Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
Boiling the rivalry down to specs, PlayStation 4 looks like the clear winner over Xbox One
As people continue to look for ways to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable services, right now they largely have no choice but to continue subscribing to ISPs’ Internet services even if they cancel pay-TV. Over the next few years, however, that need might fade in many regions. According to new research from ABI, LTE-FDD (frequency-division duplex) will expand to cover 57% of the global population by 2018 while LTE-TDD (time-division duplex) will cover 52% of the population by that point in time. More →
New details continue to trickle out following Microsoft’s Xbox One unveiling. Some new tidbits answer burning questions and some simply raise new questions, but there are also a few key features being discovered that Microsoft was oddly quiet about during its presentation but happily confirmed after the show. For one example, Forbes’ Matt Hickey was able to learn after the presentation that the new Xbox One will indeed support “Ultra HD” gaming at 4K resolution. “The video and interface portions, absolutely,” Microsoft marketing boss Yusuf Mehdi responded when asked whether or not the new Xbox would offer 4K gaming. It looks like games will be 1080p at launch, though 4K games will certainly be available down the road once Ultra HD TV sales pick up.
BlackBerry announced earlier this month that its BlackBerry Messenger service will be coming to Android smartphones and the iPhone in the coming months. The company was initially criticized for once again being late to the game, with services like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp having taken over the mobile messaging market. BlackBerry cofounder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is optimistic about BBM’s future, however. The former executive told Bloomberg that he believes iPhone and Android users will be quick to embrace the once popular service. More →
Microsoft is trying to differentiate the Xbox One from rival consoles by giving it several key set-top box features for television sets but that doesn’t mean it’s going to take away your need to subscribe to cable services anytime soon. As AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka notes, Microsoft is limiting the amount of live television content Xbox One users can access without a cable subscription, thus ensuring that cable providers don’t feel threatened.
“In order to get the TV part of Xbox One to work, you’ll essentially end up plugging it into your existing cable box, via another box that lets you perform an ‘HDMI pass-through,’” writes Kafka. “In essence, Xbox One is acting as a sort of custom remote for your cable box, which will let you change the channel; it is also creating its own programming guide so you can see what’s on TV.”
As Kafka also notes, Microsoft has worked with ESPN and HBO to create Xbox apps that only deliver content if you’re already subscribed to a cable service. So while we one day just might be able to get all the programming we want over our broadband connections, it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft will be the company to give it to us.
When you’re a tween or teen who just has to repost that great porn GIF you just found, Facebook really isn’t the place to do it. It’s not that porn GIFs are any less appreciated by Facebook users, of course, but rather that young users are often tracked by their parents on the world’s top social network. As a result, a recent Pew Research study found that teenagers are moving away from Facebook and finding a new home on Tumblr. More →
A recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission has confirmed that Google’s rumored X Phone device will be coming to Sprint later this year. The Sprint version is identified with the model number XT1056 and includes support for LTE on band 25. The device is equipped with NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (or “5G Wi-Fi”) and low-energy Bluetooth 4.0. Earlier rumors suggested the X Phone will be powered by a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and run a stock version of Android. It was previously revealed that the Motorola-built smartphone will also arrive on AT&T and Verizon with the model numbers XT1058 and XT1060, respectively. Google and Motorola are expected to announce the X Phone later this year.
Making sure that people have access to the Internet in the wake of disasters has become crucially important since it gives disaster victims the ability to communicate and learn important information that could help save lives. But what happens if an ISP’s basic infrastructure in a given area gets completely wiped out by a hurricane without any hope of being rebuilt for months? In AT&T’s case, that’s when it’s time to start rolling out its fleet of network equipment trailers that are capable of replicating the functions of a 10-story office building in the space of a small parking lot. More →
Apple has updated an earlier lawsuit filed against Samsung with claims that the Galaxy S4 and its Google Now feature violate two Apple patents covering functions of its own virtual personal assistant, Siri. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents relayed news of the updated complaint on Wednesday, and he noted that two of the patents — U.S. Patent 8,086,604, and U.S. Patent 6,846,959 — cover technologies related to Siri. Both filings describe a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Apple also added three more patents to its earlier complaint that are not related to Siri, according to the report.
Clearwire’s Board of Directors has approved a revised offer from Sprint to acquire a remaining 50% stake in the company. Sprint had previously offered $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, for the wireless broadband wholesaler. After several shareholders voiced their concerns about the sale, Sprint decided to raise its offer to $3.40 per share. The revised bid valued Clearwire at $10.7 billion and represented a 14% premium over the original bid. The board is recommending shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition when they meet on May 31st. Clearwire’s press release follows below. More →
With the first round of announcements behind us, the only thing that’s clear in the inevitable and perpetual Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 battle is that there is no clear winner. Microsoft finally unveiled its next-generation video game console on Tuesday and once all the dust settled, Anandtech’s Anand Lal Shimpi took a step back and laid out everything we know about these two beastly consoles. Lal Shimpi’s analysis is extensive and thorough, as always, but it boils down to this: Based on what we know at this point, Sony has the edge in terms of specs and raw power. More →
The message from Samsung’s newest video for the Galaxy S4 seems to be a variation of an old Nancy Sinatra tune: That is, “This Phone is Made for Stalking.” A five-minute music video for the Galaxy S4 shows a lovestruck man following a woman around with his new Samsung smartphone and secretly filming her while she’s sitting in class and in the library. The man then longingly watches the videos he’s filmed of her while applying photo effects to her images using the Galaxy S4′s new camera software. More →
Sony might not have revealed its console hardware during the PlayStation 4 unveiling, but at least we walked away with a pretty good idea of how buying and selling games would work. Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its next-generation Xbox One video game console on Tuesday and many people were left with more questions than answers. The gameplay demos we saw during the presentation looked fantastic, but how exactly does buying and reselling those wonderful new games work? More →
When it comes to U.S. carriers, just about everyone dreads the thought of having to call customer service to resolve an issue. Some carriers are certainly worse than others, of course, and the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Verizon Wireless once again was ranked highest in customer service quality by subscribers. The company scored 73 points out of a possible 100, up 3 points from 2012. Sprint was flat in the No.2 spot with 71 points while AT&T gained a point to hit 70. T-Mobile remained the lowest-ranked major carrier as its score slid to 68 in 2013 from 69 last year. The full press release follows below. More →