Archive for the ‘Windows 8’ Category
Earlier this year, Verizon announced some new 3G prepaid plans for $60 and $70 dollars that offered 500MB and 2GB of data, respectively. Now, it looks like the company has silently bumped those allotments up to 2GB and 4GB without touching the price. Android Central reports that the changes go into effect immediately for those with existing plans, but new customers won’t get hold of the new rates until June 6th. It’s a nice bump, but you can probably find lower prices and higher caps elsewhere , although your best option will depend on the coverage in your area
Google and other tech companies have come under fire for exploiting a common tax loophole to book revenues through their Irish subsidiaries, but today The Sunday Times is reporting that a former Google UK executive has evidence of further tax avoidance by his one-time employer. Barney Jones worked for Google between 2002 and 2006 and says that during his time at the company, Google relied almost exclusively on its UK sales staff to secure advertising deals in London, effectively closing deals there rather than in Dublin, where it booked the revenues. Google VP Matt Brittin had previously testified to the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that “nobody” at Google’s UK office was selling Google advertising, last week revising his… Continue reading…
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Former Google UK exec alleges company misrepresented sales to avoid paying taxes
Valve is pushing out another update to Team Fortress 2, its 356th since it first shipped the game as part of The Orange Box in 2007. But there’s something special this time around — the new content, titled Robotic Boogaloo, is the first to be created entirely by fans. Polygon reports that the update will have 57 virtual items, mostly hats (naturally), and include a comic that connects it with the game’s expansive backstory. In a blog post announcing the release, Valve said that just because it’s pushing out community-developed updates doesn’t mean that it will stop producing its own content for the game. “As far as we’re concerned, there’s plenty of room for both to happily co-exist,” says the company.
With the PlayStation 4, Sony is trying to lower the friction in buying games from PSN by letting you start playing games while they’re still downloading . Now it looks like the new feature will actually make it to the PlayStation 3 in time for the PSN release of Naughty Dog’s anticipated The Last of Us on June 14th. Speaking with Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann and game director Bruce Straley, Game Informer reports that the game will be playable once 50 percent of the content has been downloaded, cutting wait time in half. Onstage at its big PlayStation 4 announcement in February, PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny said that players would only have to download “just a fraction” of a game’s content before starting to… Continue reading…
An update to the Google Music app broke compatibility with the ill-fated Nexus Q — but it appears Google may have a new media streamer waiting in the wings to replace it. A recent FCC filing provides some sparse details on a mysterious product referenced as the “H840 Device.” Google is mentioned as the product’s manufacturer, and it’s described as a “fixed base station” with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. What’s most intriguing, however, is the product’s purpose: one of the documents states plainly that “The device functions as a media player.” Douglas Adams fans are also likely to get a kick out of the device’s model number, as well. It’s listed as the H2G2-42, no doubt a sly wink towards The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy . The Nexus Q had..
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Google’s potential Nexus Q successor revealed in FCC filing
Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei are set to face an EU investigation for anti-competitive behavior. Although the pair have both seen moderate success marketing their consumer devices in the region, the investigation is regarding the companies’ infrastructure equipment, which provides the backbone for the industry. In recent years Chinese companies have taken around a quarter of of the EU market, with sales of around €1 billion (roughly $1.3 billion). But according to European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the success has been due to anti-competitive predatory pricing.
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ZTE and Huawei face EU investigation over predatory pricing
When Cards Against Humanity saw its $4,000 Kickstarter campaign successfully raise almost four times its original goal, its makers were ecstatic. Two years later, the cards-based party game, which is available as a free PDF download or for $25 as a ready-made package, has generated an estimated $12 million in revenue, and in the past year alone was downloaded 1.5 million times from its website. It’s also spawned a reseller culture, with frequent stock shortages leading opportunists to sell the game for as much as $100 on sites like eBay. Despite that, its makers have stayed true to their cause, and have refused several investment and merchandising offers, preferring to go it alone.
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports, features, and reviews on The Verge. Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
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The Weekender: a new ‘Star Trek’, Google’s big event, and government and science as games
To call something “propaganda” is to connote a laughably unsubtle attempt at mind control, from the kind of nasty stereotypes mocked in BioShock Infinite to a hilariously redubbed North Korean propaganda video that many thought was real — precisely because we expect such attempts to be ham-fisted and idiotic. At The Guardian , Eliane Glaser argues that we should be looking instead at how behavioral science, advertising, and even memes can nudge us in certain directions. “The notion that propaganda is always a state-run, top-down affair provides a cloak for our complicity,” she writes. “Social media’s veneer of openness and people-power exemplifies western propaganda’s habit of masquerading as its opposite.” Continue reading…
Every time a reality TV star’s mouth is pixelated to obscure a curse, the producers are using a technique pioneered for Yul Brynner’s killer robot in Westworld . John Whitney Jr., who created the effect for director and writer Michael Crichton, wanted to simulate how an android might see the world. To do so, he divided the screen into tiny squares, calculating the average color of each one, and filling them with that color, creating a shifting low-resolution version of normal vision.
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How ‘Westworld’s’ killer android created movie pixelation
alphadogg writes “A data center in Sweden has cut its energy bills by a million dollars a year using seawater to cool its servers, though jellyfish are an occasional hazard. Interxion, a collocation company in the Netherlands that rents data center space in 11 countries, uses water pumped from the Baltic Sea to cool the IT equipment at its facilities in Stockholm. The energy used to cool IT equipment is one of the costliest areas of running a data center. Companies have traditionally used big, mechanical chillers, but some are turning to outside air and evaporative techniques as lower-cost alternatives.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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Swedish Data Center Saves $1M a Year Using Seawater For Cooling
Today’s the day, trivia fans, when ” Paul Otellini ” stops being the answer to the question “Who is the CEO of Intel?” A fortnight ago, after a prolonged bout of speculation, current COO Brian Krznich was anointed as the Silicon Valley giant’s sixth leader — giving him a mere two weeks to order a new desk and buy a fancier sports car. He’ll be joined by Renée James , who is assuming the mantle of company president today. The pair is taking control of a company that is top of the PC food chain, but which has yet to mount a credible challenge to ARM’s mobile dominance — but the strategic stuff can wait until tomorrow, once they’ve settled in.
Microsoft previously promised Surface Pro availability in the UK this month, but it’s revealing an exact date and pricing today. Brits will be able to purchase Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet on May 23rd, priced at £719 for the 64GB model and £799 for the 128GB version. The usual Surface accessories will also be available, including the Touch and Type Covers. Expansion to other European markets will take place on May 30th, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
The Envy x2 has never been our favorite Windows 8 tablet, but that hasn’t stopped HP from selling loads of them. The device has been such a success, in fact, that the company is expanding the x2 series to make room for two follow-on products: the Split x2 (a Windows 8 hybrid) and the SlateBook x2 (an Android tablet). Starting with the Split (pictured above), this is the first time HP’s made a laptop / tablet hybrid with a laptop processor inside, though Microsoft and others have of course done this already. In brief, it’s a 13-inch slate with a 1,366 x 768 display and your choice of Core i3 or i5 processor (these are Intel’s Y-series Ivy Bridge chips we’re talking about)
Google CEO Larry Page has finally opened up about a recurring and noticeable health problem — what Google Chairman Eric Schmidt characterized as the loss of Page’s voice last year. In a post on his Google+ page today , Page describes how he first encountered the issue “about 14 years ago,” right around the time that he cofounded Google, when he suffered a cold and then a hoarse voice, from which he says he never fully recovered. As Page writes: “So I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis. This is a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly.” Continue reading…
PS3 and Vita game Sound Shapes has some amazing music from some amazing artists: think Beck, Jim Guthrie , and Deadmau5 . But it also lets players create their own levels and sounds, and soon you’ll be able to check out our favorites. On May 28th, the Sound Shapes Milkcrate will add five guest-curated albums, featuring the best player-created levels the game has to offer. Among those guests is The Verge , and you’ll also be able to check out hand-picked albums from the likes of gaming site Gamespot , record label Ghostly International, Pixeljunk Eden composer Baiyon, and Sound Shapes developer Queasy Games. And if you’re looking to get started making some levels of your own, there’s good news, as today the game received two new $0.99 sound…
Play The Verge-curated ‘Sound Shapes’ album on May 28th
The biggest surprise at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is about to go on sale. The Nvidia Shield , a five-inch portable Android game console that can also stream PC games from a nearby gaming computer, will cost $349 at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, Canada Computers and Nvidia.com when pre-orders begin May 20th. Technically, you can actually pre-order one today if you sign up on Nvidia’s “notify me” webpage — and there’s nothing to keep you from doing that right now. Before you plunk down money on the latest gadget, though, why not read what the fuss is all about?
Following Outlook.com’s recent Skype integration , Microsoft is turning its integration focus to Google services today. Google Talk, an instant messaging service for text and audio, is being integrated directly into Outlook.com, Microsoft’s refreshed webmail service. The surprising move comes just days before Google is rumored to be rounding up its Google Talk and Hangouts services into a unified “Babel” service . Google Talk support just ahead of rumored Babel service Microsoft heard from Outlook.com users that they wanted to chat to their contacts using Google Talk, so the company utilized Google’s APIs to build the support.
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Outlook.com gets Google Talk support, rolling out worldwide this week
The Guardian this week published a fascinating in-depth report on the village of Newtok — a remote Alaskan community that, because of climate change, will likely be underwater within the next few years. Experts say it could be just four years before rising sea levels swallow Newtok, and although the community has already agreed to relocate to higher ground, a shortage of money and resources has precluded them from taking action. Meanwhile, erratic climate and weather patterns have convinced locals of the threat that global warming poses. “It’s changing a lot,” Newtok resident Nathan Tom said. “It’s real, global warming, it’s real.” Continue reading…
Relations between those who build mobile apps and their customers are getting a leg up today with Google’s announcement that all developers will now be able to reply to user reviews in the Play store. The company made the announcement on the Android Developers blog , discussing best practices like identifying and prioritizing bugs based on user impact and getting ideas for new improvements and features. The ability to respond to user reviews first started rolling out nearly a year ago, but now appears to finally be complete, following a false start in January . Continue reading…
If you’re looking for screenshots of Atari’s 1976 blockbuster Breakout , you may be in for a surprise today. Typing ” atari breakout ” into Google Image Search will return a fully playable version of the game, where the images are rendered as breakable blocks. The original version of the game was developed by a pre-Apple Steve Wozniak after his friend Steve Jobs promised Atari founder Nolan Bushnell that he could deliver a prototype in just four days. While this Google version may not have quite as storied a history, it stands out as one of the more elaborate Easter eggs we’ve seen from the search giant.
Play Atari’s classic ‘Breakout’ right inside Google Image Search
A reboot of astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Journey hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson is finally on its way to television. On Monday, Fox made an official announcement during its advertising upfront presentation at New York’s Beacon Theatre, reports The Los Angeles Times . The series has been in the works for years , and will be making its long-awaited premiere sometime in 2014. Continue reading…
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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ headed to Fox in 2014
Shane Todd’s parents, Rick and Mary Todd, arriving at the coroner’s public inquest. Photo: Belmont Lay Investigators and friends testified today that Shane Todd, the American engineer who was found hanging in his bathroom in Singapore last year , was depressed and even visited suicide-related websites in the months before his death. It was the first day of testimony in the highly sensitive 12-day coroner’s inquest, which was commissioned after Todd’s parents raised questions about their son’s death. The Todds believe that Shane was murdered , possibly because he facilitated an illegal transfer of military-grade technology from the US to China through his work at the Singaporean research agency Institute of Microelectronics.
Google has been extending the functionality of Google+ with a steady stream of feature rollouts , and today the company has announced the latest addition: the ability to add content recommendations to mobile websites. The feature — launching today on the Forbes mobile site — appears as a small bar at the bottom of a given article. Tapping it brings up suggested articles for that site, keying off the author, the topics discussed, or what is being shared on Google+ to generate the suggestions. Users don’t need to be signed into their Google+ account to see the recommendations, but if they are they’ll also see suggestions based upon what those in their Google+ Circles have been sharing. While Forbes is the immediate launch partner, any..