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Analyst expects BlackBerry to sell 14 million devices this year

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 10:14 pm

RBC analyst Mark Sue expects BlackBerry to sell 14 million BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013. This is an increase in the firm's previous predictions for BlackBerry sales. In addition to increasing their forecast for this year, RBC has also boosted their estimates for Q1 2014 to 3.5 million from 2.75 million.




While these sales numbers pale in comparison to the latest Galaxy or iPhone, it does show that the device is doing alright. Sue expects BlackBerry to be able to reach "near-term profitability." BlackBerry still has just around 3 percent of the market, but it could be making a successful turnaround, something not all companies are capable of doing.

RumorTT: Analyst believes next iPad mini won't feature a Retina display

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 10:01 pm

Contrary to rumors from the rumor mill, at least one analyst believes that the next-gen iPad mini will not feature a Retina display. He believes that the Retina-equipped iPad mini will be coming sometime in 2014. The analyst in question is Richard Shim from NPD DisplaySearch.




Taking a critical eye towards his predictions, a few problems appear. Since we're already in the second part of 2013, it seems unlikely that Apple would launch a major upgrade to the iPad mini in early 2014 as predicted. It also seems like a large oversight for Apple to neglect the iPad mini.


We'll see sometime in the fall whether or not Apple will be equipping the iPad mini with a Retina display. As always, take this with a grain of salt.

Oracle patches 40 security issues in latest Java fix

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Software | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 9:28 pm

Java is notoriously full of security holes, with several being exploited earlier this year and sending Oracle scrambling to patch them up. Oracle's latest Java patch brings with it fixes for some 40 security holes. Because of all of the security patches, Oracle recommends that you apply the patch as soon as possible.




34 of those major security fixes are in the client distribution of Java 7. Of those 34, eleven were given the highest security risk score from Oracle's Common Vulnerability Scoring System. This patch is important to apply as all but three of the exploits are exploitable over the network without any authentication.


Eric Maurice, Oracle's Director of Software Assurance:


Oracle recommends that this Critical Patch Update be applied as soon as possible because it includes fixes for a number of severe vulnerabilities. Note that the vulnerabilities fixed in this Critical Patch Update affect various components and, as a result, may not affect the security posture of all Java users in the same way.

Microsoft does 180 on Xbox One DRM, drops 24 hour requirement, other changes

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 9:00 pm

Microsoft has decided to reverse course on their controversial DRM requirements that have drawn heavy criticism from gamers and the media alike. Microsoft has confirmed reports by other media outlets that the 24-hour check-in policy has been dropped, along with various other changes.




Microsoft probably explains it best:


So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:


An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.


Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.


In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console - there will be no regional restrictions.

Continue reading 'Microsoft does 180 on Xbox One DRM, drops 24 hour requirement, other changes' (full post)

New camera technology could help enable better sports coverage

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Cameras | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 8:33 pm

Technology to track fast moving objects is currently being developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo. This new technology promises to revolutionize sports coverage as it is able to quickly track fast moving baseballs, soccer balls, and footballs. Researchers have started field trials to see if it will perform as well outside as it has in the lab. If successful, this technology could be broadcast ready in just two years.



The system uses lenses and mirrors combined with a fast-tracking system to keep the ping-pong ball in focus and centered in the frame. It follows the movement rather than trying to predict it. This same technology could also be used in conjunction with a projector. The projector could, well, project an image onto the item being tracked, potentially turning your ping-pong ball into an emoji.

Continue reading 'New camera technology could help enable better sports coverage' (full post)

GameStop sells out of Xbox One pre-orders

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 7:58 pm

GameStop has officially stopped accepting pre-orders for the upcoming Xbox One because they have hit their limit. What's interesting about this is that it shows that Microsoft may not be having too much of an issue selling the Xbox One, despite numerous issues raised by the media and still unanswered by Microsoft. GameStop is still taking pre-orders for the PlayStation 4, however.




So, is the Xbox One truly that hot of a commodity? It would appear that it's not. Microsoft has given way fewer allocations to the individual stores than Sony has given PS4 allocations. For instance, one store that received just 16 Xbox One units also received 60 PlayStation 4 units. It's not clear whether Microsoft is facing supply issues or if they are attempting to make the illusion that the Xbox One is popular.


If you are interested in getting the Xbox One, GameStop will no longer accept pre-orders unless they receive a larger allocation. You might want to get your pre-order in with someone who still has units while they still have those units.

Lenovo launches ThinkPad S531 Ultrabook, only with Ivy Bridge CPUs though

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Lenovo has just announced its latest Windows 8 Ultrabook and is targeting it at the small business market. The ThinkPad S531 is a 15.6-inch screen notebook that features a unique single unified hinge that allows it to lie flat at 180 degrees.




The display is not touchscreen, however users will have to interact with the OS using the five button glass pad below the keyboard. Unfortunately the S531 features Intel's third-generation Ivy Bridge processor and no models available with the current generation Haswell CPU line.




It does have USB 3.0 connectivity and available docking system, as well as an optional fingerprint reader. The keyboard is backlit with Windows 8 specific shortcut keys, as well as being spill resistant. This means you will no longer have to panic when accidentally tipping over your morning coffee.

Kim Dotcom: All Megaupload servers deleted back in February, with no prior warning

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 5:32 pm

This morning Kim Dotcom has taken the Twitter to report that the US government and Leaseweb have deleted the entire collection of Megaupload files that were hosted on Leaseweb servers. This equates to millions of personal files being deleted without warning and without cause.




Kim Dotcom says that petabytes of pictures, backups, personal and business files were all deleted back in February without prior warning to him or his lawyers. "This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet," Dotcom wrote on Twitter.




Dotcom's lawyers have repeatedly asked Leaseweb not to delete the Megaupload servers while court proceedings were pending in the US as that data was essentially evidence in the massive case against Dotcom. His counsel even went as far as asking the DOJ to release some of Megaupload's frozen assets so that they could buy all the servers containing the Megaupload data, unfortunately they refused and now all of Dotcom's evidence is gone.

Continue reading 'Kim Dotcom: All Megaupload servers deleted back in February, with no prior warning' (full post)

HTC unveils Butterfly S smartphone with Ultrapixel camera in Taiwan

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 4:31 pm

This morning HTC unveiled a new Android-based smartphone dubbed the Butterfly S. HTC says that the new phone is built around uncompromised performance, as well as modern design cues, with usability in mind.




Featuring a full HD 1080p 5-inch Super LCD 3 display, the Butterfly S packs in a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, as well as 2GB of RAM. The phone also features HTC's 4-megapixel camera with Ultrapixel technology. A 2.1-megapixel camera is also present on the front of the device to aid in taking all those selfies.



The Butterfly S features a 3200 mAh battery, which HTC says will deliver 3.5 days of continuous music playback. The device runs Android Jelly Bean, but it is unclear if it is version 4.2.1 or 4.2.2 of the firmware.


The phone will hit Taiwan in July and there is no word yet on if it will be coming to the US, UK or Australia in the future.

Latest Sony PS3 patch update is bricking consoles - do not update to version 4.45

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 19, 2013 4:07 pm

Sony recently released a firmware patch for its PlayStation 3 console. Normally this is not too noteworthy, but this latest patch is rendering the consoles dead in the water. Sony has taken the patch down, but just in case do not download any update or patches with a version number of 4.45.




The patch was originally supposed to add support for turning off achievements and trophy notifications, however after updating and rebooting, many users found that their PS3 would no longer boot into the main menu of the console. A smaller portion of users reported that they were not able to even turn off the box after the update and the only option was to pull the power cable.


Sony has released a statement to address users who have been affected by the problem:


"We are aware of reports that the recent PlayStation 3 system software update (version 4.45) has caused the XMB to not display on a small number of PS3 systems. We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating the cause of the problem. We will announce when the system update is available for download as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience."