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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2303

Microsoft reportedly acquires home automation startup R2 Studios for Xbox team

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 4:39 pm

R2 Studions, a company founded by the guys who brought us the Slingbox has been shopping around for acquisition offers for some time now. Early reports mentioned Google and Apple as buyers, but it looks like Microsoft has beaten them to the punch.

 

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that Microsoft has closed the deal and is now the new owners of R2 Studios. The acquisition comes just a week after R2 founder Blake Krikorian stepped down from his position on Amazon's board of directors.

 

The sale price was undisclosed but reports are coming in that Microsoft acquired several patents that cover controlling electronic devices. R2 has been working on different ways to distribute content on TVs which lines up nicely with Redmond's plans to make the Xbox the center of your media experience.

Current TV becomes Al Jazeera America following acquisition, Al Gore joins 'advisory board

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 3:32 pm

Current co-founder Joel Hyatt has confirmed that the US-based network has been sold to Middle Eastern TV conglomerate Al Jazeera. Earlier today the New York times reported that the pan-Arab news giant, based in Doha, Qatar, had expressed an interest in purchasing the network.

 

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The purchase brings Al Jazeera closer to its goal of having a network in the US. It will now be known as Al Jazeera America and co-founder and former US Vice President Al Gore will serve on its "advisory board".

 

Al Jazeera is also purchasing Current TV's carriage deals with DirecTV, Comcast, Dish, Verizon, and AT&T. Time Warner Cable (which represents a good percentage of the network's total reach) was not included in the package.

Polaroid plans experimental Fotobar stores that will let you print your photos

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 2:48 pm

Polaroid, the once popular instant photo company has plans to launch "Fotobars" in various US cities. The stores will be a place where you can take your digital images and have them professionally printed.

 

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Ten stores are set to launch in Delray Beach Fl, New York, and Las Vegas in 2013 with the Delray store being the first this February. Each store will be staffed with so-called Photenders, and equipped with a "patent-pending proprietary technology" that'll let you wirelessly transfer photos from your phone to a workstation.

 

Simple glossy photos wont be all you are limited to though, customers will be able to print photos on "handcrafted" pieces using canvas, metal, acrylic, wood or bamboo -- those will be shipped to the customer within 72 hours, and are apparently of the same variety that can currently be ordered on Polaroid's Photobar website.

Samsung's new Chromebox doesn't look like a Mac Mini anymore

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 1:24 pm

Samsung's Chromebox use to resemble Apple's Mac Mini with its rounded aluminum corners, and black surface. The company released the latest design today and things look drastically different.

 

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Ditching the sleek aluminum and acrylic design in favor of injected molded plastic has rendered the Chromebox into something less likely to infringe on an Apple trademark.

 

The specifications of the new machine remain unchanged and this revision seems to be purely cosmetic. It is however no slouch, sporting a 1.9GHz Celeron Processor, 4GB of memory and 16GB of storage.

Court says negative yelp reviews shouldn't be censored

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:37 pm

A Virginia court has lifted an injunction placed against a woman who left a negative review on Yelp and Angie's List of a contractor who had done some work on her home recently. The decision was pivotal because the previous decision had effectively censored Jane Perez's negative review of contractor Christopher Dietz without investigating if her claims were true or not.

 

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The previous ruling stated that Perez had to remove wording from the review that mentioned missing jewelry, and she was to "re-characterize" the dispute between the two over non payment. An appeal by Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union led to the court determining just two days later that "the preliminary injunction was not justified and that the respondents have an adequate remedy at law."

 

"It shouldn't be easy to take down speech that you don't like," said Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Public Citizen. "You can't get injunction against defamation. If it's really defamation, you get damages."

Lookout Mobile now available on Kindle Fire

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 11:41 am

With the Kindle Fire being based on Android, it can get the same viruses that are now beginning to creep into mobile devices world wide. Lookout Mobile, a company that builds anti-virus apps for Android just released its first app for Amazon's flagship tablet.

 

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The app is the same as the standard Android version, but being that the Amazon does not allow the Google Play Store on the Kindle Fire, the company had to submit the app for approval before it became available in the Amazon App Store.

 

Once installed, the app will alert you to hidden viruses, and track the location of your phone remotely in the event your phone gets stolen, lost or otherwise indisposed. The app will also let you activate a "Scream" ringtone to help you locate the lost or stolen device.

Kindle Fire, Android tablets gain share at iPad's expense

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 10:32 am

The 2012 holiday season was a big hit for mobile devices as a whole but the biggest winners are Amazon's Kindle Fire, and a multitude of Android tables. While not considered a loser, Apples iPad took a considerable hit because of the saturated market.

 

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Chitika Insights released a report on mobile device sales between December 1st to December 27th with data coming from both the US and Canada. The findings were that tablets from Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft gained a total of 5.5% market share while Apple's iPad fell by 7.4%

 

Chitika saw Amazon's Kindle Fire gaining 3.03 percentage points to hit an impression share of 7.51 percent. Galaxy tablets from Samsung with saw a 1.38 percent jump to 4.39 percent share, and the Nexus tablets from Google rose 0.92 percent for a 2.04 percent share. Microsoft's Surface device saw a 0.17 percent increase for a 0.40 percent share. Apple's iPad, though dropped 7.1 percentage points over the holiday season, from a share of 86 percent to 78.9 percent on the 27th.

FTC chairman pushing for a Google antitrust decision this week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 9:26 am

It's looking like the Federal Trade Commission will, this week, rule on its antitrust investigation of Google. Sources familiar with the matter have stated that the settlement will be quite similar to the one discussed in December.

 

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FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz is leading the charge for the vote from all five commissioners and is hoping for the gavel to fall late this week.

 

The push to make a quick decision is no doubt based on the decision by the senate to replace Commissioner Thomas Rosch with law professor George Mason. Rosch's last day on the commission will be Friday.

NYE fireworks in reverse is explosion of awesomesauce

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 8:38 am

Everyone loves fireworks right? Ok so maybe almost everyone loves fireworks, and I am willing to bet that a lot of our readers ventured our to watch a fireworks show as part of their new year celebrations.

 

 

What I bet you have not seen is a fireworks show played in reverse. I am a sucker for mindless entertaining videos and I will admit that I watched the above selection no less than 5 times before writing this article.

 

The video was shot New Year's Eve at Docklands, Melbourne Australia. Do you have an amazing reversed video you would like to share with us? Post it in the comments and who knows, we may post a quick news article about it.

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Raspberry Pi gets educational manual, free to use and distribute

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 3, 2013 7:28 am

The tiny Raspberry Pi has been a popular system among hackers and educators alike. For $35, you get a fully functional PC to mess around with, program, and do what you like. If you own one and don't know where to start, you're in luck, as the system has gotten a free educational manual courtesy of a team of UK teachers from Computing at School.

 

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The manual is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 unported licence, which in non-legal speak means you can use, redistribute, change and copy. There's only one limitation: you can't sell it. There's lots of information in the manual, such as information of Scratch, Python, and the command line.

 

You can grab it from the Pi Store, or from this link if you don't have a Pi yet.

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