There's some news floating around that Valve could soon offering game sharing through Steam according to the latest Steam Beta. A NeoGAF forum member has unveiled three lines of code that suggest Valve will offer this game sharing feature through Steam in the future.
This would allow a Steam gamer to loan their game to a friend, which would be an awesome feature to add to Steam. The code lists two UI messages to the owner and the borrower of the game, which appear to imply that only one person can play the game at one time, which is fine by me - the ability to loan games through Steam is something unique, and very cool of Valve. More details:
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText" "This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library."
ExtremeTech has taken it a step further by stating that Valve will make an official announcement in the coming weeks or months, something we here at TweakTown we'll be waiting for with excitement.
Sitting at Starbucks sipping on a coffee while enjoying their free Wi-Fi? You'll now be shown a free trial offer which will give you access to Google Play Music All Access. The deal started this week, which saw the two companies partnering up to connect Starbucks' free Wi-Fi offer promotional deals to content on Google Play.
Starbucks will now be displaying an advertisement for Google Play Music All Access, where they will be promoting features of Google's music service and offering a click-through for a free trial. Clicking through will offer up a full browser page where you'll see the full features of the service, offering a 30-day free trial. It also offers the same $7.99 discounted price when signing up before June 30, but doesn't offer this deal beyond Starbucks customers.
So, Valve Time have gone elbows deep into project management and bug tracking software, Jira, finding evidence of multiple internal projects at Valve. This includes Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3 and Source 2, as well as many other games.
Valve left a metaphorical window open to Jira, which allowed people to access Valve's internal tickets, but were quick to shut it down of course - Valve Time, were able to turn on Bullet Time, and save some of this information for us to all get lady boners over. There's evidence for Half-Life 3 which includes a mailing list of 42 people, but Valve have given the HL3 project around 300 people to get down and dirty with.
Left 4 Dead 3 is mentioned, which suggests a third outing in the Left 4 Dead franchise is in development. The next nugget is Source 2. We know this is in development, and I've theorised that Valve will unveil Source 2 on their Steam Box, along with Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3 and other games. Check out Valve Time's post for more information.
It looks as though AT&T customers will be able to get the HTC One Mini. The HTC One, or the larger brother of the One Mini, has been heralded as the best Android smartphone to date. The Mini will hopefully follow in the footsteps of its big brother and continue to provide a premium Android experience with a slightly smaller screen.
The HTC One Mini is reported to feature a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 720x1280. It will also feature a dual-core processor and UltraPixel camera. It's rumored to be launching in August. According to a report that cites a source close to HTC, AT&T will be getting the smaller Android handset whenever it debuts.
Are you a good bug finder? You might be able to collect a nice paycheck from Microsoft. Microsoft has offered up $100,000 as a top prize for finding an exploit that allows you to bypass the protections built into Windows 8.1. The time frame for this bounty program is ongoing and requires a truly novel exploitation technique.
Microsoft has offered up an additional $50,000 if you provide defensive ideas along with the Mitigation Bypass bug, bringing your grand total to $150,000. This time frame is also ongoing.
Microsoft isn't just concerned with Windows 8.1 security. They have also offered up 30 days to submit critical vulnerabilities found in Internet Explorer 11 Preview on Windows 8.1 Preview. This period will go from June 26 to July 26, 2013. Qualifying bugs are worth up to $11,000.
MakerBot, one of the hobbyist 3D printer manufacturers, has been acquired by Stratasys, a major global player in the professional 3D printing market. Stratasys makes 3-D printers capable of printing objects as solid as plastic injection molded objects with incredible resolution.
MakerBot, meanwhile, produces lower cost options for those who want 3D printing at home. MakerBot isn't going away and will likely benefit from this merger. According to the company's blog post, "MakerBot's mission remains the same and will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary within Stratasys, once the transaction is complete."
We're excited to see what will come of this merger. Hopefully we will see cheaper, better 3D printers that are easier to use.
This could put a damper on the positive press that Sony has been receiving after E3 from the media and gamers alike. One gamer wrote, "You'd think they test these things out, right?" Unfortunately for gamers, Sony has limited resources and time to test updates. Considering it has only affected a "small number" globally, it's unlikely they would have caught it, even with extensive testing.
Sony will hopefully find the problem--and a fix for those affected--quickly. Until then, Sony asks that you wait for an official fix and adds that it "apologizes for the inconvenience."
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Microsoft and Nokia were close to striking a deal that would see Microsoft acquiring Nokia's device business. According to sources familiar with the matter, talks were taking place as recently as this month, though they are unlikely to be revived after Microsoft walked away.
The two companies were reportedly close to an oral agreement over the acquisition before talks broke down. The deal would have likely made use of Microsoft's off-shore cash piles that amount to nearly $66 billion. This would have been great for Microsoft because it would have incurred a massive tax bill to bring the cash home.
Trolls, arm your picture stores, Facebook has just unleashed native photo comments. This means you'll now be able to reply directly with that hilarious or trolling picture instead of linking to an outside source. The change will initially roll out to web users, though we expect it to make it through all platforms.
The roll out started today, but that doesn't mean that you will have the ability right away. It's rather simple to reply with an image: in the usual "Write a comment..." box, there is a new little camera icon on the right. Simply click that and pick an image to attach to the comment.
Facebook has an event scheduled for tomorrow, but it's not exactly clear what they will unveil. Facebook's recently introduced #hashtags and this newly released photo reply will certainly add to Zuckerberg's speech, but they certainly aren't the next "big idea." Stay tuned to TweakTown tomorrow to learn just what Facebook is planning.
RBC analyst Mark Sue expects BlackBerry to sell 14 million BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013. This is an increase in the firm's previous predictions for BlackBerry sales. In addition to increasing their forecast for this year, RBC has also boosted their estimates for Q1 2014 to 3.5 million from 2.75 million.
While these sales numbers pale in comparison to the latest Galaxy or iPhone, it does show that the device is doing alright. Sue expects BlackBerry to be able to reach "near-term profitability." BlackBerry still has just around 3 percent of the market, but it could be making a successful turnaround, something not all companies are capable of doing.
Contrary to rumors from the rumor mill, at least one analyst believes that the next-gen iPad mini will not feature a Retina display. He believes that the Retina-equipped iPad mini will be coming sometime in 2014. The analyst in question is Richard Shim from NPD DisplaySearch.
Taking a critical eye towards his predictions, a few problems appear. Since we're already in the second part of 2013, it seems unlikely that Apple would launch a major upgrade to the iPad mini in early 2014 as predicted. It also seems like a large oversight for Apple to neglect the iPad mini.
We'll see sometime in the fall whether or not Apple will be equipping the iPad mini with a Retina display. As always, take this with a grain of salt.
Java is notoriously full of security holes, with several being exploited earlier this year and sending Oracle scrambling to patch them up. Oracle's latest Java patch brings with it fixes for some 40 security holes. Because of all of the security patches, Oracle recommends that you apply the patch as soon as possible.
34 of those major security fixes are in the client distribution of Java 7. Of those 34, eleven were given the highest security risk score from Oracle's Common Vulnerability Scoring System. This patch is important to apply as all but three of the exploits are exploitable over the network without any authentication.
Eric Maurice, Oracle's Director of Software Assurance:
Oracle recommends that this Critical Patch Update be applied as soon as possible because it includes fixes for a number of severe vulnerabilities. Note that the vulnerabilities fixed in this Critical Patch Update affect various components and, as a result, may not affect the security posture of all Java users in the same way.
Microsoft has decided to reverse course on their controversial DRM requirements that have drawn heavy criticism from gamers and the media alike. Microsoft has confirmed reports by other media outlets that the 24-hour check-in policy has been dropped, along with various other changes.
Microsoft probably explains it best:
So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:
An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console - there will be no regional restrictions.
Technology to track fast moving objects is currently being developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo. This new technology promises to revolutionize sports coverage as it is able to quickly track fast moving baseballs, soccer balls, and footballs. Researchers have started field trials to see if it will perform as well outside as it has in the lab. If successful, this technology could be broadcast ready in just two years.
The system uses lenses and mirrors combined with a fast-tracking system to keep the ping-pong ball in focus and centered in the frame. It follows the movement rather than trying to predict it. This same technology could also be used in conjunction with a projector. The projector could, well, project an image onto the item being tracked, potentially turning your ping-pong ball into an emoji.
GameStop has officially stopped accepting pre-orders for the upcoming Xbox One because they have hit their limit. What's interesting about this is that it shows that Microsoft may not be having too much of an issue selling the Xbox One, despite numerous issues raised by the media and still unanswered by Microsoft. GameStop is still taking pre-orders for the PlayStation 4, however.
So, is the Xbox One truly that hot of a commodity? It would appear that it's not. Microsoft has given way fewer allocations to the individual stores than Sony has given PS4 allocations. For instance, one store that received just 16 Xbox One units also received 60 PlayStation 4 units. It's not clear whether Microsoft is facing supply issues or if they are attempting to make the illusion that the Xbox One is popular.
If you are interested in getting the Xbox One, GameStop will no longer accept pre-orders unless they receive a larger allocation. You might want to get your pre-order in with someone who still has units while they still have those units.
Lenovo has just announced its latest Windows 8 Ultrabook and is targeting it at the small business market. The ThinkPad S531 is a 15.6-inch screen notebook that features a unique single unified hinge that allows it to lie flat at 180 degrees.
The display is not touchscreen, however users will have to interact with the OS using the five button glass pad below the keyboard. Unfortunately the S531 features Intel's third-generation Ivy Bridge processor and no models available with the current generation Haswell CPU line.
It does have USB 3.0 connectivity and available docking system, as well as an optional fingerprint reader. The keyboard is backlit with Windows 8 specific shortcut keys, as well as being spill resistant. This means you will no longer have to panic when accidentally tipping over your morning coffee.
This morning Kim Dotcom has taken the Twitter to report that the US government and Leaseweb have deleted the entire collection of Megaupload files that were hosted on Leaseweb servers. This equates to millions of personal files being deleted without warning and without cause.
Kim Dotcom says that petabytes of pictures, backups, personal and business files were all deleted back in February without prior warning to him or his lawyers. "This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet," Dotcom wrote on Twitter.
Dotcom's lawyers have repeatedly asked Leaseweb not to delete the Megaupload servers while court proceedings were pending in the US as that data was essentially evidence in the massive case against Dotcom. His counsel even went as far as asking the DOJ to release some of Megaupload's frozen assets so that they could buy all the servers containing the Megaupload data, unfortunately they refused and now all of Dotcom's evidence is gone.
This morning HTC unveiled a new Android-based smartphone dubbed the Butterfly S. HTC says that the new phone is built around uncompromised performance, as well as modern design cues, with usability in mind.
Featuring a full HD 1080p 5-inch Super LCD 3 display, the Butterfly S packs in a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, as well as 2GB of RAM. The phone also features HTC's 4-megapixel camera with Ultrapixel technology. A 2.1-megapixel camera is also present on the front of the device to aid in taking all those selfies.
The Butterfly S features a 3200 mAh battery, which HTC says will deliver 3.5 days of continuous music playback. The device runs Android Jelly Bean, but it is unclear if it is version 4.2.1 or 4.2.2 of the firmware.
The phone will hit Taiwan in July and there is no word yet on if it will be coming to the US, UK or Australia in the future.
Sony recently released a firmware patch for its PlayStation 3 console. Normally this is not too noteworthy, but this latest patch is rendering the consoles dead in the water. Sony has taken the patch down, but just in case do not download any update or patches with a version number of 4.45.
The patch was originally supposed to add support for turning off achievements and trophy notifications, however after updating and rebooting, many users found that their PS3 would no longer boot into the main menu of the console. A smaller portion of users reported that they were not able to even turn off the box after the update and the only option was to pull the power cable.
Sony has released a statement to address users who have been affected by the problem:
"We are aware of reports that the recent PlayStation 3 system software update (version 4.45) has caused the XMB to not display on a small number of PS3 systems. We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating the cause of the problem. We will announce when the system update is available for download as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience."
Crittercism have just launched their new Fathom Mobile Command Center, which can help companies in many ways. With the growing digital lifestyles that not only consumers live in, but businesses have to build to sustain those consumers, the behind-the-scenes app development and maintenance headaches also grow.
This is where Crittercism is here to help with their new platform that will improve companies' mobile app strategy for the long-term. Fathom is the first solution that is capable of monitoring and reporting how third-party services and network conditions affect the performance of iOS and Android. In order to help companies manage the performance of their iOS- or Android-based apps, Fathom provides powerful tools that allow these companies to not only understand, but address these performance issues within any consumer, business-to-business or employee-facing application.
Crittercism's new Fathom Mobile Command Center will show each factor affecting app performance for each individual app session where an issue is encountered. This provides, as you can imagine, a huge understanding to mobile teams and developers who are looking to improve to overall app experience - be it consumers, or business partners, or both. Mobile teams can then use Fathom to monitor app performance in real-time, which is a nice touch.