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T-Mobile slices 1,900 jobs, also closes seven call centers across the U.S.

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 1:34 am

T-Mobile have just announced that they will be cutting 1,900 jobs as well as closing seven of their call centers throughout the US as part of a plan that is said to reduce overhead as well as stockpile cash in order to invest in a restructuring plan after AT&T failed on their planned acquisition.

 

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The call centers that will be closed down are: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. For all of the call centers mentioned, they actually house 3,300 employees, but T-Mobile will be hiring 1,400 more workers at the remaining 17 centers.

 

Some employees are being offered transfers, and those who are being let go are said to be receiving severance pay and two months of healthcare. The cut of 1,700 employees may sound drastic, but it's just a slither of T-Mobile's total workforce, the 1,700 lost jobs represents 5-percent of the total workforce.

Instagram accepting Android registrations, hipsters, prepare those cameras

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 26, 2012 12:27 am

Over the weekend, Instagram opened up a sign-up page for the much-anticipated Android app. At the moment, it's not known what the sign-up page actually does, whether it gives you an early entry into the app, as users are encouraged to supply an e-mail address to be the "first in line".

 

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Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has hinted previously that the Android-based version of the popular camera app would be just weeks away, and has also teased that it might be more feature-rich than its iOS competition.

 

Instagram saw a surge in users when the iPhone 4S was released, and now sits at a very respectable 27 million users. As soon as Instagram for Android drops, you can be sure that we'll let you know.

Details on Samsung's coming Exynos 5 SoC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Mar 25, 2012 9:49 am

What do we have here? An official document on Samsung's upcoming Exynos 5 dual-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC). From the document, we can see it will sport 12.8GB/sec of bandwidth that runs through two 32-bit 800MHz memory ports, capable of providing support for both LPDDR3 and standard DDR3.

 

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The chip will also support USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0, which is a great step forward for Samsung and future devices that will feature this Exynos chip. It will also feature support for HSIC and C2C interfaces, which will give the chip the capability of LTE. High resolution image sensors are also getting baked in, which should provide support for handling 8-megapixel at 30fps, very nice.

 

The nitty-gritty is that the new Exynos chip sports an ARM Mali-T604 GPU and a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 which should be clocked between 1.7 and 2.0GHz, where we should expect performance to reach 14,000 DMIPS, which is 0.2DMIPS/MHz per core faster than Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 CPU, and 1.0 DMIPS/MHz per core faster than NVIDIA's Tegra 3.

Online streaming will overtake DVD sales in US this year

By: Trace Hagan | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:29 pm

With internet speeds constantly increasing, more and more people are able to stream music and videos online reducing the need for CDs and DVDs. Add in the lower cost of streaming options versus the alternative of going out to a theater or purchasing DVDs and you can see why, for the first time ever, the amount of online movies streamed legally will outpace the number of DVDs sold.

 

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IHS Screen Digest is predicting that 3.6 billion movies will be streamed in 2012 with only 2.6 billion DVD and blu-ray purchases occuring. This is the first time that online streaming has out-paced DVD purchases. But, I must now call into the question the study, just for our readers. When you purchase a DVD, you get to keep a copy of the movie in question. However, some of the main providers of online streaming are more akin to Blockbuster where you are renting a video and don't get to keep a copy.

FaceBook data study shows patterns in relationship patterns

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 9:29 pm

The FaceBook Data Team has published an interesting new study based upon U.S. Facebook data from 2010 and 2011. The data concerns the changes in relationship status and the trends associated with them. Some of the trends and results of the study are obvious, such as February 14th being the highest gain in new relationships, but there are less obvious results, such as the trends for the most common break up day. The best part? This data is separated into 3 distinct age groups.

 

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Today, being Friday (in the US at least), is the most common day for breakups for people older than 25, so be on the watch for a breakup. But if you're single, don't fret, because Monday is the statistically highest day for new relationships. For people under 25, Thursday is the highest day for breakups, probably because they want to be able to go out Friday night and party.

Continue reading 'FaceBook data study shows patterns in relationship patterns' (full post)

RumorTT: Intel releasing new 300 and 700 Series SSDs in May

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 8:28 pm

Following on the heels on its SSD 520 release, Intel is rumored to be getting ready to unveil a couple more drives in May. Rumor has it that the company will introduce a new 300 Series model (codenamed Maple Crest) for the mainstream consumer market and a 720 Series (codenamed Ramsdale) for enterprise applications.

 

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The rumor lacks some detail, such as what storage size it will be available in, what controller it will use, or what interface it will use. Its predecessor uses SATA 3Gbps and is available in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB sizes, so I would imagine that would be a safe guess that it will at least meet these, if not exceed.

 

Beyond the rumored May relase, Intel is set to transition to 20nm NAND flash in Q3 and will most likely release a brand new 500 Series solid-state drive codenamed King Crest. Q4 should bring updates to the 700 Series with larger sizes and higher performance. It'll be interesting how the other SSD manufacturers counter these releases.

RumorTT: Xbox 720, Playstation 4 won't block used

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 7:28 pm

GameStop fully believes that the Xbox 720/NEXT and Playstation 4 will not implement a system to block used games. This belief could be based on hope simply because GameStop relies on the used game market for around half of its profits. GameStop controls somewhere around 60-70% of first-week sales. This means that the game manufacturers need GameStop to stay around in order to market their goods.

 

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"We think it's unlikely that there would be that next-gen console because the model simply hasn't been proven to work. Remember that used video games have a residual value. Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used games model," said Raines. "So consider taking used games out of that, you'd have to find new ways to sell the games, and our partners at the console companies have great relationships with us."

 

However, when used games are sold, publishers don't see a dime. Hence they have started using online passes in the past two years to try to make some money off of the used game sales. So, while you may have to pay for a new online pass for a used game, the game itself is not going anywhere for the time being.

Angry Birds Space IS coming to Windows Phone

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 6:32 pm

Forget what Rovio was saying yesterday, Rovio CEO Mikael Hed has done a complete 180 and said that the company is working on porting it to the Microsoft platform. According to him, it is a "big undertaking to support" and that "you have to completely rewrite the application." A new power-up, called Space Eagles, is awarded for progressing throughout the game or can be bought via an in-app purchase.

 

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The game has topping sales charts since it was released yesterday. Currently, the first 60 levels are playable, with more coming through updates. Hed said "We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7," which indeed confirms that it will be released for almost every mobile segment now available. No release date has been set for sure.

Senator drafting bill to prevent potential employers from requiring Facebook logins

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 5:31 pm

Earlier today, we reported the FaceBook issued a statement regarding employers and the like who asked for FaceBook log in credentials. Well now, a senator in the USA is reportedly drafting a bill to make this illegal. The DOJ has already said they believe breaking FaceBook's ToS, which ban giving your password to someone, is a federal offence, but have sated they will not be prosecuting it.

 

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The senator described the requests as an "unreasonable invasion of privacy for people seeking work," adding that the bill would be ready "in the very near future." The practice is akin to them asking to open your postal mail to see if there is anything interesting in there. With everyone up in arms about the practice, it's no wonder someone thought it to be a good idea to write a law regarding it.

iOS 5 contains Safari bug, opens users to malicious sites

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 4:31 pm

This is a cautionary story for all of those iOS 5 users out there, including the new iPad 3 users. Germany security firm MajorSecurity discovered a bug earlier this month that can be used to trick you into visiting potentially malicious Web sites. The bug was first discovered in iOS 5 and was replicated in iOS 5.1. Apple was informed of the bug by MajorSecurity on March 3, but has not yet issued a patch.

 

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"The weakness is caused due to an error within the handling of URLs when using javascript's window.open() method," explained David Vieira-Kurz of MajorSecurity. "This can be exploited to potentially trick users into supplying sensitive information to a malicious Web site, because information displayed in the address bar can be constructed in a certain way, which may lead users to believe that they're visiting another web site than the displayed web site."

Continue reading 'iOS 5 contains Safari bug, opens users to malicious sites' (full post)

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