Microsoft clearly is excited about the potential for its HoloLens platform to succeed in gaming, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella both promoting how augmented reality can boost the gaming experience. Microsoft hasn't disclosed gaming projects for its HoloLens platform, but gaming is expected to be a major effort to help push AR mainstream.
"It's also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 and HoloLens create," Nadella said during a Microsoft financial call. "Just imagine what is possible with Minecraft. Gaming truly is a valuable part of millions of people's lives and Microsoft will excel and increase our lead."
The HoloLens headset and Windows Holographic platform can be paired with video games to provide a unique environment - while Microsoft and Mojang have already created two HoloLens demonstrations that they look forward to launching.
The NSA and GCHQ might have the most developed spy programs uncovered by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, but recent documents reveal the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) project also has widespread surveillance operations. Canada is a member of the "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing network along with Australia, the United States, UK and New Zealand - though is often quieter regarding its operations.
The CSE "Levitation" program focused on 10 to 15 million uploads and downloads from free websites per day, designed to fight terrorism and defend national security.
"Every single thing that you do - in this case uploading/downloading files to these sites - that act is being archived, collected and analyzed," said Ron Deibert, director of the Internet security think tank Citizen Lab, in a statement to the CBC.
Professor Stephen Hawking and other leading experts might be concerned that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to mankind - but don't count Microsoft Research chief Eric Horvitz as one of the skeptics. Instead, Horvitz believes AI will be extremely beneficial to humans in the long-term, as AI research ramps up.
"There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences," Horvitz said in a statement to BBC. "I fundamentally don't think that's going to happen. I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we'll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life."
Microsoft has more than 1,000 scientists and engineers engaged in projects with its research department, and Horvitz disclosed a quarter of resources and focus are dedicated to AI-based projects.
Ideum has launched a new line of smart tables that will run either Windows or Android operating systems, and users can switch between the operating systems easily. The tables are available in 42 and 46-inch models, and they support a standard 1080p resolution. The Duet smart tables support up to 60 simultaneous touch points in Windows 8, and 12 touchpoints with Android. The table itself is built with aircraft aluminum and cold rolled steel, and the screen has an anti-glare coating.
The table top is only 2.4 inches thick and has a slim bezel on top. Internally the table features two independent computers that run different operating systems, and users can switch via a hardware or software switch on the table. For Android use the table sports a 2.0Ghz Rockchip RK3288 with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to power KitKat 4.4.
The table runs two different processors for Windows 8, depending upon the size of the table. A 3.2Ghz i5-4570R with onboard graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD, powers the 42 inch version. The 46-inch version is powered by a 3.5Ghz i7-4710 with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, but also employs a beefy NVIDIA GTX 760 CPU.
Ubisoft isn't going to win many customer appreciation awards with their recent move to ban game key licenses purchased through third-party key resellers. Sites such as G2A and Kinguin (among others) buy license keys in countries where prices are lower, then offer them for sale globally. Ubisoft isn't appreciative of the practice, so they took the step of wantonly deploying the Ubisoft Banhammer and revoking the keys. The problem with this approach is that it punishes the customer, instead of pursuing litigation or other methods against the resellers. In many cases, the user who purchased the key is unaware there is an issue with the practice.
G2A has taken to Facebook to respond, and first denied involvement in any wrongdoing, and then offered refunds on all keys purchased with G2A Shield. It is important to note that only G2A Shield customers are protected, and that other situations will be decided individually.
"As some of you may already know, steps have been taken to remove games purchased indirectly from a publisher, via main marketplaces in the web. G2A.COM is not in any case responsible for any of these procedures. However, we are well aware of this process and will do everything possible to compensate for that. For users who have made transactions without G2A Shield, we will check if the corresponding merchant was responsible for the withdrawal of the code. If so, these users will get a compensation. Any user who used G2A Shield affected by the current process will get either a new code for the game or the money back. G2A.COM will make every possible exertion to prevent this kind of procedures in the future and exclude merchants responsible for such incidents from the marketplace."
We are lucky enough here at TweakTown to be on the cutting edge of storage devices, and right now the bleeding edge is currently NVMe (Covered in our Defining NVMe article). As part of our standard testing, and also for daily operating system usage, we have been using NVMe SSDs for some time. The only problem has been spotty boot support. We have went through a merry-go-round of various motherboards to find models that will actually support booting an NVMe device, as none are officially certified as NVMe compatible...until now.
MSI has announced they are in fact the first consumer motherboard manufacturer to fully support NVMe. The compatible motherboards are confined to the 9 series chipset, but encompass the X99, Z97, and H97 models. Current users can head over to MSI to find a BIOS update for their motherboard that enables the functionality.
The new BIOS revisions support NVMe devices in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in 64-bit flavors. They also fully support booting from NVMe devices. Consumer-oriented NVMe devices are still in the pipeline and yet to be released. However, bleeding-edge enterprise devices can be used in a desktop environment if one has the cash to spare, so check out a review by our RAID expert Jon Coulter in standard desktop usage in his Intel DC P3700 800GB NVMe vs. Intel 730 Series SATA SSD RAID Report.
Hackers hijacked Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram accounts today, threatening to release naked pictures of the popular singer. Swift has bitten back, announcing on her Twitter that there are no 'nudes' to be had and the only way they could 'uncover' anything would be to use Photoshop.
After stating that her Twitter had been compromised though Tumblr, she later announced that her Instagram had also fallen victim. People are questioning if the superstar has been using the same password for multiple social media accounts, as it's uncommon to see a small amount of accounts compromised like this - usually its a singular service taken or its everything in one go.
The hacker-made tweets have now been deleted from her account and everything has gone back to normal. Seemingly Swift has been able to shake it off quite well - laughing in the face of the hackers.
We've already been warned of one major issue with smartwatch usage - Not only do the manufacturers all seemingly list a nightly-charge routine, but it seems likely that these devices will barely last a full working day idling without requiring a charging cable to be used.
Obviously this isn't optimal, with users often charging their smartphones daily alongside other portable devices including tablets. Apple have been reportedly aiming for a 19-hour window, alongside 2.5 to 4 hours when in constant use. This is a stark contrast to ASUS, who are apparently going to use a simplified chipset and mobile operating system to ensure extended use.
ASUS chairman Jonney Shih has proudly stated "the ZenWatch is defined by us as a companion of a smartphone, and we think it still has a lot of room for improvement," further commenting that "as a companion device, its central processing unit and operating system should be more simplified than the current version, so that I can use it for up to seven days on one charge, rather than for just two days."
According to Nikkei business daily, Sony is planning to cut another 1,000 workers from their mobile division in order to bring it back to profitability.
These layoffs are said to affect the European and Chinese branches, with the cuts expected to be made public knowledge soon as part of an announced restructuring plan. Rumors state that this information will be brought to light on February the 4th, during their quarterly result report.
After acquiring Sony Ericsson fully in 2012, Sony has been on the warpath to increase their smartphone operations with limited success. Q3 2013 results for Sony reported sales of $2.8 billion, showing a small 1 percent rise. This was coupled with reports that then mentioned Sony was thrown $27.56 billion into the red thanks to a "large write-off in the perceived value of the company's brand" as explained by PC World.
With over 50,000 current downloads, this free medical app for the Android platform is called Sleeping pills. Stated by their staff to send you to sleep in 10 minutes without the aide of tablets or special training, it's based on yoga breathing methods.
Released in January, this app is free and has just seen an iOS release - both versions are available in 25 different languages.
It's not some kind of wizardry, their press release claims that the app works by sending a beam of light to your ceiling. This light becomes brighter and darker, pulsating slowly. You must then match your breathing with the light pulsations, allowing for the production of cortisol to cease and for you to fall asleep.