Archive for July 25th, 2012

Astro launches A50 Wireless Gaming Headset

The audio aficionados at Astro are an impatient bunch, launching into their own next generation of hardware ages before console manufacturers are ready to take the plunge. Today, Astro Gaming has released the A50 Wireless Gaming Headset ? a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, 5.8GHz behemoth for use with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac “and more.”

According to Astro, the A50 has a 12+ hour battery life and includes a separate wireless transmitter ? which features KleerNet tech to keep audio lossless over its wireless connection.

Acoustic authority comes at a hefty price, however, as the A50 is tagged with a staggering $300 price point. Hey, no one said hearing the falling tears of your enemies online would be cheap! The hardware is currently available on Astro’s website and select retail locations.

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Madden NFL 13 screens run into and jump over defenders

Madden NFL 13 is promising big improvements with its new Infinity Engine and today we get a look at how it’ll affect collisions in some new spine-bending screens.

Source: Joystiq

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Majesco cooking up Cooking Mama combo packs for Wii and DS

Starting next month, it’ll be a little cheaper to spend some time with your multi-talented Cooking Mama. Majesco is bundling together six different Cooking Mama games across three different packages: Mama’s Combo Pack Volume 1 and 2 on the DS and Mama’s 2-pack on the Wii.

Mama’s Combo Pack Volume 1 includes the original Cooking Mama as well as Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures, and Volume 2 features Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends and Crafting Mama. Mama’s 2-pack, meanwhile, includes Cooking Mama Cook Off and Cooking Mama World Kitchen. The bundles will be available August 14 for $30 each.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, writing this post made us Joystiq very hungry.

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Apple Cannot Avoid a European Chill

The slightly weak guidances from handset chip names like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments seemed to indicate that European demand went wobbly in June.

Apple‘s small iPhone miss seems to support the trend. The iPhone shortfall relative to expectations was 3 M units, with spring volume coming in at 26 M. Clearly, Europe is the issue – Apple’s European revenues declined by a surprising -6% sequentially. Samsung’s big EU product roll-outs combined with the debt crisis may have been something of a double whammy. Year on year, European sales growth cooled to 16% – still strong, but somewhat sub-par pace for a sizzler like Apple.

Europe is a far bigger source for Apple’s revenues than Asia Pacific or Japan, where the growth is still on track.

Texas Instruments discussed order weakness that surfaced at the very end of the spring quarter, with June trend deterioration. It would not be surprising if Apple was heading for a rocky iPhone autumn, with Samsung Galaxy S3 a potent force in Germany and the UK, while overall smartphone demand wilts badly in Spain and Italy.

Piece by piece, evidence of a summer mobile slump in Europe builds – from Vodafone‘s dismal revenue plunges in Spain and Italy, to KPN’s 3% sales decline, to Texas Instruments comments about order weakness.

It’s worth noting that the major economies of Spain and Italy really got sucked into debt crisis only after the spring quarter ended. The current drama’s impact on business and consumer confidence will not be evident until we see July retail numbers – which we won’t for at least a month.

In that sense, the tech investors are left sweating over just how soft the autumn quarter will be. The panic in Mediterranean debt markets is hitting just before the crucial back-to-school consumer electronics buying season kicks off in Europe.

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Apple Sags in Latest Quarter as iPhone Gets Cheaper

Apple products have been getting cheaper. That’s good news for consumers but not for investors, who thought the company would keep boosting profits and revenues at its previous breakneck pace.

On Tuesday Apple Inc. revealed that its growth slowed in the most recent quarter. In both revenue and net income, the company posted the smallest increases in years, and failed to meet analyst expectations.

It wasn’t so much the volume of sales: Apple sold 17 million iPads in April to June period, beating expectations, and 26 million iPhones, at the low end of expectations.

But Apple’s average selling prices for both gadgets declined to levels last seen in 2010 for the iPhone and the lowest levels ever in the case of the iPad.

Apple introduced a new iPad in March, but kept the older model in stores while cutting its price.

The average selling prices of Macs also fell.

Net income in Apple’s fiscal third quarter was $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per share. That was up 21 percent from $7.3 billion, or $7.79 per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $10.37 per share.

Revenue at the Cupertino, Calif., company was $35 billion, up 23 percent. Analysts were expecting $37.5 billion.

Apple shares fell $34.99, or 5.8 percent, to $565.93 in after-hours trading, after the release of the results.

By: Associated Press

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More Indians access Facebook via mobile

HYDERABAD: An increasing number of Indian users of Facebook access the social networking site through the mobile thanks to a higher penetration, a top official of the social networking site here today.

While for other countries it was the desktop which was first used to get in to the portal, in case of India it was the mobile phone, said Kirthiga Reddy, Director-Online Operations and Head of Office-India, Facebook.

“Because if you think about it in US, most of the people started on desktop and moved to mobile. It is India that is causing us to rethink our model. Because many people are going to Facebook first on mobile and they might never go to desktop again,” Reddy said on the sidelines of a seminar.

She said the situation prompted Facebook to come out with many innovations so that the site can be accessed through any mobile phone.

Reddy also said currently language translation is available in eight languages (for India users) in Facebook.

“Globally, we have 300,000 users that contributed for translation of local languages. Translate tool is open for a few other languages,” she said.

Replying to a query, she said as per studies children below 13 are accessing Facebook when their parents are using the site.

“Our policy is that children below 13 years of age are not allowed…we have taken that very seriously. Anytime someone is being reported being under 13 (of age), we immediately look into that and take action. There is a lot of education and initiatives we engage in,” she added.

Facebook had a user-base of 8 million when it started its office in India in 2010. It has grown to 15 million users since then, she added.

According to her, 50 per cent of the active users log into their account every single day.

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Oracle launches solution to enhance data security

NEW DELHI: IT major Oracle today launched a new set of solutions aimed at helping enterprises that are planning to embrace cloud, mobile and social technologies as part of their business practice.

The ‘Oracle Identity Management 11g Release 2’ further strengthens Oracle’s integrated enterprise security solutions spanning hardware, database, middleware, and enterprise applications, Oracle Vice President (Technology – APAC) Sundar Ram Gopalakrishnan told reporters here.

“Organisations today, while recognising the need for an end-to-end security solution, fail to look at security comprehensively until they’ve had a security breach. There are often security gaps since there is no centralised management or reporting, with independent owners for every solution,” he added.

Oracle’s end-to-end security solutions offer the lowest total cost of ownership and meet compliance needs across IT infrastructure, data, applications and identity management, Gopalakrishnan said.

In India, Oracle is focusing on sectors like telecom, banking, financial services and insurance and government as these sectors own extensive classified or confidential data and are more prone to security threats.

“These sectors are also guided by strong regulatory compliances. Oracle with its full spectrum of security solutions is in a strong position to address the needs of these demanding industries,” he said.

According to a recent survey, respondents said they felt they were are inadequately protecting sensitive data and database infrastructure.

About 60 per cent respondents said they have or are likely to have a data breach over the next 12 months and a majority said the stolen records were from database servers.

“Oracle offers complete identity management solutions that enable enterprises to secure critical applications and sensitive data, lower operational costs, and comply with regulatory requirements,” he said.

Some of the Indian customers using Oracle’s security solutions include Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), TVS Motor Company and Aircel Ltd.

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