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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2350

T-Mobile shifting to only Value Plans in 2013

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 11:27 pm

T-Mobile announced today that they are planning on offering only Value Plans in 2013. A Value Plan offers a cheaper per-month rate, but a customer loses the subsidy that would otherwise discount cellular devices. For instance, my iPhone was $299 with a 2-year contract. On a T-Mobile plan, that would have set me back $749.




In exchange for this, I pay less each month. It's a great option for people who have a device they love and want to keep or for those who don't mind paying full sticker price. With other companies now offering unlocked smartphones (read: Google with its $300 Nexus 4), this could end up being the way of the future.


Would you prefer to pay full price for your phone if you were required to pay less each month to use it?

European users will have to wait a bit longer for Pandora to come to town

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 10:32 pm

It's not looking like Pandora will be coming to Europe anytime soon. Unlike in the United States where Pandora was able to take advantage of a statutory licensing provision, in order for Pandora to come to Europe, they would have to negotiate with every record label, something that is both costly and inefficient.




We've seen the results of these direct negotiations in the form of Netflix, YouTube and others all attempting to get Disney and other premium content. Pandora has already said they are losing money in the United States, so they won't do any costly expansion until they can get that under control.


However, with the bill to reform Net radio fees not seeing much support, this could be a while longer. European users will have to continue using Spotify--not a bad alternative--in the meantime. Spotify can also breathe a sigh of relief as they won't have competition, at least not for a while.

Study suggests that the FTC would see strong support for revised laws to protect children online

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 10:03 pm

The FTC is widely expected to announce updates to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the coming weeks. For those who don't know, COPPA is a law that requires online companies to gain a parent's permission before obtaining and storing personal information of his or her child.




The law was originally passed in 1998 and implemented in 2000 and the internet has advanced and changed by leaps and bounds since then. Princeton Research Associates International conducted a survey over two weeks in November. It consisted of 2,000 adults being asked questions, and the results highlight the fact that most people support laws like COPPA.


In fact, 90 percent agreed with the COPPA law, when asked. 91 percent believed that advertisers should be prevented from identifying a minor's location via their cellular device. 80 percent of adults were against websites collecting activity reports of children online, even when said reports are anonymous.


"It is clear from these findings that the public supports strong action by the FTC to address the disturbing and widespread practices that threaten the privacy and safety of our nation's children," said Kathryn C. Montgomery, Ph.D, professor of communication at American University.

Continue reading 'Study suggests that the FTC would see strong support for revised laws to protect children online' (full post)

Spotify talks subscriber numbers, includes 5 million worldwide, 1 million US

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 9:31 pm

Spotify is out today talking subscriber and user numbers. Analysts love dealing in these details, trying to predict if a company will survive, etc., but the average consumer doesn't quite care so much. The media, well, we love to blow things out of proportion so that we get more hits.




Spotify has come out and said that they have 5 million subscribers around the world, with 1 million of those subscribers coming from the United States. They also claim to have 20 million worldwide users. Now the part that consumers will be interested in: Metallica joined Spotify at the event to announce that their music is now available on the music streaming service.


"We were ready to jump in as soon as they were ready," Metallica's Lars Ulrich said.


The CEO of Spotify has said that they have paid $500 million to artists, with $250 million of that coming within the last nine months.

Sony produces Xperia flash tool, in beta, to allow unlocked devices to be flashed back to stock ROMs

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Software | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 9:00 pm

Sony is consumer friendly when it comes to flashing Android ROMs. Today continues that trend as the company has just released a tool that will allow Xperia modders with an unlocked bootloader to reflash Sony's stock ROM. The tool, available on Sony's developer site, currently supports the Xperia S, arc, and arc S.




The tool is currently in beta and Sony is working on increasing the number of supported devices. It's a pretty simple task, something that should be easy to people who are messing around with ROMs and bootloaders in the first place. A video how-to is included below for your viewing, and modding, pleasure.

Continue reading 'Sony produces Xperia flash tool, in beta, to allow unlocked devices to be flashed back to stock ROMs' (full post)

Kim Dotcom allowed to sue New Zealand spies thanks to a new court order

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 8:27 pm

Kim Dotcom has been making headlines nearly every week since that January raid on his mansion in New Zealand. It turns out that the Government Communications Security Bureau had illegally spied upon Dotcom and Bram Van der Kolk. The GCSB is not permitted to spy upon New Zealand residents. Oops.




Now, thanks to a High Court ruling, the GCSB is going to be required to share details of their secret and illegal spying upon Dotcom and his co-defendant. The 16-page ruling has a lot of details in it, but the main idea is that the GCSB will become a co-defendant in Dotcom's lawsuit against New Zealand's Attorney General.


The GCSB will also be required to share any info sharing agreements that it had with local police and US authorities. This means that we should find out if the GCSB was passing along information to the US Government or its agencies. "Lets see about US involvement in illegal GCSB spying on New Zealand residents," wrote Dotcom on Twitter. "The truth will come out, in court."

Intel rejects the idea that they are going BGA-only

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 8:02 pm

Intel is getting a lot of press this morning. The latest in the line of news regarding the big blue chip maker is that Intel is completely denying rumors that they are heading to a BGA-only, socketless design for Broadwell and beyond. Intel says that they will support socketed CPUs for the "foreseeable future."




Of course, that's a bit vague, and it's vague on purpose. This way they can recant their statement later if they do decide to go to BGA only by saying it was beyond the foreseeable future. However, the good news here is that the rumor of Broadwell being BGA only should be completely dispelled.


"Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the Enthusiast DIY market," Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder told Maximum PC. "However, Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmap plans at this time, but will disclose more details later per our normal communication process."

ReportTT: Intel to release rumored lower TDP Ivy Bridge chips 1Q2013, we have 'leaked' roadmap

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 7:26 pm

VR-Zone China got their hands on what appears to be a legitimate leaked road map detailing Intel's rumored lower power Ivy Bridge CPUs. The new processors are expected to come in the first quarter of 2013, so we may even see a showing of the new processors at Intel's CES booth or press conference.




Let's start with the bottom chip, as seen above. It will come with the Pentium branding and will feature a max TDP of 10W. Sporting 2 cores and 2 threads, the model will not make use of Turbo Boost or HyperThreading and it only features 2MB of L3 cache. The included graphics are just "Intel HD Graphics."


Moving up the line, they have one Core i3 offering in the form of the i3-3229Y, which is a 13W TDP part. It will feature HyperThreading and will come in a dual-core model clocked at 1.4GHz. One of the two i5 offerings, the i5-3339Y, is a dual-core, HyperThreading part that comes clocked at 1.5GHz, with a max Turbo Boost of 2GHz.


The i5-3439Y is similar, with the only difference being a higher max Turbo Speed of 2.3GHz. Finally, the i7 model, i7-3669Y, will start at the same 1.5GHz, but will Turbo all the way to 2.6GHz, all while remaining within that 13W TDP envelope. It will also come with 4MB of L3 cache.


All of the parts feature a 7W Scenario Design Power, meaning that they will draw only 7W if kept at a cooler 80*C. The TDP is calculated with a processor temperature of 105*C, the highest the chip is allowed to achieve.

Continue reading 'ReportTT: Intel to release rumored lower TDP Ivy Bridge chips 1Q2013, we have 'leaked' roadmap' (full post)

Snapseed available on Android; iOS version drops to free

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 5:19 pm

One of my absolute favorite photo-editing applications, Snapseed, has been used heavily to take my photos to another level as it allows me to edit nearly every aspect of my pictures. And now, it's finally hit the Google Play Store to allow Android users the same amount customization for their photos.




Google+ users will also be pleased to know their social platform of choice has been integrated into Snapseed, which is apparent at the "Google+ Snapseed" welcome screen. You can share your work of art with your Google+ profile, tagging other Google+ members and sharing your photos within your circles.

Continue reading 'Snapseed available on Android; iOS version drops to free ' (full post)

iPhone 5S image possibly leaked through online forum

By: Daniel Perez | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 3:23 pm

Just as we all know the sun will rise and set every single day, we know Apple is always working on a new iPhone. The iPhone 5 released this past September, but already we're hearing of a possible leak of an image of the new iPhone, which as of now is being called the iPhone 5S.




A french website called spotted the images on the iPhone5Parts forums where the supposed iPhone 5S' innards are put side-by-side with the original iPhone 5.

Continue reading 'iPhone 5S image possibly leaked through online forum' (full post)