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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2144

Twitter's URL shortening service went down this morning, everything is working again now

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 4:01 pm

This morning Twitter users found themselves unable to navigate to any links that were shortened by Twitter's own URL shortening service. AllThingsD reported that the company had no comment on the issue, and Twitter's status blog had no information on the outage either.




At one point in the morning, Twitter switched over to the URL shortening service, which fixed the situation temporarily. At the time of this writing, the service has been restored to Twitter's in-house URL shortener and several test confirm that everything is back to normal and working fine.


We just noticed an issue with our link to our Twitter account from TweakTown, which doesn't work with the trailing slash in the URL, whereas it did before this morning. We're not sure what happened to Twitter, but we'll report back if details come to hand.

Slingshot Guru builds "Condom Gun" as entry into Bill Gates $100k Condom Challenge

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 2:59 pm

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently offered $100,000 to anyone who could improve the condom. While many of us snickered at the idea, some people are taking the challenge very seriously, and are creating some truly innovating concepts.




Many of us are familiar with the Slingshot Channel on YouTube where Joerg Sprave builds some monster sized, rubber band powered, projectile firing weapons of mass destruction slingshots. When he heard about Bill Gate's call to action, he did the only natural thing any self-respecting slingshot maker would do, he made a condom firing slingshot.



In the video above, Joerg Sprave shows off a slingshot-esque "Condom Gun", which looks to be as painful, as you were just imagining. The device works by "cocking" a sliding condom application apparatus. The gun is then placed in position, the trigger is pulled, and the condom is applied in the blink of an eye with a loud thud.

Continue reading 'Slingshot Guru builds "Condom Gun" as entry into Bill Gates $100k Condom Challenge' (full post)

Kim Dotcom is #2 on the Top 100 influential people poll, tells the FBI to "Eat This"

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 1:59 pm

Kim Dotcom, the founder of the popular Mega file locker service, has yet another reason to taunt US authorities who wish to see him jailed. This morning the file sharing guru is amongst the most popular people in America, landing him the number two spot on's top 100 people list.




For those unfamiliar with the Top 100 list, it is a list in which you cast your vote for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world. With 108,263 votes, Dotcom is second only to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.




Dotcom has been very vocal about his appearance on the list and at one point yesterday he was sitting at the top of the chart and tweeted telling the FBI to "Eat This." I for one am personally a big fan of Dotcom for his innovation on creating Mega, a service I use on a daily basis for image backups and code storage.

Continue reading 'Kim Dotcom is #2 on the Top 100 influential people poll, tells the FBI to "Eat This"' (full post)

eBay to begin delivering targeted ads based on your personal user data, are you concerned?

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 1:20 pm

Targeted advertising is big money these days. eBay must have been feeling a little left out, as the company just announced that it will begin sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers.




This is similar to what Google, Amazon and Facebook already do, and is the reason that you get loads of ads about that new car you just looked up or the flight price you just researched. eBay says that marketers will not have full control of your data, but eBay itself will sell targeted advertisements to those companies.


In an interview, Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of digital display in North America, said:


"We're now commercializing that capability for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers. If you're an agency and it complicates your life because we've got a unique pool of data that you don't have, tough. It would be shortsighted of us to give that data away."

RumorTT: Apple working on bringing 4K displays to TVs, MacBook Pros

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 11:27 am

I'm a huge fan of high-resolution displays, and simply cannot wait for 4K to arrive just that little bit cheaper - I really want 4K 120Hz-capable displays - I'm dreaming, I know. But it looks like Apple could be pushing forward with 4K, refreshing iMacs, Cinema Displays and MacBook Pros with the high-resolution goodness.




Rumor has it Apple is moving toward 4K thanks to the new Intel Thunderbolt release, which the chipmaker showed off during a demo called "Thunderbolt Technology Update". This is basically the second-generation Thunderbolt technology, which is capable of pushing "4K video file transfer and display simultaneously". Marco Armanet, co-founder of Tumblr and founder of Instapaper, has said on his blog:


This could enable the first generation of desktop Retina displays: it wouldn't surprise me if the first standalone Retina display was a 23" panel with exactly 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), run logically as 1920 x 1080 (1080p) at 2X, and driven by upgraded Thunderbolt ports in the next generation of MacBook Pros and Mac Pros.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Apple working on bringing 4K displays to TVs, MacBook Pros' (full post)

Samsung announce Galaxy Mega smartphones, comes in 5.8- and 6.3-inch variants

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 11:14 am

Samsung are on a war path right now, announcing two new smartphones we heard rumors about last week. These new phones are what the rumored news was all about - the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3.




The two new smartphones, despite their size, won't feature the S Pen stylus. Both devices will come with the latest version of Android baked inside, which will bring all of the features Galaxy users are used to with Samsung's TouchWiz UI. This means we can expect 'S Travel' and 'Story Album' that come out of the box.


The bigger Mega, the Mega 6.3, comes with LTE capabilities and a 1.7GHz dual-core processor while its sibling comes with a 1.4GHz-clocked dual-core processor and HSPA+21. The Mega 6.3 has a higher "HD" display, which should be 1280x720, compared to the Mega 5.3's screen of 960x540 (qHD). The Mega 5.8 includes a 2600mAh battery compared to its bigger brother and its 3200mAh battery.


Both devices feature 1.5GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.

Google is feeling generous, gives away devices and gift cards in Play Store sweepstakes

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 10:31 am

Who doesn't like free stuff? I know I do, and let's face it, you do too. Google are giving away a slew of devices in their Google Play Favorite Things Sweepstakes, which is unfortunately limited to those based in the US, aged 18 or over, and on Twitter.




There are ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets and four Nexus 4 smartphones to give away on top of 100 gift cards with $10 each on them. What you'll need to do first is follow @Google Play, then choose something you like on the Play Store - this can be an app, a movie, or a magazine. The next step is to tweet a link of the item using the hashtag #favoritethings. The final step will have you complete an official entry form.


The giveaway goes until 11:59PM PT on April 24.

Google to begin shipping Google Glass Explorer edition sets in the next month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 9:27 am

If you were lucky enough to jump into the Google Glass Explorer program, you'll get your Google Glasses before Google I/O. They may have cost you $1500, but it looks like you'll have your wearable Glass product within the next month.




The news comes from TechCrunch during today's "Glass Collective" event with Google Ventures. This means we should see some quick apps thrown together in time for Google I/O, and enough time to wish that I plonked down $1500 last year, sigh.

ZTE unveils Geek, a 5-inch smartphone that features an Intel Clover Trail+ processor

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 8:20 am

ZTE have just unveiled an interestingly named smartphone, "Geek". Geek is an Android-based smartphone that runs Intel's Clover Trail+ platform. Geek is set to walk out onto the market with some impressive specs.




Geek will be a 5-inch device with a 1280x720-pixel display, Intel's Clover Trail+ SoC at 2GHz, 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 1-megapixel front-facer, and a 2300mAh battery. Intel have claimed that the CT+ processor is twice as fast as the previous solution, with three times the graphical performance, all while being better on the battery.


There's no ETA on Geek, nor is there any pricing details. We should expect this phone to be a mid-range handset, and will be pushed into emerging markets.

Chrome Beta for Android lets users go full-screen for browsing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 7:35 am

Google released Chrome Beta version 27 today, which includes a bunch of updates. The biggest feature is the ability to go into full-screen mode, which allows users to scrolls down and see the toolbar scroll up with the rest of the page so that it doesn't take up the top of the browser - this gives users more room for reading, without the toolbar getting in the way.




There's some client-side certificate support, with the tablet version of Chrome Beta for Android getting updated and now having the ability to long press on the back button to check out the tab history. There are a bunch of bug fixes in this release too. You can grab Chrome Beta for Android right here.