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TweakTown News Posts - Page 49

Court gives preliminary approval on $450 million Apple eBook settlemen

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 1:03 pm

Apple has been granted preliminary approval on a proposed settlement for an eBook price fixing case brought against it by states and consumers. The main charge in the case is that Apple led a conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. The judge presiding over the case said that the proposed $450 million settlement is "within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable."

 

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The settlement will see Apple pay $400 million to states and consumers with $50 million in attorney's fees. The settlement still requires final approval from courts. Apple is currently appealing the decision, and if it does win, it will pay nothing under the settlement.

 

If the case is kicked back to judge Denise Cote for a retrial, Apple will pay $50 million plus $20 million in attorney's fees. A judge had previously ruled that Apple conspired with five major publishers to fix prices of e-books in response to competition from Amazon.

HP unveils new smartwatch designed by Michael Bastian

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 12:03 pm

The smartwatch market is hopping right now with Samsung producing several different smartwatches and a number of other products available as well. The wearables market is growing and rumors continue to suggest that Apple is getting into the market with its own product. HP has teased a new smartwatch that it will be offering designed by Michael Bastian.

 

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The watch is the result of cooperation between HP and the luxury marketplace Gilt.com and will launch later this year. Gilt brought in Michael Bastian to design the watch while HP is heralding the tech behind the wearable. Not much in the way of details are available on what hardware the watch will use.

 

What we know at this time is that the software on the watch is going to power a round screen. Wearers will be able to use the watch to control music and see notifications from their smartphone. Reports indicate there will be three different strap options. Pricing is unknown at this time.

Microsoft sues Samsung for failing to pay patent royalties

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 11:00 am

Microsoft has filed suit against Samsung in the US after Samsung failed to make a patent royalty payment last fall. The missed payment came after Microsoft announced that it intended to purchase Nokia's handset business. The suit was filed in a Manhattan federal court.

 

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Microsoft is seeking monetary damages from Samsung, but it is unclear what those damages are. The suit alleges that Samsung refused to make the agreed to payments to Microsoft once the intention of buying Nokia was announced.

 

Samsung had made payments for an entire fiscal year before the Nokia purchase was announced. Samsung claims that the Nokia purchase violated the licensing agreement in place with Microsoft. Samsung apparently paid the payment late, but has refused to pay interest.

Updated Qi wireless specification allows for further wireless charging

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 10:35 am

The Wireless Power Consortium has updated its Qi specification to version 1.2, something that allows the new Qi standard to blast its wireless powers up to 45mm, or 1.77 inches away. The current standard is only capable of 7mm, or 0.27 inches, so this is quite the increase.

 

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Better yet, Qi 1.2 chargers and receives will be backwards compatible with Qi 1.1 devices, so a Qi 1.1 receiver (such as your Qi-capable smartphone) will be able to enjoy a power transfer range of up to 30mm. The Wireless Power Consortium has said that Qi 1.2 is capable of pushing out an incredible 2000W of resonant energy through the air for powering kitchen appliances.

 

This means we will eventually see kitchen top appliances being powered without cords, which will be great. The new version 1.2 standard also allows for a single inverter to power multiple coils, which should see much more affordable multi-device chargers.

Mozilla accidentally leaks the credentials of 76k devs

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 10:23 am

The Mozilla Foundation has made a mistake that left the credentials of about 76,000 developers using its Mozilla Developer Network vulnerable to hackers. During a sanitation process on the server where the data was stored, some sort of error cause an emergency dump of the data on that server to be sent to a backup server.

 

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That emergency dump is something that many servers do to prevent data loss. The catch is that the backup server where the data was dumped was unencrypted. That means that the details of those 76,000 developers were available to be copied by anyone along with 4,000 encrypted passwords.

 

Mozilla has removed the data now, but the information sat there for a month before developers noticed the issue. Mozilla says that the passwords would not work and that it hasn't seen any sort of breach using the data.

Snapchat rumored to be worth $10 billion after failed Facebook bid

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 9:14 am

It wasn't that long ago that rumors were circling that Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion, and then Google took a turn offering up $4 billion, but now it looks like we're finding out why Snapchat held off.

 

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Snapchat Inc. is reportedly in talks with investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for a round of funding that would see the company valued at $10 billion. This might not seem like that high of a number thanks to Snapchat seeing over 700 million "snaps" per day, and over 500 million stories viewed daily. Snapchat competes directly against Facebook, and even more so now that it was adding mobile messaging features to its service.

 

Snapchat's previous round of funding saw the company raise over $100 million with investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Benchmark, Institutional Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners and SV Angel.

Windows 9 could end up being free for Windows XP, Vista and 7 users

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 8:29 am

Mary Jo Foley, who is usually pretty good with rumors about Microsoft, has some more information on the next version of Windows, currently known as Windows 9. We should expect Windows 9 to be released in April 2015, which would see the next update to Windows 8.1, 'Update 2', should be released this month, with Update 3 only coming with a few improvements. We could see Update 3 scrapped if Microsoft diverts its energy toward Windows 9.

 

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When it comes to Windows 9, there's an interesting spin on Microsoft's upcoming OS: it could be a free upgrade to Windows XP, Vista and 7 users in order to get the adoption of Windows 9 much, much higher than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This wouldn't just be a great thing for Microsoft, but for the entire industry as it will shift many more copies of its OS, which would convince people to upgrade or possibly buy a new PC.

Two ex-Naughty Dog employees land jobs with Infinity Ward

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 7:32 am

Two developers have left the arms of The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, jumping over to the Infinity Ward camp. Naughty Dog lost its Lead Game Designer Jacob Minkoff, as well as its Narrative Designer lead Taylor Kurosaki.

 

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The duo will take on roles at Infinity Ward of Design Director and Narrative Director, respectively. Kurosaki had been with Naughty Dog in the 90s, left and came back in 2004. Minkoff had joined Naughty Dog in 2009, but left the company back in January. This isn't the only high up talent to leave Naughty Dog, as the Uncharted developer also lost its Creative Director to Visceral Games and EA earlier in the year.

 

While this might be the best news for Naughty Dog, it could be a resurgence for Infinity Ward after the very public departure of its co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella left to form Respawn Entertainment, which released Titanfall earlier this year.

XBMC drops its Xbox heritage, is now known as Kodi

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 6:35 am

XBMC, or Xbox Media Center, has been around for what feels like forever, but the developers behind it have just rebanded the service to Kodi Entertainment Center. Kodi will be the new name of XBMC from version 14 of the software, onwards.

 

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Now that we have the rebranding in process, version 14.0 or "Helix" will see the developers owning the trademark of Kodi. This will prevent companies, especially Microsoft, from coming after the developers - even though there have been countless versions of the software have been released under XBMC. The new Kodi release is a rough alpha right now, so we shouldn't see the Kodi name spread far and wide for now.

Elon Musk says that AI could be 'more dangerous than nukes'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 5:31 am

Elon Musk has founded some of the biggest companies involving technology, such as PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Musk thinks we need to build a home for humans on Mars as soon as possible, but when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), he has his reservations.

 

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Over the weekend, Musk tweeted about a book recommendation, but after that he said: "We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes." Musk isn't new to his stance on AI, where back in June the SpaceX founder said he has even considred the possibility of a 'Terminator'-like scenario. Musk has also admitted that he's even invested money into AI companies, where he wants to keep an eye on where AI is going.

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