During the Commonwealth Games that take place between 24th July and the 3rd of August, BBC Research and Development will be conducting a few trials and public demonstrations. These experiments will see a number of industry partners working together to help create the future of BBC R&D's vision of the future of TV. These broadcasting milestones include:
- The first ever Ultra-HD broadcast of a Commonwealth Games
- The first major live event to be produced and delivered entirely over the Internet
- The first UK trial broadcasting live coverage over 4G mobile networks
- The first live virtual reality broadcast combining 360 degree video with 3D audio
- The first public outing for several cutting-edge BBC R&D projects demonstrating the editorial and creative potential of a new Internet-based broadcasting system
The biggest part here is that we're going to be seeing the first live VR broadcast done, which will use a combination of 360-degree video with 3D audio. The BBC R&D team will be getting a hand from UCL, where they will create "the most immersive live virtual reality broadcast to date". The demonstration will involve "a panoramic, 360 degree video camera, and a 3D audio microphone will be placed into the SSE Hydro Stadium in Glasgow, streaming the live feeds to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in the Glasgow Science Centre". They continue, by teasing that "This provides the viewer with the sensation of being transported inside the stadium and being part of the crowd. This work forms part of ongoing projects to explore the creative and editorial potential of new consumer audio-visual technology".
Starting next year, the British government will decriminalize online video game, music and movie piracy, as well as totally removing harsher punishment plans after it has considered them unworkable. In 2015, file sharers will be sent four warning letters telling them of their activity being illegal, but after the fourth letter, no more correspondence will take place.
The British government has called this new scheme the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), and has arrived after many years of discussions between ISPs, British politicians, and the movie and music industries. This has involved the UK's biggest providers - BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky - with each of them signing up for VCAP, leading the way for the smaller providers to soon join them.
The newly installed scheme will replace anti-piracy measures that are already in place across the country, which included cutting users' Internet connections, as well as creating an ever-growing database of known file sharers. Chief Executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor talked about VCAP, where he said that: "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection". He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice".
Samsung has released a behemoth of a new TV, measuring in at a truly gigantic 105 inches. The new TV is 4K-capable, and retails for for a price that puts it into the 1% category: $120,000.
For $120,000 you're getting yourself a 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV that features a higher-than-4K resolution of 5120x2160. This provides the new 105-inch TV with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The usual Ultra HD resolution of 3840x2160 provides the standard 16:9 ratio, but this new Smart UN105S9 TV from Samsung features an even wider aspect ratio than the 'true 4K' resolution of 4096x2160 (1.9:1).
The expensive, but luxurious TV is capable of delivering your content in 3D, too. But with next to no 4K-capable 3D content available, right now this feature is a little useless. We have four HDMI 2.0 ports that are capable of 4K support at 60FPS and a bundled 1TB HDD from Samsung that includes some 4K content.
While most games aren't running at 1920x1080, or 1080p on the Xbox One, the upcoming shooter from Bungie, the studio behind Halo, will be running at 1080p on the Xbox One.
As you can see in the above video, this is what we should expect from Destiny on the Xbox One. The beta that is available right now isn't running at Full HD, but rather 900p. The final version of Destiny on the Xbox One has been confirmed at 1080p. Destiny isn't far away, as it'll arrive on September 9, just a couple of more weeks away.
Online video service Netflix surpassed 50 million members during the second quarter, with the number including free trial memberships. Netflix's adoption of original programming has greatly helped the company - despite an arm and a leg cost - as it draws in new viewers.
Around 75 percent of Netflix subscribers reside in the United States, but company officials hope to promote wider international adoption. Netflix is already available in 40 different countries, and will expand in Europe this September, reaching Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.
"There is growing demand, for control and for the consumer to be able to click and watch what they want, and so that is why we are stepping up on the international expansion," said Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, during a recent conference call. "We really see that this is an enormous moment in history as on-demand Internet services are coming to the fore around the world."
Electronic Arts has announced that it has delayed the release of the Visceral Games-developed Battlefield: Hardline until next year, citing that the development teams want more time to polish the game before it gets released to gamers across the world.
DICE's Vice President and Group GM, Karl Magnus Troedsson, explains: "Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline - we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves. Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We've been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you".
He continued: "This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better. The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn't have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months". Troedsson said that the teams at DICE and Visceral Games wanted to spend more time on developing better innovation on the multiplayer side of things, as well as bake in "ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience".
Microsoft hasn't hit the same popularity it did with Windows 7 with its latest two operating systems: Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but will it strike the iron again with Windows 9? We are now being treated to an early look thanks to some leaked screenshots of the next version of Windows' Start Menu.
The new build of Windows is still codenamed "Threshold" which is another major desktop revamp, with one of those bits being the much-talked about Start Menu. We can see that the new screenshots show off an impressive looking Start Menu that features some "Metro-style" apps that are pinned to the Start Menu itself, as well as the usual applications to the left.
The Verge is reporting that these images are genuine, and are from the current development versions of "Windows 9". The second screenshot shows that Microsoft is hoping to have Metro-style apps run in the desktop as either fullscreen or windowed. This is a large part of Microsoft's plans for the upcoming version of its OS, something that will make mouse and keyboard users have a better experience on the desktop.
That infamous hawker of hype and high-price handsets, Apple Corporation, has just posted its quarterly profits - of 7.75 billion dollars, up a very respectable 12 percent compared to the same time last year.
It claimed the runaway success of its latest iPhone models is to thank for the strong growth, as well as a swelling of its business in China, where revenue was boosted 28 percent to reach 5.9 billion dollars. The company brought in over 10.3 billion in operational cash flow, it said. "Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can't wait to introduce."
For now it looks like the hype train is showing no signs of stopping, as the entire blogosphere speculates on what's next for the iconic iPhone. What's a little less on everyone's lips, though, is the iPad - sales of which happened to plummet for a second quarter in a row, down by a pretty substantial nine percent to 13.3 million.
Microsoft has announced its fiscal fourth quarter earnings, and although it's in profit, the company claims it took a hit from Nokia's handset business.
Quarterly profit was $4.61 billion, down from $4.96 billion for the same quarter last year. That leaves it at 55 cents per share, quite a touch short of Wall Street's expectations of 60 cents per share on average. And while the acquisition of Nokia's handset business may have impacted on Microsoft's quarterly profits, revenues reached $23.38 billion, beating estimates of $23 billion, with the company largely having Nokia sales to thank for this. Enterprise also performed well.
"We are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution," Satya Nadella, new-ish Microsoft CEO said. "I'm proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off - our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate." Executive veep Amy Hood said in a statement that as the company enters fiscal 2015, it's "focused on aligning" its resources towards strategic investments - perhaps referring to Microsoft's recent decision to make one of the largest job cuts in the history of the tech industry - of a staggering 18,000 people.
Cybercriminals in Nigeria are continually evolving their attack strategies, and have created next-generation malware able to compromise businesses and organizations that they previously ignored. The old school "419" phishing tactics once infamously deployed by Nigerian spammers still occurs, but the criminals want to steal data from a larger number of victims using better designed strategies.
Utilizing Remote Administration Tools (RATs) from online hacker forums, Nigerian cybercriminals aim for full control of compromised systems. Silver Spaniel is able to circumvent legacy firewalls and typical anti-virus and anti-malware software because it has been modified to ensure it can evade them efficiently.
"These Silver Spaniel malware activities originate in Nigeria and employ tactics, techniques and procedures similar to one another," said Ryan Olson, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 Intelligence Director, in a statement. "The actors don't show a high level of technical acumen, but represent a growing threat to businesses that have not previously been their primary targets."