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Google to Deliver by Drone in 2017

It appears that Alphabet (Google) is planning on delivering products via drones as early as 2017. The odd thing is that Google won't be using this much for their own product deliveries. Of course they will probably deliver those goods as well, but that wouldn't be enough to sustain the business model. It will be interesting to see if Google has the chops to come up against UPS, FedEx and the likes of Amazon. Who know, maybe Google themselves will be the private courier of the shopping giant.

The prototype flown in Australia, 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) wide and 0.8 meters (2.6 feet) tall, shares the same four-propeller quad copter design as popular consumer drones, but the company said consumers can expect to see new vehicle types and shapes as the project unfolds.

Source: Reuters

Google to Merge Android and Chrome

Google is on a roll and under the new umbrella of "Alphabet", they are showing a different side of the company that certainly has bigger plans. In an effort to combine their desktop OS (ChromeOS) with their mobile Android OS, they will be trying to merge the two and should have a product available on the market as early as 2017. Time will tell if this is the think that will take on Microsoft's cross-platform prowess, or if they will have to sacrifice too much to make it happen.

Concentrating on Android will allow Google to entice even more developers to create apps that will run on anything from a watch to a car to a television with very little adaptation, all available through the Play store which offers far more apps than the Chrome Web Store.

Source: TheInquirer

Titanfall to Hit iOS and Android

Titanfall was a pretty interesting game - but with limited playability. While there were a quite a few maps, they never expanded the game like they could have. In the end, it kind of played out early. In order to milk as much as they can out of the franchise, they are moving it to one of the largest gaming platforms ever - mobile. They will have a couple of spin-offs that should keep the name going - but if it's not any better than the original, it will fade pretty quickly as well.

"I think we have some interesting ideas, but I don't know that we can talk about any of them yet," Zampella said. "It's another piece of the universe, a peek behind the curtain that is hinted at or assumed in the universe that you might take for granted, things that wouldn't necessarily be revealed in the main game."

 

It sounds like it will be a sort of "Farmville" for making Titans.

Source: Polygon

Batman is Broken on PC and Can't Be Fixed

Warner Bros. released Batman: Arkham Knight on PC and consoles this past week and it works just fine on console. PC, on the other hand - is giving them a lot of grief. In fact, it's so bad that WB says they will refund your money - no matter how long you've played it. In addition to this, they say that if you decide to keep play it, the will "...continue to address the issues that we can fix and talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix." That's right. It is so broken that they can't ever - or won't ever fix it. That's a bunch of garbage. Total garbage. I would assume that they would have at least tested it on PC? Apparently that's what you pay $80 for - is to be a beta tester, only to have the PC product scrapped.

Warner Bros. Interactive previously announced that buyers of the PC version of the game would also be able to get all of the previously released titles in the Batman: Arkham series for free until November 16. It's not yet known if those buyers will still receive those free games if they get a refund.

Source: WindowsCentral

Rise of the Tomb Raider Looks Epic

There has been a lot of talk around the web that Halo 5 was a dud. I personally enjoyed the single-player gameplay (although short), and was moved by the broken relationship between Cortana and Master Chief. Still, the Rise of the Tomb Raider looks really, really good. Take a look at the launch trailer below.

Google, Amazon, and Walmart join drone task force

Google, Amazon, and Walmart, have all joined a government task force to help figure out registration and identification for drones. All 3 of these companies are hoping to use drones for deliveries which is both scary and exciting depending on how you look at it. It's probably inevitable that drones are going to be used more and more and probably a good idea to get some rules in place so drones aren't running into each other. There is still no task force assembled to prevent people with guns from shooting down these delivery drones and claiming their free prize when it drops. PCWorld has the story.

Google, Amazon and Wal-Mart have joined the government's task force charged with figuring out a registration and identification system for drones.

The companies, all three of which are working on drone delivery systems, are among 25 members that have been asked to formulate recommendations by Nov. 20 on how such a registration system would work and what types of drones should be exempt. Their work will begin with a three-day meeting next week.

Unlike aircraft, drones are not subject to any registration process, but a rapid increase in the number of drones involved in dangerous incidents has prompted the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to act. With registration and identification, it's hoped airspace violators will be easier to identify and prosecute.

Facebook to finally end annoying game invites

In todays edition of "why has it taken them so long?", we've got Facebook and their never-ending and annoying game invites. Everyone has a friend (or possibly ex-friend) who constantly sends these requests for free pumpkins in Farmville or an extra turn in Candy Crush. After many years, Mr.Zuckerberg has acknowledged that these are in fact annoying and will be finally working on a solution to this problem. Not sure why it has taken so long but this will make a lot of people very happy. Yahoo News has more on this story.

Game invitations might be a nuisance for recipients who aren’t interested in playing, but games are often designed to reward senders. In the case of “Candy Crush Saga,” for example, the more requests people send to others on Facebook to play the game, the more “lives” they gain in return.

Such features are outdated, Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged, but updating or doing away with them wasn’t high on the company’s to-do list -- until now. He said Facebook had other priorities, but that since it’s now clear this is a top concern for users, the company is going to prioritize the matter.

Sony finally has a good quarter

After a few rough years, Sony has announced their 2nd quarter earnings and it's quite positive with a $278 Million dollar profit. In addition Sony is predicting that 2015 will be a good year with a year end profit of around $2.68 Billion which I'm sure shareholders are excited about after a bunch of rough quarters of losses. Increased sales in their digital imaging departments and strong sales from the PS4 are a couple of the reasons things are looking better in 2015 for Sony. SlashGear has the full story.

For the last few years, Sony has been plagued with significant losses, mostly due to its ever struggling mobile division. Today, however, the Japanese tech giant has announced a profit of 33.6 billion yen (about $278 million) for the second quarter of fiscal 2015, and it once has its successful image sensor division, as well as continually strong PS4 sales, to thank. So much so, that Sony is even predicting a yearly operating profit of 320 billion yen ($2.64 billion).

IBM buys The Weather Channel

In a move that everyone saw coming, IBM has announced that they've purchased The Weather Channel. Ok, maybe not, I don't think anyone saw that coming but I guess IBM was feeling left out after all of the big acquisition announcements that have been happening over the last couple weeks. The real reason that IBM acquired The Weather Channel was for their cloud technology and sensors as they are currently handling 26 Billion inquiries a day through their weather apps and through their website, which makes the acquisition make more sense. MarketWatch has more on this announcement.

IBM Corp. on Wednesday confirmed the purchase of The Weather Company, which includes the Weather Channel and its related technology platforms and sensors, to enhance its cloud ecosystem. Terms of the deal, including the price, were not disclosed, but IBM said the purchase adds to the $3 billion investment IBM committed earlier this year to build out products and services in the Internet of Things. 

Microsoft Aces Antivirus Test

Microsoft's free antivirus program hasn't been ranked very well over the past couple years but apparently they've been working on it and in a new test by AV-Test Institute it actually managed a top ranking. No virus detector is perfect and of course common sense and a little bit of caution is always best in combination with a detector program. PCWorld takes a look at the exciting world of antivirus programs.

For years, Microsoft's antivirus has been the sad sack in antivirus tests. Several labs have taken to calling Microsoft's performance a baseline. If you can't beat the baseline, you're doing something wrong. That trend seems to be changing, though. In the latest test results reported by AV-Test Institute, Microsoft earned a respectable 14 points (out of a possible 18). That's a lot better than its previous score of 9.5 points; 10 points is the minimum to pass this test.

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