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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2194

Apple's iOS 7 beta 3 should arrive on July 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 12:33 pm

BGR and their "trusted sources" are reporting that Apple are going to release iOS 7 beta 3 on July 8. It will be available for carrier testing on that day, with these sources previously revealing the release timing of the iOS 7 beta.




The new beta will arrive to developers on the same day it arrives with carriers, a week from now. In iOS 7 beta 2, Apple started support for the iPad, so we should expect beta 3 to open up to the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and hopefully, the Apple TV. There should be more refinements made in the next beta, where it is shaping up nicely so far.

Francisco, the world's fastest ship, is powered by modified jet engines

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 11:28 am

Incat, an Australian shipyard, have built what they're calling the world's fastest ship called the Francisco, which is capable of travelling at up to 58 knots, or 67 miles per hour.




How did they achieve this speed? They used two modified jet engines, which power a pair of water jets and makes the Francisco a "high-speed dual-fuel vehicle and passenger ferry". Kim Clifford, Incat Managing Director, said in a statement: "This is certainly the fastest ship in the world. Of course there's a few speed boats that could surpass 58 knots, but nothing that could carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars, and with an enormous duty-free shop on board."

Samsung dominates the iPhone when it comes to phone subsidies

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 10:29 am

Samsung have done quite well for themselves over the last couple of years, fighting against the near-invincible iPhone. How does it compare to Apple in regards to phone subsidies, something Apple usually have the most control over?




Samsung are actually out and ahead, according to market research firm ABI Research and their latest report. They've said that the average implied carrier subsidy for a Samsung smartphone in the US is around 84%. What this means is that phone carriers cover 84% of the up-front costs of a Samsung phone when a consumer buys one on a contract.


The carrier then makes the money back on the two-year contract you've just signed through various fees and monthly charges. HTC see a subsidy of around 80%, with the iPhone sitting at 74%. ABI analyst, Stuart Carlaw, says: "Samsung continues to squeeze its competitors at every turn. The Samsung [Galaxy S4] is now considered on a par with Apple's iPhone 5. Coupled with better subsidy, the breadth of its device portfolio, increasingly savvy marketing, and its excellence in channel execution, it is little wonder Samsung is dominating the mobile handset market from top to bottom."

DirectX 11.2 to be exclusive to the Xbox One and Windows 8.1, confirmed by Microsoft

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 9:29 am

Well, DirectX 11.2 is coming folks, and it will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Microsoft have confirmed the news, with the new iteration of Microsoft's software including tiles resources, which will allow developers to cram more detail into our games, and much more.




DirectX 11.2 is built to use both system RAM and graphics RAM to store textures, with Microsoft's Antoine Leblond saying that the tiled resources will see DirectX 11.2-based games have much better resolution of textures displayed in-game. Leblond used a live example, showing off a demo that used 9GB of texture data that was held in system RAM compared to graphics RAM.


This is great for PC gamers, but it also means gamers will be looking at a new OS once again. Microsoft are doing it strangely, too, as they won't be offering DirectX 11.2 to Windows 8 - so it looks like Windows 8 is done and dusted for if you're a gamer. Glad I haven't made the switch yet.

The Washington Post adds a pile of new information on the NSA's PRISM program

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 8:27 am

If you haven't heard about the NSA's PRISM program yet, you really are behind in current events - and I suggest you check out the countless pieces we've all written on it here at TweakTown. Now we have The Washington Post unveiling a heap of new slides about the NSA's PRISM program, as shown below, or here.




The new slides give us a much better look into just how much, and how far this data collection goes. It also includes information on how an NSA analyst requests information from a particular company, the number of current surveillance targets in PRISM's database, as well as the dates the big players on the Internet began participating.




As you can see above, there are some serious companies involved, and they're taking everything. This includes e-mail, video, VoiP, file transfers, social networking details and more. Pretty much anything that is done electronically by any human being on Earth, is recorded by this program. Every company that matters is on there - Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, and more.

Continue reading 'The Washington Post adds a pile of new information on the NSA's PRISM program' (full post)

Guardian journalist who broke the NSA whistleblower story says the NSA can store one billion cell phone calls each day

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 7:23 am

It continues to get worse for the NSA, with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald saying he has another big scoop about the National Security Agency (NSA) and their PRISM program.



Greenwald, when speaking over Skype to the Socialism Conference in Chicago, claimed that the NSA has the ability to record, and store one billion phone calls each day. Greenwald was the one to write about NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, and the crazy but very real PRISM program. He says: "It talks about a brand new technology that enables the national security agency to redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day. One billion cell phone calls every single day."


He continued with:


But what we're really talking about here is a localized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency. It doesn't mean that they're listening to every call, it means they're storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they're collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.

Continue reading 'Guardian journalist who broke the NSA whistleblower story says the NSA can store one billion cell phone calls each day' (full post)

Win a copy of The Last Stand: Double Play Blu-ray, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 6:58 am

Thanks to Roadshow Home Entertainment Australia, we have four copies of Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2013 cinema return The Last Stand on Blu-ray to give away.




When drug lord Gabriel Cortez escapes from FBI custody via a Chev Corvette, he intends to drive to the safety that lies just beyond the Mexican border. But despite a dirty cop on the inside and a mercenary team of advancers clearing the path ahead, Cortez doesn't count on hard ass Summerton Junction Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) laying down the law.




To go into the running to win a copy of the Blu-ray, simply correctly answer the following question:


What U.S. State did Arnold Schwarzenegger govern from 2003 until 2011?

Continue reading 'Win a copy of The Last Stand: Double Play Blu-ray, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger' (full post)

Huawei confirms they're set to launch a Google Edition smartphone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 6:30 am

The Google Edition smartphones seem to be the "in-thing" right now, with both HTC and Samsung releasing their flagship One and Galaxy S4, respectively, as "Google Edition" devices. It looks like Huawei is about to follow through with their own Google Edition handset.




The company has confirmed they'll be releasing a smartphone that will be sold through the Google Play Store, with President of Huawei's Handset Product Division, Kevin Ho, saying that they're "working with Google to analyse the possibility" of producing a Google Edition version of their Ascend P6 smartphone.


Huawei's Ascend P6 features a 4.7-inch 1280x720-pixel display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal flash storage (expandable with microSD), an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 5-megapixel front-facer, and a 2,000mAh battery.

Gamers in Sweden get slapped with 'LAN party tax', costs organizers thousands for a 'permit' to hook PC's together for fun

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:51 am

My fondest memories as a kid growing up was growing up through the network area of connecting PC's together for some Quake, Duke Nukem, Command & Conquer and good old file sharing - but those days could be ending in Sweden, where there is now a "LAN party tax".




From now on, organizers of LAN parties will have to pay a fee of up to $5,000 so that they can receive a "permit" that will allow them to connect together PC's or gaming consoles. The ruling was made legal by the Gambling Board, who are the supervisory authority for gaming and lottery and in accordance with the liberal government's revised slot machine regulation of last year.


Now video games fall under this umbrella, and LAN gamers and organizers are only going to suffer. General Counsel at the Gaming Board, Johan Rohr, has said that "in the eyes of the law, these are slot machines." Not only will the LAN organizers be slapped with a fee for the "permit", but they could also be up for paying extra for an inspection fee if the Gambling Board decide to check the party out.


What do you think of these laws? Are they utterly ridiculous or what?!

NGFF SSD's pops up in Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E431 laptop

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:18 am

We've been on m.2, or NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) watch since Computex earlier this month and we've finally found a notebook/ultrabook with an NGFF option. The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 is the first of its kind, at least the first we've actually found.




The options list is very limited at this time. You either order their $50 24GB NGFF SSD for cache or you don't. The description is pretty light as well. We've already ran a few tests on ADATA NGFF drives, one with a JMicron controller and another with an LSI SandForce controller.


It's not much but it's a start. Next week a package arrives with new tools for measuring performance of NGFF products and at that time we'll have everything we need to write a proper review of the new ADATA NGFF SSD's.