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Samsung Galaxy S5 could cost as much as $1000 in Europe

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 5:28 pm

Samsung's Galaxy S5 wont be available for several more weeks, but today we got a glimpse of what it could retail for. Thanks to a leak from the UK's Clove Technology, one of the EUs largest online suppliers, it appears that the Galaxy S5 will cost around $920 USD for the 16GB model, which escalates it into a pricing category higher than Apple's iPhone 5S.




A second leak from Amazon's spanish division has listed the Galaxy S5 on pre-order for $729 euros, putting it right in that $920 USD price range. The site is also listing the 32GB model for just over $1000 which prices the phones higher than ever before. Hopefully these are highly inflated prices designed to get the most out of early adopters. If not, then Samsung may have shot themselves in the foot as the Galaxy S5 is not much of a departure from the Galaxy S4. It does have new features like a fingerprint reader, better screen, and a heart rate monitor, but none of that garners a 50-percent price increase.

EU officials are meeting with Apple and others on in-app purchases

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 5:17 pm

The number of mobile gamers out there that use smartphones and tablets is booming. Many of these mobile gamers are kids that download freemium apps that are supported by in-app purchases. The problem is that many of these apps don't clearly let players know that things in the game cost real-world money.




This often leads to accidental purchases by kids and adults alike. Officials from the European Union have announced that they are meeting with Apple, Google, and others on how developers are representing in-app purchases to consumers in Europe. The officials want to set regulations that will force app developers to be more transparent.


The ultimate goal is to prevent children from making accidental purchases. The EU justice commission says that the new rules will help to make customers aware of exactly what they are buying when they make purchases in-app.

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Mobile banking on the rise among financial institutions, customers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 5:06 pm

Mobile banking users looking to access bank accounts from smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and demand intuitive banking services. Mobile banking adoption also continues to see strong growth, so banks now have the ability to embrace customers across a variety of platforms.




In Europe, customers are twice as likely to log into mobile banking apps while using a tablet over a smartphone, though financial institutions must cater to both market segments.


"Mobiles and tablets offer banks a variety of benefits but in different ways," a recent Forrester blog claims. "While widespread mobile and smartphone adoption presents banks with a large opportunity to engage consumers today, surging tablet ownership rates over the next few years will demand a robust tablet banking platform as well."


As banks and other financial institutions prepare for increased mobile use from customers, there are glaring security issues that must be properly addressed. Sophisticated malware open the door to security threats that many banks are struggling to try and keep up with, and security experts continue to call for banks to boost mobile security.

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GTA Online Business Update lands March 4 with new guns and cars

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 4:45 pm

Fans of Grand Theft Auto 5 will be glad to hear than an update for the GTA Online game will be landing next month. GTA Online is the online world where players can play all sorts of missions with other players that launched in October of 2013. The new update is called the Business Update.




The launch of the update is tipped to happen on March 4. The reason it is called the Business Update is that it has a bunch of business hairstyles, suit jackets, sunglasses and more. The update is also tipped to bring with it new currency themed tattoos.


The really important items in the update are new weapons and vehicles. The weapons are not specified, but will include heavy pistol and special carbine weapons. The new vehicles will include three sports cars and a new luxury airplane.

Continue reading 'GTA Online Business Update lands March 4 with new guns and cars' (full post)

Windows 8.1 Update rumored for April 8 launch

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 4:17 pm

If you are one of the PC users out there who are using Windows 8.1 without a touchscreen, you may be wondering when the next update will land. Microsoft has promised to make Windows 8.1 easier to use for people that aren't on touchscreen devices with the new update.




The update is tipped to add things like a right click context menu and the ability to launch apps from the task bar. The update is also expected to put the search and power buttons inside the Start screen. Back in January, we heard that the update might land in March.


A new rumor is making the rounds that Microsoft will wait until April 8 to make that next update. The specific day the update will land according to the rumor is April 8. There is something else interesting about that date for Microsoft fans.

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IBM spends the week spending money on the cloud

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 4:08 pm

In a series of news releases this week, IBM is sending a message to the market that it is serious about being a major player in cloud services. Building upon its acquisition of Softlayer last year, IBM announced that it has invested over $1B in bringing a suite of development tools to the cloud to deliver a PaaS (platform as a service). In addition to this investment, they also announced the acquisition of Cloudant, a DBaaS (batabase as a service) provider.




These new services are geared towards application developers and providing them on-demand infrastructure that can be scaled up or down as requirements change. As part of the announcement, they have launched a beta version of their DevOps in the cloud solution codenamed BlueMix. BlueMix includes services to store and manage code, a built-in Web integrated development environment, and Eclipse and Visual Studio integrations to let developers use whichever environment they prefer. The platform enables agile planning, tracking, and collaboration across team members during the development cycle. Plus, there is application deployment automation to streamline delivery. Combined, the PaaS and DBaaS enable application DevOps teams to start projects faster and complete them more efficiently.

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Mt. Gox loses $437 million in Bitcoins, files for bankruptcy

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 3:57 pm

Mt.Gox was the third largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, and was also the most controversial as well. A few weeks ago the service suspended all withdrawal transactions citing a known bug in the system as the culprit, and just a week later announced that all trading and transactions would return to normal soon. Unfortunately that last statement proved to be noting more than hot air, when the service completely went down a few days ago.




Today Mt. Gox, a Japanese-based company, filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it is more than $60 million in debt. Today in a Tokyo court, officials from the company said that it has lost more than 750,000 bitcoins stored in its system owned by customers and that 100,000 of its own were gone as well. At the current going rate for a single bitcoin ($574.79 via Coinbase.) the a coins lost value at almost $450 million for customers and more than half a billion dollars total.


In the last few days Bitcoin prices have fallen several percent due to the news of Mt. Gox failing. During the court appearance Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpelès said: "There was some weakness in the system, and the bitcoins have disappeared. I apologize for causing trouble." Unfortunately for thousands of customers, simple apologies will not return the millions they lost because Mt. Gox failed to acknowledge a bug in the system that had existed for years. Bankruptcy will save the company from debt, but there should be negligence charges filed in my opinion. To let a devistating software bug exist for that long while making hundreds of millions in revenue is simply unacceptable.

Microsoft Studios' head promises Halo news at E3 2014

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 3:47 pm

Fans of Halo have been waiting in anticipation for news on when the next game in the franchise will be available to play. We heard rumors that Halo 5 was delayed until late 2015. We have also heard rumors that Halo 2 Anniversary would be launching this year.




This week Microsoft Studios' Phil Spencer tweeted a tidbit that will make fans of Halo really look forward to E3 2014 this summer. Spencer tweeted that Halo news will be coming at E3. He also noted that 343 Industries has a great plan in place, exactly what plan he is talking about is unknown.


The tweet came in response to a gamer that tweeted at Spencer a question about what was going on with the next Halo game. It's always cool when a fan can ask a simple question and get a response from someone with Microsoft that knows. It's cool to get a response even if the response really doesn't offer any more information than wait and see.

FrostWire offers up bitcoin donation feature directly into client

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 3:33 pm

The FrostWire BitTorrent client has integrated bitcoin donation payments into its latest client build, opening the door to artists, content holders, and others to be rewarded for broader content distribution.




PayPal has remained a popular payment method for online file sharers, but bitcoin - and it's supposed increased layers of anonymity and security - and accepting a wider variety of currencies help spur donations from spontaneous contributors.


Thousands of companies and retailers accept bitcoin as a payment option, though there is continued concern related to value stability and legalities. However, services looking to receive donations and financial support should not have a problem receiving bitcoin, such as FrostWire's decision to accept payment.

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March Xbox One Update to add better audio support

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 3:14 pm

Microsoft has been updating the Xbox One console regularly since it launched. The last update brought with it the ability to directly manage storage among other things. The update also brought with it a bug that left some users seeing nothing but a black screen at boot up.




The next update for the console is coming in March and the update will bring with it additional audio options. The update will bring support for Dolby Digital sound. This was something that was missed by some gamers when the console was first announced.


The Xbox One launched with support for DTS Surround Sound. The new update will add the missed Dolby Digital to the mix. It will also bring a new setting under HDMI that will allow you to select Bitstream out. Bitstream out will allow you to select DTS Digital Surround or Dolby Digital.

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