Sunday, March 31, 2013

Is It true? iMessage DDoS attacks foreshadow a bigger threat

Recently, several iOS developers became victims to an iMessage DDoS attack that crashed their app and inhibited their devices. The attacks were executed using a simple AppleScript, where the attackers are able to send out an unlimited, fast-pace amount of messages to the recipient. Depending on the content of the message, the app would either crash, or would shell out notifications at an annoyingly, alarming rate.

The good news for right now is that the attacks only seem to be limited to a small group of people, and only to devices that have been jailbroken. However, the bad news is that anybody, jailbroken iPhone or not, can become a victim to these attacks. One of the victims, Grant Paul, stated, “What’s happening is a simple flood: Apple doesn’t seem to limit how fast messages can be sent, so the attacker is able to send thousands of messages very quickly.” It also looks like the hackers are using throwaway emails, so simply blocking their email will not solve the issue. Another victim, iH8sn0w, stated that he was attacked on Wednesday night. He received a blast of messages saying “Hello Human” and “We are Anonymous…” He was able to track down the sender’s email. The developers have discovered that the attacks originated from a Twitter account that sells UDIDs, and that the account was also responsible for facilitating the installation of pirated apps. While these attacks are small now, they have the potential of becoming widespread. All the attacker needs is your email address. These attacks are able to stall your device because you would need to clear you iMessage queue in order to perform any other actions. Another version of the attack involves mass sending of unicode characters and/or large messages, which ends up crashing your iMessage app and prevents you from re-opening it. Right now, there are no real solutions to the problem besides disabling your iMessage app. Hopefully Apple is able to come up with an effective solution soon. [via The Next Web] Story Timeline Apple iMessage an unexpected shock to carriers: Goodbye SMS cash-cow With a little work, Google Talk could blow iMessage out of the water Samsung unveils ChatON service to compete with iMessage, BBM, and others iMessage support revealed in iChat for OS X Lion BlackBerry outage hits third day while iMessage threat circles Apple working on AirPlay Mirroring and iMessage for Max OS X Apple iMessage bug allows others to spy on your convos iMessage experiencing difficulties as Apple works on fix iMessage DDoS attacks foreshadow a bigger threat is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Find treasure with Google’s new treasure map

Following up on YouTube’s April Fool’s Day prank, Google has launched one of its own. It’s similar to its prank last year, when it launched an awesome 8-bit version of its Maps service. This year, Google has transformed Google Maps into a treasure map. In order to access the map, all you have to do is click on “Treasure Mode” on the top right of the Google Maps page. Then you can watch as your location is magically transformed into a treasure map.

Google provided an informational video that goes in-depth with its prank. It says that the Google Maps Street View Team discovered the treasures maps of William “Captain” Kid on September 16th, 2012, while they were on an expedition in Madagascar. There are several locations, like San Francisco’s Treasure Island, or San Jose State University, that have the “X” symbol marking treasure spots. In the video, Google shows that there are many ways to decrypt the codes on Google Maps. Some symbols are revealed with sunlight and others when you align your mobile device with other mobile devices. There are more dangerous ways to decrypt symbols, such as holding your mobile device or laptop over an open fire, or skydiving in order to align your device with the landscape. Of course, Google is courteous (and pre-cautious) and has labeled some of these methods with “Don’t not attempt at home”. All in all, it’s a well-executed and in-depth April Fool’s Day prank, expected from a company like Google. Throughout today and tomorrow, we should see some more awesomely thought-out pranks, so keep a lookout for them. If you haven’t already, check out YouTube’s April Fool’s Day prank, where they say that YouTube was actually an 8-year long contest where the winner is awarded an MP3 player and a $500 stipend. Story Timeline Set Google Maps as the default maps app on iOS with a few tweaks Google Maps for iOS downloaded over 10 million times in just 48 hours Hyundai to bring Google Maps integration to upcoming car models Google Maps opens North Korea Google Maps Street View ads panoramic imagery from Grand Canyon Google Maps goes inside NFL stadium for first time Google Maps for iOS updates with Google Contacts, local search improvements Google Maps could be banned in Germany due to Microsoft patent lawsuit After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down Find treasure with Google’s new treasure map is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Apple will reportedly launch iRadio by Summer

Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch its own web-based music streaming service, and one that will rival Pandora. The new music service will be called iRadio, and will follow Pandora’s example of music streaming. Music services like Spotify and Pandora provide a great revenue stream for music labels. According to the labels, Pandora accounted for 25% of their revenue last year.

However, the labels are getting worried because Pandora is attempting to negotiate for lower royalty fees. Currently, it pays 12 cents per 100 songs, but it needs to have a lower rate in order to generate a profit. Despite it not generating a profit, Pandora’s 12 cents per 100 songs fee is much lower than the 21 cents per 100 songs recommendation provided by the Copyright Royalty Board. Even Spotify, with its millions of users, is paying 35 cents per 100 songs. The labels aren’t planning on lowering Pandora’s royalty fees however. They believe that the web radio industry is still growing, and that there will be other services that will be just as good as Pandora. They’re banking on Apple’s iRadio becoming a success. A source told The Verge that there is no doubt that Apple’s iRadio is coming, and that Apple has achieved a lot of progress with music labels. The sources say, “Apple is pushing really hard for a summertime launch”. If Apple really is far into negotiations with music labels, perhaps the music labels were able to convince the company that a 6 cents per 100 songs royalty fee was too low. Regardless, with Apple’s power, its iRadio service would most likely be an instant hit, and it may deal incredible damage to Pandora’s business, especially since Pandora has just restricted its mobile users to only 40 hours of free music streaming per month. If the music labels offer Apple a better rate than Pandora, Pandora is expected to make a case in front of Congress with the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA) bill. The bill, if approved by Congress, would lower Pandora’s (and other web radio’s) royalty fees so that they can generate a profit. [via The Verge] Story Timeline Spotify reportedly aiming at free access for mobile users Pandora limits mobile users to 40 hours of free streaming per month Apple's low royalty rate offer for streaming music has record labels grumbling Pandora talks February 2013 audience metrics and fiscal 2013 financials Pandora arrives on Windows Phone 8, ad-free until 2014 Spotify reportedly plans to add video on-demand service Apple will reportedly launch iRadio by Summer is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? PlayStation 4 demand will reportedly outpace supplies at launch

There is speculation going around that the demand for the PlayStation 4 will outpace the available supply for the console system at launch. Gamestop stated that around 900,000 of its members have signed up for its “PlayStation 4 First To Know List”. While it’s more of a pre-registration than it is pre-orders, Gamestop says that its lists are usually a “strong indicator” for the number of people planning on pre-ordering the device.

The news came from Gamestop’s President Tony Bartel. He stated, “Although we have been given no official numbers by Sony, we do believe that demand will far outpace the supply of this product during the launch window”. If his statement is true, the high-demand for Sony’s PlayStation 4 is a good sign for the video game industry. The industry has been on the decline for quite some time now, with recent numbers showing the industry dropping 25% in sales. Also, in other good news, the PlayStation is looking to launch globally by the holiday season this year. There were rumors circulating around that stated that Europe would have to wait until 2014 to get their hands on the game console due to distribution issues, however Gamestop assures consumers that that’s not the case. Sony has yet to release images of the PlayStation 4, however, it has released information regarding the PlayStation 4′s specs and its peripherals, like its DualShock 4 controller. The PlayStation 4 is an impressive console. The PlayStation 4 demonstrations showed off the stunning graphics that games on its system will be capable of. There were also a bunch of features announced that make the system much more than a game console centered around the living room. You will be able to use the remote play feature to stream games onto your PS Vita, tablet, or smartphone so that you can play your games anywhere in the house. Check out our PlayStation 4 guide on everything you need to know about the console. [via CNET] Story Timeline PlayStation 4 event wrap-up: Everything you need to know Sony unveils PlayStation 4 specs, Dualshock 4 controller and PlayStation 4 Eye camera PlayStation 4 will be able to play used games, says Sony PlayStation 4 console: why the box doesn't matter Sony CEO says PlayStation 4 "still in development" PlayStation 4 used games policy: yes and no Retailers already launching pre-orders for PlayStation 4 Sony teases social aspects of PlayStation 4 with new screenshots PlayStation 4 demand will reportedly outpace supplies at launch is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Apple gets denied the iPad Mini trademark

Apple has been denied the trademark for its iPad Mini devices in the U.S. The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Apple’s application because it says that the word “Mini” is “merely descriptive” of Apple’s iPad. The reviewer of the application stated, “the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of the applicant’s goods.” Apple is able to appeal the decision, however, and will most likely be granted the trademark as long as it addresses all of the reasons why the application was denied.

The rejection letter was sent to Apple back in January 24th. The reviewer stated that the term Mini just described “something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class.” The reviewer referred to other products with the term Mini slapped onto their descriptions as well, and stated that the word is so common, and that Apple’s use of it only describes “a small sized handheld tablet computer. Apple needs to find a better way to distinguish the iPad Mini from the regular iPad in order to obtain the trademark. Alongside these grounds for refusal, the reviewer also stated that Apple is not allowed to submit images from its product webpages in its trademark applications. Something strange about that refusal is that it’s actually common for Apple to use images from its product webpages, and that this is the first time that USPTO has had a problem with it. Apple has until July 24th to appeal its trademark application with the appropriate amendments, but Apple should already be well on its way to solving the issue. Apple’s iPad Mini has gained a lot of popularity in the past 6 months, with consumer interest in the device almost doubling from what it was before. You can check out our iPad Mini review in order to see if its a tablet you should get. [via Apple Insider] Apple gets denied the iPad Mini trademark is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down

No, not really. In celebration of April Fool’s Day, YouTube went all out with their (highly unbelievable) prank. Now some of you may be saying, “You’re one day early YouTube, it’s March 31st”, but you have to keep in mind that its April 1st in some countries already, like Japan. In its April Fool’s Day prank, YouTube stated that after 8 years, the contest that is YouTube, will finally come to an end come midnight, April 1st.

The video shows footage of YouTube’s offices where 30,000 staff members are reviewing ALL of the content that has ever been uploaded to YouTube. In the video, Tim Liston, the “Competition Director”, states that it’s finally time to pick the “winner”. He also says that the entire process of determining the winner will take 10 years. The “winner” of the competition will be revealed in 2023 when YouTube’s site goes back online. The video features interviews with a variety of uploaders with popular video uploads. There are interviews with iJustine, the uploaders of “____ reacts to ____” videos, Charlie bit my finger, David After Dentist, and more. The winners of the contest get a pretty terrible prize. They get a MP3 player that can be strapped to their sleeves, as well as a $500 stipend to be used towards their next creative venture (8 years well spent). All in all, it was a creative video that will get you some laughs. Of course, if YouTube really were to shut down, it’d be a nightmare. How else are we going to get easy access to hands-on video demonstrations, or learn how to tie a tie? Fortunately for all of us, YouTube is doing extremely well and is seeing no threats of being shutdown, unlike Google Reader. Just last week, YouTube announced that it finally has 1 billion monthly active users. If YouTube was really a contest, which video would you nominate to win? Story Timeline YouTube tipped to launch its own music streaming service YouTube's One Channel design taken out of beta YouTube co-founder planning on launching rival service YouTube Capture now available for iPad Simon Cowell to launch next competition on YouTube YouTube's newest milestone: 1 billion unique monthly users YouTube announces live-streaming tools for game developers After 8 years, YouTube is finally shutting down is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Facebook’s Android OS will be called “Facebook Home”

Last week, we reported that Facebook is planning on revealing its own customized version of the Google Android operating system . They will be debuting their “special” version of the Android OS onto one of HTC’s devices. It’s speculated that it will launch on a new HTC device, however, there’s also reports that the OS will be able to run on HTC’s older handsets, and even on its upcoming flagship handset, the HTC One.

Now reports are saying that Facebook’s version of Android OS will be called “Facebook Home”. Sources revealed to 9to5Google that the tagline on Facebook’s invitations, “Come See Our New Home On Android”, is actually a teaser to the new product name. Facebook’s version of the OS will feature deep integration into Android. Facebook Messenger, Photos, and Contacts will be set as the default programs, with Facebook Messenger being used for both messaging your Facebook friends, as well as sending out SMS text messages. The HTC smartphone that will feature the new, modified Android OS, and will most likely be announced at the event as well. Many sources say that the phone highly resembles the iPhone 5. It will have a home button at the bottom-center of the phone, with capacitive buttons on its right and left side. The device will have a screen larger than 4-inches, with speculations that it will be 4.3-inches. The phone is also said to be similar in size to the iPhone 5. On top of both of these reveals, we’re also expecting Facebook to announce an upgrade to its Facebook for Android app. Android users have been waiting for a long time to have a decent Facebook for Android app. The current app, while much better than the versions before it, could still use a lot of work. We’re hoping that the app is just as smooth as the iOS app, if not better. Facebook had its employees work extra-hard on the Android app, so it’d be nice to see the results that have come from that. Tune in with us on April 4th, 10:00 A.M. PST, for the official updates from Facebook’s event. [via 9to5Google] Story Timeline Facebook brings ads straight to your newsfeed Facebook game developers made $2.8B in 2012 Facebook improves mobile app install ads for developers Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook April 4 event invite teases Android-related announcement Facebook event to reveal "real" Android app (not a phone) HTC "Facebook phone" Android software integration tipped Facebook gets approval to build a low-key second campus Facebook is testing out a new button Facebook’s Android OS will be called “Facebook Home” is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? I fell for the HTC One in a Tokyo cat cafe

I started off liking the HTC One. Now, having used it as my only camera while on holiday in Japan this past week, I’m in love with it. HTC has a whole lot riding on the One this year, and one of the more contentious features is the Zoe photography system, blending stills and short videos that are simultaneously captured in what the company says will “bring to life” your photo gallery. Attempts to differentiate from the gush of other Android devices with software customization is something we’ve seen so often now, it’s hard not to be cynical (and simply demand “pure” Android instead), but Zoe has turned out to be a different story.

I’m bad at taking photos, especially when I’m away. All too often I’ll come back from a trip and realize I have nothing – bar the memories in my own head – to show for it. Stills seldom capture the emotion of a moment, while video gets long and unwieldy, and thus goes unwatched. Zoe, though, combines a burst of twenty stills with about three and a half seconds of Full HD video. You can shoot just stills, or just HD video, but HTC expects most One users to give up on regular images and instead use Zoe mode: once you’ve captured a cluster of shots, you can then scroll through and pick out the one with the best framing or facial expressions, or indeed combine features from two stills into one. The One also automatically combines a selection of Zoes into a highlight reel, 30s of curated content complete with music, effects, and transitions. What Zoe is particularly great at, though, is putting photography into a framework. You’re not just snapping hundreds of stills and recording dozens of videos – which, if you’re anything like me, you have a strong suspicion that you’ll never actually look through or share after you’re home. Instead, you start to think about photography in terms of easily snackable chunks of content: a simple 30 second highlight reel that you can imagine actually showing someone without having to worry that you’re boring them. Find out all the details on the UltraPixel camera and Zoe system here It also makes you think of your life in terms of events. On every other phone I’ve used, I’ve never bothered with albums: all of my images and videos have been left in one long stream of content (and one I seldom bother scrolling back through). On the One, though, you start to consider how an event might look when seen as a highlight reel: I started purposefully shooting panning shots that I knew would be particularly good at setting the scene, for instance, and tried to take more photos of people and their reactions, rather than just impressive landscapes. The result is a gallery I actually want to flick back through, and photos I actually want to show to people. Highlight videos that require less than a minute’s investment in time are perfect for attention-short social networks like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, and of course since it’s Android there’s fully baked-in sharing with whatever service you have installed. "The result is a gallery I actually want to look through" It’s not all perfect, however. As we noted in our review, right now the One gives you no control over what resolution the Zoe highlight reel is encoded at – it’s Full HD or nothing – and that makes for a big video. When you’re roaming abroad, it means finding a (fast) WiFi connection is essential unless you want to bankrupt yourself with foreign data fees. That’s not the only upload-related headache. Zoe doesn’t work at all well with automatic-upload systems; I love how Google+ pushes new photos and videos to the cloud in the background, ready for me to share them later, but on the One every single shot is queued up for the same online treatment. Given each Zoe consists of twenty stills as well as the brief video, that means a whole lot of unnecessary duplication when you browse through online. “You have 3825 new photos ready to share” Google+ eagerly informed me, after suggesting that I might want to pay to upgrade my Google Drive storage. In fact, there’s a sense that HTC only really thought about the photography experience on the One itself, not that people might want to explore their shots outside of the handset. Having spent a couple of hours sifting through all of the multiple Zoe shots after dumping them over to my computer, picking out the best/least blurry/most interesting to share with family, the comparative value of the highlight reels began to wane. For every scene there were twenty shots to key through, and the HTC Sync Manager app does nothing but push everything into iPhoto. HTC really needs to offer more granular – and straightforward to use – control over which photos are treated as the default by other apps and services, particularly given the shortcomings of the current highlight reel selection process. Eventually, you should be able to pick out which images are used to build the automagically-edited video; right now, though, the only way to manually control what’s included and what isn’t is to sort them manually into different Event albums (the One splits up events that are at different times and locations automatically, but I found it still mixed together activities while I was away). Those Events can then be used to create more specific highlight reels, but then you miss out on auto-uploading, since most such services only look at content in the root Photos folder. Events on the One are organized into subfolders, unless you copy rather than move them, in which case you run into storage limitations (which, since there’s no memory card slot, could quickly become an issue given the size of each single Zoe cluster). I’d love to see HDR support in Zoe mode (at the moment, you can only use it in standard camera mode); that generally works well, though it sometimes left the sky oddly colored in brighter scenes. The ability to opt for longer highlight reels would be great too: a minute or 90 seconds, perhaps, to fit in more media from longer Events. The fumbles and glitches don’t undermine the overall experience, however. HTC’s decision to opt for a 4-megapixel-equivalent sensor might mean we get stuck with awkward “UltraPixel” branding, but it doesn’t stop the One from taking solid shots and delivering great low-light images (useful for when you’re taking food photos in restaurants; yes, I know it’s a cliché, but I still did it). Zoe seemed like a gimmick at first, but it’s enough to make me reach for the HTC One in preference to the iPhone 5 or any other Android handset when I know I’m likely to be taking photos. Now HTC just needs to bring its sync app up to speed too, as well as do a better job of explaining to potential consumers why they might end up thinking the same, if they’d only give the One a try. I fell for the HTC One in a Tokyo cat cafe is written by Chris Davies .

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Is It true? Facebook is testing out a new button

It seems like Facebook is just testing out a whole bunch of new features, and it doesn’t look like it has any intention of stopping anytime soon. Today, it was discovered that Facebook is testing out a new button on the desktop version of its service. The new button appears on the top right of your Facebook page, right next to your profile link. The button pops up the “How are you feeling” post-a-status screen.

The button was first discovered by Mashable’s Alex Fitzpatrick. The button appears to be rolling out to a small test group, and it’s still up in the air about whether or not this button will be rolled out to the rest of Facebook’s users. It allows users to update their status no matter which page they’re on. So if you’re on your friend’s Facebook page, and you just thought of something you want to send to the entirety of your Facebook friends list, you can just click the button to update your status. Many people are speculating that Facebook is borrowing its features from Twitter. The button looks awfully similar to Twitter’s “Compose a tweet” button, especially with the pop-up button over a faded background. Facebook also renamed its “subscribers” to “followers”, and is planning on implementing a hashtag feature in its service soon, a feature that was popularized by Twitter. Alongside the upcoming addition of the “post-a-status” button, Facebook has also added an update to Facebook Events. Event planners, as well as event attendees, will now be able to see the weather conditions for their upcoming events. Facebook is also rolling out a new feature to Facebook Pages that organizes comments in more simple, threaded conversations. Facebook has been constantly testing out new features this month, so it’ll be interesting what else will pop out in the next few days. [via Mashable] Story Timeline Facebook implements conversation threads into Pages Facebook brings ads straight to your newsfeed Facebook game developers made $2.8B in 2012 Facebook improves mobile app install ads for developers Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook event to reveal "real" Android app (not a phone) HTC "Facebook phone" Android software integration tipped Facebook gets approval to build a low-key second campus Facebook is testing out a new button is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Adviser recommends MetroPCS shareholders vote against T-Mobile merger

It looks like T-Mobile will be facing an uphill battle come April 12th. On April 12th, the shareholders will be voting on whether or not MetroPCS should form a merger with T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile needs the shareholders to vote for the merger in order to complete the deal. It has already received the go-ahead from the Department of Justice as well as the FCC. However, one proxy adviser is looking to make sure the deal doesn’t go through.

The adviser, Institutional Shareholder Services, which is an adviser to many big shareholders, has recommended that shareholders not go through with the deal. The ISS stated that the MetroPCS shareholders are getting the short end of the stick and would do just fine without T-Mobile. It states that there is also a potential to thrive without T-Mobile, which could prove to be true considering it offers very affordable plans with unlimited data. Many investors are already planning on voting against the deal. Paulson & Co., MetroPCs’s biggest shareholder, which currently has 9.9% of the company’s shares, has stated that the company should look for alternative options because the T-Mobile merger would result in too high of a debt for MetroPCS. The ISS also states that MetroPCS shareholders will only have a 26% stake in the shared company and they will only receive $4 a share. T-Mobile, however, is optimistic that the deal will go through. T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, stated that the deal will go through “despite the several greedy hedge funds that are trying to take a double dip out of that process.” We shall see if that’s true in the next two weeks. In other news, T-Mobile has just launched its new uncarrier plans, as well as 7 new LTE networks. It’s looking to take on the other 3 major carriers, and if it had MetroPCS on its side, it would definitely pose as a major threat. [via The Wall Street Journal] Story Timeline MetroPCS moves back shareholders meeting to April 12th T-Mobile, MetroPCS merger gets approval from Department of Justice T-Mobile to layoff employees before MetroPCS merger, sources say FCC approves T-Mobile merger with MetroPCS T-Mobile reveals UNcarrier LTE event info early: a quick run-down T-Mobile unveils 4G LTE UNcarrier device lineup iPhone 5 gets HD Voice on T-Mobile exclusively T-Mobile LTE live in seven markets starting today Adviser recommends MetroPCS shareholders vote against T-Mobile merger is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Crytek intends to take Darksiders off THQ’s hands

Crytek is looking to reunite Darksiders with its original creators, Vigil. The company hired 35 of Vigil’s employees after the company failed to receive any bids back in THQ’s original auctions. Crytek launched a new studio in Austin, Texas called Crytek USA and housed all of the Vigil employees there. Crytek USA is currently headed by Vigil’s old co-founder, David Adams.

The bidding for Darksiders, as well as the other IPs in THQ’s back catalog auction, will begin on April 1st and will continue on through April 15th. THQ will then have to discuss the bids with the entities that it owes money to, and then it will decide on a primary bidder and back-up bidder for each of its IPs. THQ will then have to present the sales to the court, who will have to approve each sale. Everything is expected to finalize sometime in May. David Adams tweeted, “Looking to buy @Darksiders IP back from #THQ. The IP belongs in the hands of its creators.” Ryan Stefanelli, the Principal Designer at Crytek USA, further confirmed that Crytek will be bidding for Darksiders’s IP, and that everyone is “excited at the prospect”. It’s still up in the air what Crytek plans on doing with the IP. It had already stated that it doesn’t plan on working on Darksiders 3, because it “doesn’t fit with our strategy”. Nonetheless, fans, as well as the ex-Vigil staff, will be relieved that Darksiders will return home to its rightful owners. For those of you that are interested in playing Darksiders or Darksiders 2 for the PC, you can purchase the games for extremely cheap through this week’s Humble Bundle. You can pay $1 to get Darksiders, or a little over the average payment to get both games. You will also get Red Faction: Armageddon and Red Faction: Guerrilla. [via Joystiq] Story Timeline NPD: Darksiders II sold 247k copies in August, takes top software spot Darksiders II for the Nintendo Wii U to feature special content THQ files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Ubisoft reportedly interested in buying THQ properties THQ assets auctioned off, employees say farewell Remaining THQ IP to be sold off in separate process THQ corporate offices closing doors today Humble Mobile Bundle and second Humble Weekly Sale now live Crytek intends to take Darksiders off THQ’s hands is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? LivingSocial co-founder leaves the company

LivingSocial’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Aaron Batalion, has decided to leave the company behind in pursuit of something new. Batalion had been with LivingSocial since its creation back in 2007. Back then, LivingSocial was comprised of only 4 members, a number that grew to about 4,000 today. Batalion doesn’t have any idea of what he wants to do next, but that he has an “urge to create”.

LivingSocial has become an extremely popular deals site, however it has been struggling to make a profit since its debut. Last month, the company was granted an additional $110 million by its investors, which the company was supposed to use to, “build our reserves, solidify our long-term plans, and execute against our vision for the future,” according to LivingSocial’s CEO, Tim O’Shaughnessy. The company’s goal is to make a profit this season. The additional money granted to it by its investors was supposed to be a morale boost for the company and its employees, however it’s demoralizing to see one of the company’s co-founders leave. Questions start being raised about whether or not LivingSocial was able to utilize that money in an efficient way to drive the company towards a more profitable future. According to LivingSocial, the company has yet to appoint a new CTO. Batalion also wrote in his blog post that he came to his decision after much “soul-searching”. He states the is proud of LivingSocial, and that the experience he had with the company and the friendships he developed “have been the best of my career”. He is “confident in LivingSocial’s future and the vision of local we have all been fighting for.” [via VentureBeat] Story Timeline Groupon, LivingSocial, et al do encite repeat business LivingSocial Instant deals are dead Investors give LivingSocial another $110 million LivingSocial co-founder leaves the company is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Authorities investigate CyberBunker “minister” over cyber attacks

The authorities in the Netherlands and other countries are currently investigating a man whom they say is at the center of the recent cyber attacks against Spamhaus, an anti-spam group. Sven Olaf Kamphuis, who calls himself the “Minister of telecommunications and foreign affairs for the Republic of CyberBunker”, started a war against Spamhaus because the anti-spam group blacklisted two of Kamphuis’s companies, CB3ROB and CyberBunker.

The New York Times states that Kamphuis asked for support from hackers to launch attacks against Spamhaus. He wrote on his Facebook, “Yo anons, we could use a little help in shutting down illegal slander and blackmail censorship project ‘,’ which thinks it can dictate its views on what should and should not be on the internet. Kamphuis later stated that he had no direct roles in the attacks against Spamhaus, and that it was actually the work of Stophaus, an anti-Spamhaus group, that was directly to blame. He states that Stophaus was also at fault for causing the internet lag that affected many consumers in the past week. Dutch authorities, however, have discovered evidence that contradicts Kamphuis’s statement. Greenhost, a Dutch internet hosting service, discovered the digital footprints of one of Kamphuis’s companies, CB3ROB, in the digital attack against Spamhaus. A security specialist at the University of Amsterdam, J.P. Velders, stated, “It’s very clear that he has a big role in this, even if there isn’t 100 percent airtight proof that he is behind it.” Velders says that authorities need to figure out how much he was involved in these cyber attacks, and how they can take action against him. Kamphuis worked at XS4ALL, a Dutch ISP, where one of his ex co-workers stated that he was constantly reprimanded for hacking into his boss’s computer system. The ex co-worker also stated that Kamphuis was a very eccentric person, and that he “hates authority in any form.” Erik Bais, owner of A2B-Internet, a company that used to work with Kamphuis’s company, stated that Kamphuis is “like a loose cannon” and that he doesn’t have “regard for repercussions or collateral damage.” Kamphuis is currently discussing his distaste for Spamhaus publicly on his Facebook. There he states that he is an internet freedom fighter who is along the same lines as Julian Assange and that what Spamhaus is doing is censorship. He stated that Spamhaus as acted “without any court verdit, just by blackmail of suppliers and Jew lies.” [via The New York Times] Authorities investigate CyberBunker “minister” over cyber attacks is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Twitter may generate $1b in ad revenue in 2014

Twitter’s ad revenue is expected to skyrocket in 2014. The social network has seen a huge rise in mobile advertisement revenue, and is expected to continue on with that momentum throughout the next year. According to eMarketer, 53% of Twitter’s ad revenue comes from mobile advertisements alone. That’s a huge percentage, especially considering that Twitter generated nothing from mobile advertisements back in 2011.

eMarketer expects that Twitter’s ad revenue will be around $582.8 million this year, with $308.9 million of that revenue coming from mobile ads. That figure will leap all the way to $1 billion next year. In 2015, that number will jump up 33% to $1.33 billion, with an expected 60% coming from mobile advertisements. Twitter, like Facebook, sees the significant revenue mobile devices can bring to its service. Twitter’s targeted marketing and its improved reach are appealing more and more to advertisers. It had also recently launched an advertisement API that allows marketers to develop more effective marketing tools, and that allows advertisers to shell out more relevant ads to a better targeted group of users. Tests with the API showed a significant boost in user engagement as well as an increase in brand followers. $1 billion in revenue doesn’t seem too far off, especially since the company has just officially announced that is has 200 million users who tweet out an average 400 million tweets per day. Twitter is also getting ready to launch its own standalone music app that should draw more users to its service. The service will stream music through SoundCloud and will provide users a more personalized music experience. The service browses for music artists through the user’s “following” list, and will also have a list of emerging, popular, and trending songs available for the user. The service will be available for users without Twitter accounts as well, however, they have to sign up for the social network if they want to experience personalized music. [via eMarketer] Story Timeline Twitter launches Advertisement API Twitter updates mobile app with improved search, video support changes Twitter to launch standalone music app Twitter launches Windows 8 and RT app, get it now via Windows Store Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey wants to run for NYC mayor Twitter receives patent on itself after years of waiting Twitter celebrates 7th birthday with over 200 million users Twitter reportedly to offer Vevo content via its music app Twitter may generate $1b in ad revenue in 2014 is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? David Hayter will not voice Snake in Metal Gear Solid V

David Hayter, who voiced Snake and Big Boss for the Metal Gear Solid series since 1998, will not be returning to voice Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In fact, David Hayter will not be voicing Snake or Big Boss in any of the future Metal Gear Solid games from now on. Why? Because according to Hideo Kojima, Konami and him are trying to “recreate the Metal Gear series”. He stated, “It’s a new type of Metal Gear game, and we want to have this reflected it the voice actor as well.

According to Hayter, he wasn’t even contacted by Kojima or Konami about voicing the role of Snake. He confirmed through his Twitter account that he was in fact, no longer playing Snake’s voice actor. It’s speculated that Snake will be voiced by Keifer Sutherland, who played Jack Bauer in 24. Sutherland will also voice the Ishmael character in Metal Gear Solid V, so it’s strange that he’s voicing two characters in the series (although it’s not like it hasn’t been done before). Removing Hayter as Snake’s voice actor will definitely have a negative impact on the game, and Snake’s new voice actor won’t be well-received, even if it is Keifer Sutherland. Snake had been voiced by Hayter for 12 years, since the first Metal Gear Solid to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and has become Snake’s identity. Hayter is looking at the bright side of things, and tweeted, “Well look, At least I had a good run.” Many others are also trying to be optimistic. They said that since Hayter wasn’t contacted about voicing Snake, and since the game is still very early into development, there’s still a chance that Hayter could reprise his role. Many others are also threatening to boycott Metal Gear Solid V if Hayter isn’t hired to voice Snake again. Whatever the outcome may be, we shall keep you updated. If you haven’t already seen the reveal of Metal Gear Solid V, you can check it out here. [via The Inquistr] Story Timeline Metal Gear Solid Touch for iPod touch & iPhone released Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D heads to 3DS Metal Gear Solid gets limited edition snakeskin 3DS Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes revealed, hints at open-world elements Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes gets first gameplay trailer Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PR stunt involves slicing up a police car Metal Gear Solid V revealed: hard-hitting mega-title coming up! David Hayter will not voice Snake in Metal Gear Solid V is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? Facebook gets approval to build a low-key second campus

Facebook has just received the “go-ahead” to build a second campus in Menlo Park. Menlo Park’s city council, minus one member, voted 4-0 to allow Facebook to build its second campus. The new campus will be a 433,555 square foot building located on the other side of Facebook’s headquarters. It will be located on 312 and 313 Constitution Drive, just west of Bayfront Expressway.

The campus will be span across 22-acres of land. It will be designed by Frank Gehry, a renowned architect known for his work on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and his work on the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. However, unlike the flashy designs Gehry made for both the Guggenheim and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the design of the Facebook campus will be much more low-key. Gehry’s creative partner, Craig Webb, stated, “They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keep with the kind of culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous.” Surprisingly, Gehry was comfortable with designing a more low-key building. Facebook’s new campus will follow an eco-friendly design. It will have a rooftop garden, be hidden by the landscape, feature a park-like entrance accessible by the public, and will have an underground tunnel that connects it to Facebook’s other campus. Webb stated, “Our intent is that it almost becomes like a hillside.” Many of the city council members were enthusiastic about the campus’s new design. One of the members, Kirsten Keith, stated that it’s very lucky for Menlo Park to have a building designed by Frank Gehry. Another member, Rich Cline, stated that he was impressed that Facebook’s rooftop park will also have oak trees. Construction for the campus is expected to start right away, and upon completion, the campus be able to accommodate up to 3,400 Facebook staff members. [via Mercury News] Story Timeline Facebook implements conversation threads into Pages Facebook brings ads straight to your newsfeed Facebook game developers made $2.8B in 2012 Facebook improves mobile app install ads for developers Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook April 4 event invite teases Android-related announcement Facebook event to reveal "real" Android app (not a phone) HTC "Facebook phone" Android software integration tipped Facebook gets approval to build a low-key second campus is written by Brian Sin .

Is It true? SpaceX Dragon version 2 will look like an alien spaceship

Elon Musk discussed the design layout of SpaceX’s next version of the Dragon spacecraft and it’s definitely going to attract stares. The second version of Dragon will be designed to land on the ground rather than in the water like its predecessor. Because of all of the design changes, Musk states that the next SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will look “like a real alien spaceship”.

Musk told reporters that SpaceX Dragon part 2 will have big windows so astronauts are able to have a better view, and that there will be side-mounted thruster pods on the capsule. He also said that there will be legs on the bottom of the capsule that will pop out for “land touchdowns”. He wants the capsule to be able to land on the ground instead of in the water. He states that he plans on unveiling the new design sometime later this year. Musk also spoke with reporters yesterday about the SpaceX Dragon space capsule and the successful completion of its second cargo mission to the International Space Station. The SpaceX Dragon returned to Earth on March 26th, and made a safe splashdown onto the Pacific Ocean, around 214 miles off the coast of Baja California. The capsule brought back with it 2668 pounds of science samples and equipment. SpaceX is also upgrading its Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket will be modified to be much more efficient. The new upgrades will improve its capacity by up to 60-70%. The rocket will also be equipped with more powerful thrusters that offer a 60% improvement over the old thrusters and will have retractable legs that will pop out and allow it to make landings on ground instead of the water. These new upgrades are speculated to be finished by the end of 2014. On another note, later on this year, SpaceX will start testing water landings for the Falcon 9 first stage. The water landings will provide SpaceX with the data and experience it needs to work on ground landings for the Falcon 9 first stage in the future. [via] Story Timeline Elon Musk says SpaceX is working on reusable rockets SpaceX shows impressive Grasshopper rocket demonstration NASA: Slashed space budget leaves asteroid spotting in the dark NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spies GRAIL crash location SpaceX Dragon to depart ISS next week SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth: what's in that 2,668 pounds of cargo? Expedition 35 crew successfully docks to the International Space Station SpaceX Dragon version 2 will look like an alien spaceship is written by Brian Sin .

Friday, March 29, 2013

Is It true? FCC looks into cell phone radiation, decides to keep limitations same as before

Our cell phones go with us just about everywhere: at school, work, in our pocket, in bed. Those who have been around long enough will have heard ever-changing stances on the health safety of the handsets, with some claiming that the radiation causes brain tumors and others claiming that there are no health problems associated with phone use. All was quiet on the health front until last year, when the government said it was time to take another look at acceptable RF levels.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office released a report after spending a year researching the health aspects of cell phone usage that stated the radiation limit needed to be reevaluated, the first time such a required had been made in nearly two decades. At the time of the report, the FCC had the SAR (specific absorption rate) set at 1.6W/kg. The FCC reevaluated the radiation limit after the report was published, and has now published its own response, in which it states that the SAR limit is staying the same as it has been for many years. However, all is not staying unchanged. Per the report, the outer part of the ear has been reclassified as an extremity, a designation that legally allows it to absorb more radiation under current specifications. The effects of cell phone radiation on humans is mostly unknown, but is typically regarded to be safe and to not cause some of the speculated conditions that populate conspiracy boards. Still, more research is needed on RF radiation and its potential health effects, something that could be prodded by the ever-increasing use of smartphones in our digital, mobile world. [via The Verge] FCC looks into cell phone radiation, decides to keep limitations same as before is written by Brittany Hillen .

Is It true? Ford hit with class action lawsuit over spontaneous acceleration

Ford has been hit with a class action lawsuit by its customers across fourteen states due to an issue with certain models subject to spontaneous acceleration with no way to stop. The lawsuit specifically concerns Ford cars from 2002 to 2010, with claims that the manufacturer deliberately hid the issue from buyers, resulting in the sale of vehicles that aren’t worth as much as the consumers paid.

Says the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal Huntington, West Virginia court on Friday: “Ford could have and should have prevented the dangers presented by these foreseeable incidents by including [a fail-safe system or brake-override feature]. Ford affirmatively concealed from plaintiffs and the other class members the defect.” Specific models listed in the lawsuit include the 2002 to 2005 Mercury Cougar, the 2005 to 2010 Ford Mustang, and the 2004 through 2010 Ford Explorer. There are 19 plaintiffs listed that represent owners from 14 states across the US, ranging from Florida to New York and a bunch between. They hope to have representatives from every state by the time trial starts. For those interested, this is case Belville v. Ford Motor Co., 12-cv-06529, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Huntington). Earlier this month, Ford recalled nearly 200,000 vehicles due to an issue that could potentially cause a sudden engine stall, which also posed a safety risk, although no crashes had been reported due to the issue. [via Bloomberg] Ford hit with class action lawsuit over spontaneous acceleration is written by Brittany Hillen .

Is It true? Twitter reportedly to offer Vevo content via its music app

It has been rumored for a couple weeks now that Twitter will be releasing its own music app using technology from its not-too-long-ago acquired We Are Hunted. While it has already been said that SoundCloud and iTunes will be integrated into the service, the folks over at AllThingsD are now reporting that a Twitter and Vevo deal has been struck.

According to someone “familiar with Twitter’s plan,” the micro-blogging platform has struck a deal with Vevo so that the latter company’s content will be offered via the social network’s music app. Specifically, Vevo’s music videos will be offered, with these videos more likely than not being – at least for now – the only way content from big-name artists/labels will be available freely via the music app. If you’re out of the loop, Twitter’s music app will be designed to offer up personalized music recommendations based on various things, such as which artists they follow, and perhaps less ideally, also the artists followed by the user’s followers. The music app can be used regardless of whether one has a Twitter account, although using the service with an account will return better results. In addition to Vevo content, word also has it that SoundCloud audio will be available, as well as third-party content via iTunes. There will be a total of four tabs with the service, one called “Suggested” with recommendations, one called “#NowPlaying” with songs being listened to by followers, one called “Popular” with trends, and one called “Emerging” with those one the rise. [via AllThingsD] Twitter reportedly to offer Vevo content via its music app is written by Brittany Hillen .

Is It true? HDC clones HTC One with new smartphone, offers it for $160

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but imitators usually have a degree of separation between their clone and the authentic product. Such is the case with HDC, which has cloned the HTC One with its own handset named – you guessed it – the HDC One. The handset is priced at $160, and at a quick glance is the same in appearance to its counterpart, but the hardware doesn’t live up to the real deal.

Despite being a clone, the HDC One still offers decent specs, especially for the low price tag, making it a budget option for those in China looking for the style without the price tag. Still, it is worth noting that the handset is slated for release on April 1, and though the date may be coincidental, it’s always worth the pause to stop and consider the validity of anything on that date. As far as design goes, the only difference between the HDC One and the HTC One is the lack of an aluminum body, with the Chinese company swapping it for a plastic frame. Aside from that, everything is the same – the position and design of the speakers, the power button’s location, etc. The differences become apparent, however, when you start looking at what it is running under the hood. While the HDC One runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it offers a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, a big difference over HTC’s Qualcomm 600 processor. There’s a single gigabyte of RAM, and the display comes in at 720p HD. There’s an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as a tiny 1,700mAh battery, which means users will be charging it fairly often. As far as cloned handsets go, the HDC One is about as close to the HTC One you can get – visually, at least – without buying the real deal. [via Android Community] HDC clones HTC One with new smartphone, offers it for $160 is written by Brittany Hillen .

Is It true? Researchers develop tiny robots that mimic ant behavior

New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Simon Garnier and other researchers have used tiny robots called “Alices” to mimic the behavior of ants, something they say could help improve modern transportation. Ants are notorious for their colony-wide behavior, acting as one when assembled in groups and using the shortest paths to navigate to their food, forming a so-called superorganism.

The researchers achieved this by using robots said to be about the size of sugar cubes and equipped with light sensors. Above the robots was a projector that marked the robots’ trails with light, which the tiny devices were programmed to follow. The light trails were intended to simulate the pheromone trails left by ants that help them navigate. The robots’ ability to navigate was very rudimentary: they were programmed to avoid obstacles and barriers, to follow light trails, and to move forward, with their forward direction changing angles frequently. It is not surprising, then, that initially the robots moved randomly forward, but that over time as their motions created light trails, they gravitated towards following the light trails. Said Garnier about this behavior, “The principles that ants use to find shorter paths have actually been the basis of computer programs developed in the last 10 years to help decide what are the best paths for trucks to transport merchandise between cities ― the so-called traveling salesman problem. One of the most efficient algorithms to solve this problem is directly inspired by the same logic studied in our work, and is also used by telecommunications companies to route packets of information between cell phones.” [via Livescience] Researchers develop tiny robots that mimic ant behavior is written by Brittany Hillen .

Is It true? The Mill LA teams with Sonos Studio for “Bugs” interactive multimedia experience

This week the folks behind VFX studio The Mill LA have joined with Sonos Studio for an interactive multimedia installation event that’ll be going by the name of “Bugs!” This installation will be living in Sonos Studio from the 5th of April until the 5th of May. This installation will mash together the greatness that both groups can provide: six massive displays combined with six Sonos PLAYBAR units, each of them depicting a Bug that’ll blow your mind.

Each of these monoliths will have a TV screen of its own, each of them facing the center of a large circle where visitors will be able to drown themselves in this immersive experience. Each of these bugs was created by filmmaker Tom Kuntz and The Mill LA, each of them coming at you from their own position in the circle of wild action with no less than a soundtrack made of the “exuberant loops” of electronic musician Dan Deacon. For those of you that’d like to know more about the PLAYBAR that blasts each of these bugs to life with audio so real you’ll freak, have a peek at our full Sonos PLAYBAR Review from earlier this month. At the opening for the show (on April 4th), there’ll be a live performance by Dan Deacon as he collaborates with the Bugs right in front of your face! Each of the Bugs uses not only a Sonos PLAYBAR, but a BrightSign digital media player as well. Each of the six characters will be performing simultaneously while visitors to the show are doused in what Sonos and The Mill LA describe as “an intense audile and visual experience, demonstrating the supremely immersive energy of the combined senses.” If you’re a member of the public – and we know you are – you’ll want to head over to Sonos Studio starting on April 5th at any time between 10AM and 6PM. That’s Sonos Studio at 145 North La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 – you can’t miss it! Also stay tuned to SlashGear’s Entertainment tag portal for more excellence from The Mill LA – we’ve got some hot action in store for you! Story Timeline Small Sonos: Is multi-room music overkill in a tiny apartment? Sonos SUB Review Sonos PLAYBAR hits FCC Sonos PLAYBAR hands-on: Your TV audio gets clever Sonos PLAYBAR Review The Mill LA teams with Sonos Studio for “Bugs” interactive multimedia experience is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? Verizon BlackBerry Z10 hands-on and unboxing

It’s finally time to take a peek at BlackBerry 10‘s first big smartphone presentation here in the United States with the Verizon iteration of the BlackBerry Z10. This device is an all-touch smartphone – that feature a given on most other mobile operating systems, but a relatively new concept for BlackBerry – and works with Verizon’s rather speedy 4G LTE network. What we’re looking at here on day 1 are just the basics: what’s different from the international edition?

In our original BlackBerry Z10 Review, Chris Davies spoke about both the hardware and the software in great detail. Lucky for you, not a whole lot has changed since that device was ready for action nearly 2 months ago. Here with the Verizon version we’ve only got the addition of big red’s 4G LTE connectivity compatibility and a couple of Verizon account apps. With My Verizon Mobile and Backup Plus Contacts you’ll now have the ability to work with your Verizon bill and monitor the data you’ve used during the month. You’ll be able to back up your contact list with Verizon as often as you’d like. And that’s it. This version of the BlackBerry Z10 uses the same 2 megapixel camera on the front, the same 8 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash, and the same processor under the hood. Inside you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, the same that exists in every version of the Z10 that exists thus far – this same processor is used in such phones as the Samsung Galaxy S III (USA edition), the Motorola DROID RAZR HD, and the HTC One X (USA edition). You’ll also find the first, most updated, and only version of BlackBerry 10 mobile OS on the market. Up front you’ve got a lovely 4.2-inch 1280 x 768 pixel LCD display, complete with the third-densest pixel arrangement on the market. While the HTC One wins at the moment with 468 Pixels Per Inch, and the HTC DROID DNA is in second (with the Xperia Z and GALAXY S 4) with 441 PPI, the BlackBerry Z10 stands alone as holding the only display on the market with 355 PPI. Of course at that level of density, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the lot with the naked eye, but it’s always fun to compare! The BlackBerry Z10 stacks up against the HTC One and iPhone 5 – the battle is on! Have a peek at our hands-on photos above and below, keep your eye tuned to our BlackBerry Z10 tag portal for more information on this device and see the timeline below for our adventures with BlackBerry 10 up to and including this week! Story Timeline BlackBerry Z10 hands-on BlackBerry Z10 Accessories hands-on: Bluetooth Speaker, Charger, holsters galore T-Mobile BlackBerry Z10 will be available to business customers March 11 AT&T BlackBerry Z10 lands March 22 but is $200 crazy money? $200 is just too much for the BlackBerry Z10 Verizon now accepting Blackberry Z10 pre-orders BlackBerry Z10 now available on AT&T BlackBerry Z10 gets torn down by iFixit Which partner purchased one million Blackberry Z10 devices? PowerSkin launches the first battery case for the BlackBerry Z10 Verizon BlackBerry Z10 hands-on and unboxing is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? iPhone 5S event tipped for June 20 while Apple patent suggests ceramics

Take today’s latest iPhone news with a grain of salt, folks, but it looks like Apple’s next iPhone could be announced on June 20, and be released a couple weeks later sometime in early July. This isn’t an odd time frame for Apple, however, as they’ve made announcements in June in the past. This would then point to a fall launch of a possible lower-cost iPhone that, according to a new patent, could come with a ceramic body.

The new patent filing from Apple provides only slightly more evidence that a cheaper iPhone may be in our future. The patent suggests that the low-cost iPhone could be made out of a type of ceramic, with the materials mentioned being zirconia and alumina. Zirconia is said to allow radio waves to pass through easily, making it ideal for electronics consumption. Of course, there’s a whole list of materials that are rumored for a low-cost iPhone, so we’re merely just adding more to the list with today’s ceramics patent. As for the iPhone 5S this June, that would be right after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference took place, or at least compared to last year’s dates for the event. Apple has yet to announce dates for this year’s WWDC, but that could be the time when Apple makes the official announcement. Apple has recently been using the fall season to announce and launch its new products. The last time that the company announced a new iPhone was back in 2010 when they unveiled the iPhone 4 at WWDC in June. Of course, it certainly wouldn’t be odd of them to go back to the summer release cycle, but we’ll ultimately have to wait and see what they decide to do. [via CNET] Story Timeline iPhone 5 Review iPhone "budget" model tipped with plastic and 4-inch Retina display Apple offering free next-day shipping with iPhone purchase iPhone 5 hits T-Mobile for $99 down iPhone 5 jailbreak tweak allows AT&T users to hop over to T-Mobile iPhone 5S tip suggests rather unique Apple launch iPhone 5S event tipped for June 20 while Apple patent suggests ceramics is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? Diablo III’s next big “oops”

This week it’s been revealed that Blizzard Entertainment’s own Diablo III will be coming to the PlayStation 4 without access to the Real Money Auction House still present in the desktop PC iteration. Though this might have some odd effects on those hoping to play the game with access to weapons, armor, and everything in-between with their own real-world cash, Blizzard is presenting a firm “not a chance” as they suggest that, if they could, they’d take the whole mess out of the game entirely.

If you have a travel down our Diablo III tag portal, you find a series of stories that are just as often negative and full of disappointment as they are exciting and action-packed. This release was one of the most long-awaited in the history of gaming, with 8 years separating the second installment of the series (Diablo II in 2000) and the announcement of this title. Though Diablo III was first announced in 2008, it was only actually released to the public on May 15th, 2012. That’s one massive amount of time for a game to be in development, especially with the 5-minutes-of-fame atmosphere we’re in now. Then there’s the bits and pieces that Blizzard has had to change right from the outset. Today’s big kicker is the announcement from former Diablo 3 Game Director Jay Wilson. "Most of the auction house’s use is with in-game virtual gold." Speaking with Joystiq this week about Diablo III’s real money action house, he suggested that the feature has “really hurt the game.” According to Wilson, over 50 percent of the players that play regularly use the auction house, while most of the auction house’s use is with in-game virtual gold rather than with real cash. Because of this gold use, not necessarily the real money, motivation to collect gold and broken items (otherwise useless, able to be sold in the game to virtual vendors for gold), have become far more popular goals for users. There’s simply not as much junk everywhere anymore – Diablo II continues to be a massive mess of item drops and coins. “I think we would turn it off if we could, [but it's] not as easy as that.” – Wilson Citing the near-impossible task of figuring out how much of the Diablo III user population wants the auction house to stick around or be kicked to the curb, Wilson was clear on one point: they are looking for a “solution.” A solution to what, exactly, we might never know. Story Timeline Diablo III Review Part I: Your Quest Begins Diablo III is the Worst Game Ever Made Diablo III exploit makes Wizard characters invincible Advocacy group threatens legal action over Diablo III always-on DRM Activision Q2 report: Diablo III captures 10 million players Diablo III upgrades to level 160 with Paragon system Blizzard has working console builds of Diablo III, still no announcement Blizzard starting over with Diablo III Team Deathmatch mode Blizzard announces partnership with Sony, bringing Diablo III and more to PS4 Diablo 3 gameplay footage for the PS3 unveiled Diablo III’s next big “oops” is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? Ford Winter Technology Drive in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Watch the commercials and you’d assume all cars are only designed for long, sweeping roads on scenic mountain routes and by sun-blessed beaches. As plenty of drivers have discovered this winter, however, snow, ice, and similarly treacherous conditions can make getting behind the wheel far more intimidating. SlashGear joined Ford in the cold of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to see what good behavior we could coax from the Ford Escape, Fusion, and Explorer Sport when the conditions get bad.

The core advice for winter driving hasn’t changed much over the years, but more than a few people ignore suggestions to switch regular tires to their deep tread counterparts, and wouldn’t have a clue what to do with snow chains. Thankfully cars themselves have got smarter along the way, with a growing number of electronic driving aids that can work around the limitations of both the road and the driver. Ford’s chosen test ground would be an icy nightmare for most drivers, a range of different conditions including loose and impacted snow, treacherous ice, and the sort of gritty combinations that make many backroads so dangerous when it gets cold. As for the technology, Ford starts with all-wheel-drive (AWD) on many cars, but its front-driven models also get a boost courtesy of electronic magic like Curve Control and Torque Vectoring Control. Introduced first on the 2012 Focus, Torque Vectoring Control monitors grip levels on each wheel and can dynamically shift the torque – the rotational force produced by the engine – to whichever side of the car has the best grip. Ford claims it can “virtually eliminate” understeer in regular driving, while in more wintery conditions it can counteract patches of ice or snow which rob the car of grip, without significantly reducing the speed of the vehicle. There’s dangerous roads, and there’s mis-reading the road conditions and tackling them incorrectly. That’s where Curve Control steps in, a cornering technology Ford debuted back in 2010, and which it intends to have on the majority of its range by 2015. Enter a corner too quickly – Ford’s sensors track that 100 times per second – and Curve Control can shed 10mph from your speed in the space of a single second, by adjusting the four brakes and trimming engine torque. Curve Control works in the dry, but it’s far more impressive when you’re trying to navigate a car round a suddenly icy corner. Ford’s system works by comparing how much the driver is turning the wheel with how much the car is actually turning, kicking in when the understeer becomes too great. These are more than just blinking lights in the instrument binnacle, too: you can feel Curve Control and Torque Vectoring Control doing their work. Pushing the Escape SUV too hard through the icy corners of Ford’s test course, for instance, and the power shifting between the wheels to guide it back onto the line was noticeable through the seat and the wheel. You can feel the car correcting itself; when we turned off the traction control altogether, the difference was clear, with corners instantly turning into slides at speeds where, with the electronic brains in place, we’d previously sailed serenely round. The technology works on Ford’s FWD cars, but it’s even more impressive in the AWD models. In a FWD Fusion, for instance, the car will automatically prioritize two-wheel drive in regular conditions, for the best fuel economy, but instantly switch in the all-wheel drive when grip starts to disappear. Corners on the ice track which we ended up going sideways on with traction control turned off, we were able to comfortably take at 40-50mph with Curve Control and Torque Vectoring Control switched on. Step into the Explorer, meanwhile, and there’s even more control possible over the safety and stability systems. The seven-seater SUV exclusively gets Ford’s Terrain Management System, a knob in the center console which allows the driver to switch between four road conditions: normal, sand, mud/rut, and snow. The mood of the car changes noticeably when you do, the Explorer feeling calmer and more considered in the snow mode as the electronics ramp up their role. It’s not the mode for eager drivers, certainly, with the safety systems particularly intrusive, but it makes a huge difference in how confidently you can take on treacherous roads. That’s not to say the Ford technology is anathema to fun. Just as it the various traction systems show their worth in getting you safely round in snow and ice at real-world speeds, at a more eager pace – and on the safety of a closed course rather than public roads, of course – you can start to have some real fun, relying on enough grip to get around corners while also letting the tail of the car swing out. As Ford told us, the electronics mean “you can take an unskilled driver, and turn them into a skilled driver.” When you’re on ice we struggled to walk on, it feels more like magic. Ford currently offers eight models with AWD, while eleven offer Torque Vectoring Control. So far, the C-MAX Energi and Hybrid variants, the Escape, the Explorer, the Flex, and the Taurus offer Curve Control. Ford Winter Technology Drive in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is written by Vincent Nguyen .

Is It true? HTC “Facebook phone” Android software integration tipped

When the original Facebook phone was introduced, it was created by HTC, and it certainly didn’t do very well on the market. With both the HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha having been released and selling so few units that they didn’t warrant a follow-up in the many, many quarters that followed, it doesn’t seem very logical that the social network and the manufacturer would want to create such an amalgamation again. And it’s not as if HTC is swimming in cash at the moment, either.

But here it is, courtesy of a couple of tipsters speaking with the New York Times about a Facebook phone to be revealed at next weeks’ Facebook event. Here the suggestion is that both a Facebook employee and “another person” who shall remain nameless were briefed on a project coming up – a so-called “special version of Google’s Android software system”. With the wording the NYT uses, it would appear that this software could appear on a new phone OR a phone that’s already coming on quick to the market – perhaps the HTC One? “The software will debut on a handset made by HTC, according to a Facebook employee and another person who were briefed on the announcement.” – New York Times Facebook has repeatedly denied that they’d be making a smartphone – but there’s never really been a denial of the possibility of a smartphone with major Facebook integration. Now that Facebook’s level of involvement with the iPhone is so base, might it be time that the social network gets big on Android? With the launch of the HTC One here in the United States so very close (we hope), we can’t help but wonder if these two events might coincide. Keep your eyes tuned to two tag portals, both Facebook and HTC will be running hot next week – and we’ll more than likely see some manner of leak happening before then. More than we already have, that is. And don’t miss the big event – 10AM PST on April 4th right here on SlashGear! Story Timeline A Facebook Phone? No, no, no! Facebook phone concept appears with "like" home button Zuckerberg says Facebook phone "wouldn't make much sense" Zuckerberg's Facebook Phone is the HTC Opera UL claims insider Facebook Phone universe expands with Orange "Party Call" service Nokia Asha 205 "Facebook phone" and $62 206 hands-on Is every phone the Facebook phone? Facebook Phone strikes again: HTC Myst leaked Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook April 4 event invite teases Android-related announcement Facebook event to reveal "real" Android app (not a phone) HTC “Facebook phone” Android software integration tipped is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? Vine introduces web embeds, still not available for Android

Vine has been all the rage lately. We honestly never thought 6-second looping videos could be so amazing, but here we are witnessing such a thing. And now, you can experience Vine clips on any website that supports them, thanks to a new feature that allows you to embed Vine clips onto your blog or website.

You can embed Vine clips through two different avenues. You can either embed a clip directly from the webpage of the clip, or you can embed it using the iOS app, which can be found by tapping the ellipses in the bottom-right corner, tapping “Share this post,” and the hitting “Embed.” One thing to be aware of, though, is that Vine uses “iframe” to embed clips, which some websites and blogging platforms don’t support. Embedding a Vine using the web link allows you to choose different sizes and styles. You can choose between 600 pixels wide, 480 pixels wide, or 320 pixels wide. There’s also two different styles, one of which is called “Simple,” which only displays the Vine and nothing else, and then there’s the “Postcard” view, which shows other details, such as the username, date, and any captions written. We can’t embed Vines here on SlashGear, but here’s a still screenshot of what the “Postcard” style looks like: However, even though Vine is still constantly updating its Vine service, they still have yet to release the app to Android. However, we’d be surprised if an Android version didn’t arrive at some point. Back in February, Vine was looking for an Android developer, according to their job listings, so it’s possible they’re working on an Android version right now. Story Timeline Vine app Review: video Tweets unleashed! SlashGear 101: What is Vine, and what does it do? Six seconds of pleasure: Vine's porn problem Vine disappears from "Editor's Choice" in iTunes Vine Porn disappears from surface of Twitter app Vine implements 17+ age rating and reporting system The Wolverine movie gets 6-second trailer on Vine Vine introduces web embeds, still not available for Android is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? HP Slate 7 and Sony Xperia Tablet Z delayed

We saw some pretty cool stuff at Mobile World Congress this year, and there definitely wasn’t a shortage of tablets. Two slates in particular that we got our hands on were the HP Slate 7 and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. However, you’ll be waiting longer than expected, as both tablets have been delayed into June and May, respectively.

Originally, HP said that its new Slate 7 tablet would be available sometime next month, but the company has pushed back the release to June, giving eager buyers a couple more months to mull over their decision. However, we’re not exactly sure why the tablet is delayed. It went through the FCC without any problems, so perhaps HP simply wanted to make some slight last-minute changes. As for the Xperia Tablet Z, the tablet released on March 22 in Japan, but it has yet to see the light of day in other parts of the world. It was also originally set for a release sometime next month, but it has been pushed back to May. As with the HP Slate 7, there’s no word on exactly what’s causing the delay, but again, it’ll give more time to those eager shoppers to think about whether or not go for it. The Xperia Tablet Z was one of the more nicer tablets that we saw at Mobile World Congress last month. It’s got a 10-inch 1080p HD display and it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. When it eventually does make its way to the states, it’ll cost $499 for the 16GB model — right on par with Apple’s entry-level iPad. Story Timeline Sony Xperia Tablet Z specs leak out with full HD display NTT DoCoMo tips January 22 debut for Sony Xperia Tablet Z Sony Xperia Tablet Z revealed with not-quite-Nexus specs Sony Xperia Tablet Z global launch in Q2 from $499 HP Slate 7 and Sony Xperia Tablet Z delayed is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? Temporarily disabling Gmail’s new compose window: here’s how

We all hate change — that’s an evolutionary fact. We’re all programmed to develop habits, and when those habits are interrupted, our bodies tend to not like that. However, change is a part of life, and eventually we adapt to various changes, but some people may not want to give them up just yet. If you don’t like Gmail’s new pop-up compose window, you can actually disable it temporarily.

It’s pretty simple to do, and it doesn’t require any hacking of any sort. Google actually includes the option to temporarily disable the new view. All you have to do is compose a new email message, in which the new pop-up window will show up, and then head down to the small arrow in the lower-right corner. A drop-down menu will appear (or in this case, a drop-up window) where you’ll select “Temporarily switch back to old compose.” Of course, this is just a temporary measure, so we’re not sure how long you’ll be able to keep the old interface before Google permanently switches it back. They unveiled the new design back in October, where Gmail users can view their inbox and browse other emails while composing a new message without having to flip back and forth. It’s definitely a neat feature, but some users may not like it. Just yesterday, however, the search giant flipped the switch on all Gmail users and made the new pop-up compose view a default feature, meaning that it’s now officially a part of Gmail. Then again, users are still able to go back to the old view, which has us wondering if Google is really 100% confident in the new design, and since they’re only “temporarily” allowing users to switch back to the old view, the pop-up windows feature may not be as permanent as Google thinks it is. Plus, giving users the option to go back just temporarily defeats the whole purpose of allowing that option in the first place. Story Timeline Gmail 2.0 for iOS Review Google blames recent Gmail outage on routine update gone wrong Google launches search trial that finds receipts and hotel reservations in Gmail Google extends free calling in Gmail through 2013 Google won't give up Gmail information without a search warrant Gmail Offline and mobile web app get refreshed UI Gmail updated for Jelly Bean - notifications pulldown reply activated Gmail for iOS updates with new edit mode, navigation tweaks Temporarily disabling Gmail’s new compose window: here’s how is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? Steam to come pre-loaded on Razer Edge

Though it’s not entirely difficult to go ahead and download the software for yourself from your friendly internet browser window, gaming environment Steam will be coming to the Razer Edge gaming tablet built-in, right out of the box. This is a significant move by both the folks at Razer and the members of Valve that’ve agreed to push their Steam app to the hardware right out of the box as it’s the first time said software will have done such a thing.

While the trend amongst those purists in the hardcore gaming community would otherwise have a fit over a so-called Gaming PC coming packed with “bloat ware”, it seems that Valve’s contribution won’t be so ill-fitting. “The Razer Edge has more than enough power to play the latest and greatest Steam titles and it is completely built with PC gamers in mind. The tablet is a great way to experience everything Steam has to offer, including Big Picture mode.” – Greg Coomer, product designer at Valve Big Picture mode is a full-screen user interface built in to Steam, available to all desktop app users right this minute – check it out if you haven’t already! The Razer Edge and the Razer Edge Pro are both gaming tablets working with 10.1-inch displays and Windows 8 inside. You’ll be working with detachable gaming controllers as well as optional keyboard docks and will find yourself paying well over a thousand bucks to gain said privilege. Have a peek at our guide “Razer Edge gaming tablet: What the heck is it?” and see if it’ll be worth dropping either $1,300 or $1,450 USD depending on the options you’d like – go big! [via The Slanted] Story Timeline Steam Big Picture Mode officially launches, Valve celebrates with sale Valve releases Steam Greenlight update, brings with it a handful of improvements Steam for Linux available now Valve Steam Box prototypes pegged for Spring 2013 Angry Birds Space now available on Steam Age Empires II HD coming to Steam on April 9 Pre-order the Xi3 PISTON "Steam Box" now and get $100 off Resident Evil 6 and Left 4 Dead 2 cross over headed to Steam Steam offers "Early Access" to developing games Steam to come pre-loaded on Razer Edge is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? VIZIO touch PCs and Notebooks grab Full HD and 2013 price list

If you were thinking about picking up a VIZIO notebook or PC in the near future – wait just a second! They’ve just released the full lineup in Full HD mode with touchscreen interactivity and Windows 8! Of course while some of their lineup had one or two of these features before, now you can rest easy – greatness is here for all!

You’ll be seeing several different lineups here, each of them delivering the sleek metal looks and attention to detail we were so impressed by when we first reviewed one of their PCs last year (that was right before they switched over to touch!) Now you’ll want to head down to the timeline below to see all the touchscreen action and up-close-and-personal looks and touches we’ve had with these devices at CES 2013 before we go on a review rampage – make it so! VIZIO All-in-One models 24-inch All-in-One Touch The smaller of the two options here is the first available for pre-order in Microsoft’s online store. You’ll find that this model brings on the more conservative (just by a bit!) display size complete with dual HDMI input, enhanced 2.1 audio system with subwoofer, and wireless controls – you’ll get a remote control for your entertainment bits and pieces, a multi-gesture touchpad, and a keyboard, too! Have a peek at our early review of the pre-touch iteration of the 24-inch All-in-one now! This model will sell for USD $1,279.99. 27-inch All-in-One Touch The one big difference between the 24- and 27-inch models here is the size of the display. They’ve both got the same number of inputs and outputs and all that good stuff, same accessories in the box and the same massive HD 1080p touchscreen technology at your disposal. This 27-inch model will sell for USD $1,549.99. VIZIO Notebooks 14-inch HD+ Thin + Light Touch The smaller of the two new models we’ve got here has a 14-inch HD+ display and options for either AMD (A10 APU) or Intel (Core i7) processors. This model starts at USD $1,089.99. 15.6-inch Full HD Thin + Light Touch This is the top-of-the-line offering in laptop technology from VIZIO, bringing on Full HD on a 15.6-inch display also with the same quad-core processor options that the 14-inch model is available with: either AMD (A10 APU) or Intel (Core i7). You’ll also find this model available for pre-order now in Microsoft’s online store! This larger version will start at USD $1,189.99. Included with each All VIZIO machines here work with advanced Wi-Fi with 802.11ac (that’s the newest generation able to offer up to three times faster delivery of data past 802.11n.) They’ve all got 10-finger touchscreen technology up front, SRS Premium Sound HD audio systems with no less than DTS technology making it all roll right, and Microsoft Signature for Windows. With Microsoft Signature you’ve got a clean install of Windows 8 – no bloat-ware at all! Sound like the lineup for you? Let us know if you’re planning to go all the way with VIZIO this season! Story Timeline Vizio's new range strikes the Apple/PC balance Vizio adds 10-finger multitouch to All-in-One PCs for Windows 8 Vizio Windows 8 PCs get AMD and touchscreen refresh for 2013 Vizio 11.6-inch Windows 8 Tablet PC hands-on Vizio PC lineup 2013 refresh hands-on: it's time for touch Vizio 10-inch and 7-inch tablet hands-on VIZIO touch PCs and Notebooks grab Full HD and 2013 price list is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? MLB At Bat mobile app updated in time for Opening Day

MLB At Bat is the official mobile app for everything baseball during the season. The league updated the app last month for the 2013 season, but the overal layout remained the same. However, the iOS app has been updated again, coming with a slight redesign, the addition of a classic games library, and Apple Passbook support.

The app is universal between the iPhone and iPad, but there are new features that have come exclusively to each device. The iPad version of the app now has a new video section featuring more highlights, as well as sortable batting, pitching, and fielding statistics for players. As for the iPhone version, the app gets redesigned individual team pages and an updated news section interface. Furthermore, the app is now available for BlackBerry 10 devices. It was promised earlier in the year that the league would bring the app to BlackBerry’s new platform before Opening Day, and it looks like they’ve kept on that promise. The app is free in BlackBerry World, but as with the other apps, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to get all of its features. Passbook support is also now available within the iOS version of the app, allowing users to store their tickets right on their device. So far, 11 teams support Passbook, including the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, and the Boston Red Sox. Three more teams will announce Passbook support later this year. MLB Opening Day is Sunday, March 31. Story Timeline Apple TV Updated With MLB And NBA Live Streaming MLB's Bob Bowman cites diminished returns for limited Android support on MLB app Sony's MLB 12 The Show Vita, PS3 versions bundled Xbox Live adds Comcast, HBO, MLB, beats Apple iTV to the living room Sony's MLB 12 The Show predicts AL All-Star win T-Mobile Roundup: MLB partnership, Unlimited Nationwide 4G, and more MLB At Bat mobile app updated in time for Opening Day is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? Facebook event to reveal “real” Android app (not a phone)

If you’ve been following the Facebook press events that have occurred over the past couple of years, you know one thing is rather apparent: they love to hold press conferences. Zuckerberg and the Facebook crew have held press conferences for everything from the opening bell on their IPO top an announcement about possible Facebook couponing. Here’s the long and short it, it being the April 4th Facebook event: if Facebook wanted to make a Facebook phone, they wouldn’t do it like this.

We’ve seen the Facebook phone already. It’s been released by HTC more than once, and rumors of a phone such as this have been swirling for years. The reason people are pumped up about discussing such a device isn’t because they want one, it’s because the idea is so absurd. Why in god’s name would someone create a smartphone dedicated to one single service? "Anyone for an HTC ChaCha?" Instead you’ve got a Facebook event coming up that will address the fact that there’s been no acceptably solid release of a Facebook app for Android thus far in the social network’s history. What we’ll see is a presentation about 1 hour long with several top Facebook developers talking about how this version of Facebook for Android will be a real, dedicated, just as good as iOS release. And we’ll all go home wondering why Facebook didn’t just send out a press release instead. Have a peek at the iOS version of Facebook today, then have a look at the Android version of Facebook, then you’ll know what’s being released at the upcoming event. Let us know if you think otherwise! Story Timeline Facebook Choice of Feeds, Mobile UI detailed: rollout begins today Facebook Phone strikes again: HTC Myst leaked Facebook Mobile DevCon 2013 revealed: Android and iOS on tap Facebook introduces cleaner look to Timeline Facebook to add hashtags, says sources Zynga distances itself from Facebook Facebook game developers made $2.8B in 2012 Facebook improves mobile app install ads for developers Facebook says paying gamers surge by 24% Facebook event to reveal “real” Android app (not a phone) is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? US summer camp helps tech addicts unplug and detox

Ever feel like you’re glued to the computer way too much? Maybe it’s distracting you from going out and meeting new people. Either way, if you’re looking to change some things about your computer-using habits, a new summer camp in California looks to help you unplug and detox your brain from information overload.

An organization called Digital Detox has started what they call Camp Grounded, and they’ll be holding summer camp sessions to help technology addicts unplug from the internet and step away from blue-hued screens to experience the world in a more natural way. The camp plans to do this by involving participants in nostalgic activities that we all remember doing as children. For $300 for a month-long retreat, you can “trade your computer, cell phone, Instagrams, clocks, schedules and work-jargon for an off-the-grid weekend of pure unadulterated fun.” The organization adds that “friendships at camp are based on real-life connections, and the most important status we’ll update is our happiness.” Digital Detox has three summer camps planned for this year in the US, with international summer camps launching in Cambodia, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica next month. The Cambodia retreat, for instance, will involve a group of 12 guests who will gather on a deserted island for six days of various activities, such as yoga, meditation, and writing workshops. [via The Guardian] Image via Flickr US summer camp helps tech addicts unplug and detox is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? NVIDIA Project SHIELD goes wild with The Conduit HD

If you were waiting for an ultra-sweet shooter made to take away any thoughts you had that Android was a lesser environment than these so-called full-system PC operating systems, NVIDIA has got just the thing for you. Here we’re seeing The Conduit HD, revealed here working on NVIDIA’s Project SHIELD on Android – that’s not even streamed, it’s straight from the system! Have a peek at this undeniable action thriller on none other than the NVIDIA Tegra 4 right this minute.

What you’re having a peek at here is not a future game that’ll only be coming to Project SHIELD, nor is it a game that’s relegated to processors that haven’t been released yet – The Conduit HD is already on the Google Play app store right now! But here’s what you need to look out for in this demo – keep an eye on how fantastic this game looks on Project SHIELD, then try it out on whatever smartphone or tablet you’ve got right this minute. Let us know how it goes! With Project SHIELD, this game comes alive with what NVIDIA says are “nearly endless customization options”. As you decide where each of your controls is mapped to the hardware on Project SHIELD, so too will you become more skilled at ending the lives of your opponents. This game was originally launched (in a lesser iteration) on the first Nintendo Wii, and it’s been optimized by its developers in collaboration with the NVIDIA developer team for placement on the NVIDIA TegraZone. For those of you that follow the NVIDIA TegraZone releases like a hawk, you’ll know that this game has been out for a little over a week. We’ve got our own hands-on review of The Conduit HD if you care to take a peek right this minute as well! Once you’ve seen this game played on the ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 tablet, you’ll have a little bit of an idea how the NVIDIA Tegra 3 (inside this tablet) will be trumped by the NVIDIA Tegra 4 (inside Project SHIELD). Have a peek at the Project SHIELD timeline below as well for more information on this groundbreaking system. Coming soon to a market near you! Story Timeline NVIDIA Project SHIELD hands-on NVIDIA: We won't be like greedy console companies with Project SHIELD Why NVIDIA's Project SHIELD struck hardest at CES 2013 NVIDIA Project SHIELD demos Borderlands 2 in live PC gaming stream NVIDIA Project SHIELD demoes high-powered Android game Real Boxing NVIDIA Project SHIELD demoes PC-bound Need For Speed: Most Wanted NVIDIA shows off Dead Arrival 2 on Project SHIELD Zombie Driver getting an HD makeover for Project SHIELD NVIDIA's Project SHIELD demos Burn Zombie Burn NVIDIA Project SHIELD unleashes Riptide GP 2 in sweetest demo yet NVIDIA Project SHIELD goes wild with The Conduit HD is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? LG Optimus G2 appears in benchmark-dominating leak

If you were thinking about trading in that recently-dominant LG Optimus G or Google Nexus 4 for a brand new monster soon, look no further – the LG Optimus G2 may be on the way quick! If you’ve been working with the LG Optimus G or the basically-the-same-hardware LG Nexus 4, you know good and well that Qualcomm and LG work rather well together under the hood. Now with the benchmarks we’re seeing today, their team up (so good Google had them make the Nexus 4) is back with a second wave!

As you’ll know well by the looks we’ve had at the LG Optimus G Pro, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor is an absolute beast. It’s the second-highest most powerful processor Qualcomm makes today – so great, both the HTC One and the Samsung GALAXY S 4 have opted to employ it. Then there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, a step up, a quad-core processor intended only for the most dominant devices of this generation, complete with a fabulous Adreno 330 GPU for graphics superiority. That’s the processor we’re seeing here in the GLBenchmark results found today to be showing the LG D801. This is a device that’ll be hitting up T-Mobile to start with, bringing with it a set of specifications that’ll blow your mind. • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean • T-Mobile 4G LTE • 1080 x 1794 pixel display • MSM8974 (aka Snapdragon 800) The benchmark list you see above also shows the “HTC 6435LVW” – note here that this is the HTC DROID DNA, while the LG E975 below it (with the same score) is the LG Optimus G (the original.) Right along with it is the LG Optimus G Pro which gets a similar score because of its massive display – note that the DROID DNA and the LG Optimus G Pro should, by all means, be getting different scores because the G Pro has a more advanced processor – but again, this isn’t an all-encompassing benchmark, it’s only showing Offscreen 1080p processing – no worries! Have a peek at our archive of bits and pieces surrounding this upcoming LG Optimus G2 as it makes its way to T-Mobile soon – stay tuned! Story Timeline AT&T LG Optimus G hands-on with quad-core gaming AT&T LG Optimus G Review LG Optimus G hits Europe "enhanced and improved" LG Optimus G Pro hands-on: It's a big 'un LG Pocket Photo hands-on with Optimus G Pro LG Optimus G Pro Photo Tour: Barcelona, MWC 2013 LG announces Smart Video eye-recognition tech for Optimus G Pro LG one-ups Samsung with Optimus G ad in Times Square AT&T LG Optimus G Pro tipped in FCC post LG Optimus G2 appears in benchmark-dominating leak is written by Chris Burns .

Is It true? Windows 8 hardware requirement update hints at 7-inch tablet

A recent change in Microsoft’s hardware requirements for Windows 8 is creating a lot of speculation on what Microsoft has planned in the future. Previously, Windows 8 could only run on displays with a resolution of at least 1366×768. However, that requirement has been lowered to only 1024×768, which means that we could see smaller form factors of Windows tablets in the future.

Of course, Windows 8 has supported 1024×768 for a while now, but hardware requirements from Microsoft as far as tablets are concerned requires at least a widescreen 1366×768 resolution, which is rather odd, but Microsoft has quietly updated its tablet requirements with the new spec, meaning that smaller Windows tablets could be in our future. This seems fairly obvious, though, as small form factors are rather popular as of now, with Google’s Nexus 7, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, and Apple’s iPad mini leading the charge in the 7- to 8-inch tablet race. As for when we might see smaller Windows tablets, it’s not entirely certain, but they could come during Microsoft’s BUILD developers conference in June. If a 7- or 8-inch Windows tablet does, indeed, step into the limelight, it’ll be interesting to see if they catch on. Currently, Microsoft’s Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets haven’t been selling well, so if manufacturers get the price right with the smaller variants, they could squeeze their way in with the other Android and iOS offerings. [via ZDNet] Story Timeline Surface with Windows RT Review Microsoft Surface Pro Review iFixit guts the Microsoft Surface Pro Microsoft accepting orders for 128GB Surface Pro, will ship in 2 - 3 weeks Microsoft offers Surface Complete warranty for only $99 Surface heading to Japan, might hit shelves next month Microsoft expands Surface RT sales as UK big-box retailers wade in Windows 8 hardware requirement update hints at 7-inch tablet is written by Craig Lloyd .

Is It true? iOS 7 jailbreak supposedly already in the works

With an iOS 6 jailbreak now out and about, developers are starting to think ahead to iOS 7. We’ve already heard from Evad3rs team member David Wang (a.k.a. Planetbeing) about the chances of jailbreaking iOS 7, and according to him, it’ll most likely be a slow battle to find the exploits in iOS 7. However, another well-known jailbreaker has stepped up and pointed out that he has a solution.

Joshua Hill (a.k.a. p0sixninja, who’s a member of the Greenpois0n dev team) took to Twitter and said that, from the looks it, “the next jailbreak might be created entirely by [him].” He followed up with that statement saying that “Evad3rs haven’t gone anywhere,” and he claims he “just discovered all the needed exploits…over the past few months.” The latest version to be jailbroken is iOS 6.1.2, which means that iOS 6.1.3 still has to be exploited, as Apple as specifically called out the Evad3rs dev team and patched up the exploits needed to jailbreak. At that point, Wang says he doesn’t know if a jailbreak will be released for iOS 6.1.3, and iOS 7 may be just as hard to break into. Of course, we’re not sure if Hill is simply pulling our leg or if he’s actually being quite serious, but considering that he’s a reputable dev team member, it’s very likely that he’s telling the truth. Either way, iOS 7 hasn’t even been announced yet, so it’s too early to tell exactly how easy or hard it will be to break into iOS 7. Story Timeline Evasi0n jailbreak updated for iOS 6.1.2. untethered iOS 6.1.3 comes with Evasi0n jailbreak fix Evasi0n jailbreak now running on over 14m devices iOS 6.1.3 tethered jailbreak hits for older iOS devices iOS 6.1.3 patches up Evasi0n jailbreak: hold your updates iPhone 5 jailbreak tweak allows AT&T users to hop over to T-Mobile iOS 7 jailbreak supposedly already in the works is written by Craig Lloyd .