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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2323

Nintendo starts selling refurbished 3DS and DSi, offers normal one-year warranty

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 30, 2013 12:05 am

Looking to score a 3DS or DSi on the cheap? Nintendo has your back. Nintendo is now selling refurbished versions of the 3DS and DSi systems with the standard one-year warranty that comes with new devices. These refurbished devices are cleaned, tested, and inspected to make sure they meet Nintendo's standards.




These deals are only available through Nintendo's official Store. The store warns that some of the consoles may come with "minor cosmetic blemishes." Pricing starts at $99.99 for a metallic rose DSi XL, but can go as high as $169.99 for a midnight purple 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D bundled in.


If you're in the market for a 3DS or DSi, head over to Nintendo's store.

Microsoft's latest Windows Phone ad makes fun of Samsung and Apple rivalry

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 11:33 pm

Are you an Android or Apple? Samsung has long played on Apple fans standing in line to get the latest iPhone in its advertisements. Microsoft apparently doesn't want to be left out, especially as Windows Phone continues to make small increases in market share. The following video will soon air on US TV stations:



The video pits Samsung and Apple users against each other after an Apple user asks one of the Samsung users to move his enormous phone. Of course, a fight breaks out between the two with insults flying back and forth. The advertisement ends with two of the wedding's servers standing calmly and talking about Windows Phone.


I feel that this ad is way more effective than Microsoft's Surface beatboxing ad that they ran a few months back. What do you think of the ad?

Continue reading 'Microsoft's latest Windows Phone ad makes fun of Samsung and Apple rivalry' (full post)

SquareTrade drop tests Samsung Galaxy S4, compares to iPhone 5 and S3

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 11:03 pm

SquareTrade has drop-tested the new Samsung Galaxy S4 and found that it is more breakable than the iPhone 5 of Galaxy S3. Normally device manufacturers would want to increase durability with each revision, though this is sometimes hard to do. You can see video of their drop test below:



SquareTrade also put together this interesting infographic that compares the results of their various tests. They find that the Galaxy S4 is more breakable than the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3.




The reason for the susceptibility to damage seems to be due to the large size. Not only is it harder to hold, it's also more fragile. Ty Shay of SquareTrade says, "Accidents are inevitable. We all know someone that has broken their phone. ... There is no denying the Samsung S4 is a terrific smartphone, but our results show it is not as forgiving as other devices to the clumsy among us."

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs said to be releasing in mid-November

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 10:33 pm

According to a Joystiq report, Ubisoft's much-anticipated game Watch Dogs will be releasing in mid-November. The report says that North America will be getting the game on November 19 and the United Kingdom will be getting it on November 22.




Watch Dogs will be released on all current gaming systems, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, as well as PC, the PlayStation 4, and next-generation consoles, such as the Xbox 720.


The UK version will reportedly be available in four different editions: Dedsec, Vigilante, Uplay, and Special Edition. Dedsec will come with a 23cm figurine, while the Vigilante will come with Aiden Pearce's cap and mask. Uplay, available through Ubisoft's digital distributioin network will reportedly come with a steelbook and the Special Edition will reportedly come with an extra single player mission. North American bundles are not currently known.

Virgin Galactic successfully completes first test flight of its commercial space plane

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 10:01 pm

Our readers seem to have quite an interest in space, and who wouldn't? As part of the commercialization of space and space travel, Virgin Galactic has successfully completed the first test flight of its space plane, which will eventually be used to take ordinary citizens into space.




Don't start packing your bags quite yet, though, as Virgin Galactic didn't even make it into space on this first test flight. The plane behaved as expected and flew for around 10 minutes before returning to the ground. It was shuttled to an altitude of 47,000 feet before being released to fly on its own.


After being released, the plane flew up to 55,000 feet and broke the sound barrier. Virgin Galactic expect to test the plane in space by the end of the year and plan to have real flights for everyone available starting in 2015.


Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson:

The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date. For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today's supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship's powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year's end. We saw history in the making today and I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved.

Apple lays foundation for first-ever debt sale as part of stock buyback program

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 9:32 pm

Apple has laid the foundation for its first-ever debt sale. The company that has over $140 billion in cash and not a single penny of debt has decided to sell bonds in order to raise capital for its $60 billion share buyback program. It needs to raise capital because only about $45 billion of its cash is in the United States.




Interestingly, Apple was not rated a Triple A rating, even with all of the cash it has on hand. It is expected that Apple could cheaply raise funds, possibly cheaper than Microsoft, due to the current interest rate and notoriety of Apple. Investors are expected to jump at the chance to buy up some of Apple's debt.


S&P rated Apple as AA+ for debt and Moody's rated it Aa1. Moody's analyst Gerald Granovsky:


Apple's Aa1 rating is not higher due to Moody's view that there are inherent long-run risks for any company with high exposure to shifting consumer preferences.


Bankers expect Apple to issue 10-year bonds at roughly 45bp-50bp over Treasuries. Microsoft, on the other hand, recently sold 10-year bonds at 70 basis points over Treasuries.

Twitter accounts continue to be hacked, this time Guardian has some accounts compromised

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 9:02 pm

Twitter continues to be in the news and not for good things. Twitter accounts continue to be compromised left and right, though not because of a bug in Twitter's system. Often times these accounts are compromised because the owner used a weak password, fell victim of a phishing scam, or simply told someone else.




But that doesn't mean Twitter is off the hook. The micro-blogging site needs to hurry up and release its two-factor authentication in order to help prevent against these visible hackings. The latest accounts to be compromised are ones of the Guardian, a daily publication in the UK:


"We are aware that a number of Guardian Twitter accounts have been compromised and we are working actively to resolve this," a Guardian spokesperson said.


The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for these hacks, much like they claimed responsibility for the recent hackings of NPR, CBS, and Associated Press handles. It's not clear how exactly the Guardian handles were compromised, though it's likely they used a similar e-mail phishing tactic.

Microsoft demos technology designed to help game immersion

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 8:33 pm

As we near the Xbox 720 unveiling on May 21, Microsoft has come out to display some new reality-bending technology that aims to help with game immersion. The technology uses projectors to display aspects of the current game onto the walls surrounding your TV. The technology is known as IllumiRoom and will likely be present on the Xbox 720.



The technology, seen in the above video, is pretty awesome. I can see where people will end up building rooms specifically designed to make excellent use of IllumiRoom technology. Take a look at the video and let us know what you think of this technology. I, for one, am extremely excited to see this implemented in future games.

Continue reading 'Microsoft demos technology designed to help game immersion' (full post)

Blizzard announces Diablo III is now available for pre-order for the PS3

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 8:03 pm

Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft and Starcraft, has announced that Diablo III is now available for pre-order for the PlayStation 3 console. I'm sure most of our readers will remember that Diablo III originally launched last May for the PC and suffered some major launch issues.




Blizzard has not specified a specific release date, instead saying that "further release details, including region-specific availability, will be announced at a later date." Gamers who put down the $59.99 required to pre-order the game will be rewarded with an exclusive in-game item: the Infernal Helm.


Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment:

We've poured blood, sweat, and hellfire into creating an epic Diablo III experience for PlayStation gamers. In addition to including all the improvements from the PC version over the past year, we've made several updates to Diablo III for play on the PS3. We got a ton of positive feedback from players who tried the game at PAX East, and we can't wait to get it into everyone's hands later this year.


For more information, you can see Blizzard's full announcement here.

Check out Lightpack, an awesome new project on Kickstarter

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 7:31 pm

One of the TweakTown staff was browsing the latest Kickstarter projects and came across Lightpack, an awesome open-source project that projects colored light onto the wall behind your monitor or TV. The color is matched to what is currently being displayed on your screen, so it visually expands your screen size and aids with eye-strain commonly associated with viewing screens in the dark.




Since the device is open-source, many cool features can be added by the developers at large. Plugins can be developed that make the lights change color to notify of an incoming Skype call, unread e-mail, or even that a spell has been recharged in World of Warcraft. Overall, the system is really quite awesome.


For the makers out there, Lightpack has released the designs for the PCB, bill of materials, and other needed files and designs so you can build your own at home. For the less electrically-inclined, Lightpack is offering up pre-built units if you support the Kickstarter campaign. It's almost completely funded, needing just under $10,000 more by May 31.


Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

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