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NOAA admits to server breach, Chinese hackers blamed

11/13, 12:54pm

Officials slow to react in NOAA hacking, cover-up claimed by congressman

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has admitted that it has been the target of another online breach, just a few days after the United States Postal Service (USPS) revealed it too endured an intrusion. The attack took place in late September, though unlike the other governmental intrusion, NOAA officials are not revealing whether any classified data was acquired by intruders, nor if systems were altered.

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USPS servers hacked, data for 800,000 employees compromised

11/10, 6:10pm

Customer payment data not in danger, USPS claims following intrusion

Servers belonging to the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been hacked, it has been revealed. The latest major organization to suffer an intrusion, following a string of retailers, data belonging to more than 800,000 USPS employees have been compromised, including the postmaster general's, in a breach which was discovered in mid-September.

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Briefly: Timex Ironman One GPS+ on AT&T, Huawei TalkBand B1 in US

11/06, 10:28am

Pre-orders for Timex Ironman One GPS+ smartwatch start tomorrow

Pre-orders for the Timex Ironman One GPS+ will commence in the United States through AT&T stores on November 7th, and online from November 10th. Designed for runners, the smartwatch is able to track the wearer's speed, distance, and other position-related information, includes 4GB of storage, works with Bluetooth speakers and headphones, and has its own cellular data connection rather than relying on a nearby smartphone. Including one year of AT&T data, the Timex Ironman One GPS+ will be priced at $400.

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Samsung ships Gear S in UK this week, Gear Circle in US via T-Mobile

11/05, 1:07pm

Bluetooth earphones, standalone Samsung Gear S smartwatch head to market this week

Samsung has confirmed it is bringing its Gear Circle wireless earphones to the United States this month, ready for the holiday shopping period. At the same time, it has been revealed the manufacturer's standalone Gear S smartwatch will be making its way to the United Kingdom, with the first units set to go on sale later this week.

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China denies hacking involvement uncovered in US committee report

09/18, 10:26pm

Official states charges are 'groundless,' believes US should focus on upholding security

In a press conference today, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei responded to the government sponsored hacking allegations from the United States. In an unclassified report from the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the body accused the Chinese military of being responsible for at least 20 successful attacks on US Transportation Command (Transcom) contractors.

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Senate Judiciary Committee readying hearing on net neutrality

09/09, 7:55pm

Senator pushes for more citizen input days after FCC commenting period closes

There is still some fighting left to do for the United States Senate when it comes to net neutrality, as Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that there would be hearing in the near future. The senator, who is also the chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling the hearing for September 17 in order to take testimony on the importance of keeping the Internet free and open.

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Home Depot confirms data breach for United States, Canada stores

09/08, 7:18pm

Breach confirmed for April forward as investigation continues, no evidence of PIN theft

An initial investigation by Home Depot into an intrusion of its payment data systems has revealed that its systems were indeed breached. The home improvement retailer began looking into the breach of its systems after it noticed irregular activity and subsequent sale of its customer data last week. Home Depot was apparently hit by the same malware responsible for the breach of Target's systems.

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Hacker infiltrates Healthcare.gov, no personal information stolen

09/04, 9:40pm

Intruder installs 'malicious software' for cyber-attacks, breach access point unknown

Health care exchanges continue to hit rough patches, as the United States government has revealed that the federal health care portal Healthcare.gov was breached. While there is no evidence that any personal information from the 5.4 million people applying through the site was stolen during the event, the attack marks the first time an intrusion has successfully accessed systems attached to the website.

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RootMetrics: Verizon top carrier in performance, speed, reliability

08/19, 7:50pm

Independent tester finds that Verizon beats out all other carriers for first half of 2014

A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.

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TV broadcasters file petition against FCC over 2015 spectrum auction

08/19, 5:05pm

Organization believes that auction violates Spectrum Act, abuses discretion under APA Act

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking a review of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 spectrum auction. In the filing, the NAB states that the FCC isn't taking the proper precautions to protect broadcasters that choose to retain their spectrum. According to the NAB, an updated methodology the FCC is using will result in a loss of coverage area for remaining broadcasters.

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White House creates US Digital Service to aid IT projects

08/12, 9:56am

US Digital Service created to avoid issues similar to Healthcare.gov launch

The Obama administration has launched a new team dedicated to managing the IT practices of government agencies. The US Digital Service (USDS), headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson, aims to help government-created public IT projects work as effectively as privately-owned services, in order to avoid issues similar to the ill-fated Healthcare.gov launch, a project Dickerson helped rescue.

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Presidential executive order over drone usage reportedly on the way

07/25, 7:34am

NTIA may be called to create voluntary best practices for commercial drones

President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft.

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Two-year decline of PC shipments ended in second quarter, says Gartner

07/09, 7:31pm

Worldwide shipments up 0.1 percent over second quarter 2013, US shipments up 7.4 percent

Following up on the projections it says that PC shipments worldwide witnessed flat growth during the second quarter of 2014. Total PC shipments, which includes desktops, notebooks and premium ultra-mobiles, peaked at 75.7 million units, with the United States taking up 15.9 million of the total.

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US Attorney General promises stronger data privacy rights to Europeans

06/27, 12:19pm

Proposal would extend US Privacy Act rights to EU citizens

European citizens could receive some of the same rights to privacy as Americans in the future, if new proposals are adopted. US Attorney General Eric Holder advised to European leaders in Athens, Greece on Wednesday that the Obama administration is working on legislation that would provide EU residents similar protections under the US Privacy Act as US citizens already have.

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Microsoft cuts price of Surface Pro 2 before Surface Pro 3 ships

06/18, 7:40am

Discounts of $100, $200 on Surface Pro 2 through Microsoft Store

Microsoft has cut the price of the Surface Pro 2 tablet in the United States, before the latest incarnation of the device, the Surface Pro 3, starts shipping. Echoing a similar discounting scheme in the United Kingdom, the lower cost of previous-generation Surface Pro tablets comes at the same time as news that there could be some delays in Surface Pro 3 shipments.

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Google rates ISPs in United States with Video Quality Report

05/29, 3:39pm

Report shows streaming performance of YouTube videos over 30-day period

Google is expanding the coverage of its Video Quality Report to all Internet service providers in the United States. Originally launched in Canada in January, the service monitors the quality of connections between YouTube servers and the end user, with ratings provided for each ISP in an attempt to pressure telecommunication companies to improve their services.

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US House members lobbying FCC receive double average contributions

05/18, 2:52pm

Signers of three letters to FCC receive 1.2 to 5 times more lobbyist money from telecoms

Members of the United States House of Representatives responsible for sending letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over net neutrality concerns have received more than double the average campaign contributions from telecommunication companies over a two-year window. The contributions, tracked by Maplight, shows the funds that the politicians of both parties have received via political action committees and employees of organizations.

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Russia plans to shutter GPS ground stations, block US access to ISS

05/14, 1:29pm

Demands placement of GLONASS ground stations on US soil

Russia is threatening to shut down American-run GPS stations in the country, in retaliation to the refusal by the United States to allow similar sites to operate in its territory for the competing GLONASS system. The threat comes at the same time as another against NASA's use of the International Space Station, in retaliation to US sanctions.

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Credit card system in United States to shift away from magnetic strip

05/08, 11:05pm

Smart chip cards as found in Europe making way to customers in next 18 months

Credit cards in the United States will begin transitioning away from the aging technology of magnetic swipe strips in the next 18 months. Future cards will have embedded smart chips containing card data as well as a magnetic strip, much like the cards that are used in Europe and Canada. The system currently in place, that relies wholly on magnetic strips, is still used in Mongolia, parts of the Middle East, and Papua New Guinea.

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US Department of Commerce asks ICANN for DNS transition plan

03/15, 2:20pm

NTIA starts process to end DNS management, American monitoring in 2015

The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998, allowing ICANN to operate independently.

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Briefly: Nokia Refocus for all Lumias, Sony leads console race in US

03/14, 6:54am

Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8

Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.

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T-Mobile tweaks Simple Choice plans, changes data allocations

03/08, 9:14pm

Lower Simple Choice plans gain more data, new higher tier offered

T-Mobile in the United States has updated its Simple Choice price plans with a few changes. The amount of data available to customers on the carrier has both risen and fallen, depending on the tier of service, with all plans also gaining enhanced global data and text services in more countries, and the extra introduction of unlimited stateside international text messaging.

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Samsung details devices receiving Android KitKat in United States

02/18, 12:52pm

Majority of Galaxy S devices will get Android 4.4 update

Samsung has confirmed it will be bringing Android 4.4.2 to a large number of its mobile devices in the United States. The upgrade to Android KitKat, rumored last month, will apparently start rolling out to devices from today onwards, and while the timing will vary between carriers and individual devices, it will continue "throughout the coming months."

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HTC Advantage offers free screen replacement in first six months

02/18, 10:02am

Support scheme provides display repair, Google Drive storage

HTC is upgrading the level of support it provides customers in the United States, in its new HTC Advantage program. The improvements, teased on Valentine's day, include a commitment to offering the major Android updates for two years from the launch date of the device, as well as a free replacement display in the event the customer cracks the screen in the first six months of ownership.

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LG cuts price of 55-inch curved OLED TV from $15,000 to $7,000

02/10, 2:47pm

Price cut an attempt to grow OLED television market, claims LG

LG has lowered the cost of its curved OLED television in the United States, in an attempt to improve demand for OLED devices. The 55EA9800, a curved OLED Full HD television that went on sale in the US through Best Buy in July last year, is being cut down in price from the initial $15,000 down to $8,000, with an extra $1,000 rebate bringing the price down to $7,000.

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Sony to close Reader Store in North America

02/09, 3:15pm

Kobo to serve as e-book option for customers

In addition to getting out of the personal computing business and spinning off their television division, Sony will start dropping out the e-book business as well. In a press release from the company, Sony will be teaming up with Kobo in the United States and Canada in late March 2014, closing its Reader Store in the process.

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Secret surveillance court accepts two of Obama's NSA metadata reforms

02/07, 1:25pm

Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.

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Latest Snowden leaks claim NSA data collection from 'leaky' apps

01/27, 3:21pm

NSA,GCHQ allegedly claimed to collect information on individuals from mobile advertising

Intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly taking advantage of smartphone apps to collect a wealth of information about individuals, in new spying allegations. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are able to use the "leaky" nature of popular mobile phone apps to extract information about an individual, according to new leaked documents.

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Qualcomm acquires vast collection of Palm, Bitfone patents from HP

01/24, 5:30am

1,400 US patents and applications bought by Qualcomm

Processor producer Qualcomm has acquired a considerable haul of patents from HP, including some originally from the portfolios of iPAQ, Bitfone, and Palm. Though the sale price was not revealed by the company in a statement, it did reveal that the purchase includes approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending applications from the United States, and another 1,000 from other countries.

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Federal watchdog calls for end of NSA call log collection programs

01/23, 2:14pm

Collection programs such as Prism is illegal according to review board

An independent federal watchdog has decided that the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone call logging and collection activity is illegal. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advises that the call log collection provided "minimal" benefits to current counter-terrorism operations and should be stopped, in a 238-page report set to be released today.

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President Obama announces reforms to data collection methods of NSA

01/17, 12:45pm

Collected data to be handed to third party, judicial findings required for access

The United States government will reform the way it uses surveillance data, President Barack Obama has announced. Addressing concerns over the National Security Agency (NSA) and the various programs employed to monitor potential threats, Obama outlined a number of changes in how the data will be accessed by security agencies as he attempts to ease the concerns of US citizens.

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Motorola cuts Moto X price to $399, Moto G heads to Best Buy for $100

01/02, 6:40am

Price cut follows earlier discounts, Moto X flash sales

Motorola is making a bigger push for sales of its flagship Moto X in the United States, by giving it a permanent price cut. The change, coming after a number of similar discounts on the smartphone, comes at the same time as reports that its cheaper stablemate, the Moto G, is being sold at Best Buy for $100 on Verizon with no contract.

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Blu reveals $349 Life Pure smartphone with 5-inch 1080p display

12/22, 9:32pm

Unlocked device has quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM

Blu Products has launched another Android smartphone, just days after launching two other similar mobile devices in the United States. The Life Pure differs from the Studio 5.0 II and the Advance 4.0 in offering a five-inch Full HD 1080p display with a pixel density of 441 PPI, held within a single piece polycarbonate body that measures just 7.7mm thick.

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Moto X, Moto G orders in United States delayed by Winter Storm Dion

12/12, 6:20am

Adverse weather conditions slows production, shipping of smartphones

Deliveries of the Moto G and Moto X to customers in the United States have been delayed, because of adverse weather conditions. The manufacturing and shipping facility in Fort Worth, Texas was affected by "Winter Storm Dion," with the snow causing significant transportation issues for finished goods as well as for Motorola employees.

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PayPal launches online gift store, iTunes codes offered at first

12/03, 7:16am

Discounted iTunes codes wipe out PayPal gifts launch supplies

PayPal has launched an online gift store, with Apple as its only launch partner, in preparation for holiday season shopping. The PayPal Digital Gifts store, coming a week after the service provided support for prepaid credit cards, will allow existing PayPal users in the United States to buy gifts and gift cards to provide to other people.

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Huawei plans to leave United States market to help US-China relations

12/03, 6:22am

Persistent security claims by US officials behind market exit

Huawei is planning to pull out of the United States, according to an interview with CEO Ren Zhengfei. The head of the company is effectively giving up on the US market, following two years of criticism and intense scrutiny by the US government, along with accusations that the telecommunications company is helping the Chinese government spy on US citizens and businesses.

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Deezer music service to launch in US in 2014

11/22, 8:04am

French music streaming service avoided US because of intense competition

Paris-based Deezer will finally offer its music-streaming service in the United States. The service, which has launched in a number of other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe, will be available to use in the US sometime next year, though the company is reluctant to provide a final launch date until it can find another company to provide extra support.

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FCC proposes allowing cellular connections, calls during air travel

11/22, 7:20am

Proposal comes after FAA, EASA allows device use in flights

Passengers on flights in the United States may be allowed to use the cellular connection on their smartphones and tablets while traveling in the future. New proposals from the FCC come weeks after the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allowed device use at all stages of flight, and after the European Commission (EC) permitted 3G and 4G LTE connections during transit.

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Google opens six Winter Wonderlab pop-up shops across United States

11/18, 7:08am

Winter pop-up stores will showcase Google-based products

Google has opened up a total of six pop-up shops across the United States, which it calls the "Winter Wonderlab." The temporary stores are meant to promote Google's own devices, as well as those heavily associated with the company, with the centerpiece being large snow globes that can record slow-motion video of attendees surrounded by digital snow.

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Sony launches PlayStation 4 game console in United States

11/15, 6:50am

Sony PlayStation 4 lands in US, Europe to wait until November 29

Sony has launched the latest model in its line of game consoles in the United States. The PlayStation 4, on sale now before a later release on November 29 in Europe, is being priced by retailers at $400 for the console alone with a single touchpad-equipped DualShock 4 controller, though unlike the Xbox One and the Kinect, the Playstation 4 Eye is an optional purchase costing $60 on top.

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Nintendo bringing Wii Mini to United States in mid-November for $99

11/04, 1:06pm

Bundle includes console, Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuk, Mario Kart Wii

Nintendo is bringing the Wii Mini to the United States, a year after it first went on sale in Canada, and after a European release. Effectively a stripped-down version of the Wii, the Wii Mini will be going on sale later this month for $100, making it the second re-modelled console the company is launching in the US, after the Nintendo 2DS.

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Nintendo Wii shipments to Europe halted, US shipments unaffected

10/25, 1:50pm

North America to continue Nintendo Wii sales over holiday season

North America is the last major market to still receive shipments of the Nintendo Wii, after an announcement concerning European availability. Shipments of the game console to retailers in Europe have now ceased, following a similar announcement covering Japan earlier this week, but shipments of the motion-sensitive console to the United States will not be affected in any way.

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Briefly: LG G Pad 8.3 reaches US, Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro now available

10/17, 2:15pm

LG releasing G Pad 8.3 in United States on November 3rd

LG has put its G Pad 8.3 Android tablet heading to the United States, following its release in the United Kingdom and South Korea. The tablet, with an 8.3-inch 1920x1200 display, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 4,600mAh battery, will go on sale from November 3rd priced at $350.

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Square Cash launches in US, transfers money via e-mail

10/16, 7:28am

Entire payment transaction carried out over e-mail after registration

Payments system Square has opened up its e-mail-based money transfer service to users in the United States, added on top of its existing in-store and mobile paymentsservices . At the same time as widening availability of Square Cash after starting its beta in May, the company is releasing a pair of apps for iOS and Android that performs the same type of transaction as the e-mail version.

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Sony easing off US smartphone sales to improve Japan, European markets

10/11, 6:31am

Marketing efforts also a factor in Sony's change of priorities

Sony could be relaxing its push to release smartphones in the United States, in order to protect its sales in Japan and Europe. CEO Kaz Hirai advised that, in terms of smartphone sales, Sony's "biggest priority is maintaining our share in Japan or increasing it," as it attempts to fight off the rising popularity of the iPhone in its home country.

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FreedomPop launches free smartphone service in United States

10/01, 12:34pm

Free service offers 200 minutes, 500MB, 500 texts each month

Mobile data provider FreedomPop has launched its free cellular service for smartphones, one it revealed in July. The service, which provides a free allocation of data, voice minutes and text messages each month, similar to its existing free Internet hotspot service, with the carrier using Clearwire's WiMax 4G phone network for coverage.

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LG introducing two more Ultra HD TVs to US, cuts price on others

09/27, 6:26am

Curved OLED HDTV also sees price cut by LG in United States

LG is preparing to step up its Ultra HD television efforts in the United States, by planning to ship a pair of 4K-capable televisions. Already announced for release in South Korea, the two UHDTVs will be reaching the US later this month, alongside price cuts on existing UHD offerings, as well as its on-sale curved 55-inch OLED HDTV.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 pre-orders start Friday, out Oct. 10th

09/26, 10:16am

Wi-Fi models sold at first, 3G, 4G LTE versions in the future

Samsung has revealed it will be shipping the 2014 edition of its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in the United States next month. The updated large-screened tablet will be available to pre-order from midnight EST on September 27th, ahead of its October 10th shipping date, and though it will be available in 3G and 4G LTE versions in the future, only the Wi-Fi models will be going on sale at first.

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Sony reconsiders Asia-only PS Vita TV launch after 'strong response'

09/20, 11:42am

US, Europe release of PS Vita TV could happen, states Sony senior vice president

Sony is considering releasing its PlayStation Vita TV set-top box in the United States and European markets, following a "strong response" from gamers. The move effectively reverses an earlier report, where an executive claimed the company was "not planning" to release the device further afield than markets close to Japan, such as China and South Korea.

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Online Apple Store starts sales of iPhone 5s in United States

09/20, 4:45am

Gold version of iPhone 5s shows as shipping in October

Following sales opening in Australia, Asia, and Europe, Apple has started selling the iPhone 5s through its online store in the United States, hours before its expected retail release. While the iPhone 5c has been available to pre-order through the store since the 13th of September, and is also currently available to buy, this is the first time that the iPhone 5s is being sold through Apple itself.

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