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Flooding once again threatens Thai industrial park

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 8:33 pm

Some of you may remember the flooding in Thailand back in 2011 that caused the prices of hard drives to skyrocket. A similar situation could arise again, if rainfall continues. A recent report says that flooding is already "encircling" the Thai industrial park, but the Government promises a repeat of 2011 will not happen.

 

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During the flooding in 2011, more than 800 people lost their lives across Thailand, and enough damage was done to the tech industry to cause hard drive prices to skyrocket to levels not seen in years. It took more than a year for tech prices to level off, but more importantly, Thailand has yet to recover fully from the damage. We will be keeping a close eye on flooding reports and our storage gurus Paul Alcorn and Chris Ramseyer will alert us of any breaking news.

Beats buys back final half of HTC partnership, cost $265 million

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 8:02 pm

The partnership between headphone manufacturer Beats and handset giant HTC has finally came to an end. This morning, Beats announced that it has bought back the remaining stake held by HTC for $265 million. The two companies partnered up back in 2011, when HTC picked up a 50.1 percent controlling interest for $300 million.

 

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Just a year later, Beats bought back half of that stake for $150 million. With today's buyback, HTC has profited over $115 million from the deal, not including any royalties and unseen payments that have taken place. No reason was given for the split, but with HTC in financial trouble, we are sure that the sudden influx of cash is a welcomed one.

LeakedTT: Images of a gold iPad mini with fingerprint scanner surface

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 7:04 pm

New images have surfaced of what appears to be a new Apple iPad Mini that features the new anodized color that has is featured on the iPhone 5S. The new iPad mini also features the same Touch ID fingerprint scanner we saw on the recently released iPhone 5S.

 

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Other than the color change and new fingerprint scanner, the pictured iPad Mini appears to be of the same form-factor and trim of its predecessor. With Apple's recent trend of rehashing existing products with minimal changes, this is no surprise. Apple will be hosting an event on October 15 during which it is expected to launch a new iPad and iPad mini, so all will be revealed then!.

Half-Life 3 not announced, Valve introduces Steam Controller instead

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 5:52 pm

Well it has happened folks, Valve has made its third and final announcements of the week and unfortunately no mention of Half-Life 3 was made. We did, however, get a thorough rundown of the final piece of the puzzle to a unified Steam gaming experience for the living room.

 

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The final announcement was centered around the all new Steam Controller, a very funky looking peripheral that features not one but two touch sensitive trackpads, an LCD-based touchscreen that doubles as a button, and multiple triggers / buttons. The new Steam Controller is said to work with every game in the Steam library, even the ones that were never designed to support a game pad. Valve says that they achieved this by tricking the game into thinking the controller is actually a mouse and keyboard.

 

We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input - our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology - one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we've arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.

Continue reading 'Half-Life 3 not announced, Valve introduces Steam Controller instead' (full post)

Micro-transactions confirmed by Rockstar for GTA Online

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Rockstar Games has announced that those who wish to fast track their progress in GTA Online will have the option to purchase GTA$ via the in-game store. Rockstar says that the game and its economy were designed and balanced for those who will never buy extra GTA$.

 

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Rockstar says that online players will earn in-game money much faster than in GTA V and that there will not be a shortage of cash to go around. The developer also warned of growing pains when the game launches. There may be bugs, performance decreases, and other issues as the servers are stress tested for the first time. Rockstar says that they will address these issues as they arise.

Star Citizen's $22 million goal: adding in facial capture system

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 10:31 am

The last time I remember this technology being talked about was all the way back in the 90s with Quake III, but now we're here again thanks to Robert Space Industries' Star Citizen.

 

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The game has passed $20 million in total crowdfunding, with the developer asking what the next stretch goal would be when it reaches $21 million. 87% of the voters asked for the counter to keep going, so RSI has been forced to add more stretch goals for its early backers, to enhance the game "in ways we had not originally deemed possible."

 

The new stretch goal is for $22 million, which would add a Facial Capture System, which RSI explains as "We've researched a technology that uses a series of cameras to capture real heads and import them into the game. This will let the team more easily create a variety of realistic characters. In addition, the technology is mobile enough to allow us to take it on the road and capture select fans during special events! You can learn more about this technology at Infinite-Realities."

Evernote and 3M are pushing note-taking to a new level

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 9:31 am

It looks like 3M, the company behind the Post-It note (you know, the one from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion) has been working with Evernote, the note-taking provider, to make sure that sticky notes continue to be used in this digital age we live in.

 

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As of today, any photo taken with the new Post-it Note camera feature in Evernote for iOS 7 will digitize any Post-It Note in real life, and create a file that can be shared with anyone, anywhere. Captured Post-Its can also be categorized by color. So, for example, a green Post-It Note could be used as a homework reminder, while a yellow note could be a shopping list.

 

Captured notes are searched through the cloud-based platform, making it easier to keep track of your various notes.

Microsoft working on a single app store for its platforms

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 8:30 am

One thing that could make Microsoft's life much easier would be to have one, single apps tore. Well, according to unnamed sources of The Verge, the Redmond-based giant has been working on a single app store for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps.

 

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This new app store would create a common platform for developers to sell their software. The company is hoping to launch the store with the release of Windows 8.1 on October 22 next month, and would have a special update to Windows 8.1 in the first half of next year. The Verge has said that "it's possible that Microsoft may take an approach that's similar to Apple's App Store, where tablet specific apps don't run on the phone, but phone apps scale to run on a tablet."

iOS 7 adoption rate continues to impress, passes 60% since launch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 7:35 am

It looks like lots of people are updating to Apple's iOS 7 platform, hopefully they don't think by updating their iPhones that they will become waterproof, but that's another story.

 

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Mixpanel has been tracking the iOS 7 adoption rate since the mobile OS went live last week, where it has reported that it quickly saw itself being installed onto 29% of iPhones out there. Over the weekend, iOS 7 had been downloaded to more than 50% of iPhone owners, but yesterday, that number passed 60%.

Speedtest.net app updated, radically revamped UI included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Sep 27, 2013 6:33 am

One of my most used apps would have to be Ookla's Speedtest.net application, which has finally been updated and includes a radically refreshed, modern user interface.

 

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The new interface is nothing new to iOS users, but those of us on Android have been waiting for what feels like forever for the UI refresh. The updated application also performs better, with improved network accuracy and a few new features. The speed results can be more easily shared from the first page, as well as a deeper look into your results, where you can even see a point on the map where each speed test was performed.

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