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Google updates G+ app for Android, drops messenger and adds more

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 10:02 pm

Today, Google rolled out a major update to its Google+ application for Android. Some of the updated features include the ability to easily switch between multiple Google+ accounts with just a couple of taps from your fingers. This is similar to how account switching works in Gmail for Android. Google has also built in Google Apps for Business, which will allow users to share content if their apps administrator has enable Google+.




Google Drive photos and videos are now also accessible from within the Google+ app and will allow users the option to view and/or share them straight from Google+. The company says that Drive photos in particular will get enhanced and Awesome'd automatically now. Additionally, Google has improved location sharing by adding even more controls that allow you to share your pinpoint or city-level location with others on a circle-by-circle basis.


Finally, Google announced that Messenger is going away for good and that Hangouts will now become the de facto Google messaging service. At first, you will see messenger disappear on Android, with iOS soon following. Beginning later today, Google will allow all users to download the entirety of their messenger conversations--including text and photos--from Google Takeout. The refresh also includes other updates like pull-to-refresh and several other UI and backend enhancements. Google said that they will leave it up to us to figure out what those are.

RumorTT: LG will launch its G Pad 8-inch tablet in September

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 9:04 pm

It appears that LG is planning a return to the tablet market and is planning a 8.3-inch Android-based slate under its premium G series name. Originally leaked through the blog, the new device will allegedly be named the G Pad. This will be LG's first foray back into the tablet world since its failed Optimus Pad back in 2011.




The G pad is said to feature an 8.3-inch touchscreen that packs a pixel resolution of 1920x1200, an unnamed quad-core processor, and 2GB of RAM. Some industry analysts are speculating that the overall dimensions of the device will be 8.3 inches with the actual screen only being 8 inches. This would put it in the same class as Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0, which has an overall measurement of 8.3 inches wide.


The screen resolution of 1920x1200 lands it alongside other tablet such as ASUS' Transformer Pad and Google's newly released next-gen Nexus 7. If LG can manage to keep the cost down and can price it similar to the Nexus 7, we can see this new tablet flying off the shelves. No information has surfaced on a possible launch window, but we will be sure to keep you up to date on things as it unfolds.

Nokia Lumia 625 will arrive in the UK on Aug 28 for 179 euros

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 8:03 pm

Our European readers will be happy to hear that Nokia will be releasing its Lumia 625 in the UK at the end of this month. This Windows Phone 8 based smartphone will be available from O2, Vodafone, EE, Carphone Wharehouse, and Phones4U on August 28.




The 4.7-inch screen Lumia 625 features LTE, 7GB of free SkyDrive storage space, and comes in black, green, yellow, and orange. Those looking to sign a new contract will get the device for a 21 euro-per-month deal, while those wanting a SIM-free pay as you go (PAYG) option will have to fork over 179 euros to see the device land in their pocket.

RumorTT: Facebook is developing a VIP app for public figures

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 7:03 pm

Celebrities are an odd on bunch. One moment they accost the public and demand privacy, but just a few minutes later, they will jump onto Facebook or Twitter and post about every moment of their daily lives. Apparently posting to Facebook is not easy enough for celebrities and the company is said to be developing a new VIP app that would allow them extended access to the social network.




The new VIP app will allow celebrities and public figures to better manage their content and engage with their followers. Some see this as an effort on Facebook's part to lure celebrities away from Twitter and back into the white and blue social network. The app will supposedly let celebrities jump into conversations about them even if they are not following one of the commenters or are not a part of the group of friends having the conversation. Website TechEYE says that Facebook is even briefing celebrities on "best practices" for interaction with their fans on Facebook.

Samsung officially announces the Hennessy, another flip-phone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Yesterday we learned that Samsung is developing a second Android-based dual-screen flip phone called the Hennessy, and as with the Galaxy Folder, Samsung wasted no time in launching the device after the rumors began to spread. This morning, Samsung confirmed the existence of the new flip-phone when it officially announced the Hennessy.




Much like its Galaxy Folder sibling, the Hennessy features dual screens with a full keypad below and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Each screen is a 3.3-inch touch-compatible 480x320 LCD, which are powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. A five-megapixel camera is on hand to capture memories as they happen, while a 1500mAh battery keeps things up and running for quite some time. Storage is handled via a microSD card slot and the UI appears to be Samsung's TouchWiz.


Like the Galaxy Folder, the Hennessy features dual-SIM slots for GSM and CDMA networks. This new folder will only be available in Asian markets and at the moment no pricing or availability information has been released. Stay tuned to TweakTown for full coverage of all of Samsung's new devices.

New Seagate M.2 NGFF-based SSD spotted at Flash Memory Summit

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 4:45 pm

Flash Memory Summit 2013 - During a walk-through of the exhibit halls at the 2013 Flash Memory Summit, TweakTown's own Chris Ramseyer spotted Seagate's new M.2 NGFF-based SSD. While that is cool within itself, it appears that the new M.2 is based on LSI's SandForce Controller and not Seagate's in-house solution.




Not much else is known about the Seagate M.2 yet, but we will be doing some digging and report back with all the info as it becomes available. Stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest breaking news and product unveiling from the 2013 Flash Memory Summit.

Microsoft officially announces Windows 8.1 launch date--Oct. 17-18

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 4:05 pm

It appears that yesterday's report from Mary Jo Foley about Microsoft releasing Windows 8.1 in October was correct. Today, the company confirmed that Windows 8.1 will be arriving in digital download format at 12:00AM on October 18 in New Zealand, which means it will launch in the US at 12:00AM on October 17.




While digital downloads go on sell on the 17, retail copies of the operating system will not be available for in-store purchase until October 18. Microsoft says that Windows 8.1 "continues the vision we began with Windows 8 and is an example of our commitment to continuous innovation and improvement for our customers. And Windows 8.1 brings many improvements in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, search which is powered by Bing, built-in apps including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity with SkyDrive (and much more) that people will enjoy."

BitFenix improves upon perfection, launches new Prodigy M chassis

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Today, Bitfenix announced an all-new version of its award-winning Prodigy chassis. Dubbed the Prodigy M, this new revision is designed around the mATX form factor and is being touted as the most compact and highly compatible case in the micro-ATX segment. The original Prodigy, while only reserved for the mini-ITX form factor, was a huge hit and taught many of us that you do not need a massive case for a high-performance system.




While this new case is able to accommodate the much larger micro-ATX motherboard, the overall dimensions of the case stay the same, allowing enthusiasts to build more feature-rich gaming systems, A/V workstations, or just a powerful PC inside a small form factor case. The new Prodigy M is able to accommodate dual graphics cards in either SLI or Crossfire configurations as it now features five expansion slots.


Bitfenix has completely retooled the inside of the chassis to accommodate both micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, while also making room for graphics cards up to 320mm in length. There's still room for a full ATX power supply, a single 5.25-inch drive, and users are able to fit CPU coolers up to 180mm in height. In case water cooling is your thing, Bitfenix says that there is space for a 240mm radiator with a maximum thickness of 27mm.

Continue reading 'BitFenix improves upon perfection, launches new Prodigy M chassis' (full post)

Brazilian government sues Samsung over poor working conditions

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 12:34 pm

The Brazilian government isn't happy with Samsung, with Brazil's Ministry of Labor filing a lawsuit against Samsung over its poor working conditions in a smartphone assembly plant in Zona Franca de Manaus.




The South Korean giant is being accused of excessive work hours without rest, few chairs to sit on and a bunch of health problems ranging from bad backs to tenonitis. 2,018 requests for withdrawal have been filed, which is quite a lot considering the factory hires 5,600 people.


The Brazilian government is seeking around $110 million in compensation for its workers. Samsung has said in a statement to Reporter Brasil, a Brazilian publication, that they will cooperate fully with authorities, and have pledged to ensure "the highest industry standards regarding safety, health and well-being." Too little, too late, I don't understand why they wouldn't just do this from the beginning. Oh, wait, profits.

Edward Snowden says the NSA targeted journalists after 9/11

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 11:32 am

Edward Snowden, who you should know by now is one of the biggest whistleblowers ever, has said that the NSA targeted reporters who wrote 'critically' about the government over the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US and warned it was "unforgivably reckless" for journalists to use unencrypted e-mail when discussing sensitive matters.




This is coming from an interview between Snowden and the New York Times Magazine, where Snowden said he came to trust Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who helped report his disclosure of the NSA's spying programs along with Guardian reporter, Glenn Greenwald, because she herself had been targeted by the US spy agency.


Snowden said in the article: "Laura and [Guardian reporter] Glenn [Greenwald] are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures."

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden says the NSA targeted journalists after 9/11' (full post)

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