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5Apr/120

ASUS Preps GPS Hardware Add-On For Transformer Prime Owners – Arriving Mid-April?

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Show me a Transformer Prime, and I’ll show you an owner who has no doubt been unhappy with its GPS performance. In fact, owners of the ASUS Transformer Prime were pretty vocal about this defect which, when investigated, turned out was caused by nothing more than poor design. ASUS acknowledged, then tried to fix the issue by providing a software update for the tablet that was met with mixed response. Even then, there were still many owners demanding a fix — whether that meant sending the tablet back to the factory for hardware modification or a straight refund.

Well, ASUS isn’t ready to quit Transformer Prime owners seeking better GPS performance from their tabs just yet. As it turns out, ASUS could be issuing an actual hardware fix by way of a GPS dongle that will patch things up, free of charge. A user on XDA posted an email exchange between him and an ASUS product manager detailing the dongle, describing it as “minimal” in design, and will sit flush against the tablet, connecting to the tablet’s proprietary input. The ASUS product manager also mentioned the dongle should be available sometime in mid-April but wasn’t sure how it would be distributed.

What’s more, the email also mentions that there will be new and improved Transformer Prime models featuring enhanced WiFi performance and will be identified by their serial numbers that begin with “C3.” I’m sure this wont come as welcomed news to current Prime owners but maybe this will drive potential customers to finally make a purchase. What do you guys think? Is the dongle enough to make up for ASUS’s hardware “defect?” Is everything even Steven’s, or do you think there’s more that should be done?

[LandOfDroid | XDA]


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5Apr/120

Pinterest becomes third most popular social network

In a world where everyone believed there was no room for a social platform next to Facebook and Twitter, there’s a surprising startup that has made its mark in a huge way. Or perhaps we should say, “pinned” its mark. With 17.8 million unique visitors in February, piqued interest from none other than President Obama, and a seemingly never-ending rise in media attention, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network, according to an Experian report.

Let’s paint that picture for you – in a matter of months, Pinterest leapfrogged ahead of well-established titans like LinkedIn and Tumblr, and insanely funded and marketed platforms like Google+. Back in December, Pinterest was ranked at the #10 spot in the list of top 10 social networks. It took just a few months to jump all the way to #3. And the good news for Pinterest – it has a marketer-friendly design from the outset. There’s no question about how to monetize the site given its focus.

Perhaps one of the greatest stories about Pinterest is the way it defied the odds. No doubt countless entrepreneurial minds looked at the social world and assumed they were just too late to make the next Facebook, but Pinterest proves that no matter how huge and competitive the market you’re trying to get into may be, if you build something that offers true value and differentiated features, people will notice.

[via VentureBeat]

Pinterest becomes third most popular social network is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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5Apr/120

Harmonix Rock Band Blitz teased

Yes, Rock Band is still alive and well! Well, it’s alive at least. Harmonix is out to prove that it’s still toiling away in its studios, creating the next evolution in music gaming goodness. However, the next chapter in the storied Rock Band saga won’t be as expansive and massive as its predecessors. It will in fact be quite modest by comparison. It is a slight admission that Rock Band is not what it used to be.

Rock Band Blitz will be a much simpler affair, with casual gaming at the center of its focus. It will be a downloadable game that users can grab from the Xbox Live Marketplace or the Playstation Store on PS3. Harmonix calls the impending game “a new way to experience your favorite Rock Band songs, with fast-paced, multi-track arcade gameplay that encourages you to compete against your friends for the highest scores.”

The new title comes with 20 music tracks that have never graced a Rock Band title before, including songs from Blink 182, Foster the People, Quiet Riot, and Rick Springfield (that’s right; Jessie’s Girl is finally coming to Rock Band). Like other titles in the franchise, the tracks are cross-compatible with other Rock Band games, meaning you can play songs that you downloaded for Rock Band 2 in Rock Band Blitz, and you can play the Rock Band Blitz songs in Rock Band 3.

[via Joystiq]

Harmonix Rock Band Blitz teased is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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5Apr/120

Spotify premium service fails to deliver

If you were a fly on the wall at Spotify’s office, you might be hearing a lot of murmuring about how to improve the company’s premium music streaming service, which isn’t performing up to expectations. The New York Post wasn’t a fly on the wall, but it did manage to get some behind-closed-doors comments from an unnamed source at the social music pioneer. And the comments aren’t very positive.

“People aren’t 100 percent happy. Spotify overpromised,” the Post quoted the source as saying. Apparently the number of people who have signed up for the premium version of Spotify, which requires a monthly fee, is far less than what the company expected to, and now it has to answer to the various parties that it revealed those expectations to. Approximately 600,000 people are paying for Spotify in the US today.

By comparison, Rhapsody, which is very rarely showered with sparkling good news and incredible valuation estimates, has one million paid subscribers in the US. And that service is even more expensive than Spotify. Spotify thought that by reducing the amount of music users could listen to for free, more of them would sign up for a premium account. That plan just isn’t working. The site has 3 million paid subscribers around the world, but given the size and importance of the US market, it should be able to boost that up significantly if it could play its cards right.

[via NY Post]

Spotify premium service fails to deliver is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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5Apr/120

Twitter anti-spam lawsuit targets auto-tweeters

Is creating an automated bot to spew out useless and misleading Twitter messages as annoying – and as legally punishable – as sending out massive spam e-mails? Twitter seems to think so, and has filed a lawsuit against several companies that create tools for automated tweets, saying they damage the site’s reputation and are hurting its business. The companies in question do nothing but litter Twitter with fake profiles and unwanted messages.

Those named in the lawsuit are TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, Garland Harries, and James Lucero. “By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. With this suit, we’re going straight to the source,” Twitter wrote in a public blog post. The company wants you to know it’s as annoyed by these spammers as you are.

There is no shortage of examples when it comes to e-mail service providers and even individual e-mail users suing spammers and winning, though in the growing social market, where the laws aren’t quite the same, there’s less case history. Nevertheless, Twitter doesn’t want these guys to go to prison. It just has to prove that they are violating its terms of service and willfully damaging the site. Of course, it will most likely get settled out of court.

[via Wired]

Twitter anti-spam lawsuit targets auto-tweeters is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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5Apr/120

HTC One V Flexes Its Muscles – Benchmarks and Gaming Performance Put To The Test [Video]

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When it comes to the HTC One X, there’s no surprise that the entire tech world is going ape-nuts over it. Arguably the best Android device to date, there’s no question HTC has struck gold on that one. And it’s not just the One X — the One S has been receiving its fair share of praise despite its slightly lesser specs (but saved thanks to a beefy Qualcomm S4 processor). But there is another phone in HTC’s One line of devices that hasn’t gotten too much coverage, the HTC One V.

I get it, the One V is HTC’s entry level device for 2012 and spec-wise, there just isn’t too much here we haven’t seen before. But even as an Android enthusiasts who prefer to stay on the bleeding edge of tech, I think it would be safe to assume not all of our friends or family members feel the same passion we do, and often come to us when it comes to picking out a solid, affordable Android device.

Thankfully, I came across this video today from NetbookNews showing off some benchmarks from the One V, even throwing a few of the more demanding games at it like Temple Run and Shadowgun. How did the device perform? Well, check out their video walkthrough and see for yourself.

After watching this video, I have to say, the HTC One V has proven itself as one hot, little firecracker. Shadowgun ran pretty smooth with only a reasonable amount of framerate drops during heated of battles. It feels a little weird to type it out but, I’d even go as far as saying the One V is one of Android’s first premium entry-level devices for the masses? What did you guys think? Impressed?

[NetbookNews]


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5Apr/120

Best Buy Says HTC Rezound On Schedule To Receive Android 4.0 Tomorrow – RAZRs Not So Fortunate

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Best Buy sent out an internal memo to their employees yesterday, notifying them that scheduled Android 4.0 update for the Motorola DROID RAZR and Droid Razr Maxx had been indefinitely “delayed.” We suspect they may have gotten ahead of themselves, expecting ICS instead of another bug fixing update, the same one we told you about yesterday. Don’t worry too much, I’d be willing to bet the next update will finally be the fabled upgrade to Android 4.0 and Motorola is simply tidying up things before rolling it out.

But we do have some good news for HTC Rezound users. Best Buy also mention in their email that the Beats rockin,’ HD totin’ device was on schedule to receive its portion of Ice Cream Sandwich tomorrow, April 6th. Given Best Buy’s track record, we’re hesitant to take that with anything more than a grain of salt. It’s only the fact that we’re talking about an HTC device here that we’re more inclined to believe this date. Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

[Droid-Life]


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5Apr/120

Warning: Galaxy Nexus (GSM Version) Suffering From Signal Loss Issues After Android 4.0.4 Update

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Should have seen this coming. Bugs after an Android update are often a common occurrence ’round these parts, and now it’s Galaxy Nexus user’s turn to share in the sorrow after updating their devices to Android 4.0.4. Apparently, this bug is a pretty nasty one. Users have taken to Google’s Android issue tracker and are reporting that after updating to Android 4.0.4., their device has been experiencing connectivity issues whenever entering sleep/screen off mode. Once asleep, the Galaxy Nexus will completely lose signal, causing missed calls, texts, push notifications and anything else that requires signal. Yeah, not good.

Google has acknowledged the issue and is asking for users to submit bug reports to help with developing a solution. In the meantime, rooted users can either clock their CPU’s minimum clock speed to 700MHz to help alleviate the issue or simply revert back to Android 4.0.2 where I currently am sitting pretty. Oh, and if you’re on Verizon Wireless with a CDMA version of the Galaxy Nexus, don’t worry. The issue seems to only be with GSM versions of the device. Any GSM Galaxy Nexus users who have updated to 4.0.4 affected by the bug?

[Google Android Code | XDA | PhoneArena]


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5Apr/120

New York AG kicks thousands of sex offenders off online games

With cooperation from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Warner Bros, and Disney Interactive, New York’s top prosecutor has been successful in banning online gaming accounts of more than 3,500 registered sex offenders. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the crack-down, known as “Operation Game Over,” was a success. It was the first sting operation of its kind, and it could be the first of many.

Schneiderman said, “We must ensure online videogame systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims.” Schneiderman and his team worked with the game companies mentioned above to link the sex offenders to their Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and online role-playing game accounts, and blocked a total of 3,580 accounts from being able to connect to other gamers online.

The Attorney General thanked the companies for their cooperation. He called it a first-of-its-kind initiative for online safety. The so-called dangers of online gaming are highlighted every few months, like clockwork, on the morning “news” shows and various other places where people can spread fear. Nevertheless, if one incident arises from online gaming when it could have been prevented as with Operation Game Over, is one too many.

[via AFP]

New York AG kicks thousands of sex offenders off online games is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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5Apr/120

AT&T ad-supported Wi-Fi tested in Dallas

Even with the domination of smartphones and mobile data, it’s still nice to have Wi-Fi access in places. Maybe you don’t have a smartphone. Maybe you need to get some work done and that 4-inch screen just won’t do it for you. Maybe you’re at the airport and you need to conserve your phone’s battery. All of the above, apparently, are good enough reasons for AT&T to test a new pilot project that offers free Wi-Fi to users if they’re willing to sit through some good old-fashioned advertising.

Beginning in September, passengers at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport will be able to log onto AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspot for free, provided they watch a 30-second commercial every 40 minutes. It beats shelling out around $10 for Internet access, as the DFW airport is not one of the hundreds around the country that already offers free wireless connectivity. It’s unclear what AT&T’s vision is for expanding this if it’s successful, but it is an interesting idea.

In a world where mobile data is all around us, and we’re quickly being engulfed in a blanket of LTE networks that can power through the Internet at the same speed as a broadband connection, it seems beyond ridiculous that there are still places where consumers are paying $10, $20, or even more just for a quick round of Wi-Fi access. Sure, those hotspot charges aren’t as common as they used to be (want free Wi-Fi? Just go to Starbucks), but at places where consumers are price inelastic, like airports, that still exists.

[via GigaOM]

AT&T ad-supported Wi-Fi tested in Dallas is written by Mark Raby & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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