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Windows Blue build 9364 leaks out, multiple Live Tile sizes, same-width side-by-side apps on offer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 9:09 am

The latest leaked build of Windows Blue has floated out and onto the Internet, with build 9364 of the upcoming updated OS is available in both 32- and 64-bit, and will set you back around 2.63GB as an ISO file.

 

 

This is of course a leaked build, nothing official, so it's only available from the usual file-sharing websites. The latest build shows off some updated larger and smaller Live Tiles, some more Start screen customization as well as updated side-by-side app view which helps multi-tasking quite a bit as you can now display two applications with matching width.

 

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There are some other things included with build 9364, such as a Play option under the Devices panel, a screenshot button on the Share sidebar, as well as Internet Explore 11 which comes included with Windows Blue.

Drones in NYC soon? Mayor Bloomberg says 'get used to it'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Drones | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 8:19 am

The US skies will be filled with drones in the coming decade (or less at this rate) but it looks like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks that privacy concerns should be pushed to the side. During a radio interview last week, Mayor Bloomberg essentially said that drones are an inevitable part of our future, comparing them to the thousands of cameras around Manhattan already in place. He said:

 

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What's the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? We're going into a different world, uncharted... you can't keep the tide from coming in.

 

Bloomberg continued, saying that our future will see more visibility and less privacy for citizens. Face recognition will be integrated into drone surveillance, where he wondered if a drone is that much more invasive than someone standing outside of your house. Bloomberg did tack on that legislation is needed, but warned against hasty action, saying "these are long-term, serious problems."

Dell receives two or more offers before deal deadline reaches

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 7:13 am

If you thought Dell would just fly off into the night and go public without anyone else bidding, well, you were wrong. The Blackstone Group submitted a preliminary offer before the original deal deadline on Saturday for Dell to go private for $24.4 billion.

 

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Under the terms of the "go shop" clause in the agreement, it allowed Dell to seek other suitors. A second offer was received by investor Carl Icahn who purchased a bunch of shares a couple of weeks ago. There's no concrete details on Blackstone's deal, but they are offering between $13.65 and $15 per share in a deal that will see shareholder participation. Blackstone have invited GE Capital and others in order to help them out with financing the deal.

 

Icahn have previously demanded Dell pay $15.7 billion in special dividends above the buyout price or risk a proxy fight. Icahn's proposed dividend of $9 per share sees a 67% premium to existing shareholders over the current $13.65 offer that is currently at play with the buyout from Michael Dell, Microsoft and investment company Silver Lake.

Lawmakers don't want you to be a glasshole and wear Google Glass on the road

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 6:07 am

Google Glass isn't even here yet and we're already seeing lawmakers make their movies. West Virginia lawmakers are trying to push in a new bill that would make it illegal to drive while "using a wearable computer with head mounted display."

 

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The news comes from CNET, from a piece by Chris Matyszczyk, where he received an e-mail from Gary G. Howell, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature. The e-mail read "your article on Google Glass prompted this bill." Matyszczyk asked Howell how this had all of the sudden transpired, but Howell isn't totally against Glass, telling Matyszczyk:

 

I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law. It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.

Continue reading 'Lawmakers don't want you to be a glasshole and wear Google Glass on the road' (full post)

Google shut Reader down due to the high cost of privacy compliance

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 5:15 am

There are thousands of people, myself included, saddened by the news that Google are shutting down Reader in a couple of months. Why did they do it? News is now coming out that the Mountain View-based company closed Reader due to the hidden costs of keeping users' data private.

 

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This is coming from an unnamed source of AllThingD, who said that the closure of Reader is at least partly due to Google's reluctance to build out the staff and infrastructure needed to deal with the legal and privacy issues related to Reader. The source added that Google are trying to position themselves so that they stop getting into expensive lawsuits, by adding dedicated staff to deal with legal issues to each of their teams.

 

When Google announced the closure of Reader, they didn't even have a project manager of full-time engineer dedicated to it. Google reportedly didn't want to spend the money building the service into a full-blown app, and on the flip side, didn't want to sell it to a third-party because of its deep integration with other Google Apps.

Blizzard announce Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play strategy card game

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 4:05 am

Blizzard have yet another game that gamers will pour hours into, where during the Penny Arcade Expo, Blizzard announced a free-to-play, collectible card game based on the Warcraft franchise. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will see players select one of nine characters as they take turns summoning characters, casting spells and using weapons in a one-versus-one online game.

 

 

The company have said that they love collectible card games and have been playing them since their Silicon & Synapse days, adding that creating a digital card game like Hearthstone felt natural, so they constructed a small team of 15 developers to smash out the title. They were reportedly given more creative freedom to experiment, but it looks like it could pay off.

 

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be made available for PC and Mac users, with an iPad version arriving at a later date. You can try to apply for beta access through your Battle.net account.

Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 3:07 am

Apple have reached 100% renewable energy usage at all of their data centers, with their corporate facilities not far behind with 75% renewable energy. Considering the company was at just 35% renewable energy for their corporate facilities two years ago, this is a swift, and great change:

 

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Our goal is to power every facility at Apple entirely with energy from renewable sources - solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. So we're investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows.

 

Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.

Continue reading 'Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers' (full post)

Apple's iOS 7 could see more of a 'flat design', Apple wants to simplify iOS even more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 25, 2013 2:00 am

With Tim Cook steering the Apple ship, we are seeing the company go in a new direction, something I'm guessing will help them gain more users, but not alienate others who like iOS. The latest news is that the Apple CEO has set Jony Ive with leadership of Apple's Human Interface teams, as well as his role as the head of Industrial Design.

 

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This news has suggested that Apple's hardware and software user interfaces could be intertwined even more, with one executive in charge of everything you see and touch on an iOS device. The Wall Street Journal has chimed in, confirming that this is true, with mobile software teams being briefed about new hardware prototypes earlier in the design cycle. Ive is now sitting in on the human interface team's review sessions, where he can have more one-on-one time with the new designs.

 

Some suggested that in Apple's next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more "flat design" that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn't have further details. Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative. For the past few years, Apple has unveiled versions of its mobile operating system in the summer.

 

Design is one example of the increased "collaboration across hardware, software and services" that Apple said it was aiming for when Cook pushed senior vice president and mobile software chief Scott Forstall out of the company last year.

Bill Gates throws $100,000 on the table, wants you to build a better... condom

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 11:31 am

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have put up a $100,000 of initial funding for someone who designs the "next generation of condoms." The money won't stop there, as the funding will expand up to $1 million for whoever is capable of delivering the next-gen contraception.

 

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Considering that the basic form of contraception hasn't received many changes over the years, it is used by an estimated 750 million people across the world for both reducing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. The Foundation's description of the challenge explains it as: "The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom."

 

A next-gen condom might give men more sensation, pushing them to use them more often, for the good of global health. When it comes to female condoms, "suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts."

Continue reading 'Bill Gates throws $100,000 on the table, wants you to build a better... condom' (full post)

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm sells 1.1 million copies in just two days

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:34 am

My Facebook feed has been set ablaze of the last few days due to the first expansion to StarCraft 2, Heart of the Swarm, being released. Blizzard have now announced that they sold 1.1 million copies of the game in just 48 hours.

 

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The 1.1 million copies are from combined physical and digital copies, but Blizzard hasn't said how it split in terms of sales. Blizzard launched StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm on my birthday, I mean March 12, and saw their launch date event broadcast online with an additional 1.1 million viewers, with the concurrent viewers sitting at around 125,000.

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