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T-Mobile spending $308 million on 10MHz of wireless spectrum

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 11:01 pm

Wireless carrier T-Mobile has entered into an agreement to acquire 10MHz of advanced wireless spectrum (AWS) for $308 million. The deal was announced today and is pending regulatory approval by the FCC and Department of Justice. T-Mobile is interested in putting the new spectrum to use to expand their fledgling LTE network.

 

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T-Mobile just recently started rolling out their 4G LTE network. This new 10MHz spectrum covers numerous key markets and could be put to use almost immediately to speed the LTE roll out and increase capacity in existing markets. The spectrum includes such markets as St. Louis; Nashville; Kansas City; Memphis; Lexington; Little Rock-North Little Rock; Birmingham; New Orleans; and Louisville.

 

According to T-Mobile's CEO, spectrum, especially AWS spectrum, is like gold. Without spectrum, a company would be hard-pressed to provide wireless coverage. Once all the regulatory hurdles are met, T-Mobile will immediately put the spectrum to use.

Facebook for Android collected your phone number even if you never logged in

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 10:29 pm

Facebook has had a few security and privacy related incidents of late, with the newest one to come to light being that the Facebook for Android app sent your phone number back to Facebook's servers even if you didn't log in or didn't have an account. Facebook has said that all of these numbers have been deleted, but it still makes you wonder why they were ever collected in the first place.

 

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The "bug," as Facebook calls it, was in the beta application that Facebook released yesterday. That bug has since been patched and Facebook has stated that the accidentally logged numbers have all been cleared from their servers. The bug came to light thanks to security firm Symantec. According to their researchers, a user's phone number would be sent to Facebook immediately upon opening the app.

 

It's unclear how many users were affected. This bug does not appear to be related to the other recent privacy snafu at Facebook. Still, you've got to wonder if this was something similar to the Google Street View Wi-Fi snooping issue that was settled not too long ago.

Nokia offers up to $370 for your old smartphone if you purchase a Lumia

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 9:36 pm

Nokia is looking to bolster his dwindling overall sales by offering customers a chance to switch to a Windows 8 based Lumia smartphone. The Finnish company announced today, a new trade up program that will take in your old phone and send you back up to $370 on a prepaid Visa based on the phone's condition and overall trade-in value.

 

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Most smartphones from the last couple of years are accepted into the program but unless you have a very recent and very popular phone like the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy S4, or the HTC One, don't expect to get much for your used device. Expect an even lower price for your phone if it is damaged in any way, does not power on, or shows signs of water damage.

 

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My year and a half old Motorola Photon 4G appears to only be worth $30 based on their online estimator while, a top of the line Galaxy S4 64GB edition from Verizon will land you about $275. Apple's iPhone 4S will land you $220 with it's iPhone 5 counterpart is worth $370 in the eyes of Nokia.

BlackBerry's Playbook will not be getting BB10 says CEO Thorsten Heins

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 6:44 pm

Today is a disappointing day for all those who have been holding onto the antiquated BlackBerry Playbook tablet in hopes of it receiving a BlackBerry 10 upgrade. Back in January when BB10 launched, the company promised that its tablet would be getting the new operating system, unfortunately that appears not to be the case.

 

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CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled the sour news during the company's earnings report phone call to investors earlier today. He did not release any specifics as to why the company changed its mind only justifying the action by saying that Playbook performance was less than satisfactory.

 

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Heins has been on the record in the past voicing his disdain for tablets, saying that they lack a good business model and has even went as far as suggesting that within the next five years tablets will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately it is this kind of thinking that has plummeted BlackBerry to the bottom of the list of mobile device manufacturers while companies like Samsung and Apple continue to rise to the top.

Xbox 360 will begin streaming Time Warner Cable later this summer

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 6:10 pm

The Xbox one has this cool little feature that allows users to plug their cable boxes directly into the console which allows the Xbox to facilitate the changing of channels for you. While the Xbox 360 will not have the channel changing features it will be getting the ability to stream cable TV later this summer.

 

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This morning Microsoft announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will bring its live TV options to the Xbox 360. Unfortunately for this to happen users will not only need a pre-existing Time Warner Cable subscription, but will also need an Xbox live Gold membership before you can download and install the app.

 

Time Warner Cable follows in the footsteps of other content providers such as Verizon which brought its FiOS TV to the console 2011 along with ESPN and HBO to have dedicated apps. How do you feel about been able to stream Time Warner Cable TV through your Xbox? Is it worth paying for an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access the service you already have access to via your set-top box?

Yelp files suit against business selling fake reviews

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Yelp has become the de facto service for customer reviews on local businesses, and as with any user submitted review service, fake reviews have began to pop up. While some of these reviews are made by the business owners themselves others are made by companies who are paid by the business owners to flood their pages with good reviews.

 

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This trickery can lead to a business seeing a major rise in customers if enough good reviews pop up during a certain period of time. Yelp attempts to remove most of these fake reviews but new ones are added just as quickly as the old ones are taken down, and now yelp has decided to attempt to put a stop via the legal system.

 

The company has filed a lawsuit against BuyOnlineReview.net which is the owner of BuyYelpReview.com. The complaint which was filed last week looks to shut down both sides through a court injunction as well as complete reimbursement of Yelp's legal fees and three times the amount of revenue either site made from selling fake Yelp reviews.

Windows 8.1 to ditch Messaging app in favor of Skype

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Microsoft will be trashing its Messenger app in Windows 8.1 in favor of Skype. The Messaging app currently uses Facebook and Messenger accounts to communicate with friends but it appears that Microsoft will be following their word and transitioning all messaging services to Skype.

 

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This move makes perfect sense as Skype was shown off as the primary messaging device for the Xbox One at not only the launch event last month but it was also demoed at the E3 expo and Microsoft Build Conference earlier this month. No word on an official release date has been confirmed but we expect the change to happen when Windows 8.1 is officially launched.

Uber lands its private car service in Taipei Taiwan, second launch in Asia this week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 5:07 pm

Uber continues its ingress into Asia today as it rolled out its popular private car service in Taipei, Taiwan. Earlier this week, the company made its Asia debut by launching in Seoul, Korea along with three other cities in the region.

 

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This year Uber has raised more than 55 million in funding from investors alone and usually launches a test phase "soft launch" before fully rolling out the service. Over the next 4 to 6 weeks Uber will begin to transition from this test phase into the fully operational service in both Seoul and Taipei.

 

Whether you're out on the town in the Xinyi , go shopping on Zhong Shan Bei Road, or have dinner in Dongqu, Uber (@Uber_TPE) will get you where you need to be in comfort and style, typhoon or shine. The base fare is NT$126, with a rolling charge of NT$30 per kilometer (when travelling over 18km/h) or NT$16.50 per minute (when travelling below that speed - aka affected by traffic jams). The minimum fare is NT$230 and the full Taipei pricing can be found here.

Ellen Page wants her ID back, says Ellie from The Last of US is a direct knock off of her likeness

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 4:10 pm

It's no secret, actors and actresses from Hollywood like to keep a tight rein on their likeness, and rightfully so. It is after all how they make their living. Canadian actress Ellen Page has accused popular PlayStation 3 horror title, The Last of Us, of stealing her facial likeness.

 

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During an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit, Page told fans that she was very much aware of the similarities between her and the games character Ellie and that she was not so pleased about it. "I guess I should be flattered that they ripped off my likeness, but I am actually acting in a videogame called Beyond: Two Souls, so it was not appreciated," she wrote.

 

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While I see the minute similarities, I personally feel that Ellie looks much more like Ashley Johnson, the actress who does Ellie's voice over for the game. In my opinion this is just a publicity stunt used for both Page's career as well as the upcoming game Beyond: Two Souls. TweakTown would like to offer Page a chance to tell her side of the story and we have reached out to her and are awaiting a response.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean seen on Samsung Galaxy S4, available for testing now!

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 28, 2013 3:12 pm

Android aficionados have something to celebrate this morning as a version of Android 4.3 has been spotted doing some testing rounds on Samsung's Galaxy S4. This early version of 4.3 is thanks to some porting work done by the fellows over at SamMobile.

 

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SamMobile says that the port is fully functional on the standard Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4 and there's not a single feature which isn't working. They know that the port is not flashable through Odin, it will void your warranty, and they only suggest attempting to install this version of Android 4.3 if you have the skills to flash custom ROM.

 

Even though Google hasn't made Android 4.3 public yet, you can head over to SamMobile (Source #2) and download the ROM now. Keep in mind that Android 4.3 is still in the development phase and currently cannot be considered 100 percent stable, so flash at your own risk and let us know how it turns out.

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