YouTube gives UMG, Sony a holiday present - takes billions of views away from their videos

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Dec 24, 2012 5:30 AM CST

Google have slapped Universal, Sony and other music labels on the wrist by stripping them of around 2 billion fake views form their YouTube channels. The groups hit include Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, RCA records and a few others.

The hit has been called a 'black hat', as the companies were using programs or paying a third-party that would manipulate view counts on their respective YouTube videos, which are pretty much just robotic views of their videos. The purpose? To make their songs look much, much more popular than they really were, in order to entice real clicks and views onto their videos.

This ended with over two billion views combined being removed from the companies' videos. Universal was hit the most, seeing more than one billion in views stripped away from them, from a former seven billion views taken down to six billion. Sony/BMG placed second with a loss of 850 million views, bringing their total down to just 2.3 million.

Continue reading: YouTube gives UMG, Sony a holiday present - takes billions of views away from their videos (full post)

Archos unveils Jelly Bean-powered '97 Titanium' tablet, sports Retina class display

Archos have unveiled their latest tablet, named the 97 Titanium. The 97 isn't just there for looks, it represents the size of the screen if you add a dot in between the 9 and 7 for 9.7 inches.

Throwing the name to the side for a minute, it has some impressive specs. The 97 Titanium sports a 9.7-inch 2048x1536-pixel display with a pixel density of 264ppi, so we're getting into the fourth-generation iPad class here, folks. It packs a dual-core 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage which is expandable via microSD cards.

A 5-megapixel rear shooter is in play, backed up with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Underneath all of this speccy goodness, we have Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Best of all, it doesn't look like Archos have spoiled the stock Jelly Bean look with their own UI splashed on top, which is actually quite impressive and gets a flicker of strong interest from yours truly.

Continue reading: Archos unveils Jelly Bean-powered '97 Titanium' tablet, sports Retina class display (full post)

LG unveils new Google TV-powered sets, will be released in various sizes in 2013

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Dec 24, 2012 12:36 AM CST

Google TV hasn't quite taken over the world, but it looks like more TVs are going to be released next year with partner LG stepping up to the plate announcing new sets.

The South Korean electronics giant have current Google TV-powered sets in both 47- and 55-inch models but will expand this range to offer five different sizes. The new sizes will be 42-, 50- and 60-inch options. LG haven't stopped there, either, they've also updated the design of the TVs, too, giving them a thinner bezel and new support legs.

LG's new TVs will ship with Google TV 3.0, as well as built-in OnLive support. LG will bring their new Google TV 3.0-powered TVs to CES 2013, so it'll only be a few weeks until we get some hands-on time with them.

Continue reading: LG unveils new Google TV-powered sets, will be released in various sizes in 2013 (full post)

NASA looks to infinity, and beyond with their next-generation spacesuits

Sometime around 2015, NASA will incorporate a next-generation spacesuit that has a bunch of new features, but most noticeably, a new design. The new Z-1 NASA spacesuit will arrive in 2015 and offers a bunch of new advantages compared to the current and previous designs.

The biggest change would be the rear-entry hatch which lets an astronaut put the suit on from the back, and when finished, they just have to close the rear hatch. The current astronaut wear, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit, which has been in use since 1982, requires the wearer to put the pant and top portions on separately, and then connect them together.

Jumping into the spacesuit makes more sense, with its hatch being very handy for quick in-and-out experiences in the spacesuit. There's also a new suit port. Usually stored internally, the suit could attach to the exterior of the space vehicle, and the astronaut could easily enter the suit from inside the vehicle.

Continue reading: NASA looks to infinity, and beyond with their next-generation spacesuits (full post)

Samsung sues Apple in Korea, goes after the iOS Notification Center

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Dec 23, 2012 10:34 PM CST

Lawyers are making some serious bank these days with the countless lawsuits between tech giants Samsung and Apple, but it looks like the former is suing Apple for their Notification Center.

In their home country of South Korea, the electronics giant are suiting Samsung for the feature that debuted with iOS 5. There is some risk, though, as the Notification Center isn't a standards-essential patent, so if Samsung loses, they'll be coughing up some money to Apple.

At the moment it's not known if Samsung are defending a patent they have in possession or whether they have enhanced an existing patent that some other company had received before Apple launched the Notification Center. Keep in mind that Samsung can't sue for something that Google patented, and considering Samsung run Android and not their own custom OS, this could get interesting.

Continue reading: Samsung sues Apple in Korea, goes after the iOS Notification Center (full post)

Top 5 tech items to buy for your loved ones this Christmas!

Anthony Garreffa | Current Affairs | Dec 23, 2012 1:27 AM CST

Christmas is here, and there are some people out there that leave gift purchases until the last minute. If you're one of those people, we're here to help you!

Let's talk about the top five tech-related gifts you could buy a loved one this Christmas. We'll handle a variety of gear, from smartphones to tablets, storage to GPUs. Let's hit the list, shall we?

1.) Smart devices

Continue reading: Top 5 tech items to buy for your loved ones this Christmas! (full post)

YouTube Player API for Android is here

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Dec 22, 2012 10:34 PM CST

If you're an Android app builder and were wanting to sprinkle a little YouTube into your app, today is your day! Google have released the Android YouTube Player API.

You'll now be able to bake YouTube into any app you want, and will sport high-quality playback for Android devices featuring Android 2.2 and above. Since there's simple integration, there are a bunch of goodies that will keep you happy.

This includes full screen and orientation mode support, closed captions display, support for YouTube ads and the ability to program most elements of the playback experience natively within your app. There are developers who have already dabbled in it, such as Flipboard. Full details can be found here.

Continue reading: YouTube Player API for Android is here (full post)

Rheinmetall use 50kW laser weapon, pew pew to the max

Defense contractor Rheinmetall have just tested their 50kW high-energy laser weapon, which was a complete success. The 50kW laser works by looking for a target using something they call the 'Skyguard radar system', locks the target in with an optical scanner before it goes to work.

After it has looked for its target, locked it in, it will fire multiple, superimposed beams for extra energy. The German-made HEL cannon was capable of cutting through a 15mm-thick steel girder, but that's not all - it managed to do so from over 3,200 feet away. If you thought that was impressive, the laser was able to taking down a UAV, where after reaching the programmed fire sector, the laser weapon engaged the UAV's immediately, destroying them in seconds - keep in mind that these UAVs were flying at high speeds. Pew, pew indeed.

Lastly, the laser system was used in detection, pursuit and successful engagement of "an extremely small ballistic target". The team used a steel ball measuring in at 82 mm, travelling at 50 meters per second. This was used to replicate a mortar round, which the Skyguard fire control unit detected immediately, tracked the target, engaged it and destroyed it mid-air.

Continue reading: Rheinmetall use 50kW laser weapon, pew pew to the max (full post)

Cooler Master Case Mod Competition 2012 Results

John Williamson | Modding | Dec 22, 2012 3:24 AM CST

For the past two years Cooler Master has run an annual Case modding competition which has produced some of the most stunning examples of both professional and amateur PC builds from around the globe.

This year's Modding competition was no different with the usual mixture of drama, trolling and some friendly rivalries setting the stage for some mind blowing creations. The Competition itself is divided into three categories: Scratch Mod, Tower Mod and Cooler Mod, each with a plethora of modders fighting for a place as the best of the best in their individual classes.

Well after Months of hard work from all the hopeful participants the dust has settled in the workshops, votes have been tallied and winners announced. Cooler Master must have experienced a larger than expected turn out for this years event as we can see multiple second and third places have been added to the tower and scratch mod sections of the competition. Results are as follows.

Continue reading: Cooler Master Case Mod Competition 2012 Results (full post)

Google and Motorola working on 'X Phone,' looking to rival Apple and Samsung

Trace Hagan | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Dec 21, 2012 5:56 PM CST

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Motorola and Google are working on an "X Phone" that will be released sometime next year. The "X Phone" looks to put competition to the likes of Samsung and Apple. As of late, the two companies have been increasingly hard to beat when it comes to market share and design.

An X Tablet is expected after the launch of the X Phone. The X Phone production will continue alongside of the development of Droid devices for Verizon and devices for other carriers. According to the WSJ, "Dennis Woodside, a former Google top sales executive who is now Motorola's chief executive, declined to discuss products under development. But he said in an interview that the company is 'investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different than the current approaches.'"

Motorola has run into difficulties with the device when they tried implementing a flexible screen and ceramic materials. Google is taking the Apple approach with Motorola by trying to more closely merge software with hardware. We have already seen examples of this with the Nexus line of devices, and should see next year the fruit of their labor on the "X Phone."

Continue reading: Google and Motorola working on 'X Phone,' looking to rival Apple and Samsung (full post)