Microsoft seems intent on sanding away the Xbox brand’s rough edges before launching the One this November. Following the recent switch from its arcane points system to local currency for digital purchases, Redmond has subtly changed up where you’ll spend that money. What we used to know as the Xbox Live Marketplace is now the Xbox Game Store. It’s clean, simple and we’re pretty sure Sean Parker would approve. Oddly, in the US the web storefront reads “Xbox Games,” but it says “Xbox Game Store” in the UK. Whatever — as long as we can buy real-world presidents for Saint’s Row 4, we’re not too worried about the name of the store.
Filed under: Gaming, Microsoft
Source: Joystiq, Xbox
Alt-week takes a look at the best science and alternative tech stories from the last seven days.
Some things become obsolete, some things rise to live again. Two of our stories over the fold demonstrate new tricks from old dogs. The third? Just, y’know, suggests that we’re all actually from Mars. No biggie. This is alt-week.
Filed under: Science, Alt
As IFA starts to slowly edge its way over the horizon, the product teasers start to rain. We’ve already seen hints from Sony, an outright admission from Samsung, and speculation from HTC. The latest tidbit, comes via ASUS’s Facebook, which suggests it plans to show a new tablet at the event. What can we say about it? Well, odds on it’s another Transformer Pad, running Android, and if you’re into numerology (and consistency), Tegra 4 inside. Coincidentally, an unknown ASUS tablet (pictured after the break) with model number K00C popped up at the FCC last week, revealing little more than the usual WiFi and Bluetooth radios, and a display somewhere around 10-inches. Though the description of it as a Transformer Pad could indicate that whatever its exact configuration, it’s arrival in the US won’t be that far out.
Filed under: Tablets, ASUS
Unlike babies that wail when they’re born, the three new members of Alcatel’s One Touch family have silently slipped into the company’s website. The two handsets, the Idol S and the Idol Mini, follow the original trio revealed at CES this year, sharing similar elements despite the difference in size. Both run Android 4.2, can read microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity and support quad-band GSM, as well as some UMTS (3G) bands, depending on the model.
Idol S, the larger of the two weighs 110 grams, has a 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel screen and DC-HSPA data connectivity. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 4GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear / 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. On the other hand, the Idol Mini has a smaller 4.3-inch 854 x 480-pixel display, weighs 96 grams and comes with HSPA+. It’s equipped with up to 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear / VGA front camera.
Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Mobile
Via: GSM Arena
Source: Idol Mini, Idol S, One Touch Evo HD
Think 150Mbps LTE-Advanced data is quick? KDDI could offer far more bandwidth next year. Nikkei claims that the Japanese carrier plans to upgrade its cellular network to 220 Mbps data as soon as summer 2014. Service would reportedly launch with an Android smartphone, and rely on new wireless technology; it’s not clear whether this entails a faster LTE-A variant or something new. KDDI hasn’t confirmed the rumor, so we wouldn’t consider moving to Japan just yet. If there’s any truth to the claims, however, even NTT DoCoMo’s upgraded LTE could soon feel downright pokey.
[Image credit: TAKA@P.P.R.S, Flickr]
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile
Source: Nikkei (subscription required)
When Motorola announced it’s first flagship since becoming part of Google’s empire, it was to mixed response. But, if evleaks is right, as is often the case, then a forthcoming $100 price-drop could suddenly change all that. Currently, the customisable phone that listens to your every word will set you back $199 on your network of choice, so a drop to $99 on contract — just in time for Christmas — could see this rise up the ranks. Oh, and those wooden covers? Our leaker claims will come with a $50 price tag, for those that want the natural look.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Google
Source: @evleaks (Twitter)
Earlier today, several top designers at HTC were arrested in Taipei under suspicion of fraudulent expense claims, as well as stealing trade secrets ahead of leaving the company to run a new mobile design firm in both Taiwan and mainland China. Five people were interrogated, with the most notable ones being Vice President of Product Design Thomas Chien (pictured above), R&D director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang (who also personally sketched out the One’s design). Their offices were also raided yesterday.
Reports say HTC chairwoman Cher Wang personally filed a complaint to Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau, which has since learned that Chien, Wu and Huang planned to set up a new design company aimed at the mainland Chinese market, and that they would resign after claiming their mid-year bonuses yesterday. The real beef HTC has here is that it apparently caught Chien secretly downloading files related to the upcoming Sense 6.0 UI design, and then bizarrely enough, shared them with external contacts via e-mail.
The trio is also accused of making false commission fee claims for the One’s aluminum chassis design. While the design was done in-house, the three designers partnered with an external
There was a time when Windows Phone 7 users could only look on as WP8-using peers Like status updates on their newer and shinier Facebook app. Not anymore. An update to the Beta version is now ready for download, bringing to the table a user interface similar to the WP8 version that meshes well with the platform’s aesthetics. Those who’ve been waiting for the update forever can hit the source link below — it’s available for both platforms, so WP8-toting folks can also join the party.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Facebook
Source: Facebook (Windows Phone Market)
The latest national security related revelation to come from the documents leaked by Edward Snowden is an account of how offensive computer operations work, and how many there are. The Washington Post reports that in 2011, 231 took place with about three quarters of them against “top-priority” targets, which its sources indicate include Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. Also interesting are details of software and hardware implants designed to infiltrate network hardware, persist through upgrades and access other connected devices or networks. The effort to break into networks is codenamed Genie, while the “Tailored Access Operations” group custom-builds tools to execute the attacks. One document references a new system “Turbine” that automates control of “potentially millions of implants” to gather data or execute an attack. All of this access isn’t possible for free however, with a total cyber operations budget of $1.02 billion which includes $25.1 million spent this year to purchase software vulnerabilities from malware vendors. Get your fill of codenames and cloak-and-dagger from the article posted tonight, or check out the “Black Budget” breakdown of overall intelligence spending.
Filed under: Internet
Source: Washington Post (1), <a class="colorbox" target="_blank"
Around nine months ago Ceton unexpectedly announced plans to support the Android operating system and apps on its $179 Echo Windows Media Center extender, but now that’s not happening. According to the company, Android is “up and running” on Echo hardware in its labs — we saw screenshots back in February — but early beta tests with home users showed a problem with an internal component. That flaw apparently causes a failure to update in some cases, and since efforts to find a workaround have been so far unsuccessful Ceton is shelving the project (presumably alongside its Q DVR). There’s no question this is disappointing for Echo users that expected the feature, but the possibility of a bricked box seem worth avoiding. We haven’t talked about the Echo much since it came out of beta with a fix for 1080i output issues — if you’re an owner, let us know if you were (still) waiting for Android, or if you’ve moved onto another solution like Roku, Ouya or Chromecast.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD
Source: Ceton Blog