Archive for December, 2013

SlashGear’s Best Tech of 2013

SlashGear’s Best Tech of 2013

In the year 2013 we've seen some real stand-out stars in several sectors, including mobile, automotive, desktop computing, and gaming. This was certainly a year of hero devices, with manufacturers often bringing just one or two devices to headline their entire 12-month market presence. There were also several new totally unexpected releases initiated through the year, with entirely new device categories being created in the process.

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Cancer test costs could tumble in 2014 following DNA patent ruling

Cancer test costs could tumble in 2014 following DNA patent ruling

Cancer testing could get cheaper and more prevalent as the Supreme Court decision that DNA sequences cannot be patented opens up breast and ovarian cancer diagnostics, though experts warn that not all tests may be created equal. The most immediate effect of the ruling - that Myriad Genetics could not patent the BRCA1 and BRCA2 DNA sequences - has been a rush of other testing vendors announcing they'll be offering competition in the segment, but the US government is also wading in with talk that it will potentially halve what reimbursement it offers for cancer testing.

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Verizon Moto G may have a prepaid sting for some

Verizon Moto G may have a prepaid sting for some

Verizon's rumored $99.99 Moto G may end up significantly undercutting Motorola's own pricing for the smartphone, but little-known conditions around what you can do with the carrier's contract-free handsets could end up dampening enthusiasm. The phone, expected to launch early in the new year, has been suggested by some as a great way to replace an existing contract devices; however, as Android Community points out, Verizon's policies around switching prepaid to postpaid handsets could scupper the plans many have for a low-cost Android upgrade.

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Torrents surge in 2013 despite anti-piracy push

Torrents surge in 2013 despite anti-piracy push

Torrents increased by 50-percent over the past year, as internet users uploaded rising amounts of content - much of it copyrighted - despite attempts by content owners to lock down access to high profile sites like The Pirate Bay. In fact, the site now lists more than 2.8m files, TorrentFreak points out, predominantly video, and with uploads rising by half in 2013 and doubling compared to two years ago.

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Google Glass prescription frame option priced up for Explorers

Google Glass prescription frame option priced up for Explorers

Prescription lenses for Google Glass will be priced from $99, one start-up has confirmed, with Rochester Optical revealing early cost details ahead of preorders opening after CES 2014 next week. The company, which confirmed its prescription option for those wanting to use Google's wearable as their regular spectacles was due "in just a few weeks" courtesy of a questionnaire last week, will offer a number of packages that clip onto Glass rather than requiring it be dismantled and attached to a new headpiece, as Google's own system looks to involve.

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Sony VAIO Windows Phone tipped for mid-2014

Sony VAIO Windows Phone tipped for mid-2014

Sony is considering launching at least one Windows Phone handset in 2014, sources claim, as Microsoft courts potential partners to bolster support for its "third platform" OS. Sony, which has been building exclusively Android-powered smartphones for several years, is in the midst of negotiations with Microsoft about adding a second ecosystem to its range, insiders tell The Information, which could potentially launch with VAIO branding rather than the Xperia brand its existing phones carry.

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Apple denies opening NSA backdoor to iPhone

Apple denies opening NSA backdoor to iPhone

Apple has denied collaborating with the NSA to add a snooping backdoor to the iPhone, insisting that despite allegations that the DROPOUTJEEP program could access large swathes of iPhone content without the user realizing, it is unaware of any such exploit. New leaks from NSA documents acquired by whistleblower Edward Snowden led to claims earlier this week that the NSA had a tool that could access data like text messages, location, and more with "100-percent success," something Apple strongly denies either facilitating or, indeed, knowing was in operation.

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BMW and Toyota team on sports car collaboration

BMW and Toyota team on sports car collaboration

BMW and Toyota will build a collaborative platform for sports cars, having completed a year-long feasibility study into the possible team effort, though the resulting car from each brand will be "authentic" BMW's development chief has insisted. The possibility of the "joint architecture" was part of the German and Japanese companies' January 2013 partnership on lithium-air batteries and more, though there's no telling when the first models to use the shared platform will hit forecourts.

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Glass invites offered to Google Play Music All Access subscribers

Glass invites offered to Google Play Music All Access subscribers

Google has broadened its Glass invitations to a new group, paid subscribers to Google Play Music All Access, though they'll still have to stump up the not-inconsiderable $1,500-plus-tax sticker price on the beta wearable. The invitations, which are being emailed to All Access subscribers, bills the deal as being to mark the addition of Play Music streaming support to Glass earlier this month.

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Mac Pro iFixit teardown: most repairable Apple product of 2013

Mac Pro iFixit teardown: most repairable Apple product of 2013

This week the folks at iFixit have taken to the Mac Pro for 2013, and under the hood they’ve found some extremely favorable results. In addition to finding what iFixit suggests is "the most repairable Apple products we’ve seen all year." While that’s not exactly the same as the most repairable product they’ve seen all year period, it’s still a real positive marker for the company.

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