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Microsoft sends out invites for Xbox E3 event, scheduled for June 10

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 1, 2013 11:03 pm

Microsoft will hopefully reveal all about the Xbox at their E3 meeting. The Windows maker has officially sent out invites for their Xbox E3 2013 media briefing that will occur on June 10. For those who don't know, E3 2013 runs from June 11 to June 13, so this meeting will take place the day before the show opens.

 

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Due to this invite being sent out, we're not sure just how much Microsoft will unveil at the May 21 event. It's possible that this June 10 meida briefing will be used to get the console into the hands of members of the media, or it could be a time when more details regarding the Xbox are unveiled.

 

We'll be sure to report on all of the news from the event. Stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest Xbox news.

The Pirate Bay acquires Caribbean domain name thepiratebay.sx

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: May 1, 2013 10:31 pm

For the past couple of years, The Pirate Bay has been on the move. We've reported on the ship's sailings around the world, including exotic ports of call in North Korea, Iceland, and now the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The move comes as Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad attempts the seizure of thepiratebay.se, piratebay.se, and now thepiratebay.is.

 

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Iceland's domain registar, ISNIC, has previously stated that they would not take down thepiratebay.is unless ordered to by a court. "Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant's usage of their domains."

 

ISNIC will legally fight attempts to use the domain name registry system to police/censor the net. We believe that to be ineffective, wrong and dangerous to the stability of the DNS as a whole.

 

This means The Pirate Bay is now accessible through the TLD thepiratebay.sx. We do enjoy the irony that The Pirate Bay has now moved into the Caribbean. However, we don't expect Disney to make a movie about these pirates.

Nintendo responds to claims that Wii U has been hacked

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 1, 2013 10:04 pm

Nintendo has issued a statement regarding the story we ran yesterday about the Wii U being hacked so possibly pirated games could be played. According to Nintendo, they haven't seen any unauthorized applications running on a Wii U while in Wii U mode.

 

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Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security. However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products' security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy.

 

Not to be outdone, the makers of the Wiikey have posted a response to Nintendo's statement on their site. The response consists of four cryptic lines of what appears to be hexadecimal code:

 

57 55 50 2D 50 2D 41 52 50 50 2D 30 30 2D 31 30

31 45 55 52 2D 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

 

It's likely that Nintendo will be able to block the Wii U hack through a software update, though it's possible that they won't be able to. If they do, it's always possible the hackers could reverse-engineer the the firmware again and re-enable the hack.

Apple increases iOS 7 team to meet deadline, pulling engineers from OS X 10.9 team

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: May 1, 2013 9:33 pm

It looks as though the iOS 7 team is in crunch time as WWDC approaches. According to an AllThingsD source, Apple is "borrowing" engineers from the OS X 10.9 team to work on iOS 7. If the rumors we've been hearing about iOS 7 come to fruition, it's not completely surprising they're in need of a few extra engineers.

 

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iOS 7 is reportedly undergoing some massive UI tweaks and changes. Gone are the days of skeuomorphic design cues. Instead, we should be facing a flatter, more Jony Ive-style interface. According to one source, "Put it this way. You know Game Center's green felt craps table? Well, goodbye, Circus Circus."

 

We'll be reporting on all the changes in iOS 7 when it eventually makes its debut. Until then, what would you like to see in the new iOS 7?

Facebook reports average earnings, hits and misses some Wall Street expectations for Q1

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 1, 2013 8:49 pm

Facebook has reported its first-quarter earnings today, with mixed results. In some regards, Facebook has done well; in others, Facebook didn't quite make the mark. For instance, Facebook pulled in a total of $1.46 billion in revenue, up 38 percent year-over-year. This beat analyst expectations of $1.44 billion.

 

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On the other hand, Facebook reported earnings per share of 12 cents, which was below the analyst expectations of 13 cents per share. Mobile advertising accounted for 30 percent of Facebook's advertising revenue that totaled $1.25 billion.

 

Facebook is touting 1.11 billion active monthly users as of March 31, with 665 million being daily users. Mobile monthly active users came in at 751 million, a 54 percent growth year-over-year. Facebook still has some issues to work out, but at least it didn't completely miss the mark. Shares closed at $27.43, but are up slighting in after-hours trading.

Curiosity back in contact with NASA handlers, NASA discuss what the next steps are

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 1, 2013 8:34 pm

Everybody's favorite little rover, Curiosity, is back in contact with its handlers on Earth, now that Mars and Earth are in an alignment where communication is possible. Curiosity had previously been sitting mostly idle for the last four weeks while the sun blocked communications between Earth and Mars.

 

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The first step NASA has to complete is to update Curiosity's software. After Curiosity is brought up to speed, its handlers will instruct the rover to continue analysis on Yellowknife Bay. Yellowknife Bay is the location that Curiosity has already found the basic building blocks of life.

 

We just didn't stumble into this area. This was something that took a lot of planning. In case something happened with the rover we needed to make sure we had science to do in that landing ellipse. What was serendipitous was landing in a past aqueous environment and finding sulfates and clays...The hope is we find some other examples of habitable environments. There are a bunch of different geological reasons why there could be more of less carbon in one place.

 

Eventually, scientists want Curiosity to climb up Mount Sharp.

 

Say we find something that looks like another attractive ancient potentially habitable environment and it's 200 meters above the base of Mount Sharp. We can go up there and then from there we can go not just upward but also downward again. So if you're looking for something, you can explore in both directions of time's arrow.

Siri creator claims study that showed voice texting as bad as normal texting while driving was flawed

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 1, 2013 8:10 pm

We recently reported a study which showed that using voice commands to text, such as Siri, was as bad for safety as texting manually. However, Siri's co-inventor, Adam Cheyer, claims that the study's findings is invalid. He argues that the study "seems to have misunderstood how Siri was designed to be used."

 

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According to Cheyer, they purposely designed a car mode for Siri. When in car mode, Siri is prevented from running commands that would require looking at the screen or pushing buttons. "Of course your driving performance is going to be degraded if you're reading screens and pushing buttons."

 

Siri will automatically read back dictated text when connected to a wired or Bluetooth headset. Texas Transportation Institute, when asked about this, confirmed that the study did not make use of Siri's car mode, which does validate the claim of Cheyer that the study's findings may not be completely applicable to iPhones.

Call of Duty: Ghosts coming in November as Activision maintains its yearly release cycle

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 1, 2013 7:33 pm

The creators of the popular first-person shooter known as Call of Duty have released a new trailer for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts, the name of which was leaked last week. The new trailer is embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Note, it's a live-action trailer likely because they aren't ready to release what the graphics will look like.

 

 

Activision confirmed that the new Call of Duty game would eventually make its way to the next-generation platforms, as well as the current crop of consoles. We'll get our first look at the game during Microsoft's Xbox event on May 21. We still don't know quite what to expect from Microsoft, though we expect the Xbox 720 to be detailed.

 

Mark Rubin, executive producer of developer Infinity Ward:

Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we're not resting on our laurels. We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we're building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can't wait to share them with our community.

Continue reading 'Call of Duty: Ghosts coming in November as Activision maintains its yearly release cycle' (full post)

Shadow Defender to offer proactive system protection against future malware

By: Tasos Laurentiadis | More News: Software | Posted: May 1, 2013 6:49 pm

We have recently reviewed Shadow Defender, a light-virtualization program with a difference. SD (as it is known among fans) sandboxes whole disks/partitions and protects them against unwanted changes. All changes (including most malware infections and their effects) actually happen within the SD buffer, a virtual environment which resides in an area isolated from the real system. Upon reboot, the virtualization buffer is emptied by default and all volume changes are immediately discarded. The real volume remains untouched and Windows boots back to its normal clean state.

 

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SD is essentially a final safety net for Windows systems. It also features a handy RAM cache, which means that you can now have a superfast virtual Windows environment running directly from RAM. When using such a RAM cache setup, your disks take no write hits, something that is very beneficial for devices like SSDs and flash sticks.

 

SD is a great piece of code, but threats keep evolving constantly. It is essential for SD to also keep evolving in order for it to continue to be relevant. Since October last year, I had the pleasure of exchanging ideas with Tony, the Shadow Defender developer.

Continue reading 'Shadow Defender to offer proactive system protection against future malware' (full post)

Amazon updates Kindle app for iOS with new accessibility features

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: May 1, 2013 6:30 pm

Today Amazon announced that it had updated its Kindle for iOS app to incorporate more accessibility features for users who are visually impaired.

 

amazon_updates_kindle_app_for_ios_with_new_accessibility_features_1

 

The biggest of the updates is the integration with Apple's VoiceOver technology, which is now capable of reading aloud more than 1.8 million Kindle Store offerings.

 

Also included in the update are improvements to UI navigation, Search Tools, and other features like X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking. Amazon said, "Accessibility features make it easier for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read & interact with books, and more. Enable VoiceOver in your device settings to begin."

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