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TweakTown News Posts - Page 51

Free-to-play Halo Online coming to PC gamers in Russia only

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 6:49 pm

Free-to-play PC game Halo Online will launch as a closed beta in Russia only, giving gamers the chance to experience the multiplayer-only gaming experience. The game will be available to Russian gamers this spring, and runs a heavily customized Halo 3 game engine.

 

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It's unknown if gamers in North America and Europe will get a chance to test Halo Online, with the following statement published online: "Right now our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia. Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia would have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations."

 

A full Q&A is available online regarding Halo Online.

Continue reading 'Free-to-play Halo Online coming to PC gamers in Russia only' (full post)

Ford intelligent speed system reads signs, adjusts driving speed

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 6:33 pm

The newest version of the Ford S-Max vehicle has an intelligent speed limiter that is able to read traffic signs and adjust the throttle. Using a custom traffic sign recognition system, the brake pedal doesn't need to be used to slow down the vehicle - with electronic signals sent to control engine torque.

 

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The Ford S-Max will be available this August, and should be implemented in Ford vehicles worldwide. Drivers can adjust the system so they are able to drive up to 5 mph over the speed limit.

 

"There's a plan for speed restrictions to be beamed to your car's computer systems and controlled from there, rather than requiring street sign visual recognition systems," said Paul Newton, automotive industry analyst at IHS, in a statement published by BBC. "This would be part of an extension of the networks that will connect vehicles, allowing cars to warn those behind them if they are slowing down, which is all part of a move toward autonomous vehicles that drive themselves."

Facebook Messenger app has whopping 600M monthly active users

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 5:57 pm

Facebook Messenger surpassed 500 million monthly active users four months ago, and now has more than 600 million monthly active users, CNBC reported.

 

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Even though some users weren't happy when Facebook broke off Messenger on mobile devices, forcing users to download the Messenger app separately, it helped boost usage figures. More social networking users are migrating from PCs to smartphones and tablets, opening the door to expansive Messenger adoption.

 

Facebook doesn't want Messenger just to be a text and voice communication tool for users - it could embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) and be used as a platform for additional services. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to speak more about Messenger during the F8 Developer Conference.

Wozniak: 'Future is scary' and 'very bad' for humans in regards to AI

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 4:47 pm

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has expressed concern that artificial intelligence will advance and eventually spiral out of human control. It's not an uncommon topic among some scientists and technology leaders, as AI development advances at a rapid pace.

 

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"Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people," Wozniak recently said while speaking to the Australian Financial Review. "If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they'll think faster than us and they'll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently."

 

Wozniak believes it's only a matter of time before computers take over from humans, and that could pose major issues for mankind. If nothing else, people are becoming more aware of AI research, with so many vocal critics worried about long-term safety.

Save over 70% on a lifetime of VPN protection

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: TweakTown | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 pm

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By routing your web traffic via intermediary servers, VPN Unlimited is able to disguise the identity of your device online. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to track your browsing, and it makes region-locked content available from anywhere in the world. To be worthwhile, you really need to run this kind of service full-time, so the limitless bandwidth and connection speed offered by VPN Unlimited is great. The subscription also covers you on up to five devices, with your data encrypted locally for safe transmission. To grab the discount, head for the link.

 

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Gearbox: Borderlands 2 has sold 'well over' 12 million copies

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 4:04 pm

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford said Borderlands 2 has sold "well over 12 million units," and continues to rack up impressive sales figures.

 

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The game was originally released in 2012 and became 2K's bestselling game ever in 2014, with more than 9 million units sold. There is a lot to be happy for, as The Handsome Collection will likely help boost sales even more, available for the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles.

 

"We announced [The Handsome Collection] after the Xbox One launched," Pitchford said. "And a lot of people that had upgraded, they really wanted the Pre-Sequel on that platform... so, we got a lot of people telling us 'Please bring this to next-gen!,' and our publishing partner, 2K games thought it was probably worth doing. We were too busy, we didn't have the resources to do the upgrade.

Continue reading 'Gearbox: Borderlands 2 has sold 'well over' 12 million copies' (full post)

Automakers scrambling to drastically increase electric vehicle range

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 3:25 pm

The next generation of mass-market electric cars will have at least double the driving range of today's vehicles, aiming for at least 200 miles between charges. Tesla is currently the front runner, but Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors all want to race past 200 miles on a single charge.

 

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The $81,000 Tesla Model S can reach 265 miles on a single charge, but the $81,000 vehicle is clearly out of range for most drivers. Competing vehicles can get anywhere from 75 to 85 miles on a single charge, and it looks like auto buyers suffer from range anxiety. Just 0.4 percent of new vehicles sold in 2014 were electric vehicles, amounting to 67,700 of the 16.5 million new cars and trucks.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes the "sweet spot" for range threshold is somewhere around 250 to 350 miles, and 200 miles is still the minimum threshold.

BlackBerry must focus on software and enterprise security

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 11:36 am

BlackBerry is fighting for survival, and it doesn't appear smartphones and tablets are necessarily in its future. Instead, the company is focusing more on enterprise security and software designed for mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

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The Canadian company wants to cater to enterprise users in the cloud market, with CEO John Chen expecting upwards of $500 million in software during the 2016 fiscal year. Looking ahead, BlackBerry will still focus on developing software and creating partnerships with established mobile hardware and software manufacturers.

 

The former smartphone king hasn't fully thrown in the towel on smartphones and tablets, but is taking a more refined approach. The BlackBerry SecuTablet is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 paired with BlackBerry enterprise security software - an effort that is a collaboration between BlackBerry, Samsung, and IBM.

Wearables spending increasing, but privacy, security concerns linger

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 10:20 am

The fitness and healthcare sectors will help drive the wearables market into an estimated $2 billion market by 2019, according to Juniper Research, but questions remain.

 

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There is great potential for doctors and medical patients embracing wearable devices able to consistently monitor physical data - but privacy concerns and unstable regulation must be addressed. Medical devices have mandated standards they must follow while collecting and storing data, though wearables don't currently follow the same standards.

 

In its "Smart Wireless Devices: CE, Enterprise, Fitness, Healthcare, Patients, 2015-2019", Juniper Research also found a use for smart glasses and other wearables in the workplace.

Continue reading 'Wearables spending increasing, but privacy, security concerns linger' (full post)

Microsoft wants its products available on Android devices

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 25, 2015 9:20 am

Microsoft has strengthened its partnership with Samsung and other mobile manufacturers utilizing Google Android on smartphones and tablets.

 

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This will allow Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, OneNote and OneDrive to be available on certain Samsung Android tablets - and the software company has at least 10 other manufacturers that will begin installing Microsoft software for Android.

 

"Our partnership with Samsung is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft's productivity services to everyone, on every device, so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want," said Peggy Johnson, EVP of business development for Microsoft, in a statement published by the AFP.

Continue reading 'Microsoft wants its products available on Android devices' (full post)

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