 1.4.7

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: May 28, 2012 12:01 pm

Our Download of the Day is Dropbox 1.4.7.

 

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Not much has changed since the previous version of Dropbox, but this is TweakTown after all. Tweaking is what we do, living on the bleeding edge of software revisions, also, the number being higher is better, right?

 

The full changelog is very short, just a single change for version 1.4.7:

 

- Add missing translations.

 

You can get Dropbox 1.4.7 here.

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 expected in July or August, based on GK106 architecture

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: May 28, 2012 11:13 am

We talked about NVIDIA prepping two more GPUs, but at the time we thought they'd be GK104-based. New reports have surfaced, where it might seem like the GEFORCE GTX 660 would be a GK106-based part.

 

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The GTX660 based on the GK106 architecture would sport 768 CUDA cores, 4 SMXs, 64 texture units, 2GB of memory with an interface of 256-bit. Pricing isn't too bad, where we should expect the GTX 660 to hit $349 or so. But, in this market, with this much competition, is that too muhc to pay?

 

Would you grab one of these GPUs at $349? Or would you be looking at something from Team Red if you were getting into the $350-ish territory? Thoughts?

Minecraft has been incredibly successful, has nearly 30 million registered players

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 28, 2012 10:23 am

Minecraft has been phenomenally successful over the time it has entered multiple alpha and beta builds before it even hit version 1.0. But now developer Mojang has continued to update the game, and it is getting close to 30 million registered users.

 

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Minecraft spans quite the assortment of devices, including Android, iOS, and Xbox versions of the game. The Xbox Live activity stats showed that the game was the most popular arcade game last week.

 

But better than that, Minecraft came in second place among all Xbox Live games, where it only lost to the ever-so-popular Call of Duty franchise. Not too bad for a game that doesn't really amp up the graphics. We're also looking at seeing a Lego tie-in as well, where the officially endorsed Lego Minecraft Micro World being available for pre-order and should hit select shelves this summer.

 

There's also MineCon, an entire convention dedicated to the game.

Oppo Finder is now the world's thinnest smartphone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 28, 2012 9:38 am

It was only a month ago that we reported that Oppo were about to claim the title of the world's thinnest smartphone, at just 6.65mm thick, but now they have. Enter the Oppo Finder.

 

 

Oppo's Finder grinds down some very nice specs into its slim 6.65mm phone, where we'll find a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch AMOLED Plus display, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Advancements in engineering of memory chips and other electrical components of smartphones have reportedly made it possible for manufacturers to slim phones down to this point.

 

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Right now, the biggest problem for engineers is heat from the CPU and GPU. But, for those of you who want a super-slim phone, you could grab one of these. Oppo Finder pre-orders start on June 6, and it will be priced at around $632.

Study: Windows XP support costs are 5x higher than a Windows 7 system

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: May 28, 2012 9:00 am

A Microsoft-sponsored IDC report claims that the annual support costs for a Windows XP systems are five times higher than a Windows 7-based system, as part of Microsoft's latest efforts in pushing more people toward Windows 7.

 

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Microsoft have also issued a statement that has told organizations if they have not started "the migration to a modern PC, you are late". Windows XP gets orphaned by the software company with no further support or patches in April 2014, close to 13 years since it launched.

 

The report states that 42-percent of Windows' non-home installed base remains on the ageing Windows XP OS. If this continues, 11-percent of all Windows users will continue to be powered by Windows XP when the security patches end in 2014. As for support costs: IT workers' time and worker productivity costs jump by 25- and 23-percent respectively in year four.

Continue reading 'Study: Windows XP support costs are 5x higher than a Windows 7 system' (full post)

RIM looking to slash more jobs, up to 2,000 more on the chopping block

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 28, 2012 8:19 am

Back in July of 2011, Research in Motion slashed 10-percent of its global workforce, laying off 2,000 employees as "a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company".

 

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But, it looks like they could be repeating the process according to AllThingsD. They're reporting that RIM will announce another major global restructuring that will include "at least" 2,000 job cuts. A source has told AllThingsD:

 

RIM has about 16,500 employees worldwide now. That number will be down to 14,500 before the summer's over. ...14,500 or less.

 

The cuts are expected to not just be a certain section, but company-wide, with everyone from marketing to sales, to legal and operations expecting to have jobs cut. The question is, will this help? Did it help last time? Are RIM cutting the fat from the company, or digging right in and removing the meat?

NVIDIA set to release 30 Tegra 3-powered smartphones this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 28, 2012 7:22 am

NVIDIA plan to bake Tegra 3 SoC's into 30 smartphones by the end of the year, says NVIDIA's Mobile Business Manager, Mike Rayfield. Rayfield unleashed the information at the company's annual Analyst Day.

 

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Considering that half the year is already gone, and there's only a single Tegra 3-powered smartphone on the market, that's quite the call. One more is about to hit European countries next week. Last year, NVIDIA released just 15 Tegra 2-powered handsets.

 

Rayfield did note that out of the 30 smartphones destined to sport Tegra 3, 18 of those would be heading over to China and would be priced at under $300 each. That means that the rest of the world should see 12 handsets, but no word on pricing or models at the moment.

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