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Oculus receives $16 million in funding, Rift could see new heights

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 7:29 am

If there's one technology that has me positively tingling with excitement over, it's Oculus' Rift. The company announced yesterday that they have just closed a deal that will see them with a cash injection of $16 million.

 

 

The funding comes from Spark Capital and Matrix Partners with Santo Politi, Spark founder and general partner and Antonio Rodriguez, entrepreneur and general partner of Matrix, joining Oculus' board of directors. The injection of cash will help speed up the development of virtual reality hardware, software and services, which will hopefully see Oculus' Rift as a great, commercially available VR platform.

 

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Considering Oculus raised $2.4 million from their Kickstarter campaign, which was close to 10 times the amount they originally needed, this $16 million should do some wonderful things for the company.

Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, provides some insight during a Q&A session

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:27 am

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sat down with The Guardian for an intimate Q&A session, allowing their readers to do a live online question and answer session over the weekend. We find out why he chose his Hong Kong hideout, stating that he chose China because their government could hold off the US diplomatic pressure.

 

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Snowden denied giving China any information about hacking Chinese research facilities, and laughed off accusations as a smear by the US, with US officials claiming that leaks help terrorists every time something like this happens - because, you know, the US government never funded Al Qaeda (look it up). Snowden wrote:

 

The US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, provides some insight during a Q&A session' (full post)

Yahoo reveals US government data requests, over 12,000 in the last six months

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 5:29 am

Yahoo have quite a number of government requests for data over the last six months, beating Apple, Microsoft and Facebook - a surprising statistic. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Generan Counsel Ron Bell noted on Tumblr that Yahoo have received between 12,000 and 13,000 requests, "inclusive of criminal, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and other requests" between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

 

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According to the Yahoo CEO and Bell, most of the requests relate to "fraud, homicides, kidnappings, and other criminal investigations." Yahoo aren't stating just how many FISA requests are in that figure due to their classified nature, but they "strongly urge(s) the federal government to reconsider its stance on this issue."

AT&T now offering Galaxy Note 8.0 for $199 if you purchase a Galaxy S4 starting June 21

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 4:34 am

AT&T have announced both the pricing and availability of the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung, where they're offering a nice incentive to people who want to purchase the device. Starting on June 21, if you purchase the 8-inch slate it will set you back $399 on a two-year contract.

 

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This isn't the only purchasing option the US carrier have on offer, though, so if you purchase a Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active or Galaxy Note II at the same time as the Galaxy Note 8.0, AT&T will drop the price from $399 to just $199 - shaving it in half. This isn't too bad at all, if you were after a tablet $199 isn't too much money to plonk down on an 8-inch slate. The Note 8.0 features a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-inch 1280x800 display and a decent 4600mAh battery.

Spotify adds the complete works of Pink Floyd to their service

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 3:45 am

Music streaming and subscription service Spotify have just added something that should appeal to a huge fan base, the complete works of Pink Floyd. Spotify is the first service to have all of Pink Floyd's works, which is a great position to be in.

 

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Google Play Music All Access have some of the band's works, but not the complete set. The 'unlocking' of the content came after Spotify asked their listeners to stream classis track "Wish You Were Here" to show their interest in Pink Floyd, where they racked up a huge one million listens just this weekend alone. All of Pink Floyd's music comes for free using the desktop Spotify app, or the web app if that's how you roll.

 

Premium customers can download every single track, and have it all ready to go on their smart devices, which is just another way of enjoying Spotify's goodness.

Microsoft defends Xbox One pricing, says it offers "thousands of dollars of value"

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 1:05 am

Microsoft has taken to the web to defend its $499 price point for the upcoming Xbox One. Many have faulted Microsoft's price point as it is $100 more than the PlayStation 4, which is believed to have more powerful hardware and fewer drawbacks such as always-on DRM requirements.

 

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We're over-delivering value against other choices I think consumers can get. Any modern product these days, you look at it: $499 isn't a ridiculous price point. We're delivering thousands of dollars of value to people, so, I think they're going to love [the console] when they use it.

 

I'm not fully versed in the economics of the console market, but it's possible that an extra $100 might not be enough to turn away customers. Also an important factor in console choice is what games each console has as exclusives. Microsoft has an uphill battle ahead of them.

RumorTT: Samsung could launch a 'kill switch' anti-theft feature as soon as July

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 12:37 am

Samsung is reportedly working on an anti-theft "kill switch" that could disable a stolen device. This is on the heels of Samsung and other companies meeting with New York Attorney General Erich Schneiderman to discuss the growing problem mobile device theft in the United States.

 

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The kill switch could be coming as soon as July, according to one report, which is much sooner than you would expect. Considering Samsung's dominance in the marketplace, an anti-theft move like this could help move the market in a new direction.

 

A kill switch would theoretically allow the manufacturer, carrier, or, potentially, the government to remotely wipe or brick a device. Public details of the plan have not been released, though we will provide them as soon as something is released by the company.

LeakedTT: iPhone 5S display assembly appears online

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 12:07 am

Pictures purportedly of the upcoming iPhone's display assembly have leaked out online. The images are reportedly from a supplier. The images are fairly low resolution, so it's hard to see if there have been any changes to the technology.

 

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The pictures do appear to be legitimate and match up nicely with a leaked logic board that was shown earlier today. Specifically, looking at the flex cables that connect the displays to the logic board, the iPhone 5 features two horizontal connectors on the logic board. The leaked 5S board and display feature a vertical connector.

 

We still expect to see the new iPhone debut sometime in September. We also expect leaks to speed up in the coming months.

RumorTT: Nokia is working on a quad-core Lumia, according to latest benchmark

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 17, 2013 11:35 pm

It looks like we could soon be seeing a quad-core Lumia from Nokia, if a leaked benchmark is to be believed. According to a GFXBench result for an unnamed Nokia Windows Phone device, Nokia could finally be putting a quad-core into a Lumia. This would be the first Nokia device to feature a quad-core processor.

 

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It's possible that this benchmark result could be for Nokia's upcoming EOS smartphone. Nokia also has an event scheduled for July 11, during which the EOS is widely expected to debut. But it's always possible that another device could make a showing instead or alongside the EOS.

 

Details for this unnamed device are scarce, but the benchmark suggests that it will feature a 720x1280 resolution display and an Adreno 305 GPU. the 305 is the same GPU currently used by the Lumia 620, making it a bit of an oddity for a quad-core device. We'll hopefully know all the details soon, but you'll just have to wait until then.

Microsoft says Xbox One games will cost the same $60 that Xbox 360 games do

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 17, 2013 11:02 pm

Microsoft has confirmed that games for the upcoming Xbox One will continue to cost the usual $60 that everyone has become accustomed to. This is the same price that Sony plans to offer games at. Of course, this price is only confirmed for first-party games developed by Microsoft Studios.

 

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I can confirm that Microsoft Studios games on Xbox One will be $59.99 (MSRP)

 

Sony America CEO Jack Tretton: "We're going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $.99 up to those $60 games."

 

It would be hard for third-party companies to price their games higher, though it certainly is possible. Microsoft is in need of some good press with many seeing the Windows giant as having lost the console wars. Microsoft will continue needing good press in the lead up to the Xbox One launch later this year.

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