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Groupon acquires Mertado, a social shopping company that helps consumers discover new products

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 7:19 am

Groupon have just acquired Bay Area-based Mertado, a social shopping company that helps consumers discover new products. In a statement to All Things D, Julie Mossler said "Groupon is excited to announce it has purchase Mertado.com."

 

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No terms of the deal were disclosed, but Mossler did say several members of Mertado's staff will join Groupon, including founders Mehul Shah, Rajiv Bhat, and Vijay Chittoor, who is also the CEO. The reason behind the acquisition is that Groupon were interested in Mertado's expertise in the social commerce space, which includes the launch of Mertado TV, which combined video content with products.

 

A post on Mertado's Web site states that they are no longer accepting any new registrations and will officially shut down on February 28th. This is the second acquisition in as many moths for Groupon, where last month Groupon acquired Campfire Labs, which will head up the company's social efforts.

AMD 8.921.2 RC11 AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 driver released

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 6:16 am

Radeon HD 7970 owner? Want to try out a new release from AMD that might give you some higher frame rates in some games? The new driver is not a full-blown Catalyst release, or even a "preview driver". It's a very specific driver, for just the Radeon HD 7900-series cards. The release brings a bunch of performance updates, as shown below:

 

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8% (up to) performance improvement in Aliens vs. Predator

15% (up to) performance improvement in Battleforge with Anti-Aliasing enabled

3% (up to) performance improvement in Battlefield 3

3% (up to) performance improvement in Crysis 2

6% (up to) performance improvement in Crysis Warhead

10% (up to) performance improvement in F1 2010

5% (up to) performance improvement in Unigine with Anti-Aliasing enabled

250% (up to) performance improvement in TessMark (OpenGL) when set to "insane" levels

 

As always, these are "up to" numbers, and these drivers should be used with caution. Bleeding-edge users should be the only ones to use these, or people who like a bit of experimentation.

 

Download them, here.

Resident Evil - Retribution trailer, Sony is the new T Virus of advertisement spam

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 5:01 am

As a fan of the Resident Evil movies, this news is not too surprising. But the new Milla Jovovich arse-kicking movie, Resident Evil: Retribution features well, a product showcase of Sony branded products at the beginning of its new trailer.

 

 

It's not the usual product placement where a camera is zoomed into a smartphone or TV and you can clearly see some weird UI that doesn't exist in the real world, yet features a perfectly showcased product. This is more like the first thirty seconds of the movie is an in-your-face non-subliminal message of Sony products. Watch the below trailer to see what I mean.

 

After that, we're introduced to the new Resident Evil movie, and after that advertising, I thought I'd post it here to see what our readers thought. Then, I thought, well, as long as I get cliched, fun, popcorn action movies like Resident Evil, I'm prepared to put up with a bit of Sony advertisement being thrown at my eye balls. These movies need funding from somewhere, right? Or is it a bit too much? Thoughts?

Continue reading 'Resident Evil - Retribution trailer, Sony is the new T Virus of advertisement spam' (full post)

Thecus Upgrades Its 32-bit Firmware to V5.02.02

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 4:49 am

Network Attached Storage heroes, Thecus have released the new V5.02.02 firmware which adds new features, protocol updates, and of course, the usual tweaking. The new update is available for all V5-compatible models.

 

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Quick access models gets a nice upgrade, where there is now the possibility to add an extra button on the login screen where you can choose the desired module and login with the proper user account. Third-party developers can now set their own icon if they wish.

 

A handy feature included in V5.02.02 firmware is the ability to back up all local users, groups and permissions. You can save them on a RAID volume and restore when required. There's also the ability to export them to another NAS if required. General upgrades and tweaks are below:

 

NFS, Samba, SSL certificates, SNMP trap, AFP, Time Zone, and FTP: all those features have been upgraded to new versions and have more options.

The Web UI has been slightly tweaked to be faster and includes full translation

Network UPS function

Added "Read-only" function for public folders

Upgrade process slightly changed and is more detailed

And much more, check the release notes for more details.

Continue reading 'Thecus Upgrades Its 32-bit Firmware to V5.02.02' (full post)

Acer say they should have up to 35% of their total notebook shipments be Ultrabooks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 4:19 am

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: 2012 is the year of the Ultrabook. Acer seem to think so, too. They are planning on releasing their second-generation Ultrabook models come Q2 of this year, and a slew of new models are set to hit shelves in Q3.

 

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Acer chairman, JT Wang says that Acer should have between 25- to 35-percent of its total notebook shipments based around the Ultrabook. Acer's first foray into Ultrabook's was the Aspire A3 which sold between 250,000 and 300,000 units in the first quarter after it launched. Acer claim that sales of their Aspire S5 tablet PC should be even better.

 

Sales in America and Europe have so far been slow, but Acer expect good numbers in Thailand, Southeast Asian market, Brazil and The Philippines. They also expect a nice 10-percent sales growth for 2012.

28nm at TSMC and GlobalFoundries are going through teething issues, wakes up during the night screaming

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 3:27 am

With my beautiful 10-month-old daughter getting multiple teeth at once, it felt right comparing the issues between 28nm and teething. Onto the news! We all know transitioning from an older fabrication to something newer, better, and more exciting can be, well, hard. It's being reported that both TSMC and GlobalFoundaries are both experiencing serious yield issues with their 28nm process nodes, according to Mike Bryant, technology analyst at Future Horizons.

 

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This is reportedly causing a rash of non-working wafers, to the point of having nothing working with some chip designs submitted for production. The problem seems to stem from pressure of bringing these new products to the market, rather than a problem with the technology itself. It takes time, something they don't have, and without said time, they can't iron out all of the issues and they're getting stuck.

 

Bryant says:

 

Foundries have come under pressure to release cell libraries too early - which end up with designs that don't work. At 45-nm, only NVIDIA was affected. At 28-nm any problems for TSMC will be problems for many customers.

Continue reading '28nm at TSMC and GlobalFoundries are going through teething issues, wakes up during the night screaming' (full post)

RIM Co-CEOs step down, COO takes control

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: BREAKING STORY | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 3:09 am

RIM have been going through quite a lot of issues lately, thanks largely to Android and iOS. RIM Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have both just stepped down, after announcing that they would draw only $1 of yearly salaries to help the company's financial problems.

 

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The move has been a start in management shuffles, where after a year of pressure from both investors and stockholders, both have stepped down from the Co-CEO positions. RIM insider and current COO Thorsten Heins will replace the Co-CEOs.

 

Lazaridis and Balsillie have both led RIM for decades now, as Lazaridis founded Research in Motion (RIM) back in 1984, shortly after taking on Balsillie. Balsillie stepped down from his role as Chairman back in 2007, but continued as Co-CEO with Lazaridis. Today, Lazaridis becomes vice chairman, and Balsillie continues to be a board member, but with no functional role in RIM.

 

RIM Director, Barbara Stymiest takes over as chairman, and Thorsten Heins, the current COO goes into numero uno position. Heins came into RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, where he was the CTO.

Google's Android App Inventor gets open sourced, code has been released

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 2:25 am

In 2011, Google shut down their Google Labs' doors, leaving many, disappointed. Popular app "Android App Inventor" was handed over to MIT, as well as a decently sized donation to help fund a new mobile learning initiative.

 

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What has happened between now and then? Well, behind closed doors, a lot it seems. Google and MIT have just announced the Android App Inventor source code, with both Google and MIT both pleased to announce the initial free and open-source release of App Inventor.

Continue reading 'Google's Android App Inventor gets open sourced, code has been released' (full post)

Motorola Xoom gets its Ice Cream Sandwich update

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 1:26 am

Motorola Xoom owner? Dreamer of Google's deliciously named Ice Cream Sandwich OS? Well, for some of you at least, you're in luck. Motorola have kindly unleashed upgrades to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

 

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Included with ICS is an updated browser with faster rendering, a redesigned app launcher, richer resizable widgets, and more versatile imaging capabilities. Starting today, ICS updates will roll out over the next few weeks, so continue checking your device for a notification on the update.

 

Currently, the update is only crossing over to the Wi-Fi-only model, with other Xoom updates coming soon. If you've got a Xoom and update to ICS, let us know in the comments how you go!

Absinthe A5 Jailbreaker for iPhone 4S, iPad 2 now out for Windows

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 23, 2012 12:52 am

Over the weekend, Chronic Dev Team were kind enough to release their latest jailbreaking tool, "Absinthe" for iOS 5.0 and iOS 5.0.1 untethered jailbreak on iPhone 4S, and iOS 5.0.1 untethered jailbreak on iPad 2. At the time, it was only available on Mac OS X, but just a few hours ago, the Windows tool was released as well.

 

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Obviously these tools only work on the iPhone 4S handset, and iPad 2. If you've got older devices, check out some of the other jailbreaking tools and apps. Absinthe for Windows is compatible with the iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1 and iOS 5.0 and the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.0.

 

Instructions for Mac OS X

Instructions for Windows.

 

Download Absinthe for Windows, here.

Download Absinthe for Mac OS X, here.

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