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General News News (1313)

Sundar Pichai Now Oversees Additional Google Products

Category: General News
Posted: October 25, 2014 05:03AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Sundar Pichai, who has been at Google since 2004 and took on overseeing Google Apps in 2012 and Android in 2013, has been promoted by Larry Page, Google’s CEO, to oversee some of the company’s most important products and services. Pichai will now have direct oversight on a plethora of core offerings by Google, which include advertisements, Android, Chrome, Docs, Gmail, Google+, maps, search, and research. Page implemented the promotion for Pichai due to his desire to offload some of his own management duties, allowing him to focus more heavily on overall business strategies for the technology giant as it continues to expand. Despite the shift in management Pichai still falls under Page, who remains the top product guru at Google.

Source: Re/code



Revolv Acquired by Nest

Category: General News
Posted: October 25, 2014 04:38AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Revolv, a company that prides itself on its self-titled smart hub that helps actively manage smart homes through a smartphone application, has been officially acquired by Nest. Revolv noted on its website shortly after the acquisition that "Together, we’re going to create some amazing products and continue to unify the connected home as part of the Works with Nest program." Financial details regarding the acquisition were not released by either company, but sales of the Revolv smart hub have been halted by Nest due to the takeover. While new customers are not be able to purchase the smart hub from Revolv, existing customers will be provided with continued service and customer support. The device’s one-year warranty will still be honored as well, and data gathered from the smart hub will continue to follow the privacy statement by Revolv, staying separate from Google.

Source: PCWorld and Revolv



Apple Pay and Google Wallet Payments Blocked by RiteAid

Category: General News
Posted: October 24, 2014 09:17AM
Author: Brentt Moore

RiteAid, one of the largest drug store chains in the United States, is currently not accepting Apple Pay or Google Wallet payments across 4,600 stores. While Apple Pay was fully functional at RiteAid when the Apple payment system launched on Monday, it was disabled shortly afterwards for reasons that are unknown. The customer service department confirmed that payment systems that utilize tapping are currently not welcome, and a representative for the company stated that "We just can’t take it at this time." It is not known if the drug store chain has disabled all NFC payment abilities on its terminals, or if transactions from Apple Pay and Google Wallet are the only payments being blocked.

Source: TechHive



Staples May Have Suffered a Data Breach

Category: General News
Posted: October 22, 2014 06:20AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Staples, the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions, is investigating a possible data breach after the company revealed that there may be an issue with the credit card data of its customers. Banks have noticed unusual activity that suggests that Staples has in fact suffered a data breach of its own with store located in the Northeastern United States, according to Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity blogger that first reported the data breach that occurred at Home Depot. Staples has even contact law enforcement over the possible data breach. Mark Cautela, a Staples spokesman, noted that "We take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation." If the breach is confirmed, Cautela has stated that Staples customers will not be liable for any fraudulent activity.

Source: The Washington Post



Dish Loses 7 Channels Due to Turner Broadcasting Dispute

Category: General News
Posted: October 21, 2014 07:30AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Due to a contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting, which licenses various channels for distribution to subscription services, Dish Network customers have lost access to seven channels. Dish customers can no longer access Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Espanol, Headline News, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies. MSNBC content replaced CNN and Headline News programming, while Turner Class Movies programming was replaced by FXM Retro.

Dish Senior Vice President of Programming, Warren Schlichting, noted that the company has offered an enticing deal to Turner Broadcasting that would successfully renew its agreement with the content provider. Turner Broadcasting countered, however, stating that it has attempted for months to come to an agreement that it deems fair for both parties, and that Dish is continuing to operate in a disruptive manner. Time will tell if both companies will be able to reach an agreement in the near future, which will result in the renewal of the contract that controls the seven aforementioned channels.

Source: CNET



Jade Raymond Leaves Ubisoft

Category: General News
Posted: October 21, 2014 04:47AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Jade Raymond, who worked at Ubisoft the last 10 years as a producer, has officially left the video game developer and publisher. Raymond helped to produce stellar video game titles such as Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell, and also opened the Ubisoft Toronto studio and served as its managing director since 2009. "I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games," Raymond said within the Ubisoft press release surrounding her departure from the company.

The announcement of Raymond leaving Ubisoft is likely due to the 30 FPS stance that the company has taken lately, in which it believes that games should be capped at 30 FPS to look more cinematic.

Source: Press Release


Microsoft Working on Wearable Fitness Device

Category: General News
Posted: October 20, 2014 05:43PM
Author: Nick Harezga

After the reveal of the Fitbit Surge earlier today, the fitness wearable market looks to get even more crowded as Microsoft is reportedly working on a device of its own. Microsoft would join a market that has grown to include offerings from several companies including Samsung, LG, Jawbone, and Fitbit. The Microsoft device will track heart rate and will work multiple mobile platforms including Windows Phones, iOS devices, and Android devices. The major challenge for Microsoft will likely be whether it is capable of standing out from the crowd to get users to choose it over other offerings. No information on pricing is available yet, but further announcements are expected in the coming weeks with a potential holiday release on the horizon.

Source: Toms Guide



Beats Music May Soon Cost $5 Per Month

Category: General News
Posted: October 20, 2014 03:28PM
Author: Brentt Moore

It was recently reported that Apple has interests in reducing the cost of Beats Music, a music subscription service that currently costs $10 per month and rivals Rhapsody, Spotify, and others. Apparently, the interests that surround a cheaper plan for subscribers is even larger now thanks to Spotify announcing its family subscription option, which reduces the cost of the service substantially for families. At the time of this writing, Apple observes roughly $60 of revenue a year from some of its best iTunes buyers, which equates to $5 per month. According to individuals that are familiar with the future plans of Beats Music, the music subscription service may be lowered to $5 per month in order to bring those who currently download music from iTunes onto the streaming model that Beats Music is founded on. This would provide the same amount of revenue for music labels and also usher in the possibility of an expanded subscriber base for Apple's music subscription service.

Source: Re/code



After a Tough Quarter, AMD Plans to Lay Off Over 700 Employees

Category: General News
Posted: October 18, 2014 07:24PM
Author: bp9801

Things are not looking too good for AMD right about now. The company has a new CEO, Lisa Su, but she's already facing a tough decision due to AMD's recent market struggles. Overall revenue dropped 2% from last year, but the Computer and Graphics division saw revenue drop 16% in the same time. That division also saw an operating loss of $17 million, which is a fair bit more than the $6 million loss in the last quarter. The news isn't all bad for AMD, however, as its Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom division saw a revenue increase of 21%. Still, as a result of all this, AMD is restructuring and laying off 710 employees worldwide; roughly a 7% reduction in workforce. There's no telling if the layoffs will affect people across all divisions or only certain ones (or just one), but hopefully it can help get AMD back on track. It's never easy seeing so many people lose their jobs, and probably is not how the new CEO wanted to kick off her rule.

Source: Bright Side of News



Google Applies for Wireless Spectrum Testing

Category: General News
Posted: October 16, 2014 04:54PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has submitted an application to the US Federal Communications Commission to conduct tests in California across a number of wireless frequencies. One of the frequencies is a "rarely-used millimetre frequency capable of transmitting large amounts of data," and could potentially be used as a wireless extension of the Google Fiber service. Is was not revealed exactly what the tests would be for, but this is a logical explanation according to some experts. Wireless engineer and consultant Stephen Crowley said, "You could look at it as a possible wireless extension of their Google Fiber wireless network, as a way to more economically serve homes. Put up a pole in a neighbourhood, instead of having to run fibre to each home."

Source: Reuters



The End of the Resident Evil Film Franchise to Pave Way for a Resident Evil TV Series

Category: General News
Posted: October 14, 2014 06:51PM
Author: ClayMeow


The Resident Evil film franchise will likely break the $1 billion mark worldwide when the sixth film is released in 2016, making it undoutedly the most successful video game film adaptation series of all-time. That sixth film, entitled Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, will mark the end of the film franchise that began way back in 2002, but not without a spin-off. However, that spin-off won't be another film, but rather a television series.

According to Variety, production company Constantin Films will be producing the series and plans on premiering it after The Final Chapter hits theaters. Constantin Films bought the film rights from Capcom back in 1997 and has been involved with every live-action Resident Evil film since.

Source: Variety via GamesIndustry.biz



Google Express Expands to Additional Cities but Adds Subscription Fees

Category: General News
Posted: October 14, 2014 04:39PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Google Express, which was formerly known as Google Shopping Express and offers same-day delivery service, has just launched in three additional cities. The service allows users to choose from morning, afternoon or evening delivery windows in Chicago, Boston, Manhattan, San Francisco, San Jose, West Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Google Express has also added 16 new retailers over the last few months, and now allows alcohol to be purchased by individuals at least 21 years old within the Bay Area. All of these changes come at a price however, as Google Express now features a subscription fee of $10 per month or $95 per year. Customers who seldom use the service can alternatively pay $4.99 for individual orders, but membership does have its perks as it can be shared with a household member.

Interested consumers can try the first three months of a Google Express membership, which can be cancelled at any time, for free.

Source: Google Blog



FutureMark's Fire Strike Ultra is World's First 4K UHD Benchmark

Category: General News
Posted: October 13, 2014 08:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

More and more we are seeing hardware announced and released with the claim that it is 4K UHD capable, but testing those claims is not so simple. FutureMark has decided to change that with the addition of Fire Strike Ultra to 3DMark, the first 4K UHD benchmark. You do not need a 4K monitor to run it though, as it will render the content at 3840x2160, before scaling it down to your monitor's resolution. You will need 3 GB of VRAM though, and an Advanced or Professional edition of 3DMark.

FutureMark has put together some numbers on just how much processing there is behind a single, average frame of the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark:

  Fire Strike (1080) Fire Strike Extreme (1440) Fire Strike Ultra (2160)
Graphics Test 1: Tessellation patches 500,000 560,000 650,000
Graphics Test 1: Triangles 5,100,000 9,900,000 12,400,000
Graphics Test 2: Vertices 2,600,000 3,900,000 6,000,000
Graphics Test 2: Pixels 170,000,000 400,000,000 1,100,000,000

Multiply those numbers by 60, to see what it will take to run the benchmark at 60 FPS.

Source: Press Release and FutureMark



Dairy Queen and Kmart Suffer Data Breach

Category: General News
Posted: October 12, 2014 07:26PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Dairy Queen and Kmart are the latest businesses to announce that they have suffered a data breach due to malware that specifically exploits payment data systems. Dairy Queen has revealed that payment card customer names, numbers, and expiration dates have been stolen, but that other personal information was not affected. Kmart on the other hand has revealed that debit and credit card numbers were compromised in the data breach, but that personal information, debit card PIN numbers, email addresses, and Social Security numbers were not compromised.

Both businesses claim that their respective security holes have been addressed and all malware has been removed from their systems successfully. Due to the breach, Dairy Queen is offering affected customers free identity repair services and Kmart is providing its customers with free credit monitoring protection.

Source: CNET



Will Arnett Reprising His Role in Lego Batman Movie

Category: General News
Posted: October 10, 2014 09:16PM
Author: ClayMeow


Unsurprisingly, Batman's appearance in The Lego Movie was quite the hit. So much so that Warner Bros. is now planning a spin-off Lego Batman movie, fast-tracked for a 2017 release. Will Arnett will be returning as the voice behind our beloved Dark Knight, while The Lego Movie animation supervisor Chris McKay will be directing the film with Seth Grahame-Smith writing the screenplay. The Lego Movie 2 is being pushed back as a result.

While 2017 is a long ways away, if you want a Lego Batman fix sooner, you can always grab LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham next month.

Source: Hollywood Reporter



Symantec Announces Company Split

Category: General News
Posted: October 10, 2014 05:50AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Symantec Corporation has officially confirmed that it will soon split into two public companies. The announcement comes after its Board of Directors unanimously approved to split Symantec into two independently traded companies. The first company, which will focus on information management, will consist of services such as archiving, backup and recovery, eDiscovery, information availability, and storage management. The second company, which will set its sights on security, will consist of a unified security platform that takes information from Symantec products and Norton endpoints to provide users with threat mitigation and recovery. The security business will include services such as consumer and enterprise endpoint security, data loss prevention, encryption, hosted and managed security, mobile protection, SSL certificates, user authentication, web security, and more.

According to Symantec, "Creating two standalone businesses will allow each entity to maximize its respective growth opportunities and drive greater shareholder value." Michael A. Brown, Symantec president and chief executive officer, also noted that "Taking this decisive step will enable each business to maximize its potential. Both businesses will have substantial operational and financial scale to thrive."

Source: Business Wire


Amazon Plans to Open Its Own Physical Store

Category: General News
Posted: October 9, 2014 07:40PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Dow Jones has reported that Amazon plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store this holiday season. The store is said to open on 34th Street in Manhattan, right across the street from the Empire State Building. The Amazon store will reportedly be experimental, functioning as a small warehouse that will hold limited inventory for same-day deliveries in New York, where customers can order an item online and then retrieve it from the store on the same day. The store may also showcase some of Amazon’s bestselling devices, such as the Kindle, Fire phone, and Fire TV.

While Dow Jones has released this information to the public, an Amazon spokesperson stated that "We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan." A person familiar with the project revealed that Amazon has been looking into several cities around the United States to place a store of its own, however.

Source: CNBC


Lisa Su Appointed as New AMD CEO

Category: General News
Posted: October 8, 2014 06:28PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Lisa Su, who has been within AMD since 2012 and is currently acting as the chief operating officer, has been named the new CEO of the company, immediately replacing Rory Read. Read, who joined AMD in 2011, which is just one year before Su starting working for the technology giant, has stepped down as chief executive officer and board member. AMD is currently negotiating a transition and separation agreement with Read, who will stay at the company for the remainder of the year to work as an adviser during the transition. According to Bruce Claflin, AMD's chairman, "Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Rory and the board and we felt that Lisa's expertise and proven leadership in the global semiconductor industry make this an ideal time for her to lead the company."

Source: CNET


Google Uses Camel to Create Street View of a Desert

Category: General News
Posted: October 8, 2014 03:44PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has enlisted the help of 10 year old camel Raffia and a guide to create a Street View representation of the Liwa Desert. The 100 kilometer desert is located to the south west of the city of Abu Dhabi and marks the first location to be mapped with the assistance of an animal. A spokeswoman for Google described the motivation behind the decision stating that the company "used a camel for authenticity, using the desert’s ancient mode of transport."

Source: Forbes



Google Voice Receives MMS Update

Category: General News
Posted: October 7, 2014 04:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google Voice has finally received the long awaited support for Multimedia Message Service, MMS. The upgrade was officially revealed by senior software engineer Alex Wiesen who said that Google has worked with "nearly 100 different North American carriers to enable this feature — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus, and many more,"  to bring the service to their networks. Unfortunately for a large number of users, including myself, Verizon still refuses to support the service. Users were previously given a link to the message that was sent if supported by their carrier, or weren't notified of the message at all.

Source: Ars Technica



Samsung Plans to Construct a New Chip Plant in South Korea

Category: General News
Posted: October 6, 2014 06:52AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Samsung has announced that plans to construct a new chip plant in South Korea. The fabrication plant will be located in Pyeongtaek, which is 47 miles south of Seoul, and will cost the electronics giant roughly $14.7 billion. Although construction on the new plant is set to begin sometime next year, the facility, which will make either logic or memory chips, will not open until 2017. Samsung noted that 150,000 jobs will be created thanks to the newly announced chip manufacturing plant, which happens to be about a third of the population of Pyeongtaek.

Source: Reuters



Apple Interested in Reducing the Cost of Beats Music

Category: General News
Posted: October 3, 2014 06:04PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Beats Music, which was recently taken over by Apple, may be cheaper in the future than rival music subscription services like Rhapsody and Spotify. According to individuals who have knowledge of company plans, Apple is currently coordinating with major music labels to establish new rights and features for Beats Music. These agreements would pave the way for labels to receive more money for streaming tracks than they currently do, which would in turn allow Apple to reduce the cost of Beats Music. While Beats Music currently costs customers $10 a month, the discussions that Apple is having with labels could allow the service to drop below this price, thereby undercutting other music subscription services.

Source: CNET and Re/code



Arduino to Release $1,000 3D Printer

Category: General News
Posted: September 30, 2014 03:51PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Arduino is well known for its low cost open source hardware platform, and the company is now throwing its hat into an entirely different arena, 3D printing. A partnership was announced today with startup Sharebot to create a 3D printer known as the Materia 101 that will cost between $800 and $1000. The official announcement stated, "The printer will be available only on the Arduino Store both as a kit and pre-assembled," the announcement said. "Official pricing of the device will be disclosed at a later date but the kit will sell for less than 600 EUR/800 USD, while the pre-assembled version will be available for less than 700 EUR/1000 USD." Arduino added that all documentation including technical drawings, mechanical documentation, and customized firmware will be made available as part of this partnership.

Source: Ars Technica



ECS Details Round 2 of "Design Your Own LIVA" Competition

Category: General News
Posted: September 30, 2014 03:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga

ECS launched round 1 of the "Design Your Own LIVA" competition at the start of the month with an entry deadline of midnight tonight, which means you still have a few hours to get an entry in. ECS plans to announce qualifiers for round 2 tomorrow, with entrants receiving their own LIVA case to finish their submissions by the end of next month. As part of the announcement, ECS has extended round 1 entries to October 15, though these entrants won't be eligible for the main contest, but will instead have a chance to earn mystery prizes.

Source: Press Release



eBay Announces Plans for PayPal Separation in 2015

Category: General News
Posted: September 30, 2014 07:01AM
Author: Brentt Moore

eBay has announced that it plans to split off its PayPal unit in 2015, citing industry change as well as business opportunities and challenges as the primary reasons. Although eBay initially acquired PayPal in 2002 in order to drive consumers to the online payment service, John Donahoe, the current eBay CEO, noted that presently eBay represents less than a third of PayPal’s total payments volume. Donahoe also mentioned that keeping the companies together under one unit beyond next year simply does not make sense strategically or financially.

By splitting PayPal from eBay and making it a separately traded company, Donahoe believes that Devin Wenig, the current eBay Marketplaces president who will become the new CEO of eBay, and Dan Schulman, the current president of the American Express Enterprise Growth Group who will serve as the new CEO of PayPal, will be able to expand their respective businesses to new heights. While investors worry that the either company will come up for sale in the future due to the separation, Donahoe directly dismissed the notion, citing the strong dynamics of both eBay and PayPal.

Source: CNET



Call of Duty Director to Headline the Atlantic Council's "The Art of Future Warfare" Project

Category: General News
Posted: September 29, 2014 04:44PM
Author: ClayMeow

The Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan Washington D.C. think tank in the field of international affairs, is about to embark on a unique year-long project called "The Art of Future Warfare". The premise behind the new project is to "mine narrative fiction and interactive media for real-world insights into the future of conflict." Last week, the Atlantic Council named acclaimed writer and director Dave Anthony, who is best known for writing and directing Call of Duty: Black Ops, along with directing its sequel, as a nonresident fellow in its Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

The year-long project will kick off on October 1, with Anthony headlining a public, on-the-record event from 330-5PM ET entitled "The Future of Unknown Conflict." It will be streamed live here. Anthony will use his experience creating scenarios of current and future warfare to gain an edge in future conflicts. It's not often we see people in our nation's capital embrace violent video games. The idea behind the project came about when Steven Grundman, a George Lund fellow for emerging defense challenges at the Atlantic Council, was watching his son play Black Ops II, realizing the attention to detail and realistic depiction of war in the year 2025.

"We have a perception of Washington that someone wouldn't be forward-thinking enough to contact creative people to predict... future conflicts and the nature of what these conflict will be," Anthony said. "The fact that they contacted a video game director to help them with that was flabbergasting." Anthony will be focused on showing what our nation and other nations can do to take a proactive step in preparing for terrorist attacks and other acts of war.

Source: Atlantic Council via The Washington Post



Google Announces Partnership With Adobe

Category: General News
Posted: September 29, 2014 04:11PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has announced a partnership with Adobe to bring the Creative Cloud service to Chromebooks. Initial support will come in the form of a streaming version of Photoshop that operates in the cloud and runs right on your Chromebook without any additional hassle. Users will be required to be an Adobe education customer with a paid Creative Cloud membership to access the service. The new service will also be fully integrated with Google Drive, making it easy for users to access their files from anywhere.

Source: Google



Flagship Microsoft Store Coming to Fifth Avenue

Category: General News
Posted: September 29, 2014 03:10PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Microsoft has revealed that it will launch its full size flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue sometime next year. The location is at the heart of Upper Fifth Avenue, a high-end retail destination for both tourists and locals. Microsoft executives noted that the 677 Fifth Avenue site, which is currently a Fendi shop located just blocks away from the Apple Store, has been five years in the making. The store is set to feature an exceptional experience that showcases the products and services that Microsoft offers consumers. David Porter, the corporate vice president for Microsoft retail stores, stated that "As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience." Although Microsoft does have a few full size stores located within the New York area, the company’s flagship store will be the first for Manhattan.

Source: The Wall Street Journal



iCloud Vulnerability First Reported in March

Category: General News
Posted: September 25, 2014 04:09PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The Apple iCloud service has been in the news recently due to the reveal of a brute force exploit that was patched with the implementation of two factor authentication. It is now being reported that software developer Ibrahim Balic reported the vulnerability to Apple on March 26 and Balic claimed he was able to brute force a single account with up to 20,000 passwords. Balic also notified Apple of the bug using the official bug submission platform. Apple responded on May 6 and Balic believed that the issue was still in place and the company appeared to have discounted his findings as being a threat, stating "Based on the information you provided, it appears that it would take an extraordinarily long time to find a valid authentication token for an account."

Source: Daily Dot



Thecus Celebrates 10th Anniversary with New Slogan

Category: General News
Posted: September 24, 2014 04:51AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Thecus, a company that specializes in Network Attached Storage and Network Video Recorder solutions, has announced that it is adopting a new slogan to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The new slogan, “Empowering Professionals,” is meant to highlight the core strengths of the company in the commercial landscape. Thecus came into the limelight in 2005 at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, and each year since its initial offering, the company has provided unmatched innovation by brining world firsts to consumers across the globe. Some of these world firsts include a NAS with 10GBASE-T support which was released in 2011, and an Intel Atom SoC CE5315 embedded NAS that was released last year. As technology continues to improve and consumer needs change overtime, Thecus plans to remain relevant and has vowed with its new slogan to continue to do what it always has, empower professionals.

Source: Press Release



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