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TweakTown News Posts - Page 42

Google Glass sales stop, as company revamps wearables offering

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 6:49 pm

Google has halted sales of its Glass wearable system, but said there is still interest in launching the smart glasses to consumers again in the future. The company has struggled to woo app developers and plans to transition a new department to take over for the Google X division that initially conducted research for Glass.

 

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Despite halting Glass sales, Google pledged to help continue support companies and consumers using the product - including police agencies and other major testers.

 

The first version of Glass was released in April 2013 to a small number of testers, available through the Explorer program for $1,500. About one year later, Google released Glass to the public, but analysts said sales were small, as price, privacy concerns, and a lack of apps limited interest.

Marriott reverses course, won't block guests' Wi-Fi access

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 6:32 pm

Marriott was fined $600,000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for blocking Wi-Fi hotspot access at its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The company said it was concerned about rogue wireless hotspots, and flooded guests' Wi-Fi networks by sending disassociation packets.

 

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Instead of being able to use their own Wi-Fi hotspots, visitors had to pay up to $1,000 per device for access to Marriott's Internet service.

 

"Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels," a Marriott spokesperson said in a statement. "Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels."

More than 1 in 10 developers creating eSports-themed game title

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 6:15 pm

Game developers have noticed the rise of eSports, as 12 percent of game developers say they are creating a game they believe fits the description as an eSport, according to the GDC State of the Industry report. Game studios describe a potential eSport as one that is a "competitive, skill-based multiplayer game.

 

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Furthermore, 79 percent of survey respondents believe eSports will be a long-term, sustainable market, especially with Twitch and other broadcasting competitions making viewership even easier.

 

"Creating a game as an eSport causes it to become a hobby and an interest outside the act of playing it," a game developer said in the GDC "State of the Industry Survey." "This increased engagement is one way of allowing a game to become part of a player's life in ways that [don't] require them to always be investing their time into playing it."

Microsoft wireless keyboards targeted by new $10 DIY sniffing device

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 4:42 pm

A security researcher has developed a USB wall charger that can intercept, log, and decrypt signals sent from Microsoft's wireless keyboards. The KeySweeper was developed by Samy Kamkar, a giving sort, who has released instructions on how to build the device online.

 

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The KeySweeper can be built for as little as $10 and simply appears to be a typical, and functional, USB wall charger. The charger monitors all Microsoft keyboards in range. The transmissions are encrypted, but the researcher has found multiple bugs that enable easy decryption. The design also includes optional features, such as an internal rechargeable battery that keeps the device working even after being unplugged, and SMS notification when keywords are typed into the keyboard.

 

There is a detailed build log on GitHub, and also a video on YouTube. Microsoft has fired back by insisting that all models manufactured after 2011 feature AES encryption, which isn't decoded by the system, but Samy Kamkar has recently purchased a vulnerable model from Best Buy last month.

Continue reading 'Microsoft wireless keyboards targeted by new $10 DIY sniffing device' (full post)

Microsoft's Windows 10 will also feature 32-bit version, but why?

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 3:51 pm

Microsoft's head of the Windows Insider program recently extolled the virtues of 32-bit Windows on Twitter and announced that Microsoft will be providing 32-bit versions of Windows 10. This is surprising considering that 92.8% of new Windows computers utilize 64-bit operating systems.

 

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32-bit operating systems pigeonhole users to 4GB of user addressable memory, not just RAM. Many GPU's feature much more than 1GB of RAM, and this drains the user addressable memory pool, so subtract a portion of video memory (it's not a direct 1:1 ratio) from the total RAM you can actually use. Add in PCI and ACPI and the pool starts to get pretty shallow, so why oh why is Microsoft still moving forward with 32-bit?

 

Of course Microsoft has to consider all of the existing computers that run 32-bit versions of the operating system, which are estimated to be roughly 71 million. This is based off of computers that are currently receiving patches, but it could expand into the hundreds of millions. Considering that Windows is deployed into over a billion computers this still seems like a small fraction of the user base, and with the vast majority of systems being 64-bit compatible it is interesting that Microsoft will still develop 32-bit versions.

Continue reading 'Microsoft's Windows 10 will also feature 32-bit version, but why?' (full post)

Nyko unveils Data Bank for PlayStation 4 - up to 6TB for the PS4

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 3:04 pm

We demand better graphics and more immersive gameplay, but that comes at a cost. As video games progress the amount of storage they require is exploding. Some current games can chew up to 40GB each, and this can grow even more with DLC. Nyko has the bases covered with a new innovative enclosure that snaps onto the top of the PS4. The internal PS4 drive is limited by capacity, and users can upgrade it, but it requires a 2.5" drive. These are limited in capacity, and higher in cost, compared to their larger 3.5" brethren.

 

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The Data Bank supports 3.5" drives, which can be between $40-$50 cheaper than 2.5" models. 3.5" drives currently top out at 6TB for consumer models, and heftier capacities are on the horizon. The Nyko Data Bank will retail between $30 and $40 when it is released. The Nyko Data Bank snaps to the top of the PS4 and is connected via a pass-through power cable on the rear of the unit. The design mimics the PS4's aesthetics, but it does add a large component to the top of the console.

Continue reading 'Nyko unveils Data Bank for PlayStation 4 - up to 6TB for the PS4' (full post)

Ed makes speech of a lifetime with a little help from Microsoft Lumia

By: TweakTown Staff | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 2:01 pm

The groom's speech at a wedding comes with many challenges; balancing the jokes, quirky anecdotes and grand gestures of love, and all to be delivered in front of the most important people in your life. That pressure wasn't quite enough for Ed, a 28 year-old accountant from London.

 

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In the ultimate declaration of love, Ed made a resolution this year to deliver his speech in his fiancé - Mariana's native Spanish. The only problem was that Ed didn't speak a word of Spanish. With the wedding fast approaching Ed knew time was running out...

 

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Microsoft Lumia had discovered that, like Ed, 36% of people around the globe would have also loved to "learn something new" as their 2014 resolution*. So when Ed submitted his resolution to Microsoft Lumia as part of the #MakeItHappen campaign, they came straight to his rescue.

 

Track Ed's journey as he embarks on a crash course in Spanish with the help of Microsoft Lumia, Skype and Duolingo; all to wow his family and friends in a heart-warming video:

 

 

Post sponsored by Microsoft

Continue reading 'Ed makes speech of a lifetime with a little help from Microsoft Lumia' (full post)

James Cameron's 'Avatar' sequels delayed by another year

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 5:48 am

Legendary Director James Cameron originally planned to release three sequels to his 2009 sci-fi hit 'Avatar' starting from 2016 onwards, but with filming yet to commence, he's announced that the release date has had to shift back a year.

 

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Speaking to ABC News, Cameron admitted that the plan was perhaps "too ambitious", stating:

 

"There's a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don't get when you're making a stand-alone film... We're writing three simultaneously. And we've done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We're not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that."

Continue reading 'James Cameron's 'Avatar' sequels delayed by another year' (full post)

Stormtrooper armor saves 'Star Wars' cosplayer from deadly snake bite

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 4:20 am

Many 'Star Wars' cosplayers are accused of having no life, but for one member of the international fan-based organisation, the 501st Legion, his self-made Stormtrooper costume has probably just saved his life.

 

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According to ABC News, Scott Loxley, who started his journey in 2013 to walk 15,000 kilometers across Australia to raise money for the Monash Children's Hospital in Victoria, Australia was attacked in the outback by a deadly king brown snake, but the snake's fangs failed to penetrate the hardened plastic exterior. Loxley said;

 

"I could feel the teeth on the plastic scraping but the armor actually stopped something. So all those people who rag on the old Stormtroopers, [saying] 'you know, the armor doesn't do this, it doesn't do that'... it stopped the snake bite and probably saved my life today."

Continue reading 'Stormtrooper armor saves 'Star Wars' cosplayer from deadly snake bite' (full post)

The Google modular Ara smartphone is coming! ...To Puerto Rico?

By: Chris Smith | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 15, 2015 4:14 am

I bet you were excited at the first half of the title, with the second half feeling something like the love of your life telling you that she's marrying your best friend Jack. Google has announced their limited market pilot release of the much anticipated modular Ara smartphone and it's going to be the small United States island territory of Puerto Rico.

 

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Why Puerto Rico, you ask. According to Google, its population is very diverse when it comes to the smartphone market, contains a lot of phone carriers and is a "gateway to the world" in regards to internet - due to it being a junction point for underwater cables. There are further small benefits like same-day shipping all over the island and some designated free trade zones.

 

When asked if the Ara launch will be coming to the rest of the globe soon, or at all, Google's ATAP director Regina Dugan simply stated "we don't know the answer to that question."

Continue reading 'The Google modular Ara smartphone is coming! ...To Puerto Rico?' (full post)

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