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TweakTown News Posts - Page 46

Despite protests from cabbies, London rules Uber is perfectly legal

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 5:12 pm

London's transport authority, TFL, has ruled that controversial smartphone taxi app Uber is perfectly legal, despite official protests from the UK capital's iconic black cab drivers.

 

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London cab drivers voiced their concerns about the way smartphones running Uber operated - arguing that, in effect, they counted as meters that actively work out fees as the cars run. But TFL has dismissed these claims. "In relation to the way Uber operates in London, TfL is satisfied that based upon our understanding of the relationship between passenger and Uber London, and between Uber London and Uber BV, registered in Holland, that it is operating lawfully under the terms of the 1988 PHV(L) Act," spokesperson Leon Daniels said in a statement.

 

Even with the all-clear, Uber remains a controversial service, as cab drivers highlighted concerns about the safety of passengers with Uber vehicles. Their collective action in protest of the app brought parts of London to a standstill - but in an own goal, saw Uber user rates shoot up 850 percent.

Around 140 ISPs disconnect persistent Internet pirates in US

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 7:14 am

Anti-piracy firm Rightscorp says more than 140 Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States are disconnecting repeat copyright offenders. Most ISPs send notices to repeat copyright offenders, telling them that protected content, such as music, movies, and other content are being shared.

 

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However, Rightscorp tracks what users are downloading and sharing on BitTorrent, then approaches user ISPs - and most fines are about $20 per shared file. Repeat offenders, however, need swifter punishment according to copyright holders, which is why Rightscorp is speaking with so many U.S. ISPs. It remains difficult to identify how many times a person must be caught sharing files to be considered a "repeat infringer," with companies such as AT&T refusing to unplug users unless a court order is issued.

 

"We push ISPs to suspend accounts of repeat copyright infringers and we currently have over 140 ISPs that are participating in our program, including suspending the accounts of repeat infringers," said Christopher Sabec, Rightscorp CEO, when speaking about the current state of copyright infringement.

Mobile technology use in the air has not increased since federal laws

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 5:15 am

Just 35.9 percent of airline passengers are using mobile technology during flights, not a significant increase since passengers can keep devices on during takeoff and landing, according to a report released by the DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

 

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The figure is just slightly higher than the 35.3 percent of fliers using their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices during analyzed points in 2013. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) still doesn't allow passengers to make phone calls or send text messages while in flight - but it's a debated topic that could be changed in the future.

 

"Fliers often have the devices on their lap only to be told they cannot connect with work or friends," said Joseph Schwieterman, Chaddick Institution Director, in a statement. "That's frustrating."

Continue reading 'Mobile technology use in the air has not increased since federal laws' (full post)

Battlefield 4 Premium members can chomp on Dragon's Teeth on July 15

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 4:41 am

Battlefield 4 Premium members will get their chompers on the upcoming Dragon's Teeth DLC on July 15. The news was announced from a now-deleted tweet from Origin's main Twitter account.

 

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The tweet mentioned a July 15 released date in its promotion for buying Battlefield 4 Premium with 20% off. We should expect a general release date of July 29 for the rest of the community, as the Battlefield website mentions a two week head start for Premium members with the new DLC.

Nintendo investor says he doesn't 'understand video games'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 3:22 am

During Nintendo's annual investors Q&A, one investor admitted that he did not understand video games. Considering he owns shares in one of the most beloved video game companies in the world, it's quite strange to hear.

 

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Here's what the investor said: "I do not understand video games and I even feel angry because, at Nintendo's shareholders' meetings, the shareholders always discuss things relating to video games or such childish topics as "what the future of video games should be," while I, for one, was flabbergasted that Mr. Iwata continues to hold his position although he had said that he would resign if the company's performance were bad".

 

"I hope that Nintendo's shareholders' meeting will become an opportunity where the shareholders discuss the company's business operations from the viewpoints of capital gain and dividends", the investor added. But don't worry, Nintendo executives were quick to fire back, with Genyo Takeda and Tatsumi Kimishima replying.

Continue reading 'Nintendo investor says he doesn't 'understand video games'' (full post)

Samsung attacks iPhone in its latest ad, calls users 'wall huggers'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 2:03 am

In the company's latest ad for the Galaxy S5, Samsung takes another swipe at Apple and its iPhone, this time concentrating on the lack of battery life and the inability to change the battery. The ad is smart, getting everything said in less than 60 seconds.

 

 

As you can see, Samsung takes to an airport, seeing users charge their iPhone's while S5 users enjoy the luxury of longer battery life on their phone thanks to Samsung's power saving modes, as well as the Galaxy S5 having a user replaceable battery. Not a single iPhone has had a user replaceable battery, or battery saving modes, but iPhone users do have the ability to turn off 3G/4G and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to save battery life.

Continue reading 'Samsung attacks iPhone in its latest ad, calls users 'wall huggers'' (full post)

Oculus Rift sales stopped in China over 'extreme' reselling by some

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 6, 2014 1:03 am

Oculus VR has halted all sales of its Rift DK2 unit in China after the Facebook-owned VR startup discovered people doing "extreme" reselling. Pre-orders of the DK2 unit have also been stopped.

 

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In a statement, Oculus VR said: "We need to make sure that we are doing what we can to make sure that resellers that are looking to flip our product for a profit are not taking stock away from legitimate developer purchases globally. Our product, in its current form, is a developer kit, meant for developers that develop VR content. We are looking into alternative ways to make sure that our development kits are getting into legitimate developer hands in China".

 

There's no exact numbers available, so we don't know how many Rift's were being resold. But for the company to completely halt the sale of its VR headset in a big market, this must have been quite the deal.

In May, spammers found success sending education-related emails

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 5, 2014 7:59 pm

May spam email traffic averaged 69.8 percent, a 1.3 percent drop from April, but security experts continue to tell Internet users to be weary of sometimes rather clever spam. There was a large amount of mass mailings for schools and universities, along with "offers" for student loan repayment plans also popular phishing techniques.

 

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Email search sites were the most popular targets (32.2 percent) ahead of social media websites (23.9 percent), and financial and payment organizations were in the No. 3 spot (12.8 percent). Spammers rely on unsuspecting and gullible Internet users to click compromising links that install malware - or otherwise steal credentials.

 

"Spammers are constantly thinking up new tricks or turning to old favorites to catch out their victims," said Tatyana Shcherbakova, Kaspersky Lab Senior Spam Analyst, in a statement. "It's not just about advertising: this month we came across a number of mass mailings imitating official notifications from various services and companies. The attachments in these emails contained malware from the Andromeda family. This family consist of backdoors that allow attackers to silently control infected computers, which often become part of a botnet."

Google bans porn-related content on its AdWords ad network

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 5, 2014 6:25 pm

Google has banned pornographic material from its AdWords advertising network, but dating websites and adult entertainment are still approved. The popular search engine company already had policies in place limiting adult content, and advertisers are now looking for rival networks to utilize in the future.

 

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It's unknown what type of realistic impact this will have, because the more popular "Tube" porn websites and webcam model services use personal websites, organic search results, and word of mouth to help generate new traffic.

 

"Beginning in the coming weeks, we'll no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sex acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital; anal, and oral sexual activity," according to a statement sent to an advertiser.

Continue reading 'Google bans porn-related content on its AdWords ad network' (full post)

U.S. Army embracing autonomous vehicles, learning from Google, others

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 5, 2014 4:59 pm

The United States Army hopes to see it soldiers utilize autonomous vehicles that will help keep them safer while on the battlefield. In additional to heightened situational awareness, autonomous vehicles can help increase safety with vision enhancements, tip-over warnings, collision avoidance and obstacle detection while driving.

 

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Using the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center's 30-Year Ground Vehicle Strategy's autonomous technology, new generation military vehicles can become optionally-manned. Government contractor Lockheed-Martin is one company developing autonomous vehicles, and presented the following scenario: If a patrol comes under enemy fire, the autonomous features can activate so soldiers are able to focus on defending against the attack.

 

"These are disruptive ideas and capabilities," said Dr. Paul D. Rogers, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) director, in a recent interview. "We're about harvesting their technologies and integrating them into a package that offers operational relevance to the warfighter, capabilities they don't have today."

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