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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Facebook’s targeted ads set to appear in apps other than Facebook

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If you’ve ever been creeped out by those eerily targeted ads on Facebook, get ready for more of the same in other mobile apps as well. The popular social network has announced today that it’s testing a new ads platform with a select few advertisers and partners that will push those ads beyond Facebook’s walls. It’s a lot like Google’s AdSense network, except Facebook is focusing on mobile apps, and not the web. Sriram Krishnan, who works on the mobile and ads platform for Facebook, said in a blog post that “we’ll be extending Facebook’s rich targeting to improve the relevancy of the ads people see, provide even greater reach for Facebook advertisers, and help developers better monetize their apps.” What does this mean for you? Well, it likely means that you might end up seeing those behaviorally targeted ads in pretty much any app that signs up for Facebook’s ad network. And here we thought those autoplay video ads were annoying enough. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

Blu-ray discs may soon get billions of colors with new encoding tech

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It’s nice that 4K streaming is coming to match the onslaught of Ultra HD screens, but most media is still encoded with a “measly” 8 bits per color channel, rendering around 16 million colors. That might sound fine, but so-called deep color (10, 12 or 16 bits per color) can drastically improve images by eliminating nasty color banding — and many new HD projectors, high-end TVs and monitors already support it. Now, a company called Folded Space wants to bring the media in line, too. It’s developed algorithms to encode 12-bit Blu-ray discs with billions of colors, while keeping them backwards compatible with existing players — and holding files to nearly the same size. For all that to happen, studios would need to adopt the encoding tech and manufacturers would also have to incorporate it into new Blu-ray players. Those are pretty big “ifs,” but the company is offering the tech free to content creators to get the ball rolling — meaning you might soon get full fidelity in shows that actually merit it. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

Future Windows 8.1 update may let you pin its Store apps to the desktop’s taskbar

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Microsoft started blurring the lines between the modern Windows interface and the classic desktop with Windows 8.1, and there are now signs that it’s ready to mix things up a little more. WZor has posted screenshots of a leaked Windows 8.1 update that would let users pin Windows Store apps to the desktop’s taskbar, saving them the trouble of visiting the Start screen. There aren’t any hints that these apps would run on the desktop. However, it may be easier to return to the traditional Windows environment. SuperSite for Windows’ Paul Thurrott hears from sources that the upgrade may also add a desktop-like close button — you wouldn’t have to remember gestures or keyboard shortcuts to quit a Store app. There aren’t any clues as to when this OS update would arrive, although we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some news by the time Microsoft’s Build developer conference kicks off in early April. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

Toshiba’s ready to make better SSDs following its takeover of OCZ

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Toshiba made its first move to rescue faltering solid-state drive manufacturer OCZ Technology back in November, and now that sale is final. In the deal, OCZ gets to keep its identity and independence, but will now operate as OCZ Storage Solutions. It’s a slight change in nomenclature to be sure, but hopefully that won’t make picking its drives out from Newegg’s stock any harder. Just think: For a cool $35 million, maybe you could have bought the drive-maker for yourself. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

New SteamOS beta tempts more testers with support for older PCs and dual-booting

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Valve released its SteamOS beta with a warning: Only touch this if you know what you’re doing. While that surely did something to separate true testers from the first wave of eager users, there were a few problems. Even the qualified needed a relatively new machine with UEFI, and a dedicated one at that, given attempts to make the OS a secondary boot option were troublesome at best. However, a fresh beta that folds in efforts by both Valve and the community is now available. On top of fixing the aforementioned issues, thereby welcoming more to get to grips with early SteamOS, other major updates include partition, recovery and DVD install support. This doesn’t mean it’s ready for general consumption, though, so we’ll point the brave to the source link below and swiftly wash our hands of you. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

Sharp’s AQUOS Serie mini phone has a Full HD IGZO display, bright colors, unlikely stateside availability

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With phone specifications often reaching a terminal velocity before the next new technology or trend, giving your hardware a differentiator can be hard. Sharp’s new AQUOS Serie mini SHL24, however, is having a stab at a couple. Firstly, the TV maker is leveraging its IGZO screen tech, and spicing it up by cramming a full (1080p) HD display into the 4.5-inch panel — that’s almost 490 PPI. Secondly, in what it’s calling an EDGEST design, the AQUOS Serie mini SHL24 seems to have some of the thinnest bezels we’ve seen for some time (bar the bottom one where the buttons are) making that screen really take pride of place. Thirdly? Colors of course! As for the rest of the specification, well it’s not too shabby either. First up, it’s running Android Jelly Bean (4.2), sports a 13-megapixel camera, 16GB of storage (with an SD card slot) and a Snapdragon (MSM8974) quad-core processor — clocked at around 2.2GHz. Oh, and it’s even waterproofed to IPX57 standards. Those are quite a few boxes ticked. But, sadly there’s one biggie that currently remains empty — as far as we can see right now, this is a Japan-only device. Sorry. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 

Google can now say if your internet connection is quick enough for YouTube

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Many are tempted to blame stuttering YouTube streams on our internet providers, but who’s really at fault? Google may shed some light on the subject now that it has launched a Video Quality Report. The tool tells surfers how well their providers typically handle YouTube in a given region, breaking reliability down by the feed quality and time of day. Services that properly load at least 90 percent of 720p videos get a “YouTube HD Verified” badge, while those that tend to choke wind up in standard definition and lower definition categories. Only Canadians have access to the report at the moment, although it should reach other countries in time. Wherever it goes, it should help viewers decide whether or not it’s time to switch networks — and it just might spur some companies into making much-needed upgrades. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 23/01/2014 in IT

 
 
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