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HTC says it will release a smartwatch by the end of 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 9:21 pm

During a recent interview with Bloomberg, HTC's chairwoman, Cher Wang, said that the company is working on a smartwatch to bring to market in 2014, and that work on the device has been slowed from issues with its battery as well as display problems. She did go on to say that HTC will launch a smartwatch by the holiday season if everything works out from here.

 

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"Many years ago we started looking at smart watches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems," said Wang. She went on to echo HTC CEO in saying that the device needed to fill a specific need to be welcomed into day to day life, otherwise it would be yet another novelty gimmick. I think that HTC is doing this the right way and that taking the development process slowly will allow for a better end product and not just something that does the same stuff our smartphones and Bluetooth headsets already do.

Facebook hears pleas of father seeking Look Back of deceased son

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 9:16 pm

Shortly after receiving an emotional plea from a father whose son died at 21 years old due to natural causes, Facebook will provide a 62-second Look Back of the son's account. After sending numerous letters that didn't garner a response, John Berlin posted a heartfelt, emotional plea on YouTube, which quickly went viral.

 

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Following the death of a Facebook member, when verified, the account is removed so friends and family no longer have access. However, Berlin doesn't want access to his son's account, and just wants to be able to view the Look Back and see the pictures generated in the brief collage.

 

The Look Back feature was rolled out for Facebook's recent 10-year anniversary, and has proven popular among avid Facebook users.

TRENDnet unveils new HomePlug AV2 Powerline Adapters

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Networking | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 7:33 pm

Today, TRENDnet announced the launch of its latest Ethernet over powerline adapter series, the HomePlug AV2. The new Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter kit features two TPL-480E adapters capable of 500Mbp/s transfers and are said to offer double the real-world performance over the company's first generation powerline 500 adapters.

 

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The HomePlug AV2 line is ready to go out of the box and features pre-encryption for enhanced data security. Each model features a a high-performance Gigabit Ethernet port, and a power saver mode that reduces electrical consumption by up to 80-percent when not in use. Each module featured a three-year limited warranty and can be found at major electronic retailers both online and in-store.

Knowledge of Target point-of-sale breach raises alarm bells

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 7:25 pm

U.S. retailer Target is still working its way through a massive security breach that impacted more than 70 million in-store customers, a major issue that was first reported late last year. Additional details made available indicate a serious security overhaul will need to take place within Target, and other major retailers should closely follow suit.

 

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Although it appears sophisticated malware targeted point-of-sale (POS) machines in Target stores, it appears some blame is being thrown towards a heating, ventilation and refrigeration third-party contractor. Cyber criminals behind the Target breach may have used the HVAC contractor's stolen account information to gain access, which led to easier access to Target's internal network.

 

The HVAC company, rumored to be Fazio Mechanical Services from Pennsylvania, confirmed it was recently visited by Secret Service investigators looking into the Target breach.

 

Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan recently appeared before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, apologizing for the retailer's massive data breach.

Steve Wozniak says Apple needs to build an Android smartphone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 6:14 pm

Should Apple make an Android-powered smartphone? Steve Wozniak seems to think so. In a recent interview with WIRED, Wozniak said that he feels that Apple would do well competing in the Android market space. He said, "There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market, We could compete very well... People don't really choose their smartphones based on features," added Wosniak. "I think Apple is superior at being able to say no."

 

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"People like the precious looks of styling and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time," Wazniak said. "The great products really come from secret development," he said. "You put small teams of great people on them and they aren't bothered by other people commenting on what they're doing while they're doing it. A whole new category of products doesn't happen very often. It might happen once a decade. Sometimes you have to wait for one of those to come about."

 

I have to agree with this statement, as the numbers do not lie. Apple has a cult following for its iPhone, and even people who do not like the current versions continue to buy the device because they feel that they have to if they wish to stay relevant in their social circles. If Apple were to release an iPhoneDroid, iAndroid or any device running Android, people would buy it with out question, not because of Android, but because of Apple's false sense of high-quality, and the idea that just because its Apple-made, it is a superior device.

Continue reading 'Steve Wozniak says Apple needs to build an Android smartphone' (full post)

Sony sells off PC unit, TV business, and will lay off 5,000 employees

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 6:05 pm

In addition to selling off its VAIO PC business unit, Sony also plans to spin off its TV lineup as 5,000 employees will be given walking papers by 2015, according to recent reports.

 

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As part of its latest restructuring plan, Sony announced it will cut 5,000 global jobs by March 2015 - and hopes to cut almost $1 billion per year in fixed costs. Sony also plans to spin off its TV division into an independent company within the next five months.

 

Japanese electronics manufacturers have struggled to compete against rising global competition, especially from Korean and Chinese rivals. Japan Industrial Partners will secure the Sony PC division, ensuring it won't head to Lenovo, the Chinese PC manufacturer that is No. 1 in global sales.

Newegg copies Amazon, offers up premium membership for $50

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 5:45 pm

Popular tech e-tailer Newegg has launched its Premier Membership, a $50 yearly charge for customers looking for additional perks. Items that have a "P" badge are eligible for Premier Membership perks. A 30-day trial is available for free.

 

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Members receive free shipping for products in less than three days, special notices for upcoming sales, members-only shopping area, lowered cost for two-day and next-day shipping, free returns, and Premier Member-only customer service.

 

"We developed Newegg Premier because we aspire to become the most loved and trusted marketplace on the web," Newegg said in a blog post. "We want to provide our loyal customers with speedy deliveries and exceptional customer service. We also want to attract new customers that may not know about us."

 

Newegg remains one of the most popular tech-centric e-tailers, though trying to compete directly with Amazon has been difficult. However, most e-tailers that try to follow in Amazon's footsteps will most likely fall flat, as Prime includes many of the same perks as Premier, along with access to a wider product catalog, music, TV episodes, and movies.

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor details outed in new report

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 4:57 pm

World of Warcraft still holds the title of most popular MMORPG despite the game itself being a decade old, and today fans are getting a glimpse of what the next expansion will bring. Titled Warlords of Draenor, the fourth expansion takes WoW to the next level with upgrades in graphics in the form of much more detail being added to the character models as well as the actual game world.

 

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Unfortunately, Blizzard has decided to keep the same game engine it has been using for years, and while the improvements will make the game look much better, its graphics will still lag behind current gaming standards by a few years. In the image below, you can see some of the new facial expressions and overall added detail to the Orc model for Warlords of Draenor.

 

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As far as things go on the actual game-play side, this new expansion will be returning to WoW's roots and diving heavily into dungeon content to allow players to easily level up, and gearing up for those long raid sessions you have scheduled for Thursday night at 9pm. Additionally, a new Raid finder engine will be utilized so that raids can scale in difficulty based on the raids group size. Furthermore, a new Mythic level difficulty will be added which raids can participate in if they have 20 members.

Mobile threats affected 11.6M devices in 2013, Alcatel-Lucent says

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 4:40 pm

Cyber criminals accelerated their focus on attacking mobile devices in 2013, with more than 11.6 million devices compromised as malware becomes increasingly sophisticated.

 

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Google Android devices made up 60 percent of infected devices, with mobile malware sampling drastically increasing 20 times in 2013. Smartphone makers installing Android - and software developers - are slowly making changes to ensure they are able to offer more advanced security software alternatives.

 

"Not only is Android the largest smartphone market, unlike iPhone and BlackBerry, it allows apps to be loaded from third-party sites," said Kevin McNamee, Alcatel-Lucent Security architect, in a statement. "This provides cybercriminals with an unpoliced mechanism to distribute their malware which can easily evade detection by device-based anti-virus. Thus, in 2013 we saw an increased trend towards operators offering network based anti-virus security to subscribers as a service."

 

Mobile security solutions are evolving to meet the growing threat from cyber criminals, though the types of attacks also are evolving. Instead of relying on malware to just collect personal information and steal bank data, mobile spyware has become big-business to hijack devices and use them as part of an organized botnet.

NVIDIA's first Maxwell GPUs arrive in 28nm trim not the expected 20nm

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Feb 6, 2014 3:24 pm

We have been expecting to see NVIDIA's successor to its Kepler GPU for some time now, and this morning images were leaked on VideoCards.com that are said to be the first Maxwell architecture GPUs off the line. Although a but blurry, the GPU's are clearly visible, but something unexpected lies below the surface.

 

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The GM107-400 and GM107-300 pictured above both feature the same CUDA cores found in the GK106 chip but utilize the memory bus of the GK107 which shrinks the die by about 30-percent. This also allows the cards to consume significantly less power, so much so that the GeForce GTX 750 cards featuring the GM107-300 will not require any power connector on the board.

 

The GM107-300 is built on a 28nm process with a die size of 156mm square. It features 768 CUDA cores with a 128-bit memory bus. The GM107-400 is also built on a 28nm process and has a die size of 156mm square, but differs with 960 CUDA cores. Both chips feature a TDP of about 75 watts with the GM107-300 variant being a little cooler. The GM107-300 is slated to be featured in the GeForce GTX 750 while the GM107-400 will find its way into the Ti variant of the same card.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA's first Maxwell GPUs arrive in 28nm trim not the expected 20nm' (full post)

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