Posts Tagged ‘tech’
Apparently, this peculiar contraption is to be worn as a mobile computer and, with a straight face, the patent describes a “plurality of natural and/or artificial hair pieces” which will hide sensors and communication devices.
Not only that, but the whole weave will vibrate on your skull, so you can get tactile feedback when, for example, you’re getting directions from a map. All the while, the wig will use its ultrasound sensor to detect things like a submarine on your head.
Sony says in the application: “The SmartWig integrates different types of computational functions within a wig, leading to a smart and intelligent type of wig that has so far not been known. The wearable computing device… has several advantages over state of the art wearable computing devices. First…a natural appearance is realized, thereby increasing the user comfort in a practical and also psychological aspect.”
“The wearable computing device… therefore allows to produce surprising effects without being seen. Secondly, the proposed wearable computing device… allows for very sensitive sensing and sensitive user feedback, since it is integrated into a wig… that is adapted to be worn on the user’s head, which is a much more sensitive area than e.g. the foot, the hand or waist of the user.”
“Thirdly, the proposed wearable computing device… has the advantage that the user… can instantly change his/her appearance just by changing the type, shape and/or colour of the wig.”
Hmm, this guy’s a keeper, and no mistake. A deeply pathetic – and now possibly divorced – gaming gimp thought it’d be a HILARIOUS idea to strip his unconscious wife naked and use the live streaming ‘Playroom’ feature on his PS4 console to show other users her norks.
His wife was asleep next to him, apparently passed out drunk on the sofa, so the man, whose username is Darckobra (which says it all, really) decided to take advantage. Apparently images of them both drinking heavily were broadcast to other users before she hit the deck – and when she was out cold, he exposed her breast for 15 minutes to the camera. Then, he pointed the camera away, and when he put it back she was completely naked – and still unconscious. NICE.
Twitch TV, who controlled the broadcast, banned Darckobra and tweeted ‘FYI: We continue to moderate according to our Terms of Service. Non-gaming content is not allowed. Non-gaming content (c): If using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our ToS. Thanks for understanding.’
Some might say that if you give people a live stream of their living room, then it’s only a matter of time before Playroom turns into ‘Pornroom.’ But if his wife had no knowledge of this, he’s violated the Terms of Service of the LAW, and will hopefully be prosecuted.
Can’t wait to see the live stream of him pooing into a bucket in jail.
Schmidt says that an Android phone will make a lovely Christmas present for someone with an Apple device and they’ll need tips on how to use Google’s OS and how to transfer contacts and the like.
Schmidt says, on his G+ account (which is why no-one has seen it), that loads of his “iPhone friends are converting to Android. The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola (Verizon Droid Ultra) and the Nexus 5 (for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface.”
‘Eric’s Guide: Converting to Android from iPhone’ continues: “Some general advice - Be sure to use Chrome, not Safari; its safer and better in so many ways. And it’s free.”
The last time Schmidt said Google was more secure than Apple, he drew hoots of derision, but he’s sticking to his guns, regardless of the fact that everyone’s been told not to expect any privacy with Gmail.
Are you going to be trying to persuade an iPhone user to switch to Android this Christmas?
It invariably isn’t good for the economy, but who cares? You need to bunk off work and get to the pub or start putting your feet up. With that, you can pretend your computer is broken or has a virus, thanks to Happy Hour Virus.
Here’s what you do. First, visit the website here. Choose an option, as seen above. Then, let out a frustrated noise or sigh wearily. Then, tell you colleagues that you’re going to have to stop work.
Then start the weekend.
As technology gets smarter, the people behind it get sneakier. Take for example, the LG Smart televisions which, it turns out, are able to log viewing information in order to serve targeted ads to its customers.
New research from IT consultant Jason Huntley showed that his new LG Smart TV was targeting adverts at him on his Smart landing screen because they’d slyly been collecting his data. You may think that it is pretty obvious that smart technology would store some data about a user, but there’s a catch.
“There is an option in the system settings called ‘Collection of watching info’ which is set ON by default,” he wrote. “I decided to do some traffic analysis to see what was being sent. It turns out that viewing information appears to be being sent regardless of whether this option is set to ‘on’ or ‘off’.”
Huntley found that the Smart TV recognises when you’re changing channel and logs what you’re watching. This data is sent unencrypted to LG’s servers. On top of that, filenames from an external hard drive attached to the TV also get sent off to LG.
Now, in LG’s defence, there was a corporate video on their website aimed at advertisers which said: “LG Smart Ad analyses user’s favourite programs, online behaviour, search keywords and other information to offer relevant ads to target audiences.” However, LG have removed that from their website, which is a bit suspicious. Either way, this customer profiling is something customers agree to in T&Cs. However, LG are going to look into it.
“Customer privacy is a top priority at LG Electronics and as such, we take this issue very seriously,” said a spokesman. “We are looking into reports that certain viewing information on LG Smart TVs was shared without consent.”
If data is being collected without consent, LG could be found to be breaking the law. Should you want to stop this from happening on your TV, visit DoctorBeet – Huntley’s blog – where he gives advice on ways to shore up you telly.
Owners of the Google Nexus 7, Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 now have the option of charging their gadget without wires, ridding them of awful tangly wires. Apart from the wire to the charger itself of course.
Sadly, it is American-only at the moment, and it costs $49.99 from Google Play. It works by snapping your device magnetically, which means it eliminates the problem of broken ports and wires.
There’s no news as yet about the release of the charger in the UK. When it does, it’ll probably go for £49.99 (as that’s the way things seem to go thanks to technology companies and their jazz-like take on currency conversions.
However, this does look like a peer into the future, so here’s hoping someone bright makes a universal, wireless charger for all our devices.
So, the PS4 is out and about – now it is time for the Xbox One. It’ll be a mad scramble to try and win over gamers at Christmas, so what do you need to know about the next-gen Microsoft console?
Well, here’s the five things you should know before buying.
Not Just A Console
Of course, the new Xbox is a gaming machine, however, like most consoles, it has to be more than that. The Xbox One has a HDMI-in jack and has been designed with playing music, watching TV (both live and with TV channel menus are in the box) and there’ll be access to new channels through your console (ESPN, Hulu, Amazon or Netflix are available through it). It seems that Microsoft are really gunning for users to make this as integral to your time as phones and tablets have become. Games, TV, music… everything that you look away from your handheld devices for, the Xbox One is trying to cover all these bases.
The Xbox One’s user interface has been impressing everyone who has got their hands on the console because it is very different from anything else. Although, this being Microsoft, it can be clunky in places. The UI will feel familiar to 360 users, but you’ll notice that it is sleeker, leaner and very easy to navigate. With tiles akin to Windows 8, you’ll be able to get to what you want. The much chattered about voice command element is what really grabs attention. You talk to the Xbox One and it does what you tell it. You can turn your console off with voice command, as well as launch your cable or satellite TV from set-top box, and a whole myriad of other things. You’ll probably feel a bit weird talking to your console though, unless you’ve been chatting Siri up already.
Differences With The PS4
Both consoles have eight-core processors, eight gigabytes of RAM and 500GB of storage, however, the RAM on the PS4 is better and the GPU performance trounces the Xbox One. However, most gamers won’t be able to tell the difference between, say, 720 and 1080 resolutions, so casual gamers need not worry about that. The Xbox One is bigger and heavier than the PS4, but again, there’s little chance you’ll be moving it once it finds a place in your house.
The Xbox One is getting you in the Microsoft Cloud and you can download games and TV shows. It certainly looks like Microsoft are trying to move consumers away from physical purchases and toward a downloadable media. However, this might be problematic as games developers may well sulk if they don’t get pride of place in the interface. And of course, there’s problems with buying things cheap, second-hand too. It’ll launch with other 20 games, however, if your internet connection isn’t lightning fast, you may get frustrated waiting for games to download. However, you can start playing before the download is complete, which is pretty nifty.
Before, Kinect was a near novelty for the Xbox, but now, it is integral to the system. It is included with the console and is better than the old one. As mentioned before, the UI is voice activated but also works with hand gestures too. The console will now ‘recognise’ you too, which is vaguely creepy, but will make for easier sign-ins and such. It can recognise up to six players. The controllers have been tinkered with too and have rumble in the triggers. Like the PS4, you can plug a headset into the bottom of your joypad. Everything comes with the console, so it is rather pricey. Might be worth waiting if you’re not ready to make the next-gen leap just yet.
Ever noticed how much more a tablet costs when you get one with extra memory? Sometimes, it costs more than 1,200% than it costs to buy for the market value and Which!!! have noticed that a 32GB Apple iPad Air costs £80 more than the 16GB version, even though it only costs £5.85 to include the extra 16GB.
Google also charge an extra £70 for a 32GB Nexus 10 compared the 16GB device, which, in English, is a 1,000% chalk-up.
Which!!! have said the whole thing is ‘scandalous’ and said their report revealed ‘shocking levels of profiteering by manufacturers over something as simple as a chunk of extra memory’. Which ed. Richard Headland, said: “With tablets in demand this Christmas, buyers will be shocked to discover what a raw deal they’re getting on built-in memory.”
Furthermore, a lot of tablets don’t have the storage capacity that they claim in advertising. The 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 only has 10GB up for grabs thanks to the OS and built-in apps.
So what are the options if you don’t want to get ripped off? Well, if you buy a tablet with an SD or microSD slot, then you can add your own memory for a much more reasonable price. The Microsoft Surface RT, for example, allows you to do that.
Of course, this is another case of new technology’s propensity to annoy us with sealed-in design, which makes tinkering and upgrading nigh-on impossible for anyone who isn’t an expert in such matters.
What’s been the problem? Well, it is a pricey bit of kit for a kick-off. Not only that, reviews weren’t exactly great, with critics bemoaning the puny battery life and and limited functionality. Of course, Apple will be taking notes if they’re going to unleash an iWatch on the world.
Worse for Samsung is that they released an update to try and sort out some of the problems with the Galaxy Gear which has mucked up everyone’s phones, with users saying that their handsets have crashed, frozen or developed problems with the battery.
If you scoot around Facebook and Twitter, the phone that seems to suffering the most is the Galaxy S3. This is particularly bad timing if Samsung want people to buy their tablets and devices over Christmas.
Concerning the complaints about the 4.3 update, Samsung replied: “We appreciate your patience while we work on this. As soon as we have further information, we’ll update you through our social and service channels. Thank you for bearing with us.”
However, it wasn’t all peaches and cream. Some customers reported that their next-gen console was switching itself off without warning, leaving Sony scrabbling around to investigate why this might be happening.
Satoshi Fukuoka, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said: “We think these are isolated incidents and represent a very small percentage of total units shipped to consumers to date.”
Sony say that problems associated with the blinking light include no picture or sound coming from the television. This seems to be a theme for newly released next-gen consoles. Nintendo were criticised when the new Wii U console required an immediate firmware update out of the box, with some users saying that their machine was damaged during the process.
That said, Sony won’t be phased as they’ve managed to get a head-start on Microsoft who haven’t released their new Xbox One console yet.
The battle for Christmas is on – which side will you choose?
While most tech companies are looking at curved screens and wearable technology, the Russians have decided to go one better with a mobile that has two screens.
The YotaPhone is available for Christmas too.
There’s a 4.3 inch 720p LCD screen on the front. On the back, there’s another screen, this time a 4.3 inch e-ink screen. It has been available for a while in Russia, but now it is going global.
It seems one screen is for all the usual gubbins you’d do on a phone, while the e-ink screen is there to allow the YotaPhone to double as an e-reader. Away from that, it isn’t a wildly amazing phone, running Android 4.2.2 with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, 32GB of storage and an 1800mAh battery.
There’s no price on the YotaPhone yet, but in Russia, it goes for 20,000 rubles which is around £381.
Heard of Coin? Some bright spark has come up with a novel solution to having too many cards in your wallet. You add all your cards onto a single Coin card with a phone app and with a little button on the Coin card itself, you choose which card you want to use.
It looks like a good thing, but of course, if it gets stolen, that’s someone running off with all your cards at the same time (and the smartphone alarm that tells you it is too far away from you going mad in your pocket while you work out which one to cancel first).
Anyway, have a look at it here.
Good idea? Bad idea? You can pre-order a Coin card here.
Facebook apparently made a bid for SnapChat for billions of dollars – and they turned it down. This is a company that is run by a couple of twentysomethings who, until very recently, were running their business in a bungalow.
The app isn’t really making any money either. Instagram and Tumblr were in the same boat until they got a paycheck from a takeover. Are SnapChat’s owners crazy? It seems they think that there’s more money to be had elsewhere.
If you’ve been living up a tree for the past few years, SnapChat is the brainchild of Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy and they developed the social network which allows users to send photos which perish after they’ve been viewed. Thanks to people noticing that they could send mucky photos with a sell-by-date, it soon became a rousing success.
And now, with money being dangled before it, it seems Spiegel and Murphy want to try and go down the Facebook/Twitter route, and resist the temptation of quick, guaranteed money, to hold out for something more worthwhile. That said, they must be aware that Silicon Valley is filled with the penniless corpses of entrepreneurs who played hard ball and lost.
So what are SnapChat’s plans? Well, it seems they think they’ll be one of the first social media companies to build a business around money made from something beyond advertising. That inevitably means virtual goods, as seen in a number of games (The Simpsons – Tapped Out is a good example) and things like WeChat. The Japanese messaging app, Line, makes money by allowing users to buy virtual stickers.
One thing SnapChat has, which other social apps don’t, is privacy. That could be a lucrative angle. Facebook users have long complained about the lack of privacy and in a report, Facebook had to admit that fatigue is setting in with younger users who said that they were using the service less frequently. With SnapChat processing over 350 million messages a day, they’re definitely onto something.
The owners might be holding out for a better deal. Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg is clearly a huge fan too. He chased SnapChat and it has been reported that Spiegel didn’t want to work for Zuckerberg. Facebook, not one for taking a ‘no’ lying down, started the SnapChat-esque ‘Poke’, which no-one took a blind bit of notice of. FB’s ‘Messenger’ has also failed to win people over. There’s a good chance Zuckerberg will make an improved offer. There are a number of Chinese suitors floating around too.
Maybe SnapChat isn’t so dumb after all?
GAME and STA Travel have teamed-up to offer the first video game package holiday, promising a four-week “Epic Gaming Adventure” which will take you to three continents, across eight different countries and 13 locations.
They say that this will be a “pilgrimage to the birthplace of gaming and visits breathtaking locations that have inspired some of the world’s most famous video games”.
Obviously, you won’t be going to bleak planets like Dead Space or visiting Jet Set Willy’s mansion. So where? Well, the trip kicks off in Edinburgh with a visit to GTA studio Rockstar North. You then head to London to visit Soho’s Loading Bar (a place that is designed on gaming cafes in Tokyo) before heading off to Phuket, which is home to some of the islands that appeared in Tomb Raider Underworld.
You’re then whisked off to an e-Sports Stadium in Seoul and a the Konami HQ in Tokyo, before heading of to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Hampshire, New York, Miami and Texas, finishing up in London for something called ‘a gamer disco’, where you presumably get the chance to dance to the Tetris theme tune and completely fail to interact with other humans.
Oh, you also stop off in Havana and Nassau, as seen in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. STA Travel marketing manager Neil Hassall says: ”For gamers, this trip is a backstage pass to some of the most iconic settings in the world’s most famous games – a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’re delighted to be adding our travel expertise into the mix to introduce gamers to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and cities in the world.”
Prices start from £5,500 and you can find out more about the Epic Gaming Adventure over at GAME.