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1
Apr

Upcoming São Paulo Retail Store Gains Apple-Decorated Barricades as Opening Approaches [Mac Blog]


Over the course of the last several weeks, Apple has been hiring new employees for its upcoming Apple Store in São Paulo, Brazil, and as of this week, barriers decorated with Apple logos have gone up around the store, suggesting the store’s official launch is growing closer.

Shared by Brazilian site Blog do iPhone [Google Translate], the barricades feature an Apple logo surrounded by dots in varying sizes in silver, gold, and space gray, the colors of the iPhone, the iPad, and the upcoming MacBook.

tapumeMorumbi1
The words on the walls read “Apple Store Morumbi. Em Breve,” which translates to “Coming soon,” and another section reads “Entre nessa fessa,” roughly translating to “Enter this party.”

The São Paulo store is something of a big deal for Apple, because it’s only the second store in the country and the first in the metropolis, which is Brazil’s most populous city. The first Apple Store in Brazil was opened in Rio de Janeiro in February of 2014.

tapumeMorumbi3
Apple has a bit of a tough time selling its products in Brazil because the prices are much higher than in other countries. Because of taxes and tariffs on imported goods, the entry level iPhone 6 is priced at R$ 3.499 in the country, equivalent to $1,100 in U.S. dollars, and $450 higher than the price in the United States.

Still, Brazil’s first store opening in Rio was very popular, drawing more than 1,700 attendees, and the São Paulo store opening will likely garner even more attention due to the city’s size. Last week, we got an early look into the São Paulo store, depicting a standard layout with no particularly impressive architectural flares.

When the Rio store opened, there were 20 days between the time when the barricades went up and launch took place, so if the São Paulo store follows a similar timeline, it could open in late April or early May.



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1
Apr

Yale Study discusses disconnect between what you actually know and what you assume to know from Googling


 

google_university_picture2

In a world where everything you want to know about anything is readily available by just visiting Google, it’s never been easier to educate yourself in the vast varieties of human knowledge. From mathematics to sociological theories, it’s all there for your cherry-picking pleasure.

But if you’ve spent any time on Internet forums or maybe even at real-life social events, you inevitably come into contact with “Internet Intellectuals”. This term is not for those who just simply read something cool on the Internet, but rather those theoretical physicists who were awarded their PhD from the University of Google or the YouTube Institute of Technology.

Well, psychologists from Yale have made a recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology that discusses this very phenomenon. 

Here is the abstract of the article in case you don’t feel like visiting the .pdf link just at this moment:

As the Internet has become a nearly ubiquitous resource for acquiring knowledge about the world, questions have arisen about its potential effects on cognition. Here we show that searching the Internet for explanatory knowledge creates an illusion whereby people mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information. Evidence from 9 experiments shows that searching for information online leads to an increase in self-assessed knowledge as people mistakenly think they have more knowledge “in the head,” even seeing their own brains as more active as depicted by functional MRI (fMRI) images.

What this really means is that many people go from just having “read something cool on the Internet” to making assumptions that they’re knowledgeable in the subject material, to the extent that they feel comfortable saying they feel knowledgeable in tangential topics. People confuse what they actually know with what they know they can look up.

You might be thinking, “Well, how is this any different than learning from a library?” The psychologists state that this too is possible.

This illusion of knowledge might well be found for sources other than the Internet: for example, an expert librarian may experience a similar illusion when accessing a reference Rolodex. An individual in a highly integrated social environment (Hutchins, 1995) may conflate knowledge “in the head” with knowledge stored in other human sources, such as fellow members of a cockpit crew. While such effects may be possible, the rise of the Internet has surely broadened the scope of this effect.

This may all be typically innocent, though obnoxious, but, in my opinion, the real issue comes into play when you start entering the realm of policy making. I can think of one topic right off the top of my head where armchair scientists reign supreme: anthropogenic climate change. Or just look at the recent vaccination-deniers debacle.

Just remember, wisdom is knowing just how ignorant you are, and that’s okay and admirable.

Source: Yale via Engadget. Banner image: Science Over a Cuppa

Come comment on this article: Yale Study discusses disconnect between what you actually know and what you assume to know from Googling

1
Apr

Dead Trigger 2 makes its zombie-shooting debut on Windows Phone


As promised last week, developer Madfinger Games has brought its popular free-to-play zombie-themed first person shooter Dead Trigger 2 to Windows Phone owners.

1
Apr

Amazon now selling Cricket Wireless BYOD Starter Kit



Today, Cricket Wireless announced a partnership with Amazon to sell its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Universal SIM Card Activation Kit for $9.99.

The kit allows customers to switch to Cricket by free activation (online or via phone) for a new or existing device with a phone number. It comes with activation instructions, a nano SIM card, and two tray adapters for Micro and Mini SIM cards.

You can buy the kit here.


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1
Apr

Unofficial CyanogenMod 12.1 ROM released for Moto G 2014



For CM lovers out there you’ll be glad to hear that CyanogenMod 12.1 has been released for the 2014 Moto G which brings Android 5.1 to the device.

It’s an unofficial and early release which means there may be a few bugs and issues to begin with; however, according to the XDA forums where the ROM originates, it seems pretty stable.

Head on over to the source link at XDA to download the CyanogenMod 12.1 ROM for your Moto G 2014 now.

SOURCE


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1
Apr

ODROID C1 review


The Bottom Line

PROS
  • Quad-core processor
  • 1GB memory
  • Runs Android & Linux
  • Price
CONS
  • No support for Windows
  • Only one Linux distro from Hardkernel
9.0

The ODROID C1 is a true alternative to the Raspberry Pi 2. It costs the same but brings Gigabit Ethernet, the option of using a high-speed eMMC storage module, and support for Android!

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The Single Board Computer (SBC) movement is still going strong and with the recent release of the Raspberry Pi 2, it doesn’t seem as if it will lose any of its current momentum. The key selling point of the Raspberry Pi has always been its price. While there are lots of other companies that make these nimble little boards, there aren’t that many who seem to be able to match the Pi’s price point. Of course, some of the boards are only slightly more expensive than the Pi and do offer more functionality. For example, the MIPS Creator CI20 costs just $65 and includes built-in Wi-Fi and 8GB of on-board storage, two things missing from the Pi.

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ODROID-C1-31

One company that offers a range of SBCs is Hardkernel. The company currently sells three boards: the high-end $179 ODROID XU3, with its Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor and 2GB of memory; the mid-range $69 quad-core ODROID U3, with its 1.7GHz Exynos 4412 CPU and 2GB of RAM; and its low-end offering, the ODROID C1. It is this last one which is the most interesting as it costs just $35, the same as the Raspberry Pi 2, and has a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM.

I ordered a ODROID C1 recently and since its arrival I have been taking it through its paces, and this is what I found out.

ODROID C1 vs the others

Here is a detailed look at how the ODROID C1 compares to some other SBCs:

Device ODROID C1 Raspberry Pi 2 HummingBoard i2eX Creator CI20
CPU 1.5Ghz quad core ARM Cortex-A5 CPU from Amlogic 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU from Broadcom 1GHz i.MX6 dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU 1.2GHz dual-core Imagination MIPS32 CPU
GPU Mali-450 MP2 GPU Videocore IV GC2000 PowerVR SGX540
Memory 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB
Storage SD card slot or eMMC module SD card slot SD card slot 8GB onboard flash, SD card slot
Connectivity 4 x USB, microHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, infra red remote control receiver 4 x USB, HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack 2 x USB, HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, infra red remote control receiver Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 x USB, HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack
OS Android, Linux Linux, Windows 10 Linux, Android Linux, Android
Connectors GPIO, SPI, I2C, RTC (Real Time Clock) backup battery connector Camera interface (CSI), GPIO, SPI, I2C, JTAG Camera interface (CSI-2), GPIO, UART, SPI, I2C, PCI-Express Gen 2, mSATA II, RTC with backup battery Camera interface (ITU645 controller), 14-pin ETAG connector,
2 x UART, GPIO, SPI, I2C, ADC
Price $35 $35/£24 $110 $65/£50

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In many ways the ODROID C1 is just like any other SBC. It is small, doesn’t consume much power (less than 0.5A most of the time) and offers the normal range of ports, including HDMI and Ethernet, as well as a set of GPIO pins. However, there are two things worth noting.

In many ways the ODROID C1 is just like any other SBC. However, there are two things worth noting.

First the board isn’t powered via micro USB but rather via a more conventional power connector. You need to buy the power supply separately, or alternatively you can buy a special USB cable which can be connected to a normal USB charger. I opted for the cable approach as it was the cheaper option and also meant that I had greater flexibility in how I power the board.

Second the microSD card slot is on the bottom of the board. This means that the bottom of the board isn’t flat and the device tends to wobble about a bit on a flat surface. It also means that I found myself worrying about the card or the card slot breaking. I guess buying a case would solve the problem.

Android

As you may guess from the “DROID” part of “ODROID,” Hardkernel’s range of SBCs were originally designed to run Android. This means that the ODROID C1’s support for Android is excellent. The current officially supplied version is Android 4.4, however, there are instructions available on how to build Android 5.0, even if a pre-built image hasn’t yet been released by Hardkernel.

Like other SBCs which support Android, the device boots up to the standard home screen using a HDMI TV or monitor. You use a mouse instead of your finger, and click instead of tap. You can also add a USB keyboard, which is certianly recommended for typing things out faster.

ODROID-C1-Android-apps

The default installation comes with a few extra pre-installed apps: ODROID Utility, which is used to set the screen resolution; ClockworkMod Superuser, because the supplied build of Android is rooted by default; a terminal emulator app; Kodi (formerly XBMC), a media player and entertainment hub app; and DicePlayer, a multi-format video media player. Unfortunately, you don’t get Google Play or any Google’s services. The good news is that Google’s apps can be unofficially side-loaded using these instructions from the community forums.

In terms of performance, the quad-core Cortex-A5 isn’t going to win any speed competitions when pitched against the latest generation of quad-core and octa-core processors used in flagship smartphones. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the processor is in any way slow or an under performer, especially when you remember that these boards are designed primarily for embedded solutions. Quickly looking at some benchmarks, the ODROID C1 scored 15887 on AnTuTu, and it managed a frame rate of 27.2 fps for Epic Citadel in High Performance mode. Both these scores are for Full HD. Because the board can be configured to run at several different screen resolutions, it means that the board’s scores vary. With a smaller screen resolution the GPU has less work to do, as a result both AnTuTu and Epic Citadel perform better. At 720p the C1 scored 17682 on AnTuTu, and it managed a frame rate of 51.5 for Epic Citadel in High Performance mode.

The C1 uses an Amlogic S805 and, according to Amlogic’s website, it supports Full HD video decoding of H.264 and H.265. It also supports Dolby, DTS, SRS, and AC-3. However, it isn’t clear which of these hardware capabilities are utilized by the software.

ODROID-C1-Kodi

Unlike some builds of Android which I have seen on other SBCs, Android on the ODROID recognizes USB flash drives. This means that you can insert a flash disk and then watch videos or listen to music stored on the flash drive. I was able to play videos via the pre-installed DicePlayer as well as via VLC (which I installed from the Play store). Oddly, the build of Kodi which comes pre-installed wasn’t able to access the USB drive, due to a permissions error.

In terms of video decoding performance I used my ZTE Star 2 review video, which was rendered in Full HD at 14.7Mbps, and the ODROID C1 was able to show it without any problems. I also tested the ODROID C1 using YouTube and using Netflix. Both ran as expected.

Overall the Android experience was excellent, especially when you consider that this is a $35 device. The ODROID C1 would work well as a cheap way to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV. It would also be a great way to bring a full Android experience to your lounge. Since you can configure Android on the C1 to suppress the display of the on-screen keyboard and rely only on a physical keyboard, then the ODROID C1 would also make a cheap personal computer, if you like using Android for productivity tasks.

Linux

In addition to Android, the C1 can run Linux. The official Linux distro from Hardkernel is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and comes with the LXDE desktop by default. As is the case with many of the SBCs on the market, Linux is a natural fit for the ODROID C1. The distro comes with a number of pre-installed applications including Mozilla Fire, Chromium, GIMP, Kodi, and so on.

ODROID-C1-Linux

Since the Raspberry Pi doesn’t support Android I can’t do a speed comparison between the Pi 2 and C1 on that OS. However, I can do it under Linux. Using the benchmark mode of OpenSSL, I generated a series of hashes on both the Pi 2 and the C1. The C1 is clearly faster than the Pi 2, in fact almost (but not quite) twice as fast. In many ways, that is to be expected since the CPU in the C1 is clocked at 1.5GHz compared to the 900MHz of the Pi 2.

The C1 is clearly faster than the Pi 2, in fact almost (but not quite) twice as fast.

The only down side of Linux on the ODROID C1 is that Ubuntu is the only distro offered directly by Hardkernel. Other boards like the Raspberry Pi 2 and the HummingBoard offer several different distros, allowing users to install their preferred version.

Wrap up

The real question is this, is the ODROID C1 a true alternative to the Raspberry Pi 2, and I think the answer is yes. The Raspberry Pi 2 is better than the ODROID in terms of its community support. The number of books, videos, add-ons, and projects available for the Raspberry Pi is enormous. However, the ODROID community is growing and Hardkernel makes sure that essential libraries for controlling the GPIO pins (etc.) are available. Also, the ODROID C1 supports Android (unlike the Pi 2), has Gigabit Ethernet, and the option of using a high-speed eMMC storage module, which is 2 to 3 times faster than an SD card.

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Apr

Car Audio Installer Creates Custom Entertainment System Using iPads, Apple TV [iOS Blog]


Before heading on a road trip from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona with his family to watch spring training baseball, MacRumors forum member and car audio installer Wesley, otherwise known as MrMacMini, decided that some entertainment would be needed for the five-hour drive. With a love for both Apple products and car audio installations, he decided to create his own entertainment system based on a pair of iPads, an Apple TV and Alpine headrest monitors in his 2011 Toyota Sienna.

Toyota Sienna iPad
The custom in-car entertainment system consists of a removable iPad mini retrofitted into the vehicle’s dashboard, alongside two discontinued Alpine PKG-M780 headrest monitors in the rear that mirror an iPad 2 over AirPlay using a third-generation Apple TV. The setup also includes a 1TB Seagate Wireless Plus hard drive and Alpine CDE-HD149BT head unit for AM, FM, HD Radio, CDs and Bluetooth streaming audio. Wesley also purchased factory brackets to mount the head unit in the factory rear DVD player location.

“The iPad mini sends the sound via Bluetooth to the Alpine head unit. I opted for keeping a head unit so that I can still use the steering controls and have access the radio, in case 1 day I forget the iPad at home,” explains Wesley. “The rear screens run independent. My daughters can watch anything they want via the Apple TV and the 1TB wireless Seagate. If we all want to want to watch the same thing, I have it set up so that I can AirPlay from the iPad mini to the Apple TV and have the sound feed back through the Alpine head unit.”

Equipment Used

  1. iPad mini 3 running iOS 8.1 (jailbroken) — in the dash, fully removable
  2. iPad 2 — used for rear monitors
  3. Apple TV 3 — used for rear monitors
  4. Alpine CDE-HD149BT — AM/FM/HD Radio/CD/BT streaming audio head unit
  5. Alpine PKG-M780 (discontinued) – Dual 7″ headrest monitors
  6. Seagate Wireless Plus – 1TB HDD

A complete gallery of before and after photos, including pictures of the individual parts and assembly process, can be found within the discussion forums. For those without the DIY savviness to create their own in-car entertainment system, Alpine has partnered with Apple as an official maker of aftermarket CarPlay systems, which bring Maps, Messages, Phone, Music and Siri to the dashboard, for between $700 to $1400 depending on the unit.

Toyota Apple Entertainment System
Given that certain car manufacturers are only now beginning to roll out CarPlay support in select new vehicles, and the expensive price tag of aftermarket systems by Alpine and Pioneer, this custom Apple-powered entertainment system could be a more affordable, not to mention cool, alternative for those that may have an iPad or two kicking around the house. If you have any Apple-related DIY projects, past or present, be sure to let us know by sending us a tip.



1
Apr

The maker of ‘Eve’ is betting big on VR and it might pay off


People playing Eve Valkyrie

It’s been a very rough 18 months for the makers of Eve Online, CCP. The company has lost money, canceled the long-delayed World of Darkness MMO, laid off well over 100 employees and said goodbye to two high-profile execs. It also hasn’t released any financial statements or subscriber figures since revealing a drop in revenues in June 2014 — in this case, no news is unlikely to be good news. But there’s a plan to turn things around at CCP. It’s making substantial changes to Eve Online in an attempt to attract new players, and has poured money into research and development with a big focus on virtual reality. Now, it’s gearing up to release Eve Valkyrie, a AAA, competitive multiplayer shooter for Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus PS4 headset. The stakes are high, but this big bet on VR might just pay off.

At its annual fan convention, CCP showed off two things from Valkyrie: a playable multiplayer demo, and a gameplay trailer from a dynamic, truly gorgeous single-player training mission. If you haven’t seen that video yet, you should watch it right now:

Leaving the single-player mission to one side — CCP isn’t letting anyone play it, unfortunately — the multiplayer demo showcases the core of Valkyrie: dogfighting. Gameplay, at its simplest, involves flying around and shooting any ship that’s flagged as hostile. Of course, there are variables and additional layers like turrets and drones that will aid you in battle, but the objective is almost always to destroy enemy spaceships. It’s definitely not the type of game I’d usually be drawn to, but playing a few rounds of Valkyrie with a VR headset was enough to win me over.

OMG I’m in a spaceship

Valkyrie‘s strength is in its presentation. There’s no real standard for what VR games should look or feel like, and CCP has put a lot of work into getting things right. You’re given a first-person view, looking out through the cockpit of a spaceship. There are no overlaid maps or radar readouts crammed into the corners of your display. Instead, the interface is the spaceship. Shield levels and ship health are displayed through bars of light projected onto your ship’s front window. Details on your chosen target can be found on a dedicated screen above the (virtual) flight controls. Readouts on additional, less crucial equipment sit elsewhere in the cockpit, at the periphery of your vision. It’s a system that wouldn’t make sense if this game wasn’t played on a VR headset, but because it is, it works really well.

This is what you see looking straight out of the cockpit.

The carefully considered UI had me fully immersed before I’d even launched into outer space. Every battle starts with a countdown to launch inside a larger ship. If you want to, you can look all around your ship in relative safety, including what’s directly behind you. There are some neat little details there, like a little “clean me” message etched into the dirt of one of the side windows.

Playing on a PC with the Oculus Rift and a wired Xbox controller, piloting the ship is dead simple. If you’re even a casual gamer, you’ll be flying around with ease in no time at all. Actually shooting and targeting ships takes a little longer to get used to. In the ship class I chose (Wraith, the standard fighter) I had two options for destroying my foes, both based on line of sight. The standard weapon is a machine gun, and because your crosshairs are centered, you need to move your head around while steering the ship in order to effectively target enemies. The secondary weapon is harder to use, as you have to keep the enemy firmly in your crosshairs for a few seconds in order for your systems to lock on and fire away high-damage missiles.

Valkyrie gameplay

Here, the player is aiming at an enemy to the left of center, which puts half of the UI out of view.

Once I grasped this line-of-sight offensive gameplay, the interface turned from beautiful into genius. I was either aiming at a fighter or checking if my defensive turret was ready to shoot down an incoming missile. I was barrel rolling away, looking helplessly for an aggressive enemy I couldn’t see, or keeping tabs on my rapidly depleting shield levels. Just like in real life, you can’t focus on multiple things at once. It’s captivating.

CCP wants to build the world’s first AAA-quality game for VR.

Granted, I’ve only experienced a single game mode, and a single map, but for what’s described as a “pre-alpha build,” Valkyrie is ludicrously polished already. CCP is aiming to make the world’s first AAA game for VR, perhaps not in budget, but certainly in terms of quality. Now that the core mechanics are in place, the task is to add all the progression and game modes needed for long-term success, and it’s reaching out to eSports professionals to build in the addictive hooks and balanced gameplay necessary for competitive multiplayer games to thrive.

From demo to game

On its own, the demo is impressive. It’s definitely the best VR experience I’ve had in the three years since I put on the first Oculus Rift prototype. But it still felt like just that: an experience, a fragment of a potential game (albeit a very good one) to add to a long list of cool stuff that VR can do. It wasn’t until I saw the single-player footage, and talked to the team behind the demo, that I truly understood the potential for Valkyrie, and what CCP wants to achieve with this game.

The footage from the gameplay trailer is from the first single-player level that introduces the world and its characters. It’s one of a number of training missions that are being created to orient players in the game’s intricacies, rather than throwing them straight to the wolves.

“For me, the new player experience is more about that awesome ‘wow’ moment and the excitement without them being totally nailed by other players straight away,” explains Owen O’Brien, executive producer for Valkyrie. There’s some continuity between the early single-player missions and the multiplayer experience as well: The aftermath of the battle shown in the gameplay trailer, for example, becomes the debris-strewn map I tried in the demo.

Right now, the official line is that the game’s multiplayer modes will be competitive and simple, much like the demo I played. But O’Brien’s team has more ambition. They’re trying to bring those early game “wow” moments to the multiplayer modes, as well. “We’re trying to work out how to make that work,” says O’Brien. I retort: “But that’s not going to be ready for launch, right?” To which he replies, “We’ll see; I want it pretty bad.”

I want it pretty bad too. I’d buy Valkyrie regardless, for sure. The single-player training missions look solid, as do the multiplayer dogfights, but a title that encompasses both is a way more compelling proposition.

Banking on success

While Oculus Rift has been by far the loudest voice in VR so far, it could be argued that Sony has the best shot at bringing VR to the mainstream right now. There are already over 20 million PlayStation 4 owners out there who only need to buy one of the company’s Morpheus headsets to be VR-ready. It’s a low bar of entry for an already captive audience, but gamers will only buy into Morpheus if great experiences are there to be had. CCP wants Valkyrie to be that experience. “We want to be the Halo or Mario for the Morpheus and Oculus,” says O’Brien. “I’m biased, obviously. … Time will tell.”

“We want to be the ‘Halo’ or ‘Mario’ for [VR].”

I ask O’Brien how CCP will achieve that goal. Will we see Valkyrie bundled with headsets? “I would love as many people as possible to have access to Valkyrie. Whether that’s an option or not at this stage I can’t really say, but we have a very good relationship with Sony; we’re a launch title with Morpheus. … We’re going to be very prominent.”

Sony Morpheus

Sony’s Project Morpheus headset.

CCP could be launching Valkyrie from stronger footing. CEO Hilmar Pétursson describes Eve Online subscription numbers as “stable now.” Not growing, not boisterous, but stable. And “now,” implying that, for a while at least, they weren’t. Subscriptions are CCP’s primary source of income, and with the cancellation of World of Darkness (and the resulting write off), one thing that definitely isn’t boisterous is the company’s bank balance.

CCP has learned a lot from past failures, says Pétursson. Rather than throwing all of its resources at Valkyrie, it’s being made by a team of around 30 people, “a similar size” to the whole of CCP when it first built Eve Online over a decade ago. I ask Pétursson if CCP can afford another failure, or if Eve Online‘s future is tied to Valkyrie‘s success. He says that it can, that CCP has “a good financial standing to take some risks.” It’s hard to believe there won’t be some knock-on effect if everything falls apart.

The importance of Valkyrie could be seen at the company’s Fanfest, an annual event that invites players and press alike to see what’s new from CCP. While Eve Online was still the focus of most of the smaller developer roundtables, it’s Valkyrie and the promise of VR that owned the opening keynote, and it’s Valkyrie that attendees were encouraged to play on-site.

Fanfest attendees queue for the opportunity to play ‘Valkyrie.’

CCP admits the game will act as a gateway drug to Eve Online, and that Eve Online players will also pick up Valkyrie. This time last year there were around 500,000 active subscribers. Who knows what that figure is now, but it’s clear that the opportunity to drive paid subscriptions is far more valuable than having a few Eve Online players pick up Valkyrie.

The gamble

The problem with this big bet on VR is Valkyrie‘s fate isn’t entirely in CCP’s hands. While the potential market is demonstrably huge — quite literally anyone with a PS4 or gaming PC could pick up a headset — we really have no idea if mainstream gamers will actually be willing to put down an as-yet-unknown amount of money for a VR headset.

VR needs well-considered, purpose-built games like Valkyrie to succeed, and vice versa, but history has proved that great games are not always enough to sell systems. Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia didn’t save the Sega Dreamcast, and Nintendo’s big names haven’t stopped the GameCube and Wii U from being eclipsed by their competition.

Valkyrie may be shaping up to be a great game, but if Sony can’t convince its users to buy into Morpheus, no one will buy the games made for it. CCP can’t just predict the market. If any game can push this to the masses, though, if any game is going to be VR’s “system seller,” then right now it looks to be Eve Valkyrie. And CCP needs that to happen way more than it’s letting on.

Filed under: Gaming, Sony

Comments

1
Apr

PSA: Verizon customers can opt out of carrier’s ‘supercookies’


Moto_X_Back_Verizon_Logo_TA

Starting today, Verizon customers have the option to remove themselves from the Relevant Mobile Advertising program. The carrier describes the program as a way for marketers to reach audiences with relevant content. However, it was discovered that this form of cookies was undeletable and stuck with individual users. Some labeled them ‘supercookies’ because of their permanence.

Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokesperson, said the following to The New York Times:

“As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus. As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs.”

So it seems that Verizon was sharing stuff about customers and not entire identities.

verizon_supercookies_opt_out_instructions_faq

Customers can opt out of the program by heading to the Verizon site’s privacy section or calling (866) 211-0874. Note that accounts with multiple lines will require opting out for every line.

Via: Bits (New York Times)

Come comment on this article: PSA: Verizon customers can opt out of carrier’s ‘supercookies’

1
Apr

Our favorite April Fools topics (2015)



Yep, it’s that day of the year where you have to be careful with what you read and even more careful of what you believe? Why? Because companies and websites everywhere will try to trick you into thinking they have some elaborate new endeavor or product coming.

April Fools jokes can actually provide a nice break in the normal routine of press releases, leaks, and reviews. Each year we see a bunch of things pop up that have us asking, “How much time did they spend on this?” or saying, “I wonder how much money went into this.”

Some are around for more than one day; others are more akin to Easter Eggs. Regardless, we’ve come to expect some really great stuff from the likes of Google and other Android/smartphone-related companies. To that end, we’ve gathered up a list of what we think you might enjoy.

Google

chromeselfie

#ChromeSelfie

In fact, with so much of our time spent browsing online, most Chrome users lose up to 6 hours of selfie-taking time every day! And we think it’s a tragedy that your reactions, as well as luscious lashes and beautiful brows, are going uncaptured. With #ChromeSelfie you can share sites with your family and friends on social media and via instant messages, along with a handsome selfie instead of cumbersome text. SOURCE


Actual Cloud Platform


 

Smartbox by Inbox

Mail is a wondrous thing. From the early days of the homing pigeon to the herculean efforts of the Pony Express, mail has connected us for generations. The advent of email brought the world even closer together. And yet, despite this leap forward, physical mail still just sits there. In a box. All day.

So today we’re excited to introduce Smartbox—a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind. SOURCE


 

Google Panda

Translated (Japanese) In Google Panda, boldly change the search interface. Adopt a simple monochrome color. Eliminates the search box, it has changed from a small children around the world grandpa, to design and friendly until grandma. The new design, flexibility to fit regardless of the palm of magnitude, even if it is like not use both hands do not feel any inconvenience. The state of the announcement, please visit here. SOURCE


 

elgooG

com.google

Head to com.google and you’ll find a backwards Google experience. Begin typing in your search terms and you’ll note that these, too, are backwards. Everything is, really. The results, the pictures, etc. SOURCE


 

Google-Maps-pacman

Play PAC-MAN in Google Maps

Welcome, Player 1! You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while. SOURCE


 

Google Fiber Dial-Up Mode


Keyless Keyboard


 

com- (10)

Self-browsing Chromebook plugin

With just one click, you’re off surfing the web—no input needed. Just lean back, and we’ll take you there – quickly, simply, and securely.

Use your self-browsing Chromebook for:

  • Staying connected with your relatives
    • Automatically writes emails to your mother!
  • Maintaining your relationships
    • Send roses to your significant other on Valentine’s Day!
  • Staying active on social media
    • It’ll post 24 hours a day!
  • Booking travel is easier than ever
    • Plan your summer vacation to Qikiqtarjuaq!
  • Managing your finances
    • Buys and sells stocks randomly!
  • Penning the next best-seller
    • Did J.K. Rowling own a self-browsing laptop? We’ll never know!
  • You’ll never be more productive!

We’ve been testing this new functionality for weeks, browsing the whole web from classifieds to news, music to cat photos — and now, these Chromebooks are responsible for the majority of ALL CAPS comments on the web. In total, our self-browsing Chromebooks have logged more than 5 million pageviews without once being Rickrolled! SOURCE


Motorola SelfieStick

Motorola


re-sok-bg-colors

HTC RE Sok

They said it couldn’t* be done, but they were wrong. Introducing the world’s first truly smart sock. Engineered from the heel up to be the ultimate accessory. All other wearables are simply along for the ride. SOURCE


 

pets_unleashed

T-Mobile Pets Unleashed

Only T‑Mobile gives you Pets Un‑leashed, a revolutionary way to keep every member of your family connected—no matter how many legs they have. Now you can add a pet to your existing Simple Choice™ Plan for just $5 per month! And with a huge selection of pet‑friendly accessories and apps, your furry friends will finally get the wireless freedom they’ve been begging for. SOURCE


Roku_Rendezvous_Stream-Mate_US-1024x576

Roku Rendezvous

The first dating channel where single streamers can scroll through profiles of others streamers to find that special someone worth sharing the remote with. To determine a prospective partner’s compatibility, Roku Rendezvous uses a super-secret, proprietary Roku algorithm developed after analyzing the billons of hours Roku customers have spent streaming entertainment from the 2000+ channels on the Roku platform. SOURCE


 

galaxy_blade

Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge: Chef’s Edition

The Galaxy BLADE edge was designed with diamonds in mind. It not only features a beautiful diamond-cut finish on its tough ceramic body, but is also equipped with a razor-sharp diamond edge, tough enough to cut through a lobster tail and sharp enough to slice though tender heirloom tomatoes.

The body is made of a patented ceramic, making it tougher than stainless steel yet lighter than plastic. Samsung succeeded in obtaining the optimal curve, resulting in a beautiful ergonomic ceramic. SOURCE


ThinkGeek Hodor GPS Travel Buddy


 

Petbox

 

Redbox Petbox

SOURCE


 

soundhound

Soundhound

Today, the fun folks at SoundHound, the gateway to all-things music search, discovery and play, are giving their 250+ million users a special treat in celebration of April Fool’s Day: anyone who clicks on the SoundHound homepage card for the “Top SoundHounded Artist on the Charts” this week will automatically be redirected to an auto preview play of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up.


Miz Mooz Selfie Shoe


 

OnePlus DR 1

OnePlus

The DR-1’s ergonomic control pad marries simplicity with advanced power features. Our intuitive dual-stick system allows for lift, direction, speed, throttle, tilt, flight-mode, and more to be controlled with extreme responsiveness and ease. Featuring dual independent control scheme settings, the DR-1 adapts to your skill level and mood. DR-1 Drone


 

zenfonezero_1

ASUS ZenFone

Translated: Nostalgic in design to feel the “Zen”, the highest level of performance. ASUS ZenFone ™ zero by experience, brings the convenience and peace for all people a long time ago was good. hairline processing of spin finish that was cultivated in the diamond cut and Zen series that has been adopted by the chi series. Nicely come possession that has been designed based on human engineering, in the midst of the phone also makes you feel nostalgic euphoria by Zen spirit. SOURCE


 


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