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Facebook won't be paying any taxes, will enjoy a nice fat refund though

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 10:38 am

Facebook have made $1.1 billion in profits since they've gone public, but they won't be paying any federal or state taxes on these profits. Better yet, the largest social network in the world will enjoy a very nice federal tax refund of around $429 million.




Before Facebook went public last year, Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group, said that this would happen, and have just released a breakdown of what the social network's crafty accounting skills have amounted to in their 2012 annual report. It all comes down to the tax deductibility on executive stock options, which Facebook gave plenty out of last year, with the deductible ended up actually being more than Facebook owed in taxes to the state, and federal governments.


This means that instead of Facebook having to pay anything to the government, the roles are reversed and the government will hand money over to Facebook - a refund nearing half a billion dollars. This refund comes from the taxes Facebook paid in 2010 and 2011. The good news doesn't stop for Facebook there, as they'll be carrying "forward another $2.17 billion in additional tax-option tax breaks for use in future years." This means that Facebook will, for as long as they can, continue to do this.

Continue reading 'Facebook won't be paying any taxes, will enjoy a nice fat refund though' (full post)

The first bionic hand that can feel will soon be here

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 9:37 am

We all love our consumer technology, but scientific breakthroughs like this are just extraordinary. Later this year, we'll see the first bionic hand that will give an amputee the ability to feel their hand again.




This will be quite the moment for artificial limbs with sensory perception, where the first man to get the new touch-sensitive bionic hand will be a man in his 20s living in Rome, who lost the lower part of his arm in an accident. The wiring of this bionic hand will be connected to his nervous system, where they hope he'll be able to control the movements of the hand as well as receive touch signals from the bionic hand's skin sensors.


This is coming from Silvestro Micera of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, where he's also added that the hand will be attached directly to the patient's nervous system through electrodes clipped onto two of the arm's main nerves - the median and ulnar nerves.

Continue reading 'The first bionic hand that can feel will soon be here' (full post)

Congress to discuss asteroids as a threat to Earth, won't involve Bruce Willis

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 8:41 am

After multiple space agencies have been tracking the asteroid that fled just past Earth waving hello and goodbye, Russia was attacked by space rocks late last week. The meteroid broke up in our atmosphere, but still crashed into Earth injuring over 1200 people and causing millions of dollars of damage.




Because of this, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in Washington are planning to hold a hearing soon "to examine ways to better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth."


NASA have said that the rock that smashed into the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, which is around 950 miles east of Moscow, was around 15 meters in diameter, and it was moving at an astonishing 18 kilometres per second. It lasted around 30 seconds in our atmosphere before it broke apart, and wasn't detected by any Earth-based telescopes. NASA scientists have said that it is virtually impossible for telescopes to see a meteorite that size in the daytime sky.

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Google VP of Engineering: "we're committed to making Nexus phones insanely great cameras", teases "just you wait and see"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 7:39 am

If you were hoping for a world where you would only need to carry around one camera, and that camera was simply an app within your increasingly capable smartphone, that world might be closer than you think. Google's Senior VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, talked over his Google+ account this morning through a photography-themed post to reply to comments regarding the quality of Nexus-branded cameras. The conversation:




We should see future Nexus devices with much better camera abilities, and I think we should hopefully see something unveiled during Google I/O in a couple of months time. Having to "wait and see" just teases us, but we should see Google do something with their Motorola acquisition, as well as their Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie OS, let's just wait and see, shall we?

RumorTT: Samsung's Galaxy S IV to feature 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 6:33 am

Thanks to a mystery device arriving on the NenaMark2 site, we could be looking at the first benchmarks of the Verizon-bound Samsung Galaxy S IV. The model number slapped to the phone is SCH-i545, similar to the Verizon model number for the Galaxy S III - SCH-i535.




If the device is indeed the upcoming Galaxy S IV, we should expect a Full HD resolution of 1920x1080, a 1.9GHz processor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. As for the GPU baked into the mystery device, it looks to be an Adreno 320 GPU. We should hopefully see an introduction to the iPhone competitor on March 15, with a release sometime in April throughout Europe before it crosses the pond and makes an appearance in the United States.


We should soon reach a time where every day or two there's some new information on the Galaxy S IV - Samsung have reached the point in their career where they're now having rumors and specs combed through just like any new iPhone.

LG's slightly bigger 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro features the Snapdragon 600 SoC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 4:23 am

LG have just unveiled their super-sized 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, and by name only it might not excite you, but it does feature a new CPU that was just announced by Qualcomm.




LG's 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro will include the quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU that is a slight upgrade on the already amazing Snapdragon S4 Pro. Software tweaks have also been made, including a dual record function that allows both cameras to record simultaneously and a VR Panorama mode that looks similar to Google's Photo Sphere stitching mode.


We obviously get a 5.5-inch screen, and a larger 3,140mAh battery compared to the older 3,000mAh battery. Finishing off the specs, we have 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, microSDXC slot and 4G LTE support.

Continue reading 'LG's slightly bigger 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro features the Snapdragon 600 SoC' (full post)

Bungie's new game, Destiny, gets revealed - is an always-on, persistent-world adventure

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 3:08 am

From the makers of Halo, we have a new game unveiled by Bungie - Destiny. Destiny is an always-on, persistent-world adventure game which the developers have signed up with Activision on a 10-year publishing deal.



The video above shows off a few quick glimpses at the otherwise bland first-person shooter bits (which I'm sure it's not a full-fledged FPS just yet), but it also unveils some of the more social integration Destiny will have, where you can create and customize your identities and gear to venture across an alternate universe to our own.


The big difference between Bungie's last massive game, Halo, and Destiny, is that it's not a lone soldier who saves the world - but a community of Guardians. Destiny will be more of a multi-player game than a singleplayer game, but this doesn't mean that those looking for a single-player game will miss out. Single player gamers can finish the quests off as a Guardian, but in order to "realize the vision of the game", Destiny will require an always-on Internet connection on all platforms regardless of play style.

Continue reading 'Bungie's new game, Destiny, gets revealed - is an always-on, persistent-world adventure' (full post)

Crysis 3 beta has been downloaded over 3 million times

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 17, 2013 7:37 am

Crysis 3 gets released in just over 48 hours, and is looking to do some good business as usual. First up, we have some download numbers on the beta, which was downloaded over 3 million times.




Most beta players will end up buying the full game, so we should expect at least 2-3 million sales just there. Crysis 2 sold 3 million units, so we should expect more sales this time around. Pre-order numbers are looking great too, where according to EA's end of January financial report, pre-orders for the third Crysis game are sitting at 40% higher than its predecessor.


Crysis 3 gets released on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on February 19 in the US, and two days later in Australia and Europe. Japan will have to wait until March 7 to get their nanosuit soldier gaming on.

Kim Dotcom announces that Mega now accepts Bitcoin, will expand into email, chat, voice, video and mobile soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Feb 17, 2013 6:41 am

Mega man himself Kim Dotcom has announced that Mega now has Bitcoin support, and has also unleashed some future nuggets that Mega will support in the near future. Dotcom reiterated his company's position to privacy, while also saying that his cloud storage is uniquely positioned in New Zealand to keep users' data more safe.




Dotcom also stated that Mega will eventually expand itself into email, chat, voice, video and mobile services "in the coming years". For details on Bitcoin-enabled Mega goodness, you can check out, where there's no less than six different ways to buy mega services with Bitcoin. Three monthly options are given, as well as three yearly options - all options cannot be refunded or exchanged. The options include:

  • Mega Pro I: 500GB of data storage and 1TB of bandwidth for 0.5184 Bitcoin per month or 5.1888 Bitcoin per year.
  • Mega Pro II: 2TB of data storage and 4TB bandwidth for 1.0373 Bitcoin per month or 10.3781 Bitcoin per year.
  • Mega Pro III: 4TB of data storage and 8TB bandwidth per month for 1.5563 Bitcoin per month or 15.5674 Bitcoin per year.

Continue reading 'Kim Dotcom announces that Mega now accepts Bitcoin, will expand into email, chat, voice, video and mobile soon' (full post)

Facebook continues to collect data on users who have logged out of the social network

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Feb 17, 2013 5:33 am

Last week we reported that Google were dishing out users' data to developers when they download apps from the Play store, but now it's being reported that Facebook takes data from users even when they're logged out of the social network.




Facebook have confirmed this, but have insisted that the information collected is only for security purposes or to aggregate statistics. Facebook's data collection is from the cookies on your computer when you visit the social network, with the cookies shifting the information over to Facebook from any site that you visit that contains a link to Facebook - such as the "like button".


With this information in-hand, Facebook can map out your web usage. Director of Engineering for Facebook, Arturo Bejar, has said that the data is used to combat spam and phishing attacks by detecting suspicious logins. Not only that, but cookies can use the data to keep users from having to complete extra authentication steps each time they log-in. Because, you know, everyone logs out of Facebook when they're finished with it.

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