Apple today released EFI Firmware Update 2.0 for the newly launched 2013 Mac Pro, which improves system reliability during reboot, fixes an issue with memory self-test, and improves graphics power management when using Boot Camp.
Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update v2.0
This update is recommended for all Mac Pro (Late 2013) models.
This update improves system reliability during reboot, resolves an issue with memory self-test, and improves graphics power management when using Boot Camp.
The 5 MB EFI update should be available from the Mac App Store for all late 2013 Mac Pros and it can also be downloaded directly from Apple’s Support site.
The boys over at Motorola has a new ad campaign in store for their Moto X, and it is sure to turn some heads. The video below shows off Motorola’s new interactive print ad, that will allow users to design their Moto X right there on the page. Yes, it sounds a little too futuristic, but Motorola seems to have achieve this feet.
The ad will show up in this January’s Wired Magazine issue. You will be able to turn to the page the ad is on, then chose a back color you want for the Moto X with numerous color options that will be placed on the bottom of the page. There are no specifics on how this interactive print works, but they do show a pull tab to get the whole process going.
Now even though this new ad will appear in January’s Wired issue, you might have to do some searching for it. Mashable reported that the ad will only appear in about a quarter of the magazines out there, most likely due to how expensive the ad is. So check it out in action below. Let us know what you think about it.
Rockstar Games has brought another classic game to the Android gamers out there. Today they bring you all Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is just like the original, except optimized for mobile of course. It has been digitally remastered with high-definition graphics that our beloved device now sport. You can enjoy Cloud save support if you are a Rockstar Social Club Member and you can tailor the visual experience with graphic settings. GTA: SA is also Moga compatible, which makes playing a game like this a bit easier.
While it is great to see another GTA make its way to our devices, it is met with some major issues right out of the gate. Multiple complaints have surfaced today from people who jumped at the chance to buy it, but have since been unable to download the game after purchase. They are being met with “Download failed because you didn’t buy the app”, or something similar. Looks like Rockstar has a mess to fix in a hurry.
This snafu certainly isn’t gaining Rockstar a very favorable rating for the new release. Hopefully they get it fixed asap. If you plan to pick it up, be sure to check and see if anyone has been able to ACTUALLY download it first.
Dev: Rockstar Games, Inc.
Remember Facebook Home? Yeah, I think a lot of us quickly forgot about Zuckerberg’s blatant attempt to bring the Facebook experience to the Android platform. Even though the official Facebook phone was a flop, the Facebook Home UI still lives on in the digital world. A lot of us just laugh when we hear about Facebook Home, but a new update coming to the UI might actually raise an eyebrow.
The new Facebook Home update will include changes to the lockscreen as well as some new gestures to utilize. Instead of having someone’s food pic or selfie scaring you as you turn on your phone, you can actually have a custom wallpaper that has brief information at the bottom of the screen, such as, time, date, weather, and names of recent posted statuses. You can then swipe down to unlock your phone, and then choose whether to access your apps, or access Cover Feed. Cover Feed was already part of Facebook Home, but now you will be able to hide certain posts, and it is much easier to hop in and out of Cover Feed when you please using gestures. You can also have the option of choosing different feeds from different social media platforms, which is nice improvement for those who do not really care to see their Facebook feeds. Only thing about that is, there of course isn’t any Twitter or Google+ option when choosing a feed.
So check out the video of it action below. Facebook Home continues to improve, but is highly unlikely it will every blow up in the community. Let us know what you think about the update.
Fair warning, we’re in the eye of the storm here, people. It’s that dead period between Black Friday and CES, where the tech world kind of sort of closes shop, but while everyone else is preparing for the holiday, we’re pulling scraping together the tech news. Have no fear — Brian, Terrence and Ben are here to make sure you have a good time on this magical podcasting journey. Join us, won’t you?
Google’s Transparency Reports shed light on how often governments across the globe request the removal of content, and the company’s latest is especially interesting given the intense focus on the NSA’s data-snooping policies and the government(s) behind them. You see, it appears that countries don’t like coming under scrutiny online — how else could you explain the 68-percent increase in removal requests in the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012? That number comes courtesy of Google’s latest report, its eighth since the first was released in 2010.
Unsurprisingly, much of the content targeted for takedown is political in nature: Google says governments continually want to scrape unflattering coverage, from video footage that reflects badly on police departments to criticism of judges. Both Russia and Turkey, in particular, increased their removal requests in the first half of the year, both in response to online criticism of national laws. Mountain View hasn’t rolled over completely, though; it says it removed less than one third of content targeted in these requests. There’s plenty of other data to dig through, if you’re interested — check out the source link below.
Source: Google Transparency Report
We know, we know: everyone who’s seen it says it looks like a trashcan. But surely there’s something else to say about Apple’s new Mac Pro workstation, right? The thing is, until now, any tech blogger who’s spent any time with it has had to take photos through a glass case (read: they didn’t really spend any time with it). Finally, though, the Mac Pro is on sale, and we’ve just come home with a review unit, meaning we’ve finally had the chance to lay our hands on it. In person, it somehow feels smaller and shorter than I imagined, at 9.9 inches tall. Either way, it should take up minimal space if you’re working on location — and yes, given that it’s only 11 pounds, you could certainly schlep it around as needed.
Aesthetically, the anondized aluminum is more reflective than any of Apple’s other products, which also means it’s more fingerprint-prone. (Not necessarily an issue if you plan on having it tucked away, though you’ll definitely notice it if you engage in some of that aforementioned schlepping.) It also looks less black than it does on Apple’s site — more like the “Space Gray” that it actually is. As it happens, that case is easy to unlock and slip off, on the rare occasion that you want to replace the RAM, storage or one of the GPUs. Hopefully, of course, you won’t need to do this often. And besides, the machine won’t actually turn on unless you have the case locked in, so keeping the lid off indefinitely simply isn’t an option. Even with the lid on, though, the four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 sockets, HDMI port and dual Ethernet jacks are easy to access, thanks to a cut-out in the aluminum enclosure.
And what of performance? Well, we’d hardly doing the machine justice if we did a deep dive now, but rest assured we’ll be putting the Pro through its paces over the coming days, with a full review to follow soon. Suffice to say, we’ve already seen it play back 16 simultaneous 4K streams in the new version of Final Cut Pro, with zero waiting time as effects were applied to the original footage. Stay tuned for much more on that front and for now, enjoy some (honest-to-goodness) hands-on photos above.
Zach Honig contributed to this report.
Atheer Labs isn’t the only company chasing Tony Stark, but it is the very latest to offer a set of smart glasses to developers — enabling them to build out 3D touchless gesture controlled apps. Like its competitor, Meta, Atheer wants to do away with restrictive conventional computing and replace it with augmented reality. The idea is to, eventually, combine your real and digital worlds seamlessly through the power of smart glasses and wearable computers. Unlike Meta, however, Atheer’s using Android underpinnings, and will let users run regular Android applications on their faces while they wait for the 3D apps to arrive.
As have many others, Atheer’s chosen Indiegogo as the means to connect with code monkeys and get them building applications for its platform. And, with the launch of the funding campaign comes the revelation of both a dev kit and the company’s first set of consumer specs, dubbed Atheer One. Folks willing to spend $850 for a developer kit now will get their hardware in March 2014. Early adopters wanting the One headset need only pay $350, but won’t receive it until the end of next year. What you see above (dev kit on the right, Atheer One on the left) is close to what will make its way into backers’ hands, but the hardware’s not yet final.
We still have yet to see functioning, fully integrated hardware from Atheer, as the company has only shown us dummy headsets and hacked together prototypes. However, company founder Soulaiman Itani informed us that the glasses pictured above “are 90 percent there, but there are optimizations to be made when it comes to size, fashion and power.” Additionally, the One will have swappable front lenses, so that folks can better tailor the One to fit their fashion sense.
Software-wise, Atheer is envisioning immersive, 3D digital constructs that can be moved and manipulated by human hands. We got to see an updated demo of Atheer’s tech, and while it was an improvement over what we saw previously, it’s clear there’s still work to do. Six months ago, we were using rough, rudimentary programs with little polish: grabbing and moving simple digital shapes with our hands and zooming in and out of static images using pinch-to-zoom gestures. That system was tough to interact with, as it was essentially a couple of displays stuck to a sensor bar and mounted on a tripod — plus it didn’t always register our gesticular inputs.
This time around we got to put on an actual working headset — that was of similar size and shape to the dev headset, only it was clearly handmade and had exposed wiring and see a more refined GUI with graphically polished buttons and virtual computing windows. It also did a better job of recognizing input from our hands as we waved them about. The new demo was essentially an interactive map of a multi-story building that allowed you to navigate through the blueprints of various floors through swipes and pokes. 3D graphical buttons were easily activated by our fingertips, but the maps themselves were flat, and therefore a disappointment. We would have liked to see something akin to what Google Maps now does in major cities, rendering them in three-dimensional form for us to explore. Instead, it felt like a 2D app with some 3D bits grafted on for effect. For a company aiming to build an immersive experience, Atheer’s got a long way to go.
As for the internal hardware, there are some important distinctions to be made between the dev kit and the One headset. First and foremost, an external computer is connected to the dev kit glasses that houses all the hardware and connectivity needed to build apps using Atheer’s SDK: USB, HDMI and 3.5mm jacks, quad-core Snapdragon 800 silicon, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, MicroSD slot, plus the usual assortment of gyro, accelerometer, compass, light and proximity sensors. Generally speaking, it’s the same hardware you find in a new, top-tier smartphone or tablet — which should provide a canvas familiar to mobile developers.
Meanwhile, the One will connect to your smartphone to do all the computational lifting via Slimport — a protocol that allows your phone to output HD audio and video through a micro-USB connection. Users will need a relatively new phone running Android 4.2 for it to work with the One. For reference, the company told us that a Nexus 4 provides ample grunt to run the necessary graphics. Both consumer and dev models pack dual 1024 x 768 resolution see-through displays to deliver HD content to your face, and each has two 5-megapixel cameras and depth sensors from SoftKinetic so it can see what your hands are doing.
Atheer is a long ways away from achieving the kind of user experience shown in its promo video. Still, if you’re a developer looking to tinker with three dimensional, augmented reality computing, or an early adopter who wants to see this new wave of tech evolve firsthand — and you’ve got the disposable income — Atheer may have just what you’re looking for.
Tizen is a relatively new operating system which will be featured on a wide range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to automotive computer systems, but it’s been pretty quiet thus far, only getting into the hands of developers and just a couple of cameras available for general consumers. That’s all about to change, as Tizen has sent us an invitation to check out the first set of devices running the OS on February 23rd in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. It doesn’t specifically mention that smartphones will be included in this lineup, but it’s a pretty safe bet — especially since the first handset with Tizen was supposed to be coming out at the end of 2013. As always, we’ll be on the lookout for more details as they trickle in.
We have heard about the Samsung’s upcoming new successor, and how can we forget about HTC’s upcoming flagship, successor to the famous One, the rumored HTC ‘M8′ or the HTC One Two. We have heard that it will hit all the major US networks, also a 1080p display with a Snapdragon 800 and we also saw some images of its body, probably. Well, now it’s time to hear some new rumors about the upcoming “HTC One Two” software.
Insider @LlabTooFeR is reporting that the Taiwanese giant is already testing the latest Android KitKat and upcoming Sense 6 on the new device. The tipster reported rumors in past as well, which turned out to be true after a period of time.
So, do you think the HTC One Two will be good enough to go head to head with Samsung Galaxy S5? Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comment box below.
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