Netflix blames Comcast for overcharging to access the same net content

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | Internet & Websites | Apr 24, 2014 7:26 PM CDT

In its new blog post, Netflex blamed Comcast of extorting content companies and its own customers by charging twice for accessing the same content on the internet. It also stated that the internet service provider is not truly offering transit service.

Earlier, Netflix raised concerns about Comcast's merger with Time Warner as it might charge a 'toll' for accessing video content, but at the end of the day Netflix had to made an agreement with Comcast for better quality of streaming of content for its customers.

Netflix pointed out that unlike Level3 and Cogent, Comcast is not carrying traffic to every network on the internet. According to Netflix, rather than moving the traffic, its merely acting as a 'gatekeeper' for its subscribers. Netflix VP of content Ken Florance added,"In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other."

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Google rumored to minus Google+ from its lineup

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Apr 24, 2014 7:03 PM CDT

Rumors are flying that Google will soon shut down, or at least dismantle its Google+ service. The rumors suggest that Google would remove Google+ as a product, but continue it flowing in the background as a service instead.

TechCrunch has said: "What we're hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform - essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter". According to one of TechCrunch's anonymous sources, Google+ would no longer compete directly against Facebook and Twitter, and would end the forced integrations of Google+ into Google services like Gmail and YouTube.

Another source, as well as the Financial Times' anonymous source has said: "One person familiar with Google said the company planned to refocus its social media efforts soon. Its Hangouts messaging and video-chat app will be given greater prominence, alongside photos, while the Google+ branding may take a back seat, this person said".

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Boston Children's Hospital website targeted by cyberattackers

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Apr 24, 2014 2:32 PM CDT

The Boston Children's Hospital was recently targeted in a wave of cyberattacks trying to bring down its website, though cybercriminals were unsuccessful, and no patient data was taken in the attempted breach.

"Over the weekend and through today, Boston Children's Hospital's website has been the target of multiple attacks designed to bring down the site by overwhelming capacity," said Rob Graham, hospital spokesperson, in a statement.

Hospital officials have reported police authorities and an investigation is currently underway - no hacker or hacker groups have stepped forward to take credit for the attempted breach.

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Amazon Prime Pantry might let you skip the grocery store

Shane McGlaun | Business, Financial & Legal | Apr 24, 2014 2:02 PM CDT

Amazon has made no secret over the years that it wants to earn all your business. You can get just about anything you can think of from Amazon and you can now buy your groceries there. Amazon has announced Prime Pantry, a grocery delivery service available anywhere in the lower 48 states.

With Prime Pantry, you can go and find all the snacks, dinner stuff, drinks, toiletries, personal hygiene, and other items you need. Add them to your cart and Amazon keeps a running total of how full your Prime Pantry Box is.

Once the box is full, Amazon will ship it to you for $5.99. The box will hold up to four cubic feet of items or 45 pounds. You will still have to go to the store for some of your items since Prime Pantry only has non-perishable items. This service could save you most of your trips each month. It seems that the prices are higher than local stores (at least my local stores) but the convenience f not having to go to the store may be worth it for some folks. You do have to be an Amazon Prime member.

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ASRock's upcoming Z97 motherboard line gets detailed in 19 photos

Charles Gantt | Motherboards | Apr 24, 2014 11:59 AM CDT

ASRock has quickly grown to be one of the foremost motherboard manufacturers in the custom PC world and with Intel's pending release of its new 5th Generation Haswell Processors for 2014, the company has prepared an entire line of Z97-based motherboards for 2014. While we are sure that ASRock will be showing them all of at Computex 2014, TweakTown has been given a special look into the line in the form of 19 photos.

No information was given on each specific motherboard except that they are Z97 based, and will accept Intel's 5th Generation Haswell Processors. Some of the boards will feature the new M.2 SSD connector and will allow the use of M.2 SSD drives with the boards. "M.2, formerly called "Next Generation Form Factor" (NGFF), is the latest I/O solution of replacing Mini-SATA (abbreviated as mSATA) and breaking through the speed limit of the current SATA3 6Gb/s. Leading by Intel Inc., M.2 technology is based on the PCI Express interface and also compatible with the SATA interface," ASRock said in a release.

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Skylanders Trap Team ships October 5, adds a new wrinkle to the series

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Apr 24, 2014 10:06 AM CDT

Skylanders has been around for several years and was the first game to allow the player to take real-world action figures into the video game to play. The player could buy a number of Skylanders action figures, set them on a portal device, and play them in the video game. Activision has turned Skylanders into one of its most profitable franchises.

A new Skylanders game will land this fall called Skylanders Trap Team. It will have the normal ability to let gamers place an action figure on the portal and play the character in the game. It will also have another interesting feature that is a first for the franchise.

Players will be able to defeat digital enemies and bring them into the real-world using special traps. Once the enemy is defeated in the game, inserting a trap allows the gamer to catch the bad guy and turn it into a playable character. Somehow, the bad guy can be heard inside the trap. Since the traps are physical items, the player can take them to a friend's house to play on another system just as they do with the action figures. The game launches October 5 and will cost about $75 for a starter kit.

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Virtuix receives $3 million in investor funding for its Omni treadmill

Anthony Garreffa | Wearable Computing & Fashion | Apr 24, 2014 8:23 AM CDT

There are some incredibly exciting devices coming out this year, with the Virtuix Omni VR treadmill being one of them. Virtuix, the company behind the VR treadmill, has just received $3 million in a round of investment.

Virtuix has said that it will use the investment to increase the amount of staff it has, improve the mass production as well as the distribution of the Omni treadmill. The Virtuix Omni begins shipping in a few months to its Kickstarter backers, after which it will go on sale to the general public - and hopefully arrive at my house for a good old thrashing.

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Watch Dogs sequel would "certainly not" take so long to make

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Apr 24, 2014 5:39 AM CDT

Watch Dogs isn't even out yet - and doesn't arrive until May 27 - but Watch Dogs' Creative Director, Jonathan Morin, is already teasing us about the sequel. Not directly, but he talked to Eurogamer saying "Right now there is no such thing as a Watch Dogs 2".

Morin continued: "It's certainly not going to be the same amount of time if we ever embark on such a journey. A big part of it was defining whatever Watch Dogs is. Once you have that starting point, then what becomes interesting is what players want more of - what comes next?". He also mentioned the delay that Watch Dogs required, suggesting the commitment to Watch Dogs' long-term potential. He said that Ubisoft wanted to get the game right, as the future of Watch Dogs is important to them.

He added: "Especially with the delay we have just been really concentrating on getting it [the original Watch Dogs] launched. After that we'll see where it goes - I think Ubisoft is showing more and more that they're willing to take the time for it to be right". When it came to talk of a sequel, Morin suggested that the decision for Watch Dogs 2 isn't going to necessarily be greenlit on sales numbers alone, but more the critical reception of the game would be important to the company, too.

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NVIDIA's GeForce GTX TITAN Z set for April 29 for $2999 excluding tax

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | Apr 24, 2014 4:00 AM CDT

We were there when it was announced, but we didn't know when the GeForce GTX TITAN Z would be released - now we know: April 29. NVIDIA will be selling the GTX TITAN Z for a massive $2999 - without tax.

Considering some countries charge anywhere between 10-30% tax, you could be looking at as much as just under $4000 for this beastly dual-GPU video card. But, remember that the TITAN Z sports two GK110 GPUs, so we should expect some truly delicious performance from this card. Each GPU features 2880 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and 6GB of GDDR5 RAM at the ready.

One of the best things NVIDIA did with its TITAN Z is air-cool it, versus AMD's watercooling setup on its Radeon R9 295X2. You can just buy the TITAN Z, strap it into a PCIe slot and away you go. There is no fiddling around to mount some massive radiator. I can't wait to get my hands-on two of these for some triple 4K action.

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GIGABYTE teases GeForce GTX-powered BRIX gaming PC

Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems | Apr 24, 2014 3:33 AM CDT

GIGABYTE is really expanding its BRIX lineup of small form factor PCs, with the latest one powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 GPU. Not only that, but it had an Haswell-based Core i5 processor, too.

Inside of the new BRIX was an Intel Core i5-4200H processor at 2.8GHz (up to 3.4GHz thanks to Turbo), with a 47W TDP. As for the desktop-class GPU, the GeForce GTX 760 has a total TDP of 170W, so we should expect some serious heat to be pushed out of this particular BRIX. Inside, we have dual SO-DIMM slots, support for both mSATA and 2.5-inch drives, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet.

On top of that, we have four USB 3.0 ports, dual HDMI outputs, and a miniDisplayPort output. We should expect the GeForce-powered BRIX PCs to roll out sometime next month, with the company teasing a Core i7-based BRIX being available soon. We should see much more on the BRIX PCs as we get closer to Computex which kicks off in early June.

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