Android faces a growing malware problem, up 580% in one year

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | Oct 25, 2012 4:26 PM CDT

Here's reason enough to switch to Apple's walled garden: less chance of malware. Malware is increasingly becoming a problem for the Android operating system, no doubt due in part to its openness and the ability for anyone to post an app to the Play Store. Also sideloading apps furthers this problem.

Don't believe me? Well, a new study shows that Android malware grew by 580 percent in the previous year. An incredible 175 million downloads were of apps deemed "High Risk." And these app downloads came from Google Play's Top 500. Let's stop the scare tatics, though, and focus on reality. For the most part, Android users will be safe from malware.

That 580 percent statistic is misleading. Malware samples grew from 4,951 in September 2011 to only 28,707 in September 2012. So while the 580 percent statistic is true, it's highly misleading. Looking at it in terms of total apps, roughly 1.69 percent of all Android apps are malware, though most of those are not in the Play Store.

Continue reading: Android faces a growing malware problem, up 580% in one year (full post)

Gigabyte introduces a range of Windows 8 notebooks, get your details here!

Trace Hagan | Laptops | Oct 25, 2012 12:47 PM CDT

The flow of Windows 8 devices are about to begin. Gigabyte is out of the gate today with a bunch of new devices out that will be running Microsoft's latest operating system that launches today. Offerings range from convertible Ultrabooks to regular Ultrabooks, and gaming notebooks to slates. That's right, Gigabyte has launched a tablet.

Let's say hello to the Convertible U2142 (seen above).

Powered by the latest IntelĀ® dual-core processor, the 10.1-inch S1082 is an exceptional mobile device to enhance and increase mobile productivity. With Windows 8, a large storage HDD (up to 500GB), and multiple connectivity ports, the S1082 is a powerful tool for work and play. With its excellent design and useful accessories, including a keyboard kit and the D1080 multimedia docking station, the S1082 has exceptional versatility and can be used as a slate, a notebook and even an entertainment center.

Continue reading: Gigabyte introduces a range of Windows 8 notebooks, get your details here! (full post)

What you need to know about the Windows 8 launch

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Oct 25, 2012 6:28 AM CDT

Microsoft's biggest launch of pretty much any product they've ever released is here, Windows 8. But, a new operating system isn't the only thing launching with Windows 8. We're looking at the Surface tablet running Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, a slew of Windows 8-powered notebooks, Ultrabooks, tablets as well as countless Windows 8-compatible accessories, and hardware.

5.) Windows 8-powered notebooks and Ultrabooks - One of the most exciting thing about the launch of Windows 8 is that there are going to be countless new products for everyone to choose from. New notebooks with Windows 8, touchscreen notebooks with Windows 8, new Ultrabooks, new touchscreen Ultrabooks with Windows 8. There are exciting new products like ASUS' TAICHI, which sports dual 1080p screens, one on the normal side like a standard notebook, and on the rear, another 1080p screen, but touchscreen-capable.

Before Windows 8, we never saw bold moves like this by players like ASUS, but now we are seeing dramatic shifts in the market as companies try new things. It's exciting.

Continue reading: What you need to know about the Windows 8 launch (full post)

Brace yourselves, Mac mini benchmarks are here

The new Mac mini has been benchmarked by colocation data center, Macbinicolo. The site has pushed all three stock models through benchmarks, as well as sharing their initial impressions of each of the machines. Geekbench results focus mainly on processor and memory performance, and show just a slight increase in performance for the entry-level machine when compared to the previous-generation.

The bigger gains come from the quad-core Ivy Bridge-based processors, with early impressions of the device including:

- Don't look now, but the new Mac minis are getting comparable to the last gen Xserve and 2010 Mac Pros as far as benchmarks. Tech progress marches on.

Continue reading: Brace yourselves, Mac mini benchmarks are here (full post)

Zynga sees $52 million loss in Q3, announces $200 million stock buyback

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 25, 2012 4:26 AM CDT

Zynga aren't having the best year, with their Q3 2012 numbers rolling in and seeing large revenues of $316 million, beating analysts' low expectations of $300 million or so, but the company have lost $160 million in the first nine months of this year.

The the last three months, Zynga have lost $52 million, even with their better-than-expected Q3 2012 revenue. The company recently announced a $200 million stock buyback and a new partnership with UK-based real-money online gambling site, bwin.party. This saw Zynga's stock driving upward in after-hours trading, rising 13.67%.

But, they look to be short-term gains, with the company struggling in the last few months. Zynga are losing millions of gamers, are in lawsuits, had a write-down of OMGPOP, and have also seen corporate talent walking out the door. CEO and founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus, has said in a statement:

Continue reading: Zynga sees $52 million loss in Q3, announces $200 million stock buyback (full post)

Dell launches S2340T multitouch display, works with Windows 8

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Oct 25, 2012 3:22 AM CDT

Windows 8 is mere hours away, and now we have Dell announcing theri 23-inch S2340T display. The Dell S2340T sports a 1920x1080 resolution, flexible positioning (take that as you will), with an articulated stand, supporting up to 10 points of simultaneous multitouch, all on an edge-to-edge glass panel.

We're looking at a 23-inch, VIS display with LED backlight, a 1920x1080 resolution at 60Hz and a 178-degree viewing angle. Filling out the number side of things, we have an 8,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity are on offer for inputs.

The S2340T does have one requirement that most monitors don't have: it needs to be connected to a USB3.0 port to enable the touchscreen. The monitor itself provides more USB3.0 ports on-board, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone port and microphone port. Dell's S2340T needs Displaylink's multitouch driver for functionality to enable, and the S2340T is not Mac-compatible right now, but will be in the future through a drive update.

Continue reading: Dell launches S2340T multitouch display, works with Windows 8 (full post)

Android to overtake Windows as the top OS in 2016

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Oct 25, 2012 2:31 AM CDT

This is something I kind of expected to happen, and in around the same time frame, but it looks like Android could turn into a huge powerhouse for Google. Bigger than the powerhouse it already is now with over 500 million Android-based users across the world, that is.

Traditional PC shipments are on the track to reclining for this year, marking the first time in over ten years that PC shipments have dipped. Gartner Research's latest numbers point toward Google's mobile OS, Android, being baked onto more devices that Microsoft's Windows OS.

By the end of 2016, the total number of computers, smartphones and tablets running Android is estimated to hit around 2.3 billion units, compared to [just] 2.28 billion Windows-based devices. Microsoft may have waved the flag of OS victory for the past 20 years, but its time for another champion, in robot form.

Continue reading: Android to overtake Windows as the top OS in 2016 (full post)

Nintendo Wii U to be sold at a loss, signals a change in Nintendo's pricing structure

Trace Hagan | Gaming | Oct 24, 2012 8:32 PM CDT

The Nintendo Wii U will be sold at a loss when it is first introduced in November. Nintendo has come out and said that manufacturing costs are higher than what consumers would be willing to pay, so they've decided to sell it at a loss, much like Sony did with the PlayStation and Microsoft did with the Xbox.

This decision isn't necessarily a bad choice. Microsoft and Sony have been doing this for a while as it allows more consumers to purchase the console, which, in turn, widens a developers audience so more games, and bigger budget games, are developed for the system. This drives even more sales of the console.

Furthermore, some of those losses are recouped on selling accessories, such as remotes, and on licensing fees paid be developers. Nintendo will make up these losses by selling games and accessories. And, as the cost of manufacturing decreases, Nintendo will start to make back its losses through profits on sales of the console itself.

Continue reading: Nintendo Wii U to be sold at a loss, signals a change in Nintendo's pricing structure (full post)

Nintendo aknowledges underage workers at Foxconn, issues statement regarding fixes

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 24, 2012 6:37 PM CDT

Nintendo recently found itself in some hot water over accusations that underage workers were employed by Foxconn and working at factories where Nintendo has the Wii U manufactured. This is against the policy that Nintendo requires its partners to agree and abide by, so they were quick to launch an investigation.

Today, they have released a statement regarding the results of that investigation. They found that Foxconn had employed under-aged interns to manufacture the Wii U. Foxconn has accepted complete responsibility for the incident and has "moved quickly to ensure that all affected individuals no longer work at Foxconn."

It's not just Apple who are being affected by the working conditions at Foxconn. Nintendo has been brought into the fray, but has acted quickly to rectify the issue. The full statement from Nintendo is below:

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iPad mini sales to be limited by supply issues initially

Trace Hagan | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Oct 24, 2012 5:36 PM CDT

Reports are coming in that the iPad mini will be limited in number at launch, due to supply constraints. This, coupled with a lower price tag that is expected to drive up demand, should worsen the already short supply. The supply is expected to be less than usual, so pre-order quickly or line up outside if you have to have the latest Apple gadget.

The supply constraints are chalked up to issues with producing the new, smaller 7.9-inch display. Reports say that Apple is expanding its supplier chain for iPad mini displays, but the new companies are experiencing issues producing the display. LG will continue to produce displays, though Apple has added AUO to the supply chain.

AUO will supply panels to Pegatron. AUO, however, was only able to produce 100,000 units in September. They hope to reach 400,000 for October, 800,000 for November, and 1 million December. This is compared to LG who shipped 300,000 in September, and plans to ship 1 million in October, 2.5 million in November, and 3 million in December.

Continue reading: iPad mini sales to be limited by supply issues initially (full post)