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Sharp lands $4.6 billion financial deal - stays afloat for now

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 7:28 am

Sharp have confirmed that they have closed an agreement which will see $4.6 billion in financing to help bail the Japanese company out of some serious financial problems. Sharp's investor site details the "working capital loan" will have Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Toyota-Mitsubishi UFJ lend Sharp 180 billion yen.




This is all part of a contract that ends on June 30 2013, including an equal sum in credit. Sharp was in dire need of this plan to move forward, who produces parts for Apple's iPhone 5, as well as many other products. Sharp are also still trying to ink an investment deal with Hon Hai that would see the Foxconn parent company take up a 9.9% stake in the company.


Sharp are still waiting for the Hon Hai deal to happen, and in the meantime have mortgaged nearly all of their Japanese factories, generating $1.92 billion in credit. By getting rid of their assets, Sharp hopes to generate around $2.74 billion by March 2013. On top of this, they have already culled 5,000 jobs, and are looking to get rid of another 11,000 staff soon.

OLED patent war begins - LG Display file suit against Samsung

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 6:26 am

Samsung have been busy dodging Apple shaped bullets for a while now, but it looks like LG are now joining in on the fight. LG Display, who are the second largest maker of LCD panels in the world, have filed a lawsuit against Samsung over patent violations.




LG announced the lawsuit during a press conference in Seoul, where they've claimed that Samsung are infringing on no less than seven patents in relation to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. LG said that they've filed a damage suit in order to protect technologies that took a very long time/man power to develop, as well as to promote fair competition.


LG's lawsuit orders Samsung Electronics and Samsung Mobile Display to halt the use of the patents in question, and on top, pay damages for products already on the market that use the infringed patents. We don't know how much LG is asking for in terms of damages, but the company have named five products in the suit including the Galaxy S line of smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet.

Continue reading 'OLED patent war begins - LG Display file suit against Samsung' (full post)

Valve to release Steam for Linux limited beta next month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 5:32 am

Valve are hard at work on porting Steam over to Linux, but it looks like the company is doing well enough with the software to release a beta version of the app on the open-source operating system. Valve are looking to release an internal beta sometime next week, and after that, we're looking at an external beta limited to just 1,000 people as soon as next month.




The limited beta will sport support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above, with access to a single Valve game. There's been no word on which game it would be, but we're probably going to see it manifest into Left 4 Dead 2, which is something that the company has talked about using so far. The results of Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam saw it running a tad faster on Linux under OpenGL versus Windows on either OpenGL or DirectX.


Valve will open up a sign-up page for the external beta in the next couple of weeks, where they'll select beta testers based on the hardware they're running. Valve are wanting to test Steam for Linux on a variety of different setups.

Facebook introduces Facebook Gifts, lets you send real-life gifts to friends, family

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 4:27 am

Facebook have just unveiled something very new: Facebook Gifts. The idea behind Gifts is to let you purchase, and send real-life gifts to friends and family. Facebook have said that members would be able to buy gifts as part of a birthday reminder, or by visiting their friends' Timeline.




RIght now, Facebook Gift options are limited to a few items such as Starbucks gift cards, cupcakes, chocolate and the usual stuffed animals - the social networking site have said that there will be new gifts added every day. When giving a gift, you can post the present straight onto the recipient's Timeline, or through a private message.


The receiver can then "unwrap" the gift with the option to keep it, exchange it for something in another color, size or choose something else entirely - as long as its of equal value. Facebook Gift payments can be done at the time of the purchase itself, or the gift-giver can be billed at a later time. Gift notifications, once received, will have the recipient needing to supply their mailing address - so that the physical item can be delivered.

Continue reading 'Facebook introduces Facebook Gifts, lets you send real-life gifts to friends, family' (full post)

There's a new Java exploit lurking around, close to 1 billion Macs and PCs are at risk

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 3:21 am

We're here again, with another exploit to watch out - this time with security researcher Adam Gowdiak discovering a new zero-day vulnerability in Java. This new bug is said to be in currently-supported versions of Java, such as Java 5, Java 6, and Java 7 and has the ability to allow attackers to install malware on close to 1 billion systems (based on the installation numbers from Oracle themselves).




This exploit affects both Macs and PCs, meaning that any Java-powered PC is at risk. Right now, the exploit doesn't pose much threat to the general public, but Gowdiak who is known for finding similar issues within Java, has said that he isn't currently aware of any active attacks that exploit this particular vulnerability.


Gowdiak found the exploit last week and has spent the last few days testing a proof-of-concept before he revealed the exploit to Oracle. Oracle has since confirmed that the vulnerability with Gowdisk, and have said that it will be fixed in a future security update. Oracle haven't given a date on when this update will be pushed out, but the next scheduled update is a while way - October 16.

Continue reading 'There's a new Java exploit lurking around, close to 1 billion Macs and PCs are at risk' (full post)

Google's Oklahoma-based data center to receive 48MW of wind power

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 2:27 am

Renewable energy for huge data centers is the in-thing right now, as it should be, with companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google all striving to push for renewable energy. Mountain View-based Google are looking to pump 48MW of wind power into their data center in Oklahoma.




Google want to supply their Mayes County location with 48MW of wind energy from Apex's Canadian Hills Wind Project, but they're not buying power directly at the source - instead, they're striking a deal with the Grand River Dam Authority. The Grand River Dam Authority is a utility, where Google will purchase the wind power on top of what is already supposed from the GRDA at present.


This new deal should see the data center continue on its green path of energy, while giving the site room to grow. Wind power will crank up in Google's data center once the Canadian Hills effort it up and running later on in the year.

AMD release Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Sep 28, 2012 1:38 am

AMD love to push out their beta versions of Catalyst drivers, with the release of the Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers now available. This release is a bit different to the usual beta releases, as it includes support for AMD's Enduro technology.




Enduro is AMD's version of NVIDIA Optimus, which will allow dynamic switching between a system's integrated, and discrete graphics which will in turn provide better battery life. AMD have also added an Optimus-like application profile set within the Catalyst Control Center, where users can select which applications run on either integrated, or discrete graphics.


The Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers also offer improved performance in Lost Planet 2 - with an up to 10% increase in performance on single-GPU setups. There are also some Catalyst application profiles included:

  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center
  • World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
  • Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performance
  • F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections

Continue reading 'AMD release Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers' (full post)

RumorTT: Sprint to offer a Galaxy S III for $50 on Black Friday

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 27, 2012 11:16 pm

If you're a Sprint user looking to pick up a cheap Samsung Galaxy S III, it could be in your interest to wait the extra two months until Black Friday. Engadget has received a snapshot of a Sprint Black Friday ad from a tipster. In that ad, the Samsung Galaxy S III is offered up for $49.99, with two-year contract.




The offer is good for both new and existing customers, so this could be a perfect time to jump ship if you've been thinking about it. After all, Sprint offers up unlimited smartphone data, and they've been using this fact to draw customers away from the other carriers. Couple unlimited data with a cheap Galaxy S III and the plan will work that much better.


It is expected that quantities of the discount Galaxy S III will be limited, so you may consider lining up outside your local store in the wee hours of the morning to guarantee you get a device. If lining up early isn't your cup of tea, I'm sure they'd be happy to offer it to you at normal price or one of their other smartphones.

Dish unveils dishNET broadband, uses sattelites to provide high-speed internet to rural areas

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Sep 27, 2012 10:02 pm

Users who live in rural parts of the United States will soon be able to get on the internet quite a bit quicker. DISH, one of the large US satellite TV providers, has launched a new internet service under the dishNET brand. Incredibly, the new service provides internet speeds of about double the average residential connection.




"Many unserved and underserved markets are years away from a telco or cable broadband build out, but dishNET is available today," said Brian McIntyre, vice president of Broadband at DISH. "These services will have powerful, positive impacts for kids, educators, businesses, farmers and families -- no matter how far out of town they may choose to live."


As of October 1, users will be able to obtain a 5Mbps down/1Mbps up data connection for $39.99 a month with two year contract. That price does not include equipment fees. Unfortunately, there is a 10GB data cap on that line. Stepping up to $49.99/month yields a 10/1Mbps connection with a 20GB data cap.


To get the pricing shown above, you'll need the previously mentioned two-year contract. You'll also need to bundle the service with Dish's "America's top 120" package, or any more expensive TV package. Installation is free for any customer, new or existing, as long as the service is bundled with TV. Otherwise, you'll be looking at a $99 charge.

RumorTT: iPhone 5 appears to be clocked at 1.1GHz in the UK

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Even more discrepancies over the frequency of the new A6 processor have appeared. Originally, GeekBench showed the new iPhone 5 processor clocked at 1GHz. The makers of GeekBench updated their algorithm to better detect the frequency of the new chip and all of a sudden the US models all received a speed boost to 1.3GHz.




However, when TechRadar installed the updated version of GeekBench on their UK iPhone 5, they found a different speed reported: 1.1GHz. The US model iPhone is reported as iPhone5,1 whereas the UK model used by TechRadar showed up as iPhone5,2. So, why the discrepancy? It's not exactly clear what is causing the change, but the obvious reason would be that Apple chose a different speed for the UK model.


People commenting on the TechRadar story have seen both 1.1GHz and 1.3GHz reported on their UK model phone. If only Apple would come out and tell us the tech specs that we all want to know, we'd be in a much better position of knowledge. Until then, we'll keep you updated regarding any iPhone 5 news.

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