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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2133

RumorTT: Sony considering reviving the Walkman and Cyber-Shot brands into its mobile phone division

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 3:17 pm

Back in the Sony-Ericsson days, the company regularly branded phones with the Cyber-Shot and Walkman names, but since the two companies parted ways, Sony has all but forgotten those brands ever existed.

 

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If the information coming out of the rumor mill is true, we could see both of the brands make reappearances on future Sony smartphones. According to PhoneArena, Sony is preparing three new phones that will debut later this year bearing the Cyber-Shot and Walkman names.

 

The first will be a Cyber-Shot phone that comes with a 5-inch screen, and a Carl Zeiss lens based camera with a sensor large enough to rival the legendary Nokia 808 PureView. The next phone will be a Walkman inspired smartphone that will have an integrated amplifier, and will run Sony's Walkman software. The third and final rumored phone is said to be of similar size to an iPhone with a 4-inch screen and will feature another Cyber-Shot camera.

Microsoft patches Windows 8 specification requirements, paves way for 7 and 8-inch class tablets

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 2:22 pm

7 and 8-inch Windows based tablets could be on their way. Microsoft has just altered the specification requirements for Windows 8 tablets opening up a new avenue for OEMs to begin developing smaller Windows 8 based devices.

 

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Up until now, devices wishing to run Windows 8 needed to have a minimum resolution of 1366x768, and that caused problems for manufacturers wanting to release cheaper Windows 8 based tablets. Microsoft has just fixed that issue by lowering the minimum screen resolution supported to 1024x768.

 

Microsoft says that the new minimum resolution requirements will allow "partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful," which is a strong hint that smaller form factor Windows 8 tablets could be on the way. With the growing popularity of Samsung's Galaxy Note series, Google's Nexus 7 and Apple's iPad mini growing in popularity every day, it only makes sense that Redmond opens up Windows 8 for smaller devices.

Minox debuts its new retro mini 14MP digital camera, small enough to hide in palm of your hand

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 1:31 pm

Minox, a camera manufacturer famous for its miniaturized digital cameras, has just unveiled the Retro DCC 14.0. This new micro camera is designed on a scale of 1:3 and is small enough to hide in the palm of your hand.

 

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The DCC 14.0 features a 14MP CMOS image sensor and when combined with the fixed 7.4mm lens, the camera has an effective focal length of around 45mm, which is slightly wider than a human's natural vision. The lens features an f-stop of 2.0, which will means the camera should perform well in low light situations.

 

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The camera features no manual settings and is fixed to a fully automatic mode. Images are compressed into the JPEG format with video being encoded as AVI files at a resolution of 640x480. The camera is capable of about 4X zoom and has a close focusing distance of 50cm. Available in silver and black, the Minox DCC 14.0 will retail for $240.

OUYA consoles are on their way to Kickstarter backers, launches with 104 games ready to play

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 12:48 pm

OUYA has begun shipping its Android based gaming consoled out to all of its nearly 65,000 Kickstarter backers. The first consoles began rolling out yesterday and it is expected to take a few weeks to complete.

 

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OUYA said that the console already has over 100 games ready to play in the form of a free trial including big name titles such as Final Fantasy III, Beast Boxing Turbo and Stalagflight.

 

There is one catch though, users will have to enter their credit card information before any games can be downloaded. This includes downloads of entirely free games. The OUYA will also see an update upon first run which the company promises will be quick and painless.

T-Mobile estimated to sell over 3 million iPhones this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 9:34 am

Horace Dediu of Asymco, estimates that T-Mobile could sell around 3.4 million iPhones this year, totaling 10% of their total subscriber base. This might have seemed like a stretch just a few days ago, but with the US-based company's new "UNcarrier" initiative, this could be an easy estimate to beat.

 

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Dediu's estimates are based off trends from AT&T, Verizon and Spring, as well as the percentage of total subscribers that each operator has been activating. The Asymco analyst notes that the sales patterns are consistent across all of the carriers, and that the longer Apple's iPhone is available, the higher the activation rate.

 

The analyst also estimates that iPhone sales across the top four US carriers will break through 53 million in 2013, which will account for 17% of the 320 million subscribers, an increase of 14% year-over-year.

Amazon acquires Goodreads, is on the rampage to improve the recommendations for Kindle users

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 8:34 am

Amazon have acquired Goodreads, who have a platform that is great at suggesting books to users. Amazon have announced previously that they were acquiring one or more popular reading recommendation engines, without any clear plans on what they were going to do with their acquisition.

 

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We can piece together that the retail giant is looking to help their Kindle reader line, as well as their array of Kindle apps. Amazon's vice president of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti has said "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world -- together, we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike." The two companies are expecting the deal to be finalized in Q2, which isn't too far away at all.

'Express' flights to the International Space Station takes travel time down from two days to just six hours, no frequent flier miles included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 7:34 am

Normal trips from Earth to the International Space Station take around two days, but the first manned "express" flights to the ISS happened today, a journey which will cut down the time from two days to just six hours.

 

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The flight is being manned by one NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, and is expected to have docked by 12:10am EDT. This is the first manned express flight, but there have been numerous unmanned cargo flights taking the six-hour express flight to the ISS.

Google updates their Chrome Web Store search UI, provides easier filtering

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 6:42 am

Google have updated the search interface for their Chrome Web Store, which now provides tabulated filter options at the top of the page. There are four filter options: All, Apps, Extensions and Themes.

 

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Google have been slowly improving the search functions within their Chrome store, where last July the company added social recommendations from Google+, which allows users to see which apps people in their circles +1'd. The company are working on a total revamp of the Web Store, that will reportedly include multi-platform support for apps and extensions.

Apple hiring 'ground truth managers' around the world in the hopes of improving their Maps app

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 5:34 am

Apple are still tripping over themselves trying to get their Maps app working correctly, where I'm sure iOS 7 will feature "magical" and "revolutionary" new features in their Maps app.

 

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For now, the Cupertino-based company are hiring "ground truth managers" all across the world. These ground truth managers would have the task of testing new releases of Apple's Maps code in their specific regions, collecting truth data to analyze changes and make sure it all corresponds with reality, and evaluating competing mapping products against Apple's own Maps app.

 

Apple began this ground truth manager hunt in Australia first, why Apple didn't do this sooner is the question of the day, why they've waited until now, is the bigger question.

Google begins same-day delivery pilot in San Francisco

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 29, 2013 4:38 am

Google have begun their pilot scheme for a same-day delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it will potentially open up to other areas in the near future.

 

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The Mountain View-based search giant are offering testers a six-month period of deliveries from retailers in the area, free to the consumer, with all of the shopping taking place in a single online store. Testers of the same-day delivery service will be able to select from a number of local stores, including the big ones like Target, Staples and more.

 

The deliveries are then dispatched for a specific time, based upon the consumers' delivery instructions. Google are still reportedly working on a pricing scheme, but this could cost below $70 per year in order to compete with Amazon Prime.

 

I'd really like to see all of the Google delivery drivers to be wearing Google Glass, using the on-board Maps app for directions and delivery instructions - that would be very cool.

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