The Google Glass wearable could be losing support from early adopters and supporters, as Google pushed back a consumer launch. Wearables have a great opportunity for business and military use, but widespread consumer adoption could prove difficult, especially if developers are jumping ship. Nine out of 16 Glass app makers recently said they have dropped Glass-related projects, with three others shifting from consumer to business focus.
"We are completely energized and as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent," said Chris O'Neill, Google Glass Head of Business Operations. "We are committed as ever to a consumer launch. That is going to take time and we are not going to launch this product until it's absolutely ready."
Whether it's Glass or some type of wrist-worn wearable, the entire wearables market receives a lot of media attention - and analysts expect the industry to develop its success in the coming years. However, software and hardware developers must be ready to invest time and money into wearables, knowing that an immediate return on investment (ROI) is unlikely.
Sony PlayStation 4 gamers have experience trouble with the PlayStation Network, and company officials recently apologized for the sporadic problems. More than 13.5 million PS4 units have been sold since the console's launch, and the PSN's struggling network isn't too surprising - and Sony is scrambling to try to prevent additional network problems in the future.
"Listen: We're really, really apologetic," said Michael Ephraim, SCE Australia managing director. "Dealing with network and digital - I'm not trying to spread or deflect anything, but dealing on such a robust network is a tricky experience. The good thing is we've launched 2.01, which has fixed the Rest Mode, and has fixed the YouTube app. It was very unfortunate. We hate that. The network was down during the 2.0 release. It's very unfortunate. Those things are gonna happen over time. We're not bulletproof on those things."
Sony and BioWare have worked to fix a serious bug that hit Dragon Age: Inquisition gamers, with the PSN blamed for the problem.
Privacy experts would like to see GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan stop criticizing technology companies and be more open about British government surveillance activities. Hannigan previously said digital privacy is not an "absolute right" for Internet users, and wants tech companies to essentially stop aiding terrorists.
"Given everything we've learned in the past 18 months, he chose not to address at all the very serious things that GCHQ stand accused of: blanket surveillance of the UK population with public knowledge and without parliamentary knowledge, [and] receiving warrantless bulk intercepts from the NSA on US and people around the world," said Annie Machon, former MI5 intelligence officer and whistleblower.
Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures regarding widespread - and organized - NSA and GCHQ spying practices, there has been continued criticism of government agencies.
The Romanian hacker known as "Guccifer," Marcel Lazar Lehel, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for numerous cybercrime-related charges. Prior to his arrest, the hacker became increasingly paranoid, even smashing his PC hard drive and mobile phone, as an international manhunt for the brash self-taught cybercriminal was underway.
"I was expecting them, but the shock was still very big for me," the hacker recently said. "It is hard to be a hacker, but even harder to erase your tracks."
After being sentenced in Romania, the hacker was also indicted in the United States, but extradition still seems unlikely at this point in time. Rather than rely on malware and social engineering attacks, Lazar used patience and trial and error while guessing correct passwords to compromise Romanian politician Corina Cretu, former US President George W. Bush, and Colin Powell.
The multi-million-Euro project ALIZ-E, spearheaded by Plymouth University and funded by the European Commission, hopes to create artificial intelligence that can better interact with children suffering from diabetes. The ALIZ-E Nao robots stand about 60 centimeters tall and uses speech recognition software to provide personalized responses to children.
The ALIZ-E project was started in 2010 with the aim to develop AI for small robots that can gauge how kids interact with these robots. Developing AI that can personalize interactions with individual children, suffering from a wide variety of mental and physical medical problems, has proven difficult - but current tests across Europe are proving successful.
"This is not just about a novelty factor catching the youngers' attention, it is about the robots engaging in a way the children accept and giving them information they can understand and be motivated by," said Tony Belpaeme, ALIZ-E academic lead and Professor of Cognitive Systems and Robotics. "In many cases where a child has diabetes, you notice their confidence has been knocked and the robot can help restore that."
It is a great time to be a PC gamer, as there isn't constant grumbling about FPS limitations, and computer hardware continues to move forward at a rapid pace. San Francisco East Bay boutique gaming company Digital Storm has a lot to be happy about, at a time when gamers have more money to spend, hardware is reaching new limits, and PC gaming is enjoying a resurgence when compared to game consoles.
It wasn't long ago when many tried to argue that PC gaming is dead, but that hasn't proven to be true at all.
"It's definitely growing," said Harjit Chana, Digital Storm Chief Brand Officer, in a recent conversation with TweakTown. "That's evidenced by an increase in year-over-year demand of high-performance gaming PCs. Gamers demand the best experience possible game on PCs. PC gaming delivers a superior visual experience (4K graphics, NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, etc.) and the customization a gamer craves. It is a level of gaming that cannot be achieved on any other platform."
Lenovo and ASUS continue to find success in the tablet market, as both companies are finding ways to carve out market share against Apple and Samsung, according to the Strategy Analytics research firm. ASUS now controls 6.8 percent of the tablet market, while Lenovo has 4.4 percent - small percentages compared to Apple and Samsung - but haven given a breath of life in the stagnant tablet market.
Meanwhile, Google Android has 72 percent tablet operating system market share, while Apple currently has 22.3 percent - and Windows continues to drag along, capturing six percent of the market. However, Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro ultrabook and Yoga Tablet 2 run Windows, and are proving to be ideal in the workplace.
"White Box manufacturers continue to contribute a large percentage of the Android market share by offering a wide range of tablets in a wide range of screen sizes, connectivity and price points, simultaneously improving quality and specifications," according to Peter King, Tablet Service Director of the Strategy Analytics research group.
The FBI is aware of state-sponsored cyberattacks, with a large volume of attacks blamed on the Chinese and Russian governments, but finding ways to arrest and prosecute hackers overseas is difficult. Companies are struggling to keep their networks secure, as more employees and customers are at risk of data breaches with these groups evolving into better organized, well-funded cybercriminals.
"Since cybercrime is not found in only one country and is globally dispersed, law enforcement agencies must work together on identifying and arresting the actors perpetrating the crimes," a Special Agent from the FBI recently said during a webinar. "The biggest challenge is when these actors live in countries where the cybercrime laws are not distinct, or in some cases non-existent. There have been cases where these actors have traveled through cooperative regions of the world and arrests have been made."
Realistically, many of the state-sponsored cybercriminals will remain out of the reach of the FBI - and other Western European governments - but China, Russia, and select other countries are the largest perpetrators of attacks.
The Super Smash Bros. video game for the Nintendo 3DS has tallied 1.2 million digital and physical copies sold since launch less than one month ago. The game title sold 485,000 copies in October alone, and is "the best-selling handheld title so far in 2014," Nintendo proudly boasted.
Wii U gamers can now pre-load Super Smash Bros., with Nintendo promising to send a download code within three days of the game's official launch on Friday, Nov. 21.
Although Nintendo isn't currently battling the Sony PlayStation 4 or Microsoft Xbox One game consoles, its Wii U has seen a 47 percent increase in hardware sales year-over-year - with software sales rising a whopping 84 percent.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen believes the Asian market is important in his effort to give the struggling smartphone maker new life, but doesn't want to rush any faster than needed. Of note, the Chinese market is appealing to companies, and one that is "too big a market to ignore," but BlackBerry wants to take its time trying to head into China.
"It takes too long to ramp up to a size that is even reasonable (in China)," Chen recently said. "Even if I have that time and money I'll probably have better returns going into a different set of markets that we are already in, like India, South Asia, and Southeast Asia."
The Chinese market is appealing for smartphone manufacturers, with Samsung and Apple both growing their market share in the country. BlackBerry should focus more on redeveloping itself in North America, as trying to compete with Samsung and Apple - among Chinese companies Lenovo and Xiaomi - could prove even more disastrous.