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RumorTT: Grand Theft Auto V is coming in October, according to a developer's CV

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2012 2:21 am

Big time rumor here, but according to a Rockstar North developer's CV, the upcoming sure-fire-hit Grand Theft Auto V will arrive in October. Since the news popped up on the Internet, the developer's CV has been removed and Rockstar are yet to comment.

 

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We all know its coming, we all know its on its way, but how long until it launches? Rockstar's other big AAA release is Max Payne 3 which is due in just over a month's time. Rockstar would have enough of a gap (nearly six months) in AAA releases, which is fine in my books.

 

Just give me the games already, give me Max Payne 3 and I'll play that for a month or so and then give me GTA V. Just make it run at over 20 fps unlike the original, and I'll be happy. I do have to admit, I put this as a rumor because I don't see it coming out this year. If anything, I'd be impressed if Rockstar pushed it back and unleashed next-gen GTA upon us with next-gen consoles, and showed us a ported version for current-gen consoles. Now that, would be very, very cool.

Samsung is planning to open up retail stores, in Canada

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 10, 2012 1:10 am

Samsung's national head, James Politeski has revealed in an interview that the company is planning to launch their own, fully self-run stores in Canada. He told Canada.com that the company will have dedicated stores at parts across the country, and like Sony and Apple, will have specific designs and train staff itself, but Samsung would outsource the actual management to unnamed companies.

 

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Politeski didn't reveal whether the new Samsung retail stores would have their own service areas, which for Apple, have been very successful. Locations weren't given, either, but hints have suggested the first store would arrive in Yorkdale Mall, West of downtown Toronto. The mall is noteworthy in the way that it was the home of Apple's first retail store in Canada.

 

Samsung will want to have their own stores to push their own branded products, by staff who are trained in only Samsung products. Compared to bigger retailers such as Best Buy where they've been blamed for damaging brands by burying products in large display sections, have employees who don't have much technology experience, or knowledge in that particular brand.

Microsoft adds more than 800 patents from AOL in $1B deal

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 11:27 pm

Not looking to be left out of the fun, Microsoft has acquired more than 800 patents from AOL in a deal worth $1 billion. AOL's stock surged 45% on the news of the deal and the fact that a "significant portion" will go directly into the hands of share holders. Patent advisory firm M-Cam Inc. values AOL's patent portfolio at $290 million.

 

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"Most on the Street viewed $300 million as the likely maximum value," explained Benchmark analyst Clayton Moran. "Relative to this expectation, AOL has created $7.63 per share in stock value." Because of this, the analyst believes a one-time dividend would be in order.

 

The sale will leave AOL with a license to use the patents as well as leave Microsoft with "a nonexclusive license for Microsoft to AOL's remaining portfolio of 300 patents, which include those for advertising, search, content generation, social networking and mapping technology." It will be interesting to see if Microsoft joins in the patent trolling.

RumorTT: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs to return to profitability as new CEO takes over

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 10:26 pm

Sony isn't doing very well. According to one report, they haven't been profitable in 7 years. Another report pegs that number at 4 years. Either way, it paints a bleak picture as to the standing of the once giant company. A new report by Japanese newspaper Nikkei says that Sony is preparing to layoff 10,000 workers.

 

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10,000 workers is 6 percent of Sony's entire workforce. And this isn't the first time that Sony has made large layoffs such as this. Sony previously laid off 10,000 workers in 2005 and killed 8,000 temporary positions in 2008. But even those cuts weren't enough to save its TV business. These forthcoming cuts are expected to address the TV division as well.

 

More news will be forthcoming this Thursday when the new CEO, Kaz Hirai, addresses investors. The plan should include Sony focusing on its core businesses, but it's not exactly clear what those are. This is just a rumor as of right now, but we expect it to be confirmed this Thursday. More as it comes.

Analyst cuts Apple rating on prospect of iPhone subsidy revolt

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 9:35 pm

With all the fanfare that Apple often brings to a financial discussion, it's odd to hear the words "Apple" and "downgrade" in the same sentence. But those two words found themselves together in a sentence released by BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk when he downgraded Apple's rating on the company's shares from "buy" to "neutral."

 

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And why shouldn't he? There is plenty for investors to be worried about in the company. First, they no longer have Steve Jobs. Old news I know, but it still has an effect on the company's future. More importantly, though, is that wireless carriers are getting fed up with the subsidies that they give to new iPhone buyers.

 

Carriers are taking a cut in their profit margins while Apple continually earns larger and larger portions. Take a look at AT&T: in 2010, AT&T's margin was over 44% but now are hovering around only 30%. "We expect post-paid wireless operators to remain firm in their plan to stunt the pace of phone upgrades in 2012 and we expect to see some initial evidence of their success in the current quarter," Piecyk said.

 

This would result in lower sales. But how much lower? Says Piecyk, "We expect Apple's iPhone sales to drop to 27.5 million units in Fiscal Q3, resulting in a revenue estimate that is $1 billion below consensus."

 

Ouch.

Carbon nanotube circuits could outsource their heat to a separate device

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 8:40 pm

Most people know that when you flow an electric current through a wire, the wire heats up. Most of our readers will also know that heat is the killer of many of our favorite electronic devices. That's why this new discovery by the University of Maryland is very pertinent to our cause. It's uses could allow for more efficient heat dissipation.

 

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Kamal H. Baloch, Norvik Voskanian, Merijntje Bronsgeest, and John Cumings found that they could outsmart the traditional "Joule heating" and have the heat dissipate into the substrate rather than into the wire. This is due to a process they have dubbed "remote Joule heating." When an electric current flows through a carbon nanotube, the heat will go into the material that the nanotube is sitting upon.

 

The researchers determined that as much as 84 percent of the power in the nanotube was transferred to the substrate. In the nanoscale that they were working on, it was a bit hard to determine just where the heat was going. They had to use electron thermal microscopy (EThM) in order to figure it out.

 

The researchers postulate that the electrons are passing the energy along via their electric field. The nanotubes are capable of carrying high density currents, and as such, Baloch et al. suspect this kind of remote heat dissipation could be very useful in future electronic devices. If the heat can be dumped out to a different material than the circuit, this could prove to be very useful.

RumorTT: Wii U may retail for $300

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 7:35 pm

Nintendo is beating everybody to the next generation console with their Wii U. They have been trying to cut costs in production in order to be more profitable, but also have a low price in order to garner to a wider range of gamers. Even though it may not sport the greatest graphics, the innovative controls that Nintendo brings to the table wins over customers.

 

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With all of this cost cutting pretty close to said and done, a Canadian media outlet is claiming to have spoken to sources close to the manufacturing of the new unit. They report that the total cost to build is somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 with $50 of that going to the new tablet controller that is being introduced with it.

 

The reports sources go into more detail. "Nintendo chose an economical GPU and CPU that could keep up with the performance of today's current consoles, but keep hardware costs down to maximize profits. Nintendo got a bargain price on the custom GPU and CPU that the Wii U uses. There is a bigger focus on downloadable content, applications, video content, digital distribution, and services to create a stream of revenue. Investors will be ecstatic with the news."

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Wii U may retail for $300' (full post)

Instagram to be acquired by Facebook for $1B cash and shares, service to remain as-is for now

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 6:32 pm

The insanely popular photo app and social sharing site Instagram has been aquired by none other than Facebook for a sum somewhere around $1 billion in cash and shares. CEO Kevin Systrom confirms that the service is not going anywhere and will continue to run as-is for now.

 

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Zuckerberg confirms the acquisition and says that the Facebook team will be "able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests." This purchase comes with some incredible statistics.

 

This deal took place roughly 551 days after Instagram's launch meaning that they made $1B in value in less than 2 years. That's simply incredible. But there's more. This incredible company only has 13 employees! Also, with a valuation of $1 billion, that means each Instagram user is worth approximately $33 a piece.

 

Zuckerberg posted about this on his Facebook Wall:

 

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We're looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we're going to be able to build together.

Raspberry Pi passes quality control tests, pre-orders to arrive in 7-10 days

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 5:31 pm

The $35 education PC that is dubbed "Raspberry Pi" has gained the Conformite Europeenne (CE) quality-control mark without needing any modification. This CE mark was required after there was a disagreement about whether or not it qualified as a finished product or not. The distributors disagreed and wouldn't sell it without a CE mark.

 

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"We just received confirmation that the Raspberry Pi has passed EMC testing without requiring any hardware modifications," Liz Upton wrote on Raspberry Pi's official blog. "There is still a mountain of paperwork for us to sign, and that then has to be looked over by RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell; but that's a piece of cake compared to what we've been doing all week."

 

The Foundation has also completed similar FCC testing and the equivalents for Australia and Canada. When asked how long before they were in the hands of people who had pre-ordered he said, "at my most pessimistic, and bearing in mind that it's a Bank Holiday, I'd say 7-10 days." With it now cleared for shopping, they should be arriving shortly.

Teen sells kidney on black market to purchase iPhone and iPad

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 9, 2012 4:33 pm

If this is the kind of stuff that's going on around the planet, I'm pretty sure I don't want to live on it anymore. This is no joke, no April Fools. This is serious. A Chinese teenager sold his kidney on the black market just so he could buy an iPhone and iPad. 5 people have been arrested in relation to the incident.

 

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The 17-year-old received a payment of 22,000 yuan, or about $3,500, to allow the surgical removal of his kidney. Ridiculous as it may sound, this payment only amounted to 10 percent of what the patient receiving the organ paid. This goes to show just how little the donor receives when selling organs on the black market.

 

This is just one of many incidents where youths are valuing electronic gadgets over their own bodies. It's a frightening trend. These kids think nothing of their future and make a quick decision to have a life changing operation just to be able to afford the latest electronic device. Worse yet, if their other kidney fails, they could be spending 10 times what they were paid in order to get a kidney transplant.

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