Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
Boiling the rivalry down to specs, PlayStation 4 looks like the clear winner over Xbox One
Xbox One games are installed to the console’s hard drive and registered to users’ Xbox Live accounys. It remains unclear how the system will handle used games and Microsoft has failed to address the issue. According to a report from gaming news website MCV, retailers will be allowed to charge whatever they want for pre-owned Xbox One games, however both Microsoft and publishers will receive a percentage of every sale. Microsoft is looking to take control of the pre-owned market and will reportedly only allow specific retailers that have agreed to its terms to resell games. More →
One of the more intriguing stories to follow in recent months has been the relationship between Samsung and several of the big-name tech companies that have relied upon it for components. Apple has made definitive moves away from Samsung and Google has shown some wariness about the company’s overwhelming clout in the Android ecosystem. But any anxieties Google might have about Samsung haven’t been enough to keep the South Korea-based manufacturer out of the loop on Google’s most experimental projects. More →
Yahoo is apparently determined to show that it can do more than pay $1.1 billion for a bunch of teenage girls’ blogs. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Yahoo has submitted an offer to buy video streaming website Hulu, a sign that the company is still considering ways to counter the enormous video streaming clout that Google now holds with YouTube. Yahoo was interested in buying a majority stake in French video streaming website Dailymotion earlier this year but that deal fell apart after the French government reportedly threatened to block it. In making an official bid for Hulu, Yahoo will be competing with Time Warner Cable, which is considering buying a 33% equity stake in the company. It’s unknown at this point whether Yahoo’s bid for Hulu will just be for a similar shared stake or if it plans to be more aggressive and buy a majority stake in the firm.
The good news with patent suits is that even when they’re successful they very rarely result in outright sales bans of popular products. And now Ars Technica reports that yet another attempt to enforce a sales ban has fallen flat on its face, this time Motorola’s attempt to stop sales of Microsoft’s Xbox. According to Ars, Motorola filed suit against Microsoft back in 2010 because its Xbox allegedly infringed upon Motorola patents that detailed technologies for “video transmission and compression as well as Wi-Fi.” Motorola’s quest against the Xbox ended this week, however, when a six-person panel at the International Trade Commission decided to toss out the company’s complaint. A Microsoft spokesperson described the ITC’s decision as “a win for Xbox customers” that “confirms our view that Google had no grounds to block our products.”
Microsoft’s newly unveiled Xbox One has gamers excited despite some huge question marks, but Microsoft thinks its current-generation Xbox 360 still has legs. Speaking with Official Xbox Magazine, Microsoft’s senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi said that the company is looking to sell 25 million more Xbox 360 consoled over the next five years. The Xbox 360 recently registered its 28th consecutive month as top-selling console, but sales of the 8-year-old console have slowed significantly in recent quarters. Inevitable price cuts may help Microsoft on its mission, but the company also has a few tricks up its sleeve that will be announced during the annual E3 video game conference next month.
Both Google and Microsoft think it’d be a shame to deny Windows Phone users the glory of Keyboard Cat videos, which is why the two companies have agreed to team up and jointly create a native YouTube app for Microsoft’s mobile platform. The Next Web reports that the companies released a joint statement today saying that they “are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks.” Once they finish the new app, Microsoft will remove the YouTube app it created from the Windows Phone store. The two companies’ decision to collaborate on a new app comes just a week after Google sent Microsoft a cease and desist letter asking the company to remove YouTube from the Windows Phone store because Microsoft’s modified version of the app lacked support for ads.
One of the most common problems that annoyed early Xbox 360 adopters was the appearance of the “red ring of death,” a flashing red light on the console’s start button indicating that its hardware was essentially fried and would need to be sent to Microsoft to be replaced. But Microsoft Game Studios vice president Phil Spencer tells Edge that the company has learned its lessons and that the new Xbox One will not experience hardware failures on a mass scale like the Xbox 360 did. In particular, Spencer noted that Microsoft’s success rate on the more recently released Xbox 360 Slim was “very high” and said that the same team behind the Slim also built the Xbox One, so chances are very good that the new console won’t burn out within months of buying it.
It is no secret that Google would like to be a wireless carrier. The company has long been rumored to be eyeing various partnerships to launch its own wireless network as soon as this year. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google is looking to fund, build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets in Africa and Southeast Asia. The company is said to be interested in connecting people to the Internet who live outside of major cities, while at the same time improving speed in urban locations. Google will reportedly create the business model to support the networks in collaboration with local companies. Google is said to be trying to win over regulators to launch its wireless networks on airwaves that are typically reserved for TV broadcasts. These airwaves are capable of transmitting signals through buildings and other obstacles across longer distances than traditional cellular networks because they operate at lower frequencies.
Snapchat has taken the mobile world by storm. The application allows users to send pictures and videos to friends that will self-destruct after a maximum of 10 seconds. Even better, if someone tries to take a screenshot of the image, the sender is automatically notified. Although its founders may not be proud of it, the application has become rather popular among the “sexting” crowd, a practice in which you send naked pictures and videos to another person. The application isn’t perfect, however. As we saw earlier this year, SnapChat videos can be secretly saved. The truth of the matter is that while Snapchat deletes the images from its servers, they are still stored deep inside the receiver’s smartphone and can be retrieved with the proper knowledge. There are ways to permanently delete Snapchat photos, though. More →
The common knock on Google Glass has been that it’s far too dorky-looking for normal people to want to wear. David Pogue, writing at Scientific American, says that he got a chance to play around with Google Glass recently and came away with a somewhat different take: Google Glass is too creepy. In particular, Pogue says that people who are wearing Google Glass instantly make everyone else around them uncomfortable if they’re not also wearing the headset. Pogue came to this realization after he “ran into a Google employee wearing it in public” and had a “screamingly uncomfortable” conversation with her. More →
A French firm that specializes in camera optics and image sensor analysis has found the camera on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone outperforms the iPhone 5 and Nokia’s Lumia 920. DxO Labs ranked the Galaxy S4′s camera as the second highest rating among smartphones it tested. The firm praised the 13-megapixel camera for its fast and accurate autofocus, good auto-exposure, rich colors in different lighting conditions and impressive detail preservation in bright light. The Galaxy S4 scored a total of 79 points out of a possible 100, ahead of both the iPhone 5 and Lumia 920, which scored 74 points and 64 points, respectively. More →
One of the most annoying traits of many technology fans is their conviction that their favorite technology platform should by all rights crush rival operating systems and become the dominant OS in the smartphone or tablet market. In their narrow-minded little worlds, all rival technologies should go the way of webOS so that everyone can bask in might of their favorite operating system, thus proving that their personal preference for a particular type of technology was right all along. More →
Google was rumored to debut a new version of Android earlier this month at its I/O Developers Conference. The event has come and gone, however, without a single mention of the operating system. Recent reports suggest that an update will be available in the coming months with support for a more power efficient Bluetooth standard, but little is known about the update. A forum member on XDA-Developers recently posted images of a Nexus 4 that appears to be running a test build of Android 4.3. The images reveal the new version will retain the “Jelly Bean” name, similar to Android 4.2, and will be only a minor update consisting of small changes and bug fixes. One change appears to be a slight cosmetic update to the Android camera software with the controls being relocated from the center to the side. A second image follows below. More →