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Microsoft doesn't want to rely on plug-ins for realtime communication in browsers anymore

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Aug 7, 2012 4:34 am

Microsoft have announced their proposal to bring realtime communication in browsers, all without plug-ins. The W3C WebRTC working group received "Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communications over the Web" (CU-RTC-Web) proposal from Microsoft, which is the first step toward creating a standard that would be key in creating a browser-based version of Microsoft's expensive acquisition, Skype.




Other companies have already laid out their plans for HTML5-based communications, with Google and Mozilla already doing so. Microsoft, on the other hand, are waiting to make it publicly available until it's a fully formalized standard. Stopping the software giant right now is the choice of codecs being used, with Google and Mozilla wanting to use the open sources VP8 as default, with Microsoft wanting to be more flexible. is getting eyed at by Microsoft to get some Skype integration, which is something the company has been planning for quite a while now. This would require a plug-in and would not use WebRTC, but it could change somewhere down the line when the standard is complete. The WebRTC standard would allow cross-platform audio- and video-based communications, potentially allowing services such as Google Talk and Skype to work together.

Samsung's Galaxy Note II might only have Ice Cream Sandwich on release, not Jelly Bean

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2012 3:23 am

I have yet to of had the pleasure of using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but I hope to soon when I get my paws on ASUS' Nexus 7. What disappoints me is the news of Samsung's Galaxy Note II might be shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).




The news is unconfirmed, but its far from being a rumor, so for now it stays as a normal news post. The news came off the back of Sam Mobile's report that Samsung's Galaxy S III would receive Jelly Bean, and that the initial firmware on the Galaxy S III that had passed testing, this enabled developers to focus on the public release. But, the S III should receive Jelly Bean sometime in Q3, pending final approval and if it's all smooth sailing from here on out.


The Galaxy Note II, according to the report, might only ship with ICS. Current testing software is said to be ICS, which could allow Samsung to fast track the 5.5-inch 'phablet', instead of waiting for more testing with Jelly Bean. If the Note II ships without Jelly Bean, it'll be a saggy point of the phone, I think any flagship smart devices shipped from now on should be driven by Jelly Bean, with devices not pegged to be flagship with ICS, with updates the Jelly Bean in the near future.

RumorTT: HTC to release 5-inch, 1080p smartphone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 7, 2012 2:29 am

It looks like Samsung won't be the only kid on the playground with a large 'phablet' smartphone, with DigiTimes reporting that HTC are set to launch a 5-inch smartphone somewhere in the September-October timeframe. The flagship phone from HTC would sport a resolution of 1794x1080.




Samsung were the first ones out of the gate with a 5-inch phone, already have plans for a 5.5-inch device, the Galaxy Note II, and we should see this in the next couple of weeks. The success of Samsung's original 5-inch Galaxy Note has sparked interest from more Korean phone makers, where we saw fellow phone maker LG release the 5-inch Optimus Vu just a couple of months ago.


HTC's entry into the 'phablet' market should see the market continue to expand, but I have a feeling it will cut down on tablet sales. Considering that HTC and LG aren't doing too well in tablets, and Samsung are the only real threat out of the three companies combined, a 'phablet' spike in sales would be good to combat the iPhone and iPad sales.

OMGTT: Evidence of Source 2, Half-Life 3 has been found in Source Filmmaker SDK

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 7, 2012 2:17 am

When typing this news, I had to type the 'summary', where I fumbled and typed "Half-Life 2", because I'm not used to referencing Half-Life 3, and in my fanboy excitement, mistakes happen. I picked it up, and here we go: some very eagle-eyed developers at ValveTime have seen some discoveries worth posting some news about. It was also worthy of a new creation 'OMGTT', in the title of this news.




The discovery is that Valve are working on a next-gen Source engine, Source 2, the next version of their 10-year-old engine. Valve's Source engine has powered some of the biggest PC games of all time, such as Half-Life 2, Portal and its sequel, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and its sequel, and more. Evidence of Source 2 comes from Valve's own Source Filmmaker, which is a free movie-making tool that allows users to create videos using the same assets from within the Source engine itself.


A comment was found on one of SFM's python files provides the best evidence of Source 2's existence to date:


Return an str with the current engine version.

If key doesn't doesn't exist, assume 'Source', otherwise invalid -- assume next-gen 'Source 2'.


Source: Line 1387,

Continue reading 'OMGTT: Evidence of Source 2, Half-Life 3 has been found in Source Filmmaker SDK' (full post)

Founder of Best Buy offers $8.5 billion to buy the company

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 7, 2012 1:15 am

Richard Schulze, founder of Best Buy, has offered to buy the retailer for roughly $8.5 billion, according to reports. Schulze resigned as chairman after ex-CEO Brian Dunn was investigated for "personal misconduct" issues, has offered to pay between $24 and $26 per share for Best Buy, which he hopes to make private.




Best Buy has confirmed that they have indeed received the proposal, and says it will be considering it in the near future. As of June, Schulze held over 20% of the company, and plans to put forward $1 billion from that stake into the proposed deal. The remaining $7.5 billion (or so) would come from "premier private-equity firms" who claim to have a "deep experience in retail", as well as debt financing.


While according to Minnesota corporate law, permission from company directors is required in order to form a group for a more complete offer, which is requested in Schulze's offer letter, and has no deadline set. There is reportedly a source close to the matter that says that Schulze entered into the negotiations for the board's permission in the last couple of weeks, but wasn't successful due to the board claiming that it wasn't a good time to go public.

Continue reading 'Founder of Best Buy offers $8.5 billion to buy the company' (full post)

Apple removing YouTube app from iOS 6, Google working on standalone version

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 11:37 pm

Apple seems to be on an anti-Google rampage with iOS 6. The obvious change is the lack of Google Maps in the upcoming mobile operating system, but now Apple has said that the YouTube app will also be removed. It would seem that the reason for this change is due to the licensing agreement between Apple and Google has run out.




Don't fret, however, as Apple has confirmed that YouTube will work in Safari. They also said that Google is working on a standalone version of the app which will be available through the App Store. It's not clear whether Apple wanted to free the iOS experience of Google or if they got tired of paying Google's licensing fees.


It's likely that this change will be good for consumers. The stock YouTube app hasn't seen any major changes or improvements for years, however, now that Google has its own app, it can change and update it as much as it would like. A YouTube spokesperson said that "we are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users."


Apple's full statement is below:


Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.


Note that iOS 5 devices will not lose the stock YouTube app; it is only being removed from iOS 6.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and others to get Ice Cream Sandwich

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 11:24 pm

Samsung UK have confirmed their rollout plans for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on Galaxy tablets. The first ones to line up to the ICS van is the Galaxy Tab 10.1, with the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 to follow shortly after. TechRader spoke to Samsung UK, who said:




Samsung UK can confirm the roll out of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus WiFi and Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi devices is live. Any further updates for the Galaxy Tab range will be announced in due course.


The update looks to only be splashing down on UK tablets at the moment, with the US having to wait a while before ICS arrives. Personally, this is such a bad move by Samsung (and other companies) as well as Google, because it creates a massively fragmented market, with each tablet having a different OS, based on its locale, etc. Apple, are perfect at pushing iOS to their latest generation devices, keeping them [mostly] the same.

Microsoft tightening Windows 8 activation policy to curb piracy

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 11:06 pm

There's no denying that piracy is a huge problem for Microsoft. Just two days after Windows 8 was released to OEMs, the operating system showed up on file sharing sites for download. Microsoft has declined to comment on the leak, but there's little reason to think it was someone other than an employee at an OEM.




This isn't the first example of piracy for Microsoft. Almost every previous product they have released has been pirated to some extent. While they won't be able to get the problem completely stamped out with the changes they are making, it should at least close some loopholes and make it harder for pirates to do what they do best.


The changes relate to how OEMs active Windows on pre-built machines. Windows is activated at the factory so that consumers don't have to take any additional steps when they purchase a computer. Prior activation schemes saw OEMs using a single activation key on all machines so that they could use the same image across them all.


Now, however, OEMs will be required to write a unique code into the BIOS of the machines based upon the hardware configuration. Furthermore, this key isn't generated by the OEM. Instead, it will be delivered by Microsoft via electronic delivery and factories will have to file production reports detailing licensing compliance so they can no longer avoid paying licensing fees.

HP Slate 8 pictures 'leaked' by HP

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 10:36 pm

It would appear some pictures of HP's upcoming Slate 8 have been leaked by...HP itself. On HP's website, there is a promotion which has the tablet in it. This should mean that the release date is not to far in the future. Previously, the upcoming tablet had popped up in an advert and now the back has popped up in this latest promotion.




This tablet that is featured in the promotion is likely to the Slate 8, as long as it isn't some fake tablet built for the promotion. The Slate 8 is set to be an x86-powered tablet with a 10.1-inch screen according to earlier leaks. The picture shows a silver device with an HP logo on the back and what appears to be a headphone jack along the top.


The tablet is in the hands of a doctor, well, at least an actress dressed like a doctor, so it's likely going to be marketed at businesses and professionals rather than your average consumer. This is backed up by another leak that says it will run Windows 8 Professional instead of RT. The tablet should launch sometime this year, likely shortly after Windows 8 launches.

Apple to update entire line-up with new mini dock connector

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 6, 2012 9:31 pm

As previously reported, Apple is going to replace the iconic, and sometimes frustrating, 30-pin dock connector with a new miniaturized version. Originally it was thought that the new connector would be added to devices as they were updated according to the usual update schedule. However, Apple is said to be updating the entire line-up with the new connector this fall.




This update will include a 9.7-inch iPad, as well as the next iPhone, the iPod Nano and touch, and a possible iPad mini. This means that the current iPad 3 will be updated with the smaller connector mid-season. Of course, updating all of the devices at once makes sense. Otherwise half of the devices would be using the old cord, and half the new cord.


Unfortunately, this new connector could make older accessories incompatible. They are making an adapter, however, it may not work with every device. A major example comes to mind: Car integration. The iPhone is said to be announced on September 12 and launched on September 21 and the rest of the updated line-up is likely to come at the same time.

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