Samsung to block iPhone 4S sales in France, Italy, lay the smackdown on Apple's big day

Anthony Garreffa | BREAKING STORY | Oct 5, 2011 5:15 AM CDT

Samsung Electronics have just announced they will file separate preliminary injunction motions against Paris, France and Milano, Italy on October 5 local time requesting the courts block the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in the respective markets. Samsung's requests in France and Italy will each cite two patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications technology, specifically Wireband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.

The patent they refer to is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple's violation as being too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales. This bit is the bit that puts a smile on my Samsung lovin' dial:

Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.

Continue reading: Samsung to block iPhone 4S sales in France, Italy, lay the smackdown on Apple's big day (full post)

id's Rage gets raged at by negative reviews, suffers from what seems like consolitis

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 5, 2011 12:00 AM CDT

Four years of hype, all gone in a single day. Most reviews have not been that great for id Software's latest FPS offering, with reviews mixed at best. Most agree that Rage fails to deliver the goods, with most reviews saying its a shallow, corridor shooter with gaping craters in its story, dialog, quests and mechanics. Ars Technica does not hold back saying Rage is "creatively and mechanically bankrupt, it feels like a group of people had to create a game because they were under contract, not because they honestly enjoyed any aspect of their own creation".

Joystiq is just as harsh, being quoted:

RAGE is pretty at times, but it's not enough to paint over the truth -- that id's labor feels like a scaffolding for a game of bolder ideas, ideas which, for whatever reason, aren't realized. And the game that is there just isn't enough to compete with other, better shooters we've seen this year.

Continue reading: id's Rage gets raged at by negative reviews, suffers from what seems like consolitis (full post)

Battlefield 3 loses over 34k pre-orders, people aren't happy with beta

Anthony Garreffa | BREAKING STORY | Oct 4, 2011 11:01 PM CDT

The Battlefield 3 beta has given users the chance to either play the beta early (48 hours earlier than the open beta) and for those who didn't, they got a free, no obligation chance to test out the beta to see if they liked it. So far, most people have loved it. But there are of course, the haters. There are issues with the beta, but this is why it is a beta after all. It does not represent the final product, nor does it show off the entire game.

But, there has been a tweet from the guys behind Battlefield 3 have tweeted that they've lost 34,000 pre-orders with those numbers rising. They remind everyone that "people need to be aware this is a beta, much more to come for the full game". I have to reinforce the same thing, it's not perfect for me, but I expect that for a beta. I do expect more from the full game, but I haven't canceled my pre-order. The news of BF3 possibly hitting Steam made me cancel my CD-key order and wait for Steam, though.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 loses over 34k pre-orders, people aren't happy with beta (full post)

Apple stats, 16 billion iTunes songs downloaded, 300 million iPods sold and more

On top of Apple's announcement today of the iPhone 4S, Tim Cook has come out swinging with a bunch of Apple-related numbers to impress the world with. Starting with, there have been 16 billion songs downloaded from the iTunes store, and also 300 million iPods sold. To give you some perspective, Sony took 30 years to sell just 220,000 Walkman cassette players.

Cook also announced that "the MacBook Pro and iMac are the number one best selling notebook and desktop in the United States". Apparently, the Mac platform grew by 23 percent over the past twelve months, versus a four percent increase from the PC sector. Cook displayed a chart showing the past five years for Mac, showing that Apple is closing in on 60 million Mac users worldwide, leaving Apple short of owning a fourth of the personal computer market. Cook says "there are still 77 percent of people who are buying something else, we have an incredibly high ceiling here. We have a long way to go".

Cook has high dreams for Mac, and with the way things are going, they should have no issues getting there.

Continue reading: Apple stats, 16 billion iTunes songs downloaded, 300 million iPods sold and more (full post)

AC Ryan launch VEOLO, Android-powered Hub for your TV

Anthony Garreffa | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Oct 4, 2011 8:00 PM CDT

AC Ryan, International IT and CE manufacturer and leading digital lifestyle producer, have launched what they say is the future of digital home entertainment today - VEOLO. AC Ryan VEOLO combines the most demanded functions to provide a complete digital home entertainment unlike ever before - apps, internet, and a media streamer, all on your TV. VEOLO is powered by Android 2.2 Froyo platform, bringing an enhanced experience for apps on a TV, including casual games and social media.

The built-in web browser includes Java support which allows you to view your favourite Flash-based websites and stream videos from the comfort of your sofa, lounge or bean bag. Streaming your library of music, movies and photos in Full HD is great with the built-in Gigabit Ethernet connection. VEOLO also sports built-in wireless 802.11 b/g/n LAN, powered by an ARM Cortex A9 1GHz processor and includes on-board 512MB DDR3.

AC Ryan include a 3-in-1 remote control as standard with the VEOLO which ensures the VEOLO is a premium product with maximum features an unrivalled user experience. All the functionality of a keyboard and mouse, wireless motion controller and standard remote control, packed into a single, stylish, uncluttered remote control. VEOLO will be available on store shelves in November 2011 at a Suggested Retail Price of US $279.

Continue reading: AC Ryan launch VEOLO, Android-powered Hub for your TV (full post)

Battlefield 3 to make its way to Steam after all?

Anthony Garreffa | BREAKING STORY | Oct 4, 2011 5:02 PM CDT

BF3Blog has received an anonymous report from inside Valve, that they are in late-stage talks with EA to bring Battlefield 3 to Steam. The rumor is that Battlefield 3 will be available just in time for the release of the game on October 25. According to the report, EA and Valve are very close to reaching an agreement regarding sales of DLC content, which is the main reason Battlefield 3 wasn't previously coming to Steam.

Valve requires that all DLC is sold through Steam, whereas EA prefers to sell it through their own channels. This was why Crysis 2 (another EA title) was pulled from Steam earlier this year. Many PC gamers have lobbied both EA and Valve to bring Battlefield 3 to Steam and it looks like this may just happen. Fingers crossed!

Continue reading: Battlefield 3 to make its way to Steam after all? (full post)

You and Apple Siri, Q&A etc with your iPhone 'intelligent assistant'

Twitter and Facebook (as well as Apple stocks) is alive with disappointed after expecting more from the "Let's talk Apple" event.

Apple left the biggest announcement of the show till the end by introducing "Siri" aka your iPA (personal assistant). Siri takes voice commands and throws the whole concept out the window with a wildly impressive new way for you to communicate with your iPhone.

Apple bought Siri (a mobile assistant app) in April last year and has spent the time since evidently doing a great job of implementing it into iOS 5.0.

Continue reading: You and Apple Siri, Q&A etc with your iPhone 'intelligent assistant' (full post)

Apple spills the beans officially on iPhone 4S - get the facts here!

The internet and its dog can relax now, Apple has just got done officially revealing and discussing its latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S.

In what seems like what the iPhone 3GS was to the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 4S looks exactly the same as the iPhone 4, but comes with a lot more power. Using the new A5 chip that is used in the iPad 2, Phil Schiller from Apple said "Dual-core CPU, 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Also dual-core graphics. Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. One area you really see it scream is in games."

Some may have been expected a low-cost iPhone in the 4S, but we really all should have known it would just be a supercharged iPhone 4. When I say just, that might not have been the right way to put it. I've been using my iPhone 4 since it was first released and it is getting on the slow side and with all the new features and improvements coming to iOS 5.0, the extra power provided by the A5 chip should make a big difference when comparing to a regular iPhone 4 with the A4 chip. Add on to this the iPhone 4S is not a 4G phone as was rumored, but it will be able to offer twice the download speeds of the iPhone 4 with HSDPA compliancy of 14.4Mbps versus 7.2Mbps of the iPhone 4.

Continue reading: Apple spills the beans officially on iPhone 4S - get the facts here! (full post)

Plextor refreshes SSD lineup with new SATA 6G models

Steve Dougherty | Storage | Oct 4, 2011 12:04 PM CDT

Plextor has hit up the ever growing SSD market with a new line of SATA 6Gbps drives in regular 2.5-inch form. There are currently two drives in the new lineup, the 128GB PX-128M2P and 256GB PX-256M2P, both of which depend on Marvell's 88SS9174 controller together with Toshiba TH58TV68D2FDA88 MLC 34nm NAND flash.

With 512MB DDR3 cache on the 256GB model and half that (256MB) on the 128GB, sequential write speeds vary between the two with Plextor promising write rates of 440MB/sec and 320MB/sec on the 256 and 128GB drives, respectively. Read rates, however, are equal at up to 500MB/sec.

Other included features of the new Plextor drives are SMART, NCQ, TRIM, Bad Block Management, Instant Restore and Plextor TrueSpeed firmware. As for pricing, with the drives first showing up in Japan we can get an idea from the JPY pricing of 46,800 (about $610 US) on the 256GB model and 21,800 (about $284 US) on the 128GB.

Continue reading: Plextor refreshes SSD lineup with new SATA 6G models (full post)

Microsoft kill Zune, send it to the Phantom Zune

Enjoy the Superman reference? If not, I meant Phantom Zone, which means that Microsoft have killed the Zune, officially. Microsoft have removed all references to the Zune HD from its Zune site on Monday and later claimed that the removal was "a mistake". I don't think so, Microsoft. It looks as though they might have removed them early, and the removal was pushed mistakenly. A new support article on Microsoft Zune's support pages makes it very clear:

We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.

This confirmation is the arrow to the heart of Zune, as they've failed to prove popular against Apple's iPod. Microsoft did kill off their original Zune-based devices earlier this year, which was the beginning of the inevitable end. Microsoft urged customers to purchase Windows Phone 7 devices for the Zune experience.

Continue reading: Microsoft kill Zune, send it to the Phantom Zune (full post)