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ScaryTT: Sixth Circuit court rules law enforcement can warrantlessly track suspects via cellphone

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 11:32 pm

In a scary ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that law enforcement can use GPS data from a cell phone without a warrant. The ruling came down in a 2-1 verdict and liked the GPS data of a cellphone to the scent given off, and subsequently caught by a dog. Furthermore, the fact he obtained it voluntarily seemed to be a deciding factor for the court.




"There is no Fourth Amendment violation because Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data given off by his voluntarily procured pay-as-you-go cell phone," wrote Judge John Rogers. "If a tool used to transport contraband gives off a signal that can be tracked for location, certainly the police can track the signal."


The ruling is contrary to the Jones v. United States case decided by the Supreme Court in January, 2012. In that case, agents put a physical tracking device on the suspect's vehicle. Since no physical intrusion occurred in this case, that ruling had no effect on the court in making their decision for this case.


Judge Rodgers:


"Here, the monitoring of the location of the contraband-carrying vehicle as it crossed the country is no more of a comprehensively invasive search than if instead the car was identified in Arizona and then tracked visually and the search handed off from one local authority to another as the vehicles progressed."

Continue reading 'ScaryTT: Sixth Circuit court rules law enforcement can warrantlessly track suspects via cellphone' (full post)

Blizzard launches a free Starter version of Diablo III

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 10:34 pm

Not sure if Diablo III is for you? It looks like Blizzard would like for you to give it a try, at no cost to you. They likely want to get you hooked on the game so that you will spend the $50 on the game. The Starter Edition, announced by Blizzard, allows players to play up until level 13 and battle up to the Skeleton King boss in Act I.




Users can get the new Starter Edition from a variety of sources, including using your friend's disk to install the game. If you don't have a friend who owns Diablo III, existing users can find it in the Your Game Accounts area and new users will automatically receive a license for the game.


Blizzard has instituted some other restrictions for Starter Edition players, and many of them actually make sense. For one, Starter Edition users can not use the auction house, for real money or gold. This is good as it should prevent bots and other abuses. Matchmaking for Starter Edition players is only available for other Starter Edition players.

EA announces free-to-play online Command & Conquer game

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 9:29 pm

A lot of cool announcements are coming out of Gamescon and EA has just joined the party with their announcement that Command & Conquer would become an online, free-to-play game. Taking the best of a popular game and putting online for free, with some restrictions, seems to be the way of the future as more and more companies are doing it.



Command & Conquer will receive regular free updates to keep the content fresh and fun to play. It's not clear if everything will be unlockable through gameplay, or if certain troops and maps will have to be purchased separately. The latter is likely the case in order to provide more income for EA.


Command & Conquer Generals 2, a game previously announced, is going to make up a majority of the new game. The new free-to-play game is based upon the Frostbite 2 engine and features detailed units, fully destructible environments, dynamic physics and high-quality visual effects.

Continue reading 'EA announces free-to-play online Command & Conquer game' (full post)

Razer announces DeathStalker Ultimate keyboard, claims to be world's smartest keyboard

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 8:31 pm

As if we didn't have enough choice when it comes to gaming keyboards, Razer has introduced a new model that features it's Switchblade user interface. The Switchblade UI is the same that is currently used the on Razer Blade gaming laptop and has an LCD trackpad and LED keypad combo which can be turned into "a customizable control panel with 10 dynamic, adaptive tactile keys."




The thing looks pretty sweet, but looks don't matter with a gaming keyboard. Instead, it's all about how it works. Without actually using the keyboard, I'm unable to comment on that aspect of the new product. It has some unique aspects which are relayed in a humorous pres release, including this gem: "The Razer DeathStalker Ultimate features an anti-ghosting infrastructure of up to 10 keys in game mode. Users may actuate as many keys as they have fingers, and have them all register accurately and swiftly in-game."


"With the Switchblade UI on the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate, we wanted to offer gamers an enriching and intuitive gaming experience built for total game control," said Robert "RazerGuy" Krakoff, president of Razer USA. "We continue to work closely with independent software vendors to integrate the API of their games on the Switchblade UI, so that you can see more of the game as you play. I'm excited that we are making such cutting-edge technology available to gamers everywhere, and look forward to bringing more game-specific apps."

Continue reading 'Razer announces DeathStalker Ultimate keyboard, claims to be world's smartest keyboard' (full post)

Pinterest gets Android, iPad apps, finally

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 7:32 pm

Pinterest has released an Android app and iPad app after "very vocal" Android users persistently requested one. An iPhone app has existed for a while now, but also saw an update on Tuesday. The idea behind the apps is to allow pinning to be faster and more efficient so that you can "go offline and do things that you love."




Apparently, every product release by Pinterest was followed by the question "what about an Android app?" So that's what they did: "our custom-designed Android app makes it simple and fast to pin, so that the time you spend on Pinterest is as productive as possible. We also made sure the app works well on Android phones and tablets, regardless of your device's cost, speed or screen size."


Pinterest believes that their iPad app is the best way to experience Pinterest. "iPad owners may have the best Pinterest experience yet." iPhone users also received a redesigned app. The new version features a two-column layout so that users can see more pins, just like they have been requesting.


When we think about what we're designing at Pinterest, we think about giving everyone a place to dream, plan, and prepare for the things in their lives. The Pinterest apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android are about enabling you to do just that, not seated in front of a computer or at the office, but wherever you go as you live your life.

Continue reading 'Pinterest gets Android, iPad apps, finally' (full post)

Amazon launches 'Send to Kindle' feature for Google Chrome

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Software | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 6:28 pm

Google Chrome has a new extension available for download. This extension is produced and released by none other than Amazon and allows web content to be sent to any device that has the Kindle app installed. A one-click process, the extension allows blog posts, stories, and such directly to your favorite e-reader device.




Furthermore, by tapping into Amazon's Whispersync technology, users can easily start reading the content on one e-reader and seamlessly pick up where they left off on another device. The extension, "Send to Kindle for Google Chrome," allows users to send the entire webpage or just selected text to the device.


To get the extension for yourself, head on over to Amazon's Send To Kindle download page. Confirm the download on the Google Chrome Web store and sign in with your Amazon account. When you click the button, the content is formatted for the Kindle and then sent to your device a few minutes later. Amazon has said FireFox and Safari will get support "soon" but there was no mention of Internet Explorer.

Corsair acquires parts of Raptor Gaming

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Today, Corsair has announced that they have acquired certain assets of Raptor Gaming in order to get a better hold in retail sales. Raptor Gaming has a strong retail presence in Germany, the largest market for video gaming in Europe, and this is what Corsair hopes to be able to do with this acquisition.




Corsair has acquired from Raptor Gaming its full product portfolio of keyboards, mice, headsets, and accessories. These new products will be used in a new line alongside of Corsair's currently existing Vengeance gaming products. Raptor Gaming executives CEO Dirk Schunk and COO Heinz-Dieter Ludwig will work with Corsair to ensure a smooth transition.


"Corsair and Raptor share the same goal, bringing best-in-class PC hardware to gamers around the world," said Andy Paul, President and CEO of Corsair. "Raptor Gaming's strong retail presence will allow us to offer a wider range of PC hardware to gamers across Germany."


"As gamers ourselves, we formed the Raptor Gaming business to create high-performance PC gear to give gamers the absolute best gaming experience," said Dirk Schunk, CEO of Raptor Gaming. "Corsair's strong global brand and worldwide distribution will open up Raptor Gaming products to a wider audience of gamers around the world."

Sapphire 6GB 7970 Toxic cards are not cancelled

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 5:31 pm

Contrary to rumors flying around the internet, Sapphire has not cancelled the 6GB 7970 Toxic graphics card they produce. It seems that because one major reseller put "discontinued" instead of "out-of-stock", or something similar, enthusiasts freaked out that they wouldn't be able to get the super fast card.




At Gamescon, however, Sapphire has a large booth and sitting right in the middle as the pride and joy of the booth was the 6GB 7970 Toxic card. KitGuru asked Bill Donnelly for a little more information regarding the rumor flying around the web. The short answer? It's not discontinued, just facing production constraints.


Production on a card like this will always be limited, because of the tight selection process that every component needs to go though. To ensure that the clocks are stable at the levels our engineers have set for the top end Toxic cards, you will always be limited in terms of how many cards than make at once.

We think the rumour started when all of the cards made so far, sold out in every store that was carrying them across the globe. In almost every case, the resellers put a message saying 'Temporarily out of stock' or 'Pre-order only', but one of the largest resellers showed 'Discontinued' instead. And that caused a bit of a panic among enthusiasts who really wanted one.


Production is supposedly running smoothly and cards should start to become available again soon.

Continue reading 'Sapphire 6GB 7970 Toxic cards are not cancelled' (full post)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 on sale August 16, 16GB for $499, 32GB for $549

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 3:29 pm

It's probably not that big of a surprise that Samsung has officially announced its new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The tablet is what was expected--a 10.1-inch screen that features an S-Pen stylus for input. The tablet is Wi-Fi only and will be available tomorrow for $499 for the 16GB model or $549 for the 32GB model.




The device, as it sits, comes with only Android 4.0, although it is slated for an update to Jelly Bean later this year. It's powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core and 2GB of RAM. The screen seems a bit low-res coming in at only 1280×800 on a TFT display. The rear camera also seems a bit underwhelming, coming in at a mere 5MP with autofocus and a LED flash.


The front camera comes in at 1.9-megapixels, again a bit lower than expected. The device supports up to 64GB memory cards and has Bluteooth 4.0 and USB 2.0 support, though the latter requires an adapter. If this is a device that interests you, you can head over to Samsung's website tomorrow and purchase one.

American teens prefer YouTube over iTunes, radio & CDs according to latest Nielsen survey

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 15, 2012 11:25 am

Times are changing, and the way American teens digest digital content, more specifically, music, is changing in strides. According to a new study from Nielsen Music 360, American teenagers are using Google's YouTube to listen to music compared to radio, iTunes or CDs.




Radio still remains the biggest music discovery option, but when it comes to listening, YouTube is out in front. The study reveals that nearly 50% of teens have radio apps on their smartphones and that digital music has passed physical CDs in terms of perception of value.


This study from Nielsen is based on results from 3,000 online consumer surveys conducted in the US. This would be why YouTube drives so much traffic, and I personally have young nieces and nephews who use YouTube to stream music all the time. They're finally getting onto the bandwagon with me and Spotify, though. I think the 'fads' these days will change quicker, as music discovery applications such as Spotify become more well-known.

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