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Updated WiiU controller picture leaked, new buttons and moved buttons shown

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 21, 2012 9:31 pm

The upcoming Nintendo WiiU will feature an innovative tablet controller as the primary input for the gaming console. A picture has surfaced of a new revision of the controller and shows some tweaks from previous versions. The picture is courtesy of a QA tester at gaming firm Traveller's Tales who Tweeted the picture.

 

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The picture and Twitter account have since been removed, and I imagine the Tweeter has received quite the reprimand from his boss(es). What the picture shows is that the overall device form remains the same as previously seen. However, now the device features full analog sticks similar to a PS3 or Xbox controller as opposed to the flattened circle present on the 3DS. The new picture is above with the older released picture below.

 

Additionally, the start and select buttons have been relocated to the right-hand side and a new button appears to have shown up next to the power button. Another button appears to be present under the D-pad. They are unlabeled and there use is not apparent at this time. The picture also shows that the tablet has the WiiU logo on it, which should confirm Nintento's name along with the logo. The device is expected to be featured at E3 where we will get the full scoop.

Continue reading 'Updated WiiU controller picture leaked, new buttons and moved buttons shown' (full post)

Microsoft Research roughly triples amount of data sorted in 60 seconds while using less hardware

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Super Computing | Posted: May 21, 2012 8:31 pm

Microsoft has announced a victory in the MinuteSort test. They claim to have tripled the amount of data sorted by the previous record holder, a Yahoo team. MinuteSort is a test to see how much data can be sorted in just a mere 60 seconds. As more data moves into the cloud, this ability to sort data quickly becomes a bigger and bigger issue.

 

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According to Microsoft's post on TechNet, "In raw numbers, the team's system sorted 1401 gigabytes in just 60 seconds - using 1033 disks across 250 machines." This hardware compared to what Yahoo ran is roughly "one-sixth of the hardware resources" and managed to sort around 3 times as much data. You can see that the Microsoft solution is much more efficient.

 

Additionally, it's interesting to note that Microsoft Research didn't use Hadoop as one might expect. Instead, the researchers at Microsoft created a new system called "Flat Datacenter Storage." The "flat" portion is the important part of the system. Microsoft explains:

 

[Microsoft Research's Jeremy] Elson compares FDS to an organizational chart. In a hierarchical company, employees report to a superior, then to another superior, and so on. In a "flat" organization, they basically report to everyone, and vice versa.

Continue reading 'Microsoft Research roughly triples amount of data sorted in 60 seconds while using less hardware' (full post)

Gmail now customizes autocomplete suggestions using the contents of your inbox

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 21, 2012 7:33 pm

Ever felt that some of those autocomplete suggestions Google provides just aren't quite something you would ever search for? Well, apparently Google did too as they now have announced they will be improving Gmail search's autocomplete function. The updated function will have tailored predictions based upon the e-mail in your inbox.

 

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These autocomplete suggestions should be a bit more useful to users than the current system. The system will function similarly to how Gmail's advertising system works. The advertising system reads the subject and contents of e-mails in your inbox and then custom tailors ads based upon what it found. Google stresses that no humans read the data.

 

It's likely that the autocomplete will use a similar system, if not the same, as the advertising system. I'm sure that some will not like the additional use of what is considered private data, but at the same time, it is already being used for advertising and other purposes. This use of private data should at least improve the user's experience.

 

English language users will see the update first over the next few days and then it will gradually roll out to others over the next few months.

Dish Network gets a warning from Discovery CEO about skipping ads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 21, 2012 6:36 pm

Discovery's CEO is not one bit happy with Dish Network's new ad skipping technology in the Hopper DVR. Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav has let Dish Network know that skipping ads could damage the industry as content creators lose one of their revenue streams. As a result, subscription fees would likely skyrocket.

 

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"Charlie Ergen and Dish are a distributor of content," he said. "They need us to reach homes with our content. And if there is not going to be advertising fees, then there needs to be a lot higher subscriber fees." With increasingly expensive shows and production costs, quality content needs to money offered by advertisers to keep subscription costs low.

 

As of right now, the Hopper DVR's technology only works on broadcast TV, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be used on premium channels such as Discovery. Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt agrees that the technology could easily destroy TV. "The dual stream of advertising and subscription revenue has been great for content creators," he said. "We have more TV than we could have ever imagined. I don't think we want to destroy one of those revenue streams."

 

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong opinion differs: "The video and cable industry needs to think of advertising differently," he said. "The reality is that consumers today are super-engaged. So how what would you put around that program or in program that doesn't look like traditional advertising? How do you make more engaging advertising?"

Chrome beats IE, is now world's top browser

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: May 21, 2012 5:33 pm

We reported a while ago about how when the weekend came Chrome became the most popular browser in the world for a day. Chrome has once again taken the top browser spot, but this time it held onto it for more than a week. At the time of writing, Chrome is still on top albeit a bit less ahead than it was last week.

 

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Last week, Chrome led with 32.76% market share according to StatCounter. During this same week of May 14 to May 20, Internet Explorer managed to grab only 31.94% of the market. This week isn't looking quite as promising as Chrome has dropped to just 31.88% while Internet Explorer has dropped to 31.47% market share.

 

Back in March, when Chrome overtook IE on the weekend, StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said, "whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to Internet Explorer."

 

Chrome still has some ways to go to catch up to Internet Explorer in certain countries. It's also not clear if Chrome will be able to maintain its lead when Windows 8 comes out with an updated Internet Explorer and the restrictions put on WoA. Only time will tell if Google can keep Chrome in the top spot.

Parents to get an incredible amount of control over child's phone

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 21, 2012 4:31 pm

A new service offered by Vodafone is set to allow parents almost full control of a child's phone. From reading text messages to preventing contact additions, this new parental control system will give parents a new tool to snoop into the lives of their children. Is this something that parents really should be able to do?

 

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The new parental control system is developed by Bemilo and will allow parents access to read every text message, set timers for the phone to turn on and off at, and review new contact additions before storing them. Unlike an app, this service will work with any cell phone as it is linked to the SIM card. The service is controlled by a website and will cost £2.95 per month.

 

Bemilo founder Simon Gaff told The Telegraph: "Unlike an app, Bemilo's SIM will work on any mobile device or tablet, and most importantly cannot be bypassed by the child." But, should parents really be doing this? As someone who had a cell phone from grade 8 on and the ability to remember this fact, I can say that it's probably a bad idea. It seems as though the kids with parents who were overly restrictive were the kids who managed to get themselves into the biggest trouble.

ASUS motherboards get the Thunderbolt treatment

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Motherboards | Posted: May 21, 2012 3:28 pm

I love me some new hardware. I don't read Chinese the best, if at all, but what I gather from these pictures and a bad Google Translate is that ASUS has released two new motherboards that support Intel's super fast Thunderbolt port. The products in question are the P8Z77-V PREMIUM and P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT and ASUS claims they have been Intel certified.

 

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The boards appear to be ATX standard based and the P8Z77-V PREMIUM features 4 PCIe-x16 slots and 2 PCIe-x1 slots. It also comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Additionally, it features an mSATA SSD for Smart Response and a front USB 3 expansion module. These boards are both, as the name implies, using the Intel Z77 chipset that was released in conjunction with Ivy Bridge.

 

The second board, the P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT, sports the same 2 PCIe-x1 slots with only 3 PCIe-x16 expansion ports. It features a single Gigabit Ethernet port and DVI, VGA, and HDMI video connectors. It does not come with an mSATA SSD, nor does it feature a DisplayPort output. Prices are unknown at this time. More as it comes.

Continue reading 'ASUS motherboards get the Thunderbolt treatment' (full post)

Google forcing Docs users to transition to Drive with no opt-out

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Google Docs' days are numbered. Google has pitched Google Drive as a replacement to Google Docs since its release in April. What I, along with many users, didn't realize is that Google will be killing off Docs and transitioning all users to Drive. Drive is currently still opt-in, but it looks like soon users will be opted-in automatically as their Docs account is upgraded to a Drive account.

 

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In fact, Google has started to warn users of just this fact. It seems as though this transition is coming sooner rather than later, and Google's transition documentation supports that saying that "we expect to finish the transition from the Google Documents List to Google Drive by late summer (2012)."

 

This transition will occur in three phases. Currently, users are in phase one, or the "opt-in phase." From there, users will be allowed to opt-out for a little while longer if they would like more time to transition. Once users are moved onto phase three, everyone will have a Google Drive and Google Docs will no longer exist.

 

This isn't exactly a bad thing. Drive is a good replacement and has the same capabilities as Docs and even comes with more storage. Unlike the controversial Gmail upgrade, one could argue that Drive is the next logical step for the Docs app to make.

Continue reading 'Google forcing Docs users to transition to Drive with no opt-out' (full post)

Sony tablets to all receive Android 4.0 ICS updates by the end of the month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: May 21, 2012 10:13 am

Sony have revealed some great information for Sony tablet owners, that all Sony-branded tablets in all regions will receive over-the-air updates to Android 4.0 by the end of May.

 

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Sony had previously announced the coming updates for their tablets, but only their latest models, and now this news have confirmed it. Sony's Tablet S has received Android 4.0 ICS, but only in the US. Europe, Japan and everywhere else has been on Android 3.2.1. The ICS update for the Tablet S brings panoramic camera mode, an updated gallery viewer with SD card access, and browser enhancements.

 

Tablet S and Tablet P will receive the update on May 24.

Microsoft launches So.cl, a new social networking site

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: May 21, 2012 9:11 am

In the midst of Facebook's IPO, Microsoft have launched their social networking site, So.cl. So.cl isn't competition for Facebook, as it's designed to give students the ability to network with peers to share information.

 

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A Microsoft rep has said to CNET:

 

FUSE Labs' So.cl project is now accepting all users interested in joining the site. So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people.

 

Describing the app itself, Microsoft have said:

 

So.cl (pronounced 'social') combines search and social networking for the purpose of learning and is the latest experiment from FUSE Labs.

Continue reading 'Microsoft launches So.cl, a new social networking site' (full post)

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