Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Apple Agrees To $53 Million Settlement In Faulty Liquid Sensor Lawsuit, Refunds Coming Soon

Apple has agreed to a $53 Million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit involving faulty indicators showing that iPhones and iPods were exposed to water which allowed the company to deny customers’ warranty claims. At the heart of the case were claims that Apple used positive readings on a faulty liquid sensor. The sensors would normally allow Apple to refuse to repair a device even if it was under warranty. The plaintiffs in the case claimed that the liquid damage sensor on their iPhone or iPad showed a positive reading just from every day use, even if the unit in question was only used in the Sahara Desert and never came within an inch of water or any other liquid.

The case is In Re Apple Iphone/Ipod Warranty Litigation, 10-01610, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco), was originally brought forth by Charlene Gallion of San Francisco. Back in April of 2010, she took her non-functioning Apple iPhone 3G to an Apple Store and was told she could not receive a free repair or replacement because the Liquid Submersion Indicator had a positive reading, indicating that the device had been submerged in a liquid. It was later determined that the sensor were indeed malfunctioning creating false positives.

The class action suit covers those with a rejected warranty claim before December 31, 2009 with affected devices which include the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the first-, second and third-generation iPod Touch. Payouts are expected to be around $200 and could be less or double based on the number of claims submitted.

The settlement, which still requires the court's approval, will be held in a fund to be distributed among the 153,000 members of the class-action suit, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Microsoft Unleashes New Xbox One

Microsoft looks to add to their presence in consumer electronics and the gaming console arena with the announcement of the new Xbox One. The new all-in-one gaming and entertainment system brings together games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype and features many improvements over Microsoft's current market leading Xbox 360 console.

Xbox One

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Xbox exec Don Mattrick. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

The console features a new processor, 8GB of memory, a Blu-ray Disc drive and 500GB hard-disk drive both HDMI in and out and a USB 3.0 ports and Wi-Fi Direct. It's based on a new architecture that combines a dedicated Xbox architecture with the Windows kernel, on which web apps are run.

Xbox Kinect also receives and update with a new 1080p camera and USB 3.0 for better data streaming to the console faster. Its overhauled system has a wider field of view, and can track more of your body's joints for better motion capture.Adding to the list of improvements is a new upgraded controller that Microsoft says has 40 new design innovations, including impulse triggers, Wi-Fi direct radio stack, integrated battery compartment and a precision directional pad.

Xbox Live is getting an upgrade, as well. To support the new cloud-based features, Xbox Live will run on 300,000 servers for the Xbox One -- up from 3,000 servers for Xbox 360.

Four blockbuster sports games from Electronic Arts will come to the Xbox One: "FIFA 14," "Madden 25," "UFC," and "NBA Live 14." "Forza Motorsports 5" is also coming exclusively to the new console and will be available at launch.

Some other highlights from today’s announcement:
  • Use Snap to switch between live TV, a movie, talking with your friends on Skype, or playing a game.
  • OneGuide will help you find your favorite entertainment with ease. You can search by network, name or time – all with the sound of your voice.
  • An all-new world, an all-new cast of character and an all-new story for “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” which has next-gen technical innovations built to support incredible gameplay advancements, and features all-new downloadable content debuting first and exclusively on the Xbox platform.
  • Blur the line between gaming and TV with “Quantum Break,” from Remedy Entertainment, which integrates drama and gameplay into a seamless, immersive experience.
  • Steven Spielberg is executive producing a live-action “Halo television series, in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios
  • A multiyear, landmark partnership with the NFL, which will leverage Microsoft devices and services both in-game and on the sideline.

Pricing and availability details are still unknown, with Microsoft simply stating the console with be available "later this year." Visit the Xbox Wire blog and read the press release for more in-depth features on the new system, including photos and video.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sony Shows Off PlayStation 4 In Teaser Video

Details about the new Sony PlayStation 4 are still fairly sparse, however thanks to today's PSN blog post gamers get a sneak peek at the new gaming console and some of its accessories.

The short,39 second video, shows the camera slowly honing in on a blurry image of a black box amidst flashes to close-ups of the console and related hardware such as the new DualShock 4 controller and the PlayStation Eye camera. Gamers wanting to see more of the new device are asked to RSVP via an event page on Facebook. The event will be a live viewing of PlayStation’s E3 2013 Press Conference on 6/10 starting at 6:00pm Pacific Time.

To see more on the new PS4 checkout the official PlayStation page:

Samsung Announces $800,000 Smart App Challenge

Samsung Electronics has announced the second annual Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013, a global app competition aimed at finding new applications and fostering innovation in the smartphone application arena. A total of 10 entries will be selected as winners, receiving a record total of $800,000 in prize money along with a variety of promotional benefits.

The challenge is open to all mobile application developers across the globe. Developers who wish to participate should sign up directly on the App Challenge website ( and register their apps on Samsung Apps from 20th June to 31st August.

Contest entrants will be one category. “Smart Chord Apps,” which can be used for development of ‘Group Play’ service on GALAXY S4, a panel of judges will decide the winning entries, which will consist of 10 innovative applications which use group management functionality in interesting and experiential ways. The applicants have to use “Samsung Chord SDK” which helps developers create a group with multi-devices in real-time, automatically, requiring no manual processing of devices which join or leave the group.
Winning entrants will be rewarded with high prize money and a variety of promotional benefits through Samsung’s global channels. They will be given a chance also to be pitched their app to Samsung Venture Investment just after the ceremony for the winners.

Entry Requirements: 
  • Apps must have English language support and may offer multilingual support that includes English.
  • You must submit an introduction of your app. (Click here to download the template)
  • All entries should be sold on Samsung Apps after May 1, 2013.
  • You cannot enter paid promotion apps or apps that are subject to a contract with Samsung.
  • If you have incorporated IAP(In-App Purchase) function, you must use Samsung IAP.
    If you insert advertisements into the app, you must use Samsung AdHub.
Judging criteria will be based on the apps uniqueness, commercial potential, functionality, usability and overall design. Winning entries will be considered for investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation and offered promotional benefits through Samsung Apps and Samsung Developer site channels as well as promotion through a Samsung Electronics press release. With additional promotion through Samsung Mobile, Samsung Apps and Samsung developers’ social media channels.

For more information on Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013, please visit the challenge website (

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NVIDIA Shield Gaming Console Gets Official At $349

NVIDIA has finally taken the wraps off their new Android gaming console know as Project SHIELD. The gaming device was revealed at CES and took many by surprise, but today NVIDIA’s released all the details you've been waiting for.

Before today all we knew about Project SHIELD was that it was coming soon, and it would rock a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. But the full array of details weren’t yet know until earlier today.

For $349 here’s what you’ll get:
  • Tegra 4 – The world’s fastest mobile processor delivers rich graphics and unbeatable performance thanks to 72 GPU cores, four CPU cores and 2GB of RAM
  • Console-grade controller – Precise control thanks to dual analog joysticks, a full-sized D-Pad, left and right analog triggers, full-sized bumpers and A/B/X/Y buttons
  • Multi-touch display – 5-inch, 720p retinal multi-touch display for high-fidelity visuals
  • Integrated speakers – Custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system – we think this is SHIELD’s sleeper feature
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11n 2X2 MIMO game-speed Wi-Fi for game streaming
  • Pure Android Latest Android Jelly Bean operating system from Google, for access to Android games and apps
  • There’s more – We put into SHIELD everything we would want in a premium mobile gaming device: 16 GB memory, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0, a microSD storage slot, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack. See the full spec sheet, here.

SHIELD runs on a completely stock from Google, version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will come out of the box pre-loaded with NVIDIA’s TegraZone for a suite of Tegra-optimized games that will make the experience top notch. As well as two free games for those who pre-order. You’ll get Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II, and Expendable: Rearmed absolutely free. This means you can connect to your Google Play account to enjoy your favorite games as well as movies, music and apps. NVIDIA plans to add NVIDIA GRID and Geforce streaming support, which will give SHIELD the power to access your NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU-powered computer and boost the consoles gaming power through the use of grid computing. There are also plans to add streaming of your favorite PC games to SHIELD, including great titles from Steam.

NVIDIA also has a few accessories they’ll also be offering. A dedicated hard carrying case will be available for $39.99 that will offer charging while in the case via micro-USB, then they’ll have some lid covers. The aluminum silver trim when the device is closed (as pictured below) will be customizable with a gloss black, and carbon fiber lid options starting at $19.99. We can expect some custom engraved gaming versions and more coming soon too.

Project SHIELD will begin shipping in June for $349 and will be available at NVIDIA’s online store, Newegg, Gamestop and Microcenter. Pre-orders will go live on May 20th from the partners listed above, and on

Source: NVIDIA

Friday, May 10, 2013

YouTube Launches Paid Channels With More Than 50 Pilot Partners

YouTube on Thursday announced plans to let content creators earn revenue for their offerings buy selling paid subscriptions to their videos, creating a prominent new marketplace for programming on the Internet. The new pilot program is launching with a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates.

For now the program only features about 50 of partners, with other video makers reportedly coming on board soon. Some of the current partners include UFC Select,, PGA Golf Academy and PhotoGuide+. Missing from the list however, were the biggest names in media, like the Walt Disney Company and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal. Instead there were a lot of start-ups and indie style channels.

There has been no official word from YouTube as to whether or not we can expect big media channels to climb aboard or any further details about the revenue process and what the split with content creators might be. Currently YouTube keeps 45 percent of the revenue from the ads it sells and gives producers the rest. 

If you’re a YouTube creator and are interested in more details on building your own paid channel, let YouTube know here.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Adobe's New Subscription Only Service Explained

Today, Adobe kicked off their MAX conference with a big keynote address, at which the company announced the newest version of what will be a re-branding of their popular Creative Suite software. The new versions will be branded as Creative Cloud and will only be available on a subscription basis. That means, if you want the newest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver or InDesign you're going to need to subscribe.

What exactly is Adobe Creative Cloud?

Creative Cloud is the new mash-up of all the Adobe professional creative desktop applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and more — plus new features and upgrades. Instead of a one time installation from your typical install media Creative Cloud offer users a subscription service that is renewed monthly. Your basic software files will be installed locally however the software will work with Adobe's online services to act as a storage and file repository giving you syncing capabilities to have access to your files wherever you are, even on your mobile device. Cloud-based services let you build and publish websites, mobile apps, iPad publications, and content for any medium or device.

Your Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) are installed directly on your computer, so you won't need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis. You will however, need to be online when you install and license your software. If you have an annual membership, you'll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you'll be able to use products for 180 days even if you're offline.

What are the Adobe Creative Cloud pricing plans?

Right now Adobe offers two different levels one being a full suite and the other being an app by app plan. For new Creative Cloud members it will be $49.99 and $19.99 per month.

  • The single app full version of one desktop application $19.99/mo will offer 20GBs of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration and limited access to services
  • The full suite version will the entire application catalog is $49.99/mo and offers full versions of all of Adobe's most popular desktop applications — Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and more plus full access to services to help create mobile-ready content and apps. You also get 20GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration
There are also plans for teams and businesses which will offer more applications and storage or for students and teachers discounted pricing. Click here for more details on pricing.

What's New in the Adobe Creative Cloud Applications?
Photoshop. Like other members of the suite, have been updated to take advantage of the syncing mentioned above, with the ability to migrate presets and settings. It also lets users share to Behance, a creative pro social network, and save to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The CC version also adds a smart sharpen tool, the ability to use Camera Raw settings as filters, intelligent upsampling, multiple shape and path selection, and more 3D features formerly only included in the Extended edition. There is also a new feature called Camera Shake Reduction, the tool analyzes your photograph for camera motion, comes up with a path representing the shake motion, and aligns the photo pixels to remove the blur.

Illustrator, InDesign and Muse ad new fonts and new Kuler iPhone app that lets you snap a photo and tap at objects' colors to create a color swatch that can be synced to Illustrator for use as a color theme in your design project. Also in Illustrator is the new Touch Type tool, which lets you customize individual font characters by scaling and rotating them. To continue the syncing theme, Adobe Typekit fonts can now be synced.

Dreamweaver gets a new CSS visual editing tool, a new redesigned interface, JQuery UI widget support, and build support for PhoneGap, which lets you create iOS and Android apps. Edge Animate now includes motion paths, custom templates, support for an Akamai CDN, and support for swipe interfaces. Edge Reflow, which lets your site respond to different screen sizes, now has an Assets panel and Adobe Typekit integration for a huge font choice. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt in 64-bit architecture, a new code editor, and enhanced HTML5 support.

For video geeks both Premiere Pro and After Effects feature updates. Premiere Pro updates include a simplified, redesigned timeline, a clip locator, the Adobe Anywhere collaboration server, integration of the Lumetri Deep Color engine, better closed captioning support, and precise audio control.

After Effects now benefits from the Live 3D Pipeline between After Effects CC and CINEMA 4D, an enhanced 3D Camera Tracker, and layer and mask snapping. The very cool Refine Edge tool takes a huge amount of tedium out of rotoscoping. For more detail on new stuff in the other video-related apps, including SpeedGrade, Audition, Encore, Media Encoder, Story Plus, and Prelude, read Adobe Reveals New Features in CS6 Video Apps.

For more information be sure to checkout the Creative Cloud FAQs.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Solar Plane Takes 18 Hrs To Complete First Leg Of "Across America" Mission

Adventurer Bertrand Piccard piloted his solar-powered airplane called Solar Impulse from San Francisco to Phoenix on Saturday, marking the first leg of his "Across America" fuel-free flight. The flight, which would have taken less than 2/3 the time in a car, started out from Moffett Field in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday and ended when a landing at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport at 12:30 a.m. MST.

Solar Impulse is being piloted by Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse's co-founder and CEO, and Swiss psychiatrist and adventure balloonist Bertrand Piccard who is mote noted for his record-setting, round-the-world balloon trips.

The solar only plane draw its power from its 12,000 photovoltaic cells, which soak up sunlight and store the electrical energy in batteries for use when the sun isn't shining. The plane generates as much power as a motor scooter for its four 10-horsepower motors.

Over the next couple of months, Solar Impulse is due to fly from Phoenix to Dallas-Fort Worth, then to St. Louis, then Washington, then New York. As ambitious as this odyssey is, it's just a warm-up for the venture's ultimate goal: circumnavigating the world with solar power in 2015.