What a difference a few months make. Oculus founder and inventor of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset Palmer Luckey said in past public statements that something would have to go horribly wrong with his company's device for it not to be released in 2015. Over the weekend while speaking on a South By Southwest (SXSW) panel, Luckey seemed to back pedal a bit when asked by an audience member for an actual release date for the device. In fact, he refused to give one.
United States Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) today reintroduced the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a companion measure by voice vote last Congress. Sen. Wyden is the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, while Sen. Thune is chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.
Update: In an earlier version of this story (which you can read in its entirety below) we reported that the charity had raised over $14,000. It turns out that this was not an accurate number. According to what The Porn Charity co-founder Mercedes Carrera told us this afternoon, the $3,100 generated from the three-hour web cam show was rolled into the Indiegogo campaign total. That means that the total from the Indiegogo campaign was actually right around $11,280.
The organizers of the Collision conference sent over a note letting us know who will be speaking at this year's event in downtown Las Vegas May 5th and 6th.
Confirmed speakers (so far) include Max Levchin, Co-Founder of Paypal; John Sculley, former CEO of Apple; Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam; Zach Sims, CEO and Co-Founder of Code Academy; Chris Satchell, CTO of Nike; Jim Breyer, Breyer Capital; Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com; and Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek.
During his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that the company will pledge $300 million to be used for scholarships aimed at bringing more women, African Americans, and other ethnicities into the tech sector. The company is partnering with a number of groups to do this including Feminist Frequency, The National Center for Women and Information technology, The Anita Borg Institute, UNCF, Girls Who Code, Society of Women Engineers, the IGDA, NACME, and many others.
Dish Networks is trying its hand at cutting itself loose from satellite and taking a straight run at customers with a new service designed for the Internet called Sling TV. For $20 a month consumers with Internet access can get 12 premium cable channels including ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, and CNN. Obviously the new service is aimed at cord cutters who don't necessarily have a cable package but do have broadband Internet access.
UK video games industry trade body Tiga says that games should officially be recognized as art. Speaking to BBC's Newsbeat program, Tiga CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said that video games should officially be classified as cultural products on the same level as Television, film, animation, etc.
Samsung's contribution to the virtual reality space is now available. Announced in September and developed in partnership with Oculus VR, the Samsung Gear VR headset is now available to buy from the Samsung web store for $200.
The device, which requires a Note 4 to be used as the screen is not quite a ready for mass-market - even though anyone can buy it at this point.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is making the rounds in Silicon Valley this week, according to Politico's Morning Tech.
According to Time's Techland, flight attendants are suing to reinstitute a ban on using electronics during flights. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the largest union representing flight attendants in the United States, filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday, saying that the federal agency should have upheld a ban on the use of smartphones and tablets during takeoff and landing.
The PC was marked down as dead as tablets began to outsell desktops a year ago. But new research from Gartner - as reported by GIGA OM - suggest that PC shipments are actually doing well again in developed markets. While tablet sales are still expected to be better than PCs in 2015, according to the research from Gartner, they are starting to show improvement in markets where they saw the most decline.
Ubisoft is backpedaling a bit after saying that it locked in the resolution of the PS4 version of Assassin's Creed Unity at 900p to match the Xbox One version. As reported on by GameSpot, Vincent Pontbriand, a senior producer at Ubisoft Montreal, said that the Unity development team "decided to lock them [the game] at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff."
Dave Anthony, who has writing and director credits on Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Call of the Dead, will be taking part in the Atlantic Council's "Art of Future War" event at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security in Washington D.C. October 1. Anthony recently joined the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security as a Nonresident Fellow. Here's more on his presentation from the Atlantic Council:
TechRadar reports that a consumer grade version of the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift will launch in the summer of 2015 in limited beta. Citing "multiple sources with knowledge of the matter," TechRadar claims that the virtual reality headset and software maker will roll out the retail-ready version of the headset in waves, with the first batch shipping in April 2015.
Today Apple announced the iPhone 6 in two flavors (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), and the Apple Watch. The iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch display and a resolution of 1334x750 with 326 pixels per inch, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 with 401 pixels per inch.
Nvidia has filed patent suits against Samsung and Qualcomm with the International Trade Commission and the US District Court of Delaware, alleging that the companies violate seven of its patents. Nvidia says that it filed these lawsuits after negotiations on a licensing deal with Samsung went nowhere. This is the first patent lawsuit filed by the company, which is surprising given that it reportedly holds over 7,000 patents. The company explains why it took legal action in more detail here.
Engadget has an extensive report on Samsung's freshly announced Gear VR, a virtual reality headset device that combines software created by Oculus VR with Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4 phone. Yes, this is a real thing.
Virtual reality won't become "mainstream" for another five years or more, according to what Oculus VR founder and Oculus Rift VR headset creator Palmer Luckey tells GamesIndustry International. Luckey says that that rather large window of time is fine with him because the Facebook acquisition gives him the space he and his company need to do what is best for VR technology in the long term.
During a recent Hack Day - as chronicled in this blog post - engineers at Netflix mange to design a prototype Oculus Rift user interface for its popular streaming service. The specially designed UI that makes this possible is being called "Oculix" and lets users control the Netflix menu using hand and head gesture controls.
The latest version of Oculus Rift for developers (DK2) has begun shipping to buyers, but there's some question as to whether those who purchased a DK2 will get one in this first batch of shipments. In early June Oculus VR community manager Andres Hernandez indicated that the company was unlikely to be able to fulfill all deliveries on schedule in July after receiving over 45,000 DK2 pre-orders.
US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has always been opposed to the FCC regulating anything, but she has been particularly outspoken about the FCC's Open Internet Order since it was introduced in 2010. To that point, Rep. Blackburn recently said that she wants to make sure the FCC never interferes with "states' rights" to protect private Internet service providers from having to compete against municipal broadband networks.
Oculus VR, the creators of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, announced today that its very first game development conference will take place in September. The event, Oculus Connect, will run from September 19-20 at the Los Angeles' Loews Hotel. Oculus says that the event will "bring together engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible."
While Sony works on Morpheus for PS4 and Oculus continues to developer Oculus Rift, Google is offering a more mundane approach to the virtual reality space called Google Cardboard. It sounds like an April Fool's Day prank, but Google Cardboard is a DIY VR headset offering developed by a two-man team (in Europe) at Google that uses a simple cardboard headset, and a few household items to offer VR using an Android phone and a Google app.
Almost 50 percent of all households in the United States have at least one television set connected to the Internet via a video game system, Blu-ray Disc player, smart TV set, and/or stand-alone device such as Roku, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast. This number is up from up from 38 percent of U.S. households in 2012 and 24 percent in 2010, according to new data released by research firm Leichtman Research Group. The data is based on a survey of 1,200 U.S. households conducted this year.
Graphics hardware maker Nvidia is responding to accusations by rival AMD that its new GameWorks toolset interferes with the ability of game developers to optimize their products for AMD graphics hardware. Last week Robert Hallock, AMD's head of technical communications, software and technologies made the allegations in regard to Watch Dogs.