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Showing posts from October, 2013

Chromecast adds Pandora to short list of apps so far

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Pandora is the sixth app to join the ranks on Google's app-to-TV dongle, and it's the second to arrive in the months since Chromecast launched.


(Credit: Pandora)
Pandora is on Chromecast at last, after Google said in July an app for the Internet's leading radio service was 'coming soon.'
After Google introduced its $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle (read CNET's review)
Many of the indications that Google got ahead of itself when it unveiled Chromecast are flattering to the search giant, even if they were frustrating to consumers. A Netflix promotion that Google touted would be available to Chromecast purchasers through the end of the year sold out in little more than a day. The device itself was on backorder for weeks at launch.
It's currently in stock at Best Buy, Google Play's store and Amazon, where it remains the top selling electronics item in that massive online store.
But Google appears to have been caught off guard not only by demand but also by the process …

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Much like the launch of the Nexus 4, T-Mobile may carry the Nexus 5 the same day it's launched via the Play Store. According to one Redditor, their local store is confident they'll have the device. When prompted, the store employee hinted it would be much the same scenario as last year.

According to the post, the store employee seemed confident they'd have the device. They noted it would be available same-day, and run a little more than the Play Store would sell it for. If the store employee's confidence can be trusted, we should expect that there has been internal dialogue from T-Mobile corporate regarding the device.
The device seems to be ready for final destinations, as one Twitter user claims to already have his Nexus 5, and has been posting about it copiously. While he doesn't get into performance much, and has oddly covered the FCC info at the bottom of the rear of the device, it does indicate the newest addition to the Nexus family is in the wild, probably sp…

Google has a long list of Android app updates waiting, but why?

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Sixteen of the core apps found in Android are showing they were recently updated in the Google Play store, yet the updates are nowhere to be found. What's going on?


(Credit: Jason Cipriani/CNET)
When commenting on a Google+ thread earlier today about the timing of the impending release of Google Hangouts for Android, I clicked in the direction of this post on Reddit.
According to the post, though the actual updates and change logs are missing, 16 Google apps have updated since Monday. I was able to download a Google Earth update on my Nexus 4 earlier today, but Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Wallet, and Keep remain unchanged.
So, what's going on here? Well, one logical conclusion could be that the unreleased updates are pending the announcement of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat. We still don't have any word from Google as to when those announcements might come, but the latest rumors point to Thursday or Friday.
Indeed, it makes sense for Google to update all of its core apps once …

Dark Mail Alliance develops surveillance

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We wouldn't be surprised if you're looking for a more secure email provider after the whole government surveillance debacle. That's why Lavabit and Silent Circle have joined forces as the Dark Mail Alliance to develop a new snoop-proof email technology. Dark Mail's 'Email 3.0' tech applies peer-to-peer encryption not only to the body of the digital missive, but also to its metadata (To:, From: and Subject fields) that third parties are most likely to collect. One downside is that encryption only works between Dark Mail accounts -- messages sent using the tech to Gmail or a Hotmail addresses won't be protected from prying eyes. If the two firms sound familiar, that's because they used to offer secure email services of their own, which shuttered earlier this year. However, they're determined to rise from the ashes and make the tech available to the public via mobile and desktop apps by 2014.
[Image credit: g4ll4is, Flickr]
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Google has a long list of Android app updates waiting, but why?

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Sixteen of the core apps found in Android are showing they were recently updated in the Google Play store, yet the updates are nowhere to be found. What's going on?


(Credit: Jason Cipriani/CNET)
When commenting on a Google+ thread earlier today about the timing of the impending release of Google Hangouts for Android, I clicked in the direction of this post on Reddit.
According to the post, though the actual updates and change logs are missing, 16 Google apps have updated since Monday. I was able to download a Google Earth update on my Nexus 4 earlier today, but Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Wallet, and Keep remain unchanged.
So, what's going on here? Well, one logical conclusion could be that the unreleased updates are pending the announcement of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat. We still don't have any word from Google as to when those announcements might come, but the latest rumors point to Thursday or Friday.
Indeed, it makes sense for Google to update all of its core apps once …

Apple's fondleslab market share falls below 30 per cent for first time

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IDC says iPad shipments stalled in Q3 as Samsung and Lenovo surged 5 ways to prepare your advertising infrastructure for disaster
Apple's fondleslab market share falls below 30 per cent for first time IDC says iPad shipments stalled in Q3 as Samsung and Lenovo surged Pundits partial to peak Apple prognostications have new data to fuel their ideas: IDC's newest report on global fondleslab sales has Apple's market share slipping markedly.
The analyst does offer one big caveat for its numbers: Q3 is a bad time for iPad sales because Apple now releases new models in Q4 and buyers keep their wallets shut until then. In Q4, 'IDC expects Apple to enjoy robust shipment growth'.
Even with that seasonal factor, the numbers don't look great for Apple because its sales in Q3 2013 are just 100,000 iPads higher than the were in Q2 2013, and that's with the new and cheaper iPad mini in the market. Also unwelcome is momentum for arch-rival Samsung, which managed to more than…

Sprint Spark tech promises LTE speeds up to 60Mbps, launches next week

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Sprint's Spark tech will reach 100 cities in three years (credit: Gabriel Pollard)
Sprint today announced that its Sprint Spark tech, which it says will provide lightning fast LTE service around 50 to 60 megabits per second, will debut on three phones that are coming out next Friday.
Sprint Spark is 'designed to achieve unprecedented speeds by combining three bands of 4G LTE wireless spectrum,' according to the carrier.
The three phones on which Spark will debut are the Samsung Galaxy Mega, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and the LG G2.
All three debut next Friday, November 8, though they won't be compatible with Sprint Spark at launch.
Prices and availability
The Galaxy Mega will be available Friday at $199.99 with a contract or $19.59 per month with Sprint One Up. The G2 will cost the same on contract, or $22.92 per month. The S4 mini will be $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, or $16.67 per month on Sprint One Up.
Out of the box, the three phones hyped by Sprint today won't …

Adobe hack attack affected 38 million accounts

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The recent security breach that hit Adobe exposed customer IDs, passwords, and credit and debit card information.


A cyberattack launched against Adobe affected more than 10 times the number of users initially estimated.
On October 3, Adobe revealed that it had been the victim of an attack that exposed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords. At the time, the company said that hackers gained access to encrypted credit card records and login information for around 3 million users. But the number of affected accounts has turned out to be much higher.
The attack actually involved 38 million active accounts.
'So far, our investigation has confirmed that the attackers obtained access to Adobe IDs and (what were at the time valid), encrypted passwords for approximately 38 million active users,' Adobe spokeswoman Heather Edell told CNET. 'We have completed e-mail notification of these users. We also have reset the passwords for all Adobe IDs with valid, encrypted passwords that we …

Windows Azure Compute cloud goes TITSUP WORLDWIDE

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Looks like a distributed system, breaks like a single tenant Free Regcast : Microsoft Cloud OS
Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud suffered a worldwide partial compute outage on Wednesday, calling into question how effectively Redmond has partioned the service.
The problems emerged at 2.35AM UTC, and were still ongoing as of 10.20PM UTC the same day, according to the company's service dashboard.
'Manual actions to perform Swap Deployment operations on Cloud Services may error, which will then restrict Service Management functions,' the company said.
Every single Azure region - a geographically distant and independent set of data centers - was affected, but for posterity that included: West US, West Europe, Southeast Asia, South Central US, North Europe, North Central US, East Asia, and East US.
'We are taking all necessary steps to mitigate this incident for the affected hosted services as soon as possible. Further updates will be published within 2 hours to keep you appri…

Drive in Google Glass, get a ticket

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(CNN) -- In what might be a first, a woman in California received a traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving.
Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding on Tuesday in San Diego and given an additional citation for driving while wearing her Google Glass. The officer considered the head-mounted display a monitor that was visible to the driver. Shocked, Abadie posted a copy of the ticket on Google+.
Traffic laws vary state by state, but many now have broad distracted-driving laws or bans on certain monitors that could easily apply to Google Glass.
The California law cited in Abadie's case is meant to prevent people from watching television while driving. V C 27602 prohibits televisions and similar monitors from being turned on and facing the driver. There are exceptions for GPS and mapping tools and screens that display camera feeds to help the driver navigate. If a device has a safety feature that limits its display to approved uses while driving, it can be allowed.
'I…

Facebook Admits Teen Use May Be Declining

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Many have claimed that Facebook's hold on the teenage demographic has been slipping. Facebook's earnings call on Wednesday did nothing to squelch these claims.
Facebook CFO David Ebersman said that while monitoring teen usage is a challenge, daily use among some may be declining.
'Youth usage among U.S. teens was stable overall from Q2 to Q3, but we did see a decrease in daily users partly among younger teens,' Ebersman said.
Ebersman's definition of 'younger teens' is unclear, as Facebook does not break out its user total by age group. But the comment does speak to the challenge Facebook has faced in retaining the attention of young consumers who are using other social sites like Snapchat, Twitter and even its own Instagram.
Younger teens may refer to Facebook users between 13 and 17 years old, an age group that Facebook has spent time focusing on in recent weeks.
Two weeks ago, Facebook changed its policy to allow teenagers in that age demographic to post publ…

New cybersecurity report from Microsoft details risks of running unsupported ...

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REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. released its Security Intelligence Report volume 15, which analyzes threat intelligence from more than 1 billion systems worldwide to provide in-depth perspectives on exploits, vulnerabilities and malware to help customers manage risk. Among other intelligence, the report examines the security risk that consumers and businesses face when using unsupported operating systems and software and looks at the implications of using Windows XP once support, including security updates, ends April 8, 2014. In addition, new telemetry compares the security of modern operating systems such as Windows 8 with older operating systems such as Windows XP that, according to StatCounter, make up approximately 21 percent of operating systems used today.

The report found these top three worldwide threats for those running Windows XP:
-- Sality. Malware family that can steal personal information and lower a PC's security s…

4K Output for PS4 Games Isn't "Currently Supported"; No Launch Games are 3D ...

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As we're just over two weeks away from the PlayStation 4 launch on November 15th in the United States and Canada, Sony has decided to release a Mega PS4 FAQ. Since it can be rather daunting and contains so much information, we'll be breaking the important information we've yet to cover fully into separate posts, hopefully making finding what you need a little easier.
Looking at screen resolution, the PlayStation 4 will support 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p via HDMI output. Additionally, the PS4 doesn't support analog video or audio output (HDMI handles both), with the system also able to output 5.1 or 7.1 audio via Digital Out (optical).
When it comes to 4K resolution output, Sony is considering it at the moment for still images and movies, but when it comes to games, 'PS4 does not currently support 4K output.'
Seemingly debunking the listing for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on the PlayStation Store, the PS4 will 'technically' support 3D gameplay at …

NSA taps into Google, Yahoo data clouds, can collect data 'at will,' says Post

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National Security Agency has secretly tapped private fiber-optic networks that connect Google's and Yahoo's worldwide data centers, giving it access to stored user data, Washington Post reports.


(Credit: The Washington Post)
The NSA has secretly tapped into the private fiber-optic networks that connect Google's and Yahoo's worldwide data centers, allowing the spy agency to suck up 'at will' metadata and content belonging to users of the companies' services, according to The Washington Post.
Under a program called MUSCULAR -- a joint project with British NSA counterpart the GCHQ -- the NSA takes advantage of overseas taps to intercept data flowing within Google's and Yahoo's geographically distributed data 'clouds,' where multiple copies of user data are stored unencrypted, the Post reports, citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, as well as unnamed 'knowledgeable officials.'
Such data might include, for example, …

Ohh! The PRECIOUS! Give it to uss. We WANTS it: Shiny iThings coming in 2014

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'Very, very unique', oh yes, Gollum. Now what was that about an Apple watch? 5 ways to reduce advertising network latency
Apple CEO Tim Cook has provided the clearest statements yet that in 2014 his company will launch products in tech categories it hasn't yet touched.
The iPhone supremo mentioned that time frame in answer to a question from an industry analyst about his earlier statements about new products, asked during a conference call after Apple announced its financial results for he final quarter of its fiscal 2013 on Monday.
'I've said that you'd see some exciting new products from us in the fall of this year and across 2014,' Cook replied. 'And I obviously stand by that, and you've seen a lot of things over the last couple of months.'
About new products in previously unexplored categories, Cook - surprise, surprise - offered no definite news. But he did strongly hint that such products are in the works.
'In terms of new product categori…

Adobe Hack Count Jumps to 38 Million Accounts

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Early in October Adobe revealed that nearly 3 million user accounts had been compromised by hackers and some personal information may have been taken. Now company is revising that number and saying the actual number of hacked accounts is 38 million.
Adobe ID hack jumps up to 38 million accounts
Adobe's initial report said that user names and encrypted credit card information for 2.9 million users had been taken in the attack. Based on what the company knows now, it is saying Adobe IDs and encrypted passwords for 38 million users were taken.
'So far, our investigation has confirmed that the attackers obtained access to Adobe IDs and (what were at the time valid), encrypted passwords for approximately 38 million active users,' Adobe spokesperson Heather Edell said in a statement to CNET.
The company said it has already notified all of the affected users by email, and is now looking into the number of inactive and text user accounts the hackers were able to tap into.
Adobe is work…

Dell users: Latitude 6430u laptops 'smell of cat urine'

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A number of Dell users have complained that their Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks 'smell of cat urine'.
Dell engineers have ruled out biological contamination, and said the smell was not a health hazard.
The problem lay in the manufacturing process, which has now been changed, the company said.
Users affected by the issue should send their laptop back for replacement parts.
Customers first raised the issue with Dell's high-end business laptop in June.
'A few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work,' one user called Three West complained on Dell's hardware support forum. 'The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!'
Another customer, Hoteca, said: 'I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad.'
Other users said they had b…

Google+ Gets New Photo Search and Backup Options

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With over 1.5 BILLION photos uploaded to Google+ every week, we need a way to help us organize those many pictures. Google's Senior Vice President of Social, Victor Gundotra, made it clear that photography was a major area of concern for Google+ and their latest update. He likened photography as a journal of our lives - we take our smartphone/camera with us everywhere that we go, making it so easy to snap a picture, and many do it to the tune of a 100 photos a day. However, this is should be a journey of fun and not work when it comes to saving, backing up those photos, searching for them and finding the pictures that really matter to you.

Luckily for us, Google+ has incorporated many new features to make the taking, storing, sorting, and searching of our photos as easy as possible, and one thing that Vic stressed was that by default Google+ will upload your photos in full-resolution so that years down the road, you can enjoy your pictures the way they were meant to be viewed, with…

Intel to ditch Web TV project, hand it over to Verizon

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The company is in late-stage negotiations with Verizon, according to a new report. The hand-off comes after reports have suggested Intel will roll out the service next year.


(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
Intel's long journey toward the creation of a television service might come to an end.
The chipmaker is in late-stage talks with Verizon to hand over control to its Intel Media business, All Things Digital reported on Wednesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. Intel Media is the unit that is charged with delivering a Web-based subscription TV service.
According to All Things Digital, its sources are unclear whether Intel would hand over the entire TV operation or if it would hold on to a piece. Verizon already offers a TV service through its FiOS unit, making it a seemingly reasonable partnership, should the companies go in that direction.
Intel announced earlier this year that it plans to launch hardware and software that allows for live TV, on-demand, and stre…

3DS hardware sales decline year

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Sales of the Nintendo 3DS in the first half of 2013 have declined compared to the same period in 2012.
As part of its recent financial report, Nintendo has revealed that 3DS sales for the first half of the financial year (April-September 2013) totalled 3.89 million worldwide, compared to 5.06 million in the same period last year.

Within this, however, the 3DS XL system has increased in sales - from 2.1 million to 2.9 million - suggesting a decline on the standard 3DS system is responsible for the overall drop.
Software sales have also undergone a sharp increase, with 27 million games sold in the first half of 2013 compared to 19 million in the first half of the previous year. Animal Crossing: New Leaf alone has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide during the six months, Nintendo said. When including its pre-April sales, the popular sim game has now sold 6.4 million units in total.
To date, Nintendo has sold 34.98 million 3DS systems globally, of which about a third are the larger 3DS XL mode…

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 head to head review

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GADGET DESIGNER Apple's iPhone 5S is the firm's latest flagship smartphone, which offers various feature updates or additions to try and tempt iPhone 5 users to upgrade. We've put the iPhone 5S up against its predecessor to see if it's worth upgrading from last year's premium model to its 2013 sibling.
The iPhone 5S, shown above left, houses the new dual flash
Design and buildThe iPhone 5S is pretty much identical to the iPhone 5 in terms of design and build. Both iPhones have an aluminium case and glass screen, retaining the premium look and feel for the latest model so you're not faced with downgrading to the plastic iPhone 5C. Both devices are also comfortable to hold, with the same thin and light build, measuring 124x59x7.6mm and weighing only 112g.
On the outside, both iPhones feature a power button, with a SIM card slot on the right, a ringer on/off button and volume controls on the left, and the plus button can also be used to take pictures from the Camera …

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10: Unique design on a budget (hands on)

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Summary: Lenovo is heating up the Android tablet space with the introduction of two tablets aimed directly at the Nexus line. The Yoga Tablet comes in 8 and 10-inch models just like the similarly priced Nexus slates.
L-R: Yoga Tablet 8, Yoga Tablet 10 (Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)
Lenovo unveiled the Yoga Tablet in an online event featuring Ashton Kutcher in its new BetterWay campaign. There are actually two Yoga Tablets, an 8-inch model and a 10-inch slate. Both tablets are essentially the same with the exception of the size. We've had both models in our hands for a short period and are impressed with what you get for the price.
When you unbox either Yoga Tablet you are immediately impressed with a hardware design that is unique in the crowded Android field. Each tablet has a cylindrical grip on one side of the device that houses a battery that Lenovo claims gets better life than any tablet on the market.
Yoga Tablets stacked (Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)
The cylinder also has an inte…

'Titanfall' Exclusive To Microsoft, Definitely Not Coming To PS4

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There's a rumor going around that Titanfall, EA's upcoming mech shooter from Respawn Entertainment, is a timed exclusive for Microsoft platforms, and will eventually make its way to the PS4. That rumor, EA emphasized during its earnings call, is not true. Titanfall is a pure exclusive for Xbox One, Windows and Xbox 360, and will not be heading to Sony's new system.

Some thought that Microsoft's Major Nelson had dodged the question in a Reddit AMA, leading to some people thinking the game wasn't as exclusive as it seemed. In reality, it was just because a Microsoft representative can't speak definitively for another company.
'As far as being an exclusive that's really a question for Titanfall,' he had said. 'I'm not worried about it though.'
Microsoft likely paid some good money to keep this game on its own systems. Making modern games is a costly endeavor, and third-party developers typically need to cast a wide net to recoup expenses. Limi…

Google takes secrecy to new heights with mystery barge

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Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam
A logo of Google's 'Hummingbird' search algorithm is pictured at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013.
At least one Coast Guard employee has had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the Internet giant, said Barry Bena, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman. Another person who would only identify himself as an inspector for a California government agency had to do the same.
Moored in the shadow of the Bay Bridge off of Treasure Island, a former military base, the nondescript barge is stacked several stories high with white shipping containers, and sprouts what appear to be antennas on top. The hulking structure, half shrouded in scaffolding, has stirred intense speculation in the Bay Area since reports of its existence surfaced late last week.
Technology website CNET theorized that the vessel might be a floating data center that will house banks of computers. Local TV station…