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TweakTown News Posts - Page 85

Nest Protect smoke alarm available again with wave feature deactivated

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 10:17 am

Back in April of this year, Nest stopped selling the Protect smoke alarm after an issue surfaced with the wave feature. The wave feature was designed to allow the user to silence the alarm and that feature was malfunctioning leading to Nest issuing a patch that disabled it on units in use.


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Nest has now announced that the Protect is available for purchase again. However, the wave feature is still disabled on the Protect. An investigation into a solution for the wave issue is underway. The Nest Protect is designed to alert a smartphone if smoke is detected so you can keep an eye on your home or office from afar.

Continue reading 'Nest Protect smoke alarm available again with wave feature deactivated' (full post)

Sony Pictures announce Amazing Spider-Man 2 Blu-ray release

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 5:05 am

Fresh from its theatrical debut which pulled in a respectable (albeit below expectations) $700 million worldwide, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia have announced the release of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro' on Blu-ray for August 14, in both 2D and 2D + 3D flavours.


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Whilst Sony have yet to detail the specifications of the local release, the Blu-ray should mirror the US release which includes Audio Commentary from Director Marc Webb, Deleted Scenes, a feature length documentary entitled 'The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and a music video.


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I took a look at the film in its theatrical release back in April.

Wii U sales have increased 400% thanks to Mario Kart 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 3:53 am

Mario Kart 8 on its own is selling a buttload of copies, but the game has also helped Nintendo push more Wii U units than ever before. Nintendo has sold seen a huge 400% increase in Wii U sales since Mario Kart 8 launched. Mario Kart 8 is even helping Nintendo hurt Sony's sales of the PS4 in Japan.


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Nintendo America boss Riggie Fils-Aime said during an interview with VentureBeat: "Mario Kart 8 has increased the sell-through of the Wii U hardware business by a factor of four. In the two weeks prior to the launch, versus what we've seen now following the launch, we're selling at a daily rate four times higher than where we were before".


I can attest to that, as I will be picking up a Wii U next week all because of the release of Mario Kart 8. I always said to myself that when Mario Kart went next-gen, I would buy it, so come back to TweakTown next week for our look at the Nintendo Wii U and Mario Kart 8!

PCIe 4.0 should see throughput increased to 64GB/sec from 32GB/sec

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 2:24 am

I don't know why I'm just reading about, and thus reporting about it just now, but more details are leaking out on next iteration of the PCI Express specification - PCIe 4.0.


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As it stands, PCIe 3.0 has a maximum throughput bandwidth of 32GB/sec, but PCIe 4.0 will ramp things up to 64GB/sec - as it will have a base speed of 16Gbps per data link. At the moment, GPUs won't make much more use of this, but with SSDs moving toward PCIe - we are seeing a huge increase in the required bandwidth - with OCZ showing off 3.8GB/sec with PCIe-based SSDs in RAID 0 at Computex this year as an example.


When will we see PCIe 4.0 rolled out? We should expect it to come baked into Intel's upcoming Skylake platform, with its 100-series chipset.

Target suffers computer glitch that causes frustrations at checkout

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 17, 2014 1:26 am

Popular retailer Target recently suffered a technical glitch when point-of-sale (POS) systems at checkouts in retail stores. It's unknown how many stores were affected by the problem, but Twitter users across the country reported long lines as Target tried to quickly address the problem.


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With nothing to do but wait in lines, it isn't surprising to hear shoppers took to Twitter to voice their complaints. It's an unfortunate incident for Target, as the company's large data breach late last year already left customers angry.


The company was quick to note the computer issue wasn't related to a security incident, according to company spokesperson, Molly Snyder: "Target has identified an issue impacting checkout at some of our U.S. stores. The glitch is causing delays at some checkouts, but is not in any way related to a security issue. We apologize to anyone impacted, and we are working with guests in stores where the issue has not yet been resolved to accommodate their needs. We will provide updates as they are available."

Growing number of apps let parents control children's smartphones

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 16, 2014 11:53 pm

Children at younger ages are frequently using smartphones or tablets, and that has led to some problems for parents trying to limit technology use. Since 2011, children smartphone and tablet use has tripled, according to Common Sense Media, and that number is expected to only accelerate further.


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The DinnerTime Parental Control app, designed for both Apple iPhones and Google Android devices, will let parents pause activity - giving children the chance to finish schoolwork, exercise, finish chores, or other activities. There also is a feature so parents are able to purchase app usage details, giving them a better look at how much time kids are using certain apps on their devices.


However, critics say parents should speak with their children about appropriate and inappropriate use of their devices - but that won't slow down the market for apps that provide parents with a better ability to limit technology use.

Department of Transportation wants to regulate navigation apps

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 16, 2014 9:55 pm

The Department of Transportation (DoT) is struggling to keep up with navigation apps on smartphones and tablets, seeking regulation from Congress regarding mobile devices behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be given permission to restrict navigation apps, and make future changes if needed to preserve driver safety.


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Automakers support the measure, as they are used to adhering to voluntary guidelines that put restrictions on built-in navigation systems. Not surprisingly, technology companies are against government interference, saying legislation would be difficult to enforce.


"They don't have enough software engineers," noted Catherine McCullough, Intelligent Car Coalition executive director, said in a recent interview. "They don't have the budget or the structure to oversee both Silicon Valley and the auto industry."

Continue reading 'Department of Transportation wants to regulate navigation apps' (full post)

Svpeng ransomware trojan hijacks smartphones, demands payment

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 16, 2014 8:45 pm

A new Trojan operating in the United States and United Kingdom, dubbed "Svpeng," demands $200 payment after locking smartphone users out of their devices. The likely Russian-made malicious code doesn't steal login credentials yet, but that is the likely next step, according to researchers from Kaspersky Lab.


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Users that don't have some type of anti-malware solution on devices are at higher risk, and there are no easy ways to get around the Trojan once it has been installed. Unless a device has been previously rooted, the only other way to remove it is to boot into safe mode and erase all content on the phone.


The malware looks for the following mobile apps: USAA Mobile, Citi Mobile, Amex Mobile, Wells Fargo Mobile, Bank of America Mobile Banking, TD App, Chase Mobile, BB&T Mobile Banking, and Regions Mobile.

Continue reading 'Svpeng ransomware trojan hijacks smartphones, demands payment' (full post)

Philippines charges first person under controversial cybercrime law

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 16, 2014 7:18 pm

Karla Martinez Ignacio has the distinction of being the first person indicted in the Philippines under a new cybercrime law, with the government ushering in a new era under its controversial legislation. Ignacio is accused of transferring money into her personal bank account that was earned by fraud, and faces up to six years in prison for her crime if convicted.


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The government hopes to crackdown on cyberfraud, child pornography and identity theft - a growing battle by national governments across the world - but critics said political dissidents could be heavily punished. Despite initially being passed in 2012, there was an active protest against the law, which the nation's Supreme Court ruled legal in early 2014.


There is a cybercriminal and Internet piracy revolution underway in the Philippines, as a crackdown against Internet-based crime is becoming more prominent. Copyright holders in the Philippines are now receiving greater support from the government, shutting down torrent sites, punishing repeat copyright offenders, and becoming more proactive to help copyright holders.

Movie studios fighting piracy by shortening theatrical release window

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 16, 2014 6:16 pm

Movie studios in Australia will reduce the exclusive theatrical release window from 120 days down to 90 days, trying to limit movie piracy. Specifically, movie studios are still concerned of camcorder piracy - and with a strict clamp on movie rights, it takes some time before films are available via Netflix, Blu-ray and DVD, or other formats.


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"This 120 days is not the hard and fast rule anymore and there will be some studios this year that will be coming in around the 90 days," said Simon Bush, Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association CEO, in a recent interview. "[The studios] don't like the fact that they are losing out a lot of money to piracy."


In the United States, movie studios also have tried to shorten movie release windows - to compete with Redbox and other services - with cable and satellite providers expanding pay-per-view rentals of movies on the same day as theater releases.

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