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Apple Replacing Some iPhone 5 Batteries Free Of Charge

August 27, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Apple Replacing Some iPhone 5 Batteries Free Of Charge

Apple has agreed to replace some iPhone 5 batteries free of charge, claiming that “a very small percentage” of the smartphones needed to be charged more often and that those charges were quickly exhausted. The program, which was announced last week, only in a support document published on Apple’s website, offered free battery replacements for iPhone 5 devices that “suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.” According to Apple, the... 

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Qantas, Virgin To Allow Smartphone Usage Throughout Flights

August 27, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Qantas, Virgin To Allow Smartphone Usage Throughout Flights

Australian airlines Qantas Airways Ltd and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd said passengers may use mobile phones and tablets during their flights, after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices on planes. The airlines said they would begin allowing passengers to use personal electronic devices for the duration of their flight after Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority followed a similar ruling from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2013. The Australian airlines will... 

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Amazon Acquires Live-Streaming Game Network Twitch For Nearly $1B

August 27, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Amazon Acquires Live-Streaming Game Network Twitch For Nearly $1B

Amazon.com Inc has acquired live-streaming gamingnetwork Twitch Interactive for about $970 million in cash, reflecting Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’ vision to transform Amazon into an Internet destination beyond its roots in retail operations. The deal, jointly announced by the two companies, is the largest deal in Amazon’s 20-year history and will help the U.S. e-commerce company vie with Apple Inc and Google Inc in the fast-growing world of online gaming, which accounts for... 

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Are Graphics Cards On The Way Out?

August 27, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Are Graphics Cards On The Way Out?

JP Research has issued a report on GPU sales and reached the conclusion that the days of the add-on graphics card are fading. According to JPR’s report, sales of add-on graphics cards declined 17.5 per cent quarter-over-quarter and 17.6 per cent year-over-year. In comparison, last year’s quarter-over-quarter rate for the same period was 5.5 per cent. Nvidia took the biggest kicking in terms of decreases, seeing a decline of 21 per cent. AMD had a fall of 10.7 per cent. Some of the decline can... 

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Does The NSA Have A “Bing” Like Search Engine?

August 27, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Uncategorized
Does The NSA Have A “Bing” Like Search Engine?

National Security Agency (NSA) has its own homegrown search engine that it offers to similarly minded US intelligence outfits. Website the Intercept was first to report this and attributes its news to information provided by whistleblowers. It said that the search engine is shared with a number of other US organisations and institutions. The search tool is called ICREACH, according to the report, and has been available and in use for some years. Documents gathered by the Intercept show the system... 

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Does Microbial Life Here Bold Well For Alien Life Discovery?

August 27, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Does Microbial Life Here Bold Well For Alien Life Discovery?

The discovery of a complex microbial ecosystem far beneath the Antarctic ice may be exciting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that life teems on frigid worlds throughout the solar system, researcher’s caution. Scientists announced today (Aug. 20) in the journal Nature that many different types of microbes live in subglacial Lake Whillans, a body of fresh water entombed beneath 2,600 feet (800 meters) of Antarctic ice. Many of the micro-organisms in these dark depths apparently get their... 

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Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

August 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

Microsoft has lowered the prices of its Surface 2 tablets by as much as 22%, dropping the entry-level Windows 8.1 RT device to $349. It’s unknown whether Microsoft discounted the Surface 2 to clear inventory before it discontinues the tablet, in preparation for a successor, or simply to move a slow-selling product. A clue may be in the length of the limited-time sale: Microsoft said that the reduced prices were good from Aug. 24 to Sept. 27, or “while supplies last,” and set the... 

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US Government Warns Major Businesses Hit By Backoff Malware

August 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
US Government Warns Major Businesses Hit By Backoff Malware

Over 1,000 major enterprise networks and small and medium businesses in the U.S. have been compromised by a recently discovered malware package named Backoff and are probably unaware of it, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said in a cybersecurity alert. Backoff first appeared in October 2013 and is capable of scraping the memory contents of point of sales systems — industry speak for cash registers and other terminals used at store checkouts — for data swiped from credit... 

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China To Unveil PC OS To Compete With Microsoft, Google

August 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
China To Unveil PC OS To Compete With Microsoft, Google

China plans to roll out a home-grown operating system by October to wean the country from foreign-made OSes like Windows, the government-run Xinhua news agency said Sunday. The operating system, which Xinhua did not name, will be initially offered on desktop PCs, with the plan to later extend it to smartphones. The news service cited a report in the People’s Post and Telecommunications News, a trade paper run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the agency responsible... 

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Does Nintendo Need To Offer Third Party Developers More Support?

August 26, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Gaming
Does Nintendo Need To Offer Third Party Developers More Support?

Along with publishing some rather good games, Ubisoft has quietly been developing another important role over the past few years. Thanks to the outspoken nature of CEO Yves Guillemot and the company’s careful balancing of enthusiasm for new technologies and platforms with a decent degree of financial and management conservatism, Ubisoft has become a bellwether for the publishing industry. Perhaps a difference between French and American business culture plays a role, perhaps not; either way,... 

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Oracle Appears To Be Going To Court

August 26, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Oracle Appears To Be Going To Court

Oregon is so unhappy with the performance of the website that Oracle built for its Obamacare rollout it is suing and it is not mincing its words. Oracle billed hundreds of millions of dollars to build the site and when it did not work Oracle sued Oregon for $23 million more for its work. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber in May “asked the state attorney general to take legal action against” Oracle to get its money. The complaint from the state of Oregon is vicious. It said that over the last three... 

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Is Europa The Best Bet For Alien Life?

August 26, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is Europa The Best Bet For Alien Life?

Jupiter’s moon Europa doesn’t look like a particularly inviting place for life to thrive; the icy satellite is nearly 500 million miles (800 million kilometers) from the sun, on average. But beneath its icy crust lies a liquid ocean with more water than Earth contains. This ocean is shielded from harmful radiation, making Europa one of the solar system’s best bets to host alien life. That’s one of the reasons Europa is so alluring to scientists. It has all the elements thought... 

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Intel Moving Closer To ‘Wire-Free’ Computing

August 25, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
Intel Moving Closer To ‘Wire-Free’ Computing

Intel is moving closer towards providing what it calls “wire-free” computing by 2016, a plan the company first talked about publicly in June at the Computex trade show. The company is developing a smart dock through which laptops can wirelessly connect to monitors and external peripherals, it said in a blog entry. The dock will remove the need to plug HDMI or DisplayPort display connectors directly into laptops. The wireless dock will provide USB 3.0-like speeds to transfer data to external... 

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Microsoft Helping Hardware Makers To Offer Cheaper PCs

August 25, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
Microsoft Helping Hardware Makers To Offer Cheaper PCs

Microsoft is aiding hardware manufacturers in building low-priced Windows PCs to challenge Chromebooks, and the early results of that effort are hitting the market. Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo are selling laptops priced less than $250 that run on Windows 8.1 With Bing, a royalty-free version of the company’s flagship operating system. Windows 8.1 With Bing is the same as Windows 8.1, but it has Bing as the default search engine in Internet Explorer. Microsoft is using Windows 8.1 With... 

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Amazon Developing Own Online Advertising

August 25, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Amazon Developing Own Online Advertising

Amazon Inc is planning to develop its own software for generating advertisements online, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. While the in-house platform is initially planned to replace ads supplied by Google Inc on Amazon’s own website, the new system could challenge Google and Microsoft Corp’s advertising business in the future, the newspaper cited the people as saying. Amazon’s system would resemble Google’s AdWords, and is... 

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