Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post today that President Obama's proposed changes to how the National Security Agency collects and stores both phone and internet data is not enough.
"Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said. "This has been and remains a major concern across the tech sector."
Earlier this week Alienware said that its Steam Machines - custom PCs that sport Valve's steam OS, hardware to support it, and a nifty Steam Controller - were not upgradeable and that it would use a release schedule similar to the iPad to get new hardware out there. Today the company is saying that there was a bit of a miscommunication in its original message.
What the company meant to say, apparently, is that you CAN upgrade the Alienware-branded Steam Machine, but it won't be an easy thing to do.
The great debate about the fate of the former NSA contractor who leaked documents detailing the agency's spying programs on the Internet, mobile phones and even in video games rages on. Some believe that Edward Snowden is a patriot and a whistleblower who deserves a full presidential pardon, while others believe that he should be get the maximum penalty under the law for treason and espionage.
Here's the problem with letting a bunch of different PC manufacturers make something and use a brand like "Steam Machines" - you are going to get some wildly different products and price ranges that can be pretty darned costly for rank and file consumers whose last names aren't "Rockefeller," "Bloomberg," "Trump," etc. That's what is happening with Alienware's version(s) of the Steam Machine.
Two of the companies that had the biggest buzz coming out of the Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week were Oculus (for a new version of its Oculus Rift VR gaming headset) and Steam (for its Steam Machines and Steam Controller), so it is interesting that Valve has announced plans to bring the two PC gaming devices together. Steam is now testing an experimental mode that uses the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift in the most recent Steam Client Beta.
Earlier this week we reported that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, had publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.
While tablets seem to be popular with very young children, some pediatricians and other health experts are expressing concerns that these devices may be interfering with early childhood development and may even lead to some children developing attention problems. Of course, the research on all of this is still mostly incomplete because the iPad and other popular devices have not been out long enough to determine what the long-term effects of usage among children really are.
According to a recent interview with Oculus VR chief executive Brendan Iribe on GamesBeat, John Carmack is spearheading Oculus VR's mobile efforts. Carmack left id Software earlier in the year to work for the company out of its Dallas offices, and apparently he is spending a fair amount of his time focusing on mobile platforms.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the brakes on a plan by AT&T to raise prices for "special access" customers, which could have led to a rate hike to businesses and cell phone users. AT&T had planned to make that hike happen today, but the FCC stepped in and suspended the action for five months while it conducts an investigation on the matter.
In a recent interview on TechRadar, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey says that console systems - both current and next-generation are too limited to work with the company's Oculus Rift virtual reality headset technology. Luckey goes on to say that the biggest problem with consoles is that their level of hardware power remains unchanged for many years, whereas PC systems are constantly upgraded and evolving.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who serves as the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation issues, released a statement today cautioning the use of iPads and other tablet devices on U.S. flights. Rockefeller warned that having access to the Internet and entertainment during flights could impact safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration has decided that passengers can now use Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight. The agency recently reviewed the long-standing ban on the use of devices during take-off and landing, but found that there was no scientific evidence to back up claims that such devices interfered with aircraft electronics and communication systems.
Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Samsung and two local PR firms for what it described as an organized campaign to post positive reviews of its products, while maligning competitors' products. Samsung reportedly carried this plan out through two local public relations firms who used a "large number of hired writers and designated employees" to get the job done. Samsung and the two local firms were fined $100,000 each, though the original fine it faced was much higher - as much as $1 million.
The beta version of Nvidia ShadowPlay will be available Oct. 28 alongside version 1.7 of the GeForce Experience software, Nvidia announced today.
A newer Nvidia graphics card like the GeForce GTX 600 series or higher is required because it uses the GPUs on those cards that feature an on-board H.264 video encoder Nvidia says that the software is capable of recording footage (in the background) at up to 60 frames per second in 1080p, with a performance hit of between 5 and 10 percent.
Former Valve Inventor Jeri Ellsworth and programmer Rick Johnson have launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to raise money for CastAR, their take on augmented and virtual reality glasses.
Wargaming has teamed up with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum to share its newly acquired exhibit – the Dornier Do17 bomber - with the world. Using an "Augmented Reality App" created by Wargaming called Apparition: Dornier17, visitors can see a full scale, 3D vision of the aircraft at various locations around the world. In June, the Museum successfully lifted the only known German Dornier Do17 bomber from the waters of the Goodwin Sands, three miles off the coast of England.
A new study by the London School of Economics suggest that the movie, music, and video games industries have been exaggerating the impact that file sharing has had on their bottom line and found that - for some creative industries - copyright infringement may actually be helping to boost revenues.
Researchers found that internet-based revenues have been a large part of the music industry's growth since 2004 because the industry has adopted methods of distributing and consuming content modeled after file-sharing services such as BitTorrent, Pirate Bay, and Napster.
No matter what side of the issue you are on, the looming government shutdown over raising the debt ceiling in Washington D.C. may shut down some important services but it will never stop the Nation Security Agency's (NSA) spying programs. At least that's what this report in The Hill notes. A government shutdown is imminent on Oct.
As part of its Tokyo Game Show press conference today Sony Computer Entertainment revealed that it will be launching the Gaikai cloud-streaming service in North America next year. The service will launch with a specific selection of PlayStation 3 games, playable on the PS4, PlayStation Vita TV, and PS Vita. The announcement was made by Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, who compared the streaming games service to Netflix.
Worcester, Massachusetts-based Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) have been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build the MassDiGI New Ventures Center (NVC). Becker College also announced that it will match the EDA grant, making a total of $2.8 million available to build the state-of-the-art facility.
Sony's micro-console will not be available outside of Asia right away, according to a report on Techon (as unearthed by PS3Trophies). Speaking at a round-table press event on Sept. 10, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House said that the PS Vita will be released only in Asia, starting with Japan - at launch.
During a press conference this morning in Japan, Sony announced a new micro-console called the PlayStation Vita TV. The 6.5cm by 10.5cm micro-console utilizes the PS Vita chipset and its system software, and supports the Dualshock 3 controller. The device allows 1,300 PS Vita, PSP, and classic PlayStation One games to be played on a television screen. The PS Vita TV will also support movies services, eBooks, and the PlayStation Plus service. Some PS4 games will be playable via Remote Play as well.
It looks like PlayStation 4 owners won't have to worry about Sony ever considering support for Oculus Rift because the company is working on its own VR headset. According to CVG, Sony will reveal the last bit of its hardware strategy for the PS4 at the Tokyo Game Show by revealing its own custom-built virtual reality headset.
President Barack Obama will soon choose members of a panel that will "independently review" the National Security Agency's surveillance policies. The President announced the plan to form such a committee earlier this month at a press conference, and promised that it would be comprised of "high level group of outside experts." But early indications of his possible picks for this committee show that some of the choices are anything but outsiders. In fact, several have worked in past administrations, and at least one worked in two administrations.
The Xbox One can tell when it is overheating and automatically adjust its operations on the fly, according to what Xbox General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo tells Gizmodo.
While a majority of the stories about Google Glass are about privacy concerns, people being idiots with the wearable device, or some Google Glass wearer getting banned from a business because it creeps everyone around them out, it can be used for pursuits many of us are interested in - like gaming.