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RIM's new BlackBerry 10 to launch on Wednesday

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 7:32 pm

Research in Motion will officially launch its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform on Wednesday along with the line's first two smartphones. The BlackBerry Z10 and X10 have both been well covered in the media thanks to a convenient and steady flow of information leaks.

 

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The launch is posed to be the first major mobile announcement of the year and comes weeks ahead of the Mobile World Congress, where we usually see new platforms launched. Analyst think that Wednesday's press conference is less about the new phones and more about showing investors that it is committed to the new direction BlackBerry is taking.

 

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue recommends that investors "keep hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times"... "A lot of information on RIM's new BB10 devices has already been leaked so we expect the stock to settle back down post Wednesday's launch," Sue wrote in a note to clients on Monday morning. "It's an ultra competitive market and most consumers have made up their minds on BlackBerry, so we believe RIM really needs to wow the audience. Variability of future unit growth depends on RIM's pace of future launches and innovation beyond the first two devices."

iOS 6.1 officially released for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 7:08 pm

Apple has made available the latest version of the iOS operating system, iOS 6.1. This update brings with it a few minor features, such as LTE support for more carriers, the baility to purchase movie tickets through Fandango by asking Siri, a button to reset the advertising identifier, and the ability for iTunes Match subscribers to download individual songs from iCloud.

 

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The update comes in at 86.7MB for the iPhone 5 and should probably be downloaded over Wi-Fi. The update can be installed over-the-air or via iTunes, like most updates. Hopefully now that iOS6.1 is out, some of those jailbreaking groups will get running with the new version finding bugs and eventually producing a working jailbreak for the iPhone 5.

 

Previously, these jailbreaking groups have said they have about four bugs and working jailbreaks in-house, but didn't want to publicly release them for fear of losing the bugs and possibly being locked out of the system completely. Most groups have said that a jailbreak will likely be made available for the iPhone 5 once iOS 6.1 came out.

Samsung unveils Garnet Red version of Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 tablet

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 6:29 pm

I first reported back in December, that we would see a red Galaxy Tab around Valentine's Day, and it has finally arrived. We have already seen a Garnet Red Galaxy S III, and now Samsung has introduced its popular Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in the flashy and sexy red color scheme.

 

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This special edition Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will be shipping with Android Jellybean on board while the other internal specs remain unchanged. A 1024 x 600 TFT display, 1GHz dual-core TI OAP processor, 8GB of storage, and that ever handy IR blaster will still be present.

 

However, the new garnet red Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will come bundled with a matching case that is sure to make almost any valentine smile. The device will be available for a limited time from Amazon, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Tiger Direct, Fry's Electronics and Toys R Us. MSRP is set at $220 and it will go on sale later this week.

Facebook could owe you money as a result of a recent image use settlement

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 5:50 pm

Back in October, Facebook settled a class action lawsuit for $20 million dollars over user images being used in advertising. You may have a claim to part of that $20 million. Do not get too excited however, because as many as 150 million other users are entitled to part of it as well.

 

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To lay official claim to your portion of the settlement, you or your child had a Facebook account with a Facebook Sponsored Story featured, and Facebook must have used your images in that featured post. If you are one of the "lucky" ones, you may be entitled to a payment of less than $10 from the social networking giant.

 

Chances are that no individual will see a single dime from the settlement though as a clause in the class action settlement states that if too many people are found to be valid claim holders, the settlement funds will be donated to several charities. This is because it would be too costly to send a check for $1 to 200 million (give or take) different people.

Iran reportedly sends Monkey into space, returns safely back to Earth

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 5:01 pm

Iranian media outlets are reporting that Iran has successfully sent a monkey into space. Reports from the AFP state that the monkey made it to an altitude of 75 miles before returning back home safely inside a space capsule.

 

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"Iran successfully launched a capsule, codenamed Pishgam (Pioneer), containing a monkey and recovered the shipment on the ground intact," the defense ministry's aerospace department said in a statement. This is a major leap forward for Iran's space program and paves the way for its plans to send a manned mission to the moon.

 

This is not the first time Iran has sent living creatures into space; the country has previously launched a ten-foot research rocket carrying a mouse, two turtles and some worms. Today's news adds credence to its ongoing mission to send a human to space by 2020, and to have an astronaut on the moon by 2025.

Newegg beats patent trolls in shopping cart case, "screw them" they say

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 4:16 pm

The notorious patent troll Soverain has been defeated by Newegg over its "shopping cart" infringement case. Soverain had previously won millions in similar suits against giants like Ann Summers and Avon. This decision means that Soverain cannot use the patents in its other current suits against Kohl's, Bloomingdales, Walgreens and Home Depot.

 

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Newegg actually lost the first trial against Soverain back in 2007, but the company stuck to its policy of "Do not negotiate with patent trolls", and appealed the ruling on grounds that the online shopping cart was used well before Soverain's patents were issued.

 

Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng said that Newegg has "been hit by companies that claim to own the drop-down menu, or a search box, or Web navigation. In fact, I think there's at least four that claim to 'own' some part of a search box." He says that his company has "never lost a patent case" (discounting the now-overturned verdict), and will continue to fight against trolls. "Seriously, screw them - you can quote me on that."

Intel intros new SSD 525 Series, is destined for Ultrabooks and low-power SFF systems

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 4:00 pm

With Intel shifting gears and reversing out of the motherboard business, moving into their Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and reducing power consumption on their processors, a new SSD has been unveiled by the Santa Clara-based chipmaker.

 

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Welcome the new Intel SSD 525 Series, which comes in an mSATA form factor attached to the 6Gb/s SATA standard. Intel will be providing the SSD 525 Series to OEM customers, channel and tech enthusiasts as an ultra-portable, low-power storage solution in "one-eighth the space of a traditional 2.5-inch hard disk drive". In other words, Ultrabooks, tablets and embedded applications.

 

Thanks to its PCIe mini-connector, the SSD 525 Series drive will sport the same performance of the Intel SSD 520 Series, making the SSD 525 the perfect choice for all-in-one desktops, notebooks, Ultrabooks and more - such as cars, digital signage, embedded video and retail solutions, too.

Continue reading 'Intel intros new SSD 525 Series, is destined for Ultrabooks and low-power SFF systems' (full post)

New Skyrim "Dragonborn" DLC set to launch on February 5th

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 3:28 pm

Skyrim is one of those games that you can never seem to get enough of. Well at least that is the case for me anyway so whenever I hear of a new DLC for the third installment in The Elder Scrolls series, my ears perk up and my eyes get wide.

 

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn is the latest DLC and officially launches on February 5th, but impatient users can pre-purchase it now on Steam for about $20. You will still have to wait until next month to install and play it, though.

 

 

The Dragonborn story line takes us beyond Skyrim to the island of Solstheim, just off the coast of Morrowind. The place is home to Dark Elves and some native Nords called the Skaal. It is packed full of new dungeons, creatures, weapons, and more. Bethesda says there will also be new shouts that will let you "bend the will of your enemies and even tame dragons." If the screen shots and video are any indication Dark Lord Cthulhu himself will make an appearance as well.

Google+ takes second place on the social networking website tier

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 2:53 pm

Roughly 1.5 billion people worldwide use social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Google+ has claimed the second place spot in the race to become the largest social network in the world, beating out YouTube and Twitter by a few percent.

 

In a new report from GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is visited by more than half of all internet users, while Google+ sees about half that many users, with YouTube and Twitter getting about 20% each. Facebook is still the dominate monster, but Google+ is slowly chipping away at the top spot.

 

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Since its launch, Google+ has managed over 300 million account creations and most of them are still considered active. That may seem a small when compared to Facebook's 1 billion+ user base, but not all of those accounts are active. In the end, ratings like these are hard to generate as all the major social networks are timid about sharing traffic data regularly.

Chinese government could soon lift ban on consoles after a 12-year ban has been in place

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 28, 2013 10:34 am

It looks like Chinese officials are in discussions to remove their ban on gaming consoles that has been in place for twelve years now. If this ban is lifted, it would open a gigantic market for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo - without even considering Valve's Steam Box, the OUYA console, and more.

 

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The news is coming from China Daily, where they have a source within the Ministry of Culture telling the paper:

 

We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market.

 

Lifting the ban won't be easy, as it requires all seven ministries that issued the ban to approve the decision to lift the ban itself. The ban was implemented originally in order to protect impressionable youth from video games. A grey market for consoles exists in the country, but lifting the ban should see all sorts of new markets popping up - developers, retailers, and more.

Continue reading 'Chinese government could soon lift ban on consoles after a 12-year ban has been in place' (full post)

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