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RumorTT: Next-gen Kinect sensor costs nearly as much as the entire Xbox One to build

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 12:30 pm

The next-gen Kinect sensor that arrives with the Xbox One has had its own world of controversy lately, with all of the always-on, always-listening pieces we've been writing about for weeks now.

 

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But, news has broken from a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AmA) from a Microsoft employee who has said that the Kinect plays a large role in the Xbox One experience. The person said that Microsoft bundled the Kinect with all Xbox One consoles to make sure all developers and gamers had access to it for all games, not just specific ones.

 

He also added that Microsoft took a big risk with the new Kinect sensor, where he noted that it "costs almost as much as the console to make" and "the success of the Kinect carries much more weight." The high price of manufacturing the Kinect sensor could explain why Microsoft couldn't compete with the PlayStation 4's price of $399 - $100 cheaper than the Xbox One which will cost $499.

Instagram CEO says the photo-sharing app 'will be the biggest thing in the world', eclipsing Facebook

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am

Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, has some seriously high hopes for his company. Just how high? Sky high. Instagram has come a very long way, with the company being purchased by Facebook for $1 billion last year.

 

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Since then, their user base has expanded by a very hefty 130 million users. Systrom has said that if Instagram continues to grow at this rate, it will not only be bigger than Facebook, but it "will be the biggest thing in the world." I don't know about that, because Kanye West's ego is pretty big, but hey, who am I to judge?

 

I don't see Instagram maintaining this growth without serious change, as they have nothing like Facebook on offer apart from sharing a 15-second video or some pictures. During an interview with Fast Company, the Instagram CEO said: "Now, will we continue to grow at this rate [and outgrow Facebook]? Different question."

Acer drops Thunderbolt, gives USB 3.0 a big embrace instead

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:24 am

Acer have made quite a bold move today, shifting away from the super-fast Thunderbolt technology and into the arms of USB 3.0 from this point on. Acer spokesperson Ruth Rosene has said that USB 3.0 is less expensive than Thunderbolt, offering close to the same bandwidth, as well as charging devices we use in our every day lives like smartphones and tablets.

 

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Intel are on the defensive, as you can imagine, with the Director of Intel's Client Connectivity Division, Jason Ziller, saying that there are over a dozen new platforms on the market that are powered by Thunderbolt with the Haswell-based fourth-generation Core processors from Intel. ASUS, Dell and Lenovo are all big names who are working with Intel and using Thunderbolt.

 

Ziller did note that Thunderbolt isn't aimed at value or mid-range systems, and that it is designed for premium systems. This will only become more apparent when Thunderbolt 2 arrives, which is capable of bi-directional speeds of 20Gbps.

Edward Snowden reveals that Microsoft have built a backdoor in Outlook.com for the NSA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:01 am

aEdward Snowden is probably the most wanted man in the world right now to the United States, with every single slither of information he releases has huge repercussions for every citizen. Today's revelation? Outlook.com has a backdoor, and Microsoft built it for the NSA.

 

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When Microsoft starting testing Outlook.com, the NSA asked for access. Microsoft were forced to work, asking the FBI for some assistance, which took five month of collaboration to build a workaround that gives the NSA full access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The backdoor access began two months before Outlook.com went live.

 

There is a workaround, supposedly, where enabling encryption on Outlook will stop the NSA and probably half the governments of the world from looking at your private data. An NSA newsletter states: "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden reveals that Microsoft have built a backdoor in Outlook.com for the NSA' (full post)

Google's Q2 earnings report will be released this week, just after their stock prices hit a record high of $928

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 9:19 am

Google seem to be unstoppable, but do did Apple at the beginning of last year, too. But, the Mountain View-based search giant have just seen a record high stock price of $928 today, ahead of their Q2 2013 earnings report this week.

 

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In April of this year, Google's stock price dropped to $765 after they released their Q1 2013 earnings report, but they jumped up to their original price after a few days. Google stock has steadily risen since their Q1 2013 earnings report was released, and it'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.

 

If the stock does drop, I'm sure it'll bounce back and if not, it'll be a few weeks. Google have countless products in the making, and unlike Apple they haven't cut themselves off from the market making their own devices, yet. Products like Glass and Android, as well as the great-selling Galaxy S4 have consumers hearts and wallets, and investors know this.

Refreshed Google Play Store design makes its way to the web

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:24 am

I've been loving the refreshed Google Play Store on my various Android-based devices, but now the web enjoys the same thing. The refreshed, card interface design is now on the web.

 

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Videos can continue to be rented and purchased, with the same going for books and devices. Subscriptions to magazines and Android app installations to your Android-based devices can all be done with the click of your mouse. The benefits of the refreshed look of the Google Play Store on the web include larger screenshots for Android apps and content, and it's all done on Google's webP format which loads much quicker than the previous site.

 

The menu sidebar is also identical to the usual Google apps on Android, which is a nice touch from Google.

Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:00 am

I've made my thoughts on the iPhone (and Apple as a company) many times before here on TweakTown, predicting that sales would drop late last year when the iPhone 5 was launching. Apple aren't releasing anything special, or different - the iPhone 5 being the peak of the 'sameish' iPhone game they've been playing for half a decade, except it was slightly taller.

 

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Well, Fortune have now taken a look at consensus projections for how many iPhones Apple sold over the past three months, with analysts not expecting much for the quarter coming. Apple haven't been able to report any year-over-year sales growth for the iPhone, which is a big problem.

 

Their consensus analyst estimates that we should expect somewhere between 26.7 million and 27.9 million iPhones sold over the three-month period, which is only a slither more than the 26 million iPhones Apple sold in the same quarter of 2012. Most people think a cheaper iPhone will help them and while it would help their sales numbers, it won't help their bottom line, or for the company over the long term.

Continue reading 'Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised' (full post)

Samsung secures patent for docking a smartphone into a tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:29 am

ASUS' PadFone made waves when it was announced with its ability to dock a smartphone into a tablet, but now Samsung have just secured a new patent that allows the same - a smartphone to be docked into a larger display, making it a tablet.

 

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Samsung gets away with it because the way the smartphone inserts into the dock is different to the way ASUS' works. Patent Bolt found the patent, which shows a T-shape space for a smartphone which allows the smartphone to easily be attached to the dock. The smartphone area looks to have an extra lipped section at the top, which is also different to ASUS' design.

 

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The filings were done in the US and Korea early last year, but there's still no news on when this will arrive from the ovens of Samsung.

RumorTT: Toshiba to release their AT7-A tablet, a 7-inch slate with Android 4.2.2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 6:52 am

We know that there's a refreshed Nexus 7 coming soon, which should hit a very delicious price of around $149-$199, but who will compete with the big boys on that level?

 

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Well, it looks like Toshiba could with their new AT7-A tablet. The news is coming from sources of Notebook Italia, who have screenshots of a benchmark run on the new tablet. We should expect a 1024x600-pixel display, an ARM Mali-400 GPU and 1.6GHz processor - something that could be either a dual- or quad-core variant.

Yahoo launches username wish list as it begins resetting inactive usernames

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 6:19 am

Last month, I reported that Yahoo would begin resetting inactive user accounts today, July 15. As expected, the company has started following through with this plan. This morning, Yahoo announced that it has launched its username wish list notification page (Source #2) where users can go and list up to five usernames they have always wanted associated with their Yahoo account. If and when these names become available, and after the reset process is complete, Yahoo will notify you of which names you were granted.

 

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Some of you may be wondering how Yahoo plans on determining which accounts get deleted and which accounts stay. The answer is quite simple: if your Yahoo account has been inactive for at least twelve months, your name, account, and all emails will be deleted. More than likely this has already taken place, but reports say that the process could take a few weeks.

 

Yahoo says that those first in line for a username will be emailed a link which allows them to claim them sometime in mid-August 2013. After that, Yahoo will allow you to add usernames to a watchlist so you the first to know when they become available. This leads us to believe that the inactive account deletion process will be an ongoing thing, and accounts will be deleted as they pass the 12 months of inactivity milestone.

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