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NPD: Cellular-connected tablets increased 90%, slowdown looming

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 9:35 pm

There were 18.3 million actively connected tablets using cellular networks by the end of 2014 in the United States, a whopping 90 percent year-over-year increase, according to The NPD Group. Tablet manufacturers and wireless carriers offered competitive pricing - and aggressive marketing campaigns - mixed with discounts, subsidies, and giveaways. The effort worked, as the industry added 8.7 million users with a cellular-connected tablet.

 

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However, it looks like the battle has only just started, with tablet activation expected to slow down to 30 percent this year and down to 10 percent next year.

 

"One of the major reasons we expect to see the cellular tablet connection growth slow down over the next couple of years is the cannibalization by larger smartphone screens," said Brad Akyuz, director of Connected Intelligence at NPD.

Continue reading 'NPD: Cellular-connected tablets increased 90%, slowdown looming' (full post)

LG Electronics has unveiled the new G4, its shiny flagship smartphone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 8:40 pm

LG Electronics is unveiling its G4 flagship smartphone during launch events in New York City, London, Paris, Singapore, Istanbul and Seoul. The phone boasts numerous upgrades over the G3, but LG hopes consumers will most enjoy the new rear-facing camera that uses a powerful sensor and captures brilliant photos.

 

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The G4 has a 5.5-inch quad HD LCD (2560 x 1440 resolution, 538 ppi), powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB eMMC flash memory, 16-megapixel main camera, and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The flagship phone has Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and runs the Google Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with the LG UX 4.0 on top.

 

Customers can also choose from a leather-swathed back on the G4, or a patterned traditional phone backing. The phone is immediately available in Korea and will have a gradual global rollout.

Continue reading 'LG Electronics has unveiled the new G4, its shiny flagship smartphone' (full post)

YouTube now paying top stars to create original video content

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 7:45 pm

Google-owned YouTube wants original video content, and will work with the site's four leading content creators to get the job done. This is an important step for Google to try to woo more premium video advertising to the site, an ongoing battle it has endured since purchasing YouTube in late 2006.

 

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YouTube will work with the Fine Brothers, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa, and Smosh - with millions of subscribers and billions of video views - the No. 1 online video site wants to create a unique offering for visitors.

 

In its blog post, the company also announced a new partnership to create feature films with AwesomenessTV, with "several feature length films" planned over the next two years.

Continue reading 'YouTube now paying top stars to create original video content' (full post)

Avalanche Studios releases Just Cause 3 gameplay on PlayStation 4

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 6:37 pm

Avalanche Studios has released gameplay footage of Just Cause 3 being played on the Sony PlayStation 4! The open world game trailer features protagonist Rico Rodriguez throwing a pilot out of a fighter jet, buildings exploding, high-speed car chases, and general mayhem. The game studio wanted to make sure gamers have plenty of missions to complete and a widespread environment that can be explored during the game.

 

 

"[We're] designing a game that constantly encourages exploration and challenges players... not to break the game, but explore the game." said Christofer Sundberg, founder and creative director of Avalanche Studios, in a statement to The Verge. "I like to see our players as anarchists. You can't really tell them what to do. If you tell them to go right, they will absolutely go left. Or up and down, in this case. So, design a game that really encourages experimenting and exploring and not trying to set up rules for the player."

 

Just Cause 3 will launch in time for Christmas on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Continue reading 'Avalanche Studios releases Just Cause 3 gameplay on PlayStation 4' (full post)

Russian hackers reportedly 'accessed' Obama's unclassified email

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 6:24 pm

During a siege against the White House's unclassified computer system, Russian hackers read through some of President Obama's emails, according to US officials.

 

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Even though Obama's BlackBerry and iPad weren't breached in the incident reportedly linked back to Russia, the hackers were able to read emails sent and received by the president. Exact information related to what the emails contained is unknown, and no classified data was accessed or collected.

 

Sensitive information actually was stored on the unclassified system that cybercriminals gained access to, and details regarding the breach are more alarming than previously reported. It's not uncommon for unclassified networks to contain political email exchanges between government officials and foreign diplomats, legislation discussion, policy debate, and schedules.

Get Customizable Smart Home Lighting for 34% Off

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: TweakTown | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 5:50 pm

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Your dimmer switch is about to get seriously jealous.

 

For $79.99 at TweakTown Deals, you can use the Linxee Smart LED Lighting Kit to completely customize the lighting in your home using an Android or iOS app. Turn lights on and off, vary brightness, set alarms and schedules, and choose from 16 million colors. Your kit comes with a wireless gateway and two bulbs to get you started, but you can use it to control up to 50 Linxee bulbs.

 

Head to TweakTown Deals today to get the Smart LED Lighting Kit for $79.99.

Sources: Time Warner Cable willing to discuss acquisition by Charter

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 3:55 pm

Federal regulators weren't happy about a Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but it looks like Charter Communications wants a second crack at TWC. Charter failed during its first attempt to take over TWC, which opened the door for Comcast to step in and try to acquire the company.

 

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Since the first merger attempt, however, Charter's stock value has increased - and would be more lucrative to TWC - but TWC "also is open to deals with companies other than Charter."

 

It's unknown if Charter will try to surpass its original $37.3 billion offer for TWC, which was topped by Comcast offering $45 billion. It's possible the company, assuming no outsiders are interested, could try to lowball TWC into a merger.

Nokia doesn't plan on jumping back into phone manufacturing

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 1:35 pm

Nokia has denied it plans to manufacture phones or release consumer smartphones, even though reports indicated otherwise. As part of its acquisition by Microsoft, the company cannot return to the market it once dominated until 2016, and it is still unknown what the company plans to do otherwise.

 

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"Nokia notes recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China," according to Nokia. "These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Network executives. Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets."

 

Nokia has launched a branded Google Android tablet to the Chinese market, and could eventually try to release smartphones again. The smartphone market is extremely competitive, but Nokia may find success by launching lower-cost devices to emerging markets - but all options will be explored next year.

Facebook enables video calling through Messenger

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 12:33 pm

If you're in constant communication with friends, family and loved ones, video calls can really come in handy. Until now, it is something that has been mostly dominated by the likes of Skype and Hangouts, but now Facebook is joining the fold with Messenger.

 

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Messenger is now capable of video calls thanks to the latest app for both iOS and Android, where a single tap has you starting a video call with a friend. Facebook has rolled the feature out to 18 countries across the world, including the US and UK. Let us know what you think, especially if you use something like Skype or Hangouts for your video calls.

Some Chinese men are paying escorts join them while they play games

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 28, 2015 12:14 pm

Alongside paying per hour for the services of an internet cafe, some men in China are also paying "between 20-100 yuan" ($3.20-$16) per hour for the company of a female escort, as reported by the China Times.

 

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We're told that this relationship is purely non-sexual and is set to help alleviate some of the loneliness felt by these guys throughout their short or long gaming sessions. The women involved are said to be from many different backgrounds, with college students making up a fair portion of those available.

 

This isn't necessarily a service for the 'working class man' as the China Times also points out that most patrons are mostly earning a comfortable wage and partaking in this hobby which we are told is also becoming somewhat common in South Korea and Japan.

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