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When John Carmack left the walls of id Software for Oculus VR, we knew good things were about to happen, and it was a time when the thought of the world's largest social network acquiring a virtual reality start up were far, far from your mind. Carmack, the Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR, has finally weighed in on Facebook acquiring the company he just joined.
"Titans" is a term Carmack used to talk about Facebook and Oculus VR, where he said: "The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real question is how deeply to partner with, and who. Honestly, I wasn't expecting Facebook (or this soon). I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations - I spent an afternoon talking technology with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus".
People have concerns, thinking that Facebook will be the end of Oculus VR - something that I'm going to write about in a few days when I get home - but Carmack has said: "There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state".
Philips has unveiled an interesting new product for the people out there that are into smart lighting and the ability to create custom light scenes. Philips already has a complete line of hue bulbs that can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet.
The company has now rolled out a high-tech light switch called the hue tap. The switch is powered by kinetic energy and needs no battery or hard wiring to connect. The hue tap has four buttons that you can bind light scene creations for times when a tablet or smartphone running the app isn't available.
The tap of a button can change between those light creations and turn the lights off as well. The tap gets its power by gathering the energy from the tap of your fingers on the switch. The switch does require the hue bridge that is found in all starter kits to work. Philips will launch the tap in Europe and the US this summer for $59.95.
Music streaming is big business, and for companies like Spotify, that business cost money. One of the best way to raise extra funds is to let the public buy into your company, and it appears that Spotify is going to do just that. Rumors have began appearing that Spotify could be looking to take its company public before the end of the year.
Back in February Reuters reported that they had came across a job listing that indicated that Spotify was looking for an External Reporting Specialist that would prepare the company for SEC filing, and compile all the reports needed to be SEC compliant. Spotify is the leader in a heavily competitive market, but does that mean that the company can sustain that number one position as companies like Google and Beats by Dre have new music streaming services that are continuing to grow in popularity? Only time will tell...
The iconic Apple logo on the back of an iPhone is something that Google doesn't have going for it, but this looks like it could all change. The new HTC One M8 or Samsung Galaxy S5 upon first being booted up will display to users "Powered by Android".
Google is mandating that the phrase "Powered by Android" be used during the boot animation on new smartphones. Pushing this further, both HTC and Samsung are both using the classic Android logo that was used as the boot animation on the original Android phone, HTC's G1 device. We should see this rolling out across devices going into the future, and I think this is the big lead up to the true competitor to the iPhone 6, the Nexus 6.
Kim Dotcom is one of those people that I liken to the gunslingers of wild west legend, or something like Zoro or RobinHood even. Even though he faces very serious allegations that could land him in prison for quite a long time, he never gives up and continues to champion for internet freedom, and net neutrality.
Dotcom's latest venture is not a new file-sharing website, or even attempting to dominate the latest first person shooter style video game. In fact, Dotcom has decided to move into a more political world where he can influence the path that government's take when it comes to internet legislation. Today Kim Dotcom officially launched the new political party which he named the "Internet Party," and has released a few videos detailing the party's new mission, and goals.
You don't have to go far to see someone walking around and texting on their iPhone. you also don't have to wait long to see some of these people run into something or someone while looking at their phone instead of what's going on around them. Apple has a patent application that shows a system called transparent texting.
The idea is that the rear camera of the smartphone would be used to grab a live video image of what is behing the smartphone. That way the person texting and walking could see what is behind the phone as they move around. Naturally, this would require the person texting to hold the phone straight up in front of their face.
Most of the people I see are walking and looking down at the phone. In that instance, having what is behind the phone in the background behind a text conversation would do no good. The Apple patent app was field with the USPTO on Thursday of this week according to reports.
There is no shortage of LED light bulbs on the market today. Some of them are nothing more than a replacement bulb for a normal incandescent that will last longer and use less power. Other LED bulbs have smart tech that allows you to control the brightness and sometimes the color using a Wi-Fi network.
Samsung has announced a new LED bulb that is called the Smart Bulb. Rather than using Wi-Fi to control the brightness, the Smart bulb uses Bluetooth. Owners of the bulb can connect to it using an application on a tablet or smartphone and directly control the bulb.
The Smart Bulb has the ability to be dimmed down to 10% brightness and is CCT tunable from 2700K to 6500K. That means you can control the color of the white light it produces. It doesn't product colored light like some others on the market.
Facebook announced it was acquiring Oculus VR yesterday for some $2 billion in cash and stock, but the founder of the company, Palmer Luckey, took to Reddit to fan some of the flames that have burst out over the acquisition. Palmer talked about Facebook's market, and whether it would lose control of Oculus:
When it comes to the timing of the announcement itself:
Yesterday, Facebook announced it was acquiring Oculus VR, the startup behind the VR headset, Oculus Rift. Well, there were some 9,522 backers for the Oculus Rift on Kickstarter, where Oculus VR was asking for $250,000 in funding to get its vision of a VR headset off the ground.
Without those nearly 10,000 people, Oculus VR would not be where it is now, right? None of these people will benefit from the acquisition by Facebook, but could this change? Could we see these backers benefit financially from the acquisition? On Oculus VR's Kickstarter page, some backers are voicing their anger.
One backer, Sergey Chubukov, said: "You selling out to Facebook is a disgrace. It damages not only your reputation, but the whole of crowdfunding. I cannot put into words how betrayed I feel by this." You can read more of the reactions on the Kickstarter page.
The wearables market is booming be it fitness tracking bands or smartwatches. The market will continue to grow as well as time goes buy and technology matures. Intel has reportedly purchases a company called Basis Science that produces a product called the Basis band.
The device is a health tracking wristband that is able to keep track of sleep, activity, and more. The terms of the deal are unannounced so it's unclear exactly how much Intel paid. The chipmaker has said that the Basis band will continue to be sold and supported via existing channels.
Basis is being wrapped into the Intel New Devices Group and the former CEO of Basis will head that group as general manager. By purchasing Basis, Intel gets access to the health tracking device market straight away. It's interesting that Intel plans to continue selling and supporting Basis hardware.