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TweakTown News Posts - Page 47

Oculus unveils Crescent Bay VR headset, 360-degree tracking, and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Sep 21, 2014 12:16 am

Oculus Connect is currently underway in Los Angeles, with Oculus VR announcing the latest prototype of the Rift, known as Crescent Bay. Crescent Bay features numerous improvements and new tricks even over the just-released, and still-shipping Rift DK2 unit, such as 360-degree head tracking.

 

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Not only do we have 360-degree head tracking (which is done by having sensors on the back of your head, something completely new), but we have a higher resolution screen (no exact numbers, but most reports and hands-on use point to it being better than Samsung's Gear VR which uses the QHD or 2560x1440 panel from the Galaxy Note 4), lower latency, and a built-in headset.

 

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Crescent Bay has been working out, dropping a little weight, with Oculus providing improved ergonomics so it feels better when wearing it, and with the integrated audio, 3D audio can now be something big thanks to Oculus' collaboration with licensed technology from the University of Maryland, and RealSP. Oculus' Brendan Iribe explains: "We're working on audio as aggressively as we're working on the vision side". For the various reports on the latest VR headset from Oculus, most have said that it is much closer to what is expected from CV1 (the first consumer, or retail Rift).

 

There's no word on whether Oculus will release a DK3 to the public, but with Crescent Bay offering up so many new things (360-degree head tracking and 3D positional audio are big new features on their own) so we shouldn't be surprised with another Developer Kit.

Microsoft delays Xbox launch in China, as global expansion struggles

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Sep 20, 2014 9:21 pm

Just days before it was supposed to launch in China, Microsoft will delay releasing the Xbox One game console for Chinese consumers until later this year. The launch was originally expected for Tuesday, September 23 local time. Microsoft will host an Xbox One launch event at the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai sometime before the end of 2014.

 

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Regardless of how it sells, this is a major milestone for Microsoft - the Xbox One will be the first game console to launch in China in the past 15 years - as the Chinese government continues to embrace western technologies. Companies are excited about the possibility of reaching millions of the consumers embracing consoles and other technologies for the first time.

 

Microsoft hopes a big launch in China will help give the company a much-needed sales boost, as the company continues to struggle against the Sony PlayStation 4. Not surprisingly, the Xbox One flopped heavily after launching in Japan, with domestic companies Sony and Nintendo setting the pace.

Continue reading 'Microsoft delays Xbox launch in China, as global expansion struggles' (full post)

Struggles with iOS 8 upgrades, traffic surges mimic DDoS attacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Sep 20, 2014 6:51 pm

Apple users are frustrated with difficulty in upgrading to iOS 8, as download times are painfully long. To make matters worse, some networks are being slammed by so much traffic, it's almost like they are under distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

 

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Networking company Procera Networks found one CIS mobile network that saw its network traffic jump an incredible 4000 percent than normal - an astronomical traffic amount for non-video applications.

 

Everything from Apple's iPhone models to its smartwatch were criticized - but anytime there is a new iOS release, Apple fans quickly flock to download the latest operating system. However, after just a few days, adoption for iOS 8 has been slower than that of iOS 6 or iOS 7, according to analysts. The iOS 8 upgrade requires 5.8GB of storage space, forcing some users to delete photos, videos, and other data to free up space to upgrade.

Home Depot breach tops Target, with almost 60 million cards affected

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Sep 20, 2014 6:29 pm

The recent Home Depot breach has proven to be larger than retailer Target's breach late last year, with as many as 56 million credit card uses at risk. Former employees accuse the company of leaving data vulnerable, a charge that executives have denied, but there were alarm bells reportedly dating back to 2008. An estimate of the stolen data, which is becoming available online, could lead to $3 billion in illegal purchases over time.

 

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This is a huge bungle by Home Depot," noted Jeff Macke, Yahoo Finance analyst. "It's more than an inconvenience... it's a huge, ridiculous hassle. We need an upgrade of the whole cycle."

 

Indeed, security experts are calling on banks to embed credit cards with microchips rather than rely on magnetic strips. Home Depot uses EMV chip-based technology for Visa and MasterCard in Europe and Canada, and plans to introduce it into the United States later in 2014.

Continue reading 'Home Depot breach tops Target, with almost 60 million cards affected' (full post)

Microsoft throws another 2100 employees out the window

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 10:24 am

Microsoft has announced today that it is cutting 14% of its total workforce, or 2100 jobs. From those 2100 employees who are now out of jobs, 747 of them are from the Washington state, with the remaining jobs lost from Microsoft's other locations across the world.

 

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It was only a few months ago that the Redmond-based giant cut a total of 18,000 jobs, with 12,500 of those jobs being cut from the recently-acquired handset and services division from Nokia. At the time, CEO Nadella said that he wanted to get Microsoft in better shape, with the reductions required in order to properly integrate Nokia's services and devices teams into the company. The cuts were to both professional, and factory workers.

 

We should see Microsoft feeling pre-tax chargers of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next year, with $750 million to $800 million for severance and related benefit costs, and then $350 to $800 million for asset-related charges.

Android L will feature out-of-the-box encryption

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 9:28 am

Right as iOS 8 is hitting iPhones and iPads across the world, Google is teasing that the next version of Android will feature out-of-the-box encryption, when they talked with The Washington Post recently.

 

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We don't know how the encryption will work exactly, whether it will be offered as full-disk encryption, but Google did say that nobody can access the encrypted device unless they know its four-digit pin. Google spokeswoman, Niki Christoff, told The Washington Post that the keys and passcodes are not stored online, or anywhere on your Android-powered device.

 

Better yet, once Android L starts hitting devices, you won't need to find where to enable it - it'll just be enabled. Google have reportedly been working on this encryption goodness for months now, something we should hopefully see soon when Android L launches, which I'm sure we'll see with a brand new Nexus smartphone in the near future.

Google Maps breaks into 20 additional countries

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 8:38 am

Google Maps is an incredible part of Google's ecosystem for Android, with the company bringing its Maps and Navigation app to 20 new countries. Google Maps will include free driving, walking, and bike directions to millions of people in the following countries:

 

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  • Angola
  • Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Fiji
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tobago
  • Trinidad

 

If you're in one of these countries, go and grab Google Maps now!

Amazon shells out $4.5 million to purchase .buy domain, beats Google

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 7:36 am

As soon as new top level domains (TDLs) are created, the massive Internet giants jump on them instantly, throwing millions of dollars in order to own them. This has just happened with a bidding war between Amazon and Google, fighting for the rights of new TDLs, including .buy, .tech, and .VIP.

 

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Google bet on all three of the new TDLs, but Amazon beat them for .buy, throwing up $4.5 million. Dot Tech paid $6.7 million for the .tech domain, with .VIP going to Minds + Machines for $3 million. Google walked away with nothing, but the company is showing interest in as many as 100 TDLs, so their time will come.

 

ICANN auctions off the domains, with the organization responsible for coordinating and maintaining the domain names. ICANN is set to throw up a slew of new domains before the end of the year.

One of the first iPhone 6 owners in the world drops phone on live TV

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 7:21 am

Imagine: you've just waited in line for however many hours, gotten your hands-on one of the first next generation iPhone 6 handsets in the world, and an Australian TV breakfast crew comes up to you and wants to interview you, why not, you say.

 

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Well, Jack Cooksey may have been one of the first people in the world with the new iPhone, but when he pulled it out of his box clumsily in front of the camera, it fell to the ground. Luckily, it didn't smash or shatter the screen (at least from what we can see in the video). Cooksey explained: "I dropped it in a panic to get it open. Luckily it's covered in plastic, so it's fine".

Toshiba to reduce its consumer PC focus, moves to business clients

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 6:31 am

The consumer PC business is something that Toshiba doesn't have much faith in anymore, with the company announcing that it will be reducing its global PC business workforce by around 900 staff, or more than 20% of its non-manufacturing workforce. The move, will reduce fixed costs by over $184 million.

 

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Toshiba hasn't said which consumer markets it will remove itself from, but it did say that it will be shifting away from unprofitable markets, to optimize sales based in low profit countries and regions. The Japanese company said that the PC market is expected to see a continuing trend to modest growth rates, so they are now measuring this, and are taking the required steps in making sure it continues a consistent profit.

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