Archive for Jul 31, 2012

Outlook.com takes on Gmail directly with first ad spot

Outlook.com takes on Gmail directly with first ad spot

Microsoft has made it clear that they're ready to brush the Hotmail off their shoulders and get back to business with Outlook.com, a direct competitor for Google's Gmail service. We've had a bit of a hands-on look at the public preview they've released earlier today and found it to be nothing less than clean, refined, and surprisingly easy to use. What Microsoft has done between the release earlier today and the media blitz that's happened in the interim is to release their first advertisement video spot, complete with a few pointed cut-downs on Gmail with visual cues.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play later this year

Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play later this year

We all knew it was going to happen eventually, but today BioWare and Electronic Arts made it official: Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free-to-play. It seems that the Star Wars label and the BioWare name just weren't enough to get the necessary amount of people to subscribe, so now the companies will see if a switch to free-to-play will provide a boost to user numbers and revenues. Though the transition won't be happening until this fall (that's as specific as EA was), there are some changes happening soon that current players will want to know about, so read on to find out more.

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Google announces Wildfire acquisition

Google announces Wildfire acquisition

Google announced today that it has purchased Wildfire, a social media marketing startup. Wildfire is only four years old, and since its inception its been helping businesses keep track of their presence across various social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Neither company is talking about how much Google paid for Wildfire, but AllThingsD says that sources close to the deal reckon the amount is somewhere around $250 million.

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Samsung opening statement calls iPhone “inspiring product to everyone”

Samsung opening statement calls iPhone “inspiring product to everyone”

In the continuing epic battle that is Apple vs Samsung in the USA version of their collection of court cases going on around the world, Samsung has opened with statements that attempt to make it clear that they admire the iPhone. Along with this admiration, Samsung's lawyer Charlie Verhoeven has attempted to make it clear that being inspired by a product is something that everyone does, and that this process is called competition, no copying. Samsung pushed for detailed comparisons between Samsung and Apple devices, showing rounded corners, startup sequences, and home screen configurations as well.

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Twitter backtracks on Olympic NBC tweeter: Account reactivated [Update: Twitter reponds]

Twitter backtracks on Olympic NBC tweeter: Account reactivated [Update: Twitter reponds]

This week Twitter made more than just a tiny mistake in banning one of their more famous members in an effort to keep him quiet on speaking out against NBC's coverage of the London Olympics. This fellow was (and is) Guy Adams, a journalist who writes for the BBC, and his supposed crime was pointing out the email of NBC's Olympics president, saying that he was responsible for the Olympics being broadcast with a time delay so that they might reach prime-time audiences across the USA. Adams alleges that NBC didn't see this tweet until Twitter informed NBC of it, and once NBC complained, Twitter banned him - Twitter disagrees.

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Apple suggests Samsung will use “Devil made me do it” defense

Apple suggests Samsung will use “Devil made me do it” defense

In the second half of Apple's opening statement in the United States-based court case that's having the computer giant face off against rival company Samsung, Apple's lead attorney Harold McElhinny suggested he knew what Samsung would be bringing to the table. One of the main items Samsung will speak about, McElhinny suggested this morning, is that Apple's design patents represent the only way to make functional products. He noted, "I think of this as the 'Devil made me do it defense'", according to Ina Fried of AllThingsD sitting in on the case.

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Pantech MARAUDER heads to Verizon with 4G LTE on the cheap

Pantech MARAUDER heads to Verizon with 4G LTE on the cheap

Making that jump from an old-fashioned feature phone to a smartphone can be pretty intimidating for a lot of consumers, and Verizon and Pantech are looking to do something about that with the new MARAUDER. Not only is the MARAUDER inexpensive, but it also comes with a number of features that will help newbies ease into the world of smartphones. Of course, those who don't need an introduction on using a smartphone will also be covered, and even better is the fact that the MARAUDER won't break the bank.

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Gmail iOS app updated to stay smooth

Gmail iOS app updated to stay smooth

If you aren't all about grabbing a new account for Microsoft's Outlook email today and do indeed have a Gmail account you use with your iOS device, today is looking up. The iPhone and iPad version of Gmail has been updated to version 1.3 today for the masses, made for not just bug fixes, but a selection of worthwhile upgrades as well. Have a peek at your updates drawer right this minute to make the change, and meanwhile bask in the warming glow of free software boosts.

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Early Oculus Rift prototype revealed

Early Oculus Rift prototype revealed

Anticipation for the Oculus Rift has been building ever since we were first introduced to it back at E3, and today we got a look at a very early prototype. Creator Palmer Luckey shared the image you see below, and even though it isn't the prettiest of devices, it will do a lot to get followers of the project excited. Road to VR points out that the headset in the image won't be meant for ordinary consumers - that will be the Oculus Rift 2.0, which is scheduled to launch in 2013. Instead, this first device is aimed at die-hard VR fans and developers. Have a look:

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Outlook.com Hands-on

Outlook.com Hands-on

As Microsoft brings on a whole new era of computing - or so they hope - with Windows 8, so too do they attempt to take on the beast that is Gmail with their own Outlook email service on the web. What we've seen thus far is not a far cry from Gmail, with Microsoft taking what's good about their Metro stylings from both Windows Phone and Windows 8 and working to make the email service as user-friendly as their biggest competitors. And what's best - you can use the email address you already have to get all your mail in to this inbox quite simply.

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Ubisoft speaks on DRM disaster

Ubisoft speaks on DRM disaster

Yesterday, Ubisoft made headlines when it was discovered that its UPlay service had a pretty big security hole that could allow malicious websites to access users' computers. The good news is that Ubisoft has issued a patch for the issue (and managed to do that rather quickly), but the bad news is just starting for the French publisher, which is already on thin ice with PC players thanks to its fondness of always-on DRM. Indeed, this security issue wouldn't been as big of a problem if Ubisoft didn't require players to run UPlay alongside many of its games, including most Assassin's Creed titles and a few games in the Tom Clancy franchise.

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Apple opening remarks vs Samsung “easier to copy than to innovate”

Apple opening remarks vs Samsung “easier to copy than to innovate”

This morning Apple has made its opening statement in a landmark case vs Samsung which will result, more than likely, in the exchanging of billions of dollars in damages for patent infringement on the part of one or both of them in the mobile device realm. Apple's opening remarks come with what we've seen several times before, including such remarks as, "we all know it’s easier to copy than to innovate," from Apple lead attorney Harold McElhinny. Samsung's opening statements will come later in the day while Apple has had the first hour and a half.

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