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Russian ISP giant Mail.ru drops Google in favor of it's own search engine

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 12:56 am

Russia's massive internet service provider Mail.ru has announced today that it will be dropping Google in favor of using its own proprietary search engine for all queries searched through its service. We first heard rumors that this may take place back in November of last year when Mail.ru suggested it would be canceling are Google contract.

 

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Mail.ru is essentially the Google of Russia and operates a range of online services including 2 social networks, instant messaging services, online gaming properties, its own proprietary browser, and of course it's very own search engine. That search engine for the most part has been powered by other search engines in the past including Google and most recently fellow Russian search engine Yandex.

 

"It's remarkable that there are fewer countries with their own search engines today than those with their own space program," says Dmitry Grishin, Co-Founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group. Mail.ru says that in the past few years it is expanded its search engine team from just 15 people to well over 200 while its index volume has doubled in size from 5,000,000,000 to 10,000,000,000 documents.

Live radio streaming app, iHeartRadio, arrives on Windows Phone 8

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 12:26 am

Until today, the most popular live radio streaming app was only available on iOS and Android devices, fortunately that ends today. Microsoft announced today that iHeartRadio has finally landed on Windows Phone 8 and is available for immediate download through its app store.

 

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For those unfamiliar with the app, iHeartRadio allows users to tune in to more than 1500 live radio stations across the United States. Additionally users can create commercial free, custom stations from a pool of more than 15 million songs and 400,000 artists.

 

To celebrate the launch the folks over at iHeartRadio are giving away a bunch of Nokia Lumia 920 smartphones, so check out Source #2 to find out how to win one for yourself. The new Windows Phone 8 app brings forth several other unique features which I have listed below.

 

  • Recommend stations - Find the soundtrack for studying, driving-even cleaning house.
  • Sleep Timer - Doze off to your favorite station.
  • Lock screen album art - Displays album art on the lock screen
  • Bookmarking - Pin favorite stations to your Start screen.
  • Universal search - Now you can search across the app.

RumorTT: Next-generation iPhone to support LTE Advanced if carrier is correct

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 11:29 pm

Recently, mobile carrier company SK Telecom told the Korea Times that the next generation iPhone widely rumored to be named the iPhone 5S will support LTE Advanced. SK Telecom says that they approached Apple with the idea and that they are "in the middle of negotiations" as we speak.

 

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The Korean Times says that Apple will probably use a QUALCOMM chip to support the standard instead of their own "A" series SoC. LTE Advanced is the next generation of the 4G LTE standard which could potentially double the download speeds available to the iPhone in supported areas. The technology works by spreading a single download over multiple radio channels. At the moment, only South Korea has an extensive LTE Advanced network in place.

Facebook for Windows Phone gets complete makeover, now features high-resolution photos, post sharing and more

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 10:31 pm

In what seemed like a landslide of app announcements, Microsoft has chimed up and announced a major update to Facebook for Windows Phone. This new release brings a plethora of new features and improvements that Microsoft claims its users have been asking for for months.

 

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The user interface has been completely overhauled and is now skinned in a more Windows Phone-esque skin that Microsoft says improves navigation. Also implemented is support for high-resolution photos, post sharing, as well as Facebook Timeline view. This app overhaul is the direct result of the beta program Facebook and Microsoft implemented a while back. To check out the new and improved Facebook for Windows Phone App, head over to Source #2. To join the beta program so your feedback can be heard, Source #3 is your destination.

RumorTT: Microsoft poised to shut down Technet August 31

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 9:48 pm

Since 1998, Microsoft has offered the highly praised TechNet subscription service to IT professionals and developers. For a nominal fee, professionals were given access to the entire catalog of Microsoft software which greatly aided in development and system administration. Today, Microsoft announced in a letter to its subscribers that it will retire its TechNet subscription service effective August 31, 2013, the date in which all current subscribers' contracts end.

 

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The service was also used by PC enthusiasts worldwide as it offered a cheap way to get access to Microsoft software that otherwise cost thousands of dollars. This led to enthusiasts activating enterprise-level software and consumer-level operating systems and software that were normally meant for "evaluation use only." Unfortunately, this also led to a rise in piracy of Windows software. Pirates figured out that they could subscribe to TechNet and sell the keys along with ISO files downloaded from the site at prices that were always too good to be true.

 

Microsoft has repeatedly tried to tighten the clamp on piracy by cutting the available keys to TechNet subscribers back in 2010 and then doing the same thing two years later. Fortunately, Microsoft is not leaving its subscribers out in the rain as it will offer current subscribers the option to renew their subscription for one additional year after the shutdown in August. Check out source #2 below for the full announcement from Microsoft.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Microsoft poised to shut down Technet August 31' (full post)

Redbox app comes to Windows Phone 8, lets you browse titles at a kiosk near you

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 9:33 pm

This morning, Redbox announced that it has finally released its mobile app into the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. The app appears to be identical to the Android and iOS version and will allow users to find the nearest Redbox kiosk via Bing maps.

 

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Redbox says that with the app you will be able to browse and reserve movies as well as games at any Redbox kiosk you choose, which is very similar to how Redbox online works. Additionally, users will be able to sort their searches by release date, genre, rating, and title, as well as watch trailers straight on their mobile device. The app is available now for download at Source #1 below.

iOS 7 has already been jailbroken thanks to Evasi0n Jailbreak

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 9:01 pm

Late last year, the Evad3rs team released the Evasi0n Jailbreak tool and successfully jailbroke iOS6, and now it appears the tool is still paving the way for jailbreaking iOS 7 devices. This morning, a screenshot was posted by developer Ryan Petrich that suggests jailbreaking iOS 7 may not be as hard as once thought.

 

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The screenshot, which was posted on Twitter, shows a jailbroken iOS 7 beta running on an iPod touch 5. While jailbreaking a beta release is kind of pointless as it will most certainly be coded out in the end-user official release, this still paves the way for a truly jailbroken iOS 7.

 

As of this posting, there's no information on how the jailbreak was accomplished and that's a good thing. With Apple releasing several more beta editions between now and the fall, any information leaked on the jailbreaks could lead to future releases being patched and harder to jailbreak.

Don Mattrick, the head of Xbox for Microsoft, is leaving head up Zynga

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 8:33 pm

Weeks upon weeks of bad publicity may have just taken their toll on one of Microsoft's top officers. This afternoon, reports are beginning to emerge that the man in charge of all things Xbox for Microsoft, Don Mattrick, is apparently leaving the company. AllThingsD is reporting that Mattrick will be headed to a top leadership role at Zynga, the once king of mobile gaming.

 

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This move is quite sudden and unexpected as we have seen Mattrick push the Xbox One console harder than he ever did for the Xbox 360. Some industry insiders expect Mattrick's resignation to be the result of weeks of negative sentiment and massive backlash generated by the Xbox One's previous DRM policies.

 

During his time at Microsoft, Mattrick molded the Xbox 360 from being just a gaming console into an entire home entertainment system. He jockeyed for the integration of Netflix as well as dozens of other streaming services. Mattrick also headed up the development of the groundbreaking Kinect sensor, but also had to deal with massive overheating issues and inherent console flaws that caused irreversible damage.

Newegg.com launches new members-only "flash sale" site to offer more daily deals

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 7:57 pm

Newegg.com announced today that it has launched a new members-only sale site that features daily bargains in a variety of product categories including consumer electronics, home electronics, jewelry, fashion, and much more. The new site, NeweggFlash.com will focus around so-called "flash sales" which are much like the existing Deal-of-the-Day sales that existing Newegg customers have grown to love.

 

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Newegg says that through this new site quick online shoppers can now snap up a very wide an exciting range of popular consumer products at extremely low prices. Customers will have to be ready to move fast as the offers are designed to sell out fast with discounts of up to 75 percent. While the new site is members only, membership is free and only requires a quick and simple sign up.

 

Soren Mills, chief marketing officer at Newegg:

 

We're thrilled to launch NeweggFlash and join in on the flash sale phenomenon. Newegg is proud of the deep relationships we've built with our vendor partners over the years. It's these relationships that allow us to offer very compelling deals on NeweggFlash and give us an edge over competing flash sale sites.

Google wins appeal, Second Circuit Court orders judge to rule on fair use

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 7:10 pm

Google has been battling the Authors Guild in a class-action lawsuit that was filed by the Guild when they sued Google to stop scanning world libraries way back in 2005. The battle has been hard-fought with a judge in 2011 allowing every registered author in America to sue Google as a collective whole, a decision which Google quickly filed an appeal to.

 

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A new ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned that decision and ordered the presiding judge Denny Chin to directly rule on whether Google's book scanning activities are considered fair use under the law or in violation of copyright law.

 

The process to determine whether the activities are fair use consists of a four-part test that will look at issues like the purpose of the scanning and how it directly and indirectly affects market sales. Google has already scanned more than 20 million books and asserts that doing this helps bring forgotten and hard-to-find books to the general public.

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