Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you know that Disney bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise and is in the process of making new films in the franchise. Star Wars Episode 7 is set to launch in late 2015 if things stick to schedule and some rumors are trickling out from production. One of the rumors is that one of the most famous spacecraft in the franchise is getting a makeover.
That spacecraft is the Millennium Falcon, the ship piloted by Han Solo. Rumors trickling out suggest that in the new film the ship is no longer owned by Han Solo. This time out it is owned by Oscar Isaacs, the actor who will play an unnamed character in the new film.
We can expect all sorts of changes the new film is set 30 years after the event that took place in Return of the Jedi. Considering this ship is one of the most iconic vehicles in science fiction, it will surely be recognizable no matter what.
I'm sure many people out there have imagined having a robot that could bring them stuff when they want it like food or drinks. A hotel in California called Aloft Hotel has started to roll out robotic butlers that can bring things to your room for you. These robot butlers are called Botlr and perhaps the best part for hotel visitors is that all the Botlr wants for a tip is a tweet.
Botlr will bring things to your room like toothpaste, towels, and just about anything else that a person would normally bring you. Botlr will go into use for the first time on August 20 at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California.
The bot will be named A.L.O. and will even wear a butler uniform and nametag. A compartment on top of the robot is where items are stored for delivery. When the robot arrives at your door, the phone in the room will ring. Botlr is the product of a company called Savioki, which is backed by Google Ventures.
Land Rover is the latest automaker to be forced to issue major recalls on its vehicles for airbag issues. The company has recalled 46,515 Land Rover SUVs in the US and Canada due to risk that the airbag may not deploy in an accident due to a component failure. Land Rover says that no reports of accidents or injuries have been made.
There is no indication at this time if the airbag issue will force recalls in other areas where the vehicles are sold. Vehicles covered in the recall include 2010 to 2015 LR2 compact SUVs and 2012 and 2013 Evoque SUVs. The issue in these vehicles is that the occupant classification system electronic control unit could fail.
If that failed, the passenger airbag would be partially or completely disabled. When owners take their vehicles to dealerships, the software for that control module will be replaced at no cost beginning August 30.
LG has unveiled a version of the G Pad 8.0 tablet that packs LTE mobile web connectivity. With LTE connectivity, data connectivity while away from a Wi-Fi network is much faster allowing users to access video and other content on the go. The tablet has a sync feature that provides connectivity with other Android devices via QPair 2.0.
The users can connect their smartphones via Bluetooth and answer phone calls, text messages, and get notifications on the tablet. The tablet also includes other features from LG with Touch & Shoot letting users touch anywhere on the tablet to activate the camera. Gesture Shot makes it easy to take selfies by opening and closing the hand in front of the lens to get a three second count down.
LG uses an 8-inch IPS screen with 1280 x 800 resolution. The tablet has a 1.2GHz processor and 16GB of storage onboard. A microSD card slot is available for expansion and the tablet has 1GB of RAM. Power comes from a 4200 mAh battery and the rear camera is a 5MP unit with the front having 1.3MP. Pricing is unannounced and the tablet will ship in Europe this week before heading to other countries later.
No. 1 global PC manufacturer Lenovo saw its first quarter net profit climb 23 percent as the company's smartphone and mobile sales surge. The smartphone sector ramped up 39 percent, while tablet and other mobile devices have seen impressive sales for the company.
Revenue increased from $8.79 billion up to $10.4 billion during the first quarter, also boosted by PC shipments continuing to outsell Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and other rivals. The Chinese company will continue to look to diversify its product offerings for its customers.
"We believe Lenovo's PC business will remain solid given the better global PC outlook," said Ric Cheng and Kirk Yang from Barclays, in a recent report. "Its smartphone shipment momentum is likely to pick up."
When NBA 2K15 is released in October, PC gamers will reportedly get the best version of the game. Visual Concepts, the developer behind the game, is working together with 2K Sports on a fully next-gen basketball game that will see the PC lead when it comes to visuals.
2K Sports has said: "The complete NBA 2K15 experience found on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles will also appear - fully realized - on the PC platform. Gamers will be able to experience the full breadth of new modes and features found on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with even more graphical fidelity".
This is a big change compared to NBA 2K14 from October last year, which was released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. A month later, it launched on the PS4 and Xbox One with better graphics and new modes, but the PC version was left on its own, as a last-generation effort. This time around, the PC version will be the stand out version.
NBA 2K15 will reach the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on October 7.
In just a couple of months time, 4A Games will launch its Metro Redux, which sees remastered versions of two of the most popular first-person shooters of the last few years: Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.
NVIDIA is backing this new remastered copy, so on top of the enhanced graphics, countless changes within the game, we can expect GPU-accelerated PhysX effects thanks to NVIDIA's technology. 4A Games have painstakingly changed so much of the two games, with improved geometry, encounters, lighting, and even how levels themselves end and transition.
The biggest change is going to come from Metro 2033, which will receive a graphics engine overhaul, with PnP tessellation, and some gameplay refinements that were found in Metro: Last Light. The PC side of things will see "higher-resolution textures, higher-quality effects, greater levels of PnP tessellation, support for 4K resolutions, and most significantly, re-tooled NVIDIA GPU-accelerated PhysX effects built using PhysX 3.x, the latest version of the critically acclaimed physics software".
Metro Redux launches later this month on August 26 in the US, and August 29 in Europe.
Newer generations of malware are finding their way to virtual machines - and instead of fleeing like before - are still executing when on VM. At least 70 percent of companies plan to utilize server virtualization by the end of 2015, so malware reaching the virtual machines could prove problematic.
In a study of 200,000 malware samples, analyzed on both VM and non-VM machines by Symantec, only 18 percent wouldn't operate on a virtual machine.
"The host server, as well as any virtual machine running on it, needs to be protected against malware," said Liam O'Murch, Symantec Security Response researcher, in a statement to SCMagazine. "To achieve this, advanced malware protection with proactive components that go beyond the classical static antivirus scanner needs to be in place. This can be agentless on the hypervisor or in the guest image themselves."
Google Android 4.4 KitKat continues to gobble up the market, now accounting for 20.9 percent of total market share, a jump from 17.9 percent from July. The 4.4 version rolled out in October 2013 and wireless carriers have been excited to include the latest and greatest version to customers.
The continued fragmentation of Android, with five different codenames running different versions, however, is seen as a security issue that must be addressed. In addition, there is complexity of Google creating an update or modification, and then phone manufacturers also needing to conduct their own tweaks.
Android Jelly Bean 4.1 still leads with 26.5 percent market share, but KitKat is quickly working to overtake that number in the future. Developers are always excited to get their hands-on newer versions of Android, and app development continues to evolve with each new version.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - One of the most interesting conversations we had at the Flash Memory Summit came from Dr. Simon Sze directly after he won a lifetime achievement award for co-inventing the floating gate back in 1967. Interestingly enough the very first floating gate was deployed in the original Nintendo game system.
According to our rough calculations there are over 1 pentillion floating gates in use in the world today. Or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 floating gates, for those keeping exact track. Dr. Simon Sze has an interesting story, and continues to teach in a university to this day.