In an effort to protect its still fragile automotive industry, the state of Michigan is considering a ban on Tesla sales in the state - trying to prevent direct-to-consumer vehicle sales by approving anti-competitive legislation - and Tesla is taking the fight directly to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The anti-consumer bill has made it through the Michigan legislature, and now requires the governor's signature.
"Using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the state," according to a Tesla blog post.
This is a continued effort that Tesla will fight against whenever the issue arises, as demand for the popular electric vehicles mounts. Elsewhere in the United State, the Massachusetts Supreme Judician Court didn't allow legislation that would have prevented the sale of Tesla vehicles in the New England state.
Consumers and retailers are interested in testing bitcoins as a payment option, but that doesn't mean everyone else is onboard with the idea. However, bitcoins are still not a major concern for Fed researchers and lawmakers, but the New York Fed - and a growing number of researchers in the Fed system - are discussing bitcoins on a more consistent basis.
"My best guess is that bitcoin will find a niche market," said Dr. David Andolfatto, VP of St. Louis Federal Reserve, in a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine. "It's cool to use bitcoin to pay for your Starbucks latte on university campuses. It may very well find a place on the high street, at least among some shops catering to the 'cool' crowd. But for advanced economies, at least, it is hard to see how consumers will benefit directly by using bitcoins instead of dollars or pounds."
Recently, the value of individual bitcoins dropped to just $290, with investors frustrated with its volatility - and that is going to be an uphill battle.
It appears HBO GO will hit the Microsoft Xbox One in the near future, as pictures recently surfaced of the app being used on the Xbox One game console. It's an important step forward to HBO, which is moving away from just partnerships with cable and satellite providers, including plans to launch a standalone online streaming service in 2015.
Microsoft and Sony both are relying on apps and connected entertainment to keep console owners engaged - as content providers want to give consumers access to streaming TV episodes and movies on numerous devices. Earlier in the year, Microsoft announced 45 different entertainment apps will be introduced for the Xbox One, which will bring the total to more than 225 apps once they are all introduced.
Fitbit will soon launch three new fitness trackers, with the top-of-the-line model being the new Fitbit Surge. Surge will be more than the average wearable, with the company referring to it as a "superwatch".
The new Fitbit Surge should be priced at $249, with the superwatch featuring built-in GPS tracking, PurePulse heart rate monitoring, and the ability of real-time workout data for various activities. The superwatch will provide users with stats on distance, pace, elevation climbed, heart rate intensity, and more. The new Surge will also carry over Fitbit's 24/7 activity tracking, where it'll make sure that you're getting enough sweat generated on your body each day.
Sleep tracking continues over, with the Surge having its, and your stats wirelessly synced over to the Fitbit app. Surge will also have "smart" notifications for phone calls and texts, and you can also control your music playback from Surge, which is a nice touch - pun not intended, but hey it works. Surge will launch in three colors: black, slate, and a colorful tangerine option.
Two US ad agency interns are creating quite the stir with their idea of throwing up a new crowdfunding campaign for Half-Life 3. The duo is looking for a total of $150,000 which they think will help push Valve over the edge and "get Valve to finish the game we've dreamed about for all these years".
The $150,000 won't be used to help Valve in any way, but it will instead be used for a massive marketing campaign targeted against Valve, and its employees, shouting from the rooftops: "WE WANT HALF-LIFE 3". At the time of writing, the campaign was a little short of its $150,000 target, with just $942 raised. The theory behind the campaign is that "we think that the fans aren't doing enough, we think that we've never truly been united in getting our voice heard". As for the tiered goal system, we have:
- $3,000: All 300 employees of Valve will be targeted by a Google Adwords campaign with the message "WE WANT HALF-LIFE 3".
- $9,000: A mobile billboard truck will "besiege Valve HQ in Bellevue, Washington" to urge Valve to out HL3.
- $45,000: Another Valve HQ siege will take place, this time with "a bunch of Gabe Newells" (lookalikes) trying to sneak into Valve HQ and push of the HL3 development/release.
- $150,000: the "Most Epic Concert EVER" will be organised where Half Life fans will listen to "some of the biggest names in video game music".
When NVIDIA announced the GeForce GTX Titan Z back at GTC 2014 in March, it was an expensive beast at $3999, but now Overclockers UK has dropped the price on some of its Titan Z's, radically.
Just last week, the site dropped it from its launch price of $3863, to $3219, which is a decent drop. But, the company has just taken a massive $900 off its price, dropping it down to 'just' $2415. For $2415, you're getting a triple-slot, dual GPU card with 12GB of RAM, two full GK110 GPUs with 2880 stream processors, 240 texture units, an 48 raster operations pipelines.
You'd still be better off with two GeForce GTX 980s in SLI, but for some people a single card is what they want, and no single card can compete with the Titan Z right now.
The competition between GIGABYTE and ASUS is as fierce as ever, but ASUS is set to lower the prices of its motherboards, and spend considerable amounts of money on furthering its marketing reach according to DigiTimes' industry sources.
ASUS has reportedly planned multiple promotions, where it will sell bundles with its GPUs and motherboards, hoping to gain thousands more consumers with its impressive line up of GPUs. DigiTimes' sources noted "GIGABYTE's motherboard and video card businesses are separate units and the two departments hardly cooperate over sales and marketing. Although GIGABYTE's motherboard business has been performing strongly recently, Asustek's new strategy is expected to impact GIGABYTE's motherboard business group".
Just how much is ASUS planning to spend on marketing? According to DigiTimes' sources, the Taiwanese manufacturer has already prepared between $32 million and $65 million to boost its marketing. The company is expecting to see its profits for 2014 drop because of this, but the marketing should gain more sales going into 2015. The sources continued "GIGABYTE had profits of NT$3-3.3 billion from the motherboard business in 2013. Although the company's shipments in 2014 are unlikely to achieve the targeted growth of one million units, profits in the year are expected to stay at around NT$3 billion because of the rising proportion of high-end models".
Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, talked with CNET after Apple's unveiling event for the new iPad, and the new 5K-capable iMac. Federighi had some interesting things to talk about when it came to the Mac, especially when the idea of touchscreen Macs was bought up.
Federighi said: "We don't think it's the right interface, honestly. Mac is sort of a sit-down experience. We've really focused on building the best track pads we can, something where it feels [like] your posture's relaxed, it's a comfortable machine to use. And, of course, over the years we've experimented with all the technology, but we found it just wasn't good. ... We're not all that interested in building one".
He also added that the iPhone and iPad can be used in a "very relaxed position" compared with the fact that a touchscreen Mac would have a user sitting at a desk, reaching forward to touch their display. It was only earlier in the year where the idea of merging iOS and OS X was considered a "waste of energy".
Apple unveiled its new 27-inch iMac during the week, which featured a beautiful 5K display with a resolution 5120x2880, and now iFixit have given it the usual teardown treatment. So what better way to spend your day after you've spent thousands of dollars buying the new Retina 5K iMac, than to rip it apart, right?
iFixit's teardown reveals that Apple's new iMac features an easily accessible RAM upgrade panel, and when it came to the 5K panel, the iFixit crew found that it requires a steady hand to remove it, but it's not all that hard. The 27-inch 5K panel itself is made by LG, with most of the hardware powering it coming from Texas Instruments. Going deeper into the new iMac, the iFixit team found that the layout of supporting hardware was close to identical to that found in last year's model.
The new 27-inch 5K iMac received a repairability score of 5/10 from iFixit, with the team saying that the user-replaceable RAM, HDD and CPU were all good to see,but the HDD and CPU upgrades the removal of the entire display. iFixit did add that the glass and LCD being fused together, along with the fact that there is double-sided sticky tape there that needs to be replaced to remove and replace the display, received negative marks from iFixit.
Microsoft is set to roll out the Halo: Master Chief Collection on November 11, and in celebration of this, the company has revealed that they have sold over 60 million units in their Halo franchise worldwide.
The company took to its blog to say: "To date, more than 60 million copies of Halo games have been sold worldwide, driving over 6 billion hours of gameplay by fans connected to Xbox Live. As one of the most innovative and beloved names in multiplayer gaming, Halo is enjoyed by millions of players around the globe. Since its launch in 2001, it has been synonymous with the Xbox brand".
Microsoft will be releasing the Halo: Master Chief Collection on the Xbox One on November 11, with better visuals, more features and a polished Halo experience for their current generation console. The game will require a 20GB day-one patch, on top of the 45GB that is included on the Blu-ray.