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Apple TV's Potential In Gaming

We've covered the details about the new Apple TV, which was announced in last month's big reveal that centered largely on the iPhone 6s. In this post, I'm going to look a little closer at the specific potential of the Apple TV to disrupt the video game industry, as well as some of the games that are liable to become major focal points for TV players. 

If you haven't viewed the specs and features of the new Apple TV, The Verge did a pretty nice job of covering its gaming capabilities. Basically, the new system will bring a diverse range of titles we know from the iOS app store to the big screen. They're made playable through a new remote that's described by The Verge as possibly the "holy grail" of game controllers—it's apparently intuitive for non-gamers and gamers alike. As of now, it seems pretty much like a simplified version of the Wii remote coupled with the PS4's on-remote touchpad.

Naturally, this combination of basic features that comprise the Apple TV's gaming aspect holds enormous potential. The transfer of popular app games to a bigger screen not only enhances existing games, but should entice developers to tweak new versions of these games specifically for TV optimization. Additionally, the simplicity of the remote will make for an easy adjustment for folks used to playing on smartphone screens, and a quick learning curve for those just starting out with app games.

But more interesting than the features alone is the idea of certain games and gaming genres being transferred from small to big screens without the actual requirement of a console development. These are just a few of the most enticing possibilities.

Console Imitation Games

This is a broad category that isn't actually specifically defined, but when you hear "console imitation," you may think of anything from the Infinity Blade series to the recently released mobile accompaniment to Madden. That's exactly the idea here. By now there are already dozens of games that either serve as mobile versions of existing console titles or strive to come as close to matching that quality as possible on a mobile platform. Gamespot quoted one of Infinity Blade III's developers as challenging the true notion of "next-gen" gaming. He suggested that his mobile titles, rather than PS4 or Xbox One games, were the true future of gaming. If titles such as Infinity Blade III become playable on Apple TV, that developer may just be dead on. The idea of the best app games being blown up to big screens could certainly render at least some console experiences unnecessary.

Online Casino Games 

We've all tried the cheesy app poker game here or there, but the truth is that a much more sophisticated mobile casino genre already exists; it's just not able to be popular in the United States yet. Betfair provides a full range of gaming options to mobile users on iOS and Android platforms already. Poker, blackjack, roulette, and even slot machines based on various pop culture themes make for what amounts to a full digital casino. And with the company already having made in-roads in New Jersey (where online gambling is legal), it's easy to see expansion in the U.S. as online gambling legislation is inevitably passed. These games work well enough on smaller screens but the chance to simulate a poker tournament on the big screen—not unlike watching such a tournament on a sports channel—would be quite popular with a huge population that enjoys this genre.

World Building & Sim Games

"A basic entry-level version." That's how Minecraft's "pocket edition" app was once described by a comparison of various versions of the game at Super Cheats. In actuality, the app version of Minecraft has become pretty complete through various updates in the last couple years. The game, at least for players who prefer creative mode (as opposed to survival), now offers a satisfying range of options. But it's also somewhat frustrating in that you just can't enjoy the same scope that you get on PC or an Xbox. That problem—one that exists not just in Minecraft but for other world-building and city simulation games—could be completely solved by Apple TV adjustments. Even without consideration for new gaming features, just imagining the cheap simplicity of Minecraft pocket edition blown up on a television screen makes for a more satisfying experience.

Atmospheric Mysteries

This may sound like something of a niche category, but it's actually one that's expanded quite a bit in recent years. It also frequently hosts some of the most carefully designed app games, often from indie developers. From The Room, to Device 6, to Year Walk and beyond, there are a many recognizable titles that are playable essentially as point-and-click mystery solvers but which thrive on engrossing atmospheres. Some of these games are even recommended to be played in the dark or with headphones on, so as to be fully immersive. Naturally, the idea of such a game on a larger screen in a dark room (possibly with surround sound?) is even more appealing.

Really, it's a strange concept when you think about it: The app gaming market made video games smaller and simpler, and the Apple TV now carries the potential to make those same games bigger and more complex. But in a way, this holds enormous potential to disrupt the video game industry. Apps have whittled games down to core elements necessary to entertain, and it's those elements that could be amplified by adaptation to the TV, rather than the useless filler that plagues so many existing console experiences.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 And Targa 4 Get Official

Porsche has added some new models in its Porsche 911 range, the company has now unveiled it new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Porsche 911 Targa 4.

There are five new models in the range, the 911 Carrera 4 , 911 Carrera 4S in both coupe and convertible models and the 911 Targa 4.

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Targa 4 come with a three litre bi-turbo charged engine with 370 horsepower and the 911 Carrera 4S comes with 420 horsepower.

The increased horsepower on the S models comes from a combination of turbochargers with modified compressors, tuned engine management and a new exhaust system, all models in the range come with electro-hydraulically all wheel drive.

Here are the performance figures:

911 Carrera 4 – 0 to 62 miles per hour – 4.1 seconds (PDK and Sports Chrono)

911 Carrera 4s – 0 to 62 miles per hour – 3.8 seconds (PDK and Sports Chrono)

911 Targa 4 – 0 to 62 miles per hour – 4.0 seconds (PDK and Sports Chrono)

Source Porsche

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Now Official

Microsoft officially announced the arrival of a new Surface Pro 4 tablet that is equipped with enough power to run all of your required desktop software with ease.

As you would expect the new Surface Pro 4 comes pre-installed with Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Pro operating system and can be powered by a variety of different processors in the form of Intel’s six generation Core m3, i5, or i7.

The processors can also be supported by up to 16GB of RAM and options for m3: Intel HD graphics 515, i5: Intel HD graphics 520, i7: Intel Iris graphics. Together with a 12.3 inch PixelTouch display offering users a resolution of 2736 x 1824 or 267 PPI. Microsoft explains more :

Surface Pro 4 is the proportions of a sheet of paper so that it feels familiar in your hands. It goes from tablet to laptop in a snap with the multi-position Kickstand and improved keyboard. Powered by Windows 10, Surface Pro 4 turns from a tablet into a full powered laptop while running all of your desktop software.

Other features of the Surface Pro 4 tablet include 5 megapixel front facing camera for video calling, together with a 8 megapixel rear facing for video and photographs, with support for 1080p HD video recording and stereo microphones.

Source: Microsoft

21.5 Inch Retina iMac To Launch Next Week

We have been hearing rumors about the new 21.5 Inch Retina iMac for some time and now according to a recent report, the device will launch next week.

The news comes from Mark Gurman of 9 to 5 Mac who has revealed that Apple will launch the new 21.5 Inch Retina iMac next Tuesday, the 13th of October.

The design of the new Retina 21.5 inch iMac is said to be exactly the same as the existing model, as well as the new display, the device is also expected to get a new processor and more.

Apple are expected to sell the 21.5 inch version of the Retina iMac along side the standard version, the Retina model will cost more, although it is not clear as yet on how much the device will retail for.

Source 9 to 5 Mac

New Microsoft Surface Book Unveiled

This week Microsoft have unveiled their new Microsoft Surface Book that takes the form of a hybrid laptop with a detachable screen that can also be used as a tablet similar to others in the range.

The Surface Book casing is constructed using magnesium and the system is equipped with a 13.5” PixelSense display offering users a resolution of 3000 x 2000 at 267 PPI.

The Surface Book system can be powered by a sixth generation processor in the form of an Intel Core i5 or i7 and is equipped with a 5 megapixel front facing camera for video calling, together with a 8 megapixel rear facing for video and photographs with 1080p HD video recording and dual microphones.

Surface Book is the first of its kind. This innovative and stunningly crafted laptop is a creative powerhouse, designed to adapt to the way you work – with touch, a Pen, or a mouse. Ultra-thin, meticulously crafted, with incredible screen resolution. This is the ultimate laptop. Grab your screen and go. Surface Book’s screen detaches so you can take it anywhere.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Lumia 550 Windows 10 Smartphone Announced

The Lumia 550 is a budget Windows 10 smartphone and the handset comes with a a 4.7 inch HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor and comes with 1GB of RAM, the device also comes with 8GB of built in storage and a microSD card slot.

On the front of the Microsoft Lumia 550 is a 2 megapixel camera and on the back there is a 5 megapixel camera, the handset comes with a 2100 mAh battery. The handset will go on sale next month and will retail for $139 without a contract.

Source Microsoft

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Announced

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL comes with a larger display than the 950, it features a 5.7 inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.

The handset is powered by a slightly faster processor, the octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and it also comes with 3GB of RAM, 32gB of built in storage and a microSD card slot.

The Lumia 950 XL features the same cameras as the 950, up front there is a 5 megapixel 1080p camera, on the back of the handset there is a 20 megapixel PureView camera.

Other specifications ion the device include 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB Type-C, the device will come with a larger 3340 mAh battery, it also comes with Windows 10.

Source Microsoft

Microsoft Lumia 950 Smartphone Gets Official

The Microsoft Lumia 950 is equipped with a 5.2 inch AMOLED display that has a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 564 ppi, the display comes with Gorilla Glass 3.

The handset is powered by a hexa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and it features an Adreno 419 GPU, there is also 3GB 0f RAM and 32GB of built in storage, plus a microSD card slot for extra storage.

The new Lumia 950 comes with a 5 megapixel front facing camera which is capable of recording 1080p video and a 20 megapixel PureView rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, there is also a triple LED flash and optical image stabilization.

Connectivity comes win the form of 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB Type-C, the handset comes with Windows 10 and it features a 3000 mAh battery.

The handset also comes with Windows Continuum, which allows you to connect the device to0 a dock and an external monitor.

There will be a single and dual SIM version of the new Lumia 950 available at launch, the device will go on sale next month, you can find out more details at the link below.

Source Microsoft

Pinterest Buyable Pins Rolls Out To More E-Commerce Platforms

Pinterest has today rolled out its Buyable Pins to more e-commerce platforms providing a way for businesses to market their products, with 60 million Buyable Pins now on Pinterest as of today says the company.

A business using Pinterest Buyable Pins retains 100 percent of the sale, as Pinterest generates revenue using its advertising tools that help merchants and other brands promote their pins across the site.

Tech Crunch explains more :

In addition to the expansion, several big-name brands are also now coming on board, including Wayfair and Bloomingdale’s, who will be working with the Buyable Pin program directly, as well as Demandware merchants DVF and Steven Alan. Thousands of new Shopify stores are being added, too, says the company.
Buyable Pins, which are a type of pin that’s infused with richer data, including things like the item’s price and options, are meant to be the next logical step beyond product discovery and inspiration – which is what Pinterest is still known for today. Instead, the idea is that merchants can actually convert Pinterest users into customers right on the Pinterest site or mobile app. Users tap on the “Buy” button and can then select the specific product (like color, size, etc.) and then complete their purchase.

For more information on the new Buyable Pins jump over to the Pinterest website for details.

Source: Tech Crunch

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Apple Buys Perceptio, An AI Startup For Smartphones

Apple has acquired another company, the latest one is company called Perceptio, a startup that is developing artificial intelligence systems for smartphones.

Perceptio has been developing a new AI system for smartphones that does not share its user data, this fits in with Apple’s current stance on user privacy and could be one of the reasons for the acquisition.

Apple has confirmed that they have purchased Perceptio, although they did not share any details on what plans they have for the company, instead they gave their usual statement, which you can see below.

Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Colin Johnson, a company spokesman.

Source Bloomberg, Techmeme

Roku 4 4K Streaming Box Announced

The device is now official, the Roku 4 and it will cost $129.99 when it launches later this month.

The Roku 4 is capable of streaming 4K movies and TV shows at 60 frames per second, the box is slightly larger than the Roku 3.

This new 4K streaming box comes with a new Roku 7 software, this will also be released to other Roku device later this month.

The device comes with 802.11ac, Ethernet, HDMI and USB, plus an optical audio output to connect it to speakers.

The company is also releasing a new mobile application which will come with a range of features, the device is now available to pre-order direct from Roku and it will ship later this month.

Source Technobuffalo

Jack Dorsey Twitter CEO Again And Adam Bain COO

It has just been announced by Twitter that co-founder Jack Dorsey will now officially take the position of CEO after returning to the company as interim chief executive.

Twitter has been through quite some turmoil of late and has now finally named Dorsey as its permanent CEO after co-founding the company back in 2006.

Twitter also announced that Adam Bain is becoming COO and Dick Costolo has stepped down from the Board of Directors. At the current time Dorsey is also CEO of Square the e-commerce payment start-up which was founded back in 2009 and is expected to make a public offering some time very soon.

Via Twitter Dorsey explains :

Source: Tech Crunch

Monday, October 5, 2015

Facebook To Bring Free Internet To Africa With Satellites

Facebook and another of companies are working on bringing the Internet to the whole of our planet and now the social network has announced that it plans to use satellites to bring free Internet to Africa.

The company has teamed up with French satellite company Eutelsat Communications and the plan is to deliver free Internet to 14 countries in Africa.

Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) and Facebook today announce they are partnering on a new initiative that will leverage satellite technologies to get more Africans online. Under a multi-year agreement with Spacecom, the two companies will utilise the entire broadband payload on the future AMOS-6 satellite and will build a dedicated system comprising satellite capacity, gateways and terminals. In providing reach to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Eutelsat and Facebook will each be equipped to pursue their ambition to accelerate data connectivity for the many users deprived of the economic and social benefits of the Internet.

The two companies plan to launch this new Internet service in the second half of next year and it will cover parts of western, eastern and southern Africa, you can find out more details at the link below.

Source Eutelsat, Gizmodo

JXD Singularity S192 Gaming Tablet Launches For $299

JXD has this week unveiled a new Android gaming tablet they have created in the form of the Singularity S192 that will soon be available to purchase priced at $299, and comes with built-in analog control sticks, D-pad and gaming buttons.

Unlike other Android tablets currently on the market the Singularity S192 has been specifically designed for gamers and is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor supported by 2GB of RAM.

The Android gaming tablet is equipped with a 7 inch display sporting a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels and has been fitted with support for dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity.

The Singularity S192 is also equipped with a 5 megapixel front facing camera for video calling, together with a 13 megapixel rear facing for video and photographs. The system is also fitted with a huge 10,000 mAh battery offering users up to 11 hours of video playback or 6 hours of continuous gameplay say JXD.

Source: Liliputing : Open Consoles : OpenPandora forum : JXD

Apple And Google Are The Worlds Top Brands Again

Apple and Google have both been listed as top brands in the world by Interbrand over the last few years and now the two companies have taken the top two spots this year.

In first place is Apple with a brand value of $170 billion, in second place is Google with a brand value of $120 billion.

Out of the top 10 companies, 6 put of the 10 are technology companies, the list includes, Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Samsung and Amazon.

Apple has apparently seen a 43% increase in its brand value since last year and Google has seen a 12 percent increase.

You can find out more details about the worlds top brands over at Interbrand, it will be interesting to see how long Apple and Google can hold on to the top spots for.

Source The Verge


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