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Google's competition to Siri is codenamed Majel, could make it before the end of the year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 6:21 am

"Siri, what is your competition?" "Nothing, I'm the best thing out," says Siri. Well, not for long. Google's response to Apple's voice assistant looked to be codenamed Majel, which stems from Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who is better known as the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek.

 

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Google already have Voice Actions, and Majel would be an evolution of this with the addition of natural language processing. Voice Actions require voice prompts such as "sent text to..." or "navigate to..." Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language, similar to how Siri functions.

 

At the initial launch, Majel will only be able to do Google search enquiries, which could see the light of day in 2011. Google X engineers are reportedly working around the clock on finishing the first release, as the NYTime has reported previously that at least one product would make it out of the Google X labs before the end of the year.

Continue reading 'Google's competition to Siri is codenamed Majel, could make it before the end of the year' (full post)

Nokia employee says young people are "pretty much fed up with iPhones", disses Android, too

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 5:43 am

Ah, Nokia. Your days of being the king of the mountain are behind you, for now. Nokia's director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales, Niels Munksgaard, has come out and said in an interview that young people are baffled by Android and are fed-up with iPhone's.

 

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Here's a direct quote:

 

What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone," he said. "Also, many are not happy with the complexity of Android and the lack of security. So we do increasing see that the youth that wants to be on the cutting edge and try something new are turning to the Windows phone platform.

Continue reading 'Nokia employee says young people are "pretty much fed up with iPhones", disses Android, too' (full post)

Alan Wake to be released on PC early next year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 5:37 am

This is some of the best gaming-related news I could hear. I'm a huge fan of Remedy and remembered Alan Wake as a tech demo for quad-core processors on PCs years and years ago. Microsoft took it as an Xbox 360-exclusive and crushed my dreams.

 

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But, it has now been confirmed that Alan Wake is coming to PC and will include both The Signal and The Writer DLC packs. The game is coming with some high-resolution polish, thankfully. Remedy have given their explanation as to why they changed their mind about a PC version of Alan Wake by saying:

 

We weren't going to release a PC version...then we took an arrow to the knee.

Want a free Windows Phone? Sure, just tell Microsoft you're a Malware victim, oh and an Android owner

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 4:29 am

Android owner? Malware victim? Like free stuff? Well, all you'll need to do is tell Microsoft about the problems you've had with malware on your Android-based phone.

 

Microsoft's latest social media marketing intiative, is not to push their own Windows Phone-based products, but to take a stab at Google and their malware woes. Ben Rudolph, Microsoft Windows Phone "evanglist", is behind the scheme, which uses the hashtag "#droidrage" on Twitter.

 

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Linking followers to current news articles about Android malware, Rudolph says he will give an "upgrade" to a Windows Phone to the "5 best" stories of being a victim of Android malware.

Continue reading 'Want a free Windows Phone? Sure, just tell Microsoft you're a Malware victim, oh and an Android owner' (full post)

Futuremark update 3DMark 11 to v1.0.3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 3:54 am

Futuremark have been busy people lately, with the announcement yesterday of their notebook battery test suite, Powermark and today, an updated version of their ever-so-popular 3DMark 11. It has now been updated to v1.0.3 and includes the following additions from the release notes:

 

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- Bullet physics library updated to version 2.79 to improve compatibility with future CPUs and GPUs.

 

- For most systems containing multiple GPUs, for example integrated graphics and an additional discrete graphics card, the user can now select the GPU to be tested using a new option on the Help tab.

 

- Improved error handling and user messages for the most common compatibility issues.

 

- SystemInfo component updated to version 4.5 for improved compatibility with current and future hardware.

 

- New "More" tab with information about other Futuremark products and services.

Continue reading 'Futuremark update 3DMark 11 to v1.0.3' (full post)

Facebook are testing new coupon posts and ads

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 3:21 am

Facebook with their hundreds of millions of users, can pretty much do whatever they want and they've now started testing a new premium ad offering that allows pages to post a coupon to their fans and then use that post as an ad unit on the Facebook homepage.

 

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Users who notice the ad, or the page post, can click "Get Coupon." From here, it can be posted to a user's Wall, they'll then receive an e-mail from Facebook with the coupon and an option to share it with friends.

 

Facebook said that pages who are part of the limited test can offer discounts that customers can either redeem in-store or online. This new venture from Facebook is different to their Check-In Deals, which is a self-serve promotional tool that allows businesses to offer coupons to people who visit a location and check-in with Facebook.

Continue reading 'Facebook are testing new coupon posts and ads' (full post)

AMD CMO Nigel Dessau leaving the AMD construction site, turns off Bulldozer and hands hard hat in

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 2:29 am

AMD's chief marketing officer (CMO) Nigel Dessau, is leaving the company. Rory Read, CEO of AMD, has been making some "aggressive" changes to the company in a mission to turn AMD into a lean, well-oiled, profit-making business that it should be.

 

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Read has recently laid off a bunch of AMD staff, with a number of them reportedly from the marketing department. These people are most likely the ones who snuck out with the 800 million missing transistors from AMD's Bulldozer platform.

 

Dessau had joined AMD in 2008, and previously served as CMO for StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and IBM. He will leave in January, but will stay with AMD until their new Radeon HD 7000-series of GPUs have been unveiled.

Nintendo 3DS sells like a monster in Japan, thanks to Monster Hunter 3G

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 15, 2011 1:35 am

Nintendo's 3DS has endured quite the weird launch, with it seeing genuine success at launch, but post-launch numbers have fallen off, considerably. Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata did have a hunch last week that sales would pick up, and it appears he was right.

 

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Japan's biggest video game magazine, Famitsu, has said that the 3DS sold a whopping 378,114 units between December 5 and 11. Nintendo reported 371,326 units sold in the first two days after launch in Japan, but the last week was the most successful one for Nintendo since the launch of the 3DS.

 

We can see from the chart below, that it launched with nearly 400,000 units, then spiked again with the price drop, spiked again with the launch of Mario Kart 7 and has continued this rise with Monster Hunter 3G. Monster Hunter 3G is basted on the Wii game Monster Hunter 3, and is the first 3DS title in the fantasy action RPG series. According to Famitsu, the game had a very successful 48 hours, selling 471,055 copies on December 10, and 11.

Microsoft executive changes, new direction for Windows Phone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Dec 14, 2011 12:48 pm

On Monday, Steve Ballmer made some interesting changes of leadership over at Microsoft. First up, leadership of the Windows Phone 7 team has been taken away from Andy Lees, who has been steering the WP7 ship for three years now.

 

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Terry Myerson, vice president and lead engineer will take his place. Lees has been moved to yield "maximum impact" of Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 in 2012. "Maximum impact" is not clearly defined, so we don't know what Microsoft are hinting at here. It could be tighter integration between Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8, which is something I'm sure Microsoft are aiming at.

Continue reading 'Microsoft executive changes, new direction for Windows Phone' (full post)

Wednesday Morning Roundup for December 14, 2011

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Dec 14, 2011 12:40 pm

The latest happenings from around the web - December 14th, 2011

 

Motherboard

 

- Intel DX79SI Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Motherboard and Radeon 6450 FleX Edition @ Hardware Heaven

- ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 Mini-ITX Motherboard @ Futurelooks

- ECS X79R-AX Intel LGA 2011 @ Techpowerup

- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Motherboard @ Kitguru

 

CPU & APU

 

- Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition On Linux @ Phoronix

- Intel Sandy Bridge E 3930K CPU @ Madshrimps

Continue reading 'Wednesday Morning Roundup for December 14, 2011' (full post)

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