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RumorTT: Verizon to host launch event for new Droid devices on July 23

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 2:27 am

Today, Verizon began sending out invites to the press for an event on July 23. What the event is about it still remains a mystery, but sources closely familiar with event say that it will involve the next generation of Verizon's popular Droid line of Android smartphones.

 

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The last couple weeks we have been seeing leak after leak about the upcoming next generation of Droid devices from Motorola and Verizon wireless. So the rumors that this could be the launch event for the new Droids are highly plausible, and I am putting my money on the fact that we will see all three new Droid smartphones during the event.

 

TweakTown has yet to get our invite, but we plan on live blogging the entire event if there is a live stream available. If not, you can still count on TweakTown to bring you full coverage that you can trust on all of the new Droids from Verizon.

Google's redesigned Maps for desktop beta now available to all users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 2:04 am

In case you haven't heard, Google has been completely overhauling its web-based map service and unveiled the first beta edition just two months ago at the company's I/O conference. Up until now, you needed to be invited by Google to participate in the beta program but as of today, Google has opened the doors and allow everyone to experience the new Google Maps.

 

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Obtaining access to Google Maps Beta is a simple as visiting maps.Google.com. Once there, you'll be prompted to try out the newly refreshed maps via a box in the left sidebar. The new Maps provides a fullscreen experience and appears to be much quicker at loading than its previous iteration. The zooming is fast and smooth and Google has integrated a new, much smarter search box that is able to display your recent searches, directions, transit, traffic, and bicycling info.

 

Yes, this means that Google can now show you real-time traffic data right from your desktop at any point in the day. To use this feature, users can simply type a search string similar to "Traffic Near Las Vegas, NV" and the map will pop up and highlight roots with green for fast-moving areas and red for very slow congested areas. Users can use similar search strings to find restaurants, shopping venues, and even entertainment in areas anywhere in the world.

Continue reading 'Google's redesigned Maps for desktop beta now available to all users' (full post)

Yahoo managed to earn $137 million in the second quarter of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 1:31 am

Yahoo posted its quarterly earnings report today and while things haven't changed much for its bottom line, the company was able to post a revenue of $1.135 billion for the second quarter of 2013 alone. This is actually down 7 percent for the same period of 2012. Of that $1.135 billion, only $137 million was actually income which is said to be up 150 percent from the same period in 2012.

 

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had the following to say:

 

I'm encouraged by Yahoo!'s performance in the second quarter. Our business saw continued stability, and we launched more products than ever before, introducing a significant new product almost every week. From the new Yahoo! News, the new Yahoo! Sports app, the redesigned Yahoo! search, the new Flickr, the new Yahoo! Mail for tablet, the Yahoo! Weather app, our new Yahoo! app with Summly -- this quarter drove tremendous improvements in our product line and our users responded with increased usage and engagement.

Sony wanted the DualShock 4 controller to measure your sweat levels

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 1:03 am

It's no doubt that Sony's DualShock 4 controller is one of the most advanced gaming controllers of all time, and today were learning just how advanced Sony originally wanted it to be. In an interview with Stuff magazine, Sony's lead system architect Mark Cermu said that the company "looked at pretty much any idea it could think of."

 

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One of the ideas developers came up with was to have the controller measure the galvanic response of your skin. This essentially means that it would measure the electrical conductivity of your skin to judge your sweat levels. Sony's plans for this was to detect a player's current stress level, which could then be incorporated into the game by making a player's avatar lose some of his accuracy or even become more fatigued.

 

After scrapping that idea, Sony says that they focused on improving the DualShock 4 for better first-person shooter performance as the older controllers were not ideal for games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. This is when they decided to include a touch-sensitive trackpad and the light bar. Sony was not the only company looking into bio feedback technology; earlier this year, Valve's resident psychologist said that the company had begun testing sweat-based experiments with the game Left for Dead which would adjust the player's gameplay according to his or her stress level.

Google updates Play Store, includes mentions of Google Glass

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 12:32 am

Google has updated its Play Store's website to more closely align with the design features of Google Now-style cards, which actually makes the place look a little more organized and much more like the official app. While these updates are cool and certainly needed, the most notable change is the inclusion of apps for Google Glass.

 

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The addition of Google Glass compatibility checks were first spotted by Nicolas Gramlich. It's no surprise that Glass has shown up on the Play Store as Google likes to streamline their device management. Website androidandme.com has also posted a screenshot which appears to be of the official Google Glass app for Android. With these hints, it appears that Google Glass users will officially have access to the Google Play Store any day now.

Continue reading 'Google updates Play Store, includes mentions of Google Glass' (full post)

The iPhone is about to outnumber the iPod in lifetime sales numbers

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 17, 2013 12:05 am

At some point in the next few days, Apple will have officially sold more iPhones than iPods in terms of lifetime sales numbers. At the end of the fiscal second-quarter, lifetime iPhone sales totaled 356 million units. At the same time, lifetime iPod sales totaled 375 million units. Currently, the Wall Street estimates say that Apple has already sold between 26.7 and 27.9 million iPhone in the third quarter.

 

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If this is true and iPod sales have been sinking at the rate analysts suspect, this means that iPhone sales should be around the 383 million unit range which could be just good enough to top lifetime sales of the iPod. One thing is for certain, if the iPhone does not eclipse the iPod this quarter, it most certainly will when the new iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone release later this year.

Foursqure begins displaying ads after check-ins

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 11:04 pm

Foursquare has just stepped up their monetization efforts in an attempt to profit from the actions of its 35+ million users. Beginning today, those who use the service to check in at any location will instantly be served up a targeted ad that may benefit brands sold at the location they are at.

 

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One of the first advertisers to test out this new feature on Foursquare is Captain Morgan, a brand of rum from Diageo. The brand is using Foursquare to suggest a Captain Morgan cocktail to people immediately after they check in at bars, nightclubs, restaurants, or other places where liquor is sold. On the other side of the scale, Toys "R" Us has also been using the service to show coupons to select users who check into kid friendly areas such as parks, pools, and fun zones.

Ubisoft releases new Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag trailer, includes 100% more naval battles

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:31 pm

One of the most highly anticipated titles for the second half 2013 has to be Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the latest entry into Ubisoft's blockbuster franchise. Today, the company released a new trailer that invites you to defy the odds and either become a pawn in a large game of chess or fight for it all and become the biggest pirate on the seas.

 

 

For those you unfamiliar with this new installment, the storyline is centered on Edward Kenway and takes place in the Caribbean. Many famous pirates will make appearances and in true Assassin's Creed form, there will be plenty of sneaking around and stealth kills to be made. In the newly released trailer, you can see that not only will battles take place on land, but there will be epic naval battles fought in a stormy sea. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is available for pre-order now and will release November 1.

Continue reading 'Ubisoft releases new Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag trailer, includes 100% more naval battles' (full post)

Xbox One will be able to play games before download finishes just like the PS4

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:03 pm

In a recent interview with website Polygon, a spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed that the upcoming Xbox One will allow owners to start playing games shortly after purchase before the game is fully finished downloading. This will apply to disk-based games which will require a mandatory install as well as all digital titles.

 

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Microsoft says that this feature will cover Xbox Live Arcade games, digital purchases, and any games that are already available as a physical copy--also known as" games on demand". This is similar to what Sony will be offering on its highly anticipated PlayStation 4 console which is presumably why Microsoft has added the functionality to the Xbox One.

Sony and HTC win battle in patent troll war, prevails in lawsuit filed by WiLAN

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 16, 2013 9:33 pm

Score another one for the good guys. Today, HTC and Sony both claimed a major victory in the patent wars when a federal jury ruled that neither company infringed on any of the four patents that WiLAN had sued them over. Other lawsuit victors include Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

 

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Alcatel-Lucent managed to beat three wireless base station claims, while Sony and HTC also had to face a fourth claim involving handset technology. Both companies said that they believed that WiLAN was greatly over exaggerating the scope of its patent while Alcatel-Lucent stated that it believed the company was stretching the boundaries of its patents.

 

WiLAN is pretty much considered to be nothing more than a patent troll and has been fighting lawsuits similar to this for many years including one in which Intel reportedly agreed to pay a large settlement on. WiLAN said that it was disappointed by the decision and that it still has pending litigation against Time Warner, Comcast, and others with similar claims of patent infringement.

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