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Facebook's new gift card is reusable and works at multiple locations

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 10:32 pm

Facebook, as a way to remain relevant and continue collecting data, has launched the Facebook Card, which is essentially a reusable gift card that can hold balances at multiple different retailers. Facebook benefits from this by being able to collect real-world purchase information about users.

 

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Instead of just featuring a single balance that can be deducted from at the different retailers, the card will store separate amounts for each location. For instance, you can have $10 at Target, $5 at Jamba Juice, and $25 at Olive Garden on the card at one time.

 

"We're starting this early rollout as another way for people to instantly send their friends gifts through Facebook," a company spokesperson told CNET. "Each gift is a set value at a particular retailer, chosen by the sender."

 

Currently, only Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target are supported by the card, though that will likely change fairly quickly. The Facebook Card is a natural extension to Facebook's whole Gifts product, which allows users to send friends and family real-world gifts on birthdays and other occasions, rather than just writing on their wall.

Motorola job posting looking for X-Phone product manager

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 10:02 pm

A job posting by Motorola directly attacks the X-Phone rumor. The posting is looking for a Senior Director of Product Management to work on the X-Phone project. The LinkedIn job posting has since been pulled, but people managed to screen grab it before that could happen. Take a look for yourself.

 

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There's a few issues with this job posting. First, if they are hiring someone to work on the X-Phone now, it would indicate that development is still early. This means that rumors of a device being ready to launch as early as Google's I/O conference are likely incorrect. Of course, going off of a job posting is quite difficult to do, so this could be wrong.

Temple Run 2 a smashing success, sets new mobile game download record

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 9:33 pm

Temple Run 2, the sequel to the smash hit Temple Run, has set a new mobile game download record. Popularity for the game has allowed it to easy smash the last record, which was held by Rovio's Angry Birds Space. The record in question is how long it took to reach 50 million downloads. Angry Birds Space did it in 35 days.

 

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So, how long do you think it took Temple Run 2 to cross that same threshold? If you guessed 13 days, you'd be spot on. That's right, Temple Run 2 was downloaded 50 million times in just 13 days, beating the previous record in just about one-third of the time it took.

 

It should be noted that Angry Birds Space is a paid game, costing $0.99, while Temple Run 2 is free. This could have helped Temple Run 2's adoption numbers, though by how much is up for speculation.

 

"Temple Run has evolved into something so much bigger than us," says Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi. "The game has performed beyond our wildest dreams, and we are thrilled that gamers and fans have embraced Temple Run 2 in such a short period of time."

Apple discontinuing Mac Pro sales in Europe after March 1 due to regulatory standards

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 9:02 pm

The Mac Pro will no longer be sold in Europe after March 1. The issue apparently stems from new regulatory standards that Apple's Mac Pro fails to meet. It's not clear which standard isn't met by the machine, but Apple apparently doesn't want to update it to meet the standards.

 

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Resellers will be able to continue selling the Mac Pro beyond March 1, though stock will not be replenished. Final orders for Mac Pro units must be placed with Apple before February 18 so that they can be delivered before March 1. The following letter was sent to retailers:

 

As of March 1, 2013, Apple will no longer sell Mac Pro in EU, EU candidate and EFTA countries because these systems are not compliant with Amendment 1 of regulation IEC 60950-1, Second Edition which becomes effective on this date. Apple resellers can continue to sell any remaining inventory of Mac Pro after March 1. Apple will take final orders for Mac Pro from resellers up until February 18th for shipment before March 1 2013. Countries outside of the EU are not impacted and Mac Pro will continue to be available in those areas.

 

Apple will likely make sure the promised refresh of the Mac Pro, coming later this year, will meet the European Union's new standards. It's likely not cost effective to redesign the current machine to meet the specifications, as the Mac Pro doesn't sell in high quantities.

Amazon.com down for some, 'Service Unavailable' message displayed [UPDATED]

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 8:22 pm

Today has not been a good day for websites. First Twitter has issues, and now it appears that Amazon has gone down, at least for some users. When visiting Amazon.com, some users are presented with the screen below. The error returned by Amazon is a 503, meaning the server behind Amazon is down for maintenance or is overloaded.

 

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It is possible that a DDoS is being orchestrated against Amazon, though there is no confirmation of this. The outage appears to have started around 11:40a.m. PT and is currently still unavailable. We'll let you know when we hear more about this. Meanwhile, let us know if you can access Amazon.com.

 

Update: It appears that all is back to normal with Amazon. Let us know if you are still having trouble accessing the site.

Twitter experiences global outage

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Micro-blogging site, Twitter, experienced a global outage today. The site first went down just after 10 a.m. Eastern Time for most users. Twitter confirmed that the site was back up and running normally at 12:50 p.m., meaning that the outage lasted nearly three hours.

 

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"We apologize to users who were affected by this, and we're working to ensure that similar issues do not occur," the post reads.

 

For almost the entire first hour of the outage, Twitter was inaccessible to nearly every user worldwide. Most users who attempted to access Twitter during the outage received the typical fail whale message that "Tiwtter is over capacity." Some users, however, saw the newer "Something is technically wrong" screen, which includes an icon of a robot missing a claw.

 

North American users reportedly regained access to Twitter shortly before 11 a.m., so the downtime was not as long for US users. It's not clear what the cause of the issue was, though Twitter is said to be working on fixing it so that similar issues don't occur.

Grand Theft Auto V release pushed back until late summer 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 7:44 pm

Today, Rockstar Games announced that its long anticipated Grand Theft Auto V will not be releasing this spring as previously thought. Citing the need for more development time, Rockstar said that we should see the game available for purchase September 17, 2013.

 

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Grand Theft Auto V is being billed as the "largest game world Rockstar has ever created." It takes players back to the beloved Los Santos, where players will assume the identities of three protagonists and be able to switch between at will.

 

Grand Theft Auto V continues to push the series forward in new ways; Rockstar North are creating our deepest, most beautiful and most immersive world yet. We are very excited for people to learn more about the game in the coming months.

TweakTown sit down video with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan discussing Edge gaming tablet

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 7:32 pm

Taipei Game Show 2013 - Yesterday during the Taipei Game Show we were given the opportunity to sit down with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan and talk about the upcoming Edge gaming tablet.

 

 

Min has recently returned from the United States where his company saw the successful announcement of Razer Edge, (formerly codenamed Project Fiona, first unveiled at CES 2012) at CES in Las Vegas, a product which the Singaporean hopes will find a home in gamers houses in the US "in the next couple of weeks". Gamers in other countries around the world will need to wait a little longer as Razer staggers its launch for this product in order to keep up with demand.

 

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The Razer Edge will sell as two models including the base model and the Pro model. The base model that will sell for $999 ships with Core i5 CPU, GEFORCE GT640 GPU, 4GB RAM and a 64GB SSD. The Pro model will sell for $1299 and it ships with a faster Core i7 CPU, GEFORCE 640MLE GPU, 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. It's a rather unique product in that it's not just a tablet, but with the add-ons it can become a portable console, a home console that can be connected to your TV for a larger gaming experience, and for productivity, it can be turned into a PC with the docking keyboard.

 

Watch the video above as Min does a great job giving us a full personal introduction to the Razer Edge and just what it's capable of doing.

Continue reading 'TweakTown sit down video with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan discussing Edge gaming tablet' (full post)

Windows Phone 7.8 begins rolling out to Nokia Lumia smartphones

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 7:23 pm

The much anticipated Windows Phone 7.8 update has begun to rollout to Lumia handsets, says Nokia. So far the update has been confirmed for the Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900, with Windows Phone 7.8 arriving over the coming weeks on all the handsets.

 

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"The Windows Phone 7.8 rollout started last night in the UK, so people started getting notifications from operators; it's a phased rollout throughout February, but should be finished by the end of the month", said Nokia in an Interview. Unfortunately, updating your Lumia is not as simple as it sounds. Users must connect the phone to a PC and use the Zune desktop software to push the update to the phone.

 

Nokia's Windows Phone 8 devices will also see an update to Windows Phone 8 Portico. The Windows Phone 8 update offers up a number of enhancements such as improvements to the messaging system, the ability to send text replies when you can't take an incoming call, tweaks to the IE browser, improved Wi-Fi connectivity and plenty of others. Unlike the Windows Phone 7.8 update, Lumia 820 and 920 owners get the luxury of an Over-the-Air update.

Last chance to upgrade to Windows 8 on the cheap, sale prices end today

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 31, 2013 6:39 pm

If you have been putting off that upgrade to Windows 8, today is your last chance to do so before the price increase takes effect tomorrow. Since Redmond released the next-generation operating system back in October, the upgrade price has been $39.99, and after today that price increases drastically.

 

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As of tomorrow, upgrading to Windows 8 will cost you $199.99, which equates to a 400% price hike. If you have been on the fence about upgrading, now is definitely the time to make the decision.

 

In addition to the $199.99 Windows 8 Pro license, Microsoft is offering a regular Windows 8 upgrade for $119.99 which can be upgraded to Pro for $99.99 at a later date. Right now Windows 8 Pro will let you add Media Center for free, but tomorrow and forward, Media Center will cost you about $10.

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