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.
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Rise of the Tomb Raider Looks Epic
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.
WTU Episode #332 - Everybody's Got a Price
We have just posted up Episode #332 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Dell buys EMC, Western Digital buys SanDisk, Twitter's CEO tries to buy Employee Happiness and $10 Buys You Ad-Free YouTube. Check out those stories and more at the links below.
Google Play Music Finally Opens Doors to Podcasters
If you live in the USA and are a podcaster, you'll be happy to know that Google is now willing and able to host your podcasts as an extension of the Google Play Music service. This is pretty awesome as podcasts are one thing that Google has really struggled with on their Android platform. They have opened this portal for content producers before the service goes live so that when it launches, it will already be full of content. If you live the USA, you can start uploading you content by visiting the link below.
To that end, today we’re launching a portal for podcasters to start uploading their shows to Google Play Music before we open up the service to listeners. Along with direct searches and browsing for podcasts, the service will connect new listeners with podcasts based on what they’re doing, how they’re feeling, or what they’re interested in. Similar to our contextual playlists for music, this will give podcast fans and new listeners a way of finding and listening to content that’s unique to Google Play Music.
Facebook Goes 2G Tuesdays
If you work for Facebook, you'll be happy to know that they are killing the speed of their internal network - just for you. The reason they are going for 2G Tuesdays is because they want employees to know what it feels like to be connected to a slow network - like much of the world is. Things aren't LTE everywhere and it makes a difference in how you code if you have to load the pages over a slow connection. It's a good idea, but one that seems a little odd. Still, it will make them appreciate their 10GbE connection the rest of the week. On another note, there seems to be a flu-bug that suddenly crops up around the Facebook campus every Tuesday forcing employees to stay home.
For many in the US and other developed nations, it's easy to take for granted the faster 3G and 4G connections that give us seamless streaming video and easy Internet access. Facebook said people living in underdeveloped countries are coming online at "a staggering rate" using much slower 2G connections, which can take up to two minutes to download a single Web page.
LG Offers 200GB microSD, Extra Battery & Cradle
If you're on the fence and don't have a lot of brand loyalty to Samsung, Apple or another major player, LG is hoping they have an offer you can't refuse. They are offering a 200GB microSD card, 3,000mAh battery and a charging cradle with their new V10 flagship device. The device is no slouch all by itself as it boasts some pretty impressive hardware. Still, when you offer a few of these extras, it might just be enough for someone to give Lucky Goldstar a try.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor
- 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi) and 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display (160 x 1040 / 513ppi)
- 4GB LPDDR3 RAM / 64GB eMMC ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
- 16MP rear camera with F1.8 Aperture / OIS 2.0 with 5MP front-facing dual lens
- 3,000mAh (removable)
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / USB 2.0