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Facebook's Poke barely affected Snapchat according to usage data

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 9:02 pm

It looks like Facebook hasn't been able to dominate the destructible communication market. New active usage data suggests that Facebook's Poke app hasn't had much, if any, impact on the usage of Snapchat, the app that came onto the scene around a year ago.

 

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According to active user data from Onavo, Snapchat's market share grew after the launch of Poke. In February, the data shows that roughly 12 percent of iPhone users in the United States opened Snapchat. This is compared to Poke, which the data shows was only opened by about 0.25 percent of users in February.

 

It just goes to show that Facebook can't be the best at everything. Sometimes it's better for a company to focus on just one or two main products. For Facebook, this is social networking.

EA changes its mind about offering refunds for SimCity customers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 8:23 pm

The latest news surrounding the numerous problems plaguing the SimCity launch is that EA has changed its mind about refunds. A post authored March 5 by EA Global community manager Marcel Hatam said, "If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can - of course - request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us."

 

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Numerous Redditors have said that they were receiving refunds as late as yesterday afternoon. Currently users are reporting that Origin CSRs are saying that they cannot provide a refund. The original post, seen above, has been amended to point users to the return policy. Origin's Twitter account also tweeted the following:

 

Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations

 

The return policy states: "As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin."

Continue reading 'EA changes its mind about offering refunds for SimCity customers' (full post)

Doctors use 3D printing to replace 75% of man's skull

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 7:30 pm

A groundbreaking operation is being called a success this morning after doctors successfully replaced 75% of a man's skull with a 3D printed prosthetic. The replacement skull was created by an additive deposition 3D printing process.

 

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Oxford Performance Materials in Connecticut then gained approval from US regulators earlier this week and had kept the procedure a secret until now. The company says that it is now able to provide bone-like replacements that are etched in a way that promotes real bone growth and skin adhesion.

 

Oxford Performance Materials says that more than 500 patients in the US monthly could benefit from this new type of surgery and that it can produce an implant within two weeks of receiving 3D scans of the damaged area. The patients name was not released nor was the name of the location that the surgery took place.

Piriform to release CCleaner for Android, says its hard at work making it now

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 6:47 pm

CCleaner has been a staple in the PC file clean up game for years. In fact, I have been using the program since it first hit the market. Now the company behind CCleaner is gearing up to release it in Android form.

 

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A post on CCleaner's blog stated:

 

Good news for all Android users! We've heard your requests, and we're excited to let you know that we're hard at work creating a CCleaner for Android app. It's work in progress, and we don't have a final release date yet, but we've been doing some internal testing, and we're very happy with how it's looking!

 

The company says that as with PC and Mac, CCleaner on Android will make clearing out unwanted files, and apps easy and as simple as a single click. While in the past I would have not seen a need for such an app, now that I am using my mobile devices for more and more on-the-go work, I will really appreciate a way to quickly clean out old downloaded files.

Windows Phone 7.8 update halted, massive software issues to blame

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 6:01 pm

Back at the end of January, I reported that Windows Phone 7.8 was beginning to roll out to Nokia devices. That roll out is nowhere near complete and those waiting on the upgrade may have to wait even longer.

 

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Today Microsoft announced that it was forced to suspend the update after some large issues with the software arose. This comes just after Vodafone suspended the update to all of its subscribers in Germany.

 

No information has been released on what exactly the issue is, but it must be significant if Microsoft felt the need to suspend the update. There is speculation however that the issue lies in some Windows Phone 7.8 live tiles refuse to update. Microsoft says that they are working on a fix now and that the updates should resume shortly.

Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth says he wants Ubuntu to appeal to the masses, has no interest in keeping things "leet"

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 4:58 pm

Ubuntu, the user-friendly Linux distro, has seen a multitude of changes and transformations over the last few months. It has sprouted wings and became a fully functional multi-platform operating system. With these changes Canonical has taken a lot of flak and now founder Mark Shuttleworth is speaking out about how he feels.

 

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Shuttleworth on his personal blog said that he has no interest in keeping Ubuntu "hard" for the "elite" crowd. He said that in the grand scheme of things unity, mobile processing and cloud applications are being focused on because that is where the common PC user wants things to go.

 

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say. People being people, there are of course smart people who hold that view."

 

He went on to state that Ubuntu is simply trying to maximize its user base by making things easier to use, and have a more familiar feel. He feels that Ubuntu has a once in a lifetime chance to make free and open source software the norm and he is unwilling to compromise because a small group of elitist users would prefer to keep Linux exclusive.

BlackBerry Z10 to hit AT&T retail shelves on March 22nd

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 4:01 pm

When it comes to consumer electronics that are not yet available in the US, I do not know what we have covered more, the PlayStation 4 or the BlackBerry Z10. I am sure that there are a lot of loyal BlackBerry users who were beginning to wonder if the Z10 would ever be available for purchase in the US.

 

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Those dedicated BlackBerry loyalist can finally stop holding their breath. The BlackBerry Z10 is scheduled to go on sale in the US on March 22nd through AT&T. Unfortunately no service plans or pricing structure has been released yet.

 

This news comes hot on the heels of a report from BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins which claims that early sales of the device are "encouraging", and will have reached 21 markets by the end of this week.

Continue reading 'BlackBerry Z10 to hit AT&T retail shelves on March 22nd' (full post)

Nokia still owes Microsoft $650 million in Windows Phone licensing fees

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 3:15 pm

Over the last several months Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has managed to gain a little momentum, but its adoption rate is nothing like its competitors. With Nokia being the largest adopter of the platform, they had to bite off quite a bit in licensing fees for the Windows based mobile OS.

 

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Nokia released a statement yesterday that it still owes Microsoft more than half a billion dollars ($650 million) in licensing fees for Windows Phone. Shareholders need not start a revolution though as the total platform support fees that Nokia has received or will receive from Microsoft will exceed the licensing fees.

 

This means that the gamble Nokia took on Windows Phone will not be a loss at all, and we may even see some next-generation Windows Phones from the Finnish phone manufacturer. No information on when the $650 million bill is due, but we are sure that Nokia will pay in full right on time.

RumorTT: Apple could use Qualcomm Snapdragon in upcoming cheaper version iPhone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 2:15 pm

Apple's A series processors are nothing to joke about. They routinely smash the competition in graphics benchmarks and often win the power consumption war with rival chips. Unfortunately they are more expensive than off the shelf ARM SoC's.

 

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Cost savings is a huge part of bringing a cheaper iPhone to market, and is why Apple could be considering an alternative for its cheap iPhone that is set to launch later this year. Rumors are circling through the tech media world that Apple may be eyeballing Qualcomm's Snapdragon as the replacement chip for the cheaper iPhone.

 

Much like Apple's A6, Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon features on-board LTE, custom cores and low power consumption. As it is designed to power a wide range of Android smartphones, there is an abundance of the chips available, which brings the price down considerably if you were looking to purchase a few million of them, as Apple no doubt would. In reality we are still unsure if the so-called "cheap iPhone" is even a real thing so as always, treat these rumors as such.

Motorola to layoff 10% of their staff, would affect employees in the US, China and India

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 1:44 pm

According to an email acquired by the Wall Street Journal, Motorola will be laying off 10% of their workforce. The email says "while we're very optimistic about the new projects in our pipeline, we still face challenges."

 

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Motorola are forced to make the cuts due to high costs and losses in a very competitive market. A spokesperson told the WSJ: These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned and we're committed to helping them through this difficult transition."

 

The 10% cut will see around 1200 employees laid off, but we should see Motorola begin to turn themselves around with Google behind them now. I'd bet that twelve months from now they'll be a completely different direction.

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