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Microsoft teases Surface Pro release, rapidly approaching 90-day timeline

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:03 am

Microsoft isn't quite ready to spill the beans on exactly when it will be launching the Surface Pro. Previous rumors and speculation has placed the date around January 29, and this looks to be fairly accurate. Panos Panay, the general manager of Microsoft's Surface line, tweeted about checking out the Surface Pros coming off of the production line.




"On my way to the factory to check out #Surface Pro coming off the line...arriving in the coming weeks," the tweet read.


If Microsoft wants to make its 90-day deadline, the Surface Pros would have to come out next week, as Saturday, January 26 is 90 days from the general release of Windows 8. The 64GB Surface Pro is set to retail for $899, and the 128GB is set to cost $999. The Touch Cover and Type Cover will set you back an additional $120 and $130, respectively.


We'll be sure to let you know when a solid release date is given.

New zero-day Java exploit shows up online, for sale in online forum for $5k

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:38 pm

Java seems to be one of the most exploited pieces of software running on a computer. Unfortunately, most computers are running Java for websites and other interactive features online. Just earlier this week, Oracle had to rush out a patch for Java that secured up a critical bug that allowed hackers to run code on a victim's machine.




An administrator for an exclusive cybercrime forum posted up Monday an offering for a new zero-day exploit that has yet to be patched by Oracle. It also has yet to be rolled into one of the exploit kits, some of which rent for upwards of $10,000 a month. The starting price for the exploit? $5,000.

Continue reading 'New zero-day Java exploit shows up online, for sale in online forum for $5k' (full post)

Google's Street View car did not kill a donkey in Botswana

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:04 pm

Contrary to the stories and accounts going around the web, Google's Street View car did not hit and injure or kill a donkey while collecting imagery in Botswana. The mistake is an easy one to make, as vehicles are driven on the left side of the road in the country, opposite that of the United Sates. This results in what looks like the Street View car hitting and killing the donkey.




Google has countered these claims with a blog post entitled "Never Ass-ume," in which it details that the Street View car came upon the donkey taking what appears to be a dust bath in the road. The donkey then got up and moved to safety and then peered curiously at the car after it passed.


In the blog post, Google says that they "hope you continue to enjoy some of the spectacular images of Botswana and its wildlife, big and small."

Things looking up for Facebook as Bank of America raises price target to $35 thanks to 'innovation' with Graph Search

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:09 pm

With the "innovation" of Graph Search, some investors are seeing a brighter future ahead for Facebook. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has revised their target price for Facebook stock, increasing it to $35 from $31. Justin Post, an analyst for the bank, says Graph Search was "an example of Facebook's ongoing innovation to increase engagement and potential to add revenues to the platform."




Facebook's stock is actually trading down by about 0.8 percent, at the time of writing, which could be investors having some uncertainty about the Graph Search product that was introduced yesterday. Investors are likely not happy that Facebook unveiled something that couldn't be monetized immediately.


Bank of America continues to suggest buying the stock.

Google hosting hackathons in SF and NYC for early backers of the project

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 9:27 pm

For those developers who supported the Google Glass project early on by ponying up $1,500 to buy a developer set, Google will be hosting two hackathons, one in San Francisco and one in New York City, where early backers will be able to go hands on with early prototypes of the wearable computing devices.



Google's hackathon in San Francisco will take place January 28 and 29 and the hackathon in New York City will take place shortly after on February 1 and 2. The events are called Glass Foundry, a fitting name for the hackathons, and both events appear to follow the same agenda.


The first day will introduce the device and let developers use it on-site. After that, the hackathons will dive into the Mirror API and development with Google engineers at attendees' sides to answer any questions. Space is limited, so if you put out the $1,500 to get an early pair, you should get in contact with Google before all the slots are taken.

Continue reading 'Google hosting hackathons in SF and NYC for early backers of the project' (full post)

iPhone 4S users on AT&T will finally be able to use FaceTime over cellular data

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 9:04 pm

AT&T has been slowly reducing restrictions on Apple's FaceTime. The latest reduction in regulation comes in the form of AT&T allowing iPhone 4S users on a tiered data to use FaceTime over their cellular data. Previously, AT&T would not let non-LTE devices use FaceTime over the network. This change also means that other smartphone devices that don't feature LTE will be able to video chat over cellular data, again, provided that they are on a tiered data plan.




AT&T Mobility VP Mark Collins:


When FaceTime over Cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers.


As a result of ongoing testing, we're announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device.


This means iPhone 4S customers with tiered plans will be able to make FaceTime calls over the AT&T cellular network. AT&T previously made FaceTime over Cellular available to customers with a Mobile Share plan and those with an LTE device on tiered plans.


Of course, FaceTime over Wi-Fi remains available for all customers who have a compatible iPhone or iPad.


The new update to video chat regulations will roll out automatically over the next few weeks. AT&T says everything is automated, so all you need to do is be patient.

Moving to a new country? Take your Xbox Live achievements with you as Microsoft lets users migrate regions

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Microsoft has officially announced that Xbox Live region migration is a go. This means that users moving to a new region of the world, say from the US to Europe, will be able to take their "gamerscore, unlocked achievements, any Microsoft Points already in your account and any remaining time on your Gold membership" with them.




Of course, when in the new region, some things will be different. For instance, payment methods, content, and select services may not be available in the region you have moved to, but this doesn't come as a surprise. When you move into that new region, your account then falls under the rules of that region.


To find out how to migrate your account, you can check out Microsoft's website. When you're ready to make the plunge, you can start the process via this Xbox Migration page.

Vote to change the color of the LED lights on the Empire State Building

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:35 pm

The Empire State Building wants you to be the one to choose the official standard of colors for its new LED tower lights. The lighting system designed by Phillips Color Kinetics, allows customized lighting schemes from a pallet of over 16 million colors.




Starting tonight through Jan 20th the building will be shining a different shade of the same color on each of its four faces. The colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink will be used giving you a total of 28 choices. Those interested in helping choose the colors can head over to the buildings official Facebook page to cast your vote.


The Empire State Building often uses its lighting to celebrate or highlight certain events. In case you're wondering, @esb_lights is an unofficial Twitter account that explains the meaning of ESB's lighting on any given day. The final seven colors will be announced the week of Jan. 21, 2013.

Temple Run 2 releasing to the US tonight at 11:00pm EST

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 5:51 pm

The widely popular game Temple Run took gamers by storm in 2012, it became so popular that merchandising deals were made and you can now buy Temple Run gear. Fans of the game have been eagerly awaiting the next iteration and now they have to wait no more.



Already available on the international market, Temple Run 2 will go live in the Apple App store for iOS devices at 11:00pm EST tonight for the US market. The game will be available as a free download and will contain in-game purchases.


No word on when we will see Temple Run 2 on Android, but we can assume that it won't be long with the app having over 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store.

Continue reading 'Temple Run 2 releasing to the US tonight at 11:00pm EST' (full post)

Web developer fired for outsourcing entire job to China

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jan 16, 2013 5:03 pm

A developer working at an anonymous "critical infrastructure company" has been terminated because he was caught outsourcing his entire job to China. The trickery was highlighted in a recent study in which Verizon was asked to complete about some suspicious network traffic.




The employee who is called "Bob" in the study, was caught when someone noticed suspicious activity on the company's VPN log. "We received a request from a US-based company asking for our help in understanding some anomalous activity that they were witnessing in their VPN logs. Plainly stated, the VPN logs showed [Bob] logged in from China, yet the employee is right there, sitting at his desk, staring into his monitor", the study reported.


Bob had hired Chinese developers to complete all of his task, while he sat back and browsed Facebook, Reddit and LinkedIn for most of the day. If you did not think that this story could get any better, Bob was actually running this same ruse with several other full-time employers which was earning him a combined salary of several hundred thousand dollars a year.

Continue reading 'Web developer fired for outsourcing entire job to China' (full post)