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Zuckerberg says he'd like to work with Google on Internet.org project

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 3:50 am

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has big goals for his company's Internet.org campaign, designed to bring affordable, reliable Internet access to people across the world. Ideally, the organization will be able to shorten the technological gap of citizens, especially in developing nations where there are plenty of mobile users - but unreliable Internet access.

 

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Zuckerberg launched Internet.org in 2013 and Facebook has largely worked behind-the-scenes with Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson and other corporate partners. A free mobile app has been released in a number of nations, giving users access to Facebook, Google Search, AccuWeather - creating opportunities for first-time users to benefit from connected services.

 

"Yeah, our team is in contact with them frequently, and I talk to a number of folks over there," said Zuckerberg, in an interview on Studio 1.0 on Bloomberg Television. "When we launched in Zambia, Google was actually one of the services that was in the Internet.org suite, and that's valuable. In addition to health services and education, jobs and different government services and communication tools, people need to be able to search and find information. And whether we work with Google or others on that in all of these other countries, I think that is an important thing. I'd love to work with Google. They are a great search product."

Harmonix reportedly working on a new Rock Band for Xbox One and PS4

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 3:38 am

Rock Band was a staple of parties and catch ups with friends, but with the PS4 and Xbox One now here, it's all but dried up. That is, until a new report from Bloomberg teased that Harmonix is working on a new Rock Band title for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles.

 

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Harmonix was asked to comment on the news, with the developer telling Eurogamer: "We're excited by how enthusiastic our fans have been in regards to our most recent DLC releases, and we think it's awesome that people are speculating about the future of the franchise!" The developer continued: "While we don't have anything to announce, hundreds of thousands of unique users are still actively playing Rock Band games each month. This passion our fans have shown for Rock Band over the years suggests that rock truly hasn't died, and we've always been clear that we'd love to return to the franchise when the time is right".

 

Considering the last Rock Band game was released in 2012 as Rock Band Blitz, it's about damn time we see another Rock Band game, especially with the new consoles now here!

Fifth 'Alien' film greenlit by 20th Century Fox

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 3:06 am

Early last month, 'District 9' and 'Elysium' director Neil Blomkamp posted some interesting concept art for a potential fifth 'Alien' film to his Instagram account, along with the caption "Was working on this. Don't think I am anymore. Love it though. #alien #xenomorph" But whilst on the publicity trail for his latest picture 'Chappie', Director Neil Blomkamp has confirmed he has signed on to direct the film after all, tweeting out a piece of H.R. Giger artwork with the caption "Um... So I think it's officially my next film. #alien"

 

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Whilst studio Twentieth Century Fox has not yet made an official announcement, Deadline Hollywood has revealed that Ridley Scott, who directed the first 'Alien' picture in 1979 will produce and assist with the script, which interestingly will be set after the forthcoming sequel to 'Prometheus'.

 

Blomkamp's 'Chappie', which is released next month, stars Sigourney Weaver who allegedly sparked his interest in the 'Alien' project, so its seems a safe bet that the next film will finally give her the character the closure that's been sorely needed since 1997's 'Alien: Resurrection'.

Sony will be hosting its own Project Morpheus event during GDC 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 2:39 am

With Sony pulling out of most of its markets and concentrating on mostly camera sensors and its PlayStation console, it should come as no surprise that the company is set to focus on its PS4-based VR headset, Project Morpheus, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015.

 

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Sony will be giving hands-on demos of its system, as well as more details on its plans for its VR headset. We don't know what Sony will be showing off exactly, as the company could surprise the world with an updated version of Project Morpheus, which is what I want to see. Almost like the DK2 to the DK1 from Oculus VR, as Oculus has even passed that with the latest Crescent Bay prototype.

 

We will be reporting about all things GDC 2015 as the event kicks off early next month in San Francisco.

Epic Games founder: VR will look as good as real life within 10 years

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 1:24 am

Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games and the brain behind the Unreal Engine, has said that there are some insane things going on with VR right now, but a lot of them aren't being shown to the public.

 

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Sweeney was interviewed recently, where he said that he expects VR hardware and headsets to double in quality every few years for the next decade. He added that it will reach a point in around 10 years from now, that it will be hard to tell the difference between the VR world, and the real-world that surrounds you right now.

 

Oculus VR is expected to launch its first consumer-ready version of the Oculus Rift sometime this year, which I'm sure we're going to hear more about at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) which kicks off in just a couple of weeks time.

Sony to more than double down on its investment into PlayStation

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 12:41 am

It's kind of an end of an era for Sony, with the Japanese giant falling on its sword in multiple of its failing divisions. We've seen the company sell of its VAIO laptop business, which is now making a comeback, but there's some more news that many will be sad over.

 

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Sony wants to make a 25-fold increase in its profits, by concentrating on products that actually make the company money. Considering the company has just recorded its sixth net loss in seven years, many can see why. Sony's stock on the other hand has actually grown by 80% in the last 12 months, as its CEO, Kaz Hirai, has been restructuring the core of Sony's business.

 

Hirai has been able to do this by focusing on making less products, to ensure they're making the right products, that sell well. This effort of restructuring will continue, but now the company has announced it will be pulling out of more markets. In the end, Sony will be making the PlayStation its near sole purpose, as well as making Sony camera sensors for companies like Apple. The company has thought of pulling out of the TV market with its Bravia brand, as LG and Samsung have been making serious inroads in the TV business over the years.

Continue reading 'Sony to more than double down on its investment into PlayStation' (full post)

NSA hacked into largest SIM card maker, accessing billions of phones

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 19, 2015 11:58 pm

Just days after we reported that the NSA had backdoor access to the firmware level of major HDD manufacturers in Seagate and Western Digital, Edward Snowden is back with new information that the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British partner GCHQ hacked into Gemalto. Gemalto, is a Netherlands SIM card manufacturer, the largest in the world.

 

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Gemalto makes two billion SIM cards each year, with the NSA hacking into the company and stealing its encryption keys, giving them access to secretly monitor both voice calls and data. The Intercept reported on the news, which has reportedly provided spy agencies with the ability of secretly monitoring gigantic portions of the world's cellular communications, which experts have said is a major violation of international laws. Considering Gemalto makes SIM cards for companies like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, you can begin to see the scope of this hack by the US government agency. Gemalto itself operates in some 85 countries around the world, providing SIM cards to over 450 wireless network providers.

 

With the NSA having these encryption keys in its hands, it has the power to monitor mobile communications "without the approval of telecom companies and foreign governments", reports The Guardian. This is something I talked about in my last OpEd, where the Obama administration needs to address it, and as I said "The NSA needs to be ripped apart, and its powers neutered". Most people think that 3G and 4G mobile networks have their calls encrypted, and while they might be, but with the keys that the NSA and GCHQ have, it's like they are living "in the phone".

Continue reading 'NSA hacked into largest SIM card maker, accessing billions of phones' (full post)

David Thodey steps down as CEO of Telstra, Andrew Penn as replacement

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 19, 2015 10:54 pm

Today it was announced that David Thodey will be stepping down as the Telstra CEO, with chief financial officer and group executive international, Andrew Penn, taking up the role as of May 1, 2015.

 

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As revealed this morning by Telstra chairman Catherine Livingston, Thodey was praised as an "outstanding chief executive," with further mention that the company has seen a double in their value since his appointment in 2009. Thodey, 60, will be helping Penn transition into the position over the next few months - stating that "our journey to being a world class customer service organization is generational progress. We have achieved much change but there is a lot more to do."

 

Working in Melbourne, Australia - Penn will be receiving a fixed remuneration package of $2.325m, including superannuation and the eligibility of short-term incentives. It might sound like quite a lot, however Telstra has reported another record half-yearly profit, with its $2.085 billion figure meaning a 22.4 percent increase when compared to the previous period.

'Pirates 5' begins filming as powerful cyclone threatens Gold Coast

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Feb 19, 2015 10:37 pm

Following the agreement struck between the Government of Australia and Walt Disney Company last year to film the fifth entry in the 'Pirates of the Carribbean' franchise at the Warner Bros. Movie World Gold Coast studio, but a tropical cyclone now threatens to disrupt proceedings.

 

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Cameras begun rolling earlier this week after Johnny Depp, who reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow flew into the location and Producer Jerry Bruckheimer took to Twitter to share the first day's shoot.

Continue reading ''Pirates 5' begins filming as powerful cyclone threatens Gold Coast' (full post)

ESL announce $250,000 CS:GO competition in Cologne

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Set inside the 15,000-seat stadium called Lanxess Arena, the second largest multifunction arena in Europe, ESL has announced they will be running the "world's largest CS:GO event" on August 22 and 23, 2015.

 

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This tournament marks the fourth time ESL has offered $250,000 on the table in only two years, however this event has been reported by HLTV to be financed and conducted directly by ESL - with no skin or sticker monetary support from the community.

 

The team qualification details have not yet been released, however we are told that there will be 16 teams in total fighting it out for the top spot. We also know that live spectator tickets will be available for purchase on February 23 through Eventim and various other ticketing agencies.

 

Ulrich Schulze, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL, is excited by this news, stating "we had the honor of hosting two US$250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments last year as part of the ESL One esports tour, and this year we plan on stepping it up," adding "ESL One Cologne is going to be the largest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event in the world. Taking place in the biggest indoor arena in Germany, we're sure it'll be a massive hit for fans from all over."

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