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TweakTown News Posts - Page 62

Starbucks racks up 7 million mobile payments in its stores per week

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 4, 2014 12:30 am

Coffee giant Starbucks could very well be the leader in the mobile payment sector, as CEO Howard Schultz said his company handles 7 million mobile payments each week. Starbucks also has seen 16 percent of all its transactions coming from mobile devices, with almost 50 percent growth each year - and 90 percent of all mobile payments last year occurred in Starbucks.


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Not surprisingly, Starbucks is keen to utilize technology, as its coffee shop locations throughout the United States draw a large number of tech-savvy customers. The company provides free Wi-Fi, mobile payments, and plans to roll out wireless charging stations built directly into tables.


Schultz also said he's not worried about Apple Pay, noting "anything that Apple or PayPal or others do that brings the consumer to a higher level of trust about mobile payment is positive for the marketplace at Starbucks."

OCZ Storage Solutions opens new online shop

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 11:42 pm

OCZ Storage Solutions has seen their fair share of changes over the last few years, but have finally landed in calm waters at Toshiba with access to a mountain of flash and a wealth of engineering talent. They also recently launched the new OCZ Shop, an online portal that provides their customers direct access to great SSD deals.


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In celebration of the new site OCZ is offering free shipping to the US on any order, a free T-Shirt, and Triple VIP reward points until 11/30/2014. There are sections for SATA, PCIe and consumer SSDs. Some of the SSD deals include free power packs and backpacks as well, but there is no clear indication if this is a limited time offer or not. There is also a clearance section which will likely host some great deals in the future.


SSDs are becoming cheaper every day, and a direct outlet might provide a portal for even lower prices. It will be interesting to see if other fab-enabled SSD manufactures follow suit. In the cut-throat SSD industry every competitive advantage is quickly addressed, but usually ends up being great for us consumers in the end.

Continue reading 'OCZ Storage Solutions opens new online shop' (full post)

Grumpy Cat's Christmas movie trailer has been released, looks awful

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 11:36 pm

The internet loves cats and none are more famous or popular than Grumpy Cat, who rose to fame in 2012 after images of the feline, accompanied by snappy captions went viral and the whole thing snowballed from there. Naturally, the cat has been monetised with a series of books and promotional tie-ins since, but then escalated quickly when the Lifetime channel snapped up the rights to make a Grumpy Cat movie.


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Well, whether its a good thing or not, the film is coming and the fist trailer which dropped overnight look as good as to be expected. Suffice to say, a bit rubbish. But you be the judge.



Grumpy Cat is voiced by 'Parks and Recreation' comedian Aubrey Plaza. 'Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever' is aired on the Lifetime Channel on November 29th.

Space tourism industry still evolving, despite high-profile incidents

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 11:30 pm

Space tourism is still a growing industry that was recently rocked when the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo exploded after suffering a "serious anomaly" during a test flight last week. Despite the incident, which left one pilot dead, Virgin Galactic confirmed it will move forward to finish a second SpaceShipTwo aircraft before the end of the year.


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The high risk, high reward nature of the commercial space industry - where flight accidents sometimes seen unavoidable - with Virgin Galactic competing with XCOR Aerospace and others in the commercial space race. Meanwhile, SpaceX, Boeing, Orbital Sciences and other companies hope to win NASA and US federal government contracts worth billions of dollars.


"We've always known that the road to space is extremely difficult - and that every new transportation system as to deal with bad days early in their industry," said Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson.

Micron first to bring automotive-grade M500IT SSDs into your vehicle

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 11:21 pm

In many ways modern vehicles are much like rolling computers. Navigation and infotainment applications, such as 3D mapping, environmental reporting (e.g., infrastructure, traffic, meteorological) car radio, multimedia, satellite radio, E-call and voice recognition, and interaction with the drivers phone, are all handled via on-board computer systems. Just like any other computer these require storage, and much like typical computers the majority of these systems still rely upon HDDs. When the driver starts the vehicle a boot up process begins, and this can take a few moments as the drive spins up and delivers data to the on-board computer. There is a huge market for automotive-class HDDs that have enhanced vibration resistance and other features, such as expanded operating temperatures and humidity ranges, to tailor them for the mobile environment.


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Micron aims to bring the same SSD benefits to vehicles with their new industry-first automotive-grade SSD, the M500IT line. SSDs will bring nearly instantaneous boot up times to the vehicle, increase the response, and perhaps even enable other features that weren't previously possible with increasingly complex vehicle computer systems. SSDs also tolerate much more vibration and shock, and environmental factors aren't nearly as much of a concern.


It seems to be a no-brainer to bring SSDs into vehicles, and by utilizing AEX-Q100-compliant eMMC 5.0 memory in 60GB to 240GB mSATA SSDs, Micron can keep costs low enough to attract auto manufacturers. The M500IT also includes several features we are accustomed to seeing on Micron's enterprise-class SSDs, such as hardware-based encryption, data-at-rest protection from power loss, and an adaptive thermal monitoring system to expand the thermal operating envelope. Microns Micron's eMMC products are fully managed NAND solutions with built-in controllers and industry-standard interfaces, simplifying hardware and software integration and streamlining the development and qualification process for designers.

Continue reading 'Micron first to bring automotive-grade M500IT SSDs into your vehicle' (full post)

Star Wars: Episode VII principal photography wraps in London

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 10:40 pm

Over 11 years from the principal photography wrap of the last 'Star Wars' film 'Revenge of the Sith', filming is now complete on the as-yet untitled 'Episode VII', with director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy presenting cast and crew with a cap and a heartfelt thank you note.


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According to MTV News Lucasfilm held a well attended wrap party with key cast including veteran leads Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and franchise newcomers JJ Abrams, Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis and John Boyega all in attendance.


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Episode VII now enters the post production editing phase, including the creation of mind blowing visual effects from the now Disney owned entity Industrial Light and Magic, along with music from veteran composer John Williams. The release date of December 18th 2015 is now a little over a year away, and we're counting down with equal parts glee and trepidation.

Starwood Hotels allows guests to use their smartphones as room key

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 10:30 pm

Starwood Hotels has announced its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will be able to use their smartphone as their room key, using the custom mobile, keyless entry system. The new mobile hotel key offering will be introduced at Aloft, Element and W Hotels across the world, but starts in Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha.


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The service officially goes live on Wednesday, November 5 - and should be implemented at 30,000 doors in 150 hotels by early 2015.


"Not only does SPG Keyless alleviate a perennial pain point for travelers, but it also transforms the first interaction with our guests from one that is transactional to something more personal," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels. "This is just the beginning, because through mobile we have the opportunity to marry high tech and high touch to transform the hotel experience in many exciting ways."

Microsoft drops retail sale of Windows 7 and 8, as Windows 10 looms

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 9:30 pm

Microsoft has set aside sales of retail versions of Windows 7 and 8, with 8.1 now the only packaged software that can be found on store shelves. Consumers cannot purchase retail copies of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate, and Windows 8 has also been pulled - new PCs and laptops will have Windows 8.1 pre-installed.


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Windows 10, which Microsoft hopes can convince users to put full faith back into the Windows OS, is scheduled for release in late 2015.


Some manufacturers will allow customers to downgrade from Windows 8.1 down to Windows 7 Professional - and indicates Microsoft is desperate to get consumers to forget about Windows 8, even though it's just two years old.

Apple Watch should be available to consumers in spring 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 8:30 pm

Apple will reportedly launch its Apple Watch in spring 2015, which is unfortunately later than originally hoped for by consumers and analysts. However, Angela Ahrendts, Apple Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores, wants Apple Store employees to be prepared for what could be an extremely busy spring.


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Here is what Ahrendts said in the voicemail: "You guys were hired because you're the best people in the world. And you know how to service customers. But we're sprinting a marathon right now, and it's not going to stop."


Apple previously said the Apple Watch would ship in early 2015, but never confirmed an exact launch date - however, it was believed Valentine's Day would be too early, with some analysts predicting a May-June launch.

Some Xbox One gamers having trouble downloading COD: Advanced Warfare

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 3, 2014 7:30 pm

The public launch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare didn't go as well as some would have hoped, with an unknown number of Microsoft Xbox One gamers reporting problems with the digital download.


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Here is what Microsoft said: "We've received reports that some users are having issues getting their pre-ordered copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We're happy to say that our team has fixed the problem, but if you are still experiencing any issues, delete the game and re-download it. Thanks for your patience while we got this issue worked out. Have fun!"


Interested gamers can download the Day Zero edition of Advanced Warfare for the Xbox One today, even if it wasn't pre-ordered. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare officially launches on November 4 for the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

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