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eBay has exceptional first quarter, income & sales up

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 11:27 pm

eBay, in the midst of a rather uncertain economy has done very well in the first quarter of 2012. With economies around the world on the brink of destruction, eBay has managed to increase sales and income, much to the delight of Wall Street investors. Stock in the company is up more than 3.5% in after-hours trading.




The first quarter ended March 31, 2012 and the numbers that have come in have pleased investors. Net income rose to $725 million, or 55 cents per share, against $619 million, or 47 cents per share in the same quarter one year ago. Sales have increased a massive 29% to $3.3 billion. A majority of this growth is due to the strength of the company's Marketplace and PayPal businesses.


"We believe that innovation in retail today is technology driven, and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop," CEO John Donahoe said. "We are enabling commerce in this new retail environment, supporting and partnering with sellers of all sizes and giving consumers worldwide the ability to shop anytime, anywhere, for whatever they want."

Continue reading 'eBay has exceptional first quarter, income & sales up' (full post)

The Pirate Bay uses its wide reach for good: Promotes independent artists

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 10:33 pm

Dubbed 'The Promo Bay', The Pirate Bay would like to help promote your cool music, video, comedic skill, or other talent provided you allow free, easy access to the material that is being promoted. Submissions are thrown into a pool and occasionally one is picked to have their image replace the default Pirate Bay logo and be linked to the page of their choosing.




Originally they planned to release only a few submissions a year, but after 5000 people submitted applications to be promoted, the plans changed. "Thus far we've done 14 regular campaigns in 3 countries each and 8 worldwide promotions," Pirate Bay's Winston told TorrentFreak. "When we started the project the plan was to do a few worldwide promotions a year, but the submissions have been too good. So now we're gonna do the worldwide promos every weekend and some regulars every now and then."

Continue reading 'The Pirate Bay uses its wide reach for good: Promotes independent artists' (full post)

New Asus Transformer 300 tablet listed for pre-order on Amazon

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Asus apparently has a new Transformer tablet in the works and it has just been spotted available for pre-order on Amazon. The new device is called the Transformer TF300 and will, apparently, be available April 22 for an asking price of $489.99. I say asking price because it isn't being sold by Amazon. Rather, it is up for pre-order by Amazon Marketplace vendor "Spicy Bomb" and I have a feeling a bit of price inflation is occurring.




So what sets this apart from the Transformer Prime? Not much, actually. It features the same Tegra 3 processor, 10.1" 1280x800 display, 32GB of storage capacity, and 1GB of RAM. The TF300's CPU runs at a slightly diminished 1.2 Ghz versus the Prime's 1.3 Ghz. It's also slightly thicker and heavier than the Prime.


Since the tablet is a bit worse, I would expect it to be cheaper than the Prime. These concessions only yield you $10 in savings over the Prime's price on Newegg. This here is also why I think there is a bit of price inflation going on. We will see when the tablet releases which, according to the pre-order, should be April 22. A cheaper version of the Prime would be a welcome addition to Transformer family.

Scientists make breakthrough that could double human lifespan

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 8:33 pm

Scientists have discovered a molecule that could very well double the lifespan of humans if the rat trials are anything to go on. Obviously there is a lot more research to be done before this can even be considered for human trials, but the early results are definitely positive. Imagine living to 150, 200 years old!




Researchers at the Universite Paris Sud in France began experimenting with a special carbon molecule called Buckministerfullerene or, more commonly, "Buckyballs." These molecules are composed of 60 carbon atoms arranged in the shape of a sphere. The researchers then fed the molecule along with olive oil to several groups of rats.


One group of rats was the control group and was fed just a normal diet. A second group was fed the normal diet and olive oil. The third group was fed the normal diet along with olive oil and a 0.8mg/ml concentration of Buckminsterfullerene. The control group lived for an average of 22 months, the oil-fed group lasted an average of 26 months, and the final group, the ones fed the Buckminsterfullerene, lived for an unbelievable 42 months.


The group fed the Buckminsterfullerene survived for almost double that of the control group and still significantly better than the oil-fed group. Scientists had previously hypothesized the benefits of the molecule, but this is the first time their life-extending properties had been tested. Just imagine if these results transfer to humans. Hello, overpopulation!

32 Windows 8 tablets to launch in 2012, some for under $300

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 7:25 pm

The iPad currently accounts for somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of all tablets worldwide. Microsoft is desperate to claim some of this market share and push Apple and the iPad down to only 50% by mid 2013. To do this, Microsoft is planning on unleashing 32 Windows 8 based tablets before the end of the year is up.




The main part of this strategy seems to be based on the idea of flooding the market with tablets. Some of these tablets could hit the market as entry-level and come with a price tag of under $300...before tax. This would put them in the range of Amazon Kindle Fire and the rumoured Google Nexus tablet.


Apple could have some tricks remaining in order to combat these new tablets. There is that undying rumor of a smaller, cheaper iPad. Also, Apple makes quite a nice profit on the iPad. The profit is somewhere around 50%, so Apple has a large amount of leeway in the pricing of the regular iPad, if the rumor of the smaller iPad proves false.

Intel Core i7 3770K overclocked to a whopping 6.616 GHz

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 6:24 pm

hWhile the upcoming Ivy Bridge chips (think 3770K, etc) may suck on air, with a little bit of love and some extreme cooling solutions, it looks like these chips could prove to be pretty darn good overclockers. Chinese overclocker x-powerx800pro has managed, with the help of liquid nitrogen (LN2), to achieve a massive overclock of 6.616Ghz!!!! DAMN!




That blows the socks off of my previous record of 5.5Ghz on my old 655K (note: I used a chilled water setup). Using a 63x multiplier and a base clock of 105.03MHz, he was able to achieve the massive overclock of 6.616GHz. Thank you 22nm goodness. However, pay no attention to the reported 'Core Voltage' in the following CPU screenshot.




The core voltage reported is actually a bug. The real core voltage is much higher and comes in at a large, but not ridiculous, 1.85v. This chip is also showing up as an 'ES' which means engineering sample. This means that the retail version could clock much differently. And contrary to the rumor posted previously today, the screenshot does say 77W for the TDP.


It could disprove the rumor, or the TDP could be reported wrong due to it being an engineering sample or CPU-z may not have been updated to include updated numbers from Intel yet. I wouldn't count the rumor out just yet, but I would start scrounging for more exotic cooling solutions if you plan to overclock.

Continue reading 'Intel Core i7 3770K overclocked to a whopping 6.616 GHz' (full post)

Windows Phone marketing GM out after 5 months

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 5:34 pm

Apparently selling Windows Phone is not as easy as some people seem to think it is. Maybe this explains why Gavin Kim has left Microsoft just 5 months after he joined in as General Manager of Windows Phone Product Marketing. Before Microsoft, he was a vice president with Samsung.




"We can confirm that Gavin Kim has made a personal decision to leave Microsoft," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail. "We feel very good about the work he has done to set the team, and its new lead Eugene Ho, up for success. We wish him all the best." No actual reasons for his departure have been given.


It will be interesting to watch and see if the marketing strategy of Windows Phone changes now that he is not with the company anymore. I'm sure he found the job difficult to stomach, what with the high expectations and poor results and all. "No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone," said a European telecom executive quoted in a Reuters report on Tuesday. The executive added, "If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell."

Nicki Minaj closes Twitter account to protest Web piracy

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 4:06 pm

The state of internet piracy, I'm sure, is at unprecedented levels. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a single household in the United States that hasn't done some sort of copyright infringement or straight illegal music downloading. Nicki Minaj has had enough after tracks from her upcoming, unreleased album ended up online.




So she took the protest to her fans via Twitter, or rather, the lack of her having a Twitter anymore. In silent protest, she closed her Twitter account on Sunday. "Like seriously, it's but so much a person can take," Minaj wrote Sunday on Twitter just prior to closing down her account. She told fans, "Good f---ing bye," according to multiple reports.


This whole tirade came after Minaj accused the fan site of posting some of the tracks from her upcoming album online. More and more artists are speaking out against web piracy. In her defense, studies have shown that rap music is among the most pirated genres. However, it could just be a marketing ploy since leaking copyrighted material before it reaches market is a criminal offense.

First Intel smartphone launching later this week, according to CEO

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 3:11 pm

Mr. Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, spent yesterday briefing investors on first-quarter earnings. But it's not so much the earnings that we enjoyed finding out about. Rather, we much more enjoyed the comment about how "the launch of our first Intel architecture-based smartphone" will occur "later this week."



However, you may not be able to get your hands on the first one, since we last heard that the Lenovo K800 will be the first Intel phone and it is slated for China only. There are other rumors now that are saying that the Lava Xolo X900 will be the first Atom-powered smartphone and it is set to launch in India April 19.


Which ever is the case, it is unlikely that any US customers will get their hands on an Intel smartphone, at least for some time. Over the upcoming year, it is likely that other OEMs will be launching Intel-powered smartphones and these should end up being available for US customers. More as it comes.

RumorTT: Ivy Bridge top parts come with 95W TDP, worse overclocking than Sandy Bridge

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Apr 18, 2012 2:05 pm

With the launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge getting extremely close, it's impossible to keep these retail chips out of the hands of people who haven't signed NDAs. More and more people are getting a hold of the chips and overclocking them. Someone has finally managed to snag a boxed retail version of the chip and found something interesting.




As you can see in the picture above, the rated TDP is 95W. Intel has been telling us along the way that the quad-core Ivy Bridge parts were to be rated at 77W TDP, so this is quite the discrepancy. The only possible reason for this, other than it being the true TDP, is if there was a misprint on a large batch of processors, because sources are saying all of the boxes are marked this way.


Additionally, people overclocking the new part have found it to be a worse overclocker than Sandy Bridge. The main issue with overclocking is that because of Intel's new Tri-gate transistors, they are packed so tightly together that the die size is tiny and doesn't allow adequate heat removal. As such, overclockers are reporting that Ivy Bridge looks to be 200 - 300 Mhz worse than Sandy Bridge.


Somewhere between 4.6 - 4.7 Ghz the temperature gets so high the processor throttles. Of course, once we finally get a chip in to review, we will either be able to confirm this rumor or bust it. As for right now, take it with a grain of salt, however true it may appear to be.

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