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Edward Snowden has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 11:27 am

Edward Snowden has been nominated by two Norwegian politicians for the 2014 Nobel peace prize. Baard Vegar Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen, politicians with the Socialist Left party, said the public debate and policy changes in the wake of Snowden's NSA revelations had "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order".

 

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The five-member panel will not confirm who has been nominated, but nominators include members of national parliaments and governments, university professors and previous laureates, must enter their submissions by February 1.

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize' (full post)

Acer, ASUS to enter the wearable devices market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 10:38 am

It looks like both Acer and ASUS are preparing to enter the wearable device market, according to a report from Focus Taiwan. ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, said on Tuesday at ASUS' end-of-year party: "We will put our entire design thought into it. There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don't think products that lack special features will be useful. We'll try to replace your watch by all means". ASUS will most likely debut its smartwatch at Computex 2014 in Taiwan, in June.

 

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What about Acer? It will launch its wearable devices in the second half of the year, with the company working on a wearable device that will have an option for a necklace-style piece.

 

Focus Taiwan adds that the wearable devices market will grow to $20.6 billion by 2018, with 191 million units shipped worldwide.

Apple could be fined over blocking LTE on the iPhone in Belguim

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 9:33 am

ZDNet is reporting that Apple has been blocking 4G networks to certain carriers around the world, with the Cupertino-based giant now looking at possible fines for LTE blocking in Belguim.

 

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The Council of Ministers has ruled that no mobile phone maker can block 4G access for any carriers. Apple has a preferred partner relationship with Mobistar in the region, with Mobistar being the only officially certified by Apple to sell the iPhone. Mobistar doesn't have operational 4G network for consumers yet, but its competitors Proximus and Base do, but they are now officially certified by Apple.

 

Base's Corporate Affairs Manager, Coralie Miserque, wrote in a blog last November: "It was a true obstacle course; after months and months of (fruitless) attempts to approach Apple, Base finally received a typical Apple answer that the certification process was pending and would require some time. But how much time, the company refused to specify. It seems that Apple continues to protect its preferred partner in Belgium and refuses to certify its two competitors or at least is delaying the process until Mobistar has deployed its own 4G network. And this is not an exception, in other countries, Apple often grants its preferred partners 4G access months before anyone else".

Continue reading 'Apple could be fined over blocking LTE on the iPhone in Belguim' (full post)

Apple awarded solar-powered MacBook patent

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 8:27 am

Apple was awarded quite the patent on Tuesday, that might end up with consumers seeing a solar-powered MacBook being announced sometime in the future. The concept's original patent filing took place in 2010, so we might not even see this technology used by Apple in the coming years.

 

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The patent described multiple formats which could be used, with a laptop being powered by direct sunlight. All versions did share the same core concept, that the display and functional features on both sides, were labeled as "electronic device display module". Currently displays baked into laptops have a screen on one side, and a non-functional lid surface on the other - which is for protection purposes.

 

Apple's new patent would see the back of its MacBook screen turned into a very special part of the device. The main concept involves a multifunctional outer surface for the laptop, which would feature photovoltaic cells, that would let the computer run indefinitely, as long as it was in sunlight.

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Facebook's mobile ads now make up over half its revenue

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 7:33 am

Thanks to Facebook's 945 million monthly users, 53% of the social network's revenue comes from mobile advertising. Facebook earned $2.59 billion in revenue for Q4 2013, with 556 million daily active users on mobile for the month, and 945 million monthly active users on mobile.

 

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The 556 million daily active users was just for December, which represents a 49% year-over-year increase, while the 945 million mobile monthly active users is up 39% year-over-year. This is so thanks to Facebook's News Feed ads, and its auto-play videos - as much as they annoy you, it's making the social network some serious green.

Age reversing process in mice successful, next step is human trials

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 5:24 am

Scientists have been working for years on the age reversing process, but it looks like we're very close to it being a reality. Scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in mice, according to a new study.

 

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The next step? Human trials, something that will begin possibly before 2014 wraps up. The study itself was published in the peer reviewed science journal, Cell, after US and Australian scientists made the breakthrough discovery. David Sinclair of the University of New South Wales, and lead researcher, says he's hopeful that the results can be duplicated in human trials.

 

Where this gets amazing, is that not only could the aging process be slowed down, but a measurable reversal. The study showed that after administering a certain compound to the mice, muscle degeneration and diseases caused by aging were reversed. Sinclair was amazed at the results, saying they had exceeded his expectations, he explained: "I've been studying aging at the molecular level now for nearly 20 years and I didn't think I'd see a day when ageing could be reversed. I thought we'd be lucky to slow it down a little bit. The mice had more energy, their muscles were as though they'd be exercising and it was able to mimic the benefits of diet and exercise just within a week. We think that should be able to keep people healthier for longer and keep them from getting diseases of ageing".

Continue reading 'Age reversing process in mice successful, next step is human trials' (full post)

Killzone: Shadow Fall sells 2.1 million units on the PS4

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 4:29 am

Guerrilla Games' first-person shooter, Killzone: Shadow Fall, has sold over 2.1 million copies worldwide. It reached the 2.1 million mark by not just physical Blu-ray copies, but digital downloads through the PlayStation Store, too.

 

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The developer hit 2.1 million sales on January 15, according to Sony. Killzone 2 took seven weeks to reach 1 million sales, but with Killzone: Shadow Fall being released on November 15, racking up double that amount in the same time is impressive. Did you expect more or less sales of the next-gen FPS on the PS4?

Mario Kart 8 will skid onto the Wii U in May

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 30, 2014 3:28 am

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed today that Mario Kart 8 will reach the Wii U in May, although he didn't quite give an exact date, it will be a global release when it happens.

 

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Mario Kart 8 will be the first Mario Kart title for Nintendo's next-gen console, which will feature elements such as anti-gravity. Locations in Mario Kart 8 will include jungle ruins, deserts and the clouds. Mario Kart 8 gamers will also enjoy a new player to take control of, Rosalina.

Lenovo buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 29, 2014 10:38 pm

Lenovo has just purchased Motorola Mobility from Google for a cool $2.91 billion, which will provide the Chinese smartphone manufacturer with a more competitive stance in the US market.

 

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The Chinese manufacturer will complete the purchase with a mix of cash, and stock. Google will continue to own most of Motorola's patents, while 2,000 patents and a license on the remaining patents will be handed over to Lenovo. Lenovo will shell out $660 million in cash to Google, $750 million in stock, and the remaining $1.5 billion will be paid out over the next three years.

 

Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement "Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere".

Continue reading 'Lenovo buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion' (full post)

3D printing will stir ethics, regulation debate, Gartner predicts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Jan 29, 2014 10:09 pm

The 3D printing movement will see a strong boost from the biopharmaceutical industry, and that will bring about ethical and moral issues that need to be sorted out. Major ethical debates will likely take place by 2016, according to research firm Gartner, as developing nations and emerging markets should drive 3D demand.

 

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Companies that have the ability to print human tissue and organs, for example, are well-intentioned, but there is very little medical precedent.

 

"3D bioprinting facilities with the ability to print human organs and tissue will advance far faster than general understanding and acceptance of the ramifications of this technology," claims Pete Basiliere, Gartner Research Director, in a statement. "These initiatives are well-intentioned, but raise a number of questions that remain unanswered. What happens when complex 'enhanced' organs involving nonhuman cells are made? Who will control the ability to produce them? Who will ensure the quality of the resulting organs?"

 

As 3D printing continues to increase, with increased health and biopharma implications, the debate needs to begin sooner rather than later.

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