Tim Conneally

Microtransactions are not the American way, says new data

A new report from app monetization company W3i says users 47 percent of the revenue earned from in-app purchases falls in the range of $9.99 to $19.99, somewhat disrupting the theory that a constant stream of tiny "microtransactions" is a viable profit model for mobile video games.

The "freemium" profit model has been immensely popular among mobile video game companies. It has been shown that mobile games earn more money when they are given away for free, but contain add-ons available only through in-game purchases.

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Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization update ties in new storage solutions

Open source enterprise software company Red Hat Inc on Wednesday released the latest version of its VMWare competitor, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.1. This is the first version upgrade the platform has received in nearly a year.

Red Hat offers a handful of improvements in this version, including support for as many as 160 logical CPUs and 2 TB of RAM per virtual machine, and support for the latest generation of x86-based processors. It also offers a revamped interface with a new Web admin portal, new reporting dashboard, and a new power user portal with resource quota capabilities for private cloud deployments.

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Cloud video editor WeVideo launches new simple UX

WeVideo on Tuesday unveiled an all-new mode for its video editing Web app geared toward the casual video shooter with little editing experience who needs to do quick and simple edits and share them on social media sites.

We first looked at WeVideo's freemium Web app when it launched last year. That app is still around in mostly the same form, only now it's known as "Timeline Mode." It lets users edit video and audio clips with stills, titles, and effects like one might expect from a free video editor.

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Qualcomm invests in Sharp to speed release of new low power mobile display

Qualcomm on Tuesday announced that it will become a minority shareholder in Japanese consumer electronics company Sharp via Qualcomm subsidiarly Pixtronix. The investment focuses on display technology and follows Qualcomm's long-running interest in new mobile display technology with a small energy footprint.

For the last three years, Qualcomm has shown off an impressive MEMS-based full-color e-reader screen called Mirasol which went into commercial production this year and now appears in e-readers from Hanvon, Bambook, and Kyobo.

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Redesigned SoundCloud comes out of beta with beefed up user engagement

Social audio-sharing site SoundCloud announced on Tuesday that the beta of its redesign is complete and that "Next SoundCloud" is now welcoming users from the public.

The redesign was first rolled out in private beta last May, and SoundCloud says it has helped increase user engagement by as much as 30 percent over the previous version.

What does that mean? For musicians, podcasters, and audio creators, it means quite a bit, actually. When a user navigates to one of the redesigned SoundCloud sites, they listen to 30 percent more sound (music, audio, whatever) than they did on the classic sites. Generally speaking, it's an update to the aesthetic of the site that propels increased usage.

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The social contract between business and society is in danger of breaking down, says Gartner

In a new report released under the Maverick Research brand on Monday, IT market research company Gartner said the Capitalist structure as we know it is being threatened by "Web-inspired values."

The next generation of workers, the study suggests, will have a more democratic and egalitarian approach to decision making, and the increasing gap between the elites and the "99 percent" will have to be bridged with new social technology.

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Tumblr worm automatically spreads hacker group's trolling gospel

Popular blogging site Tumblr is reportedly in the grips of a rapidly auto-reposting worm similar to the one that struck Twitter two years ago.

The worm's main symptom is a message from GNAA, a group of hackers whose exclusive purpose seems to be "annoyance warfare" and trolling. When users click on an infected Tumblr and they're logged in, the message is automatically reposted on their own page. Here is the message that hacked sites display: (WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE)

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Google buys startup BufferBox, the Amazon Locker of Canada

Friday, Canadian startup BufferBox announced it had been acquired by Google. The company deals in computerized delivery lockers similar to the Amazon Lockers that have been gradually rolling out across the United States. Currently, BufferBox only has locations in the Greater Toronto Area.

Last October, BufferBox posted a blog attempting to dispel rumors that they were battling Amazon over the idea.

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Major design upgrade hits web content recommendation app Prismatic

Prismatic, the six-month old app that builds custom newsfeeds based upon your social network interests and behavior, released a major design update to its web-based interface on Thursday.

After Prismatic determines the information most relevant to your interests, it presents you with a feed of stories. Each entry contains three kinds of information: The actual story, the story's "meta information" (topic, publisher, author, origin of recommendation) and the related social information (shares, likes, and the ability to share the story to Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.) In today's update, Prismatic has consolidated all meta information and social information into a single, smaller bar, and devoted more time to the story itself.

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There is no 'best browser' for blocking generic phishing attacks, says NSS

Phishing hook

Network testing and security analysis firm NSS Labs has released the third part of its comparative browser vulnerability study, this time focusing on phishing protection. The previous installations, released last September, focused on general malware blocking and click fraud.

NSS Labs observed Safari 5, Chrome 21, IE10, and Firefox 15 for ten days and found that the general phishing URL catch rate was pretty good across the board. In fact, the group said there is so little difference in the average block rate between the different browsers that one must "consider other factors, such as socially engineered malware blocking capabilities for qualitative differences in the security effectiveness of the browsers."

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Google Shopping lies to consumers, Microsoft says

Microsoft's search engine Bing launched an aggressive information campaign against Google on Wednesday, accusing the leading search engine of dishonesty in its shopping search functionality.

Earlier this year, Google Product Search was renamed Google Shopping. This name change was no superficial affair because Google was completely changing the business model of the service. Under Google Shopping, only retailers who paid for product listing would turn up in search results.

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SUSE Cloud adds support for Ceph distributed storage architecture

German Linux pioneer SUSE announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a partnership with Inktank to bring the Ceph Distributed Storage System to the SUSE Cloud private enterprise cloud platform.

Inktank made headlines last September when Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttlesworth put a million dollars behind the development of Ceph, so it could be used as a cheaper storage alternative to Amazon's S3 cloud storage.

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Red Hat launches OpenShift Enterprise for public, private, and hybrid cloud app development

Red Hat on Tuesday announced the general availability of OpenShift Enterprise, the company's Platform-as-a-Service offering first unveiled last May as a part of Red Hat's roadmap for 2013.

OpenShift Enterprise is a cloud application platform for enterprises that can handle public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. It is based upon the OpenShift Origin codebase which was used to power Red Hat's public cloud PaaS OpenShift Online. The platform offers developers a choice of languages (Java, PHP, Python, Ruby,) frameworks (Spring, Seam, Weld, CDI, Rails, Rack, Symfony, Zend Framework, Twisted, Django, Java EE), and application lifecycle tools.

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Did Google actually acquire Icoa?

Earlier today, a press release on PRWeb.com announced that Google had acquired Rhode Island Wi-Fi hotspot tech company Icoa Inc. This press release was reported upon by most of the reputable tech blogs, and the story was approved to run on BetaNews as well.

It now appears that Icoa was not acquired by Google, and that either the press release was released prior to internal approval, or someone spent at least $159 to fool the trigger-happy tech media with a bogus press release.

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Google acquires hotspot company Icoa, one of Boingo's long-running partners

Editor: This report may not be true. BetaNews awaits direct confirmation from Google.

Please read our updated story for more info. We apologize to our readers.

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