Fall 2014 Cooling Roundup

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Facebook Privacy Changes Coming - Secure It Now

While I know that not all of you use Facebook, there are some things you should know and changes you should probably make going forward.  Facebook keeps updating their privacy policies and this makes it "fun" and "easy" to restrict access to other individuals and companies.  If you want to tighten up your Facebook "security" do so in six steps.  Or you can just deactivate and delete your Facebook account.

Facebook's recent proposal to change its privacy policy yet again has been criticized by privacy advocates, as Dara Kerr reported earlier this month. One of the changes will allow teenagers' names, images, and personal information to be used in Facebook ads.

Source: CNET


Well, we talked about Steam having a few announcements up their sleeve and the first one has hit.  Steam will be coming to a new Operating System and obviously after reading all about Gabe's love-affair with Linux, we are not surprised to see that SteamOS is based on Linux.  We expect the next two annoucement from Valve to include a controller and some actual gaming hardware.  I'm sure that Valve is not planning on just releasing a public-distro and no hardware.  This would make the adoption rate much better if you can just buy a system that is ready to go.

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.  SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

Source: Steam

Microsoft Surface 2 Video Stream

If you missed the Microsoft Surface 2 announcements today - including the Surface 2 RT based on Windows 8.1 RT, and the Surface 2 Pro, you can head on over to Microsoft's site and catch the video stream from yesterday.  All in all, the Surface 2 Pro looks like a nice upgrade, but for $899 starting price, I still think you can find products that offer similar functionality and features for much less.  The Surface RT 2 is a bit of a joke though (Sorry NVIDIA).

Image Courtesy Neowin

(Image Courtesy Neowin)

You can also check out the Liveblog from Engadget to see how it went and for more details.

Source: Neowin, Microsoft, Engadget

Sony Sells PS4 at a Loss

Sony has now said that they will not make more than they spent on the production of the PS4 when it comes to the selling price  That's right, they are selling all of their initial PS4 units at a loss. There is some consolation for them though, and that is because of the profits made from the games and the PlayStation Plus memberships should make back the cash quickly.

Sony isn’t saying how much of a loss it will incur per console, but the loss will apparently easily be recouped after, or even during that initial hardware sale. That isn’t just because a PS Plus subscription is more important for this generation, but Ito suggested developing games for the system will cost less, too. So while games retain their $60 price point, they should cost less than PS3 games did to create, meaning higher profits per title.

Source: Geek

BlackBerry Had a Bad Few Days

BlackBerry started off last week by announcing their new Z30 5" device and I said that I didn't think this was the device that BlackBerry "needed".  It appears that is didn't inspire any confidence at all and with all the gloom of the last few months, they expect their Q2 net operating loss to be over $950 Million.  Ouch.  In turn, they will be laying off at least 4,500 jobs in order to try and balance their budget.  Anytime you start making major workforce slashes like this, you're dying and the end is inevitable.  

Today, the company confirmed the latter rumor, announcing that it will lay off around 4,500 employees as a part of a plan to reduce its operating expenditures by half over the next year. The plan's necessitated by an expected Q2 2014 net operating loss of almost one billion (955-995 million) dollars, driven primarily by the lackluster sale of its BB10 phones -- the company will take a pre-tax charge of $930-960 million which can be attributed mostly to the failure of the Z10 to sell.

Source: Engadget


On a positive note, BBM for Android and iPhone was set to roll out and this caused some excitement.  Unfortunately the demand on the few BlackBerry Messenger servers that are still running was so high, that the service crashed a lot and it was down.  BlackBerry has since halted the rollout.  This is just more gasoline on the fire at the BlackBerry HQ and is signaling the end in my opinion.

Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.

Source: InsideBlackBerry

Valve (Again) Teases Possible Steam Box Announcement

Valve is once again dropping hints on something coming.  They have launched a teaser page for "Steam in the Living Room" and it looks like we could finally be getting some hardware from the software company, Valve.  There aren't much for details yet, and this isn't the first time we've been teased.  At CES last year, it looked like Digital Storm was working with Valve pretty heavily, and there have been other companies as well.  Then again, maybe this is all just another pitch for their "Big Picture" experience in the existing Steam client.

“Details are scant at this point, however. "Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user interface tailored for televisions and gamepads," the site says. "This year, we've been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living room."

Source: CNET

BioShock Sweetness

It's not often we post sales up as a main news feature, but this one deserves a bit of a look.  If you desire to play the BioShock franchise, you'll be happy to note that Amazon has amazed us once again by offering the whole franchise for download at the low price of $19.99.  Sadly this deal is limited to PC Gamers.  Still, this is a great deal and is worth spreading the word.

Video games can cost a fortune, but if you're just a little patient, sometimes an opportunity comes around to obtain hot titles for next to nothing. For example, Amazon has a screaming deal going on the entire Bioshock trilogy -- Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite -- for only $19.99 until September 25.

Source: Amazon

iPhone 5S Gets Fingerprint Hacked By Shakey Man

The iPhone 5S hasn't been out very long and already the biometric security system has been bypassed.  When I say the security has been bypassed, I don't mean the bug that allows anyone to make calls without even unlocking the phone.  I mean that the "advanced multi-dermal sampling" of the fingerprint sensor is a joke, a hoax and a lie.  Apple led you to believe that the sensor sampled more than just the external pattern of your fingerprint, while in truth it can be unlocked merely by playing McGuyver.  Wow.

Video Game Releases for End of September

If you're not playing GTA 5, and want some new entertainment.  We have the video game release list of the week up for your enjoyment.  This week there are a lot of new titles for the PC, but none of them are as exciting as the new Scribblenauts game.  The new one takes DC comics heros and puts them in the game for your officially-licensed enjoyment.  Take a look at the entire list and get your game on.

  • Alien Rage (download)
  • Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (download - $15)
  • Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (download)
  • Day One: Garry's Incident (download - $20)
  • Fall Weiss (download - $25)
  • FIFA 14 (download)
  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord (download - $5)
  • Meadowland (download)
  • Nihilumbra (download - $10)
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ (download - $10)
  • Rise of Venice (download - $40)
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
  • Shadow Warrior (download - $40)
  • TimeLines: Assault On America (download - $15)
  • Train Simulator 2014 (download)
  • Alien Rage (XBLA)
  • Armored Core: Verdict Day
  • FIFA 14
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
  • Alien Rage (PSN)
  • Armored Core: Verdict Day
  • FIFA 14
  • Lone Survivor: Director's Cut (PSN)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
  • The Mark of Kri (PS2 Classic)
  • Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri (PS2 Classic)
  • PES 2014 and Alien Rage
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
  • FIFA 14
  • Lone Survivor: Director's Cut (PSN)
  • Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi
  • Mystery Murders: The Sleeping Palace (eShop)
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure


Souce: ShackNews


Quickoffice now free

Quickoffice is a popular "office" program for Android and iOS which allows you to easily open and edit office documents and in the past has cost $20 bucks. Now that Google has acquired Quickoffice a few months back they've decided to make it free to anyone who has a Google account and saves you having to buy a Office365 subscription or pay for some other "office" suite. Quickoffice might not be the most powerful office suite out there, but the price sure is right. Arstechnica has more details.

Today Google made Quickoffice—its app for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents—free to all users of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

Quickoffice was bought by Google a year ago, and it has provided editing of Microsoft Office documents in their native formats on mobile devices for more than a couple of years. The app cost $20, but Google made it free to companies that are paying subscribers of Google Apps for Business. With today's update, it's free to everyone with a Google account, whether you pay for a Google Apps subscription or not.

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