If you're an Android user, you should begin to get excited for the next iteration of Android, simply known right now as the 'L' release. Rewinding back to when Jelly Bean was released, which featured Project Butter - an initiative that improved the overall speed and performance of the entire OS.
When Google unleashed KitKat, we saw Project Svelte tightening things up, optimizing the installation of Android to run on just 512MB. This allowed entry-level smartphones and tablets to rock the latest mobile OS from Google, without requiring the latest and greatest hardware. Moving onto the new L release, which should arrive as Android 5.0, and its new Project Volta.
Project Volta has the aim of battery life in its sights, with Ars Technica getting its hands-on Android L's Project Volta, and chucking into a battery life test. In their Wi-Fi browsing test, the Android L Developer Preview was able to beat out Android 4.4 KitKat by 36%, which is a huge difference. This provides an additional two-or-so hours of battery life, which is some what of a small, but gigantic victory for Google. The testing itself was performance on what Ars Technica explains as a "beat-up, daily driver phone" so we should expect even better numbers with Google's official release.
What happens when you blend the world's of a camera strapped to your back and a VR headset on your face? Well, you can view yourself in the third-person perspective, something that a development team based in Poland has done.
The team used the Oculus Rift as the VR headset, of course, and a couple of GoPro cameras mounted above the user's head. The GoPro cameras were attached onto a 3D-printed arm, which then provided the user with a view of themselves in the third-person. mepi, the development team behind the project, used a small joystick which simulated the ability to move the camera in third person, just like it works in games.
The system is running from a basic laptop, with the joystick using an Arduino to communicate between the GoPro and mount. The system is a rough prototype according to the team, something that was assembled in just two days. The team calls this the "Real World Third Person Perspective", which seems like a pretty nifty demonstration.
Back in March, Lucasfilm and TV's Cartoon Network entered a deal to not only broadcast the full series of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' to Netflix customers, but allow the streaming giant to bankroll the last leg of production on 'The Lost Missions'; aka the sixth season of 'The Clone Wars' following it's earlier cancellation.
With 4K streaming content growing in uptake, Netflix has been keen to provide further content in UHD, with a report suggesting that Lucasfilm is well down the track of re-rendering the entire series in 4K. resolution.
The stylistic CG produced by Lucasfilm Animation, which was created with Autodesk software with predominantly vector based Maya 3D assets would seem to lend itself quite efficiently to 4K up-rezzing, but to date, neither LucasFilm or Netflix have announced their future plans for the property.
Following its cancellation, 'The Clone Wars' supervising director Dave Filoni joined the ranks of the forthcoming 'Star Wars: Rebels" animated TV show, which will debut later this year.
Goldman Sachs accidentally sent out an e-mail recently, which contained "highly confidential" information, to the wrong person. The investment banking firm is now requesting that Google somehow unsend the e-mail.
Reuters is reporting that a Goldman Sachs contractor was testing changes to the company's internal systems, in order to meet the requirements set out by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The contractor then mistakenly sent out a client's confidential brokerage account information to someone's Gmail account, instead of the correct gs.com account.
This all happened on June 23, which means that whoever received the e-mail, has probably read it. But, Goldman Sachs wants to see its power used, pushing a US judge to issue a court order demanding that Google delete the e-mail, in order to protect itself, and its customer from further damages. Before Goldman Sachs went to court, the firm reached out to the Gmail account owner, but received no response.
For those of you waiting for NVIDIA to release its next-gen Shield device, it looks like it might be going through a transformation before we see it. The current Shield is a tablet in a game controller design, which works incredibly well, but the next version might be an entirely new beast.
According to a filing with the Global Certification Forum for the new Shield's wireless connectivity, and a related tweet on Monday, the new Shield is called a "Notebook/Tablet". This means that NVIDIA could either be straying from its current design, or might toward a detachable, separate tablet that docks into a controller - something I would love to see.
More than 40 bidders were unable to keep Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, from purchasing the entire lot of 30,000 bitcoins auctioned by the US government. Instead of just flooding the market with the bitcoins, Draper has teamed up with bitcoin exchange company Vaurum, and wants to expand cryptocurrency use worldwide.
"With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies," Draper said in a statement. "We want to enable people to hold and trade bitcoin to secure themselves against weakening currencies."
The seized bitcoins were valued near $19 million, and Draper won every single lot - but won't say how much he spent to dominate the auction.
Oculus VR promised that it would begin shipping its Rift Developer Kit 2 units in July, something that it has started to do. The Facebook-owned VR startup has said that "The first batch of official DK2s have left the manufacturing facility and are making their way to our distribution centers now".
This news comes from "cyberality" on Reddit. Oculus VR says that it should see half the units through distribution centers and on their way to eager Rift DK2 owners before the month wraps up. As soon as the shipment has been processed by the distribution center, DK2 owners will receive their tracking numbers.
Something more interesting, is the amount of DK2 units that Oculus VR had pre-orders on. There were over 45,000 DK2 pre-orders, which is a massive number. With this many pre-orders, manufacturing can't quite keep up, so some people wont' get their DK2 units until August. Oculus VR has told its team in China to ramp up production at its factory, something nit will continue to do until every DK2 has their headset. I've pre-ordered one myself, and was one of the first, so you can expect an unboxing video and articles written up on it as soon as it hits my doorstep.
Lindsay Lohan is known for a life of controversy, but her latest notch in the belt that is becoming her life is that the actress is suing Rockstar Games over a character in Grand Theft Auto V that she claims looks like her.
Lohan says that the developer created, and used the character without her permission, so now she's suing. Lohan's lawsuit claims that the GTA V character Lacey Jonas is based on her, including her likeness and personal details. The actress filed the lawsuit in Manhattan, which is where Rockstar Games' corporate HQ is located.
I'm sure we'll hear much more on this as the months go by.
At least one in five websites are blocked in the United Kingdom, with a growing number of legitimate websites getting caught up in the censorship, according to the Open Rights Group.
The Open Rights Grouped tried to access 100,000 websites with default filter settings - or "normal" filtering with nothing set as a default - and there were almost 20,000 different websites blocked. It's a frustrating system that leaves some websites, such as Sherights.com, a blog focusing on violence against women and LGBT rights, blocked and inaccessible.
"We've been surprised to find the default filtering settings are blocking around a fifth of the Alexa top 100K websites," said Jim Killock, ORG Executive Director, in a statement. "That's a lot more than porn, which accounts for around 4 percent of that list."
Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden discussing surveillance activities by the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, a number of ISPs in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Netherlands, Germany and Zimbabwe are targeting the GCHQ. Specifically, they say the spy agency used "malicious software" to compromise their networks while collecting data.
The GCHQ said online searches, which it considers "external communications" when routed overseas, don't require a warrant.
"Snowden's revelations have exposed GCHQ's view that independent operators like GreenNet are legitimate targets for Internet surveillance, so we could be unknowingly used to collect data on our users. We say this is unlawful and utterly unacceptable in a democracy," said Cedric Knight, from Dutch-based ISP, GreenNet.