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App Pick - Smart Measure

Blizzard Releases Classic Games - for Free

Blizzard is doing pretty well with StarCraft, World of WarCraft, Diablo and a bunch of other subscription-only titles they have in their arsenal right now. It's fitting that they wax nostalgic and offer up a few very "classic" games for free. The recently announced that Blackthorne, The Lost Vikings and Rock N' Roll Racing are now available for free. If you want to rock out with this old SNES-era titles, check out the details below.

 

Source: Battle.net

Ubuntu for Android is Dead

Ubuntu for Android looked pretty sweet when they were showing it off a couple of years ago on the then-new Galaxy Nexus. Unfortunately, the project never really took off and without OEMs and a big corporate budget behind the project, it was doomed to fail. As cool as it was, without a solid mobile eco-system behind it, developers aren't going to develop for it and that is another of the many reasons the project was scrapped recently.

Well, Canonical has decided to put the project out to pasture apparently. Buried away in a recent bug report (now hidden from public view) was the fact that "Ubuntu for Android is no longer in development," and thus its landing page should be taken offline. Though some responses from the Canonical team appear to muddy the story, the take away is the same -- active development on Ubuntu for Android has come to a halt.

Source: Engadget

Google Glass Costs $80 to Build, Says Teardown

The wizardry behind Google Glass seems pretty awesome. This is a heads-up display that is almost futuristic in design and in purpose. To top that off, it's still pretty exclusive and very cool. What is not cool is the $1,500 price tag for this unit, and up until recently, I was pretty sure that it cost a lot to build. The latest teardown takes a look and sees that less than $80 of parts and labor actually go into Google Glass. Still, there is a lot of engineering and more involved - still, I think the price is crazy steep.

Originally the Google Glass was only available to “Explorers” better known as developers. Finally Google offered a one day sale on April 15, 2014 allowing the general public to purchase the Glass for a whopping $1500. At Teardown.com we managed to get our hands on one but it didn’t last long. The teardown is underway! Stay tuned for teardown sequence photos, board shots, component identifications, and an estimated bill of materials.

Source: TechInsights

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone that they are already working on a new Call of Duty title after Call of Duty: Ghosts was yet another massive success for the franchise. The next title will be Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and will feature the well-known actor Kevin Spacey in its storyline. Normally video game actors are pretty brutal but I guess thanks to the boatloads of money the Call of Duty franchise has made they can go and splurge a little. Engadget has more.

With Call of Duty being one of the most successful game franchises out there, you know there's always going to be a next one. Well, the first trailer for that game has dropped, revealing its full title of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Kevin Spacey. The House of Cards actor appears to be cast in the role of a powerful, politically driven antihero (how original), but what we're more interested in is the little hints of new and changing gameplay elements. Just as CoD 4: Modern Warfare brought the series out of the WWII era,Advanced Warfare will send us further into the future, as the presence of spider tanks, hover bikes, the 'copters from Avatar and weaponized exoskeletons suggests. 

Sony cuts earnings forecast

Sony has announced that due to the recent sale of their PC division and also due to the "slowing demand" for Blu-ray discs they haven't lived up to their earning expectations last year. Sony was hoping to recoup their initial investment costs from Blue-ray by having many years of great sales but due to streaming services like Netflix Blu-ray just hasn't sold like expected and Sony is now paying the price. I guess we will see what next year brings for Sony but I would guess things aren't going to get better overnight... The Verge has the full story.

Sony is warning shareholders to expect poor financial results for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. The electronics giant previously expected to pull in an operating income of 80 billion yen ($782 million) over the financial year, but is today adjusting that figure down to just 26 billion yen ($254 million).

The sharp reduction — the new operating income estimates are 68 percent down from a February forecast — can be attributed to a pair of somewhat unexpected events. Roughly 30 billion yen ($293 million) of the drop is due to "additional expenses" from Sony's exit from the PC business. The company announced it's to sell its PC division to a Japanese investment fund earlier this year.

Sony develops 185TB Tape Drive

Yes you read the headline right, Sony has come up with the technology to make a 185TB tape drive which will make backing up hundreds of big hard drives much easier. Currently the biggest tape drive available can back up 2.5TB per cartridge so this is a huge jump. Most might assume that tape drives are dead or dying, however last year the tape drive market grew by 13% and could see double that growth this year. ITWorld has the story.

Sony has developed a magnetic tape material that can store data at 148 gigabits per square inch, roughly 74 times the density of standard tapes.

The technology represents the world's highest recording density for the medium, the electronics giant said, and could allow the creation of tape cartridges with a capacity of 185 TB.

By comparison, LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open), the latest generation of magnetic tape storage, has a density of 2 gigabits per square inch, or 2.5 TB per cartridge uncompressed.

Movies charging by screen size?

Dreamwork's CEO has come up with a new idea to help movie companies make (more) money. Jeffrey Katzenberg has suggested that maybe people should pay for movies based on the screen size that they watch it one. For example, a movie screen would cost $15, a 75-inch TV would be $4, and a smartphone would be $2. I think overall that is true already except for movies on your phone where they still try to charge full price. I would guess if prices were more affordable on phones/tablets they might actually get more people buying and/or renting. The Register has the details over here.

Speaking at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, Katzenberg said that in the next ten years he would like to see the movie industry move to the new pricing model. Under his plan, films would be released to cinemas for three weeks and then made available for download, with the price dependent on the hardware used to view them.

"These movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75-inch TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99," he said, Variety reports. "That enterprise that will exist throughout the world, when that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies."

OUYA is Dead, Towerfall Proves It

As much as I wanted the OUYA console to be the dark horse that made other companies sit up and take notice, there is no denying that it hasn't done well - at all. The latest bits that show just how BAD the console is doing is Towerfall sales. Towerfall is a pretty nifty little game that lauched for the OUYA as well as PS4 and PC, and while the game has grossed $500,000 on the PS4, the OUYA has sold only 7,000 copies. Currently the cost of the game for both platforms is $15 a copy, so OUYA sales are at about $105,000; about 20% of the PS4.

Eurogamer contributor Joe Denton adored Towerfall upon its PS4 and PC release last month where it featured some new content and the added "Ascension" subtitle. "This is the type of game that creates memories and dissolves friendships, soundtracked by the pained swears of the defeated and the uproarious cheers of the victors," he wrote in his Towerfall: Ascension review.

Source: EUROGamer

Amazon Launches New Wearable Technology Store

Amazon has embraced the world of wearable technology by making a separate place in their store for you to browse and get the latest battery-guzzling tech for your body. This of course is still in the early stages and there will be a lot better devices and a lot more variety added soon. If you are searching for some pretty cool new tech, Amazon now makes it a whole lot easier to find.

For those wishing to keep an eye on the market, the Editors Corner provides news on the latest devices around, as well as explaining some of the technology behind the products. Amazon aims to attract consumers through a plethora of comparison tools and helpful advice in a bid to make themselves the leading retailer for wearable technology.

Source: Neowin, Amazon

Canada's National Parks Getting WiFi

If you thought the "Great Outdoors" was a place to get away from it all, think again. According to recent reports, the National Parks in the Great White North are soon going to be really hi-tech and get WiFi. At first, there will only be 15-20 sites across our great country that get WiFi, but if they are successful, another 75 sites are planned for the next few years. If you thought the bush was a place that you could run around naked, you may find those images end up on Facebook quicker than you thought. Jason, are you listening?

Now, though, you can go whale watching, kayaking or rock climbing and make your friends jealous by posting the relevant selfies on social media. What’s a holiday unless you can brag about it on Twitter and Facebook?

Source: Time

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