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TweakTown News Posts - Page 48

Report: Trent Reznor will be point man to relaunch Beats Music

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 12:25 pm

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor will be tasked with leading the Beats Music evolution, with Apple hoping the service could one day compete with Spotify. The Silicon Valley company dished out $3 billion for the company known for trendy headphones and earbuds - and a lot of people wondered what would happen to Beats Music.

 

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Apple reportedly failed in its efforts to get music labels to lower licensing costs, as Apple wanted to sell a subscription to Beats Music for just $8 per month - $2 less than Spotify's $10 per month service. However, Apple - which once held great influence in the music industry - must adapt to changing times, with more users turning to streaming services over paid music downloads.

 

"They're used to being a shaper rather than a responder," said Toni Sacconaghi, financial analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, in a statement to the New York Times. "This is one of the few times where Apple is playing catch-up and not necessarily coming from a position of strength."

GameStop: Gamers won't have as many console bundles in 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 11:45 am

Gamers interested in picking up a console bundle likely won't see as many deals in 2015, GameStop said during a financial call. GameStop actually may have lost up to $250 million in physical game title sales because of increased bundles in 2014, according to a study from The NPD Group.

 

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"Based on our discussions with publishers and platform holders, these pack-in programs will be significantly reduced in 2015," said Tony Bartel, COO of GameStop, during a recent post-earnings financial call.

 

To help generate sales in 2014, especially leading up towards the holidays, there were plenty of Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One console bundles available. Xbox One gamers saw bundles with Assassin's Creed Unity, Black Flag, Sunset Overdrive and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Meanwhile, PS4 bundles included Destiny, The Last of Us and other select choices.

North Korea denies hacking South Korean nuclear power company

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 10:30 am

Despite South Korea blaming North Korea for hacking its nuclear power operator, officials in Pyongyang have denied their involvement. In a data breach in late 2014, hackers were able to steal employee personal information, physical designs and manuals of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co.

 

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The Korean Central News Agency said Seoul fabricated evidence saying Internet protocol addresses were linked to the north - even though the recent data breaches were "believed to have been caused by an [unidentified] group of North Korean hackers."

 

North Korea is believed to have a budding cyberespionage program, with most of its efforts targeted at South Korean banks and other critical infrastructure.

3D Robotics releases DroneKit open source API for app development

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 9:20 am

3D Robotics has released the DroneKit API for drone app development, and the free open software can be used for drone apps or onboard drone software.

 

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The purpose of releasing the API for the community is so those interested in drones are able to customize how they use them in the field. DroneKit allows for waypoint flight paths, drones can follow GPS targets, view playbacks and log analysis of flights, and other advantages currently unavailable.

 

"Unlike other APIs for drones, there are no levels of access to DroneKit; it's completely flexible and open," said Brandon Basso, VP of software engineering for 3DR. "The platform works on laptops as well as mobile devices. Best of all, once an app is created, the app automatically works on any computing platform - the interface is always the same."

UNICEF launches Kid Power campaign utilizing wearables

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 8:30 am

UNICEF wants kids to be more active and healthier, and has launched its Kid Power program to promote healthy lifestyles for children in the United States. The program is currently underway in Boston, New York City and Dallas, and will be expanded to additional cities in 2016.

 

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As part of the program, each child tracks his or her steps using a wearable, and when 12,000 steps in one day has been hit, UNICEF donates a nutrition pack. UNICEF also wants to educate American children about malnutrition and how it impacts children in other parts of the world.

 

"One in four American kids is underactive - they're little couch potatoes," said Caryl Stern, US Fund for UNICEF. "And one in four children around the world has some level of malnourishment, and so we are trying to get the kids who are underactive healthy and active."

US government wasting plenty of money on drones, with little oversight

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 7:05 am

The US government and military are spending large amounts of money for drones, maintenance, and drone flights - and not all of it is being done with proper oversight.

 

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) racked up almost $600,000 to purchase six drones, but none of them actually saw any real flight time. There were too many technical issues regarding flight time and maneuverability, according to a federal report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

 

The ATF decided to just scrap its drone program altogether because of the logistical headaches, and a short time later, the National Response Team - an ATF unit - invested $15,000 in five small drones - with no proper oversight. Not only did the National Response Team neglect to get ATF approval, the small unit never bothered to gain approval for a drone flight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Facebook teases the Oculus Rift for later this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 5:44 am

We really don't know when to expect the Consumer Version 1 (CV1) of the Oculus Rift, but according to Facebook, we should expect the Facebook-owned company to release the first retail Oculus Rift headset later this year.

 

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The news is coming from Facebook's annual F8 developers conference, where Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said that the social network is working on VR, and showed off a space shooter game. He said: "You're going to be able to play incredible games in VR later this year". Schroepfer also added that Facebook wants to bring people together with VR, where he said that in around ten years you'll be able to join your friends and family in birthday celebration by "being there" in VR.

More than 20 universities join Open Source Virtual Reality movement

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 4:55 am

The Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) platform has partnered with more than 20 research institutions and universities for its OSVR Academia program. As part of the initiative, OSVR Academia provides hardware development kits and support to universities, so they are able to develop VR-based software.

 

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Universities and research institutions include facilities in the United States, UK, Canada, Italy, Poland, Spain, Germany and Austria - with US institutions including Johns Hopkins University, University of North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

 

"OSVR is an important piece of the emerging consumer VR ecosystem," said Eric Hodgson, director of the Smale Interactive Visualization Center at Miami University. "The ability to make so many devices and software interfaces standardized, interoperable, compatible, and interchangeable has the potential to change the way people interact with their hardware and software."

YouTube begins experimenting with 4K 60FPS video playback

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 4:32 am

In something that feels like the perfect evolution of Internet video, YouTube has started experimenting with 4K 60FPS video playback. But, there's only a few clips that are capable of this insane amount of bandwidth.

 

 

Most of the videos on YouTube are nowhere near this resolution and framerate, with most cameras not capable of shooting 4K 60FPS video to begin with. In order to watch the 4K 60FPS videos on YouTube you're going to of course require a 4K 60Hz capable panel, which aren't too hard to find now.

 

There are just six hand-picked 4K 60FPS videos on YouTube right now, with the 4K 60FPS playlist on YouTube available here.

Continue reading 'YouTube begins experimenting with 4K 60FPS video playback' (full post)

Toshiba announce 48-layer 128Gbit 3D NAND, samples begin shipping

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Mar 27, 2015 3:34 am

Toshiba has announced that it has begun sampling its sure-to-be impressive 48-layer 128Gbit (16GB) 3D NAND part, which has the company involved in a NAND joint-venture with SanDisk called BiCS, or Bit Cost Scaling.

 

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This is similar to Samsung's TCAT structure, but BiCS moves away from the "traditional floating gate design and utilizes a charge trap made out of insulating material to reduce electron leakage" reports AnandTech. Toshiba's 48-layer part is impressive, with the company starting the manufacturing of its 3D NAND in its Fab 5 found in its Yokkaichi Operations based in Japan.

 

We should see Fab 2, which is based in the same location, spin up and be running in the first half of 2016, which will increase the output of Toshiba's 3D NAND output. Samples begin shipping today, but consumer parts are at least a year away, where we should expect BiCS-based products from Toshiba to be made available in the first half of 2016.

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