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RumorTT: New Xbox to include Siri-like voice recognition

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 4:10 pm

The Verge is reporting that the new Microsoft Xbox, code-named Durango, will include speech recognition software. They attributed it to something similar to Apple's Siri.

 

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The new software is said to support wake-on voice, natural language controls as well as speech to text functionality. Users will be able to walk into the room and say a command like "Xbox on", and the console will boot up.

 

Users will be able to pause video content and resume it with voice commands as well as being able to search and purchase games through the marketplace using nothing more than speech. It is also rumored that Redmond is investigating functionality that would allow a Kinect sensor to detect when an individual enters a room, and it would suggest appropriate content after the user queries the Xbox.

Sprint sees record iPhone sales, yet still losing billions in revenue due to subscriber loss

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 3:22 pm

Sprint saw record iPhone sales during the 4th quarter of 2012, yet still lost billions in revenue thanks to a steady bleed off of subscribers. The numbers were released today in Sprint's annual financial report.

 

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The company reported that it sold a total of 6.6 million iPhones during 2012, with 2.2 million being sold in the 4th quarter alone. Despite the record number of sales, the company still posted a $1.5 billion loss, with operating revenue of $35.3 billion. The good news is that the total revenue is up by almost 5% over 2011.

 

When compared to its rivals, Sprint's sales are way off the mark, but they are improving. Verizon sold 6.2 million iPhones in Q4 2012, while ATT sold 8.6 million. I personally attribute Sprint's dwindling user base to its lack of a quick LTE roll out nationwide, which is something Verizon is dominating in.

OUYA will get annual hardware updates similar to smartphone update cycles

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 2:01 pm

Gaming consoles tend to not update often, with some units seeing update cycles reach the once a decade mark. OUYA is seeking to break that trend, and has announced that there will be a new OUYA released every year.

 

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At the DICE Annual Summit, OUYA CEO and Founder Julie Uhrman, announced that the company would be following an upgrade cycle similar to what smartphone manufacturers do. This means we will get a new OUYA console released every year. "There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3," Uhrman said in an interview with Engadget.

 

Upgrading the OUYA will be fairly easy for the company since the device is built around Android, and reference designs, hardware examples, and new devices are built every year anyway - unlike console companies who build propitiatory hardware and software that takes years of R&D.

Continue reading 'OUYA will get annual hardware updates similar to smartphone update cycles' (full post)

Apple looking to hire 10 new engineers for their failing Maps app

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 12:34 pm

We all know how Apple's Maps app is pretty much a failure right now, when compared to Google's superior navigation app, but it looks like Apple is at least trying to improve the app by hiring new engineers.

 

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AppleInsider are reporting that they noticed some job postings where the Cupertino-based company are looking for some engineers to work with their Maps team. Out of the ten jobs, nine of the engineers "will handle various programming duties, while one will be assigned to tackle navigation." In the job posting, Apple say that their Maps application is the "best mapping program on any mobile platform" - really, Apple?

BlackBerry has a very successful time in Canada with their Z10 launch, sets new sales records

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 11:34 am

BlackBerry are in a make it or break it time right now, but early indications is that their Z10 smartphone is doing quite well, at least in Canada and the UK. President and CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins said that they've enjoyed their best first day of sales of a new BlackBerry smartphone in Canada.

 

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No numbers were provided, but he did say it was more than 50% better than any previous BlackBerry launch in the country. BlackBerry loyalty is huge in Canada, but this is still impressive. Heins also said that sales of the new smartphone in the UK are close to three times better than previous best first week of sales records, too.

 

We should see some more numbers in the coming weeks, with sales in the US being the biggest part of it all.

OCZ giving away copies of Far Cry 3 with Vector SSDs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 10:34 am

It's not like you needed any persuasion to buy OCZ'z awesome Vector SSD, but this might just tip you over into buying one. The SSD maker are offering a free copy of Far Cry 3 with 256GB and 512GB models of the Vector SSD.

 

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You can only secure yourself two copies of Far Cry 3, if you were to buy two Vector SSDs, and the offer expires on July 14, 2013. The offer is available to North America, South Ameria, EMEA and Asia region customers only.

Samsung unveils pink-colored Galaxy Note II just in time for Valentine's Day next week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 9:40 am

Before Samsung announced the new pink-colored Galaxy Note II, there were four colors - grey, white, amber brown and ruby wine. The pink entry gives us a total of five colors of Samsung's 5.5-inch smartphone.

 

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The problem? It has only been unveiled on Samsung's Taiwan website, so it might not be released anywhere else right away, or at all. It seems like perfect timing, though, as Valentine's Day is next week. So if you were looking to buy your significant other a new smartphone, you might want to put an 'IOU' in your card, and snap one of these pink Galaxy Note II's up.

Samsung and EA promise to release more games to Samsung's App Store

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 8:36 am

Thanks to a new revenue deal inked by Samsung and Electronics Arts, we should see more new games enter Samsung's App Store, which will also help developers make more money.

 

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The deal begins on March 4, where developers will receive 100% of the profits from sales of games in the App Store for the first six months. The following six months will see Samsung collect 10%, then it'll return to the industry standard of 20% for the following year. This sounds like a stellar deal from companies the size of EA and Samsung.

 

The program is also aimed toward indie games, where it will see games that would normally not be in the lime light compete with the likes of Angry Birds, etc. Better yet, developers aren't locked into any contracts, and are free to drop their games on the Google Play Store, or others. Developers are also encouraged to bring their games over to the Samsung App Store from other sources.

PC sales being eaten away by iPad sales

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 5:31 am

We all know that tablets are selling like hot cakes, as the need for a traditional desktop PC begins to fade. According to Canalys' latest data, PC market share for desktops and laptops is being eaten away by Apple's iPad and Mac range.

 

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If we combine both the iPad and Mac systems, they ship 27 million units - or 20.1% of the 134 million computers that were shipped during Q4 2012. This is the first time that Apple has reached over 20%. HP have taken over second place ahead of Lenovo, where HP shipped 15 million PCs to take 11% of the market. Samsung walked up into fifth place with 11.7 million PCs shipped, and a nice 9% share.

Grand Theft Auto V pushed back to allow a next-gen console release?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 4:36 am

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but I believe we've seen the recent delay of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V so it can be released on next-gen consoles. Yes, that's what I think and I'm sticking with it. I talked about it happening all the way back in April of last year, where I said

 

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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.

 

I said this because Grand Theft Auto is one of the, if not the biggest franchise on consoles today. The franchise has grown out of control, and is so big that it is truly a system seller. Why release one of the biggest games ever on current-gen consoles if next-gen consoles are only months away? So you read it here, we think Rockstar and Take-Two are pushing back GTA V to release it on next-gen consoles.

 

What do you think? Would you buy a next-gen console to enjoy GTA V at 1080p @ 60 frames per second? I know I would. What makes this better, is consoles usually launch with no killer apps on day-one, we haven't seen that for a while since the original Halo days on the first Xbox.

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