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Pulse adds new "highlights" feature to popular news reader app

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 4:45 pm

Pulse News Reader is one of my favorite apps, one that I use it almost exclusively for my news aggregation. One feature I always found lacking was the ability to see what my friends have shared using the service. Now, it appears, that my wishes have come true with Pulse announcing a new feature today.

 

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The development team behind the popular news reader has just announced that it has added a new "Pulse Highlights" feature that will allow users to see content that has been aggregated by their content their friends have liked and shared on both the pulse app and Facebook.

 

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"We've always been good at providing you with really good things to read. But now we are also getting into discovery. With Highlights, discovery is about people: close friends and family sharing content that's interesting and relevant for you", said Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer says Microsoft search deal not delivering as expected

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 3:50 pm

In a recent interview with Reuters, Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer said that the company's partnership with Microsoft's Bing search engine is not producing the market share that was expected.

 

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In 2010 Yahoo and Vole signed a 10 year contract in an effort to steal some search engine market share from search giant Google. From the looks of things, what actually happened was Microsoft and Yahoo actually ended up just trading that market space with each other.

 

In December 2012, Yahoo owned about 12% share, with Microsoft having just over 16%. Two years ago before the deal took place the numbers were flipped around almost exactly with Microsoft having 12% and Yahoo owning 16%. While Meyer is not happy with the numbers, it does not mean that she wants out of the partnership, she just would like to see improvements made.

ASUS releases RT-N12HP Wireless-N300 router sporting massive 9dBi antennas

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Networking | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Life has a funny way of presenting answers to problems. Just last night I was discussing high-gain wireless routers with my colleagues here at TweakTown, and when I check my inbox this morning, I find a release on this beauty from ASUS.

 

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The RT-N12HP Wireless-N300 is the latest offering in home wireless networking from ASUS, and sports two massive, detachable 9dBi antennas. The monstrous rabbit ears are said to give consumers 300% more Wi-Fi range if your devices have equally robust network adapters.

 

The device also brings some interesting admin features to the table such as the ability to control up to four distinct networks, primary and guest networks with separate options, and even dynamic bandwidth allocation. I was unable to locate any pricing at this time, and also came up empty on retail availability dates.

HTC releases lens flair video, sneaks in blurred images of upcoming M7 smartphone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 2:02 pm

Days ahead of its global launch, the new HTC M7 smartphone has been spotted in new video. The UK division of HTC has placed a countdown clock on its website that indicates we have roughly six days before something happens.

 

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Judging by the video, that something is either a new Ridley Scott directed Star Trek movie, or it is the launch of HTC's latest flagship Android smartphone. In the video the first thing you notice is an abundance of lens flairs and fleeting glimpses of what appears to be a blurry HTC M7.

 

 

We can see sleek, machined aluminum edges, and what appears to be a camera lens. One other feature that is instantly noticeable is the new phone seems to be dressed in white, something that has been very popular with rival Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones. I for one am very excited to see all of the new devices that will be making appearances this month as they all should hit the market around the time my upgrade becomes available.

Opera adopts Webkit as it hits 300 million users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 1:05 pm

Opera, the little web browser that could, has decided to ditch the Presto rendering engine in favor of the more developer friendly and open source Webkit. This announcement comes hot on the heels of reports that put its user base around the 300 million monthly user mark.

 

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Switching to Webkit will be greatly beneficial to the open source project, web developers, and the Chromium project. Hakon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software said, it "makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further."

 

The switch to Webkit will not be an instant one though as Opera plans on rolling the change out to iOS, Android and PCs over the next year. CEO Lars Boilesen said that he hopes that the change will help the browser "claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market".

Tim Cook says that for the iPhone, larger screens aren't everything - the experience, is the key

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 11:37 am

Tim Cook had some interesting things to say during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where the Apple CEO touched on a number of topics, including some rumors of a next-gen iPhone including a larger screen.

 

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Cook talked about the user experience, saying that the experience is more important than what cranks along inside of the phone. When talking about a larger screen size on the iPhone, Cook said:

 

I don't want to say what we will do or won't do [regarding a larger screen for the iPhone], and so don't interpret anything I say along those lines. Let me go back and compare it to the PC industry for a minute. The PC industry over the years, the way that companies competed were two things: specs and price. And so people would want to say, "I've got the largest drive," or, "I've got the fastest processor," or in the camera business people began to say, "I've got the most megapixels."

 

The truth is, customers want a great experience, and they want quality. They want that "Aha!" moment each time that they use the product. And that's rarely a function of any of those things. These are things that technology companies invent because they can't have a great experience, and so they talk about the spec of something.

Continue reading 'Tim Cook says that for the iPhone, larger screens aren't everything - the experience, is the key' (full post)

President Obama's new executive order addresses cybersecurity issues

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 10:37 am

President Obama is getting a bit of attention today thanks to his State of the Union speech, where he introduced a new executive order to address cybersecurity problems across the United States.

 

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The now second term President said that the US and allied nations must take action to stop the constant attacks, as "we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy." The new executive order continues on a voluntary initiative that started in May 2012, supervised by the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

 

The already in-place measure has been criticized over its lack of definition and scope, as well as its failure to find what actually makes up a cyber attack that requires a response. The original proposal has a lack of civil rights protections, which is, of course, a huge problem. In a draft of the document released during the State of the Union speech, the White House notes that the new measure must include "strong privacy and civil liberties protections", where it addresses the criticisms of the program currently enacted by 12 companies, as well as the federal government.

Continue reading 'President Obama's new executive order addresses cybersecurity issues' (full post)

During his State of the Union speech, President Obama talks about Apple bringing Mac production to the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 9:36 am

If you didn't watch it live, President Obama had his State of the Union speech a few hours ago, and mentioned Apple during his speech to Congress. Obama took a few minutes to talk about Apple bringing Mac production back to the US this year.

 

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President Obama didn't specifically name which Macs would be manufactured in the US, but we should see the Mac mini manufactured in the US - creating nearly 200 jobs in the US. Obama said:

 

Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.

 

After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook was right there, sitting in the First Lady's box (take that as you will) which is the usual spot for guests who are mentioned during the President's speech.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 is out, give your GPU a workout

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 8:39 am

Unigine Corp. have just released the latest revision to their GPU benchmark, Heaven Benchmark 4.0. Heaven 4.0 is perfect for stability testing on your system, mainly for your GPU.

 

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Heaven 4.0 has full support for DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0, works across multiple platforms - Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and includes countless settings for you to tinker with. Best of all, it has support for multi-monitor setups as well as different stereo 3D models. What's new in Heaven 4.0? Here's a list of what to expect:

  • Benchmarking presets for convenient comparison of results
  • GPU temperature and clock monitoring
  • Drastic improvement of SSDO
  • Stars at nighttime
  • Improvement of lens flare
  • New, improved version of UNIGINE Engine under the hood
  • Detection of multiple GPUs
  • Anti-aliasing support on Mac OS X
  • Enhancement of automation scripts in Pro version
  • New Advanced edition (see details below)
  • Russian and Chinese localization

 

You can download Heaven Benchmark 4.0 here.

Controller designer and hardware lead for Steam Box fired from Valve

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 7:34 am

Valve's Steam Box could be in a little trouble now, as the controller designer and hardware lead, Jeri Ellsworth, has been fired. The news comes from Ellsworth's Twitter account, where she tweeted "Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects."

 

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Ellsworth was working on prototypes of controllers to use from your couch on the console we should hopefully soon expect from Valve. Should we expect delays from Valve on the Steam Box? I'm guessing not. Getting fired from Valve is pretty serious, as they have a very laid back working environment.

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