IBM in partnership with London's Science Museum is celebrating the world's first ever "smartphone" - the IBM Simon, which is now 20 years old.
Although it obviously doesn't hold a candle to the devices that are now available, the Simon was ahead of its time in many ways. For a product released in 1994. it was a piece of mobile technology that could take notes and even send emails, combined with a mobile phone. There was accompanying software and it could also operate with a fax machine. However, it weighed in at a chunky 1.1lb - a far cry from the portable kit around today.
At nearly 1,000 USD the Simon wasn't a market hit - and no mobile internet meant it wasn't particularly well connected. IBM's device had a battery life of just one hour, and it was taken off the shelves two years later. But museum curator Charlotte Connelly said that, nonetheless, it and the Information Age exhibition Simon will be shown at serve as a reminder of a more disconnected lifestyle. "It does remind us of that time," she told the BBC. "I definitely enjoy getting away from things and deliberately disconnecting myself. There's something quite nice about that."
In the last hour, reporters from the UK are sending word that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be preparing to leave the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been holed up for the last two years under the protection of the country.
If Assange leaves the safe house, he will be immediately arrested by London police and likely extradited to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual assault. Assange fears that he may be further extradited to the United States with a long outstanding warrant issued regarding his Wikileaks activities.
Assange is said to be suffering worsening health, which has formed his decision to leave the embassy.
Whether or not Assange is walking out today, he certainly managed to get media attention... pic.twitter.com/lQEXJkHSTl- NickdMiller (@NickdMiller) August 18, 2014
More as it breaks.
Did you think Star Citizen was all about taking up to the stars and epic space battles? Well, there's a first-person shooter side to it too, did you think that $50 million was just spent battling other people in the dark beyond? Nope.
Roberts Space Industries has just teased two more modules for Star Citizen, the first-person shooter module, and the upcoming planet-based competitive racing side of things. You can see those parts in the video above, and the ones below.
Thanks to our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we have copies of this week's Blu-ray release of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' up for grabs for three lucky readers!
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a SHIELD colleague comes under attack, Rogers becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy - the Winter Soldier.
To go into the running to take one Blu-ray copy home, simply correctly answer the following question:
Name the two comic book artists who created the character Captain America
To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown.com before the competition closes on August 22nd.
'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is available on 3D and 2D Blu-ray and HD Digital Copy combo pack Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray and HD Digital Copy combo pack Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy combo pack and Digital from Australian retailers on August 13th.
For those of you who remember King's Quest, you may begin to get excited that Sierra has a small team working on a 'contemporary reboot' of the super-classic point-and-click adventure game from way back when. Activision's MacLean Marshall talked with Game Informer about Sierra coming back from the grave, and King's Quest - our first details on the game.
Activision unveiled the revival of the Sierra brand at Gamescom last week, where the company has some big plans for Sierra's titles - old, and even new creations. Marshall talked with Game Informer about the new project, and how the company is bringing back Sierra. Marshall said: "There's one piece of the puzzle, which is that Sierra was a brand that we acquired with Vivendi. It's been dormant and there wasn't a place for it, and we didn't know what we were going to do with it. Then, over the however many years, everyone's been watching this indie movement. There was that angle, where we had this really nostalgic brand that most gamers to varying degrees by age know. We wanted to find a way to expand our digital portfolio".
Game Informer also talked with Marshall about the new King's Quest, which is being developed by The Odd Gentlemen. Marshall said: "They are doing a contemporary reboot of King's Quest. It's not just an HD port. But that's not also to say that, maybe King's Quest is or isn't the right one, that's not on the table, too. It could be HD remakes of original Sierra content. It could be contemporary reimaginings of the old Sierra IPs. It could be stuff that's new, kick-***, awesome IP that has nothing to do with the old Sierra brand, but will be a Sierra thing when it launches". The gameplay for the new King's Quest will be a big departure from what you remember, with Marshall teasing: "There's not much I can say about King's Quest. All I can say is that I've seen it, and it's not a point-and-click game. But it looks *** awesome".
SEGA has settled its class-action lawsuit that was taken against it for allegedly false advertising its first-person shooter from last year, Aliens: Colonial Marines, for a cool $1.25 million.
From the $1.25 million, plaintiffs Damion Perrine and John Locke would see $2,500 each, while their attorney fees would chew up a massive $312,500. Administration fees tick up to $200,000 leaving $735,000 to be split up among everyone in the class-action lawsuit, a number that will not exceed $59.99 per person.
How many people clustered into the class-action lawsuit? According to Game Informer, a huge 135,000 people signed up, which should see around $5.44 per person from the $735,000 remaining. While this isn't a huge amount of money, let's hope that it deters publishers and game developers from lying to gamers in the videos and various teasers of their games, and then bait and switching when it hits gamers' HDDs.
It shouldn't be long until Intel officially launches its new X99 chipset along with a slew of new high-end processors, with the star of the Haswell-E show being the upcoming Core i7-5960X processor. This new CPU has been spotted in some newly leaked photos that Hermitage Akihabara got its hands-on.
Intel's new LGA 2011-based Haswell-E processors are expected to be released on August 29, with three models to be unveiled: the Core i7-5960X, the Core i7-5930K and the Core i7-5820K. The top-of-the-line Core i7-5960X will have eight physical cores and eight provided through Hyper-Threading for a total of 16 threads - a monster of a consumer CPU.
The new Core i7-5960X will also feature 20MB of L3 cache, quad-channel DDR4 RAM support, and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes in total. The default clock speed on the Extreme CPU will be 3GHz, and it'll be built on Intel's 22nm process.
Between some researchers from Stanford University and the Israeli defense research group Rafael, we are going to see how the gyroscope in common smartphones can be turned into "crude microphones" that are capable of picking up sound waves in an area.
Stanford Computer Security Professor Dan Boneh spoke with Wired, where he said: "Whenever you grant anyone access to sensors on a device, you're going to have unintended consequences. In this case the unintended consequence is that they can pick up not just phone vibrations, but air vibrations". It's not all doom and gloom though, with the research team only able to pick up bits and pieces of information, and not the entire stream.
The researchers had someone in a room recite 10 digits, similar to the numbers from a credit card, with the Gyrophone (yes, it has a name) only able to identify 65% of the spoken digits. The only reason it wasn't capable of reciting more is that the team hasn't had the time or money to invest into it, but if someone did have the time and money to do so, imagine the hacking possibilities.
Palmer Luckey, the 21-year-old founder of one of the most exciting companies in the world, Oculus VR, has high hopes for the future of technology. With Oculus VR shipping its Development Kit 2, or DK2, Rift headset to consumers and developers over the last month, Palmer has had some interesting things to say in a recent interview with Kotaku UK.
Palmer said: "We see one in every home. [But], just at launch we need to be realistic. The people who are going to be buying this initially are going to be gamers, probably hardcore gamers, and they're going to be the ones with PCs most capable of running it". Palmer wants to see VR become something that expands past just pure gaming, with the Rift and VR in general becoming something for everyone. He continued: "As time goes on it'll become more and more mainstream, but at launch we're going to be targeting that core. Basically let's target it to the people whom we know are going to be buying and then let's go for the people who are going to take some convincing".
After testing out the Rift DK2 myself, I'd have to agree - I think VR will take off like smartphones did, selling tens of millions within the next five years. One in every home is a big statement, but there's a TV in most homes, isn't there? The Oculus Rift is cheaper than a cheap TV, so that statement, while it might sound prosperous to most, could happen - especially with the financial backing of Facebook.
Oculus VR had a strong presence at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this year - but they walked away with a massive win from the gaming event. With over 140 submissions for the awards at Gamescom 2014, 54 of them made it to the group of nominees, Oculus VR was one of these.
Oculus took out the Best Hardware of Gamescom with its Oculus Rift DK2 unit, with four other devices against it: the Cyberith Virtualizer, Sony's VR headset Project Morpheus, Nintendo's Amiibo, and NVIDIA's latest Shield Tablet and Shield Wireless Controller. We've only just received our Oculus Rift DK2 and we are in love with it, so it comes as no surprise for Oculus to be awarded Best Hardware of a gaming show like Gamescom.