Any parent who has gone on a long road trip with a group of kids knows that things can get loud very quickly. That often means you end up screaming at kids to stop what they are doing while cruising down the road. While that can be annoying in a car, in a larger vehicle like a minivan being heard over a ruckus by people all the way in the back seat can be difficult.
Toyota is addressing that issue with the addition of a microphone to its 2015 Sienna minivan. The mic feature is called Driver Easy Speak and it allows the driver to be heard by all the passengers in the car without having to yell.
There are no microphones in the back to allow those passengers to speak to the driver. Considering it can be hard to hear what young kids are trying to say when they are in the back of a large vehicle, a 2-way intercom would have been nice. The new Sienna will hit dealerships this fall.
Some details on the next major update for the Microsoft Xbox One game console have surfaced. The most important thing added in the update due to land next month is support for 3D Blu-ray discs. That means owners who have a 3D TV will get to enjoy 3D movies from the console.
Other improvements coming in the update include changes to the console Activity Feed and Friends section. Users will also gain the ability to automatically download new games and apps. That feature allows you to purchase content from Xbox.com via the web or Smart Glass connected devices and have the Xbox download it automatically.
Another nice update is a warning that will display when your controller is getting low. Xbox controllers will also get a vibration to acknowledge when input with a notification has been made. There will be other updates and tweaks made as well.
If you want to get your hands-on a new smartphone without having to pay the typical $200 to get one, the new LG G3 might be the perfect option. Best Buy is offering this smartphone with a low price, at least low by new smartphone standards, of $99.99.
The LG G3 will be available for $99.99 on three major mobile networks including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. That makes the device $100 cheaper than it was when it first launched. The discounted price will also work for those getting the device on the Sprint Easy Pay, Verizon Edge, or AT&T Next plans.
Purchasing the LG G3 smartphone directly from any of these three carriers will cost you $199.99. The G3 has a Snapdragon 801 processor, and 2 or 3GB of RAM depending on the version. The screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 with 538ppi.
Smartphones continue to get thinner and thinner, but it looks like Gionee could be leading the pack with its upcoming smartphone codenamed GN9005. The GN9005 is just 5mm, or 0.2 inches thick, which would make it one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest smartphone on the market.
The Gionee GN9005 should arrive with a 4.8-inch 720p AMOLED display, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. This should all be powered by a 2050mAh battery. There's no ETA on this super-thin smartphone, but we should hear more about it in the coming weeks.
After two weeks of intense gaming, and the leaking of the strategy of Team DK for DOTA 2, we now know the two teams who will be competing in The International's Grand Final. The Chinese team Newbee, who clawed their way to the final from losing multiple rounds, to not losing a single round in an entire week of play.
The second team, ViCi Gaming, started off strong against Evil Geniuses, with a 16-minute win in-game on, but lost during their second game. In game three they caught up, so that they could compete against Newbee in the final. The two teams will now play a best-of-5 series that will see the winner of The International take home a huge $5 million.
This also marks the first time that The International final has featured two Chinese squads, too.
It looks like Google has made the first move in cleaning up its Play store, where it has made it clearer to know what an actual free game is, versus a game that will feature in-app purchases.
The European Commission has requested Google change the way that it markets apps shown on digital storefronts like the Google Play store, with the company moving forward to keep its consumers better informed. This now includes no longer putting up with apps with in-app purchases to call themselves "free". The Mountain View-based search giant has said that it will install new guidelines for games and developers so that kids won't be encouraged to buy items once they are in the game.
We have been reporting on the still on-going issues over at Crytek, but things just got worse for the developer of Crysis. Tiago Sousa, Crytek's Lead R&D Graphics Engineer has left the company, joining the ranks of id Software.
Sousa is now working as the Lead Rendering Programmer on the new reboot of Doom and the engine that powers it: id Tech 6 game engine. Sousa was with Crytek for 11 years, so this is quite the loss for Crytek. According to Sousa's LinkedIn profile, he has contributed to work on CryENGINE 3, as well as all three Crysis games, Ryse: Son of Rome for the Xbox One, Warface and "undisclosed multiplatform projects".
Considering most of Crytek's UK-based staff have stopped going to work, and the studio isn't paying its staff on time, this is troubling times. This isn't considering that the studio has already lost key staff such as the game director for Homefront: The Revolution leaving, as well as its Development Manager, Ben Harris.
According to the latest research from SuperData, there is some serious money being made from MMOs. The top five subscription-based MMOs in the world as it stands are: World of Warcraft, Lineage 1, TERA: Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Lord of the Rings Online.
World of Warcraft leads this effort when it comes to revenues, with $1.04 billion made last year, securing itself a 36% chunk of the subscription-based MMO market share for 2013. Lineage 1 comes in at second place with $253 million for NCsoft and a 9% share, TERA: Online generated $236 million for NHN Corporation in third spot with an 8% share. Star Wars: The Old Republic sits in fourth place with $165 million made for EA with 6% of the subscription-based MMO market share, and Lord of the Rings Online made $104 million for Turbine, Inc. and secured them 4%.
Revenue subscriptions have dropped every year from 2010, from 30.6 million subscribers to 23.4 million this year. MMO publishers see this decrease in subscribers due to the increased offerings of free content, more payment tiers and microtransactions.
The owner of ConnectZone.com, Daniel Oberholtzer, has been sentenced for participating in conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, receiving 37 months in federal prison. The company must forfeit $716,778 that was collected for selling counterfeit products, advertising the sale of network products that were promoted as Cisco products.
"Innovation and our economy demand that the intellectual property of businesses be protected," said Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney, in a statement. "Here, the defendants used the hard earned brands of others and slapped it on inferior products."
Business owners and law enforcement have stepped up civil and criminal complaints against Internet pirates and counterfeiters. Leaders of organized rings conducting illegal business are being indicted and face prison time if found guilty.
At the height of his hacking career, Shane "Jason" Duffy was making a nice $1,000 per day from hacking League of Legends. The 21-year-old hacker had his room raided by police back in 2011 because of a League of Legends security incident, something that Riot Games addressed in 2012. Duffy's online activity while he was on bail saw police visit him again last year.
During an interview with The Daily Dot, Duffy said he was involved with the brute force hacking of League of Legends accounts, selling character skills from accounts for anywhere between $200 and $800. He also leaked League of Legends: Supremacy through a Riot Games employee's account, and created a service where players could pay to have other players knocked out of League games.
Duffy said that his group had access to millions of League accounts, something he claims he had access to through a senior Riot employee's account. Duffy said that even though Riot Games had noticed a breach, and told its staff to change their passwords, this one particular employee did not. This paved the way for Duffy to create a backdoor on Riot's servers, where he had access to the details of some 24.5 million accounts.