PlayStation 4 Could Stream Games Over the Net

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According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, Sony’s new gaming console will allow people to play games that are streamed in real time over the internet. Streams will apparently involve games designed for the current generation PlayStation, the PlayStation 3. The speculation is that this might be an attempt to deal with backward compatibility. That brings up the question of whether gamers will need to repurchase games they’ve already bought. Last month, the Journal reported speculation that Sony would “likely” move to chips from Advanced Micro Devices, as opposed to the Sony-IBM-Toshiba-developed Cell chip that’s in its PS3 — something that would cause compatibility issues with existing games. It’s also possible that this move will allow an even greater amount of flexibility with respect to game porting and device compatibility. CNET’s Rich Brown said this, “Imagine playing a core PlayStation…[game] on your console, then picking the game up exactly where you left off on your cell phone or tablet.” Sony purchased the cloud-gaming company Gaikai in July of last year. The cloud service allows for a broader range of streaming options that typical smartphone games and could accommodate more processor-intensive applications. Gaikai created data centers specifically designed to run …

Chase WilliamsPlayStation 4 Could Stream Games Over the Net
Destiny Is Bungie's Next Big Franchise

Destiny: Bungie’s Halo Successor

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Halo set an almost unrealistically high bar for its creator, Bungie, to achieve with its next title. It left some of the team concerned about what they’d work on following the popular Halo franchise. Bungie co-founder Jason Jones told CNet, “After Halo, a bunch of us thought, ‘What comes next?” The Bungie leadership team wanted to find something that would be worthy of the work they had achieved with Halo. They were looking to develop not just another game, but a new model for which games are played — something that would electrify the gaming community. Jones believes that Bungie’s Destiny is just that. The game itself is a first-person shooter mixed with aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Players will develop and customize their characters with armor, clothing, weapons, vehicles, and spacecraft, items which will help to develop Destiny’s lore — a 10-year narrative arc. The game itself will “always [be] connected.” It’s Bungie’s vision that players will meet online to socialize, fight, trade, and gamble. The world of Destiny will be one of a massive scale, a world that’s always evolving, always alive — the company is calling it a “shared world shooter. It’s important for …

Chase WilliamsDestiny: Bungie’s Halo Successor

LinkedIn Employees Receive iPad Minis

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So what does the CEO of one of the fastest growing companies in the United States buy his employees for Valentine’s Day? All shiny new iPad Minis of course. LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner gave his company’s 3,458 full-time employees iPad Minis Wednesday to reward them for recent company success. Krista Canfield, LinkedIn’s senior manager of corporate communications, announced the giveaway calling it a “small gesture of the company’s gratitude.” All of the employees will be receiving 32GB iPad Mini models. At retail prices, the mass purchase of $429 iPads would have set the company back roughly $1.5 million. Canfield said, “We wanted to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of all of our employees in 2012.” If you’re a follower of LinkedIn activity on Twitter, you may have noticed some excited employees touting about their newest gift.   Oh, you know, just tweeting from my new iPad mini Thanks for my shiny new toy, @linkedin! — Connie Chan Wang (@cheesycons) February 14, 2013   LinkedIn reported last week that its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share were 35 cents, with a revenue of $303.6 million, and a net income of $11.5 million, beating performance expectations by $25 million. Not a bad …

Chase WilliamsLinkedIn Employees Receive iPad Minis

Carbon Nanotube Cupid

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[Credit: Brigham Young University] Can’t find the right gift for that special someone this Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can talk the guys over at Brigham Young University (BYU) in to making a tiny carbon nanotube flower bouquet for your Valentine this year. Researchers at BYU have developed a method of crafting nanotubes in to engineered structures. Microscopic iron “seeds” are placed onto a plate and a blast of excited gas causes a “miniature forest” of carbon nanotubes to spring up. Nanotubes, individually, measure approximately 20 atoms across and are composed of 99 percent air. The nanostructure is initially very fragile, however by coating the tubes with “metals and other materials” they become much more stable which opens up other manufacturing opportunities. “It’s a really fragile structure at this point – blowing on it or touching it would destroy it,” said BYU physics professor Robert Davis. “One application is in the area of compressed gases like oxygen in the areas of health care, mining operations or scuba diving… Compressed gas systems can generate particles that need to be filtered out,” Davis said. [Credit: Brigham Young University] The research team has also created a nano-BYU logo and precision micro-filters. So, will you …

Chase WilliamsCarbon Nanotube Cupid

Microfluidic Keyboard the Next Big Thing?

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Ergonomics plays a huge part in interactive design. Whether you realize it or not, everything we interact with, especially our mobile gadgets, were designed with user interaction in mind. But isn’t something missing? Tactus Technology has developed an interactive keyboard for touch screens. The technology uses microfluidics to manipulate the screen in such a way that physical keys pop up on the display. Microfluidics isn’t something new, the technology has been around since the late 70′s, but recently it has become cost effective to incorporate into consumer electronics. So what’s happening inside? A panel behind the device’s screen has specially designed channels filled with a non-toxic fluid, controlling the pressure in these channels enables the system to form bubbles, or keys, on the screen. The keys appear when required and then depressurize when not needed, sending the screen back to its original flat surface. Tactus says that the pressure will be user adjustable too, so that picky consumers can adjust the softness or firmness of the keys — although I suspect this is a feature that we won’t see on all devices that incorporate the technology. Tactus cofounder Micah Yairi had this to say about the product, “The vision that …

Chase WilliamsMicrofluidic Keyboard the Next Big Thing?
Massive Open Online Courses

How It’s Done – Massive Open Online Courses

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Want to learn a new language, study artificial intelligence, or understand quantum mechanics? No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a growing community of free online educational resources available. They’re referred to as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and they’re becoming extremely popular. Here’s a list of resources I’ve developed that cover everything from language development to string theory. Check ‘em out: — Coursera, which offers free university courses online, launched April 2012 and has already attracted two million members (a growth rate faster than Facebook), $22 million in venture capital, and 70,000 new students signing up every week. The company has partnered with over 33 universities to bring a very wide range of topics to the site. — The Khan Academy has an open library with over 3,900 micro lectures and tutorials in math, science, economics, computer science, the humanities, and test prep. — A very nice collection of resources that focuses on cultural and educational media. — Want to design a website, or develop a mobile application? Codecademy is definitely something you should check out. They’ve been backed by big names like Richard Branson and for good reason, in just 72 hours of launching …

Chase WilliamsHow It’s Done – Massive Open Online Courses

Authentic ‘Back to the Future’ Hoverboard Only $13,000

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Sure, Mattel released a “Back to the Future Part II” hoverboard replica, but why go for that when you can have the real thing? Yeah it might be a little more expensive, but hell; who needs a car when they can have a hoverboard? To umm… carry around… For those of you who don’t remember, or haven’t seen “Back to the Future Part II” — for shame! — this is the board of Griff Tannen, Marty McFly’s nemesis. If you’ve got $13,000 laying around and a healthy appetite for all that is geek, you can buy this bad boy from eBay seller cinemastuff818 (a.k.a. Hollywood Parts). The prop itself wasn’t the same board shot on screen; that was in fact the original prototype. The board measures 36-inches and is constructed from wood, resin, and metal. That’s all fine and good, but where is the freaking case? Unfortunately the case isn’t offered as part of the auction. Here’s the sellers original description: This is an original prototype “Pit Bull” hoverboard made to be used by Griff Tannen in the second installment in the classic trilogy. The board is [36"] and made of solid wood. The body is painted black with red …

Chase WilliamsAuthentic ‘Back to the Future’ Hoverboard Only $13,000

Holographic Holocaust Survivors – Just the Beginning

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The University of Southern California’s (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) has partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, and design firm Conscience Display, to develop interactive holographic (hyper-photorealistic) displays that allow students and others the ability to converse with life-size digital versions of Holocaust survivors. Paul Debevec, a professor of computer science at USC and an associate director of graphics research at ICT, said, “The effect that it gives is a lot more that that person is there in the room with you than that person was filmed some time ago somewhere else… I think it’s going to be considerably more engaging and immersive and moving than if they’re just up there on a video screen.” Built upon light-stage technology developed by ICT, the team records interviews with multiple cameras to capture high-fidelity playback. ICT has been using the Light Stage system since 2000, but the technology has evolved significantly since then. “Everything that we’re doing is getting retooled and to some extent reinvented specifically for recording the testimony of a survivor… to do it in a way that when we project it holographically, it’s a very absolute literal playback of exactly the way they said it, exactly the …

Chase WilliamsHolographic Holocaust Survivors – Just the Beginning

Raytheon’s RIOT Tracks Your Every Move

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Raytheon’s Rapid Information Overlay Technology (RIOT) is intended to assist governments by providing a social network data analysis program enabling the development of a detailed picture of activity for targeted individuals.  RIOT isn’t new, but the following video obtained by the Guardian is. Using the software it’s possible to construct a complete picture of someone’s life — their friends, places they’ve visited, where they might go, when they might go — in only a few minutes. In this video obtained by the Guardian, Brian Urch, Raytheon’s principal investigator, explains that “exif header data” embedded on smartphones sometimes includes latitude and longitude data with photographs. Of course, the software doesn’t just retrieve that information. It scourers through everything that’s available. The program takes this information and organizes it in a way so as to show not only the targets photographs, but also the locations they were taken. Urch says in the video, “We’re going to track one of our own employees…Nick… We know where Nick’s going, we know what Nick looks like… now we want to try to predict where he may be in the future.” RIOT can also display a spider diagram which shows associations and relationships between individuals online …

Chase WilliamsRaytheon’s RIOT Tracks Your Every Move

How It’s Done – Building the Perfect Gaming PC

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PCs are still the most powerful platforms for gamers seeking breathtaking graphics and fluid game play, but what PC gaming really comes down to is dollars. Money ya’ll. If you’re on a budget, you might consider sticking to a console. Hold it! Just wait a minute. I can hear everyone losing their minds right now… Bare with me. Yes, consoles are approaching a point where PC game play may very well be surpassed for the average Joe that doesn’t have a few thousand to drop on a custom build. Yes, console gaming can also be a very expensive habit, but in general, PCs are going to set a consumer back more than an Xbox or Playstation. Now that that’s settled, let’s pop this juice box open, take a sip, and see just what’s out there to choose from. If you’re new to PC gaming, or just looking to upgrade, here’s a list of components for building an awesome gaming machine in 2013. (I’m not going to go in to specifics on how to build a computer, and I’m not covering minor components like a case, or power supply unit in this article.)  Processor (CPU) I personally prefer Intel-based processors over …

Chase WilliamsHow It’s Done – Building the Perfect Gaming PC