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Apple's gift cards now supported by iOS 6 Passbook

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 3:51 pm

One of the biggest disappointments for me in iOS 6 hasn't been Apple's Maps application, although it comes to a very close second. It's definitely Apple's Passbook application as, for the life of me, I have yet to figure out what exactly I should be doing with it. I mean, do I have to download the Fandango application in order to have my ticket show up in my Passbook. Why don't I just use the Fandango app in order to show my ticket instead of Passbook?

 

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Aside from my own personal frustrations with Passbook, Apple has announced today that it will be making their Apple gift cards compatible with its Passbook application.

Continue reading 'Apple's gift cards now supported by iOS 6 Passbook' (full post)

Apple will begin manufacturing iPhone 5S in December; debuting early 2013

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 2:58 pm

My iPhone 5 has yet to get the smell of "new" off of its body, and already Apple is starting to ramp up production of its iPhone 5S according to reports from Chinese newspaper, Commercial Times.

 

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According to their report, Apple will begin manufacturing a trial batch of its "iPhone 5S" starting next month which will produce 50,000 to 100,000 units. Once the trial batch meets all of the requirements Apple has set for its products, full production will begin sometime in early 2013.

Continue reading 'Apple will begin manufacturing iPhone 5S in December; debuting early 2013' (full post)

Microsoft shows off new speech recognition technology that converts a speaker's voice into another language

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 12:35 pm

Rick Rashid, Microsoft's Chief Research Officer, has recently shown off a new speech recognition technology that converts a speaker's voice into a completely different language. The example used in the video below converts Rashid's English words into computer-generated Chinese language. Rashid took to a blog post, explaining:

 

 

Though it was a limited test, the effect was dramatic, and the audience came alive in response. When I spoke in English, the system automatically combined all the underlying technologies to deliver a robust speech to speech experience-my voice speaking Chinese. You can see the demo in the video above. The results are still not perfect, and there is still much work to be done, but the technology is very promising, and we hope that in a few years we will have systems that can completely break down language barriers.

 

Rashid also adds:

 

In other words, we may not have to wait until the 22nd century for a usable equivalent of Star Trek's universal translator.

Continue reading 'Microsoft shows off new speech recognition technology that converts a speaker's voice into another language' (full post)

China to launch manned mission spaceship in June 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 11:33 am

It looks like China is taking off to the stars next year, with a new manned space mission locked in for June 2013. A senior official in charge of the manned space programme has said that the three-person crew would consist of two men and one woman, reports the BBC.

 

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China is the third country to independently send a person into space, second only after Russia and the United States. The new plan follows the flight of the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which returned to Earth in late-June. The Shenzhou 9 was part of China's first manual space docking mission, which was a huge milestone in China's ambitious space programme.

 

The mission also saw another milestone: carrying China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang. Next year's mission could happen as early as June, but there are back-up launch windows slotted in for both July and August, according to Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of the manned space programme.

Continue reading 'China to launch manned mission spaceship in June 2013' (full post)

SEAL Team Six members reveal secrets with EA for the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter, have been disciplined

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 10:36 am

Uh oh, a group of US Navy SEALs have been disciplined over leaking out secret practices to Electronic Arts earlier this year. At least seven members of SEAL Team Six, an elite special forces group, have reportedly worked as paid consultants for EA over a two-day period this past spring and summer.

 

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Four members have since left the unit, and are also under investigation. The soldiers reportedly talked to EA and their work in special missions, all as data for Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The report states that the SEAL members used classified information that may have been given to them by the Navy and that they voluntarily violated the understanding that SEALs are silent warriors that don't like the public spotlight.

 

But, given that SEAL Team Six were involved in the raid that assassinated Osama bin Laden last year, that whole "we don't like the public spotlight" thing, has been kinda hard. Hollywood have two movies locked and loaded, one regarding the rescue of the captain of a container ship that had been kidnapped by Somali pirates, and the other centered on the raid itself on bin Laden.

Continue reading 'SEAL Team Six members reveal secrets with EA for the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter, have been disciplined ' (full post)

Google, ASUS help customers with vouchers and refunds due to the recent Nexus 7 price drop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 9:36 am

The Nexus 7's recent price drops have prompted Google and ASUS to begin handing out vouchers and refunds to Nexus 7 owners who ordered the 16GB version of the tablet after October 14.

 

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These customers get access to the ability to request Price Protection from Google, with affected consumers receiving a refund within two weeks. ASUS have also stepped up, offering 16GB Nexus 7 owners in the UK and Europe a voucher for 30 euros, or £25 ($38).

 

Customers who purchased from ASUS or Google directly before October 29 can apply up until the end of November, they will receive a voucher valid until the end of the year to be spend in the ASUS store.

Spotify seeks new funding, wants to raise $100 million at a $3 billion valuation

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 8:31 am

I have no idea why Google haven't acquired Spotify to combat against iTunes yet, but the music streaming and discovery service is looking to raise $100 million in a financing round that would see the company valued at $3 billion.

 

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Spotify is hoping to raise new funds from a bunch of investors, including Goldman Sachs. If the report is true, we're looking at a valuation target 25% lower, as earlier reports had them pegged at seeking $200 million on a valuation of $4 billion.

 

Reuters has reported that Spotify has already raised around $189 million in funding in previous financing rounds from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Accel Partners and more. Spotify, since its launch, has grown into a formidable competitor in the music industry, and is proud to be the number two source of revenue from the major record labels, only behind Apple's iTunes.

Continue reading 'Spotify seeks new funding, wants to raise $100 million at a $3 billion valuation' (full post)

Source Engine 2 is being worked on, Valve are just "waiting for a game to roll it out with"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 7:35 am

We kinda knew this was in the works, and I think we're going to see Half-Life 3 rolled out with it. But, during a visit from 4chan.org's /v/ board for his birthday, Valve boss Gabe Newell received some presents from some randoms from the Internet.

 

 

He had to pay $2.50 to unlock a real-life Mann Co. crate that included a TF2 Soldier hat inside, and he hung around to talk to fans of his, and his games, that came from all across the United States. The first question asked, and paraphrased from the above video, "Is Valve working on a new Source engine?"

 

Newell replied with "We've been working on new engine stuff for a while", adding "we've just been waiting for a game to roll it out with". Someone then follows that question up with "is it more than just an extension to Source? Like, is it an entirely new engine?" Newell, the hero that he is, replies with "yeah."

Continue reading 'Source Engine 2 is being worked on, Valve are just "waiting for a game to roll it out with"' (full post)

Viewers hate buffering, will leave a video after two seconds of waiting according to new study

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 6:27 am

Put your hand up if you're one of these people - throws hand in the air - yes, I admit it, I have the least patience when it comes to buffering a video. Well, a professor has now analyzed data from 6.7 million unique visitors, and has bashed his fingers on that calculator.

 

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According to a paper published by professor Ramesh K. Sitarman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, viewers begin to leave a video after a two second delay, with 6% leaving per second thereafter. The professor took into consideration videos under 30 minutes as "short", where I would consider a short video 1 minute, so your results may vary applies here.

 

But, his data does add up, with twice as many viewers leaving a "short" video, compared to long ones after a ten second startup delay. The report also finds, most obviously, that users' impatience with Internet speeds looks like an unwinnable battle. Viewers with higher-speed Internet connections had a much weaker tolerance for delays when compared to those with slower, or mobile data connections.

Continue reading 'Viewers hate buffering, will leave a video after two seconds of waiting according to new study' (full post)

UK court orders Apple to pay Samsung's legal fees in full - ouch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 5:32 am

It looks as though Apple aren't having much luck in court rooms outside the United States, as the Court of Appeal of England and Wales has ordered the Cupertino-based company to pay the legal fees of Samsung on an 'indemnity basis' after the company published a "false and misleading" notice in the aftermath of a patent lawsuit over the iPad.

 

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The judgement looks to embarrass Apple, requires the iPad maker to pay for all expenses associated with Samsung's legal defense, with any disputes over the exact amount likely be to resolved in Samsung's favor - ouch.

 

After losing an appeal in October, Apple were ordered to publish a notice on their front page of their UK website which has been deemed inaccurate. Apple complied with the court's wishes, but were sly and added some statements which according to the court were "calculated to product huge confusion". Included in these statements were a reference to a separate US verdict that saw Apple awarded more than $1 billion in damages.

Continue reading 'UK court orders Apple to pay Samsung's legal fees in full - ouch' (full post)

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