With the Microsoft launching the Xbox One on November 22nd, the company is beginning its big marketing push in hopes of generating record day one sales. With recent revelations about game resolutions, and patches that need to be installed before customers can begin playing games, the company is working on highlighting the console as more than just a gaming box.
Today Microsoft released a 12-minute walkthrough video of the Xbox One, and includes a full featured look at the consoles new dashboard. The video also goes in-depth with the Xbox One's multitasking, app-switching, voice commands, kinect features, and automatic sign-in. Todays video is the most thorough tour we have had of the Xbox Once since its unveiling event earlier this year. We want to know what console you will be buying this year, will you buy the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or will you hold out for a Steam Machine? Are all 3 going to wind up in your living room? Let us know in the comments.
If Microsoft does not already have enough bad PR about its upcoming next-gen console, today even more bad news has arrived for the Xbox One. Today the company revealed that users will be required to download and install a patch on day one before they are even allowed to play any games on the device.
"Functionally, you will be able to do very little without taking the day one update," says Microsoft's senior director of Xbox product management Albert Penello. "You're gonna need to take this update. It's not gonna be really an optional thing," he went on to say. "An initial, one-time system update is required for your Xbox One to function," confirmed another Microsoft spokesperson.
The patch is said to take only 15-20 minutes to download on a moderate broadband internet connection, and will update the consoles dashboard system. Microsoft is not alone in a required day one update though as Sony's PlayStation 4 will require a similar patch to play Blu-ray disc or DVDs. Games are still expected to work on the PlayStation 4 however.
Mobile devices that utilize Lithium-ion or Lithium-polymer batteries are always at risk of catching fire or even exploding if they are overcharged, or if their battery pack gets damaged. Usually the culprit is the result of using a cheap charger that was not approved by the manufacturer.
Unfortunately for Apple, neither were the case in a recent incident involving the company's new iPad Air. The tablet in question was sitting idle on a display stand at a Vodafone store in Australia when it suddenly exploded and burst into flames. No one was injured in the incident, but firefighters had to be called to extinguish the flames and extract the smoke from the store. In true form Apple is staying silent on the matter and had sent a team to collect the iPad Air for analysis.
While this very well may be a one-off incident, I would not leave an iPad Air laying on something like a couch, bed or pillow until Apple releases a statement on the matter. After personally witnessing an iPhone 4 catch fire while on an official apple vehicle charger, I know how quickly the devices can go from functioning fine, to going up in smoke.
One day in the future, you'll walk into your local McDonalds and pick your son or daughter a Happy Meal, the person serving you will ask you which one, and you'll be able to watch it made, in-store, thanks to a 3D printer.
This is the latest news coming from the burger corporation's UK IT director, Mark Fabes, who said he was looking into the potential application of 3D printing for producing toys for Happy Meals. We might not see this for quite sometime, as Fabes was only talking on a panel on emerging technologies at a Fujitsu customer event in Munich. Right now, there's no concrete plans for 3D printed Happy Meal toys, with Fabes telling El Reg: "it's just a thought."
One of the hurdles would be the plastic smelting machines being an appropriate fixture of a food outlet, but 3D printing will only continue to improve, so this issue could soon disappear. What do you think of 3D printed Happy Meal toys?
Microsoft doesn't really need Windows Phone sales to explode overnight when its generating an estimated $2 billion from Android sales, for, well, doing nothing. Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund has estimated that Microsoft is pulling in all that revenue each year from Google thanks to patent royalties from Android vendors.
The analyst adds that Microsoft's margin on Android-based patent royalties is a hefty 95%, which would mean that Microsoft's truck load of billions of dollars each year is pure, golden profit. Sherlund also says that Microsoft is using the cash piles it's making from Google's mobile OS to patch up the massive losses that its Xbox division creates each year, which is around $2 billion per year according to Sherlund.
It looks like Samsung is prepared to brag about its upcoming 64-bit SoC, considering the South Korean giant is the company that manufactures Apple's 64-bit A7 processor that is baked into the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Well, there's a new SoC the company is working on, but it won't be based on its own technology, instead it will use ARM-based tech. Stephen Woo, President of System LSI at Samsung Electronics said: "Many people were thinking, why did we need 64-bit for mobile devices? People were asking that question until three months ago. And now I think no one is asking that question. They're asking, when can we have that?"
We will see Samsung release an ARM-based 64-bit SoC, which will be followed by a new SoC that will use in-house technology at a later date. Woo continued: "We are marching on schedule. We will offer the first 64-bit [processor] based on ARM's own core. After that, we will offer an even more optimized 64-bit [processor] based on our own optimizations." We should expect the new 64-bit SoC to be baked into the company's upcoming Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 devices that will be released in 2014.
Is this yet another step in the right direction for Microsoft? It would seem so: Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is in Germany at the moment, where he joined Christian P. Illek, chairman of Microsoft Germany's managing board, where they opened up a new facility in Germany.
The new facility is built in the historic building "Unter den Linden 17," which is a massive 3,000 square meter building that has been converted into a technology hub that is primed at getting customers, businesses partners, the media, startups, and the community better acquainted. The new facility includes a "Digital Eatery" which is a consumer lounge on the first floor that invites visitors to come in and try out Microsoft's latest and greatest products.
Ballmer said: "We've always believed that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to achieve their dreams. Right now, we are incredibly passionate about delivering the next generation of high value activities through devices and services that people love and organizations need all over the world. The Microsoft Berlin Innovation Center provides a unique environment to foster innovation, forge new partnerships with entrepreneurs and exchange ideas with our customers."
Google is now pushing out a new version of Hangouts, the one that we reported that would be capable of sending and receiving SMS with. The update to Hangouts makes it equal to the one that ships with the Nexus 5 smartphone, which is the default SMS app on the device.
Once you've received the updated Hangouts app, you'll be asked to enable SMS support - something you can decline - but if you turn it on, you'll do all of your text messaging through Hangouts from now on. This is great for those who don't already use a third-party SMS client, as it keeps all of your messaging in one place, up in the cloud, and on your device. The update is going out gradually, but here in Australia, I'm not enjoying the new app yet unfortunately.
Apple may have lost hundreds of billions of dollars from its market cap, but that doesn't stop them from continuing on to be one of the strongest brands on the planet. Forbes has rated Apple as the world's most valuable brand, above some of the biggest names in the world.
Apple beat Google, Microsoft, IBM and Coca-Cola to be the world's most valuable brand, with Forbes stating that Apple's brand is worth $104.3 billion, double that of second place, which happens to be Microsoft. Forbes does note that Samsung is rising quite quickly up the chart, which "had the strongest one-year gain of any brand in the top 100" which is up 53% from last year. Nokia has sunk, by a massive 55% since last year, with BlackBerry disappearing off the top 100 list completely.
3D printing is all the rage these days, it seems to be capable of pretty much everything, but what about 3D painting? Yeah, GE is experimenting with the technology that it is calling "cold spray" which is capable of slowly building up layers of metal by spraying metal powder at very high velocities.
The process is used to repair worn metal components, which would add years or even decades to their lifespan. 3D printing has limits of the size of the objects it can create, but 3D painting only has one limitation: the spread of its spray. This means that the technology, or spray, could be used to create or repair very large structures, or cars. The process is being looked at as one possible way to repair parts used in oil and gas drilling, which would be perfect as there's no heat involved.
No heat involved means that the chance of a fire or explosion are reduced much closer to 0%.