Microsoft's next major milestone is something called "Threshold", an internal name for an upcoming update to its platforms. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley is reporting from multiple anonymous sources, as well as an internal Microsoft e-mail from Executive Vice President, Terry Myerson.
Foley says that Threshold will hit all three major platforms from Microsoft: Windows, Xbox One and Windows Phone. The company is wanting to unify the developer toolset for all three platforms, and support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. There are four parts to this, the first is expression/documents (Office), decision making/task completion (Bing), IT management (intune) and something else, which is labeled as "serious fun".
We did hear about this not long ago, so we should expect big things from this Threshold update. Before Threshold, we should expect an update being pushed out for Windows 8.1, which is known as Windows 8.1 Update 1, and Windows Phone 8.1, sometime next year.
If you're based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and want the opportunity to test games out for Bethesda, then prepare yourselves! The developer is looking for playtesters to try out its "upcoming and released games".
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is where id Software is based, with id Software and Bethesda both subsidiaries Zenimax Media. Considering id Software is currently working on first-person shooter, Doom 4, this could be quite the opportunity for someone interested. Those who are interested need to provide their own transport to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, must be at least 18 years old, and will be unpaid volunteers. An NDA will require your signature, too.
Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, is being threatened by British police over "potential" terrorism charges for publishing the incriminating NSA and GCHQ documents that NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, leaked.
Rusbridger testified in front of a British parliamentary committee on Tuesday, where lawmakers pushed the suggestion that the Guardian helped terrorists, just because the British paper revealed UK and US spy agency 'secrets'. Rusbridger stood his ground, stating that the government spying going on all around the world should be of public knowledge.
The Guardian editor said: "We have published I think 26 documents out of the 58,000 we've seen, or 58,000 plus. So we have made very selective judgments about what to print. We have published no names and we have lost control of no names."
Critics are comparing the current spy scandals and "terrorism" charges against the infamous anti-communism hearing which were conducted by US Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Cold War. Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, said: "The astonishing suggestion that this sort of journalism can be equated with aiding and abetting terrorism needs to be scotched decisively. Attacking the Guardian is an attempt to do the bidding of the services themselves, by distracting attention from the real issues. It is the roles of a free press to hold government to account, and yet there have even been outrageous suggestions from some conservative MPs that the Guardian should face a criminal investigation."
Something interesting just popped up onto my radar, and that's the news that ASUS is working on a new dual OS tablet. The new tablet is capable of running Android and Windows, something of which ASUS is no newbie at.
But, with Android 4.4 KitKat now out, and Windows 8.1, could we see a mashup of operating systems under a new ASUS-built device? Well, it looks liker we can expect three models: M82T, L82T, and the R82T - with no information on what makes them all different. We do know that on the tablet that slid through the FCC was powered by the Intel Atom "Bay Trail" chip.
Other than that, we know it has a 3910mAh battery, and either 32GB or 64GB of storage. We don't know about the screen size, but we could expect something in the 7-inch range or so - which would work, considering ASUS builds the Android 4.4-powered Nexus 7 slate. If we do see this thing released, we should expect it to be shown off at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, in January.
I've been playing Battlefield 4 quite a bit (quite a bit for me is more than 5 hours in a week) and I thoroughly enjoy it. Keep in mind, I'm looking through the issues and bugs, and just at the game itself. Well, Battlefield 4's first expansion, China Rising, is here, and so is its trailer.
The trailer shows off some incredible gameplay moments, only possible in Battlefield 4, and is available right now for Premium members. There are four new maps included with China Rising, with the DLC launching on December 17 for those not on Premium.
NVIDIA has just added a feature to its Shield device that might just pull in a drove of new consumers - 1080p streaming. You can now use NVIDIA's GameStream console mode to stream your PC games to your TV, all at the glorious 1080p res.
Although the words 'streaming' are used, there's no wireless trickery here, unfortunately. Cables are still used, as you'll need an Ethernet cable for 1080p, and you'll also require the Shield's microUSB port, too. If you want to check out the latest update, it should be getting pushed to your Shield right now, or very soon.
With the PS4 now launched in more countries, Sony has said that it has sold a "record-setting" 2.1 million units of its next-generation console. With the PlayStation 4 now finding a home in 32 countries, many of them selling out of the console itself.
Andrew House took to the PlayStation Blog, where he said: "It's an impressive and record-setting accomplishment for our company and for our industry, and we couldn't have done it without you. I want to personally thank PlayStation fans, both old and new, for your vote of confidence."
House promised that the PS4 would continously evolve, and added: "In addition to an incredible line-up of PS4 games from the best developers in the world," he said, "we will continue to introduce valuable new features and services to PS4 in the months and years ahead."
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, where we have Midhun from India wanting to pick up a new smartphone, but is torn between the Nexus devices, the Galaxy S4 mini and the Xperia SP smartphones.
Q: I am planning to buy a mobile and here are my choices:
- Galaxy s4 mini
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 5
- Xperia SP
I am not a big gamer, but I am looking for a good battery life and does a lot of browsing and WhatsApp. The S4 mini has QHD screen and the rest have HD screens, so when coming to the application support will I face the problem of non supported apps with S4 mini?
A: You can view the answer to Midhun's question right here.
There are those of you out there, like us, that would be using MemTest86 to test if your RAM is faulting, or stable at a certain speed. Well, PassMark Software, the developer behind MemTest86, has announced that MemTest86 V5 is out.
Version 5 includes a bunch of new features, including UEFI BIOS support, secure boot support, a native 64-bit binary, "significant" speed improvements, ECC RAM support, and the ability to write test reports to the bootable USB drive itself. The biggest feature to take away from this is the 64-bit binary, because up until today, every other version of MemTest86 was 32-bit only.
There are now two editions of MemTest86, the first is a free edition, but the Pro edition is $49, and comes on a pre-made USB drive. Pro edition supports ECC RAM and custom reports. You can read more on MemTest86 V5, and get it for yourself, here.
DisplayPort technology is continuously improving, with DisplayPort 1.3 now being teased with some huge improvements. DP 1.3 will feature a bitrate of 8.1 Gbps per channel, up from 5.4 Gbps found in DP 1.2.
We should see a wonderful world where multiple 4K displays are supported from a single cable - something I'm longing for as I type this on a 4K display - and DP 1.3 will allow this. DP 1.3 will see support for 8K thanks to its insane bandwidth of a theoretical 32.4 Gbps. We should also see 4K 3D support ushered in with DisplayPort 1.3, which will be another awesome addition going into 2014.
What I would like to see, is some confirmation that we will indeed be seeing 4K in 3D, and whether this means I'll get what I've been waiting for, for quite sometime now: 4K at 120Hz. Unfortunately, we won't see the fruits of high-resolution labor until sometime in 2014 - where we'll see it announced, but it won't be pushed into devices until 2015.