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Gamers in Sweden get slapped with 'LAN party tax', costs organizers thousands for a 'permit' to hook PC's together for fun

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:51 am

My fondest memories as a kid growing up was growing up through the network area of connecting PC's together for some Quake, Duke Nukem, Command & Conquer and good old file sharing - but those days could be ending in Sweden, where there is now a "LAN party tax".

 

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From now on, organizers of LAN parties will have to pay a fee of up to $5,000 so that they can receive a "permit" that will allow them to connect together PC's or gaming consoles. The ruling was made legal by the Gambling Board, who are the supervisory authority for gaming and lottery and in accordance with the liberal government's revised slot machine regulation of last year.

 

Now video games fall under this umbrella, and LAN gamers and organizers are only going to suffer. General Counsel at the Gaming Board, Johan Rohr, has said that "in the eyes of the law, these are slot machines." Not only will the LAN organizers be slapped with a fee for the "permit", but they could also be up for paying extra for an inspection fee if the Gambling Board decide to check the party out.

 

What do you think of these laws? Are they utterly ridiculous or what?!

NGFF SSD's pops up in Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E431 laptop

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:18 am

We've been on m.2, or NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) watch since Computex earlier this month and we've finally found a notebook/ultrabook with an NGFF option. The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 is the first of its kind, at least the first we've actually found.

 

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The options list is very limited at this time. You either order their $50 24GB NGFF SSD for cache or you don't. The description is pretty light as well. We've already ran a few tests on ADATA NGFF drives, one with a JMicron controller and another with an LSI SandForce controller.

 

It's not much but it's a start. Next week a package arrives with new tools for measuring performance of NGFF products and at that time we'll have everything we need to write a proper review of the new ADATA NGFF SSD's.

Microsoft are working on a technology that would see your smartphone detect your mood

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 10:31 am

Microsoft could be onto something important with their Microsoft Research Asia division, who are working on a technology that provides your smartphone with the ability to detect your mood.

 

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Not only that, it will detect your mood and post it to your social networks in real-time. If you thought the NSA PRISM system was bad, just wait until there's technology that posts to your Facebook wall that you're in a really bad mood. But, Microsoft researchers have said: "privacy concerns aside, these moods would enhance social networks by allowing users to share mood states automatically."

 

This would help users "know better how and when to communicate with others." I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want something detecting my mood all day every day, you wouldn't feel safe with your emotions at all.

Latest Chrome beta fixes some issues, adds a security fix, too

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 9:32 am

Google have released an updated version of Chrome beta for Android, which addresses some issues that have been popping up for a while now. One of these is the white flash that pops up when you load a new tab.

 

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Other fixes include favicons now syncing across other devices using Clank (Google's codename for Chrome beta for Android), as well as problems with the keyboard on the Gmail website which wouldn't dismiss. A security fix has also been plugged up, making sure that a dialog is displayed as soon as any downloads are called.

 

The usual bug fixes are of course updated in this latest beta mobile browser, and you can get it right here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 makes an appearance at the FCC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 8:24 am

Over the weekend Samsung paraded their Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 with LTE through the FCC, arriving as model SM-T315. This won't be for the American market, as the LTE baked into this device is destined for the South Korean market.

 

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We should expect to see the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 in the US, as the US already enjoys the Galaxy Note 8.0 - but that doesn't mean not a single person (or a few thousand) would want to purchase this model in their home country.

Microsoft telling Xbox One developers to start with Windows 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 7:23 am

We know that the Xbox One is pretty much a PC now, with its x86 architecture and Windows 8 bubbling along inside, but how are Microsoft talking to developers who are unsure where to start? Well, Microsoft have been saying they should create Windows 8 apps first.

 

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Vice President of Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism group, Steve Guggenheimer, has said: "Xbox One has two engines, it's got a gaming engine and it essentially has a Windows 8 engine." Microsoft are making sense here, something they really need to amplify in the months leading up to, and years after the Xbox One launch.

 

If developers begin on PC and just develop, the game requires no porting to the already x86-based architecture of the Xbox One. This means PC games will be stellar, with the only thing stopping us from having PC-built games is the game development will be done around the world of a controller (slower input method) and TV at a distance (field of view weirdness).

RumorTT: TSMC will become Apple's main supplier of in-house A-series processors

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 6:29 am

Just what will Apple do to get their A-series processors pumped out in enough quantity to keep up with consumer demand on their next-gen iPhone and iPad? Well, you ask for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to lend a hand.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple are working with TSMC, which will see the Taiwanese company become the lead supplier of Apple's in-house designed A-series processors, with a ramp up expected in early 2014 with 20nm SoC processors. TSMC have been an Apple supplier for years, but have had trouble keeping up with Apple's strong standards on increasing the speed, power and quality of their processors.

 

The WSJ has said that the two companies have been talking about a deal since 2010, where at the time Samsung was Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series processors, but this will change as Apple wants to distance themselves from their main competitor.

Toshiba to unleash their Ultra HD sets in August, 58-inch 4K will cost $4,999

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 5:20 am

Toshiba showed off their Ultra HD TV's back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, promising we'd see them in the summer. Well, Toshiba are back, unveiling their new 4K TV's for an August launch.

 

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Toshiba will start with the 58-inch model, which will retail for $4,999 with the 65-inch model bumping the price up to $6,999. If you're wanting the biggest and baddest one, the 84-inch 4K-capable TV from Toshiba will set you back $16,999. All three 4K screens will include Toshiba's Resolution Restoration, which upscales content of non-4K content so that it looks better on the higher resolution TV.

 

The company's line of 4K screens are powered by CEVO 4K Quad+Dual Core Processors, with Surface Brilliance Enhancement and Color Gamut Enhancement. 240Hz refresh will be on offer using ClearScan with the sets also boasting Color and Depth Adaptive Resolution+ which will provide better images and colors on the TV.

BlackBerry misses its sales mark, shares decline more than 27%

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 29, 2013 12:03 am

BlackBerry reported its earnings and sales figures today. Unfortunately for the company, those numbers were lower than expectations. Because of this underwhelming performance, BlackBerry shares declined by over 27 percent today. The price per share for BlackBerry now sits at around $10.46, or the lowest they have been since November of last year.

 

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Many analysts expected BlackBerry to sell around 3.5 million BB10 devices this quarter. Instead, the company managed to sell just 2.7 million. To put this figure in perspective, Nokia sold nearly double the amount of devices as BlackBerry, which still isn't saying much. BlackBerry sat at an operating loss of $84 million, or 16 cents per share. This is quite a bit better than this quarter last year in which BlackBerry lost of $500 million. Revenue was also up 9 percent to $3.1 billion.

 

BlackBerry still has quite a bit to do if they want to stick around. Some have called for the company to split its hardware and software business, something that the company says it isn't planning to do. Do you think BlackBerry has a chance at sticking around?

Yahoo does summer cleaning, will sunset AltaVista, other products

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 11:30 pm

Yahoo announced today that they would be doing a Google-like summer cleaning in which they sunset older and out-of-date products. One of the most notable products to make Yahoo's sunset list is the ancient search engine AltaVista. There are many other products on list, which you can see below. Most of the product closures take place by the end of July, though two don't happen until the end of September.

 

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CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Googler, appears to be taking the Google approach to these products. Many of these product shutdowns aren't surprising. Previous rumors had suggested that AltaVista was going to be shut down in 2010. Many of these products are legacy or duplicate a function provided by another aspect of Yahoo's offerings. As such, they are just costing the company money.

Continue reading 'Yahoo does summer cleaning, will sunset AltaVista, other products' (full post)

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