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Showing posts from November, 2013

BlackBerry to offer free apps from 1 December

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BlackBerry's one free app per day from the likes of Angry Birds, Pacemaker and Monopoly would be available for free download for a 24 hour period. Photo: Bloomberg
New Delhi: Canadian handset maker BlackBerry Ltd is betting on the apps ecosystem to turn around its fortunes with free and discounts on apps across categories such as games, music and productivity for users of its BB10 platform.
'BlackBerry is kicking off the winter festive season with a variety of offers on some of its most popular apps on the BlackBerry World. The offers will roll out throughout the month of December 2013,' a BlackBerry spokesperson said. He added that the offer would be available to users of handsets such as Q5, Q10, Z10 and Z30, which run on its BB10 operating system across the world.
The company does not disclose the number of its users.
Under the first offer, BlackBerry will offer one free apps each day between 1 December and 25 December. 'One free app per day from the likes of Angry Bird…

A Fond Farewell to the Craziest, Longest, Most Eventful Console Generation Ever

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He called it the 'HD Era.'
On March 9, 2005, the gaming press crowded into a ballroom in the Moscone Center in San Francisco to witness the birth of a new era of game machines. Sony had dominated the industry for the last decade, and even goliath Microsoft had been no match for PlayStation 2. But the original Xbox was just the foot in the door, and the company's gaming evangelist J Allard was about to take the stage to talk next-generation - only three and a half years after the release date of that first Xbox.
The last great leap in gaming, Allard said, was the transition from 2-D to 3-D. What would happen next, he said, would be no less momentous: The transition to high-definition graphics, or the HD Era. This seems obvious in retrospect, but what Allard was saying at the time was that everyone would have to go out and buy an expensive new TV if they wanted to truly enjoy the next Xbox. At the time, a tiny 23-inch Samsung HD set cost over $1,000.
(Another indication of how …

Apple shares hit high for 2013 on holiday hope

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Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
(USA Today) - Apple shares rose to the highest level this year as investors bet products like the latest iPads and iPhones will be hot sellers this holiday, helping the consumer technology giant kick-start earnings growth again.
The stock climbed 1.9% to $556.07 Friday. Earlier in the day, it touched $594.59, a 2013 high.
Apple unveiled two new iPhones earlier this year and more recently launched the new iPad Air and an upgraded iPad mini.
The iPad mini was among top sellers at Walmart on Thanksgiving, while Target said the iPad Air was a hot item at its stores. On eBay.com, one iPad was selling every second as of midnight on Thanksgiving.
'Apple products should be the holiday gift of choice this year,' said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group. 'The company has a great product cycle currently, the stock is cheap and we expect $600 within the next several months.'
Apple gadgets are also popular shopping tools. Mobile devices running on the …

Apple shares hit high for 2013 on holiday hope

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Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
(USA Today) - Apple shares rose to the highest level this year as investors bet products like the latest iPads and iPhones will be hot sellers this holiday, helping the consumer technology giant kick-start earnings growth again.
The stock climbed 1.9% to $556.07 Friday. Earlier in the day, it touched $594.59, a 2013 high.
Apple unveiled two new iPhones earlier this year and more recently launched the new iPad Air and an upgraded iPad mini.
The iPad mini was among top sellers at Walmart on Thanksgiving, while Target said the iPad Air was a hot item at its stores. On eBay.com, one iPad was selling every second as of midnight on Thanksgiving.
'Apple products should be the holiday gift of choice this year,' said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group. 'The company has a great product cycle currently, the stock is cheap and we expect $600 within the next several months.'
Apple gadgets are also popular shopping tools. Mobile devices running on the …

Motorola's Moto G lands on Amazon

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Just in time for Black Friday, the low-cost sibling to the Moto X pops up on the e-commerce giant with shipping starting on December 4.


(Credit: Andrew Hoyle/CNET)
Motorola surprised the smartphone world by launching its new Moto G cell phone on it Web site months early. Now, the device can also be bought on Amazon.
The e-commerce giant began selling both the 8GB and 16GB versions of the smartphone on Friday. The prices are the same as Motorola, which has the 8GB going for $179 and the 16GB at $199. Amazon says that the device will start shipping on December 4, while Motorola will begin shipping on December 2.
The Moto G is a less expensive version of Motorola's Moto X. The Moto X, which launched only in the US earlier this year, stands out to customers because they can tweak how the device looks with different colors and accents.
The Moto G is being launched around the world, which could mean it'll sell better than its costlier predecessor. It has nearly an identical design to the…

Microsoft Said to Lean to Mulally, Nadella in CEO Search

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Microsoft Corp.'s board is focusing on Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally and internal executive Satya Nadella as part of a group of more likely candidates to become the next CEO of the world's biggest software company, according to people familiar with the matter.
While internal candidate Tony Bates and former Nokia Oyj CEO Stephen Elop remain in the mix, they're currently considered less likely to be offered the job, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Preferences remain fluid and other people are being considered and could emerge as front-runners, said one of the people, without identifying any.
The board is aiming for a quick replacement for longtime CEO Steve Ballmer, who said in August that he will retire within the next 12 months. The Redmond, Washington-based company has seen its software leadership decline amid a shrinking of the personal-computer market, which was its core business. Microsoft is sh…

SMS Vulnerability In Nexus Phones Can Be Exploited To Force A Reboot Or Kill ...

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Today, at the DefCamp Security Conference in Bucharest, Romania, details were revealed about a potentially serious SMS vulnerability found in all current Nexus devices. The person responsible for the discovery is Bogdan Alecu, an independent security researcher in Romania. When exploited, the attack can force the phone to reboot or destabilize certain services.

The method of attack simply relies on sending a series of Class 0 'Flash' messages to the target phone. Flash messages are typically used for emergency or security purposes, appearing on the screen immediately instead of going to the default SMS application. When such a message arrives, no sounds are made but the background is dimmed and a single dialog box appears on top. Once 20-30 messages pile up, assuming the user isn't clearing them, it overloads the system and leads to a few potential side-effects. Most commonly, the result is an unresponsive device or an immediate reboot, but the Messages app or cellular radi…

Android 4.4 KitKat is Coming to LG G2 in Q1 2014

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A number of smartphone manufacturers have been announcing update schedules for Android 4.4 KitKat, and the latest of these is LG, as the company announced it will be rolling out Android 4.4 for the flagship G2 in the first quarter of 2014.
To be more exact, the LG G2 is set to receive Android 4.4 KitKat sometime in March 2014. The rollout window was confirmed by an LG representative who spoke to Canada-centric tech site Mobile Syrup. And since Canadian carrier-branded handsets typically get upgraded to a new Android version at the same time their U.S. counterparts do, then there's a good chance the AT&T LG G2 will get Android 4.4 KitKat in March 2014 or thereabouts.
The LG G2 was released this summer with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, with LG's proprietary user interface on top. The handset includes a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery as its basic specifications, wh…

A closer look at the Jolla phone: good intentions, bad delivery

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Jolla's self-titled and first smartphone launched in partnership with Finnish carrier DNA this week, with a few hundred handsets finding their way to early pre-orderers. Today, a couple of familiar faces from the company stopped off in London to let us play with the final hardware and get to grips with Jolla's Sailfish OS, which is based somewhat on Nokia's old MeeGo platform. If you caught our tour of the Jolla prototype earlier this year then you've got a good idea of what the handset looks like. In fact, the only differences we can see aesthetically are slightly smaller bezels above and below the screen, and that the rear camera has moved from right flank to center stage. Internally, the core specs are: A 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 (MSM8930), 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage space (expandable), a 4.5-inch, 960x540 (qHD) IPS LCD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel shooter on the front. We only had a few hours to probe Jolla's first device, but hea…

Apple complains court

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After Apple was found guilty of ebook price fixing earlier this year, US District Judge Denise Cote appointed Michael Bromwich as the company's antitrust compliance monitor. Bromwich has been tasked with keeping an eye on Apple for two years to help ensure the company doesn't repeat the business tactics that landed it in the DOJ's crosshairs. Apple is required to pay Bromwich for his work, but after receiving his first invoice, it's already filed a complaint with the federal court overseeing the case.
The world's most valuable tech company says Bromwich is asking for too much
Bromwich is reportedly seeking an hourly rate of $1,100 for his time, which Apple says it the highest rate it's ever had to pay any lawyer. 'Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands,' reads the filing. On top of the base …

Pebble smartwatch now sold on US Amazon store for $148.99

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Pebble, the e-Paper watch compatible with both iOS and Android is now on sale and available on the US Amazon store for a healthy US$148.99. It's great timing as well, because today is Black Friday in the States and Pebble is clearly positioning its smartwatch to take advantage of shopping's bet day of the year.
Pebble is now also more iOS 7 friendly than any other smartwatch currently on sale. Recently released is SDK 2.0 for Pebble, which offers full integration for iOS 7, and persistent storage - native Pebble apps will now store navigational data without having to be reliant on a smartphone. So apps like Foursquare, Facebook and Waze will work better and faster, even without data being relayed to them. The new SKD update is also said to make it easier for cross-platform app development.
There's also news of a brand new app that makes it a snap to install new watch faces on Pebble, reports CNET. MyPebbleFaces is a free app born from the web and because of its popularity, b…

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 review

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Product Kindle Fire HDX 8.9Website AmazonSpecifications 8.9in 2560x1600 resolution 339ppi IPS touchscreen display, quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 4G LTE support, microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, 1.2MP front-facing HD camera for video calling, over 12 hours' battery life quoted, modified Android 4.3 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, 231x158x7.8mm, 374g Price From £329
ONLINE RETAIL GIANT Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is the successor to last year's Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which sees Amazon stepping up its hardware game. However, there's a price to pay for the tablet's higher end specifications, as the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 costs £100 more than its predecessor.
This pits Amazon up against the big products in the tablet market, including Apple's iPad Air and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1. However, with Amazon's Fire operating system (OS) …

Nokia Lumia 2520

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Nokia's first tablet isn't a bad device by any means. It delivers impressive gaming performance, has built-in cellular support, an incredibly bright screen, and includes a suite of Nokia-only apps.
However, I couldn't figure out why the 2520 is so thick. The Microsoft Surface 2 has just as much girth, but earns its corpulence with a kickstand and a full USB port.
The Lumia 2520's screen also has a distracting yellow tint, and the $149 keyboard/cover accessory isn't nearly as comfortable to type on as Surface 2's Type Cover.
It's great that it comes with a full version of Microsoft Office -- as all Windows RT tablets do -- but because it's running RT, that also means it's incompatible with legacy Windows programs and lacks app support compared with Android and iOS.
At $499, the 2520 is about $50 more expensive -- for the off-contract version -- than the Surface 2, placing it squarely in the shadow of Microsoft's RT tablet.
Design If Nokia were going t…

Dell's First

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Dell today provided more details on its Black Friday deals which kick off at 6 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day with several online 'doorbusters.'
Beginning at 6 p.m. ET Thursday, Dell will offer the Android-based Venue 8 tablet with an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for $129.99, down from $179.99. The deal runs until 1 p.m. ET on Black Friday, but Dell warned that this and all of its other deals might end earlier if it exhausts supplies, so act fast.
Also from 6 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving to 1 p.m. on Black Friday, an Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect holiday bundle will be $199.99, a 33 percent discount.
If you're up late on Thanksgiving, the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop will be $199.99 starting at 12 a.m. ET on Black Friday, down from $349.99. That deal runs until 1 p.m. ET on Black Friday, but after Dell sells its limited quantity of $199.99 laptops, the Inspiron 15 will be $299.99 'for another few thousand units and expire afterwards,' so another reason to bu…

SoundSeeder Does Its Best Chromecast Impression, Adds Google Play Music ...

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A few months ago we told you about a nifty music streaming app called SoundSeeder, which lets you stream audio directly from one Android device to another over WiFi. At the time I mentioned that it was a cool idea, but the fact that it didn't allow users to stream Google Music songs over the connection was a bit of a let down. Developer JekApps took my complaint under advisement, and let us know that there's a new version that enables Google Play Music streaming after all. Full marks for ingenuity!

They've achieved this by spoofing the music server app as a Chromecast. So, set up your music server device with both SoundSeeder and Google Play Music, then enable Google Play Music Mode in the settings menu and enable it on the main screen. Install the SoundSeeder speaker app on one or more receiving devices on the same WiFi network, preferably plugged in to some kind of external speaker. Now you can play music in Google Play on the server device and 'cast' it to the se…

CyanogenMod Installer disappears from Google Play

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When it comes to the Android custom ROM community, CyanogenMod is considered by many to be the holy grail. If your smartphone or tablet receives official support for the ROM, you can be assured of regular updates. However, for many, the stock Android experience has now matured to a point where custom ROMs are no longer needed.
Despite this (or maybe because of this), CyanogenMod decided to monetize its ROM and form a company. To easier facilitate the process of installing it, the company released a helper app on the Play Store. Yesterday, the app was pulled from the store - and that's a good thing.
'Today, we were contacted by the Google Play Support team to say that our CyanogenMod Installer application is in violation of Google Play's developer terms. They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution', says Ciwrl of the CyanogenMo…

Apple Black Friday Deals Will Be Gift Cards, Not In

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If the example of Apple's Australian store is consistent with what its American store will do, Apple's Black Friday sale will actually only be a gift card promotion. As 9to5 Mac predicted yesterday, the setup at the Apple Store tomorrow will be like its recent Back to School campaign but feature Apple Store cards instead of iTunes cards with purchases. As you can see in the example from the Australian store above, the Apple Store gift cards will vary in amount based on the product purchased. Australia crossed the date line at 8am EST, giving us a glimpse into the sale Apple is launching in the U.S. at midnight PST.
Although the gift cards appear to be worth more than the equivalent discounts at Apple's Black Friday sale last year, ($150 Australian equals $137 US compared to the $100 off last year on a MacBook Pro) the setup does not smack of generosity. Consumers looking for actual sales will go elsewhere, as this roundup from MacRumors shows.
The way the gift card psycholog…

Sony UK 'ready and willing' to break sales record with PS4

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The UK arm of PlayStation believes that pent-up demand for the PS4, coupled with a healthy launch day allocation, gives the new console a real chance to break Britain's all-time sales record.
Currently the fastest selling console in the UK is Sony's PSP, which was sold to 185,000 consumers after just four days on the market. But, hours ahead of Sony's midnight PS4 launch event in Covent Garden, the corporation's UK managing director Fergal Gara said the PS4 could hit new heights.

'Like North America, the UK is a huge priority for us because it sits at the front-end of appetite for new technology,' Gara told CVG.
'With PS4, stock allocation in the UK is very healthy indeed and we go into this ready and willing and break our own previous launch record.'
Microsoft may have already usurped the PSP's record, however. The software giant launched its Xbox One console on Friday and, within 48 hours, had already amassed 150,000 unit sales across the UK.
It is unc…

Google 'spins invisible web' with user data, Dutch watchdog says

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Web giant's practice of combining user data from its different services violates data protection law, the agency says.


Google's practice of combining user data from its different services without user consent violates Dutch data protection law, the country's privacy watchdog said Thursday.
A 2012 rewrite of Google's privacy policy gave the company the right to 'combine personal information' across multiple products, including payment information and location data. However, the Dutch Data Protection Authority found that the company does not adequately inform users of the practice in advance nor seek their consent.
'Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without our consent. And that is forbidden by law,' DPA Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said in a statement. The finding won't immediately result in any enforcement measures, but Google has been invited to a hearing to determine if such measures are necessary.
Google raised the ire of privacy advoca…

iPad Mini Retina more widely available, catches first Mini

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Consumers can now waltz into many Apple stores and pick up an iPad Mini Retina for the first time. To date, availability was limited to online sales and pre-orders with customer pickup.


(Credit: Apple)
The iPad Mini Retina is now available for walk-in purchase at Apple stores nationwide. And new data shows that the new Mini has caught up to the original Version in adoption.
As of this week, the iPad Mini Retina is available, for the first time, widely at stores across the U.S., according to checks done by CNET.
Apple stores in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all had the iPad Mini Retina available for walk-in purchase as of Tuesday afternoon Pacific.
Though not all models were available for walk-in purchase, all stores contacted by CNET had many Wi-Fi-only models and select cellular versions in stock.
Until this week, the Mini Retina had been available in large part (there were a few exceptions late last week, such as New York City stores) only for customer pickup (which requi…

Microsoft Starts Black Friday Early With Surface, Touch PC Deals

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Twiddling your thumbs before you dig into the turkey and stuffing tomorrow? If your wallet can handle it, a number of retailers are having pre-Black Friday sales, including Microsoft.
Redmond has a full lineup of gadgets it will discount at midnight on Nov. 28, but to tide you over, a number of PCs and other devices are already on sale via MicrosoftStore.com.
The original Surface Pro, for example, is now $100 off. The 64GB version is $699, and comes with a third-generation Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of RAM behind that 10.6-inch 1,920-by-1,080 touch screen. The Surface Pro is a more powerful machine than its Surface RT counterpart, which will also get a nice discount to $199 starting at midnight on Nov. 28.
If you need something larger, the Dell XPS 18 touch-screen All-in-One with an Intel Core i5 is now $999, down from $1,349, while the HP Envy Rove 20 Touchsmart All-in-One is $799, a $200 discount.
For something more portable, several touch-based Windows …

Top tech deals on Black Friday [Photos]

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Black Friday is nearly here and there are countless deals in stores and online. Here are five tech deals that you may want to check out.
Samsung Galaxy S 4 for $0 at Best Buy
The popular Samsung smartphone is currently available in stores and online at Best Buy for $0 with a two-year contract. Normally, the Galaxy S 4 costs $249. The retailer is selling the device in numerous different color options that work with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The deal ends Saturday.
$75 gift card with iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c at Wal-Mart
If you're looking to buy a new iPhone, Wal-Mart may be the place to do it. Starting at 8 a.m. Friday, the retailer will give customers who purchase a new iPhone a $75 Wal-Mart gift card. The iPhone 5s will be available for $189 while the iPhone 5c will cost $45, so you could essentially make money by buying the cheaper of the two devices. The deal is available when users purchase the gadgets with two-year contracts from Verizon or AT&T.
Gift cards with iPad Air, iP…

12.9in iPad said to be coming late 2014, iWatch facing delays

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There'll be nothing 'air' about it
We thought that rumours of a 12.9-inch iPad launching early next year were too ambitious, and it sounds as though we were right to be cautious.
The occasionally-reliable Digitimes is reporting that manufacturer Quanta Computer has landed the contract to product the larger tablet for the second half of 2014, according to sources in the 'upstream supply chain'.
If true, this means that a larger iPad is indeed on its way, with Digitimes' sources suggesting that the large iPad is aimed at 'education and enterprise' markets.
But according to the same report, Quanta might face some challenges with assembling the super-sized tablet due to its 'industrial design'.
Max power
As for the iWatch, the same report also says that pilot production for the device has started, with Quanta and Foxconn Electronics taking charge.
However, due to 'low yields' - a low number of finished products rolling off the production line actua…