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TweakTown News Posts - Page 53

Report: Microsoft rebranding mobile, no more Lumia, Windows Phone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 3:30 pm

Microsoft is reportedly phasing out Nokia and Windows Phone branding, as the company wants to move ahead with its Microsoft Lumia smartphones. The multi-billion-dollar purchase of Nokia's devices division gave Microsoft access to the company's phone portfolio, but Nokia is still a different company.


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Dropping Windows Phone might prove to be a puzzling choice, however, recent Microsoft smartphone marketing referred to devices as "Windows." The upcoming Windows 9 desktop should be designed to cross both smartphones and tablets with a single OS, as Microsoft won't try to promote three separate OSes for desktop, smartphones and tablets again. Microsoft's commercial for the Lumia 930 didn't refer to Windows Phone, only referring to the device running Windows.


Marketing efforts aside, Microsoft faces an uphill battle to compete in the mobile market, dominated by Google Android and Apple iOS software - and led by Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers.

Bank of England worried about bitcoin fraud risk, threat of deflation

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 2:48 pm

The Bank of England is worried bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies could suffer long-term fraud potentially hurting the British economy. There also is a higher level of deflation using the currency, as it's not supported by a banking system - and with more than 1 million bitcoin users across the world - businesses are willing to gamble with the digital currency.


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Although volatility and additional fees for transactions are likely with bitcoin, the Bank of England is more concerned about the fixed supply of bitcoins for customers.


"The inability of the money supply to vary in response to demand would likely cause greater volatility in prices and real activity," according to the Bank of England. "A significant risk to digital currencies' sustained use (is) that they will not be able to compete on cost without degenerating... to a monopoly miner, thereby... exposing them to risk of system-wide fraud."

Continue reading 'Bank of England worried about bitcoin fraud risk, threat of deflation' (full post)

New Batmobile shown off in first beauty shot from Batman V Superman

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:08 am

Currently shooting in Detroit, the first shots of the updated Batmobile in the upcoming 'Batman V Superman' have inevitably leaked out (with impressive speed) to the net.


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Which prompted Director Zack Synder to respond in turn and release the first official, studio approved beauty shot of the vehicle.


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As you can see, the updated car looks to be a mix between the more stylish Batmobile from the original 'Batman' series, with the more practical and utilitarian version as seen in Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' trilogy.


'Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice' is released on March 25th 2016.

Star Wars set accidentally stumbled upon by aerial photographer

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 11:20 pm

There's a lot of reward that comes from filming in real locations, including a tangible sense of reality that was undoubtedly missing from the 'Star Wars' prequels, due to all the blue screen digital backlots. But with that reward comes a lot of risk, such as the set being found and leaked to the public.


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On a stock photography mission, Matthew Myatt from Airbourne Aviation accidentally found an 'Episode VII' set at the picturesque Greenham Common - a former Royal Air Force station in Berkshire, England. A partially completed Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing can be seen in the shot, which suspiciously looks to be a new rebel base.



'Star Wars: Episode VII' is on track for a December 18 2015 release.

PC gamers' expectations helping spur evolution in gaming industry

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 10:32 pm

The gaming market is a multi-billion-dollar industry and most of the attention is directed towards game consoles, but PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years. A recent study found 37 percent of U.S. residents nine years old and older play PC games for an average of 6.4 hours per week, separated into the following categories: Casual, Light Core, and Heavy Core.


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The Casual gamers enjoy non-core games, while Light Core gamers play less than five hours per week, and Heavy Core gamers play five or more hours per week. Digital game downloads have also helped shake up the PC gaming industry, as Steam and similar platforms offer gamers the chance to play demoes, view trailers, and download entire games without a physical disc.


"Consumers' expectations may be the greatest barrier to maximizing spending in the PC gaming space," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "Since half of PC gamers who play digital and/or physical games on the computer are expecting there to always be a sale right around the corner, publishers and retailers alike need to better manage these expectations."

Microsoft Xbox One flops in Japan, as Sony PlayStation 4 dominates

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 9:33 pm

Microsoft has historically had a difficult time trying to sell its game consoles in Japan, where Sony's PlayStation platform has dominated. Not surprisingly, the Xbox One - which trails global sales behind the PlayStation 4 - and has fallen flat during Microsoft's first few days in Japan. Just 23,562 Xbox One units were sold in the first four days, with the Xbox and Xbox 360 both selling better during their launch weekends.


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The PS4 sold 308,000 units as the Nintendo Wii U sold 322,000 during the first few days they were available in Japan. Microsoft launched the Xbox One in Japan on September 6 and included a game catalog of 29 different titles, hoping it would be enough to get Japanese consumers interested.


Microsoft hopes a lower price tag and console bundles will help increase sales - as all three companies prepare for what could become an extremely busy Christmas holiday shopping season this year.

Amplidata secures $10M in latest round of funding

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 9:22 pm

Amplidata, a software provider in the nascent object storage market, has received $10 million in a latest round of funding by Western Digital Capital. In the announcement regarding the investment, Amplidata also announced that HGST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., will jointly develop a suite of storage solutions built on the Amplidata Himalaya software.


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Exactly what product will result from the HGST partnership is still an unknown. According to the press release, "The companies will partner to create solutions that will dramatically improve the storage economics for the Exabyte-scale needs of the world's largest businesses." The future products are described as being "ultra-dense storage solutions" which most likely translates to a total external storage solution, no longer just components from HGST. This is interesting to note since HGST was acquired by WD in 2012 and has remained mostly a hard drive manufacturer until now. It appears that they now aim to enter the space of their ex-parent, Hitachi (owner of HDS), and provide total solutions to the enterprise market.

Continue reading 'Amplidata secures $10M in latest round of funding' (full post)

Study says there are at least 15 million mobile devices with malware

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 8:35 pm

There are now more than 15 million smartphones running with some type of malware, and security threats continue to emerge, according to Kindsight Security Labs, an Alcatel-Lucent company. At least sixty percent of infected phones are running Google Android, with around 40 percent of Microsoft Windows PCs accessing mobile networks making up the rest of the reported threats.


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Four out of the 10 top threats facing smartphone owners is now spyware, with criminals able to monitor phone calls, text and photo images, GPS location, and Internet browsing history. However, most Android malware isn't overly sophisticated and cybercriminals are adjusting how to develop their attacks for smartphones and other mobile devices.


Even though Android and PCs running Windows make up most infected devices spotted by Kindsight Security Labs, criminals have shown greater interest in trying to compromise Apple iPhone devices. Security experts recommend users run anti-virus and anti-malware software on their phones, which offers an additional layer of protection.

Sprint to offer $50 unlimited plan for new Apple iPhone 6 models

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 7:45 pm

Sprint hopes to use the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to help springboard back into competition with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The company said new and current subscribers will be able to purchase either new iPhone and pay $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and data, which is $10 cheaper than the entry-level unlimited plan.


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In addition, Sprint also has an "iPhone for Life" plan so customers can pay $20 per month for 24 months - and then they can turn the older model in for a newer iPhone. It's a rather neat promotion as carriers become more aggressive to ensure consumers are likely to join their network and stay as a long-term subscriber.


"They're great phones to be able to show off the value that we have compared to our competition," said Jeff Hallock, Sprint chief marketing officer. "We made a strategic investment in the data part of service pricing and bringing that to customers with the best value, certainly you take the devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which we expect customers to do a lot on."

Microsoft replacing Xbox One units to customers with loud consoles

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Sep 10, 2014 6:15 pm

If you have purchased a Microsoft Xbox One game console and think it is louder than it should be, Microsoft is willing to send out replacements. It's unknown how many customers have complained, but it reportedly is a "small number" of systems - with a growing number of Xbox fans complaining about it, especially after launching in new regions.


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"We have heard that a small number of Xbox One owners in some situations may hear a noise from the console that is too loud,", a Microsoft spokesperson recently confirmed. "While this does not affect the safety or functionality of the system, we're asking customers who believe they are experience this issue to contact Xbox Support. At the request of our customers, we are exchanging those consoles for new systems."


The louder Xbox One doesn't help entice consumers to purchase the console, which has steadily trailed the Sony PlayStation 4. Both devices were released last November, and are preparing for what could be a very competitive Christmas holiday shopping season. In September, Microsoft launched the Xbox in Chile, Colombia, Japan and sixteen other countries - with scheduled launches in Israel, China and Russia scheduled for later this month.

Continue reading 'Microsoft replacing Xbox One units to customers with loud consoles' (full post)

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