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Nintendo 3DS gets cracked, homebrew code should be able to be ran in the future, pirated games as well

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:28 am

The Nintendo 3DS has proved a tough nut to crack, but hackers have finally managed to get the system to run homebrew code. Back on December 16, hacker Yellows8 posted images of the 3DS with the screen displaying the text "We hacked it!" At the time, the 3DS was only capable of displaying text, but that has changed.

 

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In the few weeks between initially cracking the device and today, hackers have successfully managed to produce images on both of the screens using homebrew code. While we're still a ways from running full homebrew games and pirated games, progress seems to be progressing quickly.

 

The original DS suffered from rampant piracy in the form of the R4 card. The piracy was so bad it led to many developers abandoning the platform completely. Fears from several developers regarding this on the 3DS have already been voiced, and many more are likely to join them.

 

The hackers have said they believe Nintendo could easily patch this exploit with a firmware update.

Connecticut town collecting and destroying violent video games, handing out $25 gift certificate in exchange

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:02 am

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, one small town in Connecticut is holding a drive to collect and destroy violent video games. The voluntary drive hopes people in the community will at least talk with their kids and better understand the games that they are playing. If parents would like, they can bring in a violent video game and exchange it for a $25 gift certificate at their local drive-in movies.

 

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The town of Southington will collect, destroy, and later incinerate the disks of violent movies, games, and music. The drive, which takes place on January 12, is organized by SouthingtonSOS, a group that formed after Katrina to quickly organize the community after a national or local tragedy.

 

"There are youngsters who appear to be consumed with violent video games," Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi said. "I'm not certain if that's a good thing. If this encourages one courageous conversation with a parent and their child, then it's a success.

 

"We're suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games. We're asking parents to better understand what their child is doing. Have a conversation about next steps. If parents are comfortable (with their child's gaming habits), we're comfortable."

 

The $25 gift certificate is being donated by the Chamber of Commerce and is intended to be used on an alternative form of entertainment, such as a local movie or waterpark.

Continue reading 'Connecticut town collecting and destroying violent video games, handing out $25 gift certificate in exchange' (full post)

Apple losing the battle for its claim to "App Store," part of case against Amazon dismissed

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:29 pm

Apple sued Amazon over its use of the term "app store" to describe its online marketplace for Android apps. In a ruling today, a judge has dismissed part of the case, the part alleging that Amazon committed false advertising by using the term.

 

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Judge Phyllis Hamilton said there was "no support for the proposition that Amazon has expressly or impliedly communicated that its Appstore for Android possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple App Store and/or Apple products."

 

Apple has also sued for trademark infringement, though Apple does not yet own the trademark to "App Store." It has applied for the trademark, though several companies have moved to block the trademark. Microsoft has said in a motion for summary judgement that "Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in 'App Store' is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term 'app store' into a protectable trademark."

 

Apple argues that "The vastly predominant usage of the expression 'app store' in trade press is as a reference to Apple's extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder."

 

Should Apple be able to own the trademark on "App Store"? A court will have to decide that at a later date. As it stands, it appears that Amazon will be allowed to continue using the term app store to describe its online marketplace for Android apps.

Samsung to update firmware on Galaxy S III, said to fix random bricking bug

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:52 pm

The Samsung Galaxy S III hasn't suffered any major issues, such as Antennagate (iPhone 4), though some current users are experiencing devices that randomly brick. Some users reportedly left their devices charging overnight, while others simply turned off the screen. In both cases, the device was later found to be bricked.

 

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Samsung has been quietly fixing or replacing devices that were affected, though they are now reportedly working on a firmware fix to fix the problem. The bug appears to be only on Galaxy S III devices with 16GB of internal storage, though it seems to apply to a wide range of Android versions, making some speculate that it is a hardware issue.

 

We will, of course, alert users when a fix is released for the device, whether it be a software or hardware fix.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC details leak in the form of a poster

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:16 pm

A picture of a GameStop Black Ops 2 DLC poster has leaked to the internet and provided precious details about the upcoming DLC. In the picture, you can see that there will be four new multiplayer maps, a new zombies map, and a new SMG. As far as the details go, we really only have names, so it's time to let your imagination go wild as to what the maps will look like.

 

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"Hydro", "Grind", "Downhill", and "Mirage" are the new multiplayer maps, with "Die Rise" being the new Zombies map. Downhill appears to be a ski resort, which would make sense, while Mirage appears to be in the desert. The other two pictures aren't as clear and the names could align the maps in many different settings.

 

The SMG is named the Peacekeeper and there are no details as to which game modes it will be available in. The DLC is set to come to the Xbox 360 on January 29 and will likely cost $15, if it stays in line with the pricing of Black Ops DLC. If you have the Season Pass, you'll get the DLC for free when it releases.

Ubuntu entering mobile OS battle

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 9:29 pm

Canonical, the creators and maintainers of Ubuntu, a Linux operating system, has released details about their new phone operating system Ubuntu. Wait, what? That's right, Ubuntu will soon be coming to phone near you. The Android-based operating system is billed by Canonical as "more immersive [and] less cluttered."

 

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They are also saying that it will be powerful enough to be used as a desktop system, though that sort of phone-as-a-PC thing didn't work out too well for Motorola. The mobile OS space is fairly crowded, with iOS and Android dominating and Microsoft trying to make Windows Phone viable, so it will be a tough battle for the fledgling operating system.

 

Mozilla is also working on bringing out a mobile operating system and Samsung, Intel, and others are working on the Linux-based Tizen. Smartphones using the operating system aren't expected to ship until 2014, so it will likely be even more difficult for the OS to gain traction. With that said, you miss every shot you don't take.

Polaroid to open 'Fotobars' that will let you print Instagram pics on different materials

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 8:57 pm

Polaroid will be opening up 10 retails stores in 2013 that will be called FotoBars. These locations will allow you to edit and print pictures, applying filters if your picture isn't from Instagram. The pictures can then be printed on a variety of materials, framed if you want, and be shipped to you within a couple of days.

 

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From the image, it looks like editing will be done on Apple computers, which are probably used to make the whole experience "hip." Material options will include wood, bamboo, metal, acrylic, and canvas. Users will also have the option to print out a normal photo. According to Polaroid, a "critical aspect of the customer experience" is the ability to see and feel examples of the materials, which sounds very Appleish.

 

The first location will be Delray Beach in Florida, which opens in February. Further locations will open throughout the year, including New York and Las Vegas.

 

Chief executive Scott W. Hardy:

 

Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.

Microsoft posts countdown to E3, rumor starts that next-gen Xbox will be announced

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 8:32 pm

Rumors have a way of starting using data that could mean next to nothing. For instance, a rumor is now saying that the countdown to E3 posted by Microsoft today is proof positive that they will be announcing the next Xbox at E3 in June. While there have been rumors saying this is the case, this timer does not have any shred of definite proof.

 

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While it is pretty likely that the next Xbox will make its first appearance at E3 this year in June, a simple timer does not give any hard evidence. The text "And it's on..." only adds fuel to the fire, but still does not prove that this is Microsoft's plan. While it certainly is time for Microsoft to update the Xbox 360, they will likely try to milk it for every dollar its worth.

 

It's also important to consider that Microsoft still has some major Xbox 360 game releases to get through, including Gears of War Judgement in March. Would Microsoft really release the next-gen console so quickly after a major game release? It's hard to say. If the console includes backwards compatibility, then it is possible.

 

With that said, it's completely possible that the Xbox successor will launch at E3 this year, however, it's completely possible that it won't.

75% of the worlds leaders use Twitter

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 7:47 pm

We live in a world of instant information, of constant connectivity, and one where we share almost every moment of our lives on social networks. A recent study reveled that you are able to follow 75% of the worlds leaders on Twitter.

 

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South African President Jacob Zuma (@SAPresident), UK Prime Minister Savid Cameron (@Number10gov), and even Russia's president Vladimir Putin (@KremlinRussa_E) have all taken to Twitter to be able to address the masses instantly.

 

"A total of 123 world leaders out of 164 countries have accounts on Twitter set up in their personal name or through an official government office," wrote Digital Daya in a recently released report. "In our last report in August of 2011 only 69 out of 164 countries were using Twitter."

Zynga and EA set to kill popular Facebook games

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 7:19 pm

Both Zynga and EA are in the midst of cost cutting efforts and Facebook games are the first to take the hit. Zynga has either marked or already shut down 24 games with more cuts coming.

 

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EA has reportedly marked several of its popular app style games for end of life as well. The hard truth is that people are just not playing them anymore. Everyone is gaming on their mobile devices and not using facebook as their gaming console anymore.

 

Zynga is even planning on shutting down its most popular game, PetVille, which still attracts over a million users each month. That is about 60,000 users daily. This leaves us wondering where the next big gaming boom will take place.

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