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Facebook finally rolls out Graph Search for all US users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:55 am

Early this morning, Facebook finally switched on Graph Search for all of its English-speaking users in the US. By expanding its test program that was rolled out in January from a few thousand users to a few million users, Facebook can now see how its new search performs on a massive scale.




Graph search is a tool that allows people to search Facebook's fast database using natural language searches to find almost anything the social network has ever indexed. An example of one search would be: "Photographs of my friends taken before 2005" or "restaurants in New York City my friends have visited and liked." Facebook would then return results based on your query.


I feel the graph search, while cool, is not really useful past searching for restaurants, photos, or places. I have been a member of the beta program since the week it was released and to be quite honest, the novelty wore off very fast. In the past few months, Facebook has modified the search so much that now most results are quite broad and not a specific as they used to be.

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DirecTV and Time Warner Cable both place last minute bids for Hulu on July 5 deadline

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:11 am

July 5 was the deadline for all bidding proposals to buy the content streaming service Hulu. The date was set by the Board of Directors after bids were received from everyone including Yahoo, AT&T and the Chernin Group in recent weeks. Today, we found out that both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable also submitted their bids before the deadline was up.




DirecTV apparently placed a bid to acquire the company as a whole, while Time Warner Cable reportedly offered up a proposal to become an investor alongside the service's current owners: Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc., and Comcast.


No word on how much each bid was for, but with Yahoo's bid around $1.1 billion, we can assume that similar offers were in the same ballpark. It looks like Hulu will get purchased by someone, and let's all hope that the service actually improves over the current state it is in.

Beats Audio working on partnership with A&TT to create music streaming service

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 3:03 am

Beats Audio has been jockeying to get their music streaming service Daisy off the ground for quite some time now. Today, we're hearing reports that the company is working to partner with AT&T in an effort to leverage the wireless carrier's marketing muscle to finally get the service up and running.




Earlier today, CNET reported that Beats co-founder Jimmy Lovine has been seen in meetings with executives from both AT&T and big-name music labels trying to iron out deals that would give AT&T customers free trial periods of the Daisy service.


Lovine is no stranger to asking big name investors for help. Back in March, he reportedly sought out billionaire Len Blavatnik who led a group of investors to a $60 million round of funding for Daisy. Today's rumor, combined with that report, means that Daisy may finally take flight and rival such music streaming services a Spotify, Xbox Music, and Google Play Music.

LeakedTT: More Nokia Lumia 1020 information, photos, and specifications leaked

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 2:04 am

This morning, I posted a report that seemed to confirm the existence of the Nokia Lumia 1020, a 41-megapixel PureView Windows Phone 8 device. The report showed off images taken by a Microsoft exec who posted them on his Twitter account. This afternoon, we are seeing even more leaks come in about the future king of the camera phone.




It appears that Nokia will be releasing the Lumia 1020 PureView in a trio of colors including a vibrant yellow, white, and black. My original guess of a Xenon flash seem to be confirmed as well as speculation about built-in optical image stabilization. Website WPCenteral is confirming specifications including 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and no SD card slot. Also present is an FM radio, Near Field Communication, Wireless Charging and Windows Phone 8 version 8.0.10322.71.


WPCenetral is also reporting that the phone will take images at 32MP and 5MP at the same time at 16:9. The 5MP image is oversampled and drops 7 pixels into each pixel of the 5MP image, thus creating a "Super Pixel." The phone is said to capture a 38MP image in 4:3 mode as well. As we learned earlier, it will feature an f/2.2 aperture and Zeiss glass. If these newly released specs are true, this just may be the most bad ass camera phone ever released.

Barnes & Noble CEO calls it quits, unexpectedly resigns this afternoon

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 1:02 am

Barnes & Noble has been facing a tough market for the past several years now. With dwindling physical book sales as well as a failed attempt at the digital market, the once heavyweight book retailer is facing yet another major setback today. William Lynch, the company's CEO, has just resigned effective immediately.




The resignation came quite unexpected and the company has not yet disclosed any reason for Lynch leaving, but industry analyst are speculating that the deal between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft to buy its Nook properties has fallen through. This would be a major blow to the company as it would lose a possible $1 billion bolster to its coffers and would ditch a division of its company that has never seen a profit.

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Microsoft wanted to buy Zynga before Xbox chief jumped ship

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 12:03 am

By now everyone on the planet has heard about Don Mattrick, the former Xbox chief at Microsoft, leaving the company to head up Zynga. A new report from Bloomberg is claiming that back in 2010, the then Xbox Executive tried to purchase Zynga when it was at the top of its game.




The report claims that back in 2010, Mattrick held negotiations with then Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus about Microsoft acquiring the company or even purchasing major titles like Farmville. The negotiations clearly fell through and here we are three years later with Mattrick now heading up the company he once tried to buy.


It's rumored that Mattrick left Microsoft because of the massive restructuring that is underway which will consolidate several departments into one, such as Windows Phone and Windows merging into a single entity. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has now taken over full control of the Xbox division and rumors are forming that point to that being a permanent thing.

Direct Message syncing now avaliable on Twitter for iOS app

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 8, 2013 11:03 pm

Twitter updated their iOS app this morning and added a syncing feature for Direct Messages. This is a feature that has long been asked for from users who heavily rely on Twitter's direct message system to stay in contact with other Tweeters. The update is live and can be downloaded from Apple's App Store now.




Twitter says that from now on when you read a direct message on one of it's clients such as Tweetdeck, Twitter for Mac, Twitter for Android, or the Twitter website, it will be marked as read across all devices. In the past, this became an issue for heavy users who viewed DMs on different application as it would still appear as unread on iOS devices.

Nikon says it can no longer ignore the smartphone boom, says it needs to change the concept of compact cameras

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Jul 8, 2013 10:04 pm

Nikon is feeling the pain from the slumping point-and-shoot camera market which is being destroyed by the constantly evolving smartphone market. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Nikon President Makoto Kimura said that in the wake of the "exploding" smartphone market, his company has formed a new imaging team to address the problem.




He went on to say that the new team is tasked with "creating a new product that will change the concept of cameras" as we know them. Kimura expects this new product to come to market within the next 5 years and that it will change the landscape of casual snap shooting. When asked specifically if he was referring to a new Nikon branded smartphone, Kimura declined to comment.


He did however say that the new "secret" project could be a non-camera product, leaving us all to wonder if such an imaging giant like Nikon could possibly consider building a true smartphone. This is a major possibility as Nikons point-and-shoot cameras make up the vast majority of their income.

LeakedTT: Droid MAXX appears out of nowhere, will arrive at Verizon later this year

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 8, 2013 9:05 pm

@evleaks is at it again. This time he has leaked an image of the upcoming Motorola Droid MAXX. The phone appears to be constructed out of carbon fiber and aluminum, just like previous "Droid" models, and will be an exclusive to the Verizon lineup later this fall.




It is widely expected that the device will focus on battery life, which Motorola will undoubtedly toute far and wide as it did with the Droid Razr M and Razr HD. While no hardware specifications have been released yet, we expect the device to closely lineup with the Moto X which was announced last week. This makes sense because Verizon's Droid phones are usually a few months behind in tech specs over other flagship devices.


The new phone is expected to arrive on Verizon shelves late this year, but a retail price, availability, and any information on accessories has not been released yet. If previous devices are an indication, we can expect it to retail in the $400-600 range off contract, with 2 year agreements coming in around the $199 range.

Android 4.3 version of HTC One Google Edition pops up at Bluetooth SIG

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 8, 2013 8:01 pm

It appears that the Google Edition of HTC's One will be replaced by yet another HTC One. This morning, records have popped up on the Bluetooth SIG website that indicate a version of the HTC One running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is in existence with the model number PN071, which is the same model number listed on the existing Google Play Store listing.




This second version of the HTC One will feature Bluetooth 4.0 LE support which is why it is making an appearance at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. With more leaks and images of Android 4.3 popping up everywhere these days, it can only indicate that the official Android 4.3 launch is imminent. While 4.3 is mostly a backend update, there are a few features that will be sure to wow hardcore Androidians.


Most importantly, Android 4.3 will bring us yet another step closer to Android 5.0 which is supposed to bring forth a new era of smartphone and tablet innovation. The jury is still out on whether this will happen, but with every generation of Android being better than the last, we can safely say that whatever 5.0 brings, it will be amazing!

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