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Amazon to expand its Auto Rip service to include vinyl records

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 5:27 pm

Today Amazon announced that it will be adding vinyl records to its AutoRip service. AutoRip is a service by Amazon that offers purchasers of music on physical storage, free MP3 downloads of the same album.

 

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From now on, any physical disc purchased on Amazon will include a free digital copy of the same album, which is placed in your free Amazon Cloud Player. In addition, digital copies of purchased tracks will not count against your storage total on the cloud service. Amazon says the service is available now for "thousands of records," including titles from every major label with more titles being added daily.

 

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"We're thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records," said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music for Amazon "Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it's traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records-now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player."

RumorTT: Google to launch revised Nexus 7 this July

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 4:25 pm

A new Nexus 7 from Google could arrive as soon as this coming July, if rumors we are hearing are true. Reuters is citing two separate sources that claim that Google is preparing to ship roughly eight million new tablets by the end of the year.

 

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The sources say that the new Nexus 7 will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon instead of an NVIDIA Tegra 4. One source says that we could see a the new Nexus 7 drop down to the $150 price point, while the other stated that $200 was the magic number.

 

If these rumors are true, then we will most likely see the device surface at next month's Google I/O event, which has been sold out for months. Last year's event saw the original Nexus 7 unveiled as well as a demo of Google Glass.

BlackBerry offers Android and iOS users a BB10 demo via a web app

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 3:31 pm

BlackBerry is hoping to convince Android and iOS users to switch over to the dark side by offering up a demo of key BlackBerry 10 features through a new HTML5 web app. Dubbed BlackBerry Glimpse, the app walks users through 10 demonstrations that include the BlackBerry Hub, Screen Share, Time Shift and the unique BB10 predictive keyboard.

 

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I tried out Glimpse on my very dated Sprint Motorola Photon 4G and the "demo" felt more like a slideshow that used gestures to control rather than a true interactive demonstration. The keyboard demo was so fast that I barely caught what it was trying to illustrate.

 

Not all was bad though, I actually do like the UI that BlackBerry has created. It does have a very Android feel to it which is something that I prefer. Will this "demo" cause a mass migration to BlackBerry 10? I doubt it, but it is a pretty cool marketing idea. If you would like to try it out for yourself head over to the Source #2 link below.

SEC revises its stance on the corporate use of social media to inform investors

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 3:01 pm

This morning the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has revised the way it believes companies should use social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to inform their investors about company information.

 

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The revision comes after the commission investigated Netflix CEO Reed Hastings over a post on Facebook about his personal holdings in the company, which caused the company's stock value to rise. The revision requires companies to notify investors that their social media accounts could post information that could affect stock values.

 

"Personal social media sites of individuals employed by a public company would not ordinarily be assumed to be channels through which the company would disclose material corporate information. Companies should review the Commission's existing guidance - it is flexible enough to address questions that arise for companies that choose to communicate through social media, and the guidance does so in a straightforward manner."

Today is the 40th anniversary of the very first cellular phone call

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 2:20 pm

Forty years ago today, then Motorola exec Marty Cooper walked out of his office, met with a reporter on the sidewalk in front of his office building and proceeded to make a world-changing phone call to the CEO of Bell Labs (a division of AT&T).

 

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This event was most likely one of the top 3 most significant phone calls in the history of the world, as it was the very first cellular phone call ever made. Sure there were car phones at the time, but this was a completely mobile, hand held all-in-one device. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X that Cooper used went on to be known in pop culture as "The Brick" because it resembled one in both size and weight. The 2.5lb device would set you back a cool $3,995 and featured a single line LED text display.

 

Fast forward 40 years and Google now owns Motorola's mobile division and modern smartphones are tens of thousands of times more powerful. Instead of being limited to the uber rich, now even the poorest people communicate via cellular phones. If you were wondering, in the first cellular call Cooper said to the Bell Labs CEO "I'm ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end."

Quickoffice now free on iOS and Android for Google Apps for Business users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 1:16 pm

Quickoffice is definitely one of the better office suite apps out there at the moment and now users of Google's Apps for Business subscribers can now download the productivity suite for free.

 

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This morning Google announced that Android and iOS users of its Apps for Business service would be able to download Quickoffice for free. This is something the iPad version has had for some time now, and Google felt that it needed to be extended to the full range of devices used in the business environment.

 

Quickoffice has also received a few improvements in preparation of the announcement. The software now shows Google Drive folders such as Recent, Shared With Me, and Starred. Subfolders are also visible and there is an option to zip folders.

Continue reading 'Quickoffice now free on iOS and Android for Google Apps for Business users' (full post)

Nokia need to make a 'phablet' or be at risk of falling behind

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 10:33 am

It looks like Nokia need to make a bigger smartphone if they want to succeed in the increasingly sharp smartphone market, according to analysts. During an interview with Bloomberg, IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said that big-screen devices are "a trend that can't be missed" because "people are using smartphones in different ways now, consuming media by streaming over faster mobile networks."

 

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CSS Insight research director, Ben Wood, chimed in with a similar opinion stating that phablets are an important trend and he has told Bloomberg that "Nokia needs to make sure they don't miss the boat" by not building one of their own.

Anonymous begin "Operation Free Korea," hacks North Korea and steals 15,000 passwords

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 9:31 am

If you haven't been keeping up with the current affairs of the world, North Korea are testing the waters of war at the moment - all while South Korea and their very tight and even more capable ally, the United States, play their war games with B2 Stealth Bombers, among other expensive military toys.

 

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All while this is happening, Anonymous are jumping into the ring where the hacking collective are said to have started an initiative called "Operation Free Korea" and they're demanding that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un resign and install free democracy in the country.

 

Anonymous have also demanded that North Korea abandon their nuclear ambitions, and for the NK government to give universal and uncensored Internet access to their citizens. The hacking collective have claimed they've hacked into the North Korean intranet, mail servers and Web servers, threatening to wage war if their demands aren't met. The group has written:

 

We got all over 15k membership records of Uriminzokkiri.com and many more. First we gonna wipe your data, then we gonna wipe your badass dictatorship 'government.'

Hybrid Memory Cube teases 320GB per second bandwidth

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 8:38 am

Get ready for some serious bandwidth to hit us in the near future, with the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium publishing their HMC Specification 1.0. This will allow companies to build platforms and RAM with 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB chips baking in the stacked, power-efficient technology all without those pesky compatibility issues.

 

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The HMC Specification 1.0 has some impressive potential with eight links, a memory cube can push a peak 320GB/sec of aggregate bandwidth - opening up a can of whoop ass on the current 11GB/sec that DDR3 gives us.

 

The Consortium have decided to lift the dress a little higher on HMC, saying that the next-gen blueprint is already getting scribbled on, and that it is due early 2014. This should give us double the individual data link speeds - pushing the 15Gbps to 28Gbps. Let's hope this isn't some pipe dream, and we see actual consumer products with even close to these insane speeds in the near future.

Microsoft BUILD conference registrations are now open

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 7:32 am

Registrations for Microsoft's upcoming BUILD conference are now open, with the first 500 registrations scoring a nice $500 off of the price of admission. The BUILD conference will take place on June 26-28 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

 

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The three-day event will see sessions held on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Blue and a bunch of other topics. The Redmond-based software giant are also hosting a hackathon that starts the night before, at 7pm. Attendees can work by themselves, or team up to build apps from scratch using Windows, Windows Phone or Windows Azure, where they can win prizes.

 

We should also see the Windows 8 update codenamed Windows Blue to be shown off at BUILD, with the unveiling of the update to Windows 8 reportedly set to be the only public preview of the OS before it is ready for public consumption later in the year.

Continue reading 'Microsoft BUILD conference registrations are now open' (full post)

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