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RumorTT: Next Samsung Galaxy Note might feature 5.9-inch screen

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 9:33 pm

The Korea Times is reporting that the next Samsung Galaxy Note will come with a 5.9-inch screen. The Times' cites an unnamed official who spoke anonymously. "Samsung is working on introducing a new phablet using a 5.9-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen," the official said.

 

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The current Galaxy Note II features a massive 5.5-inch screen. Some rumors had placed the next Note as coming with a pocket-busting 6.3-inch screen, though it looks like this is not the case. The Times' source added that the new phablet would be coming with Samsung's new Exynos eight-core processor.

 

We'll keep our eye on all things Samsung and let you know when interesting or trustworthy pieces of information pop up.

Beats' music streaming service gets closer to reality, secures $60 million investment

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 8:59 pm

The online music streaming service market is going to get even more crowded as Beats continues to push forward with plans to launch their own streaming service known as Daisy. We've reported rumors about Beats possibly working with Apple in regards to the latter starting a streaming service, though this looks less likely with the news of Beats securing a $60 million investment.

 

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The $60 million investment comes from Access Industries, Marc Rowan, James Packer, and some others. The investment will be used to help launch Daisy, which is currently backed by Beats Electronics LLC. Co-founder Jimmy Iovine:

 

Beats was always about helping people re-discover the magic in the experience of listening to music. Now that we are well along the way to addressing the quality of audio playback with Beats headphones and speakers, Daisy allows us to re-introduce the same magic into the process of music discovery and consumption.

 

This, coupled with rumors of YouTube possibly launching their own streaming service, could lead to increased competition in the marketplace.

Continue reading 'Beats' music streaming service gets closer to reality, secures $60 million investment' (full post)

Microsoft fined 561 million euros ($732 million US) for browser choice error

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 8:32 pm

Microsoft has been hit with a massive 561 million euro fine, which equates to around $732 million US, for removing the option to pick a different default browser in Windows 7 SP1. Microsoft had previously settled the EU over claims that making Internet Explorer the default browser was anti-competitive.

 

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Microsoft had agreed to provide the option of several different web browsers when Windows was installed or configured. When the company released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, the option to select a web browser was removed. Microsoft says that a technical error prevented the option screen from showing.

 

It took Microsoft 14 months and complaints from the EU to get the problem resolved. The EU has now fined Microsoft over the issue, though it's not as bad as it could have been. EU law allows for the fine to be up to 10 percent of the company's revenue, meaning the fine could have been as high as $7.4 billion.

 

"We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

First complete map of Mercury unveiled by NASA

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 7:30 pm

Amidst massive budget cuts, and an overall reduction in funding, NASA somehow manages to continue to be able to wow us on a regular basis. This time the space agency has released the first full map of the planet Mercury's surface.

 

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The first planet in our solar system has not received much scientific attention over the course of modern space science mostly because it is too close to the sun to properly observe from earth. NASA's Messenger spacecraft has managed to negate that issue and since 2011 has been hard at work mapping the surface of Mercury.

 

 

NASA's Mariner spacecraft had previously imaged the surface of Mercury, but only managed to capture less than half the surface during a flyby in 1974 and 1975. Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit the closest planet to the sun and used modern technology to image the surface.

Facebook's new look to include multiple news feeds, image based ads and larger photos

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 6:51 pm

This Thursday Facebook will be holding a big press event where it is expected to announce the first major change to its Timeline feature since release in 2006. We are hearing speculation that the news feed may be broken down into multiple categories and would be configurable.

 

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TechCrunch is reporting that in addition to the multiple news feeds, we will also see large timeline photos, and image based ads adorning the service. When tech news site Mashable reached out to Facebook and asked for a comment, they replied "We don't comment on rumor and speculation".

 

If the rumors are true, then we will see the new multiple feed feature somewhere at the top near the search bar as well as a new photo feed that would exclusively feature images uploaded through the Facebook and Instagram apps. My only worry is that the rollout of Facebook's last big announcement, Graph Search, has not even began to get started, so how long would it be before everyone had access to these new features?

Microsoft back-peddles on Office 2013 retail license, now lets you transfer to new PC

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 6:15 pm

It seemed that the whole tech community was up in arms over Microsoft's decision to tie all retail licenses of its Office 2013 to single install on a single PC, which could not be transferred, if you upgrade machines. Redmond has taken notice and reversed that decision.

 

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Today Microsoft announced that it is changing policy and will now allow users to transfer their retail Office 2013 license to a new PC "if the old one fails." The new changes will be updated in the license agreement in future updates, but said that the change is effective immediately.

 

There are of course limitations, including only being able to transfer the license every 90 days and you can still only run the license on one piece of hardware at a time. We are glad Microsoft has recanted their decision to limit the use of its software, and we hope they will continue to think of the customer over the bottom line.

News Corp launches 10-inch Amplify Tablet aimed at educators and students

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 5:46 pm

News Corp just unveiled its next push into the education sector. The ASUS manufactured Amplify 10-inch Android Tablet is being billed as a budget tablet for the classroom.

 

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The tablets will come pre-loaded with Google Apps for Education and basic encyclopedia apps. Battery life is quoted as being somewhere in the eight hour range, and is swappable, unlike most other tablets on the market.

 

The tablet is being made available through AT&T and will run schools a mere $299 each for a 3G model and $349 for 4G. Each tablet will carry a $99 annual data subscription. That may sound like a lot, but the real savings is the ability to load digital text books and forever forget the heavy dead tree based books of the past.

Spotify teams up with Volvo to product voice activated in-car music system

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 5:16 pm

Recently I reported on Ford teaming up with Spotify to offer in-car hands-free music streaming, and it seems that Volvo is now jumping on that same bandwagon. The company announced today that it has teamed up with Spotify to bring forth a hands-free in-car music system.

 

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Dubbed Sensus Connected Touch, the system will allow users to stream music via a 3G/4G connection and control everything with simple voice commands or a dash mounted touch screen. The system is powered by Android - Volvo promises to keep it updated regularly.

 

Other apps reported to work on the system are: Google Maps, iGO-Powered GPS and TuneIn Radio. The Sensus Connected Touch will be sold as a dealer option and will be available for the V40, V40 Cross Country, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 car models.

RumorTT: Apple could team up with Beats to finally get its music streaming service off the ground

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 4:20 pm

Apple has been trying for a while now to bring forth its own version of a music streaming service. For the most part, the venture has been stifled by failed royalty negations between artist and record labels.

 

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We are hearing reports that Apple's Tim Cook has met with Beats Electronics CEO Jimmy Iovine in an effort to discuss all things about music streaming. This meeting comes hot on the announcement by Beats that it will be launching its own subscription streaming service dubbed Daisy.

 

Apple is keeping things quiet (as usual) about the meeting, only saying that the meeting was "informational" and covered a vast range of topics. With streaming services out there that do a very good job already, is there really a need for an Apple branded subscription based music streaming service?

Samsung to stop selling Windows RT tablets in Germany, cites weak demand as cause

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 3:33 pm

Word on the street is that Samsung, the dominating everything-electronics giant, will be pulling its Windows RT-based ATIV Tab hybrid from the German market due to very weak demand. This news is not much of a surprise as the company has already pulled back plans to launch the ATIV Tab in the US.

 

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Both Heise.de and MobileGeeks are reporting that Samsung will cease to offer the ATIV Tab sometime in the coming days in Germany as well as a few other European markets. This news comes after Samsung consulted with retailers who had no good news about demand for the Windows RT based tablet.

 

Samsung has reportedly confirmed these rumors at CeBIT, with an exec saying it "sees no market for RT in Germany and other European countries." At the time of this post, the ATIV Tab is still listed for sale by Amazon.de priced at 605 euros. What do our German and European readers think about this? Is there a market for Windows RT based devices in your country? Let us know in the comments.

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