Verizon Wireless will offer subscribers a free Apple iPhone 6 16GB if they sign a two-year contract and exchange their old phone. The 16GB iPhone 6 model costs $199, and eligible trade-in devices include the following: iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, or 5S smartphones. The launch of major smartphones is a selling point to consumers interested in switching carriers, which hasn't gone unnoticed by the No. 1 wireless carrier in the United States.
Even if many seem underwhelmed by Apple's recent announcements, wireless carriers have been quick to offer subscribers incentives to join their networks.
Apple's pricing is a rather curious one, as T-Mobile and other carriers begin to eliminate mandatory two-year contracts while also unbundling service. Equipment financing plans of more expensive smartphones isn't as appealing, with a growing number of subscribers interested in paying installments for expensive smartphones.
This year's 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' might have made just shy of $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office (and the entire series an astonishing $4 billion), but according to the Inquisitor, Director Michael Bay is finally walking from the franchise.
Many, including myself criticised the latest film for being far too long and indulgent, the fun of the first entry now a distant memory, so new blood at the top is a well overdue and welcome bit of news. Whilst the inclusion of Mark Wahlberg replacing the lead role previously played by Shia LaBeouf made for a novelty, it seems that he also has no interest in returning.
It's no surprise that Paramount wants to keep the franchise going, but without a director or key cast, the mooted 2016 release date seems all but impossible.
After a long, multi-million dollar restoration effort to restore one of the best loved science fiction TV series of all time, CBS Entertainment have unveiled plans to release the seventh and final season of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' on Blu-ray, along with a separate feature film version of the two part finale 'All Good Things'.
The six disc set includes all 26 episode episodes, fully remastered in 1080p, including a newly produced three part documentary 'The Sky's the Limit: The Eclipse of Star Trek: The Next Generation', an 'In Conversation: Lensing Star Trek: The Next Generation' feature which reunites some of the best Next Generation directors, three audio commentaries, 23 deleted scenes, a gag reel, original footage of the sets in 'A Tour of the Real Enterprise', the vintage documentary 'Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation', TV spots and all original DVD features.
Season 7 comes to Blu-ray on December 2nd in the US, and December 10th in Australia.
An interesting rumor is emerging, that Microsoft will acquire Mojang, the developer behind the super-successful Minecraft. The Wall Street Journal is behind the report, which gives it some weight, which says that a "person familiar with the matter" has noted that the deal is worth over $2 billion.
Other than that, there's not much to report on now, but you can be sure we'll have more to say if and when this happens.
Intel continues to develop and manufacture hardware for mobile devices, as Dell and other OEMs show their CPU partner support. In addition to its blossoming plans for increased tablet market saturation, the company also has its sights set on the lucrative smartphone market.
"We've made good progress getting into tablets," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, in a statement. "We've gone from nothing to something where I consider us a real tablet manufacturer."
Just a few years ago, Intel was fully dedicated to notebooks, PCs and servers - but a continuing migration to mobile devices shook the company up - and Intel fights for market share in a competitive market. However, Intel didn't want to miss the boat long-term, and invested in expanding mobile research and development. It will still be an uphill battle to compete with ARM, but Intel is grinding away to close the gap.
IFA 2014 is currently underway in San Francisco, with HGST showing off its newest member in its HelioSeal family, the new Enterprise-class SMR-based 10TB HDD. Yes, you read that right - ten terabytes of storage in a single drive.
HGST achieved this insane level of storage by using its Helium-filled HelioSeal technology mixed with Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), but it comes at a price. SMR writes to the disk in a way where its mainly a sequential write/random access read storage device. The tracks inside of the 10TB HDD are slightly overlapped as they're being written to the disk.
Thanks to this method, we have a massively increased density up to 10TB, but writing to the middle of the disk isn't possible without overwriting two shingled tracks simultaneously. PC Perspective explains this as "CD-RW writing, but for hard disks". These new drives will be a better buy than tape-based archiving methods, especially with storage now hitting 10TB per drive.
A Twitter account reportedly used by the Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem), a group that has pledged its loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), recently issued death threats against Twitter employees in the United States. The @dawlamoon account was quickly suspended, but not after urging "lone wolf attacks" targeting Twitter employees at the company's San Francisco headquarters.
ISIS and its affiliate groups use social media to recruit new members, spread propaganda, and antagonize rivals - but official terrorist group accounts are being purged from Twitter and other networks - which has apparently upset the Al Nusra Al Maqdisia.
It's unknown if Twitter is boosting security at its headquarters, but the federal government is aware of the tweets.
Salesforce, a company specializing in enterprise CRM, warned that its customers are being targeted with the Dyreza malware designed to steal data and credentials. Specifically, Dyreza was known to target financial institutions, and aims for larger companies. Salesforce was careful to ensure its customers that this isn't a security vulnerability within its platform.
"We currently have no evidence that any of our customers have been impacted by this, and we are continuing our investigation," Salesforce said in a statement. "If we determine that a customer has been impacted by this malware, we will reach out to them with next steps and further guidance."
To counter this threat, Salesforce urged customers to deploy IP range restrictions from corporate networks and VPNs only - along with using two-factor authentication to ensure only approved users are accessing CRM databases. As more information is stored - and accessible - in the cloud, security concerns such as this incident can make it even more difficult for businesses to keep data secure.
The Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U game platforms saw sales bumps in August, but still couldn't compete against the Sony PlayStation 4 in the United States, analysts recently noted. The Xbox One saw a 14 percent month-over-month boost to account for 150,000 units sold, while the Wii U saw tremendous growth of 11 percent year-over-year up to 65,000. Although the PS4 had a 14 percent month-over-month drop, the console still racked up 175,000 units sold in the same timeframe.
"We expect PS4's [August] sales to again exceed those of the Xbox One," said Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan analyst. "[PS4 still outside Xbox One] despite the June introduction of a $400 Xbox One without Kinect and the August release of a $400 Madden NFL 15 bundle that includes a download code [for Madden], essentially bundling the game for free."
Although the Wii U and Xbox One both saw boosted sales figures in August, it must be troubling that neither platform can still compete on the sales chart against the PS4. Since the PS4 and Xbox One were released in November 2013, it has been domination by Sony's console - and despite a price cut and more console/game bundles, this will continue to be a slugfest.
Ebay announced that Braintree, a former competitor of PayPal and current subsidiary, will begin accepting bitcoins sometime in the next few months. There won't be direct bitcoin integration via PayPal or the Ebay marketplace, as Ebay reportedly was able to answer regulatory questions and other issues that had to be addressed.
"We're announcing PayPal's first foray into bitcoin," said Bill Ready, EBay Braintree unit chief, during a recent conference. "Over the coming months we'll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience."
Braintree customers include Uber and Airbnb, and will be able to accept bitcoins if they choose to opt in. It's a curious move that could lead to bitcoin integration within PayPal and eBay in the future, depending how things with Braintree go.