Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
7,140 Reviews & Articles | 51,250 News Posts

TweakTown News Posts - Page 2135

ReportTT: Google considering Waze buyout

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 24, 2013 11:30 pm

Rumors have made the rounds that Facebook is interested in the social mapping service. According to a Bloomberg report, Google may also be considering a Waze buyout. This is good news for Waze as the two companies would likely enter into a bidding war; it's not such great news for the companies themselves as the price will go up.

 

reporttt_google_considering_waze_buyout_1

 

The report states that Google and others have approached Waze since the news of Facebook's talks were made public. Waze is reportedly seeking in excess of $1 billion, so it's very possible that talks fall through and Waze remains an independent company. Greg Sterlin, an analyst at Opus Research, suggests that Google may acquire Waze to prevent competition or add social features to its own Maps product:

 

If they put a lot of effort behind it and really try to develop a social mapping product, it could be something significantly differentiated from what Google is offering and could grow into a competitor for Google Maps.

 

We're still a good distance away from Waze being acquired as the acquisition would likely undergo scrutiny from the FTC and other government groups. If Waze does enter into an acquisition deal, you'll be able to read about it here on TweakTown.

Microsoft and Google kiss and make up, said to be working on YouTube app for Windows Phone that serves ads, coming in 'the coming weeks'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: May 24, 2013 10:54 pm

Good news for Windows Phone users! Microsoft and Google have apparently kissed and made up and are now working jointly on a YouTube app that follows the YouTube API guidelines. The new app will serve ads using YouTube's iFrame API and is due out as soon as next month.

 

microsoft_and_google_kiss_and_make_up_said_to_be_working_on_youtube_app_for_windows_phone_that_serves_ads_coming_in_the_coming_weeks_1

 

Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube's API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks. Microsoft will replace the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time.

 

Windows Phone users should ultimately be the winners from this agreement as they will gain a polished YouTube app. It's not clear exactly what brought the two companies together or what Microsoft had to provide to Google to get them to play ball. Microsoft needs a YouTube app to make Windows Phone a viable mobile platform.

 

We'll let you know when the newly polished YouTube app is released for Windows Phone.

ReportTT: Microsoft will charge retailers an activation fee to sell used games, not players

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 24, 2013 10:30 pm

It looks as though Microsoft may charge retailers a fee to resell used games rather than users themselves. According to reports by Eurogamer and MCV, retailer will be required to pay a fee in order to sell traded-in games as used games. A cut of that fee will go to Microsoft and the rest will go to the publisher.

 

reporttt_microsoft_will_charge_retailers_an_activation_to_sell_1

 

Once a game is marked as 'traded-in', it will wipe it from the user's account and console. This could explain the need for the Xbox One to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours. The specific fee isn't known as of yet and Microsoft could vary it per game or depending on how it's received by the market.

 

This will inevitably raise the price paid for used games or reduce the price paid for trade-ins. Likely, it will do both. Microsoft still has time to change the system, though we are still waiting for the full details. We probably won't get those until closer to the console's launch.

Best Buy offering $50 discount on Apple iPhones starting Sunday and running for four weeks

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 24, 2013 10:01 pm

Today has been a good day for Apple customers. First Apple reduced the price on refurbished iPads, now Best Buy will be running a $50 discount on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 for the next four weeks. The discount will go into effect on Sunday and will be valid on any device purchased with a new two-year contract through Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T.

 

best_buy_offering_50_discount_on_apple_iphones_starting_sunday_and_running_for_four_weeks_1

 

This discount could signify that a new iPhone isn't too far off in the future as Apple devices usually only get discounted ahead of new model launches. It could also be to help drive sales. After all, the iPhone 5 has been out since September of last year and it has to compete with the newly released Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

 

Best Buy is also offering some short-term Memorial Day discounts. From May 26 to June 1, the Galaxy S3 will be available for $49, the HTC Droid DNA will be available for $49, and the HTC One X will be available for free. All of these require their respective carriers and a new two-year contract.

Instagram did not randomly delete accounts, suffered glitch that temporarily prevented access

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: May 24, 2013 9:27 pm

We promise you, Instagram did not randomly delete your account last night. Instead, the popular photo sharing app suffered a glitch that prevented some users from logging in. Users, however, jumped to conclusions and the hashtag #Dontdeletemyaccount made its rounds, ultimately being used on over 500,000 photos.

 

instagram_did_not_randomly_delete_accounts_suffered_glitch_that_temporarily_prevented_access_1

 

Today, Instagram has issued an apology and explanation: "Yesterday we experienced technical issues that caused people to be unable to access their accounts for a short period of time. We restored access as soon as the issue was brought to our attention, and we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

 

Rumors swirled that Instagram was deleting accounts to clear server space or punish users who violated the company's Terms of Service. It's highly unlikely, for future reference, that Instagram or any web company would randomly delete user accounts. Next time, wait a few days as it's most likely a glitch.

ReportTT: 6 different companies put in bids for online TV streaming service Hulu

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 24, 2013 8:55 pm

According to several reports around the Internet, Hulu has received bids from four different companies seeking to acquire the next-day TV streaming service. Reports from The Los Angeles Times and Reuters state that the Chernin Group and Guggenheim Digital Media have both placed bids for Hulu.

 

reporttt_6_different_companies_put_in_bids_for_online_tv_streaming_service_hulu_1

 

DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are also said to have put in bids for the company. Hulu, despite companies looking to acquire it, continues to do well, turning $695 million in revenue for last year. Bloomberg adds that KKR and Silver Lake have both entered into the bidding, bringing up the total bids to six.

GIGABYTE's new BRIX, a SFF desktop PC powered by Ivy Bridge CPU's

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: May 24, 2013 8:01 pm

GIGABYTE has introduced a new small form-factor desktop PC powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU's. It seems interesting that GIGABYTE would launch this new product so close to Intel's introduction of its new Haswell CPU's. The BRIX, as it's called, can be fitted with a wide array of Ivy Bridge chips, SSD's, and RAM.

 

gigabyte_s_new_brix_a_sff_desktop_pc_powered_by_ivy_bridge_cpu_sgigabyte_s_new_brix_a_sff_desktop_pc_powered_by_ivy_bridge_cpu_s

 

Exact pricing hasn't been detailed, but because of the wide array of customization, GIGABYTE notes that it covers a "range" of price points. It features two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-in, an Ethernet port, and a Mini Display Port, which GIGABYTE says can power up to two monitors simultaneously.

 

If you want a SFF PC to use as a set-top box or HTPC, this new BRIX system could be for you.

Apple lowers prices on refurbished iPads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 24, 2013 7:29 pm

Looking to get an iPad but don't want to pay full retail price? Check out Apple's refurbished store. In fact, just today, Apple lowered the prices on its refurbished iPads to that almost every model is now at a 15 percent discount compared to a brand-new model.

 

apple_lowers_prices_on_refurbished_ipads_1

 

The changes, as noted by MacRumors, are as follows for the iPad mini:

 

  • 16 GB Wi-Fi: $279, down from $299 previously and $329 brand-new
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi: $359, down from $389 previously and $429 brand-new
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi: $439, down from $489 previously and $529 brand-new
  • 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $389, down from $429 previously and $459 brand-new
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $469, down from $519 previously and $559 brand-new
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $549, down from $619 previously and $659 brand-new

 

For the fourth-generation iPad, changes are as follows:

 

  • 16 GB Wi-Fi: $419, down from $449 previously and $499 brand-new
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi: $499, down from $549 previously and $599 brand-new
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi: $579, down from $649 previously and $699 brand-new
  • 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $529, down from $579 previously and $629 brand-new
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $609, down from $679 previously and $729 brand-new
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $689, down from $779 previously and $829 brand-new

 

In other news, Apple has also reduced the price of its refurbished Thunderbolt and LED Cinema Displays by $30.

Continue reading 'Apple lowers prices on refurbished iPads' (full post)

Why EA's CTO got it wrong - follow up on about next-gen consoles being a step ahead of current-gen gaming PC's

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 24, 2013 6:30 pm

Yesterday I wrote an article on EA's CTO Rajat Teneja who said that the upcoming next-generation consoles are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market." The article received massive feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and even made the front page of Reddit. I want to use my last article of the week to explain why I feel Teneja got it wrong.

 

why_ea_s_cto_got_it_wrong_follow_up_on_about_next_gen_consoles_being_a_step_ahead_of_current_gen_gaming_pc_s_1

 

Several commenters were very quick to point out that the APU has a speed advantage over discrete GPU's as the APU does not have to send data over a PCIe bus then back to the CPU, which adds massive latency. While it is true, I must point out that no AMD APU on the market, or being rumored, can come close to the benchmark scores put up by even one generation old flagship GPU's, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. The massive number of cores combined with large amounts of RAM are just not feasible for an APU.

 

APU's really shine when it comes to mid-level performance in laptops, and productivity machines where the power consumption and extreme performance levels of a discrete GPU are not warranted. Don't get me wrong here, I am an AMD fan boy from way back and have to admit that I do like the APU architecture.

Continue reading 'Why EA's CTO got it wrong - follow up on about next-gen consoles being a step ahead of current-gen gaming PC's' (full post)

Microsoft's Bing now offers up related topics and personalities in search results

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 24, 2013 5:35 pm

Amidst the launch of Google's Trend Visualizer, Microsoft has launched several new features to its Bing search engine. The most notable are in the service's news search where a new Trending Topics section is displayed in carousel form.

 

microsoft_s_bing_now_offers_up_related_topics_and_personalities_in_search_results_1

 

This new feature displays trending topics in a carousel of images with related personalities being displayed in a box to the left. These new features do not take one to a specific page, but rather to a new page of search results based on the topic you chose.

 

Bing has also extended its trending results to include data from the last several years and not just the last two weeks as previously done.

loading