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SpecTech: Microsoft scams and freemium fun

I hope everyone had a fun Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday. In this issue, announcements from Microsoft, EA wants to give you free stuff and more iPhone 5 and iPad 3 rumors.

Microsoft announced that thousands of users’ Xbox LIVE email accounts had been sent a scam email. The email promised free Microsoft Points for a small survey; those who entered their information included their bank account information.

The people who sent out the scam gathered an estimated $155 from each person, taken in small amounts. Microsoft wanted to ensure its users that Xbox had not been hacked like Sony, but that it was directly by email, not the network.

As an update to a pervious story of mine and an update from Microsoft, the new Xbox Dashboard update will be coming out Dec. 6. The update will come out with the new Dashboard interface, Bing search, Facebook integration and the option for cloud storage. They announced that all of their new streaming services will be released later in the season.

Microsoft also wants to know if you want a table-top PC. They have released their pre-orders for their newest table-top tablet PC for $8,400 that will release in the spring of 2012. The tablet PC is designed to be for large companies but is available to the people who want it. It seems to be running Windows 7 Operating System.

If you really love all the Droid phones, then get ready; just six months after the Droid 3, it seems that the Droid 4 is coming out Dec. 8 on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The phone will have a slide-out keyboard with a 4 inch touch screen. It might be running on Android 4.0: Ice-cream Sandwich, but that is not clear. It will have 1 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.2GHz dual-core possessor.

EA wants to give you games for free, but they still want your money. EA is jumping on the “freemium” bandwagon. What this means is that they give you a game for free, but you pay extra for more maps, weapons, skills, ect.

EA currently has four apps for free on the Apple App store, but wants to make it fourteen by March. Barry Cottle, executive vice president and general manager of EA, says that this is the way of the future. We will no longer have Apps above 99 cents because they do not sell very well. Items that are purchased in the game enhance the experience, so you pay as you go. EA is currently developing a freemium version of Battlefield 3 for iOS.

Until the next Apple devices arrive we will be hearing rumors until they debut. The latest rumor for the iPad 3 is that it will be slightly thinker that the iPad 2 so that it can incorporate a dual-light bar backlighting system to have a higher revolution display.

The next iPhone rumor is that it will have a 4 inch screen. In a strange rumor they claim that the entire body of the phone will be made of metal, not glass. Also, it is slated to release in the summer of 2012.

I hope that everyone has enjoyed the addition of Spec Tech to The Spectator. If you would like to see improvements to this section, please email me at smsetser@valdosta.edu. Also if you get any cool tech for Christmas and would like to share your opinion with me please email me.

I wish everyone good luck on your finals and have a great winter vacation. Hope to see you back here next semester!

All sources from Cnet.com, IGN.com, and Xbox.com

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