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In Android, December Forget You: Month of December Missing in Jelly Bean 4.2

posted Sunday Nov 18, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

In Android, December Forget You: Month of December Missing in Jelly Bean 4.2

This was just too crazy not to mention. Those of you lucky enough to be running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with all of its cool new features and all, may not be so lucky for now. Things like Photo Sphere, gesture typing, the new "Daydream" screensaver (does it really save your screen?), WiDi technology and other enhancements may seem nice, however some essential things don't seem to exist in the new version of Android. You know, like the month of December.

Those with the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 first reported that the month of December is actually missing from the People app, and now the problem has been recognized to exist on Android 4.2 as a whole. It appears that some savvy tech heads have been able to pinpoint the problem, which doesn't appear in the Google Calendar app, only in the People app. One user said that there is a "problem with the API (particularly android.widget.NumberPicker) rather than the DatePicker widget being used in the contacts app."

So what happens now? Until Google pushes out a 4.2.1 update or even a minor refresh fix to address the issue, your year, according to Google, only has eleven months. This is perfect for those thinking the world would end in December, as you need not even worry about the month as a whole. Do you think maybe Google decided that the only important date in December was Christmas? All you need to do is go buy more Android devices for you and your friends, and don't concern yourself with the other thirty days in the month. They're simply not important.

I'd like to know how this got missed in testing, when previous versions, like 4.1 and 4.0 seem to have no issues. We'll keep you posted if we see or hear of any other strange quirks with this somewhat salty version of Jelly Bean.

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Wii U Game Pre-Sales Top 1 Million With GameStop

posted Saturday Nov 17, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Wii U Game Pre-Sales Top 1 Million With GameStop

While there has been a lot of concern about the viability of Nintendo's next console, the Wii U, releasing tomorrow in the US, maybe it is all for naught. GameStop has reported that their pre-order numbers for Wii U software titles has topped 1 million. While that might not be the impressive sales day that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had, closing at $500 million, is still adds up to some $50 million in pre-orders alone.

Pre-orders, of course, never tell the whole story. There are many people who pay the $5 to pre-order a game at GameStop and never pick it up, and there are people like myself who both do not like to give GameStop any money and do not bother to pre-order any titles. In modern times, the latter seems to highly out-weigh the prior, especially as consoles, including the Wii U, move to a more digital distribution system for games.

In addition to the software titles, GameStop also has reserves for 500,000 consoles in the US, meaning there is more than a 2:1 ratio, which is exactly what Nintendo was hoping for, even if the exact numbers are lower than they might have hoped for. Again, to be fair, I have never reserved a console, and yet I do seem to have almost every console ever released.

That being said, launch day looks like it will be decent for Nintendo - a lot better than the 3DS launch. Do you have a Wii U reserved at GameStop or anywhere else? If so, how many games do you have reserved to go with it? Let us know in the comments section.

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Samsung Requests to See HTC/Apple Agreement

posted Saturday Nov 17, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Samsung Requests to See HTC/Apple Agreement

Samsung's legal battle with Apple didn't quite go the way they expected, and looks like it might get worse in the future. But wait, what's this? Apple settled their suit with HTC by offering a licensing deal? But they said in the Samsung trial that they do not license their highly specialized patents - the same ones that they settled with HTC to license. That seems to suggest they may have lied to the court in order to cripple Samsung, Apple's biggest competitor.

I am apparently not the only one to think something fishy is going on as Samsung's legal team has filed a formal request to see the license agreement Apple signed with HTC. The deal seems to allow for patent sharing between the companies, including present and future patents, for a period of 10 years. Samsung's legal team is concerned that, among the patents licensed, are for some of those unique patents that Apple claims to never offer licensing. If that is the case, Samsung has enough ammunition to fight off the latest round of suits from Apple, as well as possibly overturn the initial ruling in appeals.

Robert Becher, Samsung's legal representative, said,

As you know, the issue of Apple's willingness to license its patents was briefed in Samsung's opposition to Apple's motion for permanent injunction. This license has direct bearing on the question of irreparable harm and whether monetary remedies are adequate.

Sounds like Samsung wants, not only to get their money back, but to get some of Apple's in return. This case just got a whole lot more interesting, even after a ruling already being handed down. I look forward to seeing how this settles out.

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Myspace Launches New Interface - Again

posted Friday Nov 16, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Myspace Launches New Interface - Again

Since its latest purchase last year, we knew an updated Myspace was only a matter of time. After all, Justin Timberlake and Specific Media spent a whole $35 million on the once super-giant social network to snatch it away from News Corp. That has not become a reality... until now.

The company released a preview video, available after the break, to show off the totally revamped site. The new interface, and the new company brand image, is a little retro and a little metro. The company has returned to the 3 little guys (pictured above) in their logo, now long abandoning the terrible my_____ logo that was attempted in the last rebranding effort. Where there are changes, the feeling is intense. Like Sony, Myspace (yes, capital M, lowercase s this time around) has taken a page out of Microsoft's book and fully embraced the Modern UI principles set out in Windows Phone and Windows 8.

In addition to a new, incredibly slick interface (you have to watch the video to believe it), the new Myspace will focus on the thing that always made it the powerhouse it was - music. In face, the music integration on the site is so intense that you can play music from your collection (bands and musicians you follow) right within the site without having to stay on their page. Similar to some other media sites, there is a player bar at the bottom of the page that allows you to continue browsing without losing your music. I wonder which owner's idea that was.

All in all, I'm not sure that even the world's best interface can revive the plummeting marketshare of Myspace, but between privacy disasters and feature revocations on Facebook, maybe the next big thing will be the last big thing.

As I said, you have to see this video - check it out after the break.

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Ballmer Shakes Up Microsoft Leadership

posted Friday Nov 16, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Ballmer Shakes Up Microsoft Leadership

Just weeks after Microsoft released Windows 8 and the new Microsoft Surface, along with Windows Server 2012, and a matter of days after Windows Phone 8 officially hit the market, Microsoft has announced that Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live, will be leaving the company effective immediately. In replacement, Tami Reller, Chief Financial and Marketing Officer, will assume business responsibility for the Windows brands.

Veteran Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green will be assuming responsibility of the brands. She has worked on seemingly every major Microsoft property, including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. Most recently, the user experience development and research, as well as program management for Windows 7 and Windows 8 also fell to Larson-Green, so transferring the brands to her is fitting as she has run the product anyway. All of the best parts of Windows 8, such as the new user interface and live tiles, are the result of her research and development, while all of the bad decisions, such as Windows RT vs Windows 8, were that of Sinofsky.

This seems like a good transition for the company, and certainly goes to show that Ballmer is not afraid to cut where he sees problems. Hit the break to see what Ballmer and Sinofsky had to say about the transition.

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Skype Preview Available for Windows Phone 8 (and WinPho 7.5)

posted Friday Nov 16, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Skype Preview Available for Windows Phone 8 (and WinPho 7.5)

We knew when Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion that they'd move pretty quickly on implementing their new purchase into the Windows 8 platform. Last week we learned that Microsoft was going to can the Windows Live Messenger brand and bring in Skype in an organized fashion. This week, just over a year after the initial announcement of the acquisition, the Skype Preview is now available on Windows Phone 8.

Microsot says that the free download of only 8MB is strictly a preview release and that "experiences are not final." We have discovered that some features, like getting calls and messages while the app is closed or "minimized" are still being worked on. This rungs true with our own research of the Windows 8 platform and finding out it's not easy for the average developer to accomplish the simple task of running things in the background, so I'm glad to see it is also possibly perplexing the Skype dev team. Microsoft adds that until the app goes from a preview to official launch, that, as with all previews, you may have minor problems, like poor call quality and other random bugs pop up from time to time. From the Skype details page,

NOTE: Some capabilities listed above are work-in-progress and may not function consistently. This includes, but is not limited to: call reliability and the ability to receive incoming calls and chat notifications when outside of the app.

So now that Skype's available, have all my WinPho 8 and WinPho 7.5 (yes, you guys get love from Skype, too) people already downloaded it or did you not have the extra 512MB of memory required for the app because you downloaded too many episodes of F5 Live?

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