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Netflix goes down, pushes the blame onto Amazon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 26, 2012 5:36 am

An outage to Netflix happened 24 hours ago, but the company have confirmed that they've restored their video streaming services a day after the outage happened, which was because of technical issues with their Web service provider, Amazon.




Amazon engineers worked the entire night to get the services up and running again for Netflix, with Netflix saying that the outage began at around 3:30pm Eastern Time on Monday. This outage stopped all video streaming on a bunch of devices with a Netflix spokesman saying "we are investigating the cause and will do what we can to prevent reoccurrence".


Amazon's outages to certain services caused other companies like Heroku Inc. and social media app Score to experience problems, too. Everything appears to be back to normal now, thankfully as Netflix is the host to over 25.1 million streaming Americans.

HTC One S receives Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, includes Sense 4+ just in time for the holidays

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Dec 26, 2012 4:34 am

Whoever is working over at HTC on Christmas Eve should receive a new bonus this year, as the group have just pushed out an update for the international version of the HTC One S handset.




This update weighs in at a hefty 612MB, and shoots the software version up to 3.16.401.8. The update includes:

  • Android 4.1.1 and HTC Sense 4+
  • Enhanced UI with better performance in Camera
  • New landing page and event/map view in gallery
  • Power management improvement

Kickstarter-funded POP is back after Apple changes their accessory guidelines

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Dec 26, 2012 3:34 am

Crowdfunded charging station POP looks to be back after a while out of the spotlight, now that Apple have changed their accessory guidelines. The company behind POP have confirmed they are now heading into production.




Edison Junior CEO, Jamie Simonoff, took to the POP Kickstarter page where he said "based on Apple's change we can make POP the way we had promised and the project is back on". The CEO promised another updated post to come soon, which will spill the detailed on estimated shipping dates which we should find out about in the next week or so.


The POP's problems all started with it wanting to be a truly all-in-one device that could charge devices through USB, Lightning, and Apple's now legacy 30-pin adapter. But, the guidelines for Apple's MFi program prevented the use of Lightning and 30-pin connectors on the same product.

Continue reading 'Kickstarter-funded POP is back after Apple changes their accessory guidelines' (full post)

Sim City's DRM defended by Maxis Label lead

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 25, 2012 1:31 am

News came out that the upcoming Sim City successor will be required to have an always-on internet connection to play and save the game. Some people have worried that this could be a problem if your internet drops out while you're playing. What exactly happens to your city? The answers aren't clear, but Lucy Bradshaw, lead for the Maxis lablel at EA, would like to defend the DRM scheme.




Creating a connected experience has always been a goal for SimCity, and this design decision has driven our development process for the game. This is easily the most ambitious game in the franchise and we've taken great care to make sure that every line of code embodies the spirit of the series. To do this, we knew we had to make sure we put our heart and souls into the simulation and the team created the most powerful simulation engine in its history, the GlassBox Engine. GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game -- the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city. There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player's local computer.

Continue reading 'Sim City's DRM defended by Maxis Label lead' (full post)

Twitter Global Weekly Giveaway - AZiO Levetron Gaming Headsets and Mice

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Dec 25, 2012 1:15 am

In this Christmas 2012 Twitter weekly giveaway we have teamed up with AZiO to giveaway one AZiO Levetron GH808 Gaming Headset or Levetron GM2000 Mouse per day until December 31, 2012.






Step 1 - Follow @Levetron and @TweakTown on Twitter. Your follow and tweet will be verified.


Step 2 - Tweet or RT the following: Follow @Levetron and @TweakTown and RT to win a AZiO Levetron GH808 Gaming Headset or GM2000 Mouse. #TTAZiOgiveaway


Step 3 - Sit back, relax, and hope that you're a daily winner! There will be one prize winner per day selected by AZiO.


Disclaimer: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to TweakTown and not to Twitter. The information you provide will only be used for selecting and contacting a winner.


- Giveaway runs from today until December 31st, 2012 at 10:00pm GMT +8:00 - no entries will be taken into consideration after that time.


- If you are a winner, you will be asked to provide your full name, address and telephone number for shipping via Twitter direct message. We will follow you for the time it takes to receive your message. If you do not claim your prize within two weeks, it is forfeited.


- For this weekly prize, anyone in the world can enter! You don't pay the shipping charges, but you are responsible f

Continue reading 'Twitter Global Weekly Giveaway - AZiO Levetron Gaming Headsets and Mice' (full post)

Time Warner Cable increases 'Standard' service speeds by 50%

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Dec 25, 2012 12:33 am

Time Warner Cable has announced that they are increasing the speed of their "Standard" service by 50 percent. This means the new "Standard" speed will be 15mbps, as opposed to the current 10mbps. There is no mention of an increase in price. To get the increased speed, you can reset your modem by unplugging it for 10 seconds.




Alternatively, you can wait for it to automatically be rolled out to your division.

UK court invalidates Motorola patent, could end German iCloud ban

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 25, 2012 12:11 am

A ruling from a High Court judge in England may have wide-reaching implications. The ruling invalidates one of Motorola's patents, a key that Motorola used to get an injunction against Apple's iCloud in Germany. With this invalidation, the groundwork is laid for a repeal of the injunction gained in Germany.




The patent in question is one that deals with syncing messages across multiple mobile devices. Originally granted in the 1990s, the patent uses old technology, with Apple's implementation using new modern tech. The injunction was granted, with the judge ruling that the patent applies to modern technology.


If the decision is not overturned on appeal, the German iCloud ban should be overturned, as well as Motorola and Google will be in a weaker position for future litigation. The judge specifically noted in his ruling that if the patent was upheld, Microsoft's Live Messenger and Exchange e-mail services could be shutdown for violation of the patent.

Landline subscribers in decline, 35.8% of American households don't have landline

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Dec 24, 2012 11:32 pm

Landline usage is in a decline. With the prevalence of wireless communications and VoIP, the number of landline subscribers is dwindling. The Center for Disease Control's Nation Health Interview Survey shows that 35.8 percent of American households have ditched the landline in favor of wireless choices.




More evidence is present that landlines are heading the way of the dinosaurs: just shy of 16 percent of American households said that they "received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite also having a landline telephone." When combined with the 36 percent above, you can extrapolate that more than half of the US doesn't use a landline.


With wireless coverage continuing to expand and improve, the trend will likely continue, with only mission-critical or privacy-concerned users continuing to use landlines.

Be sure to update to latest Facebook Camera app, previous versions featured security vulnerability

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 24, 2012 11:05 pm

It's important that users of the Facebook Camera app update to the latest version as the previous versions featured a security vulnerability that would allow hackers to tap the network and hijack accounts. They were able to gain access to information such as email addresses and passwords.




Versions pre-1.1.2 and releases before December 21 feature the vulnerability that was discovered by Mohamed Ramadan, an Egyptian security researcher with Attack-Secure. The problem apparently resided in the SSL certification:


The problem is the app accepts any SSL certification from any source, even evil SSL certifications and this enables any attacker to perform Man in The Middle Attack against anyone uses Facebook Camera App for IPhone. This means that the application doesn't warn the user if someone in the same [WiFi network] trying to hijack his Facebook account.


Ramadan says he has tested the other Facebook apps and they seem to provide protections against this type of attack.

Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus: Where you can track Santa this Christmas Eve

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Dec 24, 2012 10:34 pm

It's that time of year again when Santa Claus is traveling around the world, delivering lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. But just how will you or your kids be able to know when he is getting close? We've rounded up some of the best options for you to track Santa on his journey this Christmas Eve.




The two main suggestions would be Google or NORAD. The two have previously tracked Santa in a partnership, though this year NORAD ditched Google in favor of Bing, mainly due to Microsoft sponsoring NORAD's tracking. That didn't stop Google from wanting to bring joy to lots of boys and girls, so they are tracking Santa on their own.


You'll want to select one of the two and stick with it. As you can see in the above picture, the tracking technology differs and places Santa in different locations. The various other metrics also differ between services, so you don't want your kid asking how they can vary so wildly.


It all comes down to personal preference and the various features offered by each. Check them out now, so when it gets a bit later, you'll already know which to use. Google's Tracker can be found here, and NORAD's here.