Apple pledges to ‘brighten everyone’s day’ on Sept. 10


Apple pledges to ‘brighten everyone’s day’ on Sept. 10

Apple will likely announce a new iPhone, and perhaps other new products, on Sept. 10, as fans of the company hunger for dazzling displays of innovation.

The invite for the event, to be held on Apple’s Cupertino campus, promises that “this should brighten everyone’s day,” hinting that it may launch more than just the iPhone 5 successor. Rumors have been swirling about Apple launching a new watch, or perhaps even a new TV.

There is also speculation that Apple could unveil a simpler, cheaper version of the iPhone. iPhone shipments have come under pressure in recent quarters as competition increases with Samsung and other Android phone makers.

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 last year, some company fans felt underwhelmed because the smartphone did not carry breakthrough features. Investors have questioned the company’s ability to be innovative, and the company’s CEO Tim Cook earlier this year said the company would launch “new product categories” during the fall season this year through 2014.

Apple last week introduced a new iPhone trade-in program that lets consumers take their old iPhone to an Apple store and receive a credit on the purchase of a new one. Walmart has also slashed the price on its website of the latest iPhone 5 to US$98 with a two-year contract.

It’s less clear what other new products Apple may introduce. For years it has been predicted that Apple would launch a new TV set with breakthrough interaction features. More recently, there have been rumors about Apple developing a watch with the iOS operating system as the company looks to enter the wearable computing market.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam’s e-mail address is [email protected]

HP to deal with spies on Board


HP to deal with spies on Board

Hewlett-Packard’s board of directors took no action at a special Sunday meeting and will reconvene late today to continue discussions about the scandal that has occupied the company over the past week.

The board held a teleconference Sunday morning for several hours, according to a brief company statement issued Sunday afternoon, to discuss reports that outside investigators, acting on behalf of the board, obtained phone records of directors and journalists to trace the source of information leaks regarding board meetings.

The investigators’ tactic of disguising their true identity in order to gain access to customer records, called “pretexting,” may be in violation of the law and the California Attorney General’s office is investigating the case.

HP gave no reason in its statement for the move to adjourn Sunday’s meeting to Monday.

HP board Chairman Patricia Dunn has been criticised for launching the investigation, including calls for her resignation. Dunn said she was “appalled” that the investigators engaged in pretexting but said that she was not told details of how they conducted their probe. While she has said that she won’t resign on her own, she would step down if the board requested her to do so.

The investigation determined that HP director George Keyworth was the source of a CNet story in January about HP’s business strategy. When Keyworth was asked to resign from the board in May, he refused. But board member Thomas Perkins, a renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist, resigned in protest over the way in which the investigation was conducted.

HP Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd, in a letter to company employees released late Friday, urged them to keep focused on their work. “The media coverage and speculation regarding the recent actions of the HP Board… have nothing to do with the strategy or operations of Hewlett-Packard,” he said.

Hurd, who emphasised that he was speaking as CEO and not as a board member, added: “There has been a long history of leaking company information with the HP board that clearly needs to be resolved.”

Elder Scrolls Online Releasing On PS4 And Xbox One In 2015: ZeniMax


Elder Scrolls Online Releasing On PS4 And Xbox One In 2015: ZeniMax

As a Holiday Greeting to Elder Scrolls series fans, ZeniMax has announced that Elder Scroll Online will launch in 2015 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is already out on PC and Mac. In the announcement, ZeniMax stated that development team is appreciating the support and feedback from fans towards Elder Scrolls Online.

Elder Scrolls Online

The studio further added that, Elder Scrolls Online has received numerous updates since launch (on PC and Mac, a total of FIVE major update have been released), hinting at a smooth launch of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The next-gen version of The Elder Scrolls Online will a brand new system called as Champion and Justice Systems.

The Elder Scrolls Online is set roughly 1,000 years before the events in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the coming of the Dragonborn, and just before the rise of Tiber Septim, the first Emperor of Tamriel. Three Alliances have emerged across the continent, each struggling for supremacy over the land.

As these great powers battle one another for control of the Imperial City and with it all of Tamriel darker forces are moving to destroy the world.

iMac sleep-update posted


iMac sleep-update posted

Apple has released a North American update for iMacs introduced in 2001 at Macworld Expos in Tokyo and New York.

Called Apple iMac Power Management, the update is for users who unplug their iMacs to conserve energy. The update helps the iMac’s internal PRAM-battery remember settings such as date and time for longer when disconnected.

The update is available from Apple’s Web support-pages .

Intel improves US chip production plants


Intel improves US chip production plants

Intel plans to invest $345 million to upgrade production facilities at two of its US chip manufacturing sites.

The investments will be used to increase output capabilities at two factories – Fab 17 in Hudson, Massachusetts and Fab 23 in Colorado Springs, Colorado – the company said.

The two facilities manufacture computer chipsets and communications, and flash memory chips, Intel said.

The company will invest $190 million in Colorado Springs, allowing it to complete final processing steps for microprocessors at the facility. The project will create several hundred new jobs, according to Intel.

The $155 million Intel plans to invest in Hudson will be used to increase overall capacity by adding new production equipment and reconfiguring portions of the factory. The Hudson investment will create more than 300 new manufacturing jobs, Intel said.

Separately, the company announced it has signed an agreement to purchase office property in Fort Collins, Colorado, for some of its Itanium processor design team.

Metropolitan Police shares victims’ emails in data breach


Metropolitan Police shares victims’ emails in data breach

The Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that it “inadvertently” shared the email addresses of more than a thousand victims of crime with other victims.

The breach, which took place on Monday 30 January, was blamed on human error.

A total of 1,136 emails were sent out in seven batches of between 119 and 198 recipients. The addresses were placed in the wrong box, which meant they were visible to all the other recipients in the batch.

No other personal details were shared in the blunder.

“The Crime Recording and Investigation Bureau (CRIB) project was emailing out a survey to ensure that victims were receiving a better service as part of the MPS creation of a single telephone investigation unit for London,” MPS said in a statement.

It added that it is reviewing its processes to ensure that similar mistakes are not made in the future.

It has notified the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the breach. The information watchdog has the power to fine organisations up to £500,000 for a serious data breach.

Apple plans third NY retail store


Apple plans third NY retail store

Apple plans to open a third New York retail store.

The shop will be situated at West 34 Street, Manhattan. It will be up to 75 x 100ft in size. The company has leased the property from SL Green Reality.

Apple’s retail segment attracted revenue of $936 million in the company’s fourth quarter, up 41 per cent, year on year. The company revealed that half of Macs sold in stores are sold to users new to the platform.

Dead Space 2: Severed DLC hits Playstation Network today


Dead Space 2: Severed DLC hits Playstation Network today

The Severed DLC for Dead Space 2 will be coming out on Playstation Network today. The Severed DLC for the game will pick up where Dead Space: Extraction left off. Gamers will see old enemies coming back like feared Twitchers.

Dead Space 2 screenshot

According to the detail Dead Space 2: Severed will have steeper difficulty level than the original game in the series, developer are arguing gamers to complete Dead Space: Extraction before Dead Space 2: Severed inorder to have better understanding of the story.

Dead Space 2: Severed will be available for $10, Check out the trailer for it here.

Mechwarrior Online no longer in beta, now "officially" released 


Mechwarrior Online no longer in beta, now “officially” released 

Ok gents, let us all call this one like it is shall we? Mechwarrior Online has been in an Open Beta state for almost a year now, with developer Piranha Games happily scooping up player’s cash for its entirety. The notion that Mechwarrior Online has only now been “released” just because some text says so is just silly.

Still there were things included in today’s release patch which technically brought MWO closer to a more “polished” state and less of a beta. Numerous bug fixes, several weapon adjustments, improvements to player matchmaking, and additional mech customization options are all present in the update.

Piranha also seems to have listened to their community and have disabled 3rd person mode in the 12 player pre-made group matches. The change should keep competitive players happy while also retaining an improved experience for “casuals”. The full change log can be viewed on the official site here.

Regardless of its release state, I’ve rather enjoyed my time spent with Mechwarrior Online. There’s nothing quite like sitting in an 85 ton close-range Stalker STK-3H (named ButterBalls) and tearing through an enemies armor like it was expensive tissue paper.

Mozilla starts dropping features from Firefox 4


Mozilla starts dropping features from Firefox 4

Mozilla, which launched the latest beta of Firefox 4 last week, has started to drop features from the still-under-construction browser.

Firefox 4 Beta 5 shipped Sept. 7, and included support for a new audio API (application programming interface) that allows developers to tap raw audio data from within the browser, as well as support for HTTP Strict Transport Security, a Web security protocol that lets site designers force Firefox to automatically use a secure connection.

The latter is meant to help stymie “man-in-the-middle” attacks, in which hackers essentially eavesdrop on users’ Web traffic — most often at public Wi-Fi hotspots — in the hope of snatching clear-language transmission of passwords or credit card numbers.

Firefox 4 also switched on Windows hardware acceleration by default in Beta 5; Mozilla had included the technology in August’s Beta 4, but had left it turned off, requiring users to edit the browser’s “about:config” file if they wanted to try it out.

Firefox 4, like rival Microsoft ‘s Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), relies on Windows’ Direct2D API to boost browser performance by shifting some chores from a computer’s central processor to the graphics processor.

Firefox 4 Firefox 4

The hardware acceleration switched on in Beta 5 requires Windows Vista or Windows 7 ; the more popular Windows XP lacks the necessary graphics infrastructure, a fact that’s prompted Microsoft to drop XP from IE9’s supported operating systems.

Mozilla isn’t going to that extreme. Although Firefox 4 won’t boost content rendering in Windows XP, Mozilla does plan to increase the speed of “compositing” — the process of assembling the various pieces of a site — in the nine-year-old operating system by leveraging the Direct3D API in a future preview.

But as Mozilla’s self-imposed deadline for building a feature-complete beta nears, the company has also started dumping features it once hoped to squeeze into the upgrade.

First to go was Account Manager, which Mozilla ditched late last month.

The beefed-up password manager was supposed to take full responsibility for site sign-ons, relieving users of the chore of remembering and then entering various usernames and passwords. An experimental add-on is still available, but only works with a limited number of sites, including Google , Facebook and Yahoo !

Mozilla has also dumped “Inspector,” a tool aimed at Web designers and developers who want to drill down for more information on each element in an HTML page.

“Given the number of outstanding bugs and some widget-related problems, there was no telling how many additional bugs would be discovered during the run up to final release,” explained Mozilla developer Rob Campbell last Friday about the decision to pull Inspector.

“Making that decision now allows us to focus on shoring up the Web Console…, [which] is the one that will most-likely affect Web site developers the most,” Campbell added.

Another feature, silent updates , may also get the axe, according to progress notes posted on Mozilla’s site last week. Silent updates would be Mozilla’s answer to Chrome’s behind-the-scenes patching practice, at least on Windows.

As late as August, the feature was “on track” for Firefox 4, but has been tagged as “at risk” by Mozilla for the past two weeks.

The departure of Account Manager and Inspector, and the possible loss of silent updates won’t mean Firefox 4 is devoid of new features. Currently on track to make it into the final build are several notable adds, including a new user interface, the applauded “Panorama” tab manager , and the significantly faster JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine.

Mozilla now plans to freeze Firefox 4’s features — locking in what will be included, dropping what won’t — on Wednesday, Sept. 15 in preparation for delivering Beta 6 later this month.

A final version of Firefox 4 is to ship before the end of this year.

Firefox 4 Beta 5 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux from Mozilla’s site in 35 different languages.