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Apple CEO Tim Cook defends Apple Pay against stores shunning service

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 2 days, 15 hours ago

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes his Apple Pay service will develop into a long-term mobile payment hit, despite WalMart, Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, and more than 50 other retailers developing their own service. Even with one million registered credit cards in the first three days, it remains uncertain if mobile users are willing to purchase an iPhone just for Apple Pay.

 

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"It's a skirmish," Cook recently said when asked about retailers choosing not to embrace Apple Pay. "Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you."

 

Launching Apple Pay, even if a contingent of retailers don't want to use the service, the Silicon Valley company hopes to entice more users towards the iPhone.

Judge tosses Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against Activision

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 17 hours ago

Imprisoned former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega had his lawsuit against Activision thrown out of court, after he accused the game company of "unlawfully exploiting" him in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In the video game, a character with the likeness of Noriega, conveniently named "Manuel Noriega," assists the CIA and later betrays the US government.

 

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The victory wasn't just for Activision, and is a "victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world," according to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who serves as partner of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

 

"[T]he Court concludes that the marketability and economic value of the challenged work in this case comes not from Noriega, but from the creativity, skill and reputation of defendants," according to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William H. Fahey, as he dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.

YouTube CEO teases streaming music service, and ad-free videos

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Online Video | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

We've been hearing about a music subscription service from YouTube for a while now, but it looks like it could be more of a reality in the near future. Yahoo's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, revealed during a recent interview that they are working on it, and should be unveiled before the end of the year.

 

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Wojcicki also talked about an ad-free experience with YouTube, noting that the ad-supported model has been fine up until now, as it has provided them with the mountain of one billion users, but there are people out there - like myself - who don't want ads, and are willing to pay for that privilege. Wojcicki mentioned apps where there are ads, or you can pay to remove those ads.

White House suffered cyberattacks, but problem has been addressed

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 2 days, 19 hours ago

The White House, also known as the Executive Office of the President (EOP), is familiar with enduring cyberattacks on a frequent basis. However, a recent attack was found to be organized and significantly powerful, with the White House's networks enduring a few days of consistent downtime.

 

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"In the course of assessing recent threats we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network," an anonymous source recently told the media. "Any such activity is something that we take very seriously. In this case we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity."

 

In addition to state-sponsored hacker groups in China and Russia, other nations have shown interest in advanced cyber espionage tactics. The computers and systems were not damaged, but suffered extended downtime that has been largely resolved by federal cybersecurity experts, according to reports.

Fry's Leaks the Samsung 850 EVO - V-NAND in TLC Flavor

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: 2 days, 22 hours ago

Samsung has teased the 850 EVO since media met in South Korea for the 850 Pro launch. The company is eager to flex its V-NAND advantage in 3bits per cell form but retail availability has been quiet, until now.

 

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Fry's Electronics just broke the 850 EVO cover and put the 1TB model up for preorder. Priced at $499.99 until 10/30/14, 850 EVO 1TB preorders are currently scheduled to ship on November 24.

 

 

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Fry's Electronics also gave us our first look at the EVO with 3D V-NAND's specifications. 550 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write speeds. It should be noted this drive is marketed at 1TB and not 960GB, so there shouldn't be a large amount of overprovisioning. Samsung's 3D V-NAND uses a 3Xnm process and has enterprise level endurance ratings. Samsung shouldn't have to add overprovisioning to 850 EVO to extend the life of the flash or for increased performance.

Continue reading 'Fry's Leaks the Samsung 850 EVO - V-NAND in TLC Flavor' (full post)

EA revenues drop 18%, increases its predictions for Q1 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 2 days, 23 hours ago

EA has been in the news a fair bit in the last 24 hours, where we only just reported that Battlefield: Hardline has a release date of March 17, 2015 and we have a release window of Q4 2015 for DICE's Star Wars Battlefront. Now we're hearing about EA's financials for the quarter that finished on September 30.

 

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The company reported $990 million in net revenue for the three-month period, which is an 18.5% slide from the $1.21 billion in revenue it posted from its last quarter. When comparing it to the same quarter from last year however, it shows the company has a nice 42.4% year-over-year increase. Net income for the company has improved from the same time last year, posting $3 million in income versus the $273 million loss from last year.

 

Digital revenues slipped 5.2% from $536 million to $508 million for the quarter, but this is still a 12.9% increase year-over-year. EA is still hoping to make a massive $1 billion in digital add-on content this year, and looks to be on track to reach that big goal. The company has adjusted its expectations for the fiscal year, something that ends on March 31, 2015, too. It has added $75 million to its projections, for a total of $4.375 billion. For the next three months, EA expects a net revenue of $1.1 billion.

DICE's Star Wars Battlefront to land sometime in Q4 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 3 days ago

It was only a few hours ago that we were reporting that EA announced that Battlefield: Hardline, which is being developed by Visceral Games, will be released March 17, 2015, and now we're hearing about Star Wars Battlefront.

 

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EA has announced that Star Wars Battlefront, DICE's take on the Star Wars universe, will reach gamers in Q4 2015. Considering Star Wars: Episode 7 is due on December 18, 2015, this makes perfect sense - ride the marketing wave of the movie. Blake Jorgensen, EA's Chief Financial Officer confirmed that Star Wars Battlefront will indeed be a first-person shooter, and it'll be EA's "major first-person shooter" for the year.

 

The following year, 2016, DICE's Battlefield franchise will be fresh out of the oven, with Battlefield 5 (or a rename, or whatever it arrives as), will arrive in the third quarter of EA's 2017 fiscal year, so sometime in the last quarter of 2016. This means we're waiting an entire two years for the next true Battlefield game, which is sad news.

Motorola's new Droid Turbo has 48 hours worth of battery life

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 3 days, 1 hour ago

Motorola's new Droid Turbo is a damn interesting new smartphone, with its in-your-face 5.2-inch 2560x1440 (QHD) panel, providing an insane 565 pixels per inch (PPI). On top of that, we have some even more interesting specifications inside of the big new phone.

 

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We have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor at 2.7GHz, 3GB of RAM, and a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal flash storage. On the back, we have a 21-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of shooting 4K video, and a gigantic 3900mAh battery that should be good for up to 48 hours of use. We also have Motorola's Turbo Charge technology, which after 15 minutes of charge, can provide up to another eight hours of charge. Android 4.4.4 is featured on the phone, with Android 5.0 Lollipop not making the journey, yet.

 

Considering Motorola built the Nexus 6, has the impressive redone Moto X and now the bigger-than-life-itself Droid Turbo, Motorola should enjoy the holiday season when it comes to sales.

Razer announces its first surround sound bar, the Leviathan

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: 3 days, 2 hours ago

Gaming peripheral maker Razer has just announced its first surround sound bar, the Leviathan. Razer's Leviathan is a virtual 5.1 surround sound gaming and music bar, that streams your audio through Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, with a price tag of $199.99. Here's what we can expect inside of the Leviathan:

 

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  • Powered by four expertly tuned drivers plus subwoofer
  • 5.1 virtual surround sound powered by Dolby Virtual Speakers, Dolby Digital and
  • Dolby Pro Logic II
  • Direct audio streaming from any mobile device via Bluetooth v 4.0 aptX
  • Dedicated subwoofer for impressive bass reproduction
  • Space-saving design for versatility
  • Multiple connection methods via analogue, optical or Bluetooth v 4.0 aptX
  • Adjustable tilt angles (00, 150, 180) for optimal sound
  • 3 preset equaliser modes tuned for gaming, music and movies

 

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Razer's co-founder and CEO, Min-Liang Tan said: "The opportunity to produce a precision-engineered surround sound solution for high-performance gaming, movie watching and music listening, and make it versatile to use in any setting, was a very exciting proposition for us. The Razer Leviathan delivers what music aficionados, movie buffs and gamers alike are looking for to improve their entertainment setup".

Dying Light axed on PS3, Xbox 360, now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC only

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 3 days, 4 hours ago

With the 30FPS and low-res debacle causing outrage amongst gamers, Techland has just announced it has cancelled the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of its zombie survival game, Dying Light, which will now be exclusive to current-gen consoles, and the PC.

 

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The developer said that the previous-gen versions were compromising the "core version of Dying Light", adding that it had spent the past three years of development on Dying Light "making sure that all the features of our game add up to create a truly next-gen experience". The developer continued: "Much of this 'next-gen feel' is tightly connected to the technological side of Dying Light. For instance, up to 200,000 objects can be displayed in the game at once. Add to this our use of realistic, physics-based lighting technology and you really start to push the next-gen systems to the limits. Features like these along with our core gameplay pillars - such as the player-empowering Natural Movement, threefold character development system, and vast open world - are all an inherent part of how Dying Light plays. However, combining all of these into one fluid experience is only possible on technologically advanced platforms".

 

"After thorough internal testing" the developer decided to axe the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, so that players will receive "the full and best experience regardless of the platform you play on". Dying Light was meant to be released before the end of the year, but was delayed until February 2015.

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