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Samsung spends $25 million to create a US display patent firm

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 27, 2013 10:30 pm

Samsung has spent invested $25 million to start a US-based display patent firm. The firm was quietly launched in March in Washington D.C. and will help Samsung protect its patents in the United States. According to the Korea Times, the new firm is known as Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT).




The company will allow Samsung to better protect its intellectual property, something we've seen Apple doing in the Apple v Samsung lawsuit. Samsung's screens are seen on a wide variety of devices, so its important that Samsung not lose its patents or have them infringed upon as it would be a major hit to the business.


A Samsung Display spokesperson said, "Samsung recently established IKT. Patents are a good source of innovation and we also need to protect our intellectual property by strengthening our patent-related business."


Should we expect to see an uptick in patent litigation? It's certainly possible, though for right now it appears Samsung is just working on amassing patents.

Sony sends Golden PSOne and VIP invite for E3 to Minecraft creator

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 27, 2013 9:30 pm

Sony appears to be trying to woo indie developers, or at least one indie developer in particular. Sony has sent Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, a VIP invitation to the company's E3 press conference along with a golden PSone. Sony also included a free copy of Dungeon Master 2.




Persson tweeted, "Sony also once sent me an original copy of Dungeon Master 2 they had lying around for some reason. They sure know how to bribe nerds. ;D" We're fairly confident that Sony took notice of Persson's complaints about the Xbox and Microsoft locking down the once-open Windows platform.


It's somewhat likely that Sony has some big indie developer news planned for their E3 press conference. Having the Minecraft creator there to see the news and hopefully tweet about it could be huge for Sony. Whatever Sony's plan is, we'll be at TweakTown to cover all the PlayStation 4 news you could possibly want.

Sony employee responds 'we hear you' to users complaining about rumored PS4 DRM

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 27, 2013 9:00 pm

A Sony employee has responded to rumors that the PlayStation 4 might implement some sort of DRM to prevent used games from being played by saying that the company hears the users. "Humbled by the outpouring of passionate PlayStation fans and their willingness to talk to us directly. Please know that we hear you," said Sony Computer Entertainment America's Nick Accordino.




Players want Sony to avoid a similar DRM scheme to that rumored to be implemented by Microsoft and the new Xbox One which requires gamers or retailers to pay an activation fee to play a used game. Sony has remained quite quiet about used games. "We are just now announcing the basic vision and strategy of PS4 and will have more information to share regarding used games later this year. But PlayStation has a long history of keeping its gamers happy and we won't make decisions that damage our relationship with them."


It sounds unlikely that PlayStation 4 would implement a DRM to prevent used games. In fact, both systems are confirmed to support used games, but the details are still unknown. We'll likely learn more from both Microsoft and Sony at E3 in just a few weeks. TweakTown will be there covering the event and you can expect to see lots of Xbox and PlayStation news.

ReportTT: Google facing new antitrust probe over display ads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 27, 2013 8:37 pm

The problem with being one of the biggest companies in the world is you can't catch a break. Just after an antitrust investigation into Google was completed, reports of a new investigation over different allegations have emerged. Google is reportedly being investigated by the FTC over allegations of using its online display-advertising market to curb competition.




The inquiry is just beginning and may not expand into a full-fledged investigation. Center to the probe is whether Google is using its large adverting network to push companies to use other services the company offers. This can prove illegal under antitrust laws if not done properly.


A large portion of Google's advertising tools and network came from the acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007. At the time, the FTC said, "We will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the commission intends to act quickly." It looks like the commission now feels the company is being anticompetitive.


TweakTown will follow this and keep our readers up on the latest.

Check out 'Scrolls' trailer, a new game by the creator of Minecraft

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 27, 2013 7:32 pm

Minecraft has turned into a cultural phenomena. A rather simple game with basic graphics has taken the world by storm and now the creator of Minecraft is looking to follow that success up with a new game called Scrolls. The game has received an official trailer and inital release date. First, the trailer:



The initial beta will kick off on June 3, offering players early access to the game, much like Mojang did with Minecraft. The game is quite a bit different than Minecraft. Minecraft is a open-world game, while scrolls is quite a bit like Magic: The Gathering in that it is a digital collectible card game.


We will definitely be following Scrolls to see how it does just how addictive it is. Now that you've watched the trailer, we want to know what you think about the game. Is it something that you would play? Let us know!

Continue reading 'Check out 'Scrolls' trailer, a new game by the creator of Minecraft' (full post)

Samsung to hold "Premiere" launch event in London on June 20th

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 27, 2013 6:30 pm

Samsung has been on a roll lately with new product launches and this coming June 20th should be no exception. The company will hold a launch event at London's Earls Court 2 in which we can expect to see "several" Galaxy and ATIV devices unveiled.




The Galaxy brand of products needs no introduction, but many of our readers may not have heard of the ATIV brand, which is Samsung's Windows Phone line of smartphones and tablets. While not much info is available on what we might see added to the ATIV line, we most likely will see the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Active and a new Galaxy Tablet unveiled at the event.


This event comes at the end of what is shaping up to be a very busy month in the tech industry. With Computex 2013 taking place between June 4th and 8th, E3 happening on June 11th until June 13, and Apple's WWDC taking place on June 10th till 14th, the tech media world is going to be in a frenzy with all of the news stories being released.


As always, TweakTown will be on top of everything, with journalists on the ground at Computex and E3, as well as live blogs taking place for these events. So, keep your browsers open to TweakTown for up to the minute coverage of everything happening in June.

Nokia official hints at Lytro-style camera technology in upcoming Lumia camera

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 27, 2013 5:35 pm

In the past I have reported on rumors of a multiple lens Lytro-style camera being featured on future Nokia Lumia phones and now it is looking like those rumors have been confirmed. Nokia Vice President for Smartphones, Jo Harlo, hinted at how the technology could improve smartphone cameras.




"If you look at where imaging is going, computational imaging is an area of exploration," said Harlow in an interview with BGR. "Being able to capture even more data - data you cannot even see with the human eye that you can only see by going back to the picture and being able to do things with them."



With recent investments in Pelican Imaging, it most certainly looks like we will see a Nokia Lumia in the future with shoot now, focus later technology. When that technology will arrive is anyone's guess at this point, and it is still left up in the air if anyone wants the hassle of having to process snapshots taken with your smartphone, instead of instantly uploading it to their favorite social network there and then.

Xbox One's cloud network will be equivalent to three consoles in storage and processing power

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 27, 2013 4:40 pm

This morning we are learning more about the cloud network that will accompany the Xbox One console. The Xbox One's cloud network will feature three consoles worth of storage and CPU processing power, for each connected device. This means that developers have a much larger canvas on which to build on.




The information comes via Jeff Henshaw, Microsoft's group program manager of Xbox Incubation and Prototyping, who recently revealed the cloud network specifications in a recent interview with OXM. "For every Xbox One console we're provisioning the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox Ones on the cloud," Henshaw revealed in a recent interview with OXM.


"We're doing that flat out so that any game developer can assume that there's roughly three times the resources immediately available to their game, so they can build bigger, persistent levels that are more inclusive for players. They can do that out of the game." Henshaw continued.


So, what does this mean for game developers? For one, it means that games can have a more extensive online UI, or maybe when you purchase a game, you can add the game's soundtrack to your personal cloud storage. It will most definitely allow users to store their capture gameplay video and maybe even streaming of those videos to personal web pages. All of that is speculation on my part though, and we will have to wait for more information before more is known.

ASUS teases new product "that will move you", to be unveiled at Computex 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: May 27, 2013 4:01 pm

Computex 2013 - As the world's largest PC industry show approaches, we are beginning to see more teasers being released by big name companies in the industry. This morning we have already seen a teaser from G.Skill and now ASUS is teasing a new mysterious product as well.




This morning on the company's Google+ page, ASUS posted a teaser image of what appears to be a metallic circular object. Judging by the pixel size, and the size of the circular machine marks, I am going to speculate that this is a power button of some sorts, but have no guess on what the product could be.


Fear not though as ASUS has given us a hint as to what the product could be. In the post on Google+, ASUS said "Here's our first teaser before next week's press conference! Hint: It'll move you." What could it be? Leave your guess in the comments below and remember to stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest from Computex as it happens.

LeakedTT: Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini seen in official Samsung App Store

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 27, 2013 3:29 pm

We have been hearing about different versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 since before its release and today one of those versions has been confirmed as real. In Samsung's app catalog for the United Kingdom, the Galaxy S4 Mini has popped up with a model number of GT-9195.




The S4 Mini will feature a 4.3-inch qHD display with an 8MP rear camera, while running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, when it launches later this summer. The Galaxy S4 Mini will fall inline beside several new S4 releases that have appeared not even two months after official release of the original Galaxy S4.


I recently covered the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, Galaxy S4 Red Aurora and even the Galaxy Mega. While all of these new versions of Samsung's flagship hardware are nice for the consumer, you have to wonder if having so many different models available will short change the Galaxy S4's sales numbers?