PlayStation Now’s creator explains how game streaming came to Sony

PlayStation Now at CES 2014

With the PlayStation Now beta just opening to a larger chunk of the gaming population, you might be wondering how the streaming service came to Sony in the first place. Why did Gaikai drop its entire PC audience to join a console maker? Thankfully for you, Gaikai chief David Perry has just shed light on that transition in an interview with GameInformer. Simply put, streaming on computers was becoming a nightmare for Perry’s team before the 2012 acquisition. The sheer number of compatibility problems was “massively reducing” the number of titles Gaikai could support, and the software required increasingly elaborate tricks (such as image recognition) just to run at all. The company wanted to escape these headaches by going to a platform with standardized elements like controllers and copy protection. When Sony came knocking, it quickly became clear that the PlayStation was a good match — it solved many challenges in one fell swoop.

Perry is more than willing to talk about game streaming’s present and future as well. He notes that the PlayStation Now test run has been going smoothly, and that it exists primarily to give his crew freedom to experiment with new techniques before Now is ready for primetime. It won’t just be a matter of refinement in the future, though. Besides introducing social features like Share Play, Perry is hoping to expand device and game support; he has already promised streaming for older PlayStation releases. He’d ideally support “every game ever,” so long as the technology allowed it. In the long run, he also sees the cloud enabling software that isn’t possible when you’re limited by the processing power of a box in your living room. “You could just completely let [developers] go wild and free,” he says. That’s not likely to happen soon, but it’s good to know that streaming could improve the quality of the games you play, not just how you play them.

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Sony PlayStation 3 (late 2012)

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    Destiny is coming!


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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/david-perty-talks-playstation-now/?ncid=rss_truncated

How would you change ASUS’ Transformer Book TX300?

Dana Wollman is so well known as Engadget’s in-house laptop expert that, during QA sessions on the Engadget Podcast, people would call her “Laptop Lady.” Points off for not learning her name, but the honorific still stands to this day, and her opinion on all things portable is one of the most revered in the business. When we placed ASUS’ Transformer Book TX300 on her desk (before running away to a safe distance), she found that there wasn’t much point to owning one. For a start, a 13-inch slate-plus-keyboard combo isn’t really better than a transforming laptop like the Yoga 13 or XPS 12. The lack of a Wacom digitizer means that pen input was a no-go and launching just before Haswell seemed like bad timing. Still, the question we’d like to put to you is simple: if you bought one, what would you change about it?

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ASUS Transformer Book

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    How would you change ASUS Transformer Book TX300?


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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/hwyc-transformer-book/?ncid=rss_truncated

Windows 9’s Preview May Not Touch Down Until October


Remember that upcoming Windows 9 event that Microsoft is hosting on September 30? It might not mark the actual release of Windows 9’s technical preview, as was long expected. According to Paul Thurrott, that bit of code might not become available until October.

So put your laptop down and pout, because the wait might be longer than you expected.

Component to his report on the release situation, Thurrott dug into a host of other Windows 9 topics, most importantly confirming the riff that the update cycle for the hoi polloi will indeed be quite rapid. Here’s Paul [Emphasis original]:

Microsoft has created a new Windows Insider Preview Program so that users can get more frequent preview builds and provide feedback to the company.

Once you’ve signed up, you can use the Windows Feedback app to navigate through a menu of top-level choices (Recent Applications, Apps and Windows Store, Hardware and Devices, Download and Install, Internet Explorer, and so on) and then fine-tune it further (Mail, Maps, Messaging, Movie Moments, Music, etc.). You can search to see whether other Insiders have given similar feedback, add more details to that feedback, or start your own, adding text and screenshots as needed.

That’s good, given that Windows 9 will — and I deign here to make a prediction about a Microsoft product —  generate spirited public debate.

The September 30 event is only the first of what Microsoft intends to be a number of events that will see the company break out its new operating system across different user groups. That is evinced in the simple fact that the coming event is, by the company’s own banner, aimed at the enterprise. Presumably, consumers are next.

As I’ve noted a few times, the initial era of Windows 8 is now all but over, at least in title. Much of what the controversial operating system brought to Windows will remain, albeit under a hopefully smoother regime of integration. We’ll see.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/mIgiYVezuBE/

Sound off! Is the end of the portable MP3 player nigh?

Sound off! Is the end of the portable MP3 player nigh?

It’s no secret the number of iPods that Apple has sold has significantly decreased over the last few years. As our smartphones have become more powerful and the types of tasks they’re capable of have grown, there’s been less of a need for having a device dedicated to only one type of activity. Is a dedicated portable MP3 player past its prime or does this type of device still have some life left? Visit the Engadget forums and let us know if you think the MP3 player can be saved.

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    Hey guys have you seen this Apple's iPod video ?


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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/sound-off-is-the-end-of-the-portable-mp3-player-nigh/?ncid=rss_truncated

The Videogame History Museum has found a home in Frisco, Texas

A Neo Geo setup in the Videogame History Museum's tour

Making a pilgrimage to the Videogame History Museum has been tough so far; most of its collection is in storage, and what little you do see has been going on cross-country tours. Pretty soon, though, it will have a permanent public display. A Frisco, Texas community board has approved a deal to give the Museum a 10,400 square foot location inside the city’s Discovery Center by this April. That’s not gigantic — a little larger than a baseball diamond — but it means that you can easily revisit some of the consoles that defined your youth. This venue is just the start, for that matter. After launch, the founders hope to raise enough cash from corporate sponsors to get a far larger base of operations. While Frisco isn’t the easiest place to reach unless you live in the Dallas area, it sure beats hoping that the existing nomadic exhibit will eventually reach your ‘burg.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/videogame-history-museum-gets-frisco-home/?ncid=rss_truncated

Feedback Loop: Kickstarter refunds, Sony A7 impressions, and more!

Get ready for your weekly dose of community goodness from the Engadget forums. The latest edition of Feedback Loop is here. We talk about failed Kickstarter projects and discuss whether or not there should be refunds, dish on Sony’s full-frame shooter, share our favorite features of iOS 8, and try to find the best console to play Destiny with our friends. Head past the break to talk about all this and more with your fellow Engadget readers.

Should failed Kickstarter projects offer refunds?

Neal Stephenson’s eagerly anticipated sword fighting game, Clang, recently met an untimely demise. It originally started as a Kickstarter project – and while there’s no obligation to return backers’ hard earned cash, Stephenson said that refunds will be offered to those who ask. Kris wonders whether failed Kickstarter projects should be obligated to provide refunds. Have you been particularly burned by a project that you backed? Would a refund have made things better? Share your own experiences in the Engadget forums.

Quick Impressions of the Sony A7

The Sony A7 is one impressive camera, stuffing a full frame sensor into a fairly lightweight and portable body. Sadly, it’s hard to justify the cost to mere mortals who may only have a passing interest of photography. That said, I was lucky enough to take the A7 for a stroll through Southeast Asia. Check out my impressions and let me know if you have any questions about this awesome full frame shooter.

Favorite features of iOS 8

Apple’s newest operating system (and phones) are finally here. Have you updated your devices with the latest and greatest? Share you thoughts on the latest addition to the iOS family right here – and make sure you leave a review, too.

Which console is best to play Destiny?

Met wants to spend some quality time with Bungie’s recent blockbuster game but needs some advice on which console he should get. Does the Xbox One have any advantage over the PS4? Or should he just get the same console that all his friends have? Head over to the discussion and help him decide.

That’s all this week! Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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Apple iOS 8

An Early Investor Offers Some Lessons From Alibaba’s Evolution


GGV Capital co-founders Thomas Ng and Joel Kellman got to know Jack Ma in 1999, in the early days of Alibaba when the company was just starting up in a small apartment in Hangzhou, China.

Fifteen years later, firm co-founder and managing director Hany Nada can only marvel at what his partners’ investment has wrought. Although no longer a major player in the company’s fate, GGV Capital was witness to the company’s earliest days, and watched how Jack Ma parlayed his marketplace for buyers and sellers into a global business which spans web services, payments, e-commerce, online-to-offline shopping, a mobile operating system, along with investments in ride-sharing companies, online video companies, music streaming services and much more.

“When we first met Jack, his vision was about making the pie as big as possible,” says Nada. It’s a sentiment that Ma has carried from his earliest days as an entrepreneur to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where in an interview with CNBC he said:

“Today what we got is not money what we got is the trust from the people. Millions of small businesses, so many shareholders. I am very honored and so excited because when you see these shareholders, the responsibility I’ve been thinking about the next five to ten years, how I can make sure these shareholders are happy,” Ma told CNBC.

GGV Capital made 40 times its original $8 million investment in Alibaba, which managed to boost the firm’s first fund’s returns to four times the capital invested (without Alibaba the firm still would have returned two-and-a-half times the capital committed).

Nada says the return would not have been possible if Ma had not been had the spirit of inclusion that extends beyond his vision for his company’s customers but to its other executives and (at least initially) its partners as well.

That includes the somewhat tumultuous relationship between Alibaba and Yahoo, whose $1 billion investment in 2005 into the Chinese e-commerce company Nada still considers the most successful investment by a Western company in China.

“Most tech companies that are trying to go into China… they just do it wrong,” says Nada. “They spend hundreds of millions of dollars and have a local competitor outmaneuver them.”

Yahoo made a very successful and astute observation, says Nada, which was the company’s decision to enlist a strong partner to enter China’s market. “The biggest lesson [from Alibaba]… if you want to be successful in Asia it has to be through a strategic investment like the one Yahoo did with Alibaba.”

Nada thinks that it’s hard for a foreign company to gain significant traction in China because the Chinese ecosystem is so protected. However, Chinese companies have an equally difficult time entering international markets because of the cultural differences between nations. What is certain, says Nada, is that Ma and his executive team have only begun to test the waters in the U.S.

“They’ve done dozens of investments in the U.S.,” says Nada. “Some have been made public and some have not… They haven’t made their major push yet. Once they figure out and commit to a vision, they’re going to execute and they’re going to execute something big.”

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/JvZ4s9gXeGs/

Don’t Let iOS 8’s Accidental Selfie Feature Ruin Your Life


Who has already sent an accidental selfie in iOS 8’s Messages app?

I did.

This one:

Screenshot 2014-09-21 14.42.56

Not great.

I’m late to the game when it comes to iOS 8. Many of my fellow tech journalists weaseled their way onto the beta version of the operating system, but out of laziness, or perhaps a feigned belief that I can stay away from punditry of any kind, I normally wait to get the new version of Apple’s mobile OS with the public. iOS 8 was the same.

On Wednesday, I stared at my iPhone screen with the rest of the huddled masses, waiting for the coveted new OS to finally arrive. I fell asleep with my phone plugged in, safely connected to Wifi, and slowly updating.

The new Messages app in iOS 8 represents a big shift for Apple. Though the company’s own messaging platform has shifted closer and closer to platform-agnostic chat apps over time (with the introduction of iMessage itself, as well as conventions like Read Receipts), iOS signifies the biggest push towards current social apps and communications apps.

For instance, iMessage in iOS 8 now lets you send voice memos and videos that expire unless you choose to keep them. These features are built into the new keyboard, with an icon on the right that you can hold down to record audio, and a familiar camera button on the left that is slightly more tricky.

If you tap this camera button, you are given the same options that you’ve always been given: Choose from Camera Roll or Take Photo or Video. If you hold the button down, however, two second buttons emerge: the top button is a camera and the button to the right is a red, circular record button. As The Verge points out, this behavior of holding down your thumb to send a photo or video is highly reminiscent of Snapchat.

Once you hold the button, you can release and press the camera or record button or simply slide your finger over to those buttons to take a pic or video.

But here’s the rub.

With both videos and voice memos, iMessage lets you review the content before sending it. You can play it back and then choose to delete or send it off into the world for other peoples’ viewing and judging pleasure.

With still pictures, however, the photo is automatically sent the second your finger releases the camera button.

Cut to me, waking up for the first time to iOS 8, and excitedly toying around with the new iMessage. I open up a conversation and start fiddling with the voice memos, safely staying in strict “draft” territory and playing back silly little audio notes. I then venture to the left, where my camera shortcuts live.

And before I can even realize it, I’ve sent out this:

Screenshot 2014-09-21 14.42.56

I’m sure many of you are far more clever than I am, but if it helps anyone avoid my own mistakes, heed this warning: The camera shortcut in iMessage will automatically send photos the moment you release the shutter button.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/oM9mGyDWG4k/

Home Depot reportedly got warnings about its data security in 2008

Home Depot worker takes inventory

Home Depot may have only recently had to cope with a massive data breach, but it reportedly knew that it had to step up its computer security much, much earlier. The New York Times claims that there had been calls for tougher safeguards as far back as 2008, and that the big-box store has been lax about protecting its network for “years” despite plenty of warnings from its security team. It didn’t watch for unusual activity, infrequently scanned for weak points and ran antivirus tools from 2007. Even a network manager hired in 2012 went to prison this year for disabling systems at his previous job — not something Home Depot would have necessarily known about at the time, but still a problem.

For its part, the retailer says it’s running “robust security systems” and has closed off attack avenues by both encrypting its cash registers and embracing chip-based payments. It’s also reportedly meeting credit card standards that let it safely skip certain vulnerability scans. The network updates should help prevent any future data disasters, but the real question is whether or not Home Depot will do more to thwart hackers in the future. If it simply repeats history and doesn’t adapt to new threats, your payment info could still be at risk.

[Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/home-depot-security-problems/?ncid=rss_truncated

With Cyberith’s Virtualizer, you can run around wearing an Oculus Rift (video)

There was no shortage of VR headsets at the Tokyo Game Show this year — but that didn’t stop the lines forming endlessly over the weekend. Hidden, at least slightly, in Hall 8 was Cyberith, demonstrating their now successfully crowdfunded VR gaming mat, the Virtualizer. It pairs a second-generation Oculus Rift headset with three different sensor arrays, which, with the assistance of a low-friction mat and some “rental socks” from the Cyberith team, we got to test it out. How does it work and (most importantly) when can the rest of you play it? Well, for the latter, a commercial product is planned for launch in 2015 and for the former, we’ll let the founders do some of the explaining in a quick video after the break. We’ll fill you in on the rest.

Cyberith Virtualizer hands-on at TGS 2014

Running while strapped into the Virtualizer takes some skill — we weren’t entirely satisfied with our zombie-like gait. That said, we didn’t realize this until we saw the video above: the team is getting the immersion part very right. To ensure you’re able to rotate around and slide-jog in any direction, the wiring for the Oculus Rift headset is attached to an arm, meaning no wire-based mishaps, and making it feel kind of wireless — even though it’s still very much tethered.

Let’s break down the sensors at work inside the Virtualizer itself: there’s six holes in the flat base plate, with optical sensors tracking your feet. As they trace over these holes, the computer does the math to work out which way you’re attempting to virtually go. These sensors also work in tandem with those found in the ring that goes around your torso, monitoring the positioning and adjusting your in-game movement to match. The clever thing about Cyberith’s gaming setup, however, is the third sensor group, inside the trio of pillars keeping that torso ring up. Inside, sensors also monitor the height of the player — and because it’s sensor based, crouching becomes less of a toggle-based function, but something that could (depending on games that choose to use it) be an analogue range of motion.

Playing a demo inside the system was, well, fun. The horror-based demo we (literally) walked through, however, didn’t entail any sort of in-game controls: movement was all done through your legs and we liked the fact that you could also walk backwards, once you got the knack of walking-jogging on the spot. Depending on the movement speed of your feet, this directly translates to the game, although turning gently while moving appears to be something that needs a little training. This particular game wasn’t compatible with virtual movement, so we couldn’t crouch while strapped into the manbaby-bouncer, but Cyberith informs that it’s working to add full support to all movements inside virtual gaming worlds — and other VR-powered projects. Although you’re strapped into the thing, it doesn’t drag or weigh you down that much, as the pillars around the ring keep it supported for you. Kickstarter shipments are scheduled to arrive in March 2015 and to see some early demos of what they’re already working on, we’d advise taking a look at the team’s crowdfunding pitch below. 180-degree mid-game jumps are the future of gaming. We hope.

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Oculus VR Rift

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    Facebook just bought Oculus VR...


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    What excites you about the prospect of VR?


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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/21/cyberith-virtualizer-hands-on-vr-mat/?ncid=rss_truncated