Thursday, May 14, 2015

IT News Head Lines (TweakTown) 5/15/2015


Samsung's 'Project Orbis' smartwatch will feature rotating metal bezel
All eyes are currently on the Apple Watch, but it looks like Samsung could have an answer to the Digital Crown with its upcoming smartwatch dubbed 'Project Orbis'.

Samsung's new smartwatch will reportedly feature a 1.18-inch circular display with a resolution of 360x360 (305PPI), a 2G data connection and Samsung's own Tizen OS. Project Orbis will also include various sensors like GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, heartbeat sensor, pressure sensor and a magnetic sensor.

Project Orbis will have something that stands out however, with a metal bezel that can be turned to navigate throughout its operating system. The rotatable bezel can be used to not just navigate the UI, but adjust the volume, zoom in and out of photos, and much more. Samsung is expected to call Project Orbis the Gear A, which should be unveiled with the Galaxy Note 5 at IFA 2015 in September.

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AMD reportedly launching HBM-powered Radeon R9 390X on June 24
Can you believe that we're just over a month from the unveiling of AMD's next-generation GPU architecture? We have already had our industry sources tell us that AMD will be launching its Radeon R9 390X at E3 2015, but according to WCCFTech, AMD will be launching its next-gen video card on June 24.

There seems to be quite a lot of conflicting information, but right now we know that AMD will not be launching the Radeon R9 390X at Computex, as we thought back in early March. Instead, our sources have said Fiji XT will be launched at E3 2015 during the first PC conference, but AMD does need to have its own event for a launch this important.

AMD's Radeon R9 390X is shaping up to be something special as it'll be the first video card to feature High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM. This next generation memory is packaged alongside the GPU die on a single piece of interposer, rather than on the circuit board surrounding the video card as we've had up until this point. This is going to usher in a different video card than we're used to, where AMD can make their flagship R9 390X much shorter than usual thanks to saved PCB space.

As for specs, we should expect 4096 shaders, between 4GB and 8GB of stacked HBM at 1.25GHz for 640GB/sec memory bandwidth over its 4096-bit memory bus, and a GPU clock speed of 1.05GHz for a total of 8.5TFLOPS of performance.

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Microsoft announces six different versions of Windows 10
Microsoft will be making multiple versions of Windows 10, with no less than six versions being made available. Most people will be buying the Home or Pro versions of Microsoft's next, and possibly last version of Windows, though.

There will be six versions released, with Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education. As you can see, most people will opt for Home or Professional. We have a detailed rundown of the Windows 10 SKUs thanks to Microsoft insider Mary Jo Foley, and her report on ZDNet.

Windows 10 Home: The consumer-focused desktop edition. This will include the core Windows 10 features, such as the Edge browser, Continuum tablet-mode for touch-capable devices; Cortana integration; free Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar; Music and Video apps; and Windows Hello face-recognition/iris/fingerprint log-in for devices that support those technologies. On devices with screen sizes of 10.1 inches or less, users also will get Universal Office apps for free, once they are available.

Windows 10 Mobile: This is the SKU for Windows Phones and small Intel- and ARM-based tablets. ("Small" means between three and 7.99 inches in size.) This SKU will include the core Windows 10 features; free Universal Office apps once they are available; and support for Continuum for Phone, allowing customers to use phones as PCs connected to larger screens (but only on new devices supporting certain screen resolutions).

Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise: This is a version of Windows 10 Mobile for volume licensing customers only. According to the blog post, this SKU incorporates the latest security and feature updates to Windows 10 once they are available. There's no word if users will be able to delay these updates in order to test/stagger their delivery, which is offered under Windows Update for Business.

Windows 10 Pro: A desktop version of Windows 10 for mobile workers, tech enthusiasts and other power users. This version is one of at least two -- the other being Windows 10 Enterprise -- that will allow users to opt for Windows Update for Business. Windows Update for Business will allow admins to opt to not receive all feature and security updates from Microsoft immediately after they are available.

Windows 10 Enterprise: This is the Enterprise version of Windows 10 that is available to volume-licensing customers. This version is not part of Microsoft's first-year-free upgrade offer, but those with volume-licensing Software Assurance customers will be able to move to this version as part of their licensing terms. The Enterprise version customers get access to the Long Term Servicing Branch of Windows 10 -- which allows them to opt to receive security fixes only and no new features as Microsoft rolls them out.

Windows 10 Education: This is the version for staff, administrators, students and teachers, and will be available through academic Volume Licensing. Microsoft officials say there will be paths for schools and students to upgrade from Windows 10 Home and Pro, but don't yet provide details on that front.

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Angry Birds flings into virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR
If Angry Birds wasn't already everywhere, Rovio Entertainment has announced that Angry Birds VR will be flinging onto Samsung's Gear VR headset in the very near future.

The company demoed Angry Birds VR on the Gear VR at the Rock in Rio festival over the weekend, which saw Rovio's normal side perspective title viewed from behind, and with only a single screenshot unveiled so far, it's hard to judge how it will play, let alone feel in virtual reality. VIP pass holders at Rock in Rio in Las Vegas got to try it, but we need to now get our hands on it.

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AT&T trying to fight cord cutting by adding Hulu before end of 2015
AT&T will provide subscribers with Hulu on its websites and mobile apps starting before the end of 2015, in an effort to fight off Verizon - and hopefully convince customers not to cut the cord. There are more than six million subscribers to the AT&T U-verse TV service, and bringing the Hulu app to TV is a good sign for subscribers.

"We know that our customers want to be able to access video on multiple devices," said Andrew Goodman, associate VP of content acquisition at AT&T, in a press statement. "So we're excited to be able to expand our relationship with Hulu and make its innovative and vast video selections available to AT&T customers on multiple screens."

AT&T and Hulu already had a distribution plan for free streaming content, but this new agreement is focused on the premium subscription content. Hulu is trying to create new business partnerships to keep up with Netflix, the No. 1 online TV and movie service, and hopes new agreements can help close the gap.

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Ubisoft: 'We believe a lot' in VR, as new games are in development
Video game studios are looking for new ways to adopt virtual reality, and Ubisoft said testing is under way so the company is fully prepared for the expected VR revolution.

The company hopes VR will help bring additional players to video games, and doesn't want to be caught out by other studios.

"We believe a lot in virtual reality because we see that it is really giving a chance for gamers to be more immersed in worlds, and we are developing a certain number of games that are going to take advantage of this new possibility," said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, during a recent analyst call. "We are working on the different brands we have to see how we can take advantage of those new possibilities, but making sure also we don't suffer from what comes with it, which is the difficulty to play a long time with those games."

Something must have changed in the VR landscape over the past year, because Lionel Raynaud, VP of Creative at Ubisoft, in 2014 said VR needs to "sell at least 1 million units" before it is viable for development. Of course, a followup statement said Raynaud's estimate wasn't supposed to be a literal figure.

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The hunt for ISIS, other terrorists using Dark Web effectively
An international coalition and ground troops are giving ISIS fits in Iraq and Syria, but the terror group is still finding success online. Using a blend of social media and the Dark Web, the group is able to spread propaganda, recruit new members, and communicate with one another - but the Pentagon is working harder to interrupt ISIS's digital efforts.

For example, DARPA hopes its MEMEX technology, which has the ability to serve as a unique search engine, is able to track down Dark Web sites.

"Everything above the water is what we would call the surface web that can be indexed through Google or you can find through a search engine," said Lillian Ablon, researcher at Rand, in a statement published by CNN. "But below the water that huge iceberg up to 80% times bigger than what's above the water, that's the deep web, that's the part of the web that's not indexed. There is so much of the web that we can't just Google for; it's dark to us, it's dark to Google."

Unfortunately, many don't believe the US government would be able to help themselves if they develop tools to search the Dark Web - as the Obama Administration has condoned rather questionable actions while tracking technology.

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Keep Your Devices Charged and Save 41% on the Extreme Trio Battery Pac
This Extreme Trio battery pack covers every ideal point in the charging ecosystem, and right now it's only $49.99 at TweakTown Deals.

This slim, compact charger powers up to three devices at the same time, displaying charging speed, battery life remaining, and charge time remaining on the backlit LCD screen. And don't worry about carrying around a tangle of extra cables-the Extreme Trio includes built-in lightning and micro-USB cables along with a universal USB port.

Head to TweakTown Deals today to get the Extreme Trio battery pack for $49.99 (plus free shipping).

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NewerTech Nuguard KXs Impact Galaxy S4 Screen Protector Review


With three layers listed as protection, absorption and adhesion, the Nuguard Kxs for Galaxy S4 claims it can withstand a direct hammer hit thanks to its absorption technology.

Screen protectors are something that many people are picking up for $2 from various Chinese import websites, however, these covers lift easily, are scratched easily, don't protect your phone against impacts on the screen and are often hard to lay down. Will the KXs fix these common issues with its premium price? Read on to find out.


Compatible with various phone models ranging from iPhone to Android depending on what model you purchase, this shock absorbing protector will deflect energy from impacting objects as displayed in the video above.

The first layer will protect your screen overall. Said to protect against scratches and everyday wear and tear, Nuguard claim there will be no yellowing tint to occur as seen with various cheaper models.

The second layer is for impact protection and as mentioned a few times previously, will withstand impacts from solid objects by deflecting the energy and spreading it around the phone. Lastly there is the adhesive layer, set out to connect everything together and boasts a 'no accessories needed' method alongside protection against bubbles occurring upon instillation. All three layers wrap up in a 0.22mm thick package in one single screen with nothing else needed.

Pricing & Availability

Setting you back $8.50 plus shipping costs from Amazon, this product seems extremely useful and well-priced. It's a little more than what you'd expect to see with Chinese imports as listed above, but for the few extra dollars, it's helpful to protect against some impacts for sure.

What's in the box?

This comes complete with the screen protector itself, an application pad (similar to a credit card), a screen cleaning cloth, and a 'blue sticky sheet'.

The blue sticky sheet is there in order to clean off any stubborn grease and grime that may be present on your phone's surface. This is anything that you would realistically want with your screen protector, unless you can think of something else or are expecting a second screen to be bundled - which isn't a terrible idea.

Touch and feel

The application process was very simple and all bubbles were removed once I had ironed them out with the card applicator provided. It took a few tries to get it all lined up properly, but the video below was helpful in explaining the process from start to finish. Although it may seem simple and straightforward, it's always good to see the process from the manufacturer just to have peace of mind - too bad an application manual isn't included and their website doesn't have a readily available video either.

The one we're testing here is the 'case friendly' version so it looks a little odd when there is no case present. The reason you can tell it's case friendly is because there has been a little bit of space left on each outer edge of the phone clear from being protected in order to give you case a solid mounting point and to not disturb the screen protection qualities at all.

The cover itself feels a little different from a straight glass screen as it's a little more 'grippy' in nature, but all of the presses are fine and it doesn't take long to get used to - the weirdest feeling comes when you're trying to drag across the screen or swipe in certain applications or games. I was extremely hesitant to test this product out to it's fullest because I only have one phone in my possession and I don't think my warranty would cover "product testing" as a category, but what the heck let's do it anyway.

I decided to use a money tin of mine and hit the screen all over a few times in order to see if anything would happen. With my breath held, I used the corner of the metal money tin to strike the screen several times, brandishing only a small mark in the screen (as seen in the previous video) with no cracking taking place. This would show that the cover works exactly as intended, and ensured I breathed a sigh of relief.


What's Hot

Sturdy: This product will ensure your phone is kept clean and safe.

Easy to use: The application process was simple and effective, must better than cheaper products I have used in the past for various phone models.

What's Not

Grip feel: Your finger feels like it grips the screen a little too much and this would be due to the soft impact layer nature, I would assume. It's easy to get used to but a niggling issue for heavy game players.


Final Thoughts

Thanks to the success of this protector, I will be next moving on to using the Nuguard protective case and seeing how it also performs in the wild.

The cover feels like it has a little bit too much grip when in use and might annoy those who love to play games on their phone constantly. It was pretty easy for me to get used to, but for only $8.50, I think it's worth a purchase just to test - if you don't like it, just throw it away and keep the cleaning cloth for future use.
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ADATA Korea Moves Seoul Office to Yongsan, Offering Enhanced Service
ADATA® Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, announces today its Korea office has moved to Yongsan district, Seoul. Driven by its substantial growth, ADATA Korea expects to further expand its business and provide even more efficient service to channel partners.

Korea has been a primary market for ADATA since it established office there in 2009. While continuously developing the Korea market, it has enjoyed significant growth, "ADATA Korea is dedicated to providing complete after-sales service to local consumers through the assistance of channel partners," says Shalley Chen, the General Manger of ADATA Technology. "We intend to reinforce service quality to all of our customers through this move. Also we want to say we really appreciate the long-term support we've gotten from our partners so that we can perform well in the very competitive market."

ADATA's new office is located in Yongsan Electronics Market, close to 3C consumer market and many channel partners. The new office move provides proximity to the market so that ADATA Korea can instantly react to the dynamic Korea market as well as provide the most comprehensive and appropriate products and solutions. Being close to a majority of its channel partners also allows ADATA Korea to provide them with better and more efficient customer service and technical support. Korean consumers will also benefit from better aftermarket service. The new office is:

ADATA Technology Korea, Ltd.

#706 Cheongjin-B/D, Wonhyo3-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea, 140-719

Tel: (+82) 2-3271- 7700

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Logitech Confirms Lifesize Non-Cash Accounting Charge for Fiscal Year 2015
Logitech International (SIX:LOGN) (Nasdaq:LOGI) today announced that, based on a third party valuation report, it will take a non-cash, non-tax-deductible goodwill impairment charge related to the acquisition of Lifesize. As communicated in April 2015, Logitech has been evaluating the goodwill associated with Lifesize. This charge is expected to be between $100 million and $123 million in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2015.

The charge does not affect the Company's operating performance. It is still subject to further review by the Company and its independent auditors, including the routine review of subsequent events, prior to the filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

As announced last month, Logitech is reorganizing its Lifesize business to sharpen its focus on Lifesize's new cloud-based offering which is gaining significant market traction. Logitech is implementing these actions, and considering others, to optimize the value of its video conferencing reporting unit.

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Carbonbuilt unveils first product: 01W Carbon Fiber Wallet
CARBONBUILT LLC, a Seattle-based team of experienced designers and engineers, has unveiled the brand's first product. The 01W Carbon Fiber Wallet, constructed from a single piece of forged composite and an elastic strap, is on the cutting edge of simple-yet-sophisticated everyday carry. The 01W is expected to ship in July and is now available for preorder at

The CARBONBUILT team spent several months of focused design and engineering effort creating nearly a dozen carbon fiber wallet prototypes and many 3D printed models. Drawing inspiration from the beautiful curves of exotic automobiles, the team carefully considered every detail to create a wallet as

timeless as a well-designed vehicle. Thanks to the use of high tonnage presses, heated tooling, and precise material preparation, the composite laminate requires very little post-processing. The resulting edge is attractive and less prone to de-lamination and fraying. The precise forging process produces a wallet superior in both design and function.

Product Features:

  • Constructed from a single piece of forged carbon
  • Elastic band holds 2 to 7 cards plus cash
  • Weight: 15.5 grams total (including elastic)
  • Empty Size: 96mm x 63mm x 9mm (without cards)
  • UV-resistant resin with high-gloss finish
  • Designed and manufactured in Seattle, USA
Website -

Press & Media Info -

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Available Tags:AMD , Radeon , Microsoft , Windows , Samsung , Hulu , other , Galaxy , Logitech

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