If you've been on the hunt for a OnePlus One smartphone, then be sure to mark Monday, October 27 on your calendar. The new pre-order system will be based on a first-come, first-serve sale of the company's current inventory, so it's possible many customers will have to wait until later to get their hands-on a OnePlus One.
OnePlus previously provided invites in batches of 20,000 and 30,000, ensuring its servers will be ready for an anticipated wave of pre-orders. During the one-hour time window starting at 11:00 EST on October 27, consumers can pre-order the 16GB $299.99, or 64GB $349 device - in an effort to continue driving demand for the smartphone.
"... We believe that we're forcing positive change within our industry by increasing consumer choice and building better quality products. This is why we have to be conservative and only produce the amount of devices we're 100% sure will be sold," the OnePlus blog noted.
Cybercriminals targeting free and open source software continue to rattle developers and consumers, with high-profile attacks hitting security flaws that should have been resolved. Specifically, the Heartbleed and Shellshock exploits have led to an increased demand from private companies and the U.S. government to step up programming assistance, but that hasn't been well received among many open source developers. However, it has provided a much-needed wakeup call that open source software should be monitored more closely to prevent such high-profile breaches.
"It's going to be a wake-up call for a lot of people to understand why we aren't auditing this software better," said Greg Martin, Threat Stream Inc founder and chief technology officer. "Everybody's been scratching their heads and saying, 'How could we miss this?'"
Hackers are increasingly organized - and well-funded - and that has made it difficult to defend against attacks, especially open source software. In theory, open source software provides a much larger pool of developers to help fix flaws, but others say proprietary software is more secure since the code is closed off from the public.
The current state of TV is evolving and has led to established companies testing out direct-to-consumer services away from costly cable and satellite bundles. Both HBO and CBS recently announced online video subscription services, providing viewers with another way to watch content. Other content broadcasters are expected to follow suit, despite pressure from cable and satellite providers that offer premium subscription packages - in a continually evolving market.
Beyond HBO and CBS, the WWE wrestling brand, UFC mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, and other established brands now have their own online on-demand video services.
As more American consumers begin to watch programs online, the future of TV content appears to be online - at the expense of cable and satellite providers - which could be even more disruptive in the future. Consumers can also choose Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other online video services that provide TV episodes, movies, and exclusive content for their subscribers.
Professional gaming is a booming market in South Korea, with thousands of fans attending live tournaments - and millions watching over the Internet - as major tournaments offer large cash prizes. The recent League of Legends World Championships, held at the World Cup Stadium in South Korea, offered a championship title and a $1 million prize. The team of Samsung White won the top prize, with member ages ranging from 17 to 21 years old.
"Most of the biggest championships are won by Chinese and Koreans simply because the number who go at it in a professional manner and everything aside are from those two countries," said Peter Warman, NewZoo CEO. "In the west that's difficult, in the west many wouldn't say e-sports is everything in their life, but in China and South Korea they would say it."
Along with heavy promotion of e-sports tournaments, Korea also has some of the leading pro gamers in the world - whether talking of strategy games or first-person shooters - and should only grow in popularity further.
From Software's Bloodborne reportedly looks graphically stunning, serving as a Sony PlayStation 4 game console exclusive. When released to gamers, Bloodborne will reportedly run at 1080p/30fps, and will be released in North America on February 6, 2015.
"The way it looks; just off the charts to me," said Scott Rohde, PlayStation software product development head at Sony Worldwide Studios America. "It has, I've said this before... there's a certain, like, wetness to that game. I don't know what other word to use. It just feels like everything is dripping and oozing with whatever it is - it's water, it's blood, it's whatever it is; and it just looks gorgeous."
If Sony is so impressed with Bloodborne, it's possible it will be promoted during the PlayStation Experience event in December, especially as Sony prepares to promote some of its 2015 game title lineup.
Futuremark recently opened up its PCMark for Android software to members of the press, and found that the NVIDIA Shield, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Note III lead Android smartphones and tablets based on performance. PCMark for Android tests everyday activities on Android-based devices, including Web browsing, watching videos, working with texts, and photo editing.
Based on battery life, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG (8 hours, 09 minutes), Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (7 hours, 48 minutes), and OnePlus One (7 hours, 40 minutes) lead the way, based on PCMark for Android.
PCMark for Android is a realistic approach to benchmarking Android smartphones and tablets, using native APIs instead of abstract algorithms. A free version should be released on Google Play before the end of the month.
The Gigi robot is using its high-powered ultraviolet lights to help combat the spread of Ebola, able to blast UV light 25,000 times more powerful than natural sunlight, researchers say. Priced at $104,000 per robot, there are only a few units currently available, but has great potential in killing DNA in the virus. The robot uses xenon light rather than mercury bulbs, providing a healthier, more environmentally friendly solution.
"We can clean and disinfect a room (by hand) to an 85% level, but when we use the ultraviolet light we can clean that room to 99.9%," said Dr. Ray Casciari, St. Joseph Hospital pulmonary disease specialist. "This is the future of hospitals because 85% is not enough."
Due to Ebola cases in the United States, along with thousands of patients dying in West Africa, medical researchers hope technology can help prevent widespread infection. Created by Xenex Disinfection Services, a Texas-based company, Gigi was used in a Texas patient's treatment area to help prevent Ebola from spreading to other locations of the hospital.
Police authorities in Australia seized a Bit2Bit bitcoin ATM during a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking network bust, according to reports. The raid was targeting the Bandidos motorcycle gang, accused of high-level drug trafficking, and was the culmination of a two-year investigation. The ATM was located in the South Brisbane Roastery Café, and was the first ATM in Queensland, with investigators conducting a forensics search of the seized machine.
It's unknown if the ATM was used by gang members to help conduct drug-related business, including potential money laundering.
"The arrested individual has no relationship to Bit2Bit Holdings Pty Ltd.," according to a statement released by Bit2Bit. "he is not a shareholder, either directly, or indirectly. Rouge Coffee, and The Roastery Cafe do not own, or operate the ATM. The ATM is the sole property of Bit2Bit and is operated by us. The ATM does not allow large volume transactions. Bit2Bit's staff have been instructed to cooperate fully with any legal requests they get from the police."
Microsoft is just a few weeks away from launching a smartwatch, in an effort to join in on a booming consumer business sector, according to a report published by Forbes. The device will be able to track the wearer's heart rate and can be used on multiple mobile platforms, with a battery life of over two days.
It appears Microsoft wants to launch the device in time for the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season, as the wearable market is expected to dramatically grow. In the past, Microsoft had its Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) technology, but the market has significantly evolved since then. The company wants to promote Windows and other Microsoft products across a wider variety of products, and this could be a good step forward.
The smartwatch market has a number of different appealing models for consumers, including the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, and products from other companies.
Even with FBI Director James Comey speaking out against Google and Apple providing encryption security on smartphone devices, Apple shipped its Yosemite OS with FileVault by default. The FBI - and other government agencies - are worried that encryption will prevent law enforcement from cracking down on criminals... or so they say.
"With Apple's new operating system, the information stored on many iPhones and other Apple devices will be encrypted by default," Comey recently said. "Shortly after Apple's announcement, Google announced plans to follow suit with its Android operating system. This means the companies themselves won't be able to unlock phones, laptops, and tablets to reveal photos, documents, email, and recordings stored within."
It's impressive to see Google, Apple and other tech companies trying to put customers first - as many users become more concerned about security - and not listening to the FBI's rather questionable concerns.