Blog Posts by Tecca

  • The web's largest retailer shows off its new hardware

    At an event held in Santa Monica today, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos took the stage to officially debut the company's brand new Kindles. First up was the bread and butter of the Kindle namesake: the e-reader.

    Kindle Paperwhite

    Enter the all-new Kindle Paperwhite — an e-reader that features a patented lighting technology which is the first of its kind. The Paperwhite weighs just 7.5 ounces and measures a skinny 9.1mm in thickness. The battery life clocks in at a very impressive 8 weeks, even with the light turned on. The backlight can be adjusted to fit the ambient light in the room.

    Aside from the new backlight, the screen itself is sharper than current Kindle models, featuring 62% more pixels. This allows additional small touches to be added to the display, including a new feature that tells the reader how much time is left in the book or current chapter.

    The Paperwhite comes in wifi and 3G enabled flavors. The wifi-only version carries a modest $119 price tag, while the 3G model will sell

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  • American astronaut Sunita Williams sets a record in the process

    In a move that would make famed TV improviser MacGyver proud, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) managed to replace a crucial component with the help of an ordinary toothbrush and some spare parts. Members of the station's current crew came up with the fix after initially failing to get a bolt secured during an epic eight-hour spacewalk last week.

    Two astronauts had been trying to replace a power switching component necessary for routing electricity from two of the station's eight solar arrays to various systems. Unable to secure it to the station, they were forced to tie it down using temporary straps. Believing that one of the two bolt holes on the part was probably filled with metal shavings, they looked for a solution and landed on a toothbrush attached to a makeshift pole and a can of compressed nitrogen.

    During a second spacewalk, astronauts Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide were able to remove the obstructing filings using a combination of the brush and

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  • Criminal masterminds, these guys are not

    Is there some great big secret buried in Mitt Romney's old tax returns? Though the Republican candidate for president has made his most recent years' returns public, Democrats have been demanding he release them all, presumably so they can mine the forms for things to attack him over. But maybe it's not Democrats Romney has to worry about: A group of computer hackers claim to have stolen Romney's tax returns from accounting firm PWC, and are threatening to release them to the public if the former Massachusetts governor does not fork over a million dollars.

    According to the hackers, the break-in occured at a Tennessee PWC office on August 25. They claim to have gained access to the third floor via a man who works in the building. Once inside, the team allegedly entered a second floor suite containing a number of Mitt Romney's tax documents. The thieves supposedly copied all Romney's available financial documents, put them on encrypted flash drives, and mailed them to the local

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  • This 393-foot boat will set you apart from the rest of the mega-rich

    If you've been feeling jealous of your neighbor's $155 million, 247-foot Anastasia 813, your boat has just come in. Designed by Dutch company Icon Yachts, the Expose is a 393-foot "super yacht" concept that features — among other luxury amenities — two separate helicopter landing pads. Because you can never have enough of those on your boat.

    Stating that "there is an increased demand for these type of Super Yachts," the company hopes to distinguish its offering from competitors' by adopting a highly sleek, sports car style design for the boat. On the inside, it features a space for showcasing an actual sports car, a helicopter hangar, a movie theater, a walk-in humidor, a wine cellar, and a glass-bottom pool. If exploring beneath the waves is your sort of thing, the ship can be ordered with an optional 28-foot submarine.

    This boat sounds like the perfect way to transport yourself from the mainland to your own private island. If you've been looking for something along these lines and

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  • Bitfloor founder ceases operation until server hack can be resolved

    Bitfloor, the largest Bitcoin exchange market in the US, is temporarily halting trading until further notice after an attack on their system that led to hackers running away with US$250,000 worth of Bitcoins.

    If you've ever dabbled in online gaming cash shops, you may be familiar with what a Bitcoin is. Essentially, the service allows netizens to make virtual money transactions without exposing their bank information. This was set up to be a safer alternative to throwing your credit card number all over the internet, ironically enough, but this server compromise shows that nothing's safe in the world of online currency transactions. In fact, this isn't the first time Bitcoin has been in the news for stolen currency shenanigans.

    Bitfloor founder Roman Shtylman penned a heart-felt forum post to the service's users, explaining that a compromise of this magnitude demands nothing less than halting current transactions immediately and blocking further transactions until this issue can be

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  • Has the news media gone too far this time?

    First, they came for Mitt Romney. Then they came for the Mars landing. After that, they brought down the Hugo Science fiction awards. Now, copyright holders have taken aim and successfully removed YouTube video of last night's Democratic National Convention (DNC) coverage, incorrectly assuming they had the right to.

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 law that requires sites like YouTube to promptly respond to accusations of copyright infringement. Today, those accusations are usually leveled by automated bots that scour popular uploaded clips for content that might be uploaded without the owner's permission. Charges are made by computer programs and responded to by computer programs, so content is inappropriately removed all the time.

    This particular takedown request was made by a news agency. Specifically, the YouTube live stream page for the DNC read: "This video contains content from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The

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  • Despite their courtroom stumbles, Samsung is scoring some major sales achievements

    What's the most popular smartphone in all the land? Given that we're mere days away from the introduction of the iPhone 5, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's Apple's flagship iPhone 4S that takes top honors. But for the first time ever, the iPhone 4S has been knocked off its perch by rival Samsung.

    Though Apple may have beaten Samsung in court, it appears that Samsung is beating Apple in the marketplace. According to an August marketing survey, customers at Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all prefer the Samsung Galaxy S III to the iPhone 4S. Apple's smartphone still has some cachet with AT&T customers, but its not enough to knock the Galaxy S III out of the number one position nationwide.

    Why is the Samsung Galaxy S III making waves on the top smartphone charts? Well, simply put, it's a great phone — Tecca recently rated the Samsung Galaxy S III a 4 out of 5. But more to the point, the Galaxy S III is a newer phone, released earlier this summer, and capable of taking advantage of 4G

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  • Touchscreen home phone looks cool, but is it?

    It's sort of like a smartphone — only you can't take it with you

    Touchscreens have become an integral part of mobile phones over the years, setting them apart both in function and appearance from home phones. Now Philips is blurring the line between the two by introducing a new landline handset that uses a 3.5-inch touchscreen in lieu of physical buttons and even features some basic note taking functions.

    Called a "premium cordless phone" by Philips, the S10 lets you browse contacts, take notes, and receive alerts about calendar events using its full-color screen. Answering, hanging up, and accessing the phone's menu is done using physical buttons. The phone is actually designed to work with smartphones via bluetooth, letting you use its handset to make and receive calls if you want. Still, the touchscreen seems like more of a novelty than anything in this case since its use is so limited.

    We're not too sure who the market for the S10 is, but given its technology this premium cordless phone will likely carry a premium price. If you're someone who

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  • Is it impossible to keep tech-savvy teens safe online? A glance at several news headlines lately sure makes it look that way. One in particular caught my eye, a report that says kids are lying about what they're doing online in record numbers. It's enough to make even the most passive parent sweat.

    But what's missing from all this news is what we as modern parents can and should do about it. Truth is, we're not as helpless — or hopeless — as you might think.

    Teens deceiving parents
    A recent survey released by internet software company McAfee showed that 70% of teens hide online behavior from parents. What they're hiding is mostly typical teen-age stuff like taking a peek at violence or porn. But some teens also reported lying, cheating, stealing, hacking, sharing sexy photos, and even cyberbullying. Yikes. This is scary online behavior for young ones that could follow them the rest of their lives, even preventing them from getting into college or landing a job.

    Here's the cold, hard

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  • That's one way to get 'something blue' into your ceremony!

    Social media is taking over the world. The latest conquest: weddings. Cengizhan Celik and Candan Canik of Turkey got married and exchanged their vows over Twitter. The happy pair "wanted to have a little surprise," according to the groom, who works as the social media editor of a Turkish news site.

    The mayor of Istanbul district Uskuddar officiated the ceremony with a tweet to the bride and groom asking if they took each other as husband and wife. The pair passed an iPad between them and tweeted back "evet," which is Turkish for "yes." Check out the whole exchange of vows in the video above.

    Of course, weddings are a great time for couples to show their quirky sides. Our own Tecca news editor Mike had an awesome Mario Kart-themed wedding cake. We've also seen very geeky proposals happen on music streaming service Pandora and 8-bit video game favorite Minecraft.

    This article was written by Anna Washenko and originally appeared on Tecca

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