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Microsoft now collecting money on half of all Android devices sold

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 5:29 am

A growing list of mobile device manufacturers are now handing Microsoft sweet, sweet cash every time they sell a smartphone or tablet running Google's Android or Chrome operating systems. Compal is the latest in a long list to pay Microsoft royalties, the Taiwanese-based company signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft that will see them paying an undisclosed amount of money to Microsoft to avoid being sued for allegedly infringing on its patents.

 

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This is the 10th Android-related licensing agreement Microsoft has signed in the past 18 months. It has now evolved into its own beast and is becoming a serious revenue stream for the company. According to some estimates, Microsoft will collect roughly $444 million in fiscal 2012 from Android device makers compensating it for use of its patent portfolio.

 

Microsoft stated today that it now has patent license agreements with companies accounting for more than half of all Android devices.

 

Wow. Well, at least they're not just suing other companies because they're strong competition, huh?

Commonwealth Bank unveils NFC iPhone product, Kaching

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 4:58 am

The Commonwealth Bank has unveiled its near-field communication (NFC) payments product called Kaching. Kaching enables pay-anyone facilities through Facebook, e-mail and MasterCard PayPass. This is a great move by the CBA, as NFC allows data transmission over a range of approx. 10cm. An NFC-enabled chip in a smartphone can interact with a proximity card reader to make mobile payments.

 

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Kaching is set to allow customers (via the app) pay each other via e-mail, Facebook or mobile, and via an iCarte case for iPhone or pay via MasterCard's contact-less PayPass terminals. Users don't even need to be Commonwealth Bank customers to receive payments, with non-bank customers directed to an external collection site.

 

The App is set to be compatible with Apple's iOS 4.3 and above, with cases designed for the iPhone 4 and 4S. CBA's chief information officer, Michael Harte has said that the Kaching app and the iCarte case have been designed in close consultation with Apple. Dubbed iCarte 420, the case contains an "embedded smart-chip" that can be configured for debit, credit and pre-paid use and also has the ability to read NFC-enabled advertisements and transit systems.

Continue reading 'Commonwealth Bank unveils NFC iPhone product, Kaching' (full post)

Tuesday Morning Roundup for October 24, 2011

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 4:44 am

The latest happenings from around the web - October 24th, 2011

 

Systems

 

- Serenity Mini, SPCR Edition by Puget Computers @ SilentPCReview

- CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE @ Overclockers Club

- HP Pavilion dv7-6195us @ TechReviewSource

- Dell XPS 14z Laptop @ Hardware Heaven

 

Audio/Media

 

- Apple iPod: 10 Years of the Ubiquitous Media Player @ Techspot

- SteelSeries 5H V2 Medal of Honor Gaming Headset @ Kitguru

 

Cases/Modding/PSU

 

- Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition Chassis @ eTeknix

Continue reading 'Tuesday Morning Roundup for October 24, 2011' (full post)

Ice Cream Sandwich will support game controllers and HDMI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 4:37 am

Android engineer Romain Guy has announced via Twitter that Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich will support USB game pads and HDMI. This will essentially turn ICS-powered devices into video game consoles. There aren't many other details to add at the moment, but its clear that you'll require a micro USB adapter in order to use the game pad.

 

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We do have Sony's PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, which sports a slide-out game pad complete with directional pad, four thumb buttons and two touch-sensitive joysticks. But, Ice Cream Sandwich is ready to knock it up a notch or five. Being able to use future Android 4.0-powered smartphones and tablets is very, very cool. Especially considering that the upcoming NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core powered chips will rock tablets in the near future, with tablets featuring full-sized USB ports, there would be no need for micro USB, etc.

 

All you'd need is a USB game pad and you'd be off - it will surely change the smartphone and tablet gaming market with something that Apple just cannot offer right now or anytime in the near future. Galaxy Nexus is set to drop on November 10 if you go by current rumors.

Linux kernel hits 3.1, now supports NFC, Wiimotes

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 4:19 am

Linux Kernel version 3.1 has popped its head up and offers support for a range of technologies such as Intel's Ivy Bridge and Cedar Trail chips, NFC and drivers for Wiimotes. It also has improved power management. It's available to download right now, but of course you may want to wait for the distro of your choice for an official update or release.

 

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Its own summary sums it up quite well:

 

Support for the OpenRISC opensource CPU, performance improvements to the writeback throttling, some speedups in the slab allocator, a new iSCSI implementation, support for Near-Field Communication chips used to enable mobile payments, bad block management in the generic software RAID layer, a new "cpupowerutils" userspace utility for power management, filesystem barriers enabled by default in Ext3, Wii Controller support and new drivers and many small improvements.

Continue reading 'Linux kernel hits 3.1, now supports NFC, Wiimotes' (full post)

App of the Day: Adobe Reader (iOS)

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 3:32 am

Our App of the Day today is Adobe Reader for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with iOS 4.2.5 or later.

 

Adobe recently released its Adobe Reader to the Apple App Store. It offers a great and importantly free way to view PDF files from your Apple mobile device.

 

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Adobe Reader is the free global standard for reliably viewing and sharing PDF documents across platfoms and devices. Easily and efficiently access the widest range of PDF file types-including PDF Portfolios, password-protected PDF documents and Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDF files. Now available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Adobe Reader offers fast, high-quality interaction with PDF.

Continue reading 'App of the Day: Adobe Reader (iOS)' (full post)

Uncharted 3 receives near-perfect reviews

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 3:26 am

In just a week from now, Nathan Drake will feature on people's TVs across the world in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Uncharted 3 has made its way to game reviewers across the world and it seems its yet another home run smash-hit for Naughty Dog. Reviews are mostly between 90 - 100, but these days - reviews can be somewhat, deceiving. If a rehashed COD title can usually score 90+, how does a stand-out game like Uncharted deserve the same score, shouldn't it be more?

 

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Anyway, the reviews are very, very favorable and it just makes me want to play the game even more. If you haven't played the previous two Uncharted titles, I really suggest you grab them and play them both this week, then purchase Uncharted 3 when you're finished. I'm sure you won't need to play the previous two, but for one, they're amazing games. Two, it'll help with the characters, and story of the third game, which is just one week away!

Continue reading 'Uncharted 3 receives near-perfect reviews' (full post)

Apple refreshes MacBook Pro line, new CPUs/GPUs, Dell fights back with a refresh also

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 2:28 am

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro line up with slightly faster CPU offerings as well as upgraded GPUs. First up, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has received a 100MHz speed bump with the 2.4GHz Core i5 or 2.8GHz Core i7 whilst the bigger brother 15- and 17-inch notebooks get a 200MHz boost to 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively.

 

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The lower-end 15-inch MBP has thrown the AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256MB and now has a quicker HD 6750M 512MB. The higher-end 15- and 17-inch models now have the HD 6770M 1GB. Apple has also tweaked the storage options on the 13-inch system, which now starts with a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive instead of the the smaller 320GB model, it can also be upgraded to 750GB.

 

All of the systems now ship with 4GB of DDR3 1333Mhz Ram, a backlit keyboard and multitouch trackpad, a Thunderbolt port, a Mini DisplayPort output and have an estimated seven-hour battery life. Price wise, we have the 13-inch starting at $1,199 going up to $1,499, the 15-inch model goes for $1,799 to $2,199 and the 17-inch MacBook Pro starts from $2,499.

Continue reading 'Apple refreshes MacBook Pro line, new CPUs/GPUs, Dell fights back with a refresh also' (full post)

Google is 'pondering' a fiber network in Europe

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Networking | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 1:31 am

A Google executive has said that they are 'pondering' a fiber network for Europe, perhaps based on its experience building out a gigbit fiber to the home network in the U.S. Google's dedication ot better infrastructure is essential to the success of many arms of its business, and it seems to understand what people and businesses will do with more bandwidth.

 

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Marketwatch is reporting that David Drummond, a senior vice president said that Google were interested in building out a fiber network in Europe:

 

During a meeting at the French Industry Ministry, Drummond said that Google was "looking very closely" at a potential project in Europe, without specifying where this project would be launched or when.

 

This news story is short on details, but with Google looking at building a fiber network in Europe this means great things for broadband customers. It would force ISPs to offer faster or cheaper services when compared to Google's fiber rollout. Europe is fast becoming one of the most advanced broadband countries, with places like The Netherlands and portions of Scandinavia rolling out fiber to the home.

WikiLeaks is on the verge of shutting down

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 25, 2011 12:42 am

WikiLeaks is pretty close to a cliff right now, unless they can overcome blockades put in place by US financial institutions. Founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said on Monday at a news conference in London that WikiLeaks needs $3.5 million over the next year just to continue normal operations.

 

 

WikiLeaks is powered solely on supporter donations and if those backers are unable to throw enough money at the organization, Assange says "we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the year." With both MasterCard and Visa halting donations to WikiLeaks in December 2010, it did not help the situation one bit. Several others have followed suite, including Bank of America, eBay, PayPal and Western Union, which when put together, represented 95-percent of WikiLeaks' revenue.

Continue reading 'WikiLeaks is on the verge of shutting down' (full post)

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