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Profile: News
Name: News Offline
Joined: Sunday, September 23, 2007(UTC)
Last Visit: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:26:13 PM(UTC)
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Topic: Customers Scammed Wal-Mart Into Price Matching Sony’s PlayStation 4 For $90   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 5:14:25 PM(UTC)
Back on November 13, Wal-Mart announced that it would price match select online retailers which included Amazon.com. However, consumers took advantage of this and were recently able to scam Wal-Mart into price matching Sony’s $400 PlayStation 4 for only $90.

Proof of the fraud was noticed by CNBC as photos of receipts were posted on Twitter and Reddit by consumers who were able to get Wal-Mart to match the price of third-party sellers on Amazon by tricking the employees into thinking it was an authentic-looking Amazon page. The problem is, any Amazon member that has a registered selling account is able to create such pages. Once the page has been created, someone can just take a screenshot of the listing and then show it to the cashier at checkout.


But now Wal-Mart is cracking down on the scam. One consumer posted a picture that showed an in-store sign saying that there would be no the store would not match the PS4 Amazon.com ad “due to fraud.” Photos also showed updated price match requirements for any “huge” price differences.



The PS4 scam follows an incident where Sears accidentally listed Nintendo 3DS ($200) and Wii U ($300) bundles for $60 each. While Sears was able to correct the mistake, it wasn’t fast enough for consumers to go to various retail outlets and get a price match.

While the Sears incident was, most likely, an honest mistake, that is not the case when it concerns Wal-Mart and the PS4 scam. Perhaps Amazon might need to rethink its approach to third-party sellers such as making it easier to discern a third-party seller’s page from an authentic Amazon page?
Topic: Apple Might Drop The Beats Onto All iPhones And iPads   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:46:00 PM(UTC)
Apple has been taking its time trying to figure out what to do with its $3 billion acquisition of the Beats brand. Last week, the company announced that it would be launching the first set of headphones, the Solo2 Wireless, since the acquisition. But now, it seems Apple has decided what to do with Beats Music.

According to sources that spoke to the Financial Times, Apple will include the Beats app with the latest update for the iOS operating system for both iPhones and iPads. The Financial Times went on to say that users could see the update delivered, with the revamped Beats Music, as soon as March. Subscriptions, which was reported back in October that could cost $5 per month, for the service might also be tied to fingerprint-based authorization through the use of Touch ID.


If the service is automatically uploaded to Apple’s mobile devices, this would give the music streaming service access to the hundreds of millions of consumers who own Apple’s mobile devices making it a threat to other streaming services such as Spotify. However, those same services have come under scrutiny following the removal of Taylor Swift’s entire music catalogue from Spotify for the reason that the artist wasn’t being paid enough in royalties.

What do you think of Beats Music making its way onto your Apple mobile device?
Topic: Lenovo N20p Touch Screen Chromebook Review   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:46:47 PM(UTC)

Lenovo N20p Chromebook ReviewChromebooks seem to have found their place in the market, especially in the education segment, and shipments have increased significantly. The latest statistics show Chromebook shipments jumped 67 percent in the most recent quarter and are on track to double compared to last year. Now that Intel and Google have joined forces to further the Chromebook platform, companies such as Lenovo (and others) are expanding their Chromebook offerings.

Lenovo’s N20 and N20p Chromebooks are the company's first Chromebooks targeting consumers (previous Lenovo Chromebook models are geared toward the education sector). The N20 gives users all of the features and the thin and light form factor one would expect from a Chromebook while the N20p takes things a step further by adding a multimode design that gives users the ability to use it in Laptop and Stand modes, which can be handy to show off the N20p Chromebook’s touchscreen display...

Lenovo N20p Chromebook Review

Topic: China Claims Need To Censor The Internet In Order To Maintain Stability   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:00:03 PM(UTC)
The World Internet Conference has kicked off, taking place in China, which has brought many of the world’s top technology companies together. At the beginning of the conference, Chinese officials called for controls on the internet in order to maintain stability. As an example, officials pointed to China’s model for cyperspace regulation and how it can be attributed to helping create commercial successes such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The conference will have sessions on global internet governance, mobile internet, and cyber security and is China’s attempt to begin playing a larger role in the management of global cyberspce. Alibaba had a $25 billion listing in New York this year while, together, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc are worth more than $500 billion combined in market capitalization.

Image Source: Flickr (Dan)

"We will strengthen communications and seek common ground while resolving differences to establish a multilateral, democratic and transparent international internet governance system," said Lu Wei, China's director of the State Internet Information Office, at the conference.

"Join us in building up a peaceful, safe and open and co-operative cyberspace."

Aside from Chinese technology firms, other global companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have sent representatives to attend the conference. Given that China boasts a population of 1.4 billion citizens, of which 632 million are online, makes China a very lucrative market that companies do not want to miss out on.

One only has to look at the huge successes of China’s own tech companies as a reason why global corporations are looking towards China.

However, prior to the conference, China blocked access to a number of websites as part of a blunt censorship campaign according to an internet monitoring group.

Edgecast, an affiliate of Verizon, said that its services were censored in a blog post that reads “We have been hearing from our CDN and Monitoring partners throughout the industry and our own customers that more sites, CDNs and networks are being filtered or blocked by the Great Firewall of China. This week we’ve seen the filtering escalate with an increasing number of popular web properties impacted and even one of our many domains being partially blocked… with no rhyme or reason as to why.”
Topic: Samsung Delivers Milk Video Streaming Service To Galaxy Phone Owners   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 12:09:14 PM(UTC)
Samsung just rolled out its Milk Video service with eye on competing with YouTube, though it's only available to Galaxy owners. The South Korean handset maker describes Milk Video as being a video discovery platform that makes it easy to find and share the most popular and talked about online videos, and to kick off the launch, there will be exclusive content from various entertainment brands and networks.

"The promise of Milk is a well-designed mobile experience that makes it easy to discover the content you want. We did this first with Milk Music, and now, we extend this promise with Milk Video," said John Pleasants, Samsung EVP, Media Solutions Center America. "Samsung is committed to giving our customers the best software and services to enhance their device experience. We’re partnering with some of the best brands in new media to deliver great content across our consumers’ passion points: music, comedy, lifestyle and entertainment."

Milk Video

Milk Video is supposed to learn and refine its content recommendations over time based on your listening and watching habits. It also takes into consideration who you follow, along with what you like and repost versus which videos are dismissed.

The curated videos are tossed into categories that include Comedy, Entertainment, Gaming, How-To, Music, News, Random, Sports, and Tech. According to those who have test driven the service, the bulk of videos are relatively short to help you kill time; every once in awhile you'll run into a longer video.

Milk Video is available now from Google Play and compatible with the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S III mini, and Galaxy S.
Topic: Ubisoft Fixes Hilarously Disturbing "No-Face" Glitch In Assassin's Creed Unity, More Optim   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:30:53 AM(UTC)
There are plenty of comical moments to be had in Assassin's Creed Unity, though not necessarily intentional. Take for example a bug that would remove textures on certain NPCs, leaving them faceless and creepy looking. Dubbed the "no face" bug, Ubisoft said it resolved the issue with its Day 1 patch, as well as all future patches.

Several images showing the bug have been circulating on the web, though Ubisosft stated in a blog post that after conducting rigorous test, it determined the glitch only occurs on PCs with one of two specific graphics cards, and in both cases the issue is fixed following the first patch.

No Face Bug
Image Source: Steam (Retro_Apocalypse)

Unfortunately for Ubisoft, the "no face" bug isn't the only one having a negative impact on the user experience. There are videos on YouTube showing NPCs interrupting cut scenes by shouting over the dialog, the main character getting caught inside of hay carts, and more unintentional shenanigans.


The good news for gamers is that Ubisoft isn't exactly burying its head in the sand -- the company is aware of the various issues affecting the game and is working on more fixes and optimizations.

"We can tell you that we have detected a distinct discrepancy between what we observed in the pre-launch versus post-launch environment. In spite of our testing, it looks like the instruction queue is becoming overloaded and impacting performance," Ubisoft said in a separate blog post. "We have several fixes we are exploring right now and will continue to update you with our progress of what is working and how quickly we can implement these fixes in the game in the weeks ahead."

Ubisoft said it's working on a third patch, though doesn't have an ETA just yet.
Topic: Twitter Flips A Switch, Lets You View All Public Tweets Since 2006   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:45:29 AM(UTC)
Remember that comment you posted to Twitter eight years ago? No? Well now you can look it up, along with every other public tweet made by anyone. In a blog post this week, Twitter announced that it now indexes every public tweet since 2006, which has been something the microblogging service has wanted to do for quite some time now.

"Since that first simple Tweet over eight years ago, hundreds of billions of Tweets have captured everyday human experiences and major historical events. Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency. But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published," Twitter said.

Twitter

Twitter provided a few examples of when this expanded search capability might prove useful, such as providing comprehensive results for entire TV and sports seasons or digging through long-lived hashtag conversations across various topics, such as #JapanEarthquake, #Election2012, and so forth.

While on the surface this may seem like no big deal, it took quite a bit of engineering savvy to make it happen. Twitter points out that its full index is more than 100 times larger than its real-time index and grows by several billion tweets a week. The real-time index is fully stored in RAM for fast updates, though using the same RAM technology for the full index would have been cost prohibitive. Twitter turned to SSDs instead, though it wasn't as simple as using a different storage medium.

"SSDs were still orders of magnitude slower than RAM. Switching from RAM to SSD, our Earlybird QPS capacity took a major hit. To increase serving capacity, we made multiple optimizations such as tuning kernel parameters to optimize SSD performance, packing multiple DocValues fields together to reduce SSD random access, loading frequently accessed fields directly in-process and more," Twitter explains.

The blog post is actually rather interesting if you're into geeky details, as there's a lot more to digest than the storage medium alone.
Topic: Nielsen To Measure Streaming Site Viewership Starting Next Month   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:15:41 AM(UTC)
Due to Hulu's tight connection with CBS, Nielsen has been measuring the audiences that stream shows via that platform. For pretty much every other major SVOD network, the numbers are either a complete mystery, or each individual service reports their own proprietary figures. Essentially, there has been no standardized way to get a feel for viewership across streaming video platforms, and with so much content moving away from pay-TV channels and onto the Internet, it's obviously something that needs to be addressed. And that's exactly what Nielsen is doing.


Starting next month, Nielsen is expected to start applying its famed ratings to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other competing services. It's said that Nielsen can tap into the data by "analyzing a program’s audio components to identify which shows are being streamed," and it could shed interesting light on viewer figures for shows such as House of Cards -- after all, Netflix and Amazon have yet to disclose audience figures to the public. These figures aren't as apt to be useful to advertisers when most of the content is designed to be streamed without ads at all, but that could very well change as more viewers shift from traditional channels to online portals.


That said, what it could provide is more insight on whether or not a certain content owner should license content out to places such as Netflix, and what a fair price would be. Many SVOD sites have scored exclusives on streaming certain shows that debuted on cable, but it's tough to know how useful it has been. This could very well change that.
Topic: Jolla Tablet Running Sailfish OS Skyrockets Past Funding Goal, Will Take On Army Of Android Slates   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:06:35 AM(UTC)
It's not as though the tablet market is starving for platforms, and while it's an uphill battle trying to take on established competitors like Android and iOS, Finnish smartphone startup Jolla will give it the ol' college try. Meet the "Jolla Tablet," a hardware device built around the company's open source Sailfish OS, which is one of several reasons why it's so intriguing.

Billed as the world's first crowdsourced tablet, Jolla surpassed its funding goal of $380,000 on Indiegogo within a mere two hours. The tally currently sits at over $580,000 after a single day with 21 days left to go, an indicator of immense interest in something new and fresh in the tablet sector. And while it might seem a bit crowded at the moment, remember that webOS would be a player today if not for some bad decisions by management.

Jolla Tablet

On the hardware and features side, the Jolla Tablet sports a 7.85-inch IPS display with a 2048x1563 resolution (330 ppi), 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage + SD card slot, 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 4,300 mAh battery.

That's a solid foundation, though Jolla's banking on its Sailfish OS being the real driver of sales. One huge advantage working in its favor is that Sailfish OS has the capability to run Android apps. Of course, it can run its own native apps as well, and between the two, a lack of software is one thing that shouldn't be a complaint.

Jolla Tablet

One of the big things Jolla touts with Sailfish OS is its ability to multitask.

"Multitasking on Sailfish OS shows all your running apps conveniently in one single view. At a glance, you’ll see everything that’s going on, as well as easily switch between apps. You can also control Sailfish OS apps directly from the multitasking view – for example, change your music or play and pause your video stream without opening the app in full," Jolla explains.


As part of the Indiegogo campaign, Jolla has sold 1,000 tablets at $189 and another 1,000 at $199. Now it's looking to sell the next 2,000 at $204 (plus $20 shipping). You can check it out here.
Topic: Fire TV Stick Is Amazon's Most Successful Launch Device To Date, Starts Shipping Today   Go to last post
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:39:53 AM(UTC)
Amazon has begun shipping its Fire TV Stick to customers today, the company's low-cost streaming HDMI dongle that will go up against Google's Chromecast device and a growing number of competitors. The Fire TV Stick costs just $39, and while that's $4 higher than a Chromecast, there are a few advantages to Amazon's device.

For one, it comes with a dedicated remote control to make navigation easier. There's also a mobile app available if you'd rather use your smartphone, which includes voice search -- it's powered by the same voice search engine as Amazon's Fire TV.

From a technical standpoint, the Fire TV Stick trumps both Chromecast and Roku's streaming stick with superior hardware. It has a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage. It also supports features that the others don't, such as Miracast, Dolby Digital Plus, and Amazon Instant Video (also available on Roku, but not Chromecast).

Amazon Fire TV Stick

We haven't had a chance to test drive the Fire TV Stick just yet, but like many others, we're certainly intrigued with it. In fact, Amazon's says the Fire TV Stick launch has been more successful than any of its previous products, which is saying a lot considering how popular the Kindle Fire line is. That's also due in part to the $19 introductory price for Prime members (it's now back up to $39).

"Fire TV Stick has been our most successful device launch ever," said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices. "We built a ton of these, but customer demand still outpaced our supply. We’re excited by the overwhelming customer response and the team is working hard to build more as quickly as possible."

If you pre-ordered a Fire TV Stick, it should be on its way, if not now then soon. At present, Amazon shows that new orders will ship out January 15, 2015.

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