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Instagram unveils new Instagram Direct for private photo sharing

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 4:19 pm

This morning, Instagram unveiled a newly added feature to its service that will allow users to directly share images and videos with specific friends via Facebook messaging and text messaging. Dubbed Instagram Direct, the new feature allows users to share images with friends directly in real-time and see likes, and comments instantly.

 

 

Instagram Direct has a few safety measures in place as well, with the most prevalent being a notification when someone you are not following sends you an image or video. The app will let you chose if you want to see this image or video, and if you decide not to, then you simply decline and the invitation goes away.

 

"As we've grown, Instagram has evolved not only into a community of photographers, but also into a means of visual communication. From a photo of your daily coffee to a sunrise shared from the top of a mountain hike, every Instagram moment contains something you find special-something you broadcast to your followers when you tap share," Instagram said in its official release. "There are, however, moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people-an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments."

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Apple lands patent for curved touch displays, upcoming curved iPhone?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 12:41 pm

Apple has just landed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, under US Patent No. 8,603,574, which is for a "Curved touch sensor' that details a manufacturing technique that would make an accurate, curved touch surface, without deficiencies caused by substrate warping or deformation.

 

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The iPhone maker notes that current touch panel technologies are hard to work with, due to "desired thinness of the substrate and thin film". In order to escape these issues, Apple's newly awarded patent allows for a technique that deposits a conductive thin film over a flexible substrate, while it's in a flat state. AppleInsider reports: "Once the electrodes are in place, the substrate package is joined to a curved "forming substrate" and subsequently heated. The process results in a non-deformed curved touch sensor stackup with a thin film that benefits from the high-temperature anneal."

 

This should mean that we'll see a curved iOS-based device in the future, but how much longer will it be before we see it? Will it be the iWatch? Maybe a curved iPad? Most will expect a curved iPhone, to keep up with the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex smartphones.

Apple's iPad dominates the Japanese tablet market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 11:30 am

It looks like Apple is taking control of Japan's tablet market, where its iPad and iPad mini slates make up six out of every ten tablets sold in the country, according to BCN, which measures electronic sales across the country.

 

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The top of BCN's list was the iPad Air, which was followed closely by the iPad mini. On BCN's charts, one variant of Apple's iPad was listed as first, second, fifth, eighth, ninth, and tenth place - total domination by the Cupertino-based giant. The slates on the top ten list that weren't built by Apple, were Google's Nexus 7 tablets (both the 2012 and 2013 editions).

New update for Plants vs. Zombies 2 includes 'loads of cool stuff'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am

If you're a fan of PopCap and Electronic Arts' Plants vs. Zombies 2, then you'll want to make sure you've received the new, and massive, 215MB update to the mobile game. The update includes:

 

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  • There's loads of cool stuff in our latest update! We have a new map, fun new features and we introduce a new foe!
  • We've upgraded the map to make game progression quicker and easier.
  • It's simpler to know how much you've done, where you're going, and what loot you'll get along the way.
  • You can invite your friends and send 'em gifts.
  • Use the Turbo button to speed up your planting - and speed up the zombies.
  • Be warned: when we were upgrading the map, somebody let in the Gargantuars.

ASUS PadFone is coming to a large US carrier in 2014

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 9:29 am

After ASUS' PadFone has been enjoying other markets, the Android-powered smartphone will jump the pond and arrive in the US in the second quarter of next year according to Engadget.

 

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ASUS reportedly has a big carrier on its side, but didn't provide the details on which company it is working with. ASUS CEO, Jerry Shen, stated that only the higher-end version of the PadFone Infinity would arrive in the US, and that it would sport an improved keyboard dock, something that is missing from the PadFone 2.

CliffyB wants to make a first-person arena shooter for PC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 8:37 am

Fresh from his position at Epic Games, Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, is wanting to make a new game: a first-person arena shooter for the PC. He told the world the news through a podcast known as Pointless, the podcast from former Attack of the Show host, Kevin Pereira.

 

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CliffyB told Pereira: "I have a slide deck, I have a pitch, I have concept art, I know pretty much what I want to do. It will be a PC experience that will hearken back to a certain type of game that we cut our teeth on, if you know what I'm saying." CliffyB explained the game as something that isn't like the first-person shooters we see today, adding: "a lot of these kids playing Call of Duty, I don't think they know what a proper arena shooter is."

 

What does the ex-Epic Games boss need to make it happen? He explains: "It would require a studio. But as much as I'm impressed with No Man's Sky, you know, that's four people. I don't want to work with the old guard, per se. I'll talk to them, have meetings. But the last thing I need is some mid-level marketing guy telling me that 'well, traditionally, this doesn't sell well, so we're concerned,' and all that. Because they're all rearward-looking, and it just drives me fucking batshit."

Digital Storm teases its upcoming high-end Steam Machine

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 5:38 am

We've just received word that Digital Storm will be unveiling its first Steam Machine at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Digital Storm is going to be releasing its Steam Machine as a high-end system, as the first liquid-cooled Steam Machine.

 

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It will be a small form factor PC, with a full-sized liquid cooling system, where you can opt the PSU right up to 700W for some serious performance. Both Steam OS and Windows will be on-board, which means you can play virtually any PC game on the market from this new machine. The new Digital Storm Steam Machine will start at $1469, and can be configured with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan.

DICE releases new patch for Battlefield 4, fixes major issues

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 4:19 am

It's no secret that EA pushed out Battlefield 4 early so that it could beat Call of Duty: Ghosts to the punch, and the result was an amazing next-gen shooter that is still quite fun despite its flaws. Unfortunately for some, the game has been a little more less than fun and more of a pain in the neck as crashing, lagging, and player syncing on servers have plagued the game.

 

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Today DICE announced that it has released a new patch for the game that fixes some of these issues, as well as a wealth of others. One of the biggest issues that this patch is said to fix is the ability to shoot a player while he is standing behind cover if that player changes his stance.

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Sony unveils a dual USB port flash drive designed for mobile devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 2:56 am

Today Sony unveiled a new 2-in-1 USB Flash Drive that features both micro and normal USB 2.0 connectors. The new flash drive is designed to help consumers easily backup, share, and store files between their computer and mobile devices such as Android tablets and smartphones.

 

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The compact yet stylish flash drive is available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, and are compatible with Android devices running Android 4.0.3 up to 4.3 that offer USB OTG (On The Go) functionality. Sony has also released a free file manager to help users transfer files from their device to the flash drive. The devices will retail between $19.99 and $62.99.

 

"Consumers want to let a friend see the photo they just took or share a video easily with as few steps as possible," said Viviano Cantu, director of consumer media marketing, Sony Electronics. "These new drives combine convenience, peace of mind and performance and are perfect for mobile multi-tasking."

Promise Technology begins shipping Pegasus 2 Thunderbolt 2 systems

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 1:42 am

Today Promise Technology began shipping its Pegasus 2 Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions to the US market. Promise says that the Pegasus 2 is not only the first, but the only data storage system to utilize Intel's Thunderbolt 2 technology for systems such as the all new Mac Pro.

 

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"Pegasus2 is truly one-of-a-kind, as there has never before been a storage solution that offered such an incredible combination of performance, mobility, and simplicity," said James Lee, CEO, PROMISE Technology. "We are thrilled that Pegasus2 is the first storage solution available with Thunderbolt 2 -- this further illustrates PROMISE's position as a leader in Thunderbolt technology."

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