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Amazon is most reputable US company, forges ahead of Apple

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 11:27 pm

In a new Harris poll that sought the opinions of more than 14,000 people, Amazon has come out on top in two of the six categories. The poll asked respondents to rank companies based upon six criteria: social responsibility; emotional appeal; financial performance; products and services; vision and leadership; and workplace environment.

 

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Amazon pulled out a win in the "emotional appeal" and "products and services" categories. Amazon managed to place in the top five for the other four categories. Overall, Amazon managed to come out with a grade of 82.62, which makes this the fifth year in a row that they placed above 80 out of 100.

 

"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive," Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. "And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than 9 in 10 members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family."

 

Google made it into the top five for five of the criteria and Apple, just four. Still, tech companies appear to be doing well when it comes to reputation. Even Facebook made it into the Top 60 companies.

Snapchat beta testing self-destructing videos in Android version of app

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Snapchat users running the app on Android haven't been able to send candid, self-destructing video messages, though this should soon change. Snapchat is beta testing the ability for Android-based Snapchat users to send videos that self-destruct Mission Impossible style before launching the update for all Android users.

 

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Yesterday, an invitation may have popped up and--pardon the pun--self-destructed on your device. If you missed registering for the beta, you'll have to wait until the app is updated in the Google Play Store. This could take a few days to a few weeks depending on how many bugs are found by the beta testers.

 

Of course, we caution users that the ability to save videos and pictures by looking into the app's files before viewing still exists. If there is something you can't have getting out, we recommend not sending it via Snapchat.

Vuzix releases 3D augmented reality glasses Wrap 1200AR, cost just $1499

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 10:31 pm

Vuzix new augmented reality glasses, the Wrap 1200AR, are similar in many ways to the Wrap 1200VR set. The main difference here is that the new pair of glasses focus on augmented reality (hence the AR as opposed to the VR). They feature two VGA cameras that record stereoscopic video of where you're looking.

 

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This allows them to produce 3D images that have been augmented with the requested augmented reality data. The idea here is that users can see information about exhibits, cities, and other things while walking around. It's not clear who would want these glasses, but if you do, you'll have to shell out $1,499.

 

Paul Travers, President and CEO, Vuzix Corporation:

 

We are excited to be shipping these new digital ARglasses, offering a huge 75-inch screen, as seen from 10 feet. New features such as adjustable eye-separation, synchronized camera and display tilt combine for the best digital see-through AR user experience on the market. AR is taking the world by storm and is gaining momentum in many markets. We provide these AR tools to research facilities, universities, game developers and enthusiasts, enabling them to develop affordable and compelling Augmented Reality solutions.

Luxury cell phone manufacturer Vertu launches new Android device called Ti

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 10:02 pm

We just can't justify spending $10,000 on a mobile phone, but there are apparently people out there that are. Vertu, a luxury phone manufacturer that used to be owned by Nokia, has just released a new model that will cost just about that. Even more interesting is the fact that the specifications aren't that great.

 

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The front camera is a mere 1.3 megapixels and it only features 64GB of internal storage. The device is mainly aimed at the super rich who want to buy the device because of the brand and price tag rather than the actual specifications. Previous devices by Vertu have retailed for as much as $90,000.

 

Even still, $10,000 for a device is quite incredible. If you had the cash around to buy one, would you?

Dropbox introduces more admin features for enterprise users

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 9:32 pm

Dropbox has become fairly ubiquitous with cloud storage and syncing for consumers. Most people don't know that Dropbox is trying to work its way into the enterprise market with services such as Dropbox for Teams. Dropbox for Teams is aimed at the business market and allows multiple users to connect to a single Dropbox.

 

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Dropbox has introduced more admin features today that should help boost Dropbox's use in the professional world. New additions to the admin features include the ability for managers to keep track of all signed-in users, control permissions for what they are allowed to do, see how much space they're using, and see what kind of devices users have connected.

 

Dropbox would like to take away some of the market from its competitor Box. Box's service was designed with the enterprise at the forefront so Dropbox has a good distance to make up to catch Box.

Intel confirms they will launch Internet-based TV service this year

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 9:03 pm

There were some rumors, discussions, and rumblings about Intel working on a settop box and Internet TV service. Erik Huggers, Intel's general manager of media, has confirmed that Intel is working on an Internet-based TV service and plans to launch it sometime this year.

 

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"For the first time, we will deliver ... a new consumer electronics product that people will buy from Intel through a new brand," Huggers said.

 

Don't get too excited, though, as it appears that the service will be similar to how cable currently offers. It won't likely come with the ability to purchase individual channels. "If bundles are bundled right, there's real value in that. ... I don't believe the industry is ready for pure a la carte."

 

Details on the service are still scarce, but we can expect to know more now that it has been officially confirmed.

RumorTT: Samsung may debut Galaxy S IV mini, Galaxy Watch at same time as Galaxy S IV

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 8:29 pm

All eyes will be on Samsung in the coming weeks and months as we approach the rumored launch date for the successor to the Galaxy S III. Rumors place the device as the Galaxy S IV and say that it will be announced sometime in March with a launch in May. New rumors are saying we can expect more than just the S IV.

 

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Samsung could also be working on a mini version of the S IV, much like they did with the S III. This would make a lot of sense as it provides brand recognition and could be offered at a lower price point than the more powerful S IV. The rumor says that this device might launch at the same time as the full-size S IV.

 

Another rumored device is a possible watch-like product that would be compatible with arm bands and the like. The device could be in response to Apple's rumored iWatch and sounds like it would operate somewhat like the older iPod nano did.

 

We'll be keeping our eyes on Samsung to see if we can track down more information on these rumored devices.

PS3 users get Call of Duty: Black Ops II Revolution DLC February 28

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 8:02 pm

If you've been waiting for the new Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC on PlayStation 3, your wait will soon be over. The Revolution DLC pack is coming to PlayStation 3 users on February 28, or just over two weeks from today. The DLC is identical to the one that was released on Xbox 360 late last month.

 

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It features four new multiplayer maps, a new Zombies map, and a new Zombies game mode. Additionally, the DLC contains the first-ever DLC-added multiplayer weapon. This new gun comes in the form of the Peacekeeper SMG and is only available in multiplayer aspects of the game.

 

You can find out all about the new maps on PlayStation's announcement page.

Montana Emergency Alert System hacked, broadcast reports of Zombies rising from the grave

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 7:21 pm

Yesterday, an emergency alert broadcast interrupted Montana television viewers with a message that was both horrifying and hilarious at the same time. The obviously bogus message reported that "Dead bodies are rising from their graves".

 

 

The fraudulent alert was quickly pulled off the airwaves by Great Falls based KRTV and an apology was quickly issued. The alert was the result of a hack into the EAS system and authorities have yet to find the culprit.

 

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While the motivation is still unclear as to why the hack was issued, some speculate that it could have been a viral marketing campaign for the popular TV show The Walking Dead. One thing is certain though; I think we all can admit to this being the funniest thing we have seen all week.

Netflix and DreamWorks partner up to create new kids series, Turbo F.A.S.T.

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 6:22 pm

Netflix is continuing down its path of original content creation. The company has announced that it has teamed up with DreamWorks to develop its first TV show aimed at children.

 

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Turbo F.A.S.T. is the spinoff of the movie Turbo, which is set to hit theaters this summer. Netflix is looking to capitalize on its predicted success by creating the new series. As part of the deal, Netflix will offer its customers access to DreamWorks Animation feature titles in the US.

 

The deal with DreamWorks is significant as Netflix now has content up from the two biggest names in animated film - the other being Disney, which signed a deal with Netflix last year. As a Netflix subscriber, I like the deal of being able to stream additional exclusive content. For me, it just makes it easier to justify spending the extra $8 a month on a service I do not use as much as I should.

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