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Google invites kids to take a virtual tour of how it makes its Doodles

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 9:34 pm

Google, as part of its Doodle4Google contest, is inviting kids to take a virtual tour behind-the-scenes to see how Google makes its famous Doodles. The event, which will be live from the Googleplex on March 1, can be registered for by heading to the event registration page put up by Google.

 

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Join the talented group of illustrators and engineers LIVE on Friday, March 1st for an exclusive behind-the-scenes view into how Google doodles are created. Two illustrators will even participate in a live doodle-off - determined by your votes!

 

The broadcast will take place at 1 p.m. ET or 10 a.m. PT.

Adobe patches Flash vulnerabilities, some of which are being exploited in the wild

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 9:02 pm

Adobe has issued updates to its Flash product to patch some security vulnerabilities found in the product. At least two of the vulnerabilities are currently being exploited in the wild against Firefox, meaning that you should be sure to update to the latest version of Flash immediately.

 

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The attack works by tricking a user into clicking a link. The link leads to a website that features a malicious piece of Flash content designed to exploit the security holes in Flash Player for Firefox. Head over to Adobe's website to download the latest version of Flash Player.

 

Those using Flash Player in Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 should be automatically updated to the latest version.

Instagram soars past 100 million active users

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 8:31 pm

Instagram, the mobile picture sharing social netowrk, has finally passed 100 million active users. This feat took around two and a half years and comes just a month after Instagram began releasing active user counts. Instagram was forced to start releasing active user counts after the terms of service fiasco that started back in December.

 

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Comparing the service to other similar services, we can see that Instagram has done a better job at gaining user base. It took Twitter around six years to reach 200 million active users. Facebook likely helped boost Instagram's active user count.

 

CEO Kevin Systrom in the company's blog post:

 

It's easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it's an accomplishment for our community. Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram-sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe. What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs.

Zuckerberg, Gates, Dorcy, Newell and others team up to inspire children to learn to code

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 7:30 pm

Some of the biggest names in computer tech history have banded together to create an inspirational video in hopes of getting a dedicated coding curriculum in every school in America. The video is made for Code.org, a website dedicated to furthering the push to get children coding at an early age.

 

 

Giants like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Gabe Newell, Jack Dorcy and even celebrity Will.i.am appear several times in the video stressing the fact that their success is based on the fact that they began writing code at a young age. Even Miami Heat super star Chris Bosch made an appearance putting importance on the need for a coding class in every school.

 

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Code.org founder Hadi Partovi said:

 

"Enrollment rates in programming classes are low, but what is worse is that schools aren't even teaching it, even though this is the fastest growing segment of jobs in the country. It's a big issue for our country. We're trying to use immigration reform to help solve the problem, and that's important, but the long-term fix really is that we should teach more people these skills."

STRaND-1 successfully makes it into space; Nexus One payload becomes first PhoneSat in Orbit

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 6:43 pm

On Monday, a Google Nexus One was launched into orbit aboard a CubeSat named STRaND-1. Surrey Satellite Technology and the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Center are the two entities behind the launch and now hold the record for putting the first PhoneSat and UK CubSat into orbit.

 

 

In addition to the HTC manufactured handset, is an altitude and orbit control system, two propulsion systems and a Linux based computer. Once some test are ran, and everything checks out, the Linux computer will relinquish control to the Android based Nexus One.

 

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The mission will test several experiments including how well off the shelf electronics survive the extreme conditions of space as well as some apps written by winners of a competition held last year. There is even an app called 360 will let users back on Earth request snapshots of our big blue ball taken from the phone's camera.

Google launches Google+ sign-in app

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Google has been integrating its social network Google+ with everything it can imagine, and now it's getting a universal login service similar to Facebook Connect.

 

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Dubbed Google+ Sign-in, the service is akin to similar services offered from Google and Twitter. The process is quite familiar as well. Upon using the service to sign up for a website, users are shown what private information the site or app wants to access. You can then choose what circles, any related activity and features you want to share this info with.

 

 

The new service is available on the web as well as both iOS and Android devices. Android users will see additional features like the ability to push any mobile app version to their phone or tablet.

Google says selling phones in Play Store will continue, despite issues with recent Nexus 4 supply

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 4:34 pm

Google is the first to admit that its decision to sell the Nexus One through the Google Play Store was not the best move it has made, but the search giant has not given up on direct handset sells through its app store.

 

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In an interview with The Verge, Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Google Play, said that the company will continue to offer direct sells of its handsets through the Google Play Store. "We're getting better at fulfilling demand and kind of operating the store in a way that consumers expect us to," Rosenberg said. "The Play store is a reliable way for us to get these devices into market in different countries around the world."

 

After suffering through the Nexus One debacle, and then the seemingly never ending issues with Nexus 4 supply and availability, I for one am very surprised that Google has decided to make handsets a permanent fixture in the Google Play Store.

Continue reading 'Google says selling phones in Play Store will continue, despite issues with recent Nexus 4 supply' (full post)

Swedish Pirate Party caves, The Pirate Bay pulls up anchor and sets sail for Norway and Catalonia

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 3:52 pm

Last week I wrote about a copyright activist group called The Rights Alliance who planned on suing the Swedish Pirate Party for its role in hosting the infamous torrent search site The Pirate Bay. All initial indications alluded to the Pirate Party standing its ground, but I guess the old saying "when the going gets tough, the tough get going", is true.

 

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Rights Alliance Group is backed by all the major Hollywood studios, and therefore has virtually unlimited monetary resources and an entire army of lawyers who are just itching to rack up thousands of billable hours. The Swedish Pirate Party knows this and they did what they had to do to survive.

 

The Pirate Bay has been handed off to not one, but two Pirate Parties in separate countries: Norway and Catalonia, a small country within the borders of Spain. Swedish Pirate Party officials said that they knew that the resources backing Rights Alliance were simply too massive for them to go head to head with, and that they did what they deemed necessary to ensure that The Pirate Bay lives on.

Continue reading 'Swedish Pirate Party caves, The Pirate Bay pulls up anchor and sets sail for Norway and Catalonia' (full post)

Twitter Global Weekly Giveaway - Blazing fast OCZ Vector 256GB SSD!

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 3:35 pm

In this Twitter weekly giveaway we have teamed up with OCZ to giveaway a blazing fast solid state drive. We're talking about the Vector 256GB SSD. One lucky winner will get to take home this shiny new boxed SSD, and take your PC to new performance levels.

 

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HOW TO ENTER:

 

Step 1 - Follow @TweakTown and @OCZTechnology on Twitter. Your follow and tweet will be verified.

 

Step 2 - Tweet or RT the following: Follow @TweakTown and @OCZTechnology and RT to win a blazing fast OCZ Vector 256GB SSD. Details: http://tweaktown.to/X8tf3i #TTSSDVector256

 

Step 3 - Sit back, relax, and hope that you're our winner!

Continue reading 'Twitter Global Weekly Giveaway - Blazing fast OCZ Vector 256GB SSD!' (full post)

Sony's waterproof Xperia Tablet Z hands-on video from MWC 2013

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 2:55 pm

MWC 2013 - Sony also made waves at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona this year with the announcement of its newest tablet, then 10-inch Xperia Tablet Z.

 

 

As far as specs go, it comes with the Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and includes LTE 4G support. Its 10-inch screen is capable of Full HD 1080p resolution and it will come in black or white versions with a non-flossy back, which our correspondent Johannes Knapp seemed impressed about, in his hands-on video, which is embedded above.

 

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The unit is rather thin and light, actually thinner than the Apple iPhone 5. It is also waterproof - not to say you could go swimming with this tablet, but it can take some basic spills. All of the ports on the tablet have doors to protect it from liquid spills. It's debatable who actually needs a waterproof tablet, but it's a nice feature nevertheless.

 

Many have written off Sony in the tablet game in the past, do you think the Tablet Z can turn things around for the Japanese electronics giant?

Continue reading 'Sony's waterproof Xperia Tablet Z hands-on video from MWC 2013' (full post)

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