According to an inside source, Sony is working hard at bringing PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 emulation software to its PlayStation 4 console, and the end product could arrive sooner rather than later. The industry insider says that the PS1 and PS2 emulation will not only bring old titles to the new flagship console, but it will upscale them to full 1080p resolution as well.
This means that classic PS1 titles like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy V, Dark Stalkers 3 and more could arrive in full HD glory quite soon. No official word has been given on when the emulators might arrive, or what titles will be released. Another thing that is unclear is how Sony will offer the games, and if they will be sold or made available for free download. Some sources are saying that we can look forward to hearing an official announcement at E3 though, so at least we will not have to wait very long.
During this morning's HTC One M8 launch event, HTC talked in-depth about several of the new features that make the HTC One M8 stand out from the crowd. Not once though, did we hear any mention of the device being waterproof. This does not mean that it is not waterproof though, and a new video seems to indicate that the device is able to withstand submersion for more than an hour and still remain fully functional.
The video was posted to YouTube by TechSmartt, and it shows the author filling a bowl with water and then leaving the HTC One M8 submerged for well over an hour. The phone was turned on during the entire submersion, and it appears to not have suffered any damage from water entry into the device. While there is no official word on the phone being waterproof or water resistant, this video seems to show that it is in fact waterproof. While I would not go dunking my brand new M8 into the drink anytime soon, but I now feel more comfortable about accidental spills.
The fallout has already begun over the acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook that was announced earlier today. Facebook's stock began to take a hit after the announcement, which closed on the positive side for the day, but has fallen below its opening price of $64.25. This means that Facebook has lost between $1.5 and $1.8 billion in market cap in the hour or so since the acquisition announcement was made.
The fallout does not stop there though, and some developers are announcing their plans to stop development of their games for the Oculus Rift. Most notability is Markus Persson, AKA Notch, the creator of Minecraft, who tweeted that Facebook creeps him out and as a result he would be canceling development of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift. This leaves Minecraft in VR open to just Sony when the Minecraft for PS4 launches later this year. Although there is a mod out there that already enables Minecraft to the Oculus Rift, it is in no way as intuitive as native support would be.
Facebook has just announced that it will move forward with plans to acquire the virtual reality headset maker, Oculus VR, for a cool $2 billion in cash and stock. This figure includes $400 million in cash and more than $1.6 billion in 23.1 million shares of Facebook's common stock. The agreement also features an additional $300 million in earn-out cash and stock if Oculus VR meets certain milestones Facebook as set for the company.
This news comes hot on the heals of Oculus VR's unveiling of its Oculus Rift DevKit 2 at last weeks Game Developers Conference, but what baffles me is the fact that Facebook just paid $2 billion for a company that does not even have a product on the retail market yet. Oculus has sold more than 75,000 development kits though, and that speaks volumes about the demand its retail VR headset will command. Oculus says that its headquarters will remain in Irvine, California, and development will continue on its Rift headset. Facebook says that it plans on extending the Oculus Rift past gaming, and into other areas including communication, education, and social media.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today said it would treat bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies as property, instead of monetary currency, so bitcoin supporters can expect to see the government try and cash in with taxes.
Unlike US currency, which is issued and regulated by the US Federal Reserve Bank and printed by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, bitcoins are not backed by gold or any commodities - and only exists in the digital world.
"Virtual currency that has an equivalent value in real currency, or that acts as a substitute for real currency, is referred to as 'convertible' virtual currency," the IRS notes. "Bitcoin is one example of a convertible virtual currency. Bitcoin can be digitally traded between users and can be purchased for, or exchanged into, U.S. dollars, Euros, and other real or virtual currencies."
The IRS was expected to weigh in for quite some time, as the federal government wants to avoid an electronic black market from being created - and adds clarity for investors.
When Fitbit's recall of its Force fitness tracking bands was taken over by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, things got serious. Over 1 million of the company's "Force" wearable fitness tracking bands were recalled in the US and Canada because they caused a rash after prolonged use to about 1.7-percent of customers. Despite this low number, Fitbit agreed to a voluntary recall, and began collecting the defective units.
It appears that a recall is not enough for one customer though who has now filled a class-action lawsuit against the company over allegations that it did not do enough to inform consumers about the recall. The class-action lawsuit is hoping to force Fitbit to contact every Force owner in California and offer a $130+ refund that would include shipping and tax fees. Fitbit already offers a full refund and a free shipping kit to all those who wish to go that route, so I doubt the lawsuit will have much ground to stand on once court proceedings commence.
Over the last few weeks, there have been several rumors pop up on the internet that suggested that HTC would release the new HTC One M8 just hours after launch. As it turns out, those rumors were true, and during this mornings launch event, HTC said that you can buy your very own HTC One M8 right now. Verizon has an exclusive on the in-store purchases for the next 12 days, so that means that you can head over to a Verizon Wireless store right now and buy an HTC One for $199.99 on a 2-year contract or for $599.99 off contract.
HTC says that all major US and Canada carriers are now offering the HTC One M8 on sale via their websites, but as of this writing, only Sprint and AT&T have the M8 listed for sale. Pricing is the same as Verizon, with $199 on contract being the norm and about $600 being listed as the going rate for off contract purchases. I was unable to find a M8 listing on T-Mobile, but I am sure it will show up there soon. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are all offering the phone on their respective payment plans as well, with the average monthly cost between $25 and $30.
Nokia has been operating its own music streaming service and trying to compete against the big dogs in the market like iTunes and Spotify. Nokia's service is called MixRadio and it has now launched in China.
With the Chinese launch, Nokia has become the first global music streaming company to launch in the country. The launch gives Nokia access to half a billion internet users that access the web via a mobile device.
With the new launch, MixRadio is available in 31 countries around the world. To localize the service for Chinese users a bit, Nokia has teamed with Chinese musicians to create curated playlists. The artists include Khalil Fong, Tia Ray, and DJ Wordy.
Security is a big deal for users of all sorts of services and applications online. When those services are blogging and photo platforms like Facebook, tumblr, and others, security is even more important since a hacker could gain access to information and images that could be harmful to the user. Tumblr has announced that it is introducing a new form of authentication.
Users of Tumblr can now choose to activate two-factor authentication for their accounts. With the two-factor authentication activated, before you can access your account you need a password you type in and a code sent to your mobile device. If a hacker learns your password somehow, they will not be able to access your account without the ability to get the cell phone auth code.
If you aren't worried about hackers getting into your account and writing embarrassing things or stealing your photos, you can leave the new authentication method off. The downside is if you lose your mobile or leave it somewhere, you won't be able to get into your Tumblr account.
GTC 2014 - NVIDIA has just unveiled its next-generation mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC), Erista. What makes Erista an important step, is the incredible power that NVIDIA have baked into the mobile chip.
Erista isn't coming until 2015, but it will be based on the company's Maxwell architecture, which is the technology powering its next-gen GPUs on the desktop. Right now, we have Tegra K1 right around the corner, which is based on the Kepler architecture, and has around 40 GFLOPS of performance, but Erista drives that up to around 65-70 GFLOPS. We should hopefully hear more on that as 2014 comes to a close.