Samsung unveil their Series 9 Premium Ultrabook, give it a 1080p display

Anthony Garreffa | Laptops | Mar 25, 2013 9:32 PM CDT

Samsung have just injected some more pixels into their latest Ultrabook, the Series 9 Premium Ultrabook. The 13.3-inch Series 9 notebook included a 1600x900-pixel display, but the new and improved NP900X3E-A03US sports a 1920x1080 display.

Samsung unveil their Series 9 Premium Ultrabook, give it a 1080p display | TweakTown.com

It doesn't come close to the Google Chromebook Pixel or Apple MacBook Pro Retina displays, but it does provide a generous 40% more pixels than their previous generation Ultrabook. The improved Series 9 Premium Ultrabook includes the usual LED-backlit display which uses Samsung's SuperBright technology, which the South Korean company touts a 50% brighter display than a standard laptop monitor.

Cranking along inside the NP900X3E-A03US, we have Intel's Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM (why not 8GB?), a 256GB SSD, and Windows 8 Pro. Weighing in at 2.56 pounds and is just 0.51 inches at its thinnest point. What will all of this set you back? $1899.99. Not too bad, but the price is definitely getting up there.

Continue reading: Samsung unveil their Series 9 Premium Ultrabook, give it a 1080p display (full post)

Petr Mitrichev first repeat winner of Facebook Hacker Cup

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Mar 25, 2013 8:31 PM CDT

Facebook's Hacker Cup is a contest in which programmers from around the world are given tasks that they must program solutions to. The third annual Hacker Cup championship took place over the weekend at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters. This year's winner is the same as 2011's: Petr Mitrichev.

Petr Mitrichev first repeat winner of Facebook Hacker Cup | TweakTown.com

Mitrichev represents the first repeat winner of Facebook's Hacker Cup, though it's only been held for three years. Petr Mitrichev hails from Russia, though other countries were also represented at the finals. Contenders came from Australia, Belarus, China, France, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

Mitrichev was awarded first place and $10,000. Second and third place were given to Jakub Pachocki and Marcin Smulewicz, who both hail from Poland. Now the question remains: why wasn't the United States represented in this competition?

Continue reading: Petr Mitrichev first repeat winner of Facebook Hacker Cup (full post)

Google adds support for Gifs as Google+ profile pictures

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Mar 25, 2013 7:37 PM CDT

Google is taking a page out of Facebook's book and is pushing images as a main part of Google+. As part of this initiative, Google has added support for Gifs to be used as Google+ profile pictures. Interestingly enough, Twitter dropped support for Gifs last September. It'll be interesting to see if they reverse their decision.

Google adds support for Gifs as Google+ profile pictures | TweakTown.com

Animated Gifs will be supported on both the desktop and mobile versions of Google+. As Matt Steiner, the person who first posted that Gifs are now supported, said, "[it is] like newspapers in Harry Potter." We imagine some creative people will make use of this to do some funny and interesting things, much like people did with Facebook cover photos when they were first introduced.

Continue reading: Google adds support for Gifs as Google+ profile pictures (full post)

China to get its own official Linux distro called 'Kylin'

Charles Gantt | Software & Apps | Mar 25, 2013 12:27 PM CDT

China is notorious for trying to control every aspect of its citizen's computing lives. It regularly blocks websites, restricts software and cuts internet connection from its people. Surprisingly even with all of that control, the Chinese government seemingly loves Linux.

China to get its own official Linux distro called 'Kylin' | TweakTown.com

Most of you will be surprised to hear that China has had open source "Software Promotion Union" since 2004 and the union is teaming up with Canonical to create a better Linux distro just for China. Dubbed Kylin, this version of Linux is designed to replace "Red Flag", the current "Chinese only" Linux based OS.

Kylin will support Chinese characters and will link up with Chinese web services for banking, music streaming and local mapping. Reports have us seeing an official release of the distro as early as April. With Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth heading up the Software Promotion Union, we expect that estimate to be fairly accurate.

Continue reading: China to get its own official Linux distro called 'Kylin' (full post)

FCC Commissioner calls net neutrality the agency's biggest failure

Charles Gantt | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 25, 2013 8:20 AM CDT

Last week FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announced that he would be stepping down from his seat at the FCC. McDowell was one of the biggest opponents to the Net Neutrality rules that were adopted by the FCC in 2010.

FCC Commissioner calls net neutrality the agency's biggest failure | TweakTown.com

In 2010 the FCC approved net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service providers from blocking lawful traffic and banning discrimination against competitive services running over the ISP's networks. This was seen as a major win for internet lovers across the nation.

The controversy came when Wireless carriers were deemed to not be subject to those rules. McDowell opposed the net neutrality rules stating "I just think it was needlessly disruptive and a diversion of FCC resources." When asked to elaborate, McDowell had the following to say:

First of all, I've been a strong advocate for a free and open Internet. What I opposed really focused on, first of all, there is no market failure that needed to be addressed. Second, the FCC did not have the statutory authority to do what it did. Third, if there had been a problem there were laws already on the books that would have addressed the problem.

There wasn't a problem before the rules and there's not a problem with any danger of a closed Internet in this country after the rules. For those who think the rules have preserved an open Internet, that's sort of like a rooster taking credit for the sunrise.

Continue reading: FCC Commissioner calls net neutrality the agency's biggest failure (full post)

Windows Blue build 9364 leaks out, multiple Live Tile sizes, same-width side-by-side apps on offer

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Mar 25, 2013 4:09 AM CDT

The latest leaked build of Windows Blue has floated out and onto the Internet, with build 9364 of the upcoming updated OS is available in both 32- and 64-bit, and will set you back around 2.63GB as an ISO file.

This is of course a leaked build, nothing official, so it's only available from the usual file-sharing websites. The latest build shows off some updated larger and smaller Live Tiles, some more Start screen customization as well as updated side-by-side app view which helps multi-tasking quite a bit as you can now display two applications with matching width.

Windows Blue build 9364 leaks out, multiple Live Tile sizes, same-width side-by-side apps on offer | TweakTown.com

There are some other things included with build 9364, such as a Play option under the Devices panel, a screenshot button on the Share sidebar, as well as Internet Explore 11 which comes included with Windows Blue.

Continue reading: Windows Blue build 9364 leaks out, multiple Live Tile sizes, same-width side-by-side apps on offer (full post)

Lawmakers don't want you to be a glasshole and wear Google Glass on the road

Anthony Garreffa | Wearable Computing & Fashion | Mar 25, 2013 1:07 AM CDT

Google Glass isn't even here yet and we're already seeing lawmakers make their movies. West Virginia lawmakers are trying to push in a new bill that would make it illegal to drive while "using a wearable computer with head mounted display."

Lawmakers don't want you to be a glasshole and wear Google Glass on the road | TweakTown.com

The news comes from CNET, from a piece by Chris Matyszczyk, where he received an e-mail from Gary G. Howell, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature. The e-mail read "your article on Google Glass prompted this bill." Matyszczyk asked Howell how this had all of the sudden transpired, but Howell isn't totally against Glass, telling Matyszczyk:

I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law. It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.

Continue reading: Lawmakers don't want you to be a glasshole and wear Google Glass on the road (full post)

Google shut Reader down due to the high cost of privacy compliance

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 25, 2013 12:15 AM CDT

There are thousands of people, myself included, saddened by the news that Google are shutting down Reader in a couple of months. Why did they do it? News is now coming out that the Mountain View-based company closed Reader due to the hidden costs of keeping users' data private.

Google shut Reader down due to the high cost of privacy compliance | TweakTown.com

This is coming from an unnamed source of AllThingD, who said that the closure of Reader is at least partly due to Google's reluctance to build out the staff and infrastructure needed to deal with the legal and privacy issues related to Reader. The source added that Google are trying to position themselves so that they stop getting into expensive lawsuits, by adding dedicated staff to deal with legal issues to each of their teams.

When Google announced the closure of Reader, they didn't even have a project manager of full-time engineer dedicated to it. Google reportedly didn't want to spend the money building the service into a full-blown app, and on the flip side, didn't want to sell it to a third-party because of its deep integration with other Google Apps.

Continue reading: Google shut Reader down due to the high cost of privacy compliance (full post)

Blizzard announce Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play strategy card game

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mar 24, 2013 11:05 PM CDT

Blizzard have yet another game that gamers will pour hours into, where during the Penny Arcade Expo, Blizzard announced a free-to-play, collectible card game based on the Warcraft franchise. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will see players select one of nine characters as they take turns summoning characters, casting spells and using weapons in a one-versus-one online game.

The company have said that they love collectible card games and have been playing them since their Silicon & Synapse days, adding that creating a digital card game like Hearthstone felt natural, so they constructed a small team of 15 developers to smash out the title. They were reportedly given more creative freedom to experiment, but it looks like it could pay off.

Blizzard announce Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play strategy card game | TweakTown.com

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be made available for PC and Mac users, with an iPad version arriving at a later date. You can try to apply for beta access through your Battle.net account.

Continue reading: Blizzard announce Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play strategy card game (full post)

Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 24, 2013 10:07 PM CDT

Apple have reached 100% renewable energy usage at all of their data centers, with their corporate facilities not far behind with 75% renewable energy. Considering the company was at just 35% renewable energy for their corporate facilities two years ago, this is a swift, and great change:

Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers | TweakTown.com

Our goal is to power every facility at Apple entirely with energy from renewable sources - solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. So we're investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows.

Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.

Continue reading: Apple have now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at their data centers (full post)

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