Posts Tagged ‘Well’
Microsoft is holding its annual Build conference in San Francisco this year, promising to place the focus squarely on developers. With a Windows 8.1 preview planned for the same day, and the promise of some Xbox One development news, it looks like Microsoft might be ready to explain how all of its key products will work in harmony together in the future. With rumors of a new Surface announcement, and a focus on 7- and 8-inch devices with Windows 8.1, there could be an additional hardware focus at Build alongside the key software aspects. Windows, Windows Phone, Azure, Internet Explorer, Office, Xbox, and Visual Studio will all make an appearance at the event and we’ll be there live to cover it all.
Sean Hollister and Tom Warren will be…
The reveal of the Xbox One didn’t go as Microsoft hoped. Gamers loved the system, but hated the absurd restrictions placed on the games. But Microsoft listened and just today reversed its stance on some of the more ridiculous policies. Good for them. Good for us.
I mean, the outcry was hard to ignore. The memes, the tweets, the visceral anger was everywhere. Even the talking heads on nationwide morning talk shows were debating the curious DRM restrictions.
Gone is the daily Internet check. Gone is the very limited region locking. Games can now be rented and traded and passed among friends just like always. Things are essentially back to normal, for better or worse.
This move was clearly to save face and eliminate potential digs Sony and Nintendo could (and would and already did) take at the Xbox One. The last thing Microsoft needs is Sony pointing out that the PS4 doesn’t require an always-on Internet connection like the Xbox One.
Microsoft didn’t have to reverse its stance. It could have taken the potshots and rolled out, touting the Xbox One’s features alongside the forward-thinking requirements.
After all, the company has historically been pretty good about not responding to consumer feedback in a timely manner. Just look at Windows 8. Or Windows Vista. Or Xbox Live. The company has a long history of doing whatever the hell it wants.
Even with the crazy restrictions, the average consumer would have probably purchased the Xbox One anyway. Gaming forums and Twitter represent just a small (if noisy) portion of the One’s target market. And with the One launching months from now, in the midst of the holiday season, the talk would have quieted down before it hit Walmart’s shelves.
The Xbox One still requires a Kinect to always be connected, and today’s reversal removes some of the more novel features like game sharing from the system. But at least Microsoft is listening and responding quickly. That’s new. Gamers wanted to love the Xbox One but Microsoft made it impossible. Now things have gotten slightly better.
[Image via Flickr/dalvenjah]
This is a video of professional rock climber Cedar Wright performing a 600-foot rope drop/swing in Ukraine. It’s crazy how extreme people have to go these days to get a rush. I still get all sweaty and excited using a crosswalk that’s already flashing orange.
Hit the jump for the video, which is from a series called PAUSE which is why the video stops right before the dude presumably dies (he doesn’t though — he’s still alive).
Diablo 3 isn’t a Sony console exclusive anymore, it seems, with Blizzard Entertainment today announcing it’s heading to Xbox 360 as well on September 3rd. The game will arrive for the PlayStation 3 on the same day as the 360 version, with the PlayStation 4 version arriving at an unknown point afterward. It’s unknown if the game is also headed to Microsoft’s next-gen console, Xbox One, though Blizzard told our friends at Joystiq, “We don’t have any further platform announcements to share at this time.” Not exactly a straight up “no!” The console version of the game is said to contain all the updates that PC / Mac users have enjoyed thus far, not to mention much needed relief for your clicking finger.
Facebook Home Screenshot Leaks Suggest We’ll See An Image-Rich User interface With Sharing Close At Hand
Facebook is set to debut an unique Android item tomorrow, and now 9to5Google has a very early look at what we might see, courtesy of Evleaks. The screens depicted on renders of the supposed HTC First smartphone hardware being developed by the Taiwanese business. The images reveal tweaks to the fundamental Android UI that consist of simple access to condition updates, picture sharing and check-in functions, in addition to an emphasis on images.
The screens want to take a mostly minimalist technique to re-skinning the Android OS, with a widget just like the one available for Android house displays occupying a spot near the top of the app tray. A notifications screen utilizes what looks like it might be a Facebook cover image as its background, and seems to show a user ’ s FB profile pic as the open mechanism. There are Instagram, Messenger and Facebook sharing choices revealed in the built-in gallery app, and Evleaks says the entire point is to put Facebook features close at hand wherever possible in the OS itself, making it less required to delve into the specialized app to share or engage with content published to the social network.
The description and screens from this latest leakage match up with exactly what Josh stated was on the means from Facebook for this event last week. Overall, it appears like exactly what FB is doing is making a product that can make Android a much better funnel for prompting mobile individuals to post content and updates to its network, and to better keep up to date with new activity from their pals. If Facebook can effectively show that it can actually enhance the Android experience with deeper hooks, its Home item can become appealing to other OEMs too. As well as though it has actually developed an impressive user base upon its own, shipping on a range of Android hardware around the globe as an aspect essentially baked into the OS works out beyond typical individual acquisition techniques.
We ’ ll have live insurance coverage of the event tomorrow as it takes place, beginning at 10 AM PT, so you can tune in to discover whether what Facebook truly is presenting matches these early leaks as it takes place.
WARNING: SPIDER PICTURES. That should kind of go without saying though because it’s a post about spiders, you know? Stop emailing me.
In news that’s sure to send real estate prices on Antarctica skyrocketing, scientists have confirmed that spiders that prey on bats have been found on every continent except the icy giant. I’m coming, Santa! “Antarctica is at the south pole.” Right, I knew that.
The researchers write that bat-catching spiders were reported from “virtually every continent,” with the exception of Antarctica. About 80% of the reported “bat catches” were performed by web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders (i.e. spiders that forage without the use of a web):
While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.
I love bats, so obviously this is heartbreaking news for me. *wiping fake tear* Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a minute to compose myself. Actually, I’m just going to take the rest of the afternoon off. If my boss asks tell him somebody died. No — tell him EVERYBODY died. That should buy me coming in late tomorrow too.
Hit the jump for a compilation shot of a bunch of bats in webs.
While Microsoft’s main investment in sensor technology has been Kinect, the software maker hasn’t ventured into wearable devices recently. With devices like Jawbone and Nike’s FuelBand soaring in popularity, and Google’s Glass set to debut later this year, there’s clearly a shift towards wearable computing in general. Speaking at Microsoft’s TechForum event this week, the company’s president of the Interactive Entertainment Business responsible for Xbox, Don Mattrick, offered his own predictions for the future of wearable tech.
Incoming search terms:
Nintendo has already cut its projections for the Wii U after sales failed to fulfill assumptions, and we’re now seeing the degree of the console’s inadequate efficiency in the US. The NPD group has released its report for January video game sales and, while it isn’t really offering particular hardware phone numbers, a Gamasutra source states that the Wii U sold “well under” 100,000 units. Nintendo previously revealed that it sold 460,000 systems in December, suggesting that need has dropped off significantly among customers who had not currently decided to get the console at launch.
Is Windows 8 succeeding? We still don’t know for sure, but at least part-time Microsoft chairman Bill Gates seems pleased with the progress of the new operating system. When CNBC asked him whether he’d ever return to Microsoft as CEO — not so subtly implying that the company could use more of his help — Gates said that both Windows 8 and the Surface tablet were doing “well,” and without his full-time input.
Microsoft says it’s sold 60 million licenses for Windows 8 so far, but it’s not clear whether that translates to human beings actually buying the OS. Market research firm NPD suggests that Windows 8 isn’t helping a declining trend in PC sales, at least one partner (Fujitsu) isn’t happy with its performance, and sales are…
Facebook’s up to something. Last week, throughout the peak of the insanity that is CES, the business welcomed members of journalism to its headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, to “see exactly what we’re developing.” We do not know exactly what the business prepares to reveal, however we’re hearing it’s something huge. Could it be a new search product? Yet an additional Facebook Gifts spruce up? What about the long-rumored “Facebook phone?” We don’t understand yet what Facebook’s up to, but the company is in desperate need of a substantial hit, and it could have one ready to flaunt.
Our own Dieter Bohn and Ellis Burger are on the ground in Menlo Park, liveblogging the entire event as it unfolds. It starts at 10AM PT / 1PM ET, so do not miss it!