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Apple iPhone 5 - The Lamest Thing to Happen to iPhone Since iPhone

posted Friday Sep 14, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Apple iPhone 5 - The Lamest Thing to Happen to iPhone Since iPhone

Apple's stock price has been dipping, so that means it is mandatory "milk the sheep" time. Since the New iPad, whose name will be a lot more fun in 6 months or so when the next one comes out, is already on store shelves, that must mean it is iPhone time. In proper Apple tradition, the CEO, currently Tim Cook, spent time on a mostly empty stage in a fairly nondescript theatre to show off the next small, shiny box from Cupertino.

The new iPhone lives up to many of the expectations, both good and bad. First, the name is the iPhone 5, not the New iPhone. They do seem to have at least learned something from that very odd decision. The device is, as expected from leaked photos of the chassis, longer than the previous models. Steve Jobs cited the smaller screen size in all previous models as a good thing. The reasoning was always that holding the phone in one hand could give you access to all parts of the screen. He also stated that his company would never consider launching a larger screen because of this reason. Apparently Apple has discovered that people's hands have grown in the year since Jobs' death.

The iPhone 5 has taken a page out of Boost Mobile's phone lineup and added true 4G data to their handset. Of course, this isn't the first time Apple has included a feature from a cheap Boost Mobile phone; in the iPhone 3G they added picture messaging. Apple's implementation is a little better than Boost, though, as it implements 4G LTE, not WiMax. To accomplish this, they touted their dual-antenna technology, which they also talked about last year. My guess is that this is all in reaction to the antenna blocking problem from the iPhone 4. I say that because all modern phones have the ability to switch antennas, and you never hear Samsung talk about it.

Not all of the new features are in direct violation of the founder's wishes or rip-offs of 5-year-old technology, however. Some are downright terrible ideas. Hit the break for the details.

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Nintendo's Wii U Event Answers Some Questions, Leaves Us with More

posted Friday Sep 14, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo's Wii U Event Answers Some Questions, Leaves Us with More

Following up from last week's potential price and availability of the Wii U, Nintendo's Wii U press conference in New York City finally confirmed the details that we've been waiting to hear about since E3 of last year. One of our favorite company heads, Reggie Fils-Aime, took the stage and started off by addressing the three biggest aspects of the Wii U we wanted to know about: pricing, availability and specs. We now know that Nintendo's next flagship console will be available in the US on November 18th and will start at $299.

There will be two versions available for purchase, a Basic Set (in white) will run you $299 and a Deluxe Set (in black) will cost $349. Contrary to our speculation last week, neither will come with two GamePads. Instead, the Basic Set will include the 8GB console, one GamePad, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable, while the Deluxe Set will feature the 32GB console, one GamePad, sensor bar, HDMI cable and the addition of a charging and console stand for the GamePad and console, respectively. It will also include a copy of Nintendo Land so you can start to figure out the confusion that appears to be a kid carnival with your favorite game characters.

What else is there to know about the Wii U? A lot! We go into more specs, along with game announcements and the addition of Nintendo's TVii after the break.

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Google Removes The Pirate Bay from Autocomplete and Instant Search

posted Wednesday Sep 12, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google Removes The Pirate Bay from Autocomplete and Instant Search

About a year and a half ago, Google censored the Internet on their own and removed the word "torrent" (and all related terms) from their Autocomplete and Instant searches. This set off an uproar throughout all different types of online communities, including the beloved pirates, and Google then began to censor other words as well, but backed down on a couple, like MegaUpload, although that site is now shut down. Well, RIAA and MPAA have ramped up the pressure to crack down on piracy and, per the usual spineless actions from Google, the company has responded in fear of RIAA potentially taking away their iTunes library at the Googleplex.

Just days after one of the co-founders of The Pirate Bay has been deported back to Sweden from Cambodia, the search giant has removed "The Pirate Bay" from Autocomplete and Instant searches. Doing some random searches also show that Zippyshare and Mediafire have also been removed, but YouSendIt remains. Again, as we reported 18 months ago, the removals seem arbitrary, with Google removing whatever site or group RIAA and/or the MPAA seem to be mad at that week. There's really no method, rhyme or reason to their removal process. The good news is that The Pirate Bay knows this and doesn't seem to be phased by it. Plus, they even made a small mention of censorship of their search results in a blog post back in June.

Right now about 10 percent of our traffic comes from these competing search engines. With that ban in place that means that our traffic numbers probably will increase. Users will go directly to us instead and use our search instead. We'll grow even more massive.

The Pirate Bay has a very good point. Most people who know of the site will go directly to that site and users will typically refer each other to sites like this and won't end up there via a web search. Will Google fess up to the actual reasons why it has removed TPB? Probably not. Instead, we're left with this on their help page,

While we always strive to algorithmically reflect the diversity of content on the web (some good, some objectionable), we also apply a narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, hate speech, and terms that are frequently used to find content that infringes copyrights.

All of this is simply more fuel for several things going against Google right now, including the anti-trust investigations. Perhaps it's time for users to switch search engines on a greater scale? While we're on the topic, maybe our loyal readers should try and Bing It On. See if you end up on the better side of web searching. Post your results in the comments section below.

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Sprint to Roll Out 4G LTE in More Than 100 Cities

posted Wednesday Sep 12, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sprint to Roll Out 4G LTE in More Than 100 Cities

It was only a week ago that Sprint continued to add onto its 4G LTE network, which started up back in July, and made high-speed data available in four more cities. Compared to Verizon's launch, it's been pretty dismal for the guys in yellow, however, Sprint looked to change that with a big announcement this week.

Sprint has officially announced that it is pushing out LTE in more than 100 cities nationwide in the next few months, adding onto the enhanced 3G services in those cities. This more than quadruples its current catalog of 19 cities that are benefiting from true 4G LTE but still is nowhere close to Verizon's 337 current markets. However, this is a strong second step for Sprint, as the company still has unlimited data plans that can make good use of the new speeds.

For a list of the cities and some more breakdown of the news, including how the launch will happen, read on after the break.

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Pirate Bay Co-Founder to be Deported

posted Saturday Sep 8, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Pirate Bay Co-Founder to be Deported

Gottfrid Svartholm, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, was arrested last week in his riverside home in Cambodia. This week we have an update for you. Officials close to the matter have said that they are deporting Svartholm. However, there is no word as of yet on when or where they are sending him.

A spokesperson for the police, Kirth Chantharith, said,

We will deport him based on our immigration law. We just know we will deport him. As to which country, that would be up to the Swedish side.

Currently, there are no extradition agreements in place between Cambodia and Sweden, where the pirate was originally convicted. Media outlets in Cambodia have speculated that the deportation would occur very soon, so long as the police commissioner signs off on everything. We have also learned that one of the main reasons Cambodia is pushing for the immediate deportation is because of the pressure Sweden is trying to put on countries that are housing the convicted Pirate Bay founders. Only $50,000 US have been recovered from the drawn-out case and while the CEO Carl Lundstrom has served time and paid for his part of the ruling, the remaining three reside outside of Sweden and are still evading police in several countries, but occasionally popping up on Twitter to let everyone know they're okay.

We will keep you up to date as soon as we hear what happens next to Svartholm, who was hiding in his own home in Cambodia for four years before police found him. It may be 2020 before the other two are brought back home to Sweden.

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Hacker Walks Away with Equivalent of $250,000 in Another Bitcoin Theft

posted Saturday Sep 8, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hacker Walks Away with Equivalent of $250,000 in Another Bitcoin Theft

Earlier this year, over $228,000 worth of Bitcoins were stolen. For those who don't know, Bitcoin is a digital currency, similar to Microsoft Points. However, Bitcoins are acquired via "mining" from an idle PC. What it comes down to is that you are being compensated for your time and your computer's usage. The theft marked the second time in under a year that the new currency's security was breached, both through a Bitcoin exchange server and from Bitcoin servers directly. Unfortunately for those involved in Bitcoin, more theft has occurred.

The founder of the company BitFloor, which is an exchange service for Bitcoins, has reported that a hacker was able to access the company's servers and walk away with 24,000 Bitcoins, which is worth close to about $250,000. Because of this, the exchange now is out of money to make good on all of its deposits and BitFloor is under a temporary suspension of operations while it investigates the matter.

For more on this breach and what's being done about it, click that break.

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