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TweakTown News Posts - Page 47

Tech loving country of Japan still prefers CDs over online music

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Sep 24, 2014 1:35 am

Japan might be one of the most tech-centric countries in the world, but music executives are perplexed as digital music sales continue to slide. The online music market reached close to $1 billion in 2009, but has dropped down to $400 million in 2013, according to statistics from the Recording Industry Association of Japan. In fact, 85 percent of music sales in Japan were on CDs and not digital music, which must frustrate music executives.


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It's unknown why Japanese music listeners prefer CDs over digital music, but some industry analysts believe it could be related to the country's "protectionist business climate." Also, online music services Spotify and Rdio don't have a presence in Japan, but could help turn the tide once they make it to Japan.


When the decision makers finally feel that the heat is intense enough that they have to do something different, they will," said Ken Parks, Spotify chief content officer. "I think we are approaching that moment in Japan."

Some iPhone 6 Plus housing cases bending after casual use by owners

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 24, 2014 12:35 am

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones have become an instant hit since their release earlier this month, but the long, thin metal phone casing is bending. It's unknown if this is a serious problem that all iPhone 6 owners will need to worry about, or if it is a small number of early adopters suffering from bent cases.


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The iPhone 6 pre-orders topped 4 million units sold during the first day, with 10 million units sold in just the first three days of availability. It's an impressive product launch for two devices that seemingly underwhelmed everyone but Apple customers - but it seems like there have been headaches every step of the way.

FTC shuts down Butterfly Labs, a supposed bitcoin mining company

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 11:35 pm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down Butterfly Labs, a bitcoin-mining company that tricked users into purchasing machines that would produce bitcoins. The supposed "bitcoin-mining" devices cost from $149 to $29,899, along with a cloud-based service that tricked customers into paying for server farm computing time.


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"We often see that when a new and little-understood opportunity like bitcoin presents itself, scammers will find ways to capitalize on the public's excitement and interest," said Jessica Rich, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection director, in a press statement. "We're pleased the court granted our request to halt this operation, and we look forward to putting the company's ill-gotten gains back in the hands of consumers."


The opportunity to mine, own, and use bitcoins as a digital currency - with no federal or central bank support - has paved the way for cybercriminals to trick and steal from regular users. The current value of bitcoin is slightly under $500 per bitcoin, but peaked at more than $1,000 each last November, and continues to prove to be rather volatile.

After seven years in development, Blizzard cancels Titan MMO

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 10:45 pm

Blizzard Entertainment developers have decided to cancel Titan, a massively multiplayer online game that has been in development for more than seven years. Story and franchise development was being lost, despite originally starting game production for the appropriate reasons.


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"We didn't find the fun, we didn't find the passion," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard co-founder and president, in a statement to the media. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the new game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.""


Blizzard tends to take its time developing video games, and Titan joined the canceled ranks of StarCraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures. The company's World of Warcraft continues to prove to be a successful cash cow for Blizzard, and developers apparently don't want to shift focus to new MMO-related projects.

eBay members facing phishing attacks, security experts not impressed

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 9:05 pm

Auction website eBay has been urged to take action against more than 100 fraudulent listings that reportedly put users at risk, tricking them to turn over personal information. Cybercriminals hijacked accounts, targeting users with 100 percent feedback over hundreds of transactions, as bank account information was requested.


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It appears the problem stems from eBay's ability to give customers the choice to embed Flash and Javascript data into their auction listings. It's not uncommon to use these page style designs to enhance listings and help draw in potential bidders. However, security experts have long warned that malicious code could be listed on the site, using cross-site scripting (XSS) tactics to compromise unsuspecting users.


eBay was hacked in May and auction website users were urged to change their passwords as soon as possible - and yet another security threat will only hamper the company further.

Apple says it won't shut down Beats Music, but may revamp it instead

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 5:05 pm

Apple reportedly won't shut down the Beats Music online streaming service, despite only having around 250,000 paid subscribers. Earlier reports indicated Apple would simply shutter Beats Music, the online music streaming service it acquired alongside the popular Beats speaker, earbud and headphone manufacturer. Apple ultimately paid $3 billion to purchase the company founded by rap mogul Dr. Dre and music industry veteran Jimmy Iovine.


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If true, it will be curious to see how Apple decides to change the service, as Spotify currently has 30 million free users and 10 million paid subscribers. It's possible Beats Music and iTunes Radio could be merged together, instead of the company trying to run both services together.


If the Beats Music brand is to survive longer, it's surprising there was nothing related to the Beats app being pre-installed with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

AOC announces 24" gaming monitor using NVIDIA G-SYNC technology

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 12:17 pm

Television and monitor manufacturer AOC has announced a 24" gaming monitor using the NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, in an effort to give owners an added advantage while gaming. The NVIDIA G-SYNC technology was introduced in October 2013, as gamers hoped to see video lag and other issues limited. The monitor has a $449 price tag, possibly pricing casual gamers out of the market.


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"This advanced AOC gaming display (2460PG) gives competitive gamers a serious edge so they can focus on the game without the distraction of screen tearing, ghosting or latency," according to AOC in a press release. "This means gamers receive critical images, such as enemy movement, on screen the moment they are rendered for greater accuracy and a serious gaming advantage over competitors."


The 24" monitor offers 300 cd/m brightness, 5 ms response time, 16.7 million display colors, and a recommended resolution of 1920 x 1080. An integrated DisplayPort connector includes five USB ports that support USB 3.0, the ergonomic stand allows enhanced gaming comfort for extended periods of gaming.

Young people flock to smartphones and tablets over other electronics

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 10:19 am

The use of smartphones and tablets outpace any other consumer electronic devices in the household for younger people, according to research published by The NPD Group. In 2014 smartphone ownership among young people aged from 4-14 reached 71 percent, a 16 percent increase from 2012.


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Consumer electronic pricing has become more affordable, especially for budget, entry-level smartphones and tablets - and company customer support has also proven to consumers. Just Samsung and Apple are considered when it comes to mobile devices, but there are multiple other major OEMs expanding in the market.


"Technology devices are as much staples for American families as traditional toys, perhaps more so considering their ability to engage with almost any member of the family," said Juli Lennett, The NPD Group Toys division president, in a statement. "Marketing smartphones and tablets for family use, rather than the traditional primary user, and offering pricing and payment options to meet the needs of families, will engage this audience even further."

USB Type-C connectors will support DisplayPort converter cables

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 8:42 am

USB Type-C is on its way, but what else will the USB connector have to offer us? With a new agreement struck between the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), we will see USB Type-C supporting DisplayPort, and video.


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VESA explains that this new feature is being called the DisplayPort Alternative Mode, or Alt Mode: "Using the DisplayPort Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power-over a single cable. The DisplayPort Alt Mode can also drive adaptors that support the huge installed base of existing DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays".


Better yet, the cables and connections can also connect a DisplayPort device using a reversible USB Type-C to DisplayPort converter cable, which will open up a slew of doors for connectivity options.

Goat Simulator on iOS and Android passes 100,000 sales in five days

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 7:31 am

Goat Simulator launched onto iOS and Android just five days ago, but has racked up over 100,000 sales so far. 100,000 sales might not seem like much in the shadow that is Destiny with $325 million in sales so far, but for a game where about... goats, it sure is impressive.


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Armin Ibrisagic from Coffee Stain Studios, the developer behind the game, wrote on the Coffee Stain blog: "It feels really amazing that so many people like our game! We're also really happy that we can now reach out to even more goat fans, and that people without a computer can now also enjoy the life of being a goat!"


Looking to the future of Goat Simulator, the developer is aiming on crushing any bugs on iOS and Android, with the studio aware that there are various issues on the Android version of the game right now. Coffee Stain Studios said "While we realize you might be super curious of our future plans, the truth is actually that we don't plan much ahead at all [....] But after a couple of weeks we'll see how it goes! Hopefully we'll be able to give you more information then".

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