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Windows 8 to soon see 40,000 app milestone reached

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 7:34 am

Windows 8 is set to reach a milestone in the coming hours, where they'll breach the 40,000 application mark sometime soon. Data collected by MetroStore Scanner shows that since December 27 last year, over 5,000 applications have been added to the Windows Store in Windows 8.




Breaking them down into a per day basis, we're seeing around 156 apps added to the Windows Store everyday. This per day number can be a bit of an average, as no apps are approved on Mondays, and Sundays are a slow day, as with most industries. The rate is definitely down from the 14,557 apps that Windows 8 grew by in the first 35 days as they hit the 35,000 app milestone, where the per day application rate was sitting at 415.


The holiday period saw over a million Windows 8-based devices sold, so these numbers should continue to swell as developers continue to code apps for Windows 8.

DARPA working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for the military

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 5:35 am

DARPA have some interesting projects they're working on, with probably only a few percent of them known to the public but this latest one is just so amazing, you have to know about it.



DARPA have been working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for a while now, where they showed them off last September - where their main focus was for medical applications. We all know DARPA wouldn't just be playing around with this technology for the medical community, and this is where the technology ramps up to be put into the military.


The defense research group are thinking of how this technology can help out in the military, where they hope to develop "transient electronics" and systems that are "capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner" that work similar to how "commercial-off-the-shelf" systems work.

Continue reading 'DARPA working on dissolvable, biodegradable electronics for the military' (full post)

Facebook seeing an extended outage in the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: BREAKING STORY | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 4:33 am

Uh oh - users based in the US might be experiencing an outage of Facebook, where the social networking site has been down for patches of US-based users, including Texas, New York and others for nearly two h ours now.




Some parts of the country are still able to access Facebook without a problem, and over here in Australia I'm experiencing no issues whatsoever. Downrightnow has given Facebook's current status as 'Likely Service Disruption', and reports that the social network has been experiencing issues since 20:00 EST.


It's ok - Facebook will be back everyone, you can sit down and relax. Everything should be back to normal in just a couple of hours.

New beta of SwiftKey Flow is available, features 'flowing' in nearly all text fields, and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 4:31 am

The previous beta of SwiftKey Flow hasn't allowed you to 'flow' in all text fields, but it looks like this has been fixed up in the latest betas to hit the SwiftKey website.




The new beta looks much more refined and sports less features this time around, where it includes easier corrections, new languages, a new theme and more. The full changelog is quite hefty:


Changes in this version:

  • Predictions (and Flow) now on in most places (exceptions: email fields, passwords, anywhere where the app doesn't behave itself with SK, fields offering their own corrections on Android versions before 2.2)
  • Easier corrections - just tap on the word and SwiftKey will offer you 3 possibilities
  • New languages: Thai, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Albanian, Javan, Sundanese (plus those added in 3.1)
  • Features from SwiftKey 3.1: Berry theme, split layout in landscape on phones, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog
  • New layouts for Hindi and Russian
  • Ukrainian landscape layout fixed
  • Backspacing on to the final word of a multi word prediction (Flow through space) will now give better alternatives
  • Typing style now inferred rather than a setting
  • Long press delete accelerates after the first word

Continue reading 'New beta of SwiftKey Flow is available, features 'flowing' in nearly all text fields, and more' (full post)

Crytek opens new studio in Austin, Texas, fills it with former Darksiders developers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 3:35 am

THQ was broken apart last week, with bits and pieces being sold to other companies in various forms. Now we're hearing that Crysis developer, Crytek, have just opened up a new studio based in Austin, Texas, and have filled it with some of the core developers from Vigil Games.




Vigil Games are the guys and girls behind Darksiders, but with THQ sinking, they were left without anything to do, until Crytek come to their rescue. Ex-Vigil co-founder, David Adams, has now become the CEO of the newly-formed Crytek USA Corp., where he has said:


I'm thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry. The studio's launch represents Crytek's commitment to delivering diverse and high quality content to players everywhere.

Continue reading 'Crytek opens new studio in Austin, Texas, fills it with former Darksiders developers' (full post)

LeakedTT: AMD's upcoming Richland APU specifications

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 2:03 am

Specifications for AMD's upcoming Richland APU processors have leaked online. The Richland series of APUs will follow the current Trinity desktop APUs that are currently available and will continue to use the 32nm lithography process currently employed. The new chips will offer about 8 percent better performance than Trinity.




The full specifications are listed out in the chart above. The chips offer a 300MHz boost in base clock speed across the entire range. Turbo speeds are also increased and the boost ranges from 200-400MHz. AMD managed to boost these clock speeds, all while remaining in the same 65W and 100W TDPs present on Trinity.


The unlocked K-series processors are the only ones to feature the 100W TDP. Integrated graphics remain based upon the 6000-series GPU, even though they feature numbers in the 8000 range. Reports say that the Richland APUs are already in the hands of system builders, so we could be seeing a release of these parts soon.

Pentagon approves 5x increase in cyber security staff, planning for future

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 1:03 am

The Pentagon has approved an increase in cyber security staff that would see an increase in the number of staff from around 900 to roughly 4,900. The 4,900 staff members would be composed of both military and civilian personnel and is possibly in response to events such as Anonymous' attack on the US DOJ or the finding of malware on power plants' computers.




Future wars are likely to be conducted in cyber space rather than on the ground with traditional troops and weapons, so it will be important for the US to have a large enough security force that is well trained to protect itself from these future threats. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledges that the US hasn't invested enough in cyber security:


"We've got good people that are involved in it, but, very frankly, if we're going to stay on the cutting edge of what's happening with regards to the chances that are occurring, we have to invest more in that area," Panetta said in a speech last November.

Canadian officials looking into WhatsApp privacy practices

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 12:32 am

WhatsApp is the subject of a joint report by Dutch and Canadian authorities which asserts that the app is violating privacy laws in both countries. The problem is that the app requires access to both users and non-users in a user's address book, which is apparently against the law in Canada and Netherlands.




"This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp," said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.


According to the report, WhatsApp stores mobile numbers of non-users from a user's contact list, which violates Dutch privacy laws. The Dutch Data Protection Authority has said that financial penalties could be imposed if WhatsApp continues this practice. WhatsApp has committed to making changes to protect users' privacy.

Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 12:04 am

Following in the footsteps of Google, Twitter has released its second transparency report. The report details that Twitter complied with 69 percent of US data requests, which is less than the 88 percent of requests that Google responded to. It seems that Twitter puts a bit more effort in blocking data requests.




The report also detailed that the US government led the pack in sheer quantity of data requests. For last year, Twitter said it received a total of 1,858 requests for information from governments, 6,646 reports of copyright violations, and 48 demands from governments demanding material to be removed.


We've been thinking about ways in which we can more effectively share this information, with an aim to make it more meaningful and accessible to the community at largeWe believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression -- and real privacy implications.


815 cases came from the United States government, with 69 percent of those being fulfilled to some capacity. 60 percent of the US requests were from subpoenas, 11 percent were court orders, and 19 percent were search warrants.

Continue reading 'Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests' (full post)

Complain to Facebook's CPO Erin Egan through 'Ask Erin' app

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 11:31 pm

As part of Facebook's governance change--you know, the one that took away your right to vote--Facebook instituted a policy that would allow easier access to their chief privacy officer, Erin Egan. The way Facebook is allowing access is through a new app aptly named "Ask Erin."




The app is basically a comment form on the site's "Facebook and Privacy" page that allows users to directly ask questions of Erin Egan. While she won't answer every question, certain ones that have value for the public or are especially important will be features in a series of posts present within the app.

Continue reading 'Complain to Facebook's CPO Erin Egan through 'Ask Erin' app' (full post)