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Sony Pictures injects Smurfs 2 with millions of dollars in product placement

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jun 14, 2013 12:06 pm

Ever seen a movie full of obvious product placement? Perhaps it was the constant endorsement of Sony products in Casino Royale, a de-hydrated Pizza Hut Pizza in Back To The Future Part II, or Ray-Bans in Men In Black?




Well it seems that Sony Pictures forthcoming theatrical release of The Smurfs 2 has upped the ante in the product placement stakes. According to a report on The Wrap, the internal Sony Pictures Consumer Marketing Group have inked deals worth $150 million to promote products during the film, including McDonalds, Toys R Us and Wal Mart - not least the fact the film will serve to promote The Smurfs 2 own line of merchandise which will no doubt saturate stores prior to release.


For a production budget expected to be around $110 million, it seems that Sony Pictures have a free motion picture on their hands. Coupled with the first film which grossed over $500 million worldwide, we can be sure that The Smurfs 2 won't be the last feature film adventure for the blue little... things.




The Smurfs 2 hits cinemas in the United States on July 31st and Australia on 12th September.

Facebook to get rid of their Sponsored Results, hooray!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 14, 2013 11:14 am

Something that has been itching at me for quite a few weeks now is Facebook's 'Sponsored Results', but it's almost as if the social networking giant was reading my mind - most likely with the help of the NSA - and are now going to removing them.




Facebook will retract the annoying ads in July, and have been using them mostly for brands, groups and in searches since August of 2012. The social networking site decided to cut the ads after noticing that the marketers were using both the Sponsored Results and mobile app install ads in a similar fashion. Businesses will continue to use mobile app install ads, so don't expect too much of a de-clutter from your mobile social networking experience.

Xbox One might not work in unsupported countries, would stop imports

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 14, 2013 10:12 am

If you're living in a country where the Xbox One doesn't launch in at the end of the year and were thinking of importing, you might have to cancel those plans. It looks like Microsoft's next-gen console won't be supported in countries that it hasn't launched in yet, meaning imports are out of the question.




The question was tackled through Xbox Support through Twitter, where Gregor Ivezic asked if the "Xbox One will block activation of games if outside of the IP range of a supported country" to which @XboxSupport2 answered with "You'll be able to play when you return home. I travel with an Xbox 360 for road gaming."


The problem is, Japan isn't even getting the console at the end of the year, which is going to piss off a lot of Japanese gamers. It looks like Sony are going to be winning a huge war on this front, with the PlayStation 4 being region-free and all. "

Elysium's latest trailer gives you a much better look at the movie

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jun 14, 2013 8:54 am

I've finally landed back in Australia after being in Taiwan for two weeks for Computex and the first movie trailer I'm greeted to is Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi flick, Elysium. The first trailer gave us just a glimpse of the movie, but this new trailer is kicking all sorts of ass.



As you can see above, we're in for a treat, and what surprises me is that this is Blomkamp's second big movie - I hope he rises from here. The trailer doesn't give too much away, but if you want to stay spoiler free, I'd suggest you not watch the trailer - but that is a hard thing to do these days.

Continue reading 'Elysium's latest trailer gives you a much better look at the movie' (full post)

MSI launches 14-inch GT40 "Dragon Eyes" laptop

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 8:07 pm

MSI has just launched what could very well be the perfect combination of alterable portability combined with deadly gaming capability. The GE40 comes armed with state-of-the-art components including an Intel Haswell Core i7 processor and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M GPU.




The GE40 is able to take full advantage of the GTX 760M by adding a Matrix display that allows users output to up to three displays simultaneously. The laptop also features Sound Blaster Cinema and Audio Boost technologies that pack one hell of an aural punch.




Possibly the coolest feature is the all aluminum body that displays hidden backlit dragon eyes on the top cover. The GE40 is available in two storage configurations a 750GB hard drive or 125GB mSATA SSD paired with a 750GB hard drive for increased performance. Both models feature 8 GB of DDR three, a gigabit LAN adapter, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.




To celebrate the launch of the GE40, MSI is holding the "Just Game!" Giveaway through their Facebook page. Participants will have the opportunity to win over $4000 in prizes, including a completely new MSI GE40 valued at $1,399.99.

Broadcom introduces new HSPA+ chipset designed for budget Android devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 7:19 pm

This morning Broadcom announced the arrival of a new quad-core HSPA+ chipset aimed at the budget minded Android smartphone market. The BCM23550 is a 1.2GHz A7 quad-core processor capable of HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps down and 5Mbps up and is optimized to run on Android 4.2 devices.




The new piece of silicon also supports HD Voice and 12MP cameras with H.264 1080p video capture and playback, and offers the usual litany of connectivity options such as NFC, Bluetooth, 5G Wi-Fi, RFID and GPS. The chip is also capable of supporting dual HD 720p displayport that is compatible with Miracast.


The new chipset is pin-to-pin compatible with Broadcom's existing dual-core BCM21664T which will most certainly free up some R&D time for manufacturers. While this is a chip aimed at the low-end, it is by far not a low-end chip. A year ago, a processor like this would have been featured in flagship phones. This means that even the so-called "low-end" Android phones are getting better and faster every day.

Twitter opens up Analytics to everyone, now see your complete follower and tweet data

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 7:00 pm

Twitter announced this morning that it has began opening up it's Twitter Analytics Platform to the public, a feature that was previously only open to advertising partners. This means that users can now track the "reach" of their tweets as well as track what country their post have the most reach in.




All of the data can be downloaded into a CSV file allowing users to build customized graphs, spreadsheets and presentations based on their actual Twitter analytics. At the moment all Twitter users should be able to access the data, but some accounts are experiencing issues. Twitter hopes to work out these bugs soon and says to keep checking back if you are having issues.

iFixit tears down new Xbox 360 E, mostly the same hardware with minor cosmetic changes

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 5:39 pm

Pretty much everyone was surprised this week when Microsoft announced a new redesigned Xbox 360 even though it planned to launch the next generation Xbox one just a few months from now. Not wasting any time, repair manual website iFixit, has just posted the world's first teardown of the Xbox 360 Model E.




IFixit notes that apart from a model name change, and cosmetic case updates, there is very little difference between the original Xbox 360 and the 360 E. It appears that the cosmetic changes were implemented to save on the cost of manufacturing the machine.




The costs saving measures include a redesign rear port area which cuts the A/V and S/PDIF ports from existence. Additionally Microsoft has removed one USB port from the back panel cutting the numbers down to just four. It appears that Microsoft used the exact same heat sink and cooling fan as the previous model which makes sense because they solve the RRoD issues with the S. Additionally the hard drive is easier to remove, but comes hermetically sealed inside a plastic case.

Microsoft demos what the new Kinect sensor is capable of at E3 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 4:14 pm

E3 2013 - At a demo given today, a Microsoft employee demonstrated how the new Kinect really stepped up the game when it comes to movement tracking technology. He went on to show off the cameras abilities with a 1080p full-color feed as well as what Microsoft is calling "Active IR", in which the Kinect sensor uses infrared light to enable you to play games using the sensor even at night time with the lights turned off.



The demo went on to display some high-definition skeletal renderings which could be used to control in game characters, participate in online exercise programs, and much more. During workout routines the Kinect would be able to demonstrate which muscles are getting the most workout as well as which positions offer specific body types the best workout.



Continue reading 'Microsoft demos what the new Kinect sensor is capable of at E3 2013' (full post)

TweakTown's Systems Editor goes hands-on with the new Alienware 18

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jun 13, 2013 3:46 pm

E3 2013 - Alienware's new 18 gaming laptop to turn out to be one of the hottest mobile gaming platforms 2013. Featuring quad-core Haswell i7 processors and running dual NVIDIA 780M GPUs in SLI the Alienware 18 is a beast of a laptop. From the video it appears to be about 2.5-inches thick and I can only estimate that it weights a few pounds.



The unique "Alien Glow" accent lighting around the edge of the chassis is a nice touch as in the back-lit keyboard. One would think that such a monstrous system would rival a furnace in heat production, but Trace says that it appears to manage heat dissipation well as the base nor the surface were overly warm to the touch.



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