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Microsoft says overheating was the cause of 14-hour Outlook outage

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 10:31 pm

Microsoft has said that the 14-hour Outlook.com and Hotmail outage was the result of overheating at one of the company's datacenters. The heat apparently resulted during a regular firmware update that ended up functioning in an "unexpected way." The outage was limited to just Hotmail and Outlook.com thanks to Microsoft's automatic safeguards that kicked in.

 

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The outage started at 3:35p.m. PDT on March 12 and lasted until 5:43a.m. PDT on March 13. The outage was unusually long because the fix required both software updates and "human intervention." Microsoft says that the latter requirement made the outage last longer than usual.

 

Microsoft issued an apology for the extended outage and added that they take outages "very seriously." After all, outages are the last thing Microsoft needs as people continue to flock to competing services like Gmail.

Jury finds Nintendo infringed upon 3D patent with 3DS handheld console

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 10:02 pm

The courts haven't been very nice to companies accused of infringing other people's patents. While this award isn't nearly as bad as the Apple v Samsung case, $30.2 million isn't something companies like to hand out. A jury has awarded $30.2 million to a former Sony employee who claimed Nintendo infringed upon his patent for glasses-less 3D technology.

 

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Seijiro Tomita didn't get quite as much money as he felt he should. By his calculations, he should have received roughly $10 per console sold, which equates to just under $300 million. His actual award came in at just 10 percent of that, which still works out to be a lot of money.

 

"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Tomita's lawyer said in a statement. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention."

 

Nintendo said in a statement sent to Kotaku that they feel confident that the award will be set aside:

 

Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others.[/quote]

Continue reading 'Jury finds Nintendo infringed upon 3D patent with 3DS handheld console' (full post)

Apple finally selling refurbished iPad minis, fourth-gen iPads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 9:32 pm

After Apple launches a new product, it often takes a few months before they are able to build up enough stock of defective and returned products to start selling refurbished versions. Apple has apparently collected enough stock of the latest iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad as they are now available through Apple's online store.

 

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Stock of the refurbished products is still constrained. Customers are limited in selection as the WiFi-only iPad mini is only available with 32GB of storage. The WiFi + LTE is available with only 16GB of storage. Moving to the fourth-gen iPad, users can only select 16GB or 32GB versions of the WiFi-only and WiFi+Verizon LTE models.

 

Furthermore, the discount offered by buying refurbished isn't that great. On the 32GB WiFi iPad mini, users only save $40, or 9 percent. On the 16GB WiFi+LTE, users only save $30, or 6 percent. It's up to you to decide whether these savings are worth buying a refurbished product.

Redbox Instant launches to the public, offers subscription access to 4600 titles

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Online Video | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 9:03 pm

Another competitor has emerged in the online streaming market. Redbox Instant, which had been undergoing a private beta for three months, has finally launched publicly. Subscribers will have access to 4,600 different titles and up to four Redbox DVD rentals for a mere $8 per month.

 

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Netflix, meanwhile, is only offering streaming as their basic plan. It costs an additional $4.99 per month for just two DVDs, or unlimited DVDs for $7.99. There are still plenty of people who like watching movies on DVDs and it also allows Redbox to offer more choices. Redbox has the added advantage of already having a DVD distribution channel, which allows people to exchange DVDs nearly instantly.

 

Redbox Instant isn't quite ready to start producing original content, though they will likely have to to keep up with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

RumorTT: Apple said to be looking to TSMC for A7 processor

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 8:33 pm

We just can't get enough Apple rumors around here and there seems to be no way to stop them from floating around. The latest rumor out of the rumor mill is that Apple is turning to TSMC for their next processor. According to DigiTime's sources, TSMC will be taping out the processor sometime this month.

 

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We're always a bit wary of what DigiTimes reports, but it does make some sense. We've heard rumors that Apple is looking to move away from rival Samsung's fabs. We've also heard rumors that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, could be launching as soon as June. The A7 would likely be ready for commercial products in early 2014, meaning we could see it in the iPhone 6.

 

TSMC is said to be expanding production capabilities at 14-fab, investing around $16.87 billion. Sources added that this is where they expect the Apple A7 to be produced. We'll keep our eyes out for more A7 news and bring anything worthwhile to your attention.

Netflix looking to start streaming 4K content within one to two years

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Online Video | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 8:01 pm

The Verge interviewed the little known Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt. The interview broached numerous different topics, though most interesting takeaway was that Netflix expects to be streaming 4K content within one to two years. I'm still not convinced that streaming 4K will be easy to do within two years.

 

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Netflix CPO Hunt:

Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K. 4K will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else.

 

He adds that they filmed House of Cards in 4K. Currently it's only available in full HD, but he says that the raw footage is actually 4K quality. "We hope to have some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year." You can read the full interview, which covers which clouds Netflix has looked at and many more topics, at the source linked below.

iPad gets YouTube Capture app

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 7:31 pm

YouTube has released a version of their Capture app that is specifically designed for the iPad. Previously, YouTube had the Capture app available on the iPhone. YouTube Capture allows people to easily record videos and then seamlessly upload them to the video-sharing site.

 

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The app comes three months after the original iPhone app was released. While we aren't going to encourage people to go around taking videos with their iPad, YouTube seems to think that the market is large enough to warrant the development of an app specifically designed for the iPad.

 

A YouTube spokesperson added that Google is looking to introduce a YouTube Capture app for Android, though it isn't fully necessary. You can download the app from the iOS App Store.

CERN researchers confirm they have found the "God" Higgs boson particle

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm

Scientist at the CERN research facility in Switzerland announced recently that they are "certain" that they have found the so-called "God Particle" known as the Higgs boson.

 

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For years now scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have been using the Large Hadron Collider to accelerate atoms to near the speed of light just for the purpose of smashing them together in hopes of seeing the elusive Higgs boson particle.

 

This week at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the scientists say that have their proof - or at least part of it:

 

"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is."

 

This means that we have not only discovered the long theorized Higgs boson, but we have discovered that more than one type exists. One spokesperson said the particle they found has the "spin parity" of a "Standard Model Higgs boson", and that further tests will be needed to verify if that is indeed the case.

Netflix offering $100,000 in prizes to those who can best improve the cloud

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 5:28 pm

Netflix announced today that it is starting a new contest in which $100,000 in prizes will be given away. The number one web based video rental service is calling the contest the Netflix Cloud Prize. The contest is centered around ten categories that each carry a $10k prize to those who can best "improve the features, usability, quality, reliability and security of computing resources" as part of the internet cloud.

 

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The contest can be entered by individuals or teams. This is not Nexflix's first foray into crowd sourcing innovation. Back in 2009 Netflix paid $1 million to BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, the winners of the Netflix Prize, who created an algorithm that was superior at guessing which movies Netflix users would enjoy.

 

The Netflix Cloud Prize begins March 13th 2013 and ends September 15th 2013. Winners will be announced in October and prizes paid out in November at the Amazon Web Services Invent conference.

RumorTT: Apple to split manufacturing of next-gen iPhone between Foxconn and Pegatron

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 4:25 pm

Since its release, the iPhone has been solely manufactured by Foxconn, but that is about to change with Apple's next-generation iPhone. A well connected KGI Securities analyst named Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple will be splitting the manufacturing of its upcoming iPhone 5S between two companies.

 

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Apple will diversify its manufacturing between Foxconn and Pegatron. While Foxconn will still get a bite of the iPhone pie, Pegatron will handle 75% of the FDD-LTE version of the upcoming entry level iPhone, and 55% of legacy hardware.

 

In his research notes, which were picked up by website Apple Insider, Ming-Chi also estimated that Apple will ship 35.8 million iPhone 5S handsets in 2013 and 53.4 million entry-level iPhone devices.

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