During the second quarter of this year, the global smartphone market surpassed the 300 million units shipped, a major milestone as more entry-level devices are released. Google Android and Apple iOS market share accounted for 96.4 percent of the market, with Android capturing 84 percent of the market. A full 301.3 million smartphone units were shipped during the extremely busy second quarter.
The iOS market share dropped from 13 percent down to 11.7 percent year-over-year, as iPhones tend to be more expensive than Android phones. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Windows Phone still can't muster up a real challenge to its rivals, but is the No. 3 smartphone platform with 2.5 percent market share.
"With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," said Ramon Llamas, IDC Mobile Phone team Research Manager, in a press statement. "During the second quarter, 58.6 percent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices."
AMD has released the new Catalyst 14.7 RC3 drivers, which no longer support Windows 8 - something that AMD hasn't supported since the Catalyst 14.6 Beta driver. AMD recommends that Windows 8 users upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free, so that they can take advantage of the new features found in the Catalyst 14.7 RC3 drivers.
The new Catalyst 14.7 RC3 drivers offer "display interface enhancements to improve 4K monitor performance and reduce flickering" with the Radeon R9 290, R9 270 and HD 7800 Series all benefiting from this. The new drivers also offer some perofrmance improvements at 4K when gaming on Assassin's Creed IV, with up to 93% more performance with CrossFire.
You can download the new Catalyst 14.7 RC3 drivers here.
Hackers can compromise a smartphone user and eavesdrop by using the device's internal gyroscope, according to a study from Stanford University and the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems technology company. Instead of directly listening to a phone conversation, this is remote eavesdrop exploit so users can be snooped on when in the immediate area of a device.
"Whenever you grant anyone access to sensors on a device, you're going to have unintended consequences," said Dan Boneh, Stanford security professor, in a statement to Wired. "In this case the unintended consequence is that they can pick up not just phone vibrations, but air vibrations."
The gyroscope in smartphones use a small plate that vibrates around 200 hertz, which is fast enough to recognize human voices. Using customized speech recognition software allowed the researchers to accurately determine 65 percent of "numeric digits" of a specific speaker. Eavesdropping levels aren't quite the same as using a compromised smartphone's microphone, but shows the potential threat level of current data security efforts.
When the world found out about Silent Hills, we didn't know what to expect exactly. A return to the usual mechanics of Silent Hill, or something completely new? Well, luckily there is a "Playable Teaser" available for the PS4, providing just that - an amazing tease of things to come.
As you can see, Hideo Kojima wasn't lying when he said Silent Hills would make you 's**t your pants'. This teaser looks absolutely incredible, almost to the point where it could sell PlayStation 4 consoles on its own. Now imagine this game working with Project Morpheus, Sony's VR headset. Better yet, Kojima has announced that Metal Gear Solid 5 is coming to the PC, so imagine Oculus Rift support if it arrived on the PC.
I had actually found this walkthrough on Reddit, with one of the comments on there from 'EvenArrantzier' where he said: "I've got a sweet 110 inch projection screen and surround sound. Six 15 inch speakers spread out around the ceiling. It was fucking perfect. I'd hear the noises all around me. They really did a great job with the sound. I played for three hours with two of my friends, in a completely dark room. We spent the night screaming and yelping with fear. It didn't become any less scary despite knowing the layout and mechanics of the game. It remained as unnerving and frightening as the first ten minutes. And not a word of a lie, I swear to fuck, at one point my friend yelped, farted, and had to go to the bathroom to make sure he hadn't shit his pants. We all agree that demo was the single most terrifying thing any of us had ever experienced".
Apple is reportedly going to begin moving personal iCloud data of Chinese users onto servers that are located inside the country's borders. The decision was made in an effort to make data access faster and more reliable for Apple customers, and the company has partnered with China Telecom.
"Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously," Apple noted in a statement sent to Reuters. "We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China. All data stored with our providers is encrypted. China Telecom does not have access to the content."
The encryption keys will not be located in China and China Telecom will not have access to them, according to sources.
Cybercriminals successfully breached Albertson's and SuperValu, which are two of the largest and most popular grocery store chains in the United States. The massive data breach also impacts their umbrella companies, including Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Star Market, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Shop 'N Save, Hornbacher's, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.
The SuperValu breach might have affected customers between June 22 and July 17 in Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia and Missouri. It's unknown how many Albertson's customers might be affected from the data breach.
"The safety of our customers' personal information is a top priority for us," said Sam Duncan, SuperValu President and CEO, in a statement. "The intrusion was identified by our internal team, it was quickly contained, and we have had no evidence of any misuse of any customer data. I regret any inconvenience that this may cause our customers but want to assure them that it is safe to shop in our stores."
Following a data breach suffered by Rady Children's Hospital in June 2013, a mother has filed a lawsuit against the company related to a security breach that led her daughter's medical records to be exposed.
The Rady data breach occurred when an employee emailed a spreadsheet containing patient admittance records from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 to four job applicants. The records included patient names, birth dates, primary medical diagnoses, medical record numbers, insurance carrier information, and admittance and discharge dates.
"This is not one or two records dropped in the parking lot," said David A. Miller, an attorney representing the mother, in a statement to the media. "The people they gave this information to didn't even work there. They were job applicants."
Following a public investigation and pressure from activist groups, Apple has banned the use of two dangerous cleaning chemicals linked to leukemia and potential nerve damage. The use of benzene and n-hexane in its Chinese facilities drew anger from groups such as China Labor Watch and Green America - 18 of the company's factories weren't using the chemicals, while four were. However, the four factories were reportedly using the chemical solutions within safe limits, but decided to impose the ban anyway.
Apple was called out in the past when a factory used N-hexane, which evaporates faster than alcohol, reportedly led to 137 employees being hospitalized.
"This is doing everything we can think of to do to crack down on chemical exposures and to be responsive to concerns," said Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of environmental initiatives, in a statement to the AP. "We think it's really important that we show some leadership and really look toward the future by trying to use greener chemicals."
Both Microsoft and Sony were reportedly running some game demos at Gamescom 2014 using powerful custom-built PCs to display console games. Live game demonstrations of "Ori" and "Blind Forest" crashed to the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, and the PCs appear to be powered by NVIDIA instead of AMD GPUs, according to reports.
It's not uncommon for game studios, even when promoting console games, to use PCs to help enhance the demonstration experience for attendees. However, even if the game is available on all next-generation consoles and the PC, gamers will often call out the studio if graphics and gameplay don't replicate what was originally shown to them.
During public demoes, companies are tasked with providing lightning-fast gameplay mixed with pretty graphics to entice gamers and media. It seems both companies have been caught doing this over the past few years, eager to demonstrate their latest and greatest console games - but using PCs instead of their own products to get the job done.
If you were one of the gaming fans that likes the idea of Microsoft making shows based on video games and other properties, you were also one of the folks disappointed when Microsoft decided to shutter Xbox Entertainment Studios (XES). Word has now surfaced that Microsoft has held preliminary talks with Warner Bros. That could see Xbox Entertainment Studios live on.
If the talks work out, XES would end up being a stand-alone entity based at Warner Bros. studios. Word is that Warner would want to merge XES with Machinima, the YouTube network it already owns a stake in. The talks are at a very early stage says those familiar with the deal.
A spokesman for Warner said the studio was "constantly having preliminary discussions regarding business opportunities with numerous companies at any given time. A conversation is just that - a conversation."