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Comcast's HBO Go hits the Xbox 360, as promised

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 6:26 am

It was only a few days ago we talked about the HBO Go app from Comcast hitting the Xbox 360, and now, it's here. As promised, Comcast flicked the switch on its HBO Go support for Microsoft's entertainment (its no longer just a gaming) console.

 

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Viewers who have a Comcast cable subscription, and the Xbox 360, can now sign-in and watch virtually all of HBO's catalog on-demand. Viewing counts toward the 250GB data transfer cap, unfortunately. Comcast was excluded from the initial access for reasons that even now, haven't been explained.

 

Most believe that the answer is more of a matter of slightly longer negotiations between the three companies in question: Microsoft, HBO and Comcast. At the moment, Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable-based customers are excluded, but the reasons above are most likely at play.

Apple's new iPad is already representing 10-percent of all iPads

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 5:32 am

We reviewed (in both text, and video) the new iPad, and loved it. But how much does the rest of the world love Apple's latest tablet creation? A lot, it seems. A new study by analytics analyst firm Chitika, has suggested that the third-generation iPads in Internet traffic has doubled since the initial four-day launch window.

 

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The new iPad now makes up around 10-percent of all iPads surfing the web only three weeks after it splashed down. Online tracking metrics aren't a direct method of measuring sales, but it does help. Apple announced four days after the new iPad launched that they had sold 3 million units worldwide, and Chitika have noted that this figure correlated into about 5-percent presence of all iPad traffic, correlating with Apple's own total figure of around 55 million iPads sold up until that point.

 

If this growth continues, we could be looking at 12 million units sold by the time Apple's fiscal Q2 comes around, and 15 million new iPads sold overall by the end of June. The iPad makes up around 60-percent of all tablets shipped, with online usage rates indicated that in most areas the iPad is responsible for up to 90-percent of tablet web traffic. Some very impressive digits for the Cupertino-based company.

Google updates Google Play, adds HTML 5 audio which replaces Flash

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 4:29 am

Google have just updated the Music subsection of their Google Play store, and now incudes some "experimental" controls that include a toggle for using HTML5 rather than Flash for desktops, as well as a replacement of the "thumbs up/down" rating system with a five-star rating.

 

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For Chrome users, the service can now provide desktop notifications. Google's new HTML5 feature for streaming audio works in all browsers that have support for MP3 file playing over HTML5, which include Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Firefox and Opera don't make the cut, as they do not support HTML5 MP3 audio.

 

Right now, there are some limitations: an unpublished limit on the amount of daily streaming allowed per user, even if users are listening to their own music that they manually uploaded to Google. Google still imply that the service offers unlimited streaming.

Pioneer launches new HDJ-1500 headphones, aimed at pro musicians

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 3:30 am

Pioneer is launching a new series of headphones aimed at professional DJs and musicians, the HDJ-1500 sports a pair of 50mm drivers embedded in sound insulating casings with air chambers that are said to reduce the sound by 4dB and help hear the intended mix.

 

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The new Pioneer HDJ-1500 headphones come in two colors, black or a satin silver and black combination. Impedance is 32ohms, sensitivity is 180db. Frequency response is 5Hz to 30,000Hz. Price-wise, Pioneer are not breaking the DJ bank at all, they should sell for 18,000 yen or $223-or-so USD.

 

Pioneer haven't said when they'll begin shipping the HDJ-1500's, or whether they'll even ship them to the US.

Intel announces 7-inch tablet for education market, can run either Windows 7 or Google Android OS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 2:31 am

Intel have announced something out of the blue today, a reference design for a new 7-inch tablet that has quite the special ability: it can run either Windows 7 or Android operating systems. The 7-inch tablet would sport Intel's Atom processor, and would be tailored to students and developing countries.

 

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Intel's "Studybook" is made from a single piece of plastic that is designed to resist liquid spills and survive up to a 27-inch drop onto concrete. The Studybook sports a rubber band reinforcing the bezel and around the ports to keep sand and other elements out. The 7-inch tablet weighs in at 525 grams, with the reference design featuring a 1.2GHz Intel Z650 Atom "Oak Trail" CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 1024x600-pixel capacitive touch screen, USB 2.0, HDMI, microSD/SIM slots, WI-Fi, dual cameras and varying storage from 4GB to 32GB.

 

Battery life isn't too bad, with Intel rating it at 5.5 hours on active usage, which is quite poor compared to the iPad and Android-based tablets that are hitting 10 or so hours on a single charge. The Studybook does have a trick up its sleeve, though: it can run either Windows 7 or Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Windows 7 will be available first, with Android ready by mid-summer. Intel will also bundle e-reader, note-taking and drawing apps, as well as digital textbooks from Kno.com and other education-based apps.

Continue reading 'Intel announces 7-inch tablet for education market, can run either Windows 7 or Google Android OS' (full post)

Tumblr updates Android app, new UI and performance improvements are included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1:43 am

Tumblr have updated their Android app and with it included an overhaul to their interface, including live notifications for multiple blogs in one place. The company says that the tweaks bring a better photo browsing experience, where users can now take advantage of the Tumblr Radar for quick access to popular images.

 

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Tumblr didn't just dab a fresh splash of paint on the UI, they also included under-the-hood improvements for faster-loading dashboard and enhanced responsiveness. The new Tumblr update is available on Google Play, for free. Tumblr have yet to put a tablet-optimized variant on the market, or made the same changes to their iOS-based app.

 

The release includes:

 

  • More responsive, faster-loading dashboard and blogs
  • Better photo browsing
  • Notifications for multiple blogs live in one place
  • Tumblr Radar

Continue reading 'Tumblr updates Android app, new UI and performance improvements are included' (full post)

Google's Chrome OS begins to take shape, looks more like Windows than a browser

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1:12 am

Google's Chrome OS has been in development for quite a while now, and has since late-2010 had the same system interface, until now. The latest developer version of the operating system sports a major redesign in its UI, and it is not only looking great, it's looking more and more like Windows, which isn't a bad thing.

 

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The first thing people are going to do with Chrome is think "is it Windows?" and once they realise its not, they're going to attempt to use it. If they've never used the Chrome browser before, it'll feel very alien, much like OS X does the first time you use it after using Windows for X amount of years. Chrome OS now looks like a traditional OS, with a full-blown desktop and window manager instead of just a browser and tabs.

 

Chrome's next-generation use interface framework, known as "Aura", makes its public debut with the new developer version of Chrome OS. This is a huge change, as previous iterations of Chrome OS were just an operating system, within a browser that very closely resembled Google's popular web browser. This is a great move, something that I applaud Google for doing. You can sometimes think outside of the square, but sometimes floating outside of that square makes you think you require a triangle to be 'better' or 'evolved', a simplistic UI will go a long way to ensure that Chrome OS is a serious contender for the OS wars to come.

Iran expected to permanently cut off Internet by August

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 10, 2012 11:27 pm

Iran will soon be without the public internet. They already have strict filters on the content, but these can be avoided by using programs such Tor. Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology released a statement last week: "All Internet Service Providers (ISP) should only present National Internet by August."

 

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The new intranet would prevent access to Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, and similar sites. These would be replaced by alternative services provided by the Iranian government such as such as Iran Mail and Iran Search Engine. The government has already started the signup process for those services. Names and addresses are being verified and recorded.

 

Iran denies the report: "The report is in no way confirmed by the ministry." They instead blame the report on the propaganda wing of the West. Either way, this new firewalled internet is of serious concern to cyberactivists in Iran because it would give the government an advantage in the battle raging between them.

RumorTT: iPhone 5 set for unibody redesign

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 10, 2012 10:32 pm

One industry analyst has suggested that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5, will feature a unibody construction, somewhat akin to the MacBook Pro. The sixth-generation iPhone is expected to launch in October of this year with a larger 4-inch screen and LTE connectivity. Production is expected to begin in June of this year.

 

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The investor says that the redesigned case will probably be the driving force to cause current iPhone owners to upgrade. The analyst wrote: "In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case. This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

Continue reading 'RumorTT: iPhone 5 set for unibody redesign' (full post)

Maryland first state to ban employers from requesting social media passwords

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 10, 2012 9:25 pm

I would like to take my hat off and bow towards Maryland for this new law that they just passed. Usually I'm against new laws, especially for those that should be common sense. However, this one should be praised and passed in every state in the Union. Asking for social media passwords is a gross violation of privacy.

 

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The bill passed the Maryland Senate with unanimous support and only 10 representatives opposed it in the House. The ACLU has joined in the cause after reports surfaced that the state's Department of Corrections had demanded the password of long-time staffer Robert Collins. Other states have followed Maryland's lead and introduced similar bills.

 

The states are Illinois, California, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts. New Jersey is likely to jump on board soon, too. It's a good day, finally, to be a US citizen and have the government actually do something to help its citizens.

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