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ReportTT: Google developing Android game console, smartwatch in Android expansion

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 10:44 pm

A report by the Wall Street Journal says that Google is working on developing an Android-powered gaming console and smartwatch in a major Android expansion. According to people familiar with the matter, this is part of a plan to expand Android beyond tablets and phones and build the company's reputation as a hardware company.

 

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According to these same sources, Google is planning to design and market the devices in-house and release one of them by this fall. Google, per their role, declined to comment on the rumor.

 

Google would be entering into an emerging market if they do design and release an Android console. They would be in direct competition with the likes of the Ouya and the new MadCatz Project MOJO.

 

We'll be sure to follow these rumors closely and let you know if they prove to be true.

AMD says they won't have any issues manufacturing silicon for PS4 and Xbox

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 10:33 pm

Console manufacturers have traditionally had issues having enough supply at launch. Inevitably, some users faced price gouging on Ebay if they were set on getting a console within the first few weeks. According to AMD, they won't be the result of any delays as they are completely capable of making plenty of silicon.

 

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AMD corporate vice president and general manager of Semi-Custom Business Saeid Moshkelani:

 

From a manufacturing perspective, in a year we ship tens of millions of units. So we have a very strong manufacturing base for our APUs and discrete graphics. We leverage the same manufacturing infrastructure to develop for game consoles. So the volumes were not something that actually raised an eyebrow for us, because we're already in high-volume manufacturing.

 

This is good news for gamers, provided Sony and Microsoft don't experience supply shortages elsewhere in the manufacturing process. It should mean that more consoles are available at launch, helping to reduce any price gouging that may occur.

LeakedTT: Facebook working on Chat Room feature, would allow public group chats

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 10:02 pm

It was leaked today that Facebook is working on a Chat Room feature. This feature is currently in testing, so don't expect it to be coming to a profile near you for quite sometime, if at all. Facebook confirmed that the feature is being tested, but wouldn't confirm any details regarding the feature.

 

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Luckily for us, someone who has the new feature was more than happy to talk. The option to start a chat room would be above the Update Status box. Clicking "Host Chat" would open up a chat box that then anyone could join. A status update would be pushed out to your friends inviting them to join.

 

The host would have the ability to set a topic for discussion, expel people, and set privacy options, though these chat rooms could ultimately end up connecting friends of friends. Privacy details could prove troublesome and could result in the project never seeing the light of day, however, it could end up being a valuable way to discover new friends via trusted mutual friends.

Continue reading 'LeakedTT: Facebook working on Chat Room feature, would allow public group chats' (full post)

Twitter adds genre-based offering to music service to help you find music you want to hear

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Twitter's two-month-old music discovery app has been updated to help you better discover music you actually want to hear. The new feature "charts" helps you discover music from the genre you are interested in getting more music from. This way it's easier to discover music that you have the possibility of liking.

 

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These new charts can be a genre or a specific type of chart such as "Popular." The Popular chart does what you think it would: it compiles a playlist of new music trending on Twitter. The other charts are generated in a similar manner, but are kept to the single genre that the chart is for.

 

It's not clear how well Twitter Music is doing as Twitter hasn't provided us any numbers. However, with Apple planning to incorporate Twitter Music into iRadio, it could become a lot more popular and valuable to the micro-blogging site.

FDA and US officials seize more than 9,600 domains and confiscate $41 million from illegal online pharmacies

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 9:05 pm

During what can only be described as a massive crackdown on illegal online pharmacies, the US FDA has taken down more than 9,600 websites that illegally sold "dangerous and unapproved" prescription drugs. The FDA says that it issued regulatory warnings to the site owners and proceeded to seize any websites along with $41 million of illegal medicine.

 

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Dubbed "Operation Pangea," the operation took place from June 18-25 and involved not only the FDA, but many partners worldwide. The FDA says that many of these illegal sites operated as part of a large organized criminal network and most falsely claimed to be Canadian pharmacies.

 

Many of the sites displayed fake license and certification documents as well as falsely used drug brand names and the wording "FDA Approved" to put potential customers at ease. Furthermore, to manipulate potential victims, the sites would use names that look convincing to non-savvy browsers. Two examples given were Walgreens-store.com and c-v-s-pharmacy.com.

 

The crackdown was a small part of a larger week of international takedowns that was called the International Week of Internet Action which is formed by a coalition made up by the FDA, INTERPOL, and the Worlds Customs Organization. National health and law enforcement agencies from 99 countries also took part in the massive online raid.

Facebook opens up beta testing program for Android, wants you to help make its app better

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 8:27 pm

Facebook's Android app is usually hit and miss on whether an update will be amazing and fix tons of issues or will just inject more bugs into the user experience. It appears that Facebook realizes this and has now opened a new beta testing program that all Android users are invited to join.

 

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Facebook says that the creation of this beta tester pool is because of the sheer vastness and diversity of hardware and OS software in the Android ecosystem. This makes it very difficult for the software developers to find every bug and every issue that only appears on a specific device or version. This new program is organized by Google's new "Group for Beta Testers" service that was announced at Google I/O earlier this month.

 

To join the group, all you have to do is click the link at source #2 below, join the group, except the permissions, and head to the Android market and re-download the Facebook app. Facebook has created its own group (source #3) in which users can join and leave feedback, but that is not a requirement. Reporting bugs found in the application is as easy as clicking a new "report bug" button icon in the settings menu.

Continue reading 'Facebook opens up beta testing program for Android, wants you to help make its app better' (full post)

Spotify has big plans for original content, confirmed rumors at press event today

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 8:02 pm

Mayor Michael Bloomberg headed up the press conference this afternoon held by Spotify at its headquarters in New York City. At the announcement, the company unveiled its plans to build a brand-new US headquarters office on Sixth Avenue which will be several times the size of its current space.

 

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The big news, however, came when the company announced its plans to create unique and original content. This news came from Ken Parks who heads up the company's NYC office. While brief and limited, we suspect this means that the company will be holding new live performances either in New York City or around the country. While some speculate that Spotify could create its own label, I feel that is highly unlikely, and the idea of Spotify-hosted concerts is much more realistic.

FCC listing outs new Roku Streaming Stick remote with headphone audio jack

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 7:43 pm

A newly discovered filing by Roku with the FCC reveals a new remote for the company's Streaming Stick. The new remote features an audio out jack for use with headphones at times when you do not wish for the TV's audio to disturb others.

 

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With only two batteries for power, issues of battery longevity have arisen, but as Engadget reports in their testing of previous models, the batteries lasted for hours even with headphones plugged in. No word when the new model will be released or on any pricing or retail partners.

Rovio to slingshot Angry Birds Trilogy onto Wii and Wii U consoles this August

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 7:02 pm

Today, Rovio announced that the Angry Birds Trilogy will be heading to Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles this August 13. This will bring it in line with the existing versions already available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's own DS.

 

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The game will come in a disc-based collection and will include Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons, and Angry Birds: Rio. There is no word yet on when or if Angry Birds: Space, Angry Birds: Star Wars, or Bad Piggies will make it to the consoles. The company says that the trilogy will offer 140 hours of gameplay as well as 30 episodes right on the disk, including some new and exclusive levels.

 

The trilogy is the perfect fit for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U as they are geared more towards entertaining families and are very popular with younger children. I may go out and buy a Wii just so I can use the slingshot via the Wii Remote.

Continue reading 'Rovio to slingshot Angry Birds Trilogy onto Wii and Wii U consoles this August' (full post)

BitFenix announces new Ronin PC Chassis loaded with cooling-friendly options

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jun 27, 2013 6:30 pm

BitFenix is known for its clean yet very modern chassis designs and today the company has unveiled its latest ATX masterpiece. The Ronin is a mid-tower PC case that features enhanced cooling capabilities, DIY/hacking-friendly features and styling, and the same high-quality construction that BitFenix is known for.

 

 

The Ronin accommodates up to two 140 mm fans in the top or a water cooling radiator up to 240 mm in length. Additionally, there are two 120 mm fan locations in the front and one in the back as well as one on the bottom. Like other modern PC chassis, BitFenix has designed the hard drive cages to be removable to allow the installation of graphics cards up to 420mm in length.

 

Continuing BitFenix's long-standing DIY-friendly design, the Ronin features tool-free drive locking mechanisms, a plethora of cable management options, as well as a motherboard tray CPU bracket cutout to allow easy swapping of CPU coolers. Air filters are located in the front of the case as well as on the bottom allowing for a mostly dust free lifespan. BitFenix says that the Ronin will be available in store shelves mid-July, but MSRP is unknown at this time.

Continue reading 'BitFenix announces new Ronin PC Chassis loaded with cooling-friendly options' (full post)

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