Monthly Archives: November 2012

Microsoft’s new XBox to be out for Christmas 2013


It seems that with no major new games console out since 2006, things are beginning to move forward.

The WiiU has been the most recent new games console. I still have to try out the new controller, but it does look good.

Now word is that the next version of Microsoft’s Xbox video-game machine is scheduled to be available for the holiday season in 2013.

The new device is planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales, said a source for Bloomsberg.

Sony are also planning to release an updated PlayStation at somepoint.

The current Xbox 360 is still proving popular, selling 750,000 over the week around Thanksgiving.

The new console is expected to simply be called Xbox and is expected to have “four hardware cores, each divided into four logical cores” and 8GB of RAM.

The next Xbox will also support Blu-Ray discs, according to Gizmodo, feature directional audio, TV output and input, have an “innovative controller” and introduce Kinect 2.0. Supposedly, AR glasses like Google Glasses will be released in later stages of the next Xbox.


3D Print Your Own Electronic Devices

The World of 3D printing is slowly creeping more and more into the real world.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques (subtractive processes) which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting and drilling.

3D printing is usually performed by a materials printer using digital technology. Since the start of the twenty-first century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially.

The technology is used in the fields of jewelery, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others items – Wiki

The next stage appears to be in the form of printing your own electronic devices. Up until now you could print out things like mobile phones and remote controls, but they were just models and would not work. Now research at the University of Warwick has come up with a new material, Carbomorph, which means you can now print out electronic components that work.

The Star Trek Replicator gets one step closer.

Check out the full press release below: Read the rest of this entry

Microsoft may have their own Project Glass in development

Google’s Project Glass plans on bringing a HUD augmented reality type feel to a pair of glasses. If it works out it could well be a game changer, but there is still a long way to go.

In the meantime it appears that Microsoft have their own version of Project Glass on the way. The news came to light from a Patent Microsoft had applied for.

Unlike Google’s version, which is planned to be worn all the time, Microsoft appear to want their device to enhance live experiences such as sports or concerts. This would consist of text and audio overlays to the event as you watch it.

It seems to be a bit more of a realistic approach than that of Google’s Project Glass.


London Tube Users To Have Free WiFi In 2013 From EE

During the London Olympics 2012 Virgin Media provided free WiFi for uses of the London Tube. This will stay in place until the end of 2012.

However, the UK’s first 4G provider, EE (they of the Kevin Bacon adverts) have got a deal in place to use Virgin’s underground WiFi infrastructure going into 2013.

The news was mentioned on EE’s Twitter, but was swiftly taken down. This is what the Tweet said at 8.02am today, November 21:

“Travel on the tube? From early 2013, EE customers will be able to get WiFi access on the London Underground at no extra cost. Details soon.”

Luckily Engadget spotted it.

The deal will add to EE’s access to the country-wide collection of BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots.

There are also rumours that other providers will end up using Virgin’s infrastructure meaning the possibility of more free WiFi for tube users next year.

Read the rest of this entry

Evolution of the Mobile Phone

NTT docomo celebrates its 20th anniversary with an exhibition showcasing the evolution of
mobile phone culture starting from 1987 to the present day.


Google have an Augmented Reality Game

Ingress transforms the real world into the landscape for a global game of mystery, intrigue, and competition.

Our future is at stake. And you must choose a side.

A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us.

“The Enlightened” seek to embrace the power that this energy may bestow upon us.

“The Resistance” struggle to defend, and protect what’s left of our humanity.

Install Ingress and transform your world.

The World is the Game
Move through the real world using your Android device and the Ingress app to discover and tap sources of this mysterious energy. Acquire objects to aid in your quest, deploy tech to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of the Enlightened or the Resistance.

The struggle is being played out globally. Track the progress of players around the world, plan your next steps, and communicate with others using an Intelligence map.

What is the Niantic Project?
Is this just a game? An Investigation Board ( filled with cryptic clues and secret codes awaits. The story evolves everyday. Powerful secrets and game tech are there to be unlocked.

Form Alliances
The struggle to save the planet spans the entire world. Groups of people acting together can be more effective than individuals acting alone. Cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory.

NOTE: This app is optimized for smartphones, not tablets.

Join the investigation:

NASA May Be Building A Moon Base

It has been many years since Man last walked on the Moon.

Now that the US Election has taken place and Obama is still in the White House, it appears that NASA have big plans.

The space agency are planning to set up a manned outpost beyond the moon’s far side, both to establish a human presence in deep space and to build momentum toward a planned visit to an asteroid in 2025.

The Outpost, or Gateway Spacecraft, would house a small astronaut crew and function as a staging area for future missions to the moon and Mars.

The Outpost would be situated at a Lagrangian point, a place where the gravitational pull of two large bodies—in this case the Earth and the Moon—are at an equilibrium. NASA wants to put its base at Earth-Moon L-Point 2, on the far side of the Moon, according to reports from several news sites.

That would place the spacecraft about 277,000 miles from Earth and about 38,000 miles from the Moon’s surface.

In order to spread the costs this could end up being a joint venture with the European Space Agency.


Microsoft drop a wall on passers-by to show off their Live Tiles

This film was shot downtown Oslo (Norway) to highlight one of the key innovations of Windows 8: Live Tiles. Showing the preview functionality of Live Tiles made for an evening to remember.

Designed by McCann Oslo, the campaign highlights the ability of the “Live Tiles” tool on Windows 8 to find and display real-time information from apps.

Watch the video below. Read the rest of this entry

Elite May Return Thanks To Kickstarter

Those of you of a certain age may well have fond memories of the old video game, Elite. I remember playing the space trading game for all hours. Totally addictive and enjoyable.

You could go anywhere, trade anything and do what you wanted. Now one of the original creators, Dave Braben, wants to bring the game back.

They have set up a Kickstarter page to get the funding to make it a reality so head on over and donate.

Here is what he had to say about the project:

“Elite” has gone down in history as one of the most successful games of the 1980s. It was the first ‘open world’ game in which the player can freely roam a vast space. It was the first true 3D game too, and set many other benchmarks. Ian Bell and I set out to make a game for ourselves rather than for some imagined market. We were sick of games with three lives then a new life every 10,000 score; we wanted something new.

Mostly Harmless.

The original “Elite” fitted into around 22K of memory, out of a total of 32K on the BBC Micro Model B computer on which it was launched (8K was needed for the screen, 2K for the system). This is less than a single typical email today. In it were eight galaxies each with 256 star systems. Each planet in those systems had its own legal system, economy and so on. Clearly some magic had to happen to fit it into 22K, and that magic was procedural generation.


“Frontier” followed in 1993 on 16 bit computers, and pushed these procedural techniques further. In it I made a model of the whole of the Milky Way galaxy with all 100,000,000,000 or so star systems, and many more planets and moons, each of which you could visit. It is something I am really proud of, as it was as scientifically accurate as I could make it, and provided a great backdrop for a game. I loved the richness of the galaxy, but with the benefit of hindsight I think the way the ships flew detracted from the joyous immediacy of those in “Elite”.


Imagine what is now possible, squeezing the last drop of performance from modern computers in the way “Elite” and “Frontier” did in their days? It is not just a question of raw performance (though of course these elements will make it look gorgeous), but we can push the way the networking works too – something very few people had access to in the days of Frontier.

Frontier Developments, the company I founded in January 1994 (and whose first product was a version of the “Frontier” game for the CD32 console), is now a very well established game development company with 235 people in the UK and Canada, with its own technology and tools and a great team of game developers. We have a long track record of delivering high quality games on time and to budget, both published by ourselves and through big publishers like Microsoft, LucasArts, Atari, and Sony.

Elite: Dangerous is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time. The next game in the Elite series – an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, but this time you can play with your friends too. I want a game that feels more like the original “Elite” to fly, and with more rapid travel (to allow for the multi-player nature of the game) – so you travel quickly using local ‘hyperspace’ travel rather than by fast-forwarding time – but with the rich galaxy of Frontier – and more, so much more.

I’ll be frank – we have had a couple of false starts on this over the years, where progress wasn’t as good as I wanted. Also, understandably, other projects have been prioritised – projects with announced dates or other commitments. Up to now “Elite” has been worked upon by a small team as a ‘skunk-works’ activity in the background as availability permits. Nevertheless, we have been preparing; laying the technology and design foundations for when the time is right. And that time is now.

Apple Sells Three Million iPads in Three Days

Apple today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPad(R) mini and fourth generation iPad–double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models sold for the third generation iPad in March. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the US and in many more countries later this year.

“Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We’re working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand.”
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