Google has announced that it will replace its Android Market with a new platform called Google Play, which will encompass all of its apps, books, music and movies under one umbrella moniker.
Each will receive its own ‘Play’ rebranding along the lines of Play Music, Play Books and so forth, with the Android Market itself being reborn as the Play Store.
the occasion is being celebrated by a ‘Seven Days to Play’ sale which will see discounts applied to apps, books, movies and music during the next seven days.
Android 2.2 or higher devices should see a market update rolling out within the next week
Android 6.0 will be called Key Lime Pie.
One million copies of the consumer preview of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system were downloaded in the first 24 hours of its availability.
After countless court battles in the US and several overturned judgments, Microsoft and Uniloc this week reached a “final and mutually agreeable resolution”
The companies had been locked in US courts since 2003 when Uniloc sought damages from Microsoft for infringing the patent to create software worth up to US$19 billion in market value.
It was alleged the software giant had infringed Richardson’s patent (number 5,490,216) in developing its product activation systems, including those used in Microsoft Word, Windows XP and the Clearinghouse facility used to maintain licensing for its Remote Desktop Service.
The Inventor would not reveal his personal gain or the company’s financial settlement but said it would “be as valuable as I could expect”.
The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has credited new desktop power management software for shaving more than $41,000 off its power bill in the four months to January 2012.
In September, the bank scrapped its policy of leaving its 6000 desktops on at all times so that they may receive retail banking system updates, be patched or updated overnight.
Under phase one of the power management project, Miller’s team used IBM’s Tivoli Endpoint Manager to automatically shut down all desktops in idle or standby mode from 6pm to 8am the following day.
Technology staff configured Tivoli’s wake-on-WAN functionality to remotely boot up all machines between 11pm and 2am for patching or updates.
By not using some 250,200 kWh of energy, Miller said the bank had avoided some 546 tonnes of carbon emissions
Based on current power management settings, the bank expected to shave $175,000 off its power bill within 12 months and avoid 2190 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The debut of the tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer crashed its distributors’ websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch.
Its British-based designers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope the computer, which has been in the works for six years, will spark new interest in programming among children.
“The primary goal was to build a low cost computer that every child could own, and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it,” said co-founder Robert Mullins.
The computer’s miniature uncased circuit board is crowded with an Ethernet connection for the internet, two USB ports and an SD card port for memory and is powered by a standard USB mobile charger.
The low-cost computer runs a free, open-source Linux operating system and does not include a monitor or keyboard.
Lady Gaga has become the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers.
Justin Bieber (18 million), Katy Perry (15.7 million) and Shakira (14.5 million).
Gaga’s massive following is in addition to 48 million fans on Facebook and more than 800,000 “circles” on Google+.
Unlike some other stars, the best-selling singer has said she personally updates her account.
iPad 3 launched, and it will be stronger, clearer, faster
THE world’s best-selling tablet computer received a major overhaul today, becoming the first Apple product to connect to next-generation 4G mobile networks and gaining a high-definition screen, more graphical grunt, voice dictation and a significantly better camera for the same price as the old model.
But Australians will not be able to use the new iPad’s new speedy 4G connection, which is incompatible with the country’s only 4G network, when it arrives in local stores on March 16.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook revealed the third iPad tablet in San Francisco early this morning, in a performance that will be judged as his first real test as head of the company after he took over from founder Steve Jobs.
Mr Cook said the iPad had created a new category with the tablet that Apple would “redefine” again with the new edition iPad.
“We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world,’’ Mr Cook said.
“The momentum behind Apple has been incredible and has surprised almost everyone. We sold 15.4 million in the last quarter alone. We sold more iPads in the fourth quarter of last year than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line worldwide.”
The new iPad will be the first Apple product to use a 4G (LTE) mobile internet connection that could deliver a speed boost of up to five times that of current networks.
Unfortunately, it is not yet equipped to work with Australia’s first 4G network, offered by Telstra, as it uses a different frequency (1800MHz) to 4G networks available in the United States.
Other than 4G compatibility, the new iPad’s most obvious upgrade is its 9.7-inch screen, which now features double the resolution (2048×1536) to a high-definition “Retina” display as seen in the iPhone 4.
Apple worldwide marketing vice-president Phil Schiller said the screen upgrade is designed to better show off HD movie downloads, books and photos, with pixels indiscernible to the naked eye, however app makers and iPad users may need to upgrade their software to make full use of the new display.
Apple’s new iPad will also feature a more powerful processor – a 1.5GHz dual-core A5X chip with quad-core graphics processing – that will enable the use of more demanding apps, including video-editing software and games.
However, the company stopped short of adding a quad-core computing processor as rumoured and seen in some rival tablets including the ASUS Transformer Prime.
The new iPad also features a significantly better rear camera that now offers a backlit sensor, 5-megapixel resolution and hybrid infra-red filter for better colour reproduction, as well as voice dictation that is designed to recognise the Australian accent.
The new iPad has retained its original US price, starting at $US499.
Apple has sold more than 55 million iPads since its April 2010 launch, dominating the fledgling market.
Despite increased competition from Samsung, Motorola, Sony and ASUS, Gartner predicts Apple will continue to lead the category this year with 69 million tablet sales compared to just 22 million Google Android-run tablets, even though its rivals are closing the hardware gap.
Apple also revealed an upgraded Apple TV set-top box at the event that will support full high-definition movie and
TV downloads, up from a current resolution of 720p.
The small black box will also come with a new menu featuring options resembling iPod icons. It will be launched in the US on March 16 for $US99.
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Apple.
The Retina display on the new, third-generation iPad makes everything look crisper and more lifelike. Text is razor sharp. Colours are more vibrant. Photos and videos are rich with detail. All thanks to 3.1 million pixels powered by the new A5X chip. It’s the best mobile display ever. Learn more
The new iPad features a 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics, a backside illumination sensor, auto white balance and face detection for incredible still images. And you can record 1080p HD video too. So every moment you capture looks as great as you remember. Learn more
The new iPhoto app joins GarageBand and iMovie to complete the iLife family for iPad. You can find them and the iWork apps — Pages, Keynote and Numbers — on the App Store. Along with a world of other apps designed specifically for iPad.Learn more
Designed with next-generation wireless technology, the new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast data networks around the world. So you can download content, stream video and browse the web at amazing speeds. Learn more
Hands-On With Apple’s New 1080p Apple TV
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced its new1080p Apple TV to the world on Wednesday, and we got a brief chance to check out the improved user interface and features for ourselves.
Thanks to its brand-new A5 processor and new software design, the updated Apple TV experience is snappy and intuitive, largely improving on the 2010 version. The new device is capable of delivering 1080p content, and the fresh UI takes full advantage of the fact that you’re probably watching content on a widescreen TV set with large icons and luscious HD images.
Hardware-wise, there’s nothing new to see here. The new Apple TV still has the same black hockey puck shape that its predecessor did. No complaints from us, as it’s a discrete little living-room peripheral. It also still ships with the same slender silver remote, complete with all the same buttons: Pause, play, menu, four directional keys and a select button. You can also control the device using the Apple Remote app, as per the norm.
The real change is in the software. Apple gave its Apple TV interface quite the face lift. Set atop a black background, your home screen features large images from recently rented or top content across the upper portion of the display (for Movies, for instance, they’re movie posters), and beneath that, a row of five iOS-like icons: Movies, TV Shows, Music, Computers and Settings. Below those options are icons for services like Netflix, Flickr, MLB.com and Apple’s own Photo Stream.
This visual style selection of content is a welcome update from the drop-down lists you had to choose from in the 2010 Apple TV, better utilizing the space onscreen, and showing crisp, detailed images in 1080p.
When you dive into the movies section, Purchased, Top Movies, Genius, Genres, Search and Trailers menu options are listed across the top of the display. Purchased and Top Movies pulls up movie posters of titles in their respective categories. Genius offers you suggestions based on your previous viewing habits. Similar to Netflix, it’s got Movies For You, top picks based on the type of films you watch, as the top row, followed by suggestions based on specific titles. For instance, one of these, “Based on The Incredibles,” pulls up other assorted Disney and Pixar family-friendly fare, like Toy Story 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Enchanted. Based on a quick browse through this, it’s unclear how Apple’s Genius algorithms for suggesting titles compares to that of Netflix and other streaming services.
If you select a title, the movie shows up as a large poster image on the left quarter of the screen, with the title, description, rating, and other information taking up the majority of the rest of the screen. Across the bottom, other movie posters are listed.
There’s a lot more to the new Apple TV than just movies. If you’ve taken a great batch of photos and want to share them with friends and family, you can check them out full-screen using Photo Stream. You can select individual images to pull up, or watch a slide show.
Since we only had a few minutes to take a tour around the Apple TV, there were a number of features we didn’t get to try out today, like taking a photo and watching it instantly upload to Photo Stream on your television. Don’t worry though — we’ll take a deep dive look into all of Apple TV’s nooks and crannies in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, current Apple TV owners can snag an update to their set top box today, but you still won’t be able to stream 1080p — only new Apple TVs get that perk. The 2012 Apple TV is $99, can be pre-ordered today, and will be available for purchase next week.
iOS 5.1 increases OTA download limit; Apple adds free trials for subscriptions
The iPad took center stage during Apple’s event today, but it’s not the only improvement Apple rolled out on Wednesday. For those who haven’t launched Software Update yet, here are some highlights from the new Apple offerings:
- The iOS 5.1 update, which we discussed earlier today, includes two additional features we didn’t see listed in Apple’s release notes. After installing, iOS will allow downloads from the iTunes Store (including apps and music) up to 50MB over 3G/4G networks. That limit is up from the previous 20MB cap, ostensibly to allow more apps with Retina graphics or perhaps 1080p video to download over-the-air.
- Some AT&T users who upgrade to iOS 5.1 will find an added “bonus” as well. Users connected to AT&T’s HSPA+ network on an iPhone 4S will see a “4G” icon appear in the upper left hand corner. This allows AT&T to further differentiate itself from competitors Verizon and Sprint, though true “4G” really only applies to LTE devices.
- As mentioned in our coverage from earlier today, the iTunes 10.6 update adds the ability to play 1080p HD movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store. This release includes multiple improvements for iTunes Match, including improved song matching and album artwork downloading and display. The update also addresses an issue where songs may skip when playing via iCloud.
- When trying to update to iBooks Author 1.1 (which makes Retina display compatible iBooks, by the way) users will be asked to approve a new iTunes Terms of Service agreement. Within this agreement lies a bit of apparent news:
- “Certain paid In App Subscriptions may offer a free trial period prior to charging your Account. If you decide you do not want to purchase the In App Subscription, turn off auto-renewal in your Account settings during the free trial period.”
- It seems that Apple will now allow publishers to offer free trial subscriptions on iOS via in app purchase.
- Finally, iPhoto and GarageBand updates for Mac OS X add compatibility with the iOS versionsannounced today. iPhoto 9.2.2 allows photos to be deleted from Photo Stream. And, GarageBand 6.0.5 adds updated compatibility with iOS-generated projects. The update also fixes a playback issue with the GarageBand Lesson preview videos and corrects issues with some software instruments triggering incorrectly or becoming stuck notes.
Annymous hackers take down Vatican website
- Attack in retaliation for church “corruption”
- Comes day after high-profile hacking arrests
- First attempt to break Vatican security failed
THE hacking group Anonymous has taken down several Vatican websites, saying it was targeting the “corrupt” Catholic Church.
“Anonymous decided today to besiege your site in response to the doctrine, to the liturgies, to the absurd and anachronistic concepts that your for-profit organisation spreads around the world,” the hackers said in a statement.
“This attack is not against the Christian religion or the faithful around the world but against the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church,” said the statement, posted on the Italian-language version of the Anonymous website.
Aside from taking down www.vatican.va, the hacking group also claimed responsibility for attacking several Vatican-related sites including that of its newspaper.
“TANGO DOWN – Vatican Website – http://www.vatican.va/ – (via Anonymous Italia) #ANONYMOUS Why? For the pure, simple lulz, no other reason,” @Anonymous wrote on Twitter.
Anonymous tried and failed to attack the Vatican website last year.
The hack comes a day after the FBI charged an alleged member of Anonymous, and four alleged leaders of Anonymous’s offshoot, LulzSec.
Anonymous hit back saying they are stronger than ever and cannot be stopped.
The indictments cover some of the most notorious hacking incidents of the past several years including those against Sony Pictures Entertainment, private intelligence firm Stratfor and computer security firm HBGary.
In their statement, Anonymous went on to accused the Catholic Church of several historical wrongdoings including killing opponents, burning texts and harbouring Nazi war criminals.
The group also blasted the institution for “allowing its representatives to harass children.”
Samsung Electronics files fresh lawsuit against Apple
- Claims Apple has violated “utility” patents
- Legal battle has spread to over nine countries
- iPad 3 launched and it will be stronger, clearer, faster
SAMSUNG Electronics said today it widened its patent litigation against Apple in its home country, accusing the US company of violating three more patents.
The new allegations cover so-called “utility” patents that relate to the specific functions of mobile computing devices, such as smartphones and tablet PCs.
In April last year, Samsung accused Apple of violating five of its patents related to technical standards in the way data is transmitted by such devices.
Samsung filed that suit in response to a case brought by Apple in the US in which it accused
Samsung of copying the look and feel of its products.
In the time since, their legal battle has spread to more than two dozen cases in nine countries.
The latest suit was filed yesterday in Seoul Central District Court and announced by Samsung overnight, the same day Apple scheduled an event in San Francisco to introduce a new version of its iPad.
Samsung said the suit covers Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPad 2 and alleges that Apple violated patents Samsung holds in South Korea covering the way data is displayed on a mobile phone, on a “mobile terminal” and a “method for outputting a short message on a mobile communication terminal”.
Apple’s Korea spokesman Steve Park repeated the company’s previous statements that it will protect its intellectual property.
Apple has been engaged in multiple legal fights with phone makers since 2010 who use Google’s
Android operating system, which Apple believes copies key functions of its products.
Yesterday, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Apple has issued proposals to Motorola Mobility Holdings, a phone maker being acquired by Google, and Samsung to settle some pending litigation in exchange for royalty payments to license its patents, among other terms.
Samsung declined to comment on the report.
Google Rebrands Android Market, Gives Movies a Push
7 Mar, 2012By: Chris Tribbey
Google is bringing its Android Market, Google Music and Google eBookstore under one brand, dubbed Google Play, a cloud-based service that allows users to use their content on multiple devices.
The new digital entertainment destination, play.google.com, makes a big push for movie rentals, with many films priced at 99 cents, and promotional titles as low as 25 cents.
Google Play allows users to store up to 20,000 songs and offers more than 450,000 Android applications and games.
“To celebrate, we’ll be offering a different album, book, video rental and Android app at a special price each day for the next week in our ‘7 Days to Play’ sale,” Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Google, wrote in a blog post. “In addition, you’ll find great collections of hip-hop, rock and country albums for $3.99 all week, detective novels from $2.99, some of our editorial team’s favorite movies from 99 cents, and our favorite apps from 49 cents.”
“Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we’ll keep adding new content to keep it fresh.”
SimCity plans big return in 2013
Move over Minecraft! A legendary city-building game is set to make a triumphant return next year.
Nearly 10 years after the last major SimCity release, Maxis Emeryville and EA unveiled information yesterday about SimCity 4‘s upcoming successor.
The fifth version of the iconic SimCity is due in 2013, and features a large range of graphic and gameplay improvements over previous generations. One major new feature is multiplayer region support (for up to 16 players). Playing with friends enables challenges such as leaderboards and the ability to “launch a space shuttle or build magnificent wonders,” according to EA.
Multiplayer relationships go much deeper, though. For example, you can send fire trucks to another region in a massive crisis. If your city turns into a smog-filled re-creation of Los Angeles, then Sims in a friend’s area suffer and experience health problems.
A casino-themed city.
(Credit: EA/Maxis Emeryville)
City architects can also choose a theme for each city, such as a casino-heavy Vegas layout, an educational college town, or manufacturing mecca. These choices carry great influence over the “look, feel and core personality of your city,” the official Web site says.
Zoom into mayhem created by your Sims. (Click to enlarge.)
(Credit: EA/Maxis Emeryville)
Another interesting tidbit about the new SimCity: builders can lay curvy roads, a capability the series sorely lacked prior.
We also see a great deal of chatter in the details about greatly enhanced Sims (due to an enhanced simulation engine called GlassBox): “Now every Sim has a purpose in the SimCity world, a home to go to, a job to work at, even stores to shop in.” We hope this doesn’t translate into endless pop-up messages during gameplay from concerned or annoyed citizens.
A preorder page for SimCity on Origin confirms several things: a $59.99 baseline retail cost, average system requirements, and a special digital deluxe version for $20 more.