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Google opens up Wallet to almost all Android phones on every carrier

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 11:02 pm

Today, Google pushed out a major update to Google Wallet for Android that greatly expands the app's availability on various Android-based smartphones. Google Wallet is now available for all devices running Android 2.3 or higher even if they don't feature NFC functionality.

 

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This update comes after Google upgraded the functionality of Wallet to include direct money transfers similar to PayPal without the fees. Users can now transfer cash to anyone with an email address within the United States once the sender has linked his bank account to Google Wallet. Funds can also come from your existing Google Wallet balance, but if a Debit or Credit Card is used, extra fees may occur.

 

Google has also allowed loyalty cards from retailers to be added to Wallet by scanning or entering the barcode on the back of each card. The biggest change for Google Wallet, however, is that it is finally available on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Do you use Google wallet? I have used it a few times, but usually forget it is there and just swipe my card instead.

Record your dreams with SHADOW, a new Kickstarter campaign

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 10:29 pm

Have you ever wanted to record your dreams? I've thought about it a few times, but honestly the concept of recording my subconscious scares the heck out of me. If a new Kickstarter campaign has its way, we will all be able to record our dreams soon and upload them to what is being billed as the "world's largest dream database."

 

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SHADOW is an app that acts much like an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up with escalating alarms. Once awake, the app will prompt you to record what you remember from your dreams in either audible or text forms. This information would be loaded into a private dream journal that will analyze and visualize your long-term dream patterns.

 

The end-user--or "Dreamer"--will have the option to keep their dreams private or share them with friends and family. Additionally, dreamers can push their dreams into the cloud to join an anonymous database that uses natural language processing algorithms and keyword recognition to help identify global dream patterns. While this technology is cool and definitely something we need to research, the last thing I would like to do when I wake up is record myself describing my dreams. Head over to the source below to find out more.

Continue reading 'Record your dreams with SHADOW, a new Kickstarter campaign' (full post)

Rockstar Games launches Grand Theft Auto 5 on Xbox 360 and PS3

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 10:02 pm

Today, Rockstar games released to the long-awaited and highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Sony says that the game is also available for digital download from the PlayStation Network.

 

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"Grand Theft Auto V was a massive undertaking for us, I'm so proud of what the team created," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "We cannot wait for people to finally play it."

 

Costing over $260 million to develop, GTA V is said to be the most comprehensive and full-featured open world games ever created. The game takes us back to Los Santos as well as the open countryside of Blaine County to once again commit crimes, cause mayhem, and explore one of the most massive open world maps ever created.

 

There is still no word on whether the game will ever make a PC debut, but after watching several gameplay videos today, I have decided to break down and buy an Xbox 360 just to play GTA V. I truly hope that Rockstar releases GTA V on PC so that the game can take advantage of some serious hardware and shine in a way that only a game costing 1/4 of a billion dollars can.

Nokia teases event for October 22, could see Sirius and Lumia 1520

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 9:29 pm

We've known for quite some time now that Nokia will be releasing a six-inch Lumia 1520 branded phablet, but when the launch might occur has been anyone's guess... Until today, that is. Earlier today, Nokia announced via Twitter an upcoming event on October 22.

 

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The announcement read, "At Nokia, we never stop innovating. More to share on October 22." It's widely expected that we will see the 6-inch screened Lumia 1520 smartphone / phablet launched, and could possibly see the company's recently leaked 10.1-inch Windows RT-based Sirius tablet unveiled as well.

Ubiquiti Networks tackles outdoor Wi-Fi with new 802.11ac AP

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Networking | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 9:01 pm

Today, Ubiquiti Networks released two UniFi enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access points designed for outdoor deployments. The new UniFi Outdoor AC and UniFi Outdoor+ were designed with multi-Lane RF technology making them perfect for dense and "noisy" environments.

 

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The UniFi Outdoor AC access point has been regarded as the first outdoor compatible 802.11ac device in the industry. The unit features a dual band, 3x3 MIMO access point that is capable of throughput up to 1750Mb/s. The unit is priced at $489 and is available now on the company's website.

 

The UniFi Outdoor+ features Ubiquiti's patent-pending Multi-Lane RF technology that is able to provide more than double the throughput of competitive solutions in environments with high interference, which is said to improve Wi-Fi performance in noisy and dense environments such as stadiums, public spaces, conference centers, and college campuses. The unit features a single band 2.4GHz 2x2 MIMI access point and is priced at $189 and can be purchased on the company's website.

Microsoft starts off the day with a $40 billion share buyback program

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 7:03 pm

Early this morning just before Wall Street opened for trading, Microsoft announced that it would be buying back $40 billion of its own stock as well as increasing its quarterly dividend by 22 percent. This announcement comes on the heels of the company's previous $40 billion buyback program that will expire at the end of this month.

 

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Microsoft said that its quarterly dividend will rise to $0.28 per share, which is up from the $0.23 per share it paid last quarter. Unlike the last buyback initiative, there is no expiration date for the new program, which means the buyback could take a while to complete. Shortly after the announcement, Microsoft stock opened about $0.60 per share higher than at closing on Monday at about $32.75 per share. At the time of this writing, it is down to about $33 per share, which is an increase of 0.7 percent over its closing numbers Monday, and is actually lower than what the stock closed at on Friday.

ASUSTOR launches new entry-level AS 2 Series NAS

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 6:09 pm

Today, ASUSTOR announced the launch of a brand new budget-friendly, entry-level NAS. The AS 2 Series NAS is designed to fill the storage needs in a personal home network and is subdivided into two different lines.

 

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The AS-20XT series is designed around the idea of creating a personal cloud for customers who just need network storage. The AS-20XTE series is designed to give users both personal cloud storage as well as digital entertainment functionality. Both series feature a 2-Bay and 4-Bay solution, which were designed to meet the needs of consumers as well as provide an entry-level product for those using a NAS for the first time.

 

All four of the ASUSTOR 2 Series NAS feature Intel's latest dual-core Atom processor running at 1.2GHz, with the AS-20XT featuring 512MB of DDR3 RAM while the AS-20XTE boasts an impressive 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The AS-20XT includes powerful cloud storage software that allows users to quickly set up their own backup server, file server, video surveillance solution, or even a web server.

 

The AS-20XTE features an HDMI port, IR receiver, and an XBMC App that can be downloaded to turn the NAS into a full-featured media player. ASUSTOR also features an optional remote control that will allow users to control the media center functionality from their recliner. Optionally, users can download the XBMC remote app to their mobile device for easy control as well.

Continue reading 'ASUSTOR launches new entry-level AS 2 Series NAS' (full post)

ASRock close to launching its highly anticipated M8 barebones system

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 5:05 pm

ASRock is said to be close to launching its highly anticipated M8 barebones PC. The mini-ITX-based PC was designed in collaboration with BMW's Design Works team and is one hot looking mini PC. Although it may be small, the M8 barebones packs one heck of a punch even before the processor, RAM, and GPU have been added.

 

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The M8 features an ASRock Intel Z87 mini-ITX motherboard, which supports 4th-Generation Intel Core Processors code named Haswell. Also included is built-in Creative SoundCore 3D 7.1 HD audio, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. ASRock has also integrated its A-Command with G-Sensor technology and the device supports ASRock Key Master. 3 Months of XSplit Premium is also included in the package.

 

TweakTown got to take a sneek peek at the new ASRock M8 during the Computex 2013 show that was held in Taipei, Taiwan, earlier this year. Our own Shawn Baker was quite pleased with the new M8 and said that it is an innovative little PC. You can find his full preview here along with many photos of the new micro-PC.

Continue reading 'ASRock close to launching its highly anticipated M8 barebones system' (full post)

Sharkoon's new FireGlider is one hot optical gaming mouse

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 3:40 pm

Today, PC Gaming peripheral manufacturer Sharkoon announced the launch of a revised optical version of its popular FireGlider gaming mouse. The new FireGlider Optical features a 3000 DPI, 3600 FPS optical sensor that is adjustable all away down to 400 DPI.

 

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The new FireGlider Optical mouse features a seven button layout, of which five are freely programmable via the included software. Individual macros can be created and then stored on board the mouse's built-in memory. The mouse features Sharkoon's Weight Tuning System that is made up of seven interchangeable metal weights and allows the mouse to be tuned from 118g all the way up to 135g.

 

The mouse retains its prized matte black paint job with a vibrant red tribal flame design as well as a 180cm long USB cable that is sleeved in a textile braid and capped off with a goal-plated USB plug. Sharkoon says that the FireGlider Optical gaming mouse is available from authorized retailers for 17.99 Euros.

Continue reading 'Sharkoon's new FireGlider is one hot optical gaming mouse' (full post)

Analyst: GTA V will generate $1 billion in sales in the first month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 17, 2013 12:36 pm

My Facebook news feed is quickly filling up with my friends' posts about Grand Theft Auto V, but it looks like the latest title from Rockstar Games could generate over $1 billion revenue... in the first month on sale alone.

 

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This comes from Colin Sebastian, who is an analyst for Robert W. Baird, who predicted that GTA V will outpace its predecessors because it is launching on platforms that have massive player bases. Sterne Agee analysts, Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser chimed in, saying "we see potential for worldwide day-one sell-through of 6.5 million units [and] $400 for GTA V."

 

We did report not too long ago that Rockstar had pumped some significant coin into GTA V, to the tune of around $265 million. While this might sound like a lot, we are talking about Grand Theft Auto V here. Making its money back within a month would be quite the payday for Rockstar Games and Take-Two, that's for sure.

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