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App Pick - Super Stickman Golf 2

Snapchat hits $10 Billion

Snapchat needed a little more cash and opened itself up for another round of funding from venture capitalists and as a result of the last round of funding has hit a $10 Billion dollar valuation. As of right now Snapchat isn't making any money so raising this money is critical as they work on ways of making money off the Snapchat brand. It seems like the valuation of $10 Billion is crazy, especially for a company that hasn't made any money. It is hard to determine value anymore with some of the crazy buyouts we've seen over the past year or two and now even Microsoft is being to the long list of companies rumored to be interested in acquiring Snapchat. TechCrunch has the story.

We also keep hearing the company is in the process of raising another round of funding. According to one source, the raise will be an over-$100 million Series D to follow the $50 million Series C led by Coatue Management last fall. The new round would value the company at $10 billion, according to our sources.

PS4 and Xbox One are already dated

Crytek's engineers (the ones that just made Crysis 3) are pretty proud of their upcoming game looks on high end hardware, unfortunately they can't run it at full detail on the "next generation" consoles due to the "dated" hardware. It's not surprising that game makers are already making these comments as both the Xbox One and PS4 are both using regular computer components that aren't so impressive when you stack them up against "gaming" computers. I think the fact that consoles makers can't keep up with computer makers is probably a good thing for PC gamers who want the best graphics.

During this year’s SIGGRAPH, Crytek’s Nicolas Schulz and Theodor Mader finally admitted how much more powerful high-end PCs were compared to both current-gen consoles at launch. Obviously this isn’t surprising at all, but it’s at least good to see developers admitting what we already knew.

As Crytek’s Rendering Engineers revealed, when both Xbox One and PS4 were already dated the moment they came out.

“Console hardware was considerably less powerful than high-end PCs at launch” reads Crytek’s SIGGRAPH 2014 presentation.

Upcoming wearable technology

Smartwatches and VR headsets and pretty much any other type of wearable technology have been dominating the headlines for pretty much the entire year. Gadget Advisor has compiled a list of some of the most talked about upcoming wearable technology that you can expect to see hitting store shelves later this year.

Wearable technology has steadily been going mainstream, especially over these past two years. In fact, if you go by market figures, wearable technology may be the next big thing- just like smartphones were in 2008.To put it into perspective, the market value of wearable tech was a measly 6.3 million in 2010. In 2014, this valuegrew by leaps and bounds to reach a staggering (estimated) $ 5.1 billion.

A lot of money is going into research and development of wearable tech as well. Several companies have come up with a slew of outstanding wearable gadgets this year. Here’s a preview of 10 upcoming wearable technology gadgets that you can expect in 2014

The World's Best Mobile OS

The guys over at Digit have come up with test where they've looked at 1000 different parameters of mobile operating systems and try to come up with a winner in terms of usability and features. iOS and Android are obviously included and they've thrown in Windows Mobile and BlackBerry to round out the competition. 

Also included in the review is the ability to set weightings for the categories that you care about and you can figure out what OS is the perfect OS for you.

Head on over to Digit for the full article.

How do you determine what makes a good OS? What makes iOS vs. Android or Windows Phone vs. BB10, or any other such comparison not just about the fanboyism? Is it even possible to arrive at a scientific conclusion to this question? If we look at entire eco-systems, Android and iOS are obvious choices for buyers because of the sheer amount of apps they have available. However, what’s that got to do with an answer to the question, "What’s the best designed OS out of the box?"

Dropbox drops prices

Cloud storage has become the most popular way to keep your date safe and secure as well as synced between your numerous devices. Microsoft and Google have jumped into the market in a big way and have driven the prices down and now Dropbox (one of the first and most popular choice) is responding by offer 1TB of storage for ~$10 bucks a month (which previously only got you 100GB of storage for the same price). Wired takes a closer look at Dropbox over here.

When I talk to folks at Dropbox, they’re eager to tell me about how different people are using its file-sharing service: the musician, the photographer, the professor, the startup founder. They like to talk about new features, like password-protected links and the remote wipe tool that lets you remove files from a lost computer.

But what they save for the end of our meeting, almost like an afterthought, are the two numbers that traditionally meant the most for a data storage service: how many gigabytes you can store, and at what price.

Seagate Ships 8TB HDD

It was just a month ago when we first saw a 6TB launch and now we are already seeing 8TB drives hit the market. They label this as a "cornerstone" for bulk data storage and when you consider that you can put five of these in a Thecus N5550 you've got 40TB of incredible storage capacity. It won't take long before you'll see these in retail channels and this will drive the price of 4TB and 6TB drives very soon.

The 8TB hard disk drive increases system capacity using fewer components for increased system and staffing efficiencies while lowering power costs. With its low operating power consumption, the drive reliably conserves energy thereby reducing overall operating costs. Helping customers economically store data, it boasts the best Watts/GB for enterprise bulk data storage in the industry.

Source: Seagate

Amazon Fire Phone Flop

The Amazon Fire Phone never struck me as a device that would sell well and it appears that I'd am right. There really isn't room for a new device from a company that is offering a somewhat proprietary OS and this proves it. Data suggests that no more than 35,000 Fire Phones have been sold and this isn't surprising to me, but I think Amazon figured it would do better than that. Of course Firefox OS, Ubuntu Phone and others have flopped and the Fire Phone won't be any different.

Amazon famously never gives sales figures for any of the devices it sells, preferring to let its financial results do the talking. Analysts can make estimates of how many devices have been sold, based on their information from sales channels and any guidance the company might give. But it’s not as definitive as, say, the smartphone sales that Apple or BlackBerry include in their financial figures.

Source: TheGuardian

Windows Threshold Preview for ARM

It's nothing new to get a preview of a main Windows OS and we've expected a preview of Windows Threshold for a while now. What we didn't expect is that there was a preview for ARM powered devices as well. This could include a non-pro Surface 3 and will definitely include Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see what devices are supported for the preview and how it will work out. In the past, ARM devices have been notoriously difficult to upgrade to preview versions of Windows.

There will be a separate preview of Threshold running on ARM processors, too. My sources are saying the current target date for that preview is January or February 2015. As the ARM-based version of Threshold -- which should run on both Windows Phones and tablets -- isn't expected to include the Windows desktop, the focus will be on changes Microsoft is making to the Metro-Style Start screen environment.

Source: ZDNet

Apple Rumored to Be Working on an iPad Maxi

We've heard rumors about a larger iPad a few times over the past couple of years, but since Microsoft has made some headway with their new Surface 3 Pro, Apple has to try and jump into that category as well. The new iPad will have a 12.9" screen and offer some pretty incredible resolution (4K or bust) and it should actually be a very decent tablet. The downside to the Apple offering is that if you want laptop functionality, you'll have to pack a whole bunch of accessories that come with the Surface 3 Pro. Let's just hope they don't round out the iPad and iPad Mini with an iPad Maxi.

The new iPad will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Apple currently produces iPads with 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch displays. The Cupertino, California-based company has been working with suppliers for at least a year to develop a new range of larger touch-screen devices, said the people.

Source: Bloomberg

Age of Empires: Castle Siege Free for Windows 8 + WP8

If you want to enjoy some old-school RTS on your Windows phone or Windows 8 machine, you won't have to shell out any money. Microsoft is giving away Age of Empires: Castle Siege as a "Freemium" game. The game will offer in-app purchases to speed up your progress, but if you're patient and are just a casual RTS fan, this game will provide you hours of fun.


Source: AgeOfEmpires

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