Amazon is trying something new to take over the digital book and audio book market with a new service called Kindle Unlimited. The service will cost subscribers $9.99 per month and has a library that has about 600,000 books to read.
Unlimited will also reportedly feature thousands of audio books for users to listen to as well. The service hasn't been announced officially just yet, it was uncovered when a cached link to the service page was rooted out.
One potential downside is that the test pages found for Kindle Unlimited didn't show any of the big five publishers including Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins. However, both of those publishers do offer content to a similar service called Oyster. Amazon owns Audible so the entire 8000 title catalog there could be included.
Intel is facing troubles with its schedule of 14nm manufacturing process, however the chipmaker said that this won't affect 10nm fabrication's schedule. Intel may be under the pressure to reassure its investors as its postponed its 14nm processor production plans that was supposed to roll out from its Fab 42 plant in Arizona, USA. 10nm is scheduled for mass-production for 2016.
Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich said during its quarterly conference call with financial analysts and investors,"We have done no changes or shift to our 10nm schedule, but we will not really talk about 10nm schedules until next year". However, Intel didn't reveal details about the production of these chips.
This might be the reason why Intel may show-off its first 10nm wafer during the upcoming Intel Developer Forum 2014. The demonstration of these wafers should reinvigorate investor's faith in Intel's schedule and in its tick-tock strategy, despite 14nm delays. It is also rumoured that Taiwan-based semi-conductor maker TSMC is also making plans to fabricate 10nm chips, which may also pressure Intel to go ahead of schedule with its 10nm roadmap.
Apple has been in hot water and facing legal action for a while now over alleged ebook price fixing in the US. Apple is now near to making a settlement with 33 US states that accused the firm of hiking up prices of ebooks sold to users in collusion with publishers. The settlement is conditional.
Reports indicate that the settlement, if approved, would cost Apple $450 million. Attorneys in the case would get $50 million and the remaining $400 million would reportedly go back to consumers who purchased books at the inflated price.
The settlement will only go ahead if Apple loses an appeal from the 2nd US Circuit court of Appeals in New York. That appeal is from a case in 2013 accusing Apple of participating in a price-fixing conspiracy with publishers to raise the price of ebooks.
Sony made an announcement to remaster its renowned PlayStation 3 titles for PlayStation 4, starting off with The Last of Us. As we reported earlier, the game will run at 1080p resolution with variable framerate to up to 60 FPS. Despite many titles like The Last of US being a hit, many gamers who never owned a PS3 were hesitant to purchase it at the time when the release of next-generation gaming consoles was very close. According to Sony Computer Entertainment, this should help them make the jump, including the current Nintendo Wii owners.
During an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment's boss Andrew house, he said that many of the older PlayStation titles will be released for PlayStation 4 to attract a new audience who are currently using Nintendo Wii. He said,"Our big opportunity is to welcome back an audience much earlier in the lifecycle that possibly bought into the Wii previously".
According to SCE, many players have skipped the purchase of PlayStation 3 for Nintendo Wii, and therefore couldn't get their hands-on playing many exclusive titles. According to him, remastering PlayStation 3 titles for the current gen PlayStation 4 will encourage Wii owners to make a switch.
Defense contractor BAE Systems has unveiled the Striker II helmet-mounted display system, giving fighter pilots enhanced tracking and night vision capabilities while in the cockpit. The fully digital system is able to project target data and coordinates directly to the pilot, along with providing night vision directly inside of the helmet.
The new technology has been designed to keep pilots safe, and provides operational information quickly within the pilot's field of vision.
"As the industry transitions from analogue to digital display solutions, Striker II brings a superior, fully digital capability to multiple platform types," said Joseph Senftle, BAE Systems' VP and GM of Communications and Control Solutions, in a press statement. "Designed to address evolving mission requirements with advanced digital night vision technology, our new HMD was built to be 'future proof' and seamlessly adaptable to technology advancements in the years ahead."
There's some new DLC for Killzone: Shadow Fall which finally gives you the ability to voluntarily fart in-game. Yes, the new DLC allows you to pass wind, in the game. Not only that, but you can plank.
There are some other cool moves in the new Killzone: Shadow Fall DLC, with the ability of spotlight moves, special finishers that can be used in combat. The official description explains: "It's all fun and games until someone loses a game. (Or so they say). Show your fallen enemies, not everything need be taken seriously".
Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, has said that his company faces a tough future, where he has said that Microsoft operating systems (in whichever form) only power a small amount of devices across the world.
During a presentation at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Turner said: "The reality is the world's shifted, the world's evolved. We now measure ourselves in the total device space. And in the total device space we have a 14% share of devices, total worldwide devices". The new figures come from Gartner, which estimated that Windows share of the shipped devices market in 2013 was just 14%, and would decrease this year to 13.7%.
It's not all doom and gloom for Microsoft, which is under fresh control and direction, with Turner saying: "We have a much bigger opportunity than we've ever had in the past to grow our mutual businesses, but we have to rethink how we look at our businesses". The numbers are quite a shock considering Microsoft's operating systems power smartphones, tablets, desktop and notebook PCs, and a bunch of other devices such as 2-in-1 devices and much more.
A new form of malware dubbed 'ScarePakage' is targeting U.S. smartphone owners and can render devices inoperable, according to security firm Lookout. The mobile ransomware tricks users by claiming it's from the FBI, saying phone owners are being investigated for alleged crimes. Once a device is compromised, the ransomware demands "several hundred dollars" or the device will remain under control of ScarePakage.
The ScarePakage ransomware doesn't need root administrator access, and has been designed to be overly intrusive. It runs a Java TimerTask every 10 milliseconds to prevent any other applications or processes to shut down, and stops hijacked devices from going into sleep mode.
"Mobile ransomware in and of itself is a fairly new tactic from malware authors and this is one of the first we've seen targeting the U.S. specifically," said Jeremy Linden, Lookout Senior Security Product Manager, in a statement to TweakTown. "That said, we are less concerned about ScarePakage distributes itself and more concerned about how difficult to remove it is. Once the application has device administrator permissions, it is very hard to regain control of the device."
Oculus VR were meant to begin shipping off the first batches of its new Development Kit 2 headset, but no one has received notification of their shipping details on the second Rift unit just yet - myself included.
I had e-mailed Oculus VR around 20 hours ago now, asking for an official comment, but was told there was no official comment. Hours later, a post by cybereality appeared on the Oculus VR forums, saying: "We've decided to hold the initial shipment of DK2s until the middle of next week so that we have an additional week to polish and QA the new Oculus SDK. We've been working on this update for over a year, with a focus on making the Rift easier to use and develop for. There are multiple major improvements including overhauled device and display handling, and we want to make sure the new SDK ready for integration by thousands of developers when DK2s start arriving at doorsteps".
I think this is fair enough, but it would've been nice to have Oculus VR say something at the beginning of the week. Surely they would've known the new SDK wouldn't be ready, but it's only a few days. Cybereality added: "Sorry to make everyone wait another week. We wouldn't delay if it wasn't important. The good news is that this only affects the very first group that would have received their units, and this doesn't change the total number of units that will ship in July. Again, we'll keep everyone posted. Thanks for bearing with us!
It looks like Microsoft knew what it was doing when it slashed $100 from the price of its Xbox One console, because just last month alone the company has seen an increase of over 100% in Xbox One sales.
The news is coming out from an internal Xbox blog, with the sales increase being attributed to the new $399 price of the Xbox One console, without the Kinect sensor. Microsoft hasn't revealed the exact number of consoles sold, so we don't know any concrete numbers on the amount of Xbox One consoles Microsoft shifted last month.