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EU Regulators confirm Facebook has deleted all EU facial recognition data

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 11:28 pm

Regulators weren't happy with Facebook collecting and using facial recognition data for EU users. Back in September, Facebook announced that it would delete all existing facial recognition data of EU users. They concurrently announced that they had turned the feature off for new EU users.

 

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The Irish Data Protection Commissioner's office has confirmed that Facebook has deleted all of the data that they said they would. "We recently reviewed the source code and execution process used in the deletion process and can confirm that we were satisfied with the processes used by Facebook to delete the templates in line with its commitment," said Ciara O'Sullivan.

 

The EU was upset with Facebook over the collecting of facial recognition data without a user's express permission to do so. Facebook has said that they do not currently have plans to turn facial recognition back on in the EU like it has done here in the United States.

Blackberry to stop selling handsets in Japan

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 11:01 pm

Blackberry has announced that they have no plans to launch the new BlackBerry 10 devices in Japan. According to BlackBerry, "Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time." Part of this could be to the fact they have just 0.3 percent of the market currently.

 

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After all, why launch a device in a country when they appear to not be very keen on your previous devices. This appears to be the logic BlackBerry is operating off of as they say the cost of translating BlackBerry 10 to Japanese is just to high for them to consider it a good investment.

 

Current BlackBerry owners can rest easy knowing that BlackBerry will continue to offer to support to existing owners in Japan.

ReportTT: Facebook to buy Microsoft's ad-serving business Atlas

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 10:29 pm

Rumor has it that Facebook is working on closing a deal with Microsoft to buy the latter's ad-serving business. Microsoft originally acquired the Atlas ad-serving platform as part of its $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive back in 2007 and has been trying to sell it for a while now.

 

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AdAge is reporting that a deal between the two could come as early as next week with the price being somewhere south of $100 million. Rumors of the acquisition first surfaced back in December. Of course, spokespersons for both companies have declined to comment on the possible deal.

 

An acquisition of Atlas would prevent Facebook from having to reinvent the wheel for a third-party advertising network. It's a logical step for Facebook to start a third-party ad network, so this acquisition could fit perfectly into their plans.

 

For now, this is just a report, so be a bit skeptical until more information is known.

Ubisoft confirms another Assassin's Creed game is coming

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 10:02 pm

Fans of the Assassin's Creed series of games produced by Ubisoft will be happy to hear that the company has confirmed that another game is coming. If comments made by the CEO during Ubisoft's quarterly financial results conference call are to be believed, the game could be coming as early as the end of this year.

 

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The Assassin's Creed line of games has followed numerous incarnations of the hero in different time periods. The new game will continue the trend of featuring a new hero and a new setting. The new game will be released during the 2014 fiscal year. Due to Ubisoft's calendar, this could be as early as the end of this year.

 

The timing is right in line with the expected launches of the next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony. It's likely this game will be designed with those consoles in mind.

Google Hangouts gets updated, now features adjustments for bandwidth use

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 9:32 pm

Google Hangouts is a pretty cool product. A group of users can come together and host group video chats or performances for free. Today, the Google has updated the Hangouts product with a couple of new features. The first is a bandwidth slider. This new adjustment allows you to change how much bandwidth Google Hangouts has available to use.

 

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This can be very useful if you're in a low-bandwidth area, such as on a metered 3G connection or at the local coffee shop. Another feature is the option to send and receive only audio. This will also reduce bandwidth requirements while still allowing a user to stay engaged in the conversation.

 

Today we're excited to launch two new features that improve the Hangouts experience in areas with low and/or unreliable connectivity:

 

1) Audio-only mode. Choose this mode to send and receive audio only, and thus, significantly reduce your bandwidth requirements. Other participants will only see your profile picture, but they'll hear you loud and clear.

 

2) Bandwidth slider. At the top right of every hangout is a new slider that lets you adjust your bandwidth preferences in real-time - from high, all the way to audio-only. This makes it easier to keep hangouts going, even in areas with poor connectivity.

Continue reading 'Google Hangouts gets updated, now features adjustments for bandwidth use' (full post)

ReportTT: PlayStation 4 will set gamers back around $430 at launch

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 9:02 pm

A Japanese site is reporting that the PlayStation 4 will launch at a price of around 40,000 Yen. In US dollars, that works out to be roughly $428. This price is quite a bit lower than what the PlayStation 3 launched at and should help the PlayStation 4 gain traction in console market.

 

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The PlayStation 4 is widely expected to be announced February 20 at an event hosted by Sony. The Xbox 720 is expected to launch at or before E3 at a similar price point to the one being quoted for the PlayStation 4. Part of the reason the Xbox 360 was so successful is the price was quite a bit lower than the PlayStation 3 for a long time.

 

If this price works out to be accurate, the next-gen console wars are going to be very interesting.

Verdict is in: iOS 6.1.1 beta 1 does not fix jailbreak exploits, still not recommended to upgrade

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 8:29 pm

The verdict is in from the team who brought you the Evasi0n jailbreak. Confirmed via Twitter, the newest version of iOS, 6.1.1 beta 1, does not patch the exploits used by the jailbreak tool released earlier this week. However, it's important to note that the jailbreak tool does not support this version of iOS, so it's still not recommended to upgrade.

 

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It's likely that a future version of iOS 6.1.1 will block the exploits used by the jailbreak, though the enhancements brought by 6.1.1 beta 1 aren't useful for most. The major additions to the version are enhancements to the Maps app in Japan. We'll be sure to keep you up to date with the latest happenings in the jailbreak world.

Ubuntu Phone OS coming to developers this month, should see phone sales early winter 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 7:59 pm

When we first heard about Ubuntu's plan to develop a mobile OS, we were stoked to say the least. The reported launch date of Q1 2014 did disappoint us though, but now we are hearing word of an official launch in October of this year.

 

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Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, one of the leading contributors and primary backer of the Linux based open source Ubuntu operating system, has said that developers will have early access to the new mobile OS later this month with the first official public release happening sometime in October.

 

Shuttleworth thinks that the Ubuntu mobile OS will allow corporate mobile phone customers to better integrate with their existing Linux based servers, and will allow streaming capabilities not yet seen in iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows based mobile operating systems. It would also allow users to simply plug their phone into their desk monitor and boot straight into Ubuntu, making the user's entire workstation portable.

Forget to charge your phone? Just use your morning cup of coffee to give it a boost

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 7:29 pm

We have all done it before; you get to work and realize that you forgot to charge your phone the night before. Now you can forget plugging in that USB cable for a battery boost, because the Epiphany One Puck will charge your phone by recycling the heat in your beverage into electricity.

 

 

The technology behind the Epiphany One Puck is quite simple actually. A Peltier is used to convert the heat into electric energy by thermo-electric-cooling. Basically as one side of the Peltier gets hot, the other side cools down and electrons are shed, generating electricity.

 

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We have seen this technology before and in fact it is used in custom PC cooling setups all the time. Cooler Master even built an entire CPU cooler based on a TEC. The company behind the Epiphany One Puck is about to wrap up their quite successful Kickstarter, so if you want one you better hurry quick to get in on the savings.

Wikipad attempts to make a comeback after GameStop deal goes silent

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 7:12 pm

You might remember the Wikipad, the 10-inch gaming tablet that was supposed to be the next big thing from game retailer GameStop. Sadly that deal fell through about three months ago. Now the Wikipad is making a comeback and it could be a competitor with other gaming tablets from companies like Razer.

 

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The new device is the result of a major failure in the first design. The failures were so big that the company actually had to re-tool their manufacturing process. Something so embarrassing that Wikipad president Fraser Townley would not discuss it in a recent interview.

 

The new device will shed its 10-inch screen in favor of a 1280 x 800 7-inch IPS device with a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1. Reports were unclear if the device would still include the gaming pad docking station, but the company did say that a 10-inch device may once again see the light of day if the 7-inch device proves successful.

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