Monday, September 30, 2013

Will Facebook's inclusion of posts and status updates to Graph Search raise alarms?

Facebook is making it easier for users to search posts and status updates through Graph Search, by using natural language cues in defining their search parameters. But will this result in yet another privacy issue for the social network?

Facebook has recently announced an update to its Graph Search feature that will make it easier for users to search through posts and status updates.

Introduced in early 2013 Graph Search lets users find relevant content using natural language cues, which will bring up search results from a user’s own updates, their friends’ posts or public posts, depending on the case. For instance, searching for “Photos of my friends taken in New York, New York,” would bring up just that — photos of your friends taken in New York, NY.

While Graph Search initially launched with support for people, places, photos and interests, the search functionality did not support posts and status updates until now. With this latest development, you can now search for your own posts — or that of your friends — with the now-ubiquitous search box at the top of the Facebook page.

However, while this adds functionality to Facebook’s search feature, it also adds a whole new dimension to the already complicated privacy situation faced by the social network. Josh Constine wrote on TechCrunch that this essentially eradicates “privacy by obscurity,” in that your otherwise hard-to-find posts are now more easily accessible. “If you said it, and it’s technically visible to someone, they will be able to easily find it,” he argued.

Facebook does offer a few tips in enhancing your privacy*by limiting who can see your posts. Given the potential for friends or even the public to sift through your posts and status updates, it will now ultimately be the responsibility of a user not to post anything that is likely to have negative repercussions. You wouldn’t want your boss or future employer to see drunken or wasted photos, employer rants or other such damaging content.

Will Facebook’s latest update be cause for concern among privacy advocates?

Source: Facebook

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'Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag' launching November 19 on PC

Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag*will be available for Windows three weeks after it debuts on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The PC version of Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag is said to be ported from the Xbox One version, according to a tweet sent out last week by Ubisoft Montreal’s Gabriel Graziani. The game will feature Edward Kenway from Assassin’s Creed 3, and will be set in the Caribbean islands, where he will face off with pirates.

Ubisoft showcased a new trailer titled Pirate Heist that highlights some of the in-game action. Another trailer released last month revealed the technological enhancements that will be seen on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC versions of the game. These include a new sea engine, a dynamic weather engine that feature volumetric fog, along with a new global illumination lighting technology as well as dynamic 3D foliage.

The game will debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on October 29, and will launch in Europe on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 1. The Wii U version of the game has been pushed back to November 22, which is the same day the game will launch on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PC version will be available on November 19.

Source: Polygon

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Xi3 piston gets a release date and official pricing

Xi3’s PC console to be available in November at a sub-$1000 price point.

The device that everyone thought was the Steam box has gotten a release date and a price.

In a press release sent out Monday night, Xi3 announced that its PC gaming console will be available on November 29 at a price point of $999. Those who have pre-ordered the console will get it sooner than the non pre-ordering masses; Xi3 promises the console will arrive to those who bought it in March “on or before” November 15.

Xi3 says that the Piston’s specs have gotten a slight boost in the last few weeks before its ship date. The console’s storage can now be doubled to 1TB thanks to a second SSD connector, but it will still ship with 128GB of SSD storage.

In a testament to how open the Steam Box platform is, Piston says users can use the second SSD connector to “load a second operating system onto their machines, including the newly announced SteamOS.” It should be noted that the Piston is partially financially backed by Valve.

Though the launch date is just over a month away, Piston has been slightly coy with the device’s specs. It ships with a quad-core 3.2 GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage. But for a gaming PC, Piston doesn’t give any details as to the two most important components: what type 3.2GHz processor does the thing have and what kind of video card it comes with. Some bloggers speculate it comes with a Radeon 700 series GPU, but this is based on tear downs of Piston’s X7A model that the Xi3 is based upon.

Very likely the Piston will be shipping with some sort of APU from AMD, but it’s strange the company isn’t naming exact details so close to the release.

Source: Xi3 press release

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Classic anime Hakushon Daimou to get live action adaptation

“You sneeze, I please, that’s the way it goes”.*40 years ago, classic anime Hakushon Daimaou (also known as Genie Family or Sneezing Magician) tickled a lot of funny bones and made the audience laugh out loud with their own brand of zany antics. Now, this all-time classic from 1969 is about to get a live-action drama adaptation.

The wacky “Sneezing Genie” Achoo will be played by Shingo Murakami from the Japanese boy band Kanjani8. The Japanese singer and actor has already appeared in various TV dramas and stage plays. Murakami, who was born in 1981 explained that he was a fan of the series growing up. With the popular idol playing the classic anime genie, expect the plump Achoo to be a whole lot slimmer in the J-Drama.

Meanwhile, seven-year-old Konomi Watanabe has been chosen to play Achoo’s daughter, Yawn who pops out and grants wishes to those who yawn nearby.

The anime about a genie jumping out of a pot everytime somebody sneezes captured the hearts of audiences worldwide as it was shown in various countries and dubbed into English by Saban. The live-action drama started filming last spring and is now scheduled to air this upcoming fall season.

Read more anime related news here on SGCafe!

You can also read more on some of your favorite*live-action adaptations here.*Also join in on the community’s discussions at*

Via Sanspo

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Microsoft offering 'Halo 3' for free to Xbox Live Gold users in October

Bungie Studios’ Halo 3 is the latest game that is offered through the Games with Gold program for Xbox Live Gold members.

Since June, Microsoft has been giving away two games a month through its Games with Gold initiative. The deal is similar to what Sony has been offering with PlayStation Plus, and makes two games available for free on a monthly basis to Xbox Live Gold members.

Downloaded games will remain in the user’s library even after they unsubscribe from Xbox Live. The only caveat is that the game will be available to download for a certain time. For Halo 3, that is from October 16 – October 31. The other game available for download through the first half of the month is Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. Both games normally retail for $14.99, so make sure you download the games before time runs out.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Kuroko's Basketball and Assassination Classroom finally meet up

So what do The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays? (KuroBasu) and Assassination Classroom have in common other than their publication in Weekly Shonen Jump? The fact that they’ve sold over one million copies at the same time!

Although it’s true that KuroBasu has been running longer than Yusei Matsui’s*Assassination Classroom, it did not take long for their sales to catch up. As of October 4, with KuroBasu’s 24th volume and Assassination Classroom’s 6th volume release, they will both have sold one million first press copies. That’s mighty impressive if you ask me. It’s one thing to hit one million copies sold, but another to do it at the same time as your fellow Jump author’s manga.

To celebrate this rare occasion, Shueisha, the publisher for Jump magazine, will be holding a 30 day campaign for the two series. When you buy either one of the series latest compiled volumes, you will receive a collaborative drawing signed by the mangaka. To help promote the Jump BOOK Store App*a national railway promotion will also show off the good news.


So there you have it: a series immensely popular with female fans and a series immensely popular among fans in general have finally met up. It’s a good thing that there won’t be any actual in-manga cross over though, because I don’t think this little guy could survive the world of assassination.

Keep up with all your manga news here on SGCafe!

Feel free to join in the community discussions going on in the forums!

Source: Yahoo News

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Watch all iPhone models go head to head in a test of speed

A new video has been posted online in which all eight iPhone models go head to head against each other in a test of speed. It is interesting to see how the iPhone has evolved over the years.

The first iPhone was launched back in 2007. Since then, Apple’s smartphone has continued to be a major player in the global smartphone arena. Tens of millions of units have been sold around the globe and sales don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, particularly due to the fact that the company just recently announced two new models. As of now, Apple has released eight models of the iPhone ever since the first one came out in 2007.

Obviously, a lot of hardware changes and advancements have been made. Its obvious that the original iPhone is going to be smoked by the iPhone 4, or even the iPhone 3GS. However, it is interesting to note that all iPhones running iOS 7 seem to power down simultaneously. In the test of speed, all iPhones are first shut down and then booted together. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 are neck and neck, with the iPhone 5c slightly trailing behind both of them.

Web tests are also conducted, which reveal just how much the browsing experience and speed has been improved over the years. In the web test, all iPhones are sent to Apple’s home page as well as Reddit. If you’re interested in seeing how things have changed for the iPhone in all these years, do take a look at the video posted above.

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Purported Boost Mobile promotional material hints at iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch

Boost Mobile hasn’t officially carried the iPhone as yet. If the latest purported leaked promotional material is to be believed, the prepaid carrier might soon launch Apple’s latest iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.*

Sprint, which is one of the four largest nation carries in the U.S., wholly owns Boost Mobile, which is a prepaid carrier. Boost hasn’t officially carried the iPhone ever before, even though some of its rival prepaid carriers already offer it. Sprint itself has officially been selling the iPhones since 2011, when the iPhone 4S came out. Both new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, were announced earlier this month. They’re already available through the four major U.S. carriers and will make their way to Virgin Mobile, another prepaid carrier, on October 1.

The purported promotional material has been leaked by @evleaks on Twitter. The material clearly hints at the possibility of Boost Mobile launching both new iPhones. However, no pricing or availability information is mentioned. So one can only speculate when the iPhones will be available from Boost and what the carrier is going to charge for them.

There hasn’t been official confirmation from either Apple or Boost Mobile as yet. It remains to be seen if the carrier will also offer previous generation iPhones, such as the iPhone 4S.

Source: @evleaks

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Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet visits FCC under RX-114 moniker, cellular bands galore

We’ve been tracking hints, following leads and pursuing theories on Nokia’s first ever Lumia tablet for what feels like months now and, despite rumors of a last-minute cancelation, there’s a good chance one of the last pieces of the puzzle is today falling into place.

A Nokia device going by the cryptic RX-114 codename has made its way to the FCC a couple of days ago and, though the agency’s internal documents don’t spell it out for us (they rarely do), all signs point to this being the mythical “Sirius”.

What’s even more intriguing is there’s compatibility for a number of 4G LTE bands (2, 4, 5, 13 and 17, to be exact), plus GSM/EDGE and HSPA+ support. Which in layman’s terms means the Lumia 2520 (as a little bird told us the slate will be named in the end) could technically, possibly work on the cellular networks of at least three of America’s four major carriers: Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Anything else the FCC reveals? Not exactly, unless you count the boring mentions of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity options. But hey, it’s not like the tab is such a grand enigma anymore.

For one thing, we know for sure its announcement is due on October 22, as part of a special (and likely glamorous) Abu Dhabi event. The spec sheet is tipped to include a Full HD 10.1-inch display, pre-loaded Windows RT 8.1 (which will likely be the thing’s Achilles’ heel), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC (I’ll drink for that), 2 gigs of RAM and 6.7 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics.

As far as pricing goes, the Wi-Fi only, “entry-level” configuration will likely cost roughly $500 (presumably with 32 GB of on-board storage), and chances are Nokia will look to pair the 10-incher with a range of optional accessories (think Microsoft’s Surfaces) in order to increase productivity. Such a shame it won’t run full Windows 8.1, huh?

Sources: GSM Arena, FCC *

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to produce bulk of Apple A8 SoCs

TSMC to handle 60-70 percent of A8 production, with Samsung handing the remainder.

The Korea Economic Daily reports Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will be handling the lion’s share of production for Apple’s A8 System on a Chip (SoC), with Samsung producing only 20 to 30 percent.

Currently, Samsung is the sole supplier of iPad and iPhone SoCs. Its silicon powers the 64-bit A7 processor found in the new iPhone 5s.

In June the Wall Street Journal reported Apple had signed a contract with TSMC for SoC production, leading some to believe that TSMC would be the sole provider of processor silicon to Apple.The Taiwan angle seemed to strengthen in August, when VR-Zone *reported Apple was beginning hiring in Taipei for a soon-to-be constructed development center.

Samsung has been a crucial part of the iPhone’s supply chain since its launch in 2007, something that Apple has struggled to change as the two companies have become fierce rivals.

Source: Korea Economic Daily

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Are ads coming to Google's Gmail Android email client?

APK teardown of Google’s new Android email client shows that ads may be coming soon along with bookmarking option.

Ads have been a staple for Gmail users on the web, but Google’s smartphone and tablet experience has been a refreshing ad-free one for mobile devices for quite some time. In a recent APK teardown by Android Police, however, it was determined that Google is planning to include advertisements on Gmail message threads, among other improvements to the mobile client.

These are evident with the lines pertaining to ads, ad presentations and ad elements, which have been added to version 4.6 (build 836823).

In terms of user interface, the updated app continues with Google’s current design language, particularly with the use of the Card UI standard popularized by Google Now. However, this comes with a small price, at least depending on how you look at it. Android Police’s Artem Russakovskii speculates that the ads could likely appear similar to email threads. Meanwhile, the app code suggests that users can bookmark or save ads that they find interesting. This suggests that ads on mobile Gmail will be something like sponsored or featured stories on Facebook, which a user can “like” or bookmark.

According to the mobile Gmail client’s Google Play entry, the app has at least 500 million downloads. Even if the updated app would work only on Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) versions of Android and up, Google’s mobile ads are likely to reach a significant number, given that Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean use have far surpassed older versions of the mobile OS already.

Apart from ads, the updated Gmail app includes a few changes, notably the following:

  • Unsent message warning in the Sent view;

  • Improved presentation of contacts without profile photos in notifications;

  • Cancel button has been removed in prompts (users have to tap Back to cancel);

  • Darker UI icons.

Gmail will be pushing this update sometime this week. If you are not auto-updating your apps, you can check out the Gmail client on Google Play.

Source: Android Police

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Behold Sharp's Mebius Pad, the Windows 8 tablet with the highest pixel count

If you can’t beat them, join them, an old saying goes, and the inventors of that kooky talking refrigerator seem to be following exactly this particular tactic in trying to make their new Windows 8 tablet as popular as Android slates or Apple’s iPads.

Mind you, I’m not accusing Sharp of copying anybody by putting a lot of emphasis on pixel density with the new Mebius Pad. After all, Apple may have the exclusive rights to use the “Retina Display” brand name, but they certainly can’t patent high ppi (or can they?).

Besides, if there’s one thing Windows tabs needed in order to take things to the next level, it was definitely better, crisper panels. And boy, does this Mebius Pad rock a spectacular screen.

It measures 10.1 inches in diagonal, it uses the IGZO (indium gallic zinc oxide) technology that’s believed to go very easy on the battery and, most of all, it sports a 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution. That’s a 299 ppi pixel density, so north of MacBook Pro pixel counts and exactly on-par with Google and Samsung’s Nexus 10.

Before getting too giddy with excitement, let me remind you it’s Sharp we’re talking about here, so the chances of ever seeing the Mebius Pad up on store shelves on the Western hemisphere are close to zero. And not even Japan will get the 10-incher this year, as the ETA around those parts is “early 2014”.

But hey, it may just be worth the wait, since it packs an Intel Bay Trail processor, so it shouldn’t be too pricey, runs Windows 8.1 out the box, has allergies to water and dust, rocks 4G LTE speeds and stylus support. Keeping it sharp (pun intended) from head to toe, eh?

Source: Engadget

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Strict G teams up with Gundam anew for these cool new jackets

Men’s apparel brand Strict G has recently teamed up with all-time classic anime Mobile Suit Gundam once again, and this time, they are giving us some cool new Gundam-themed men’s jackets.

Strict G previously collaborated with Gundam by bringing us some very special Gundam apparel which came with a Mastermind-themed Perfect Grade (PG) gunpla.

The 78 stadium jacket is due for release mid-December 2013 with the capital G (which stands for Gundam) and the number 78 (which obviously stands for the 78 in RX-78-2). The jacket also has some patches attached to it like the Earth Federation insignia. This jacket costs 78,000 yen and is perfect for any Gundam fan.

These A-2 flight jackets meanwhile fly the colors of the mighty Principality of Zeon. Worn by US Army servicemen in World War II, these flight jackets really bring out Gundam’s war theme. These come in two colors, namely black and pink which clearly represents Zeon’s ace, Char Aznable who is also known as the Red Comet. These jackets are also scheduled for release mid-December and will cost 92,400 yen.

These jackets are part of Strict G’s Fall and Winter collection which holds the theme “Universality” which would really fit the Gundam timeline which hails from the “Universal Century”.

Read more Gundam stories*here on SGCafe.*Also join in on the community’s discussions at*


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