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Google and Kia partnership will bring Google Maps and Places to new cars this year

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 6:28 pm

Kia, the Korean car manufacturer is said to teaming up with Google to offer its Google Maps and Places on the companies UVO eServices in car electronics system.

 

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The new setup will debut in the 2013 Sorento CUV model, which will be arriving in late Q1 of this year. The updated UVO system will allow users to sync up directions and locations from their smart phones, PCs, or the web.

 

The car will also be able to find you interesting things to visit using Google Places. Existing music management, hands free features, and improved voice recognition will also be taking stage in the improved UVO system.

Apple reportedly pulling chip manufacturing from Samsung

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 5:31 pm

Apple is said to be cutting ties with Samsung and shifting the manufacturing of its mobile processors to another chip manufacture. This is no doubt the result of the seemingly never ending patent war between the two companies.

 

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Apple has selected global chip manufacturer TSMC, and is said to take 12 to 18 months for the transition to fully complete. The partnership will begin with the current-generation A6X chips as soon as the first quarter of 2013.

 

This equates to a reported loss of $13 billion in revenue for Samsung. Samsung fans need not to fear though, industry analyst have stated that the breakup will have minimal effect on Samsung.

GameStick brings a new Android game console to your TV, fits inside its own controller

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 4:40 pm

PlayJam, a company known for its Smart TV roots, will be competing with the OUYA for Android-based gaming console supremacy this spring. The company is building the "GameStick", a TV based system that is no larger than a normal flash drive.

 

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The finished version will even be capable of stowing itself inside its wireless gamepad. It will run Jellybean and dual-core Amlogic processor that while not as powerful as the Tegra 3 in the OUYA, should also not be as expensive.

 

PlayJam is still looking to raise $100,000 to push the GameStick through the last phase of development and is hoping to begin shipping the device in April of this year.

Avis buys Zipcar for $500 million

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 3:21 pm

Avis has tossed its hat into the $400 million US car sharing market by purchasing Zipcar for about $500 million. Zipcar has a reported 760,000 members in 20 major US cities.

 

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The acquisition comes at a 45% premium over Zipcar's closing price on Dec 31 2012 with the transaction set to complete in the spring of 2013. Zipcar was formed in January, 2000 as a way to bring the popular European concept of car sharing to the US

 

"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO in a press release.

Apple to sell E-books in Japan

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 2:39 pm

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Apple is planing on launching fully fledged iBookstores in Japan this year. It is unclear where the store will be open for business.

 

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Japan has been slow to embrace E-books, but with companies like Amazon, Google and Sony retailing the format, Apple had no choice but to follow suit. Apple has reportedly signed agreements with Japanese publishers Shogakukan, Kodansha and Kadokawa.

 

Manga has been dominating the Japanese E-book market lately, but Apple is banking on the arrival of western book publishers to fuel its fire and help turn its newest venture into something profitable.

Continue reading 'Apple to sell E-books in Japan' (full post)

New Google Asia servers expected to bring 30% speed boost when they go live later this year

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:28 am

Google is getting closer to turning on its newest servers in Taiwan and Singapore later this year. The company is said to be expecting a 30% performance increase across its full ranges of services when the new servers go live.

 

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The new Singapore data center, started in late 2011 is set to go live in the coming months. Google also broke ground on a Taiwan facility this past April.

 

India is set to be one of the key beneficiaries of the new data centers. "These data centers will be crucial to the Indian market due to its proximity," Lalitesh Katragadda, country head, India Products at Google, said in an interview.

Samsung will showcase its Smart TV Evolution Kit at CES 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:00 am

Samsung has been teasing us with its Smart TV Evolution kit for a while now and it finally set to be unveiled at the 2013 CES next week.

 

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The hardware kit will plug into the back of compatible Samsung Smart TVs and will effectively turn your 2012 model into something closely resembling a 2013 model.

 

The Evolution it will upgrade the TV by adding a new CPU, more memory and even GPU upgrades. Personally I have been waiting for something like this for years. To me it only makes sense that we can upgrade our existing TV the same way we can upgrade our PCs.

Intel Web TV project reportedly held up in content negotiations

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 8:52 am

Intel's big plan to create a Web TV service and set-top box has hit a major bump in the road as it negotiates with media companies for content licenses.

 

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We were hoping for a debut at CES next week but an Intel spokesperson has said that there will be no announcements or product demonstrations at the electronics show this year.

 

Intel is betting big on this project. Forbes has reported that the company's budget for the project is "significantly larger"� than Apple or Google's own set-top box efforts.

Tobii Rex lets you control any Windows 8 PC with eye-tracking tech

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 7:00 am

Tobii, the company behind the eye-tracking Gaze Technology has just announced an eye tracking kit that you can use on any existing Windows 8 PC.

 

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Called the Tobii Rex, the stick like device mounts under your screen and connects to your PC via a USB port. The company says that you will use it along side existing peripherals like your mouse and keyboard. The Rex is designed to augment your input devices rather than replace them.

 

Most of us will not have the pleasure of using a Tobii Rex anytime soon though. The company is only producing a mere 5,000 of the eye tracking devices which will sell for a whopping $995 each.

RumorTT: Sony to announce PlayStation 4 in February at Destination PlayStation

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 2, 2013 6:01 am

Sony has sent out an invite to members of the press for an event in February. Destination PlayStation will be held February 25-28 in Scottsdale, Arizona and will show off games, with attendees being "treated to food, drink, play, and a first look at all the amazing new releases coming from Sony Computer Entertainment America Entertainment in 2013."

 

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SlashGear suspects that the PlayStation 4 will be announced here and released in 2014, if it follows past release trends from Sony. Couple this with the rumor that Sony has ended production of the PS2 to focus on the next-gen console, and it's starting to look really good for console gamers.

 

The PlayStation 4 will be competing against Microsoft's next-gen console, rumored to be called the Xbox 720, whenever it does eventually decide to launch. Some rumors have placed the announcements as E3 this year, but others say that it won't be until 2014. One thing is certain, they can't be too far in the future.

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