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Jelly Bean beginning to roll out to Xperia devices

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 7:40 am

Owners of Sony's Xperia line of devices will soon be getting an update to Android 4.1. Known as Jelly Bean, the updated version of Android has started rolling out the Xperia T and Xperia V devices. The update includes redesigned media apps, camera features, and other enhancements.

 

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In total, the updated operating system will be making its way onto 10 devices within the Xperia line of devices. The Xperia TX will have to wait until next month to get its update. For the remaining seven devices, no official plans have been confirmed, though it shouldn't be too much longer of a wait.

 

Some of the changes owners can expect are listed below:

 

  • "More intuitive" versions of its Sony Media apps, Walkman, Album and Movies
  • More options for personalization, including a redesigned home screen
  • Better on-device search
  • Improvements to the camer, such as a revised viewfinder and new auto-scene setting
  • Google Now service

 

Device owners don't have to do anything as their devices will notify them when the update is available.

Kent Smith of LSI explains SSD over-provisioning

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 5:03 am

Solid-state drives contain more NAND than is required to meet the listed capacity on the box. The reasoning for this is that the controller requires some of it for garbage collection and to replace cells when they go bad. The concept of over-provisioning an SSD is one that isn't always understood by the consumer, so Kent Smith of LSI has written an article to help you understand.

 

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Essentially, over-provisioning allocates a portion of the total flash memory available to the flash storage processor, which it needs to perform various memory management functions. This leaves less usable capacity, of course, but results in superior performance and endurance. More sophisticated applications require more over-provisioning, but the benefits inevitably outweigh the reduction in usable capacity.

 

You can read the entire article over at EDN.

ReportTT: NVIDIA GeForce Titan outperforms GTX 690

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 3:58 am

There's a benchmark score floating around the internet that was reportedly earned by NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce Titan. The number shows the new GK110-based GPU besting the dual-GPU GTX 690 by a hefty margin. In 3DMark11, the card reportedly earned a score of X7107. For comparison, a GTX only achieves a score of around X6000.

 

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The details can't be confirmed because the site reporting this won't release their source. The Titan is said to be coming with 6GB of RAM on a 384-bit memory bus. The naming scheme is said to retain the GeForce Titan nomenclature, possibly as a reference to the Cray Titan supercomputer that houses just shy of 19,000 NVIDIA Tesla K20X cards.

 

Pricing is said to be $899 with availability starting at the end of February.

Internet sensation Sweet Brown stars in a local TV commercial, spoofs original viral YouTube hit

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 2:03 am

I'm sure most of you have seen the "Ain't nobody got time for that" YouTube video that got turned into a meme.

 

 

Now that you're back, take a look at this local TV commercial for Shortline Dental in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

 

You're not mistaking. The stars in both of those videos are the same person. The TV commercial produced by Shortline Dental plays off of the original video's catch phrase and uses the star's notoriety much like other ads feature celebrities. What do you think of the ad?

 

What I find really interesting about this is the fact that more and more memes are seeping into the non-digital world. It goes to show just how pervasive the internet culture has become.

Continue reading 'Internet sensation Sweet Brown stars in a local TV commercial, spoofs original viral YouTube hit' (full post)

Vine videos are actually 6.5 seconds long, who actually cares?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 1:32 am

Twitter launched the video sharing service Vine to share short six-second videos that were akin in many ways to a tweet. Well, the truth has come out and those six-second Vine videos are actually six and a half seconds long. Not that that extra half a second makes much of a difference. In fact, it really just raises a bunch of questions.

 

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For instance, who cares about this minor detail? I'm sure there are some among you that will care to know this tiny detail. However, the more important detail is did Twitter really think the videos were six seconds long? During development, the Vine team tested lengths ranging from four to ten seconds and eventually settled on "six."

 

As you now know, the number is actually six and a half. The question is whether or not they meant for the videos to be that length. If so, why did they settle on that number? If not, what technical bug causes the length to be increased by half a second? We'd love to hear your (not too) crazy conspiracy theories in the comments.

Curiosity uses last tool, NASA testing the rover's drill

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 1:02 am

If you've been following the progress of the Curiosity rover on Mars, there's a bit of new information to add to your trivia knowledge. NASA has officially used the last tool on Curiosity in a test to make sure it is functioning. Curiosity is equipped with a drill capable of drilling into rocks to retrieve samples from inside.

 

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The ability to drill into rocks is an important one as these stones record the history of the planet millions and billions of years at a time. NASA is currently testing the drill to make sure everything is functioning properly. After positive results come back, NASA will order Curiosity to drill further into this rock to obtain samples.

 

The samples will then be analyzed in Curiosity's on-board chemistry lab to determine their chemical and mineral composition. The hope is that the results will show that life either existed previously or could have existed.

Microsoft planning ad campaign that criticizes Gmail for scanning e-mail contents to serve ads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 12:32 am

Microsoft is reviving a smear campaign against Google's Gmail that it last used last year. Microsoft is planning to inform consumers about Google's practice of scanning e-mails in order to better serve targeted ads that are tailored to the content of the e-mail currently being viewed.

 

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Google has responded to this advertising campaign before by reiterating that no humans ever read the contents of a user's e-mail to target ads.

 

"Advertising keeps Google and many of the websites and services Google offers free of charge," according to a statement issued by a spokesman for the company. "No humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements."

 

Microsoft is planning to spend a "seven figure" dollar amount on this campaign. A planned advertisement reads "Think Google respects your privacy? Think again." Microsoft was part of the group that encouraged the FTC to launch an anti-trust investigation into Google that just wrapped up recently.

 

Users have the option of paying $20 to remove all advertising from Outlook.com's service.

 

Update: A previous version of this story stated that Microsoft scans subject lines to target ads. This was incorrect. We apologize for the inaccuracy.

Google Street View now available on Wii U in Japan

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 8, 2013 12:03 am

Nintendo has brought Google's Street View to the Wii U after a bit of a delay. Users in Japan can now download the application from the Nintendo eShop for free, though it isn't available in other markets yet. The Street View app was originally supposed to come to the Wii U in January and be free to download until March.

 

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Due to Nintendo's delay in providing the app, the app will be available for free from the eShop until May. The App is tailored to make use of the GamePad, though it supports the television as well. When viewing Street View imagery on the GamePad, users can look around by moving the GamePad. While looking at imagery on the GamePad, the television displays the user's location on a map.

 

Nintendo has not said how much the app will cost once the free time period passes, though you might as well download it while it is available for free. Nintendo has also not specified when the app will be coming to other markets such as the United States.

EU Regulators confirm Facebook has deleted all EU facial recognition data

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 11:28 pm

Regulators weren't happy with Facebook collecting and using facial recognition data for EU users. Back in September, Facebook announced that it would delete all existing facial recognition data of EU users. They concurrently announced that they had turned the feature off for new EU users.

 

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The Irish Data Protection Commissioner's office has confirmed that Facebook has deleted all of the data that they said they would. "We recently reviewed the source code and execution process used in the deletion process and can confirm that we were satisfied with the processes used by Facebook to delete the templates in line with its commitment," said Ciara O'Sullivan.

 

The EU was upset with Facebook over the collecting of facial recognition data without a user's express permission to do so. Facebook has said that they do not currently have plans to turn facial recognition back on in the EU like it has done here in the United States.

Blackberry to stop selling handsets in Japan

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 11:01 pm

Blackberry has announced that they have no plans to launch the new BlackBerry 10 devices in Japan. According to BlackBerry, "Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time." Part of this could be to the fact they have just 0.3 percent of the market currently.

 

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After all, why launch a device in a country when they appear to not be very keen on your previous devices. This appears to be the logic BlackBerry is operating off of as they say the cost of translating BlackBerry 10 to Japanese is just to high for them to consider it a good investment.

 

Current BlackBerry owners can rest easy knowing that BlackBerry will continue to offer to support to existing owners in Japan.

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