RumorTT: iPhone 5S to be mass produced in March, launch in June/July

Trace Hagan | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Jan 15, 2013 4:07 PM CST

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek has released another research report, which continues to assert that the iPhone 5S will be coming June or July. New to the report is the assertion that mass production of the next iPhone will begin in March. If this is the case, I would expect to start seeing leaks soon, and definitely by March, as long as Apple continues to be as leaky as they have been in the past.

Our checks indicate that preliminary builds for the iPhone 5S will start in March for a launch in June/July. As word of the earlier production schedule starts to spread, we believe we could see a slight slowing of demand CQ1 in anticipation of the new product launch and Apple will likely start curtailing channel inventory.

Along with rumors and predictions for the iPhone 5S, Misek provides some insight into the possibility of a cheaper iPhone:

Continue reading: RumorTT: iPhone 5S to be mass produced in March, launch in June/July (full post)

Facebook's big thing is Graph Search, allows you to search through its social graph

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Jan 15, 2013 2:40 PM CST

Facebook's big announcement today was the preview and beta launch of Graph Search, a new tool that will help you sift through the massive amounts of connections and data that Facebook has in its social graph. For the questions that can't be answered by Facebook's data, Bing will try and provide the answer from the Internet.

The current version is available in a limited preview for English users only. Zuckerberg stressed that privacy was an important issue when building the search engine. For instance, you should only be able to search for content shared with you, however, you can search for something like "TV shows watched by doctors" or "Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney."

The ability to do searches such as the examples above could allow researchers to sift through connections to see if there are any connections. According to Zuckerberg, there are currently 1 billion people, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections in the social graph. How it works:

Continue reading: Facebook's big thing is Graph Search, allows you to search through its social graph (full post)

NYPD to add GPS chips to prescription bottles to try and help New York City drug theft

Charles Gantt | Current Affairs | Jan 15, 2013 12:44 PM CST

Prescription drug theft is a major issue in New York City, and the NYPD have plans to try and prevent it from growing. Pharmacies across the city could receive "Dummy bottles" that contain GPS tracking chips in an effort to catch thieves.

"In the event of a robbery or theft, we'll be able to track the bottle, which may lead us to stash locations across the city", Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly writes in a speech he'll be giving in California today. Kelly has asked researchers to examine the feasibility of placing chips into fake pills that could be tracked by GPS.

The NYPD is also educating local pharmacies on how to better secure their premises in what is being called "Operation Safety Cap." What do you think about this? Is this just another money wasting effort or do you think that this could really clean up the streets of prescription drugs? Either way, I am happy to see more Law Enforcement Agencies embracing modern technology.

Continue reading: NYPD to add GPS chips to prescription bottles to try and help New York City drug theft (full post)

Foremay releases world's first 2.5" SATA 2TB SSD

Charles Gantt | Storage | Jan 15, 2013 10:04 AM CST

Foremay, an OEM SSD manufacturer, has released the world's first 2TB SSD drives with a standard 2.5" SATA interface. Both new models seem to only be available for OEM and industrial applications though at this stage.

Foremay is offering the SC199 (for mission-critical applications) and TC166 (for terminal computing) product families in either commercial or industrial grades to suit end-user's specific applications. Features include Advanced Power Management, Advanced Error Correction, Military Secure Erase, and hardware based encryption.

"By leveraging Foremay's patent pending technologies, we are proud to deliver the world's first 2 TB SSD in standard 2.5" SATA form factor," said Jack Winters , Foremay's CTO and co-founder. "We hope our high reliability 2 TB SSD drives can help create more design freedom and storage space for both mission-critical and enterprise applications."

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World not going to end in 2029 or 2036 due to Apophis astroid

Trace Hagan | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Jan 15, 2013 5:13 AM CST

Fans of the end of the world will have to wait just a bit longer to start cheering. NASA has just released information that the world will not be ending in an explosion caused by an asteroid in 2029 or 2036. Previously, the Apophis asteroid was thought that it could hit the Earth in 2036, with a low chance of collision in 2029.

NASA's new data suggests that there is only a one in a million chance of the asteroid colliding with Earth in 2036, which is small enough for NASA to effectively rule out the collision. NASA says that interest in the Asteroid will now be purely scientific for the foreseeable future.

The asteroid will pass within 9.3 million miles of the Earth, which is a bit close for my comfort. However, it's far enough away that nobody will need to build bunkers. So, until the next space scare, put away your end of the world gear.

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ADATA shows working Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) on video at CES

Chris Ramseyer | Storage | Jan 15, 2013 5:06 AM CST

CES 2013 - ADATA had one of the only working NGFF products on display at CES that we saw. NGFF stands for Next Generation Form Factor and it's the next evolution for SSDs. By moving the SSD away from the SATA bus and to PCI Express, current bandwidth limits are increased by nearly 4x. Before overhead, the PCIe bus will deliver nearly 2000MB/s for the boot SSD.

NGFF also goes under the more marketable name M.2. At this time there are several versions of NGFF, around 15 or so but we hope manufacturers can come together to standardize one or two. Once connector would be even better, this one looks like a winner to me.

To get NGFF up and running, ADATA teamed with LSI SandForce for the controller. A M.2 to SATA adapter was used, much like the mSATA to SATA adapter we use to test mSATA drives in a desktop. As we mentioned, ADATA was the one company with a unit working at we saw.

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GPS error leads woman to drive 900 miles, versus her 90 mile trip

We'll put this in the bin of 'how the hell did that happen', but a 67-year-old woman has driven for 900 miles over a two-day period thanks to a GPS error, as well as her total lack of attention. The kicker? Her destination was just 90 miles away.

Sabine Moreau had planned to pick up her friend at a train station in Brussels, with her first step of the trip leaving her home town of Hainaut, Erquelinnes, Belgium. The train station was 93 miles north of her home town, so the GPS gets flicked on and directs her... south, instead of north. She listened to the GPS and started her turn-by-turn navigation trip down to Zagreb, Croatia.

What should've been a couple of hours in the car turned into a multi-day trip including gas stops, sleeping on the side of the road for a couple of hours and even a minor car accident. This all happened while she was none the wiser, where she has said:

Continue reading: GPS error leads woman to drive 900 miles, versus her 90 mile trip (full post)

Kaspersky uncovers five-year cyber espionage network, makes the Flame malware look like a wimp

Anthony Garreffa | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Jan 15, 2013 1:32 AM CST

Kaspersky of all companies have found something utterly shocking, an advanced cyber espionage network that makes last year's infamous Flame malware look like a joke. Dubbed Operation Red October, each attack is handcrafted for its victim in order to make sure it 100% works.

Red October has been hitting systems across the world since at least May 2007 and carefully chooses its victims spanning over two dozen countries who hold positions in government, military, aerospace, research, trade and commerce, nuclear, oil and other important, vital industries. Investigators aren't sure who is behind the attacks, but it is being reported that Chinese hackers may have created the exploit, while the various malware modules deployed seem to have been created by those who speak Russian.

Kaspersky can't put their finger on the source, as it is currently being run through at least two layers of proxy servers across Russia, Germany and Austria. Whoever is involved has some skill, as they've been silently sitting, unknown to the user, in major government and industry computers.

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ReportTT: Instagram seeing roughly half the number of daily users after ToS mess

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | Jan 15, 2013 12:01 AM CST

Instagram, the photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, had a bit of a screw up with its terms of service when it went to update them in December. The changes included clauses that seemingly give Instagram permission to use users' photos, likeness, and username in paid advertising without any sort of compensation, or even permission.

After an outcry by users, Instagram backpedaled the proposed changes, saying that they were unclear and misunderstood by the public. According to data by AppStats, the number of daily users has decreased by roughly 50 percent since the terms of service fiasco. Prior to the change, 16.35 million people were using it daily. On the day of the change, only 5.2 million used the app.

We're now about a month since the change, and AppStats says that on January 12, only 7.81 million people used the app. In other words, roughly half of the daily users are no longer using the app. Of course, these numbers are approximations as it is very hard to get an accurate accounting for apps. But, it does appear that things aren't so good for Instagram. I wonder if Facebook is regretting their decision to purchase the photo-sharing network.

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Wildman, from the developer who bought us Total Annihilation, needs your Kickstarter funds

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Jan 14, 2013 11:28 PM CST

The days of Total Annihilation ruled me, I played tens of hours per week and upgraded my system constantly to play it smoothly at a high resolution like 1600x1200 back in the CRT days. Well, the developer behind it, Gas Powered Games, are looking to release a new game and need your help to fund it. Gas Powered Games require $1.1 million in funding, which will wrap up on February 15.

Gas Powered Games' master and commander, Chris Taylor, is behind things again and below, you'll find the perfect explanation behind the game from their Kickstarter page:

Imagine a game where you control a single hero unit-the "Wildman" - in the middle of a raging battle between opposing forces in a specially designed War Zone. You engage the enemy and see your opponent switching tactics, forcing you to reconfigure your army to counter. You push the enemy back to their base before facing your opponent's champion. Over the course of this battle, you upgrade your armies with new technology, execute special abilities, construct defenses, change your army composition, and shape-shift into new forms that grant you new abilities. This is Wildman.

Continue reading: Wildman, from the developer who bought us Total Annihilation, needs your Kickstarter funds (full post)