Monthly Archives: June 2013

Microsoft gives up on the Xbox One DRM and used-game restrictions

Xbox One

It appears that Microsoft have been listened to the almost unanimous complaints aimed at their restrictive digital rights management (DRM) they had announced for the Xbox One.

To be honest they had to reverse their decision or take a huge hit in sales.

Their new stance is as follows:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

Don Mattrick, Head of Xbox, had this to say: Read the rest of this entry

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Google Loon – Balloons could bring the Internet to everyone

Google Project Loon balloon on display at Airforce Museum in Christchurch

Google have recently been testing balloons in the hope of building a global network enabling internet access and mobile signals around the world.

Called Project Loon, Google launched 30 test balloons in New Zealand with 50 testers trying to connect to our balloons.

Head of the project, Mike Cassidy, had this to say about it.

We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below. It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. As a result, we hope balloons could become an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved areas, and for helping with communications after natural disasters. The idea may sound a bit crazy—and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon—but there’s solid science behind it.

Read the rest of this entry

First look and details on the PS4

PS4 controller

Sony announced the new PS4 at E3 and it appears they have looked at what Microsoft were offering with the XBoxOne and the problems people had with that.

First up, unlike the XBoxOne the PS4 has no online requirements or used games DRM. It is also region free. It will cost US$ 399 ($100 less than the XBoxOne), Canada$ 399, € 399, and £ 349. It is available for pre-order.

The video below shows how you can share your games on the PS4.

PS4 has a 500GB hard drive which, like the PS3, will be upgradeable.

PlayStation®4 (PS4™) (CUH-1000A series) computer entertainment system will come in “Jet Black” color and will be available this holiday season in North America and Europe at a recommended retail price (RRP) of US$ 399, Canada$ 399, € 399, and £ 349.

The design of PS4 made its public debut at the PlayStation® press conference on June 10, 2013, which kicked off the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. PS4 will also be displayed this week at the Sony Computer Entertainment America booth at E3, one of the world’s largest video game exhibitions.

The internal design architecture of the PS4 system, from the optical drive and power supply unit to the cooling mechanism, has been pursed to keep the body as slim and light as possible to dramatically enhance the flexibility of the design.
Read the rest of this entry

Ferrite – Interactive Ferrofluid Sculptures

If you are looking for a new desk toy to procrastinate with then Ferrite could be for you.

The ultimate desktop accessory, Ferrite provides hours of interactive entertainment at work and at home.

Explore magnetism like never before!

Lines of flux from the two included custom magnetic styli are easily viewed through the crystal clear borosilicate glass.

A sleek CNC’d aluminum base provides stability, ensuring a stunning presentation of the contained Ferrofluid.

The proprietary clear suspension liquid guarantees a long lifetime of stain free, highly detailed spiking action from the fluid; no easy feat!

Launched on Kickstarter, significant design, engineering and development was required to produce this high-tech sculpture. Now available to the public, only a limited number of units of this initial batch will be sold.

Ferrite is a ferrofluid art piece Designed, Manufactured, and Hand Assembled in the USA.

Intended for use by adults age 18 and up.

Using WiFi as a motion sensor interface

WiSee is a novel interaction interface that leverages ongoing wireless transmissions in the environment (e.g., WiFi) to enable whole-home sensing and recognition of human gestures. Since wireless signals do not require line-of-sight and can traverse through walls, WiSee can enable whole-home gesture recognition using few wireless sources (e.g., a Wi-Fi router and a few mobile devices in the living room).

WiSee is the first wireless system that can identify gestures in line-of-sight, non-line-of-sight, and through-the-wall scenarios. Unlike other gesture recognition systems like Kinect, Leap Motion or MYO, WiSee requires neither an infrastructure of cameras nor user instrumentation of devices. We implement a proof-of-concept prototype of WiSee and evaluate it in both an office environment and a two-bedroom apartment. Our results show that WiSee can identify and classify a set of nine gestures with an average accuracy of 94%…

WiSee takes advantage of the technology trend of MIMO, the fact that wireless devices today carry multiple antennas (which are primarily used to improve capacity). A WiSee/WiSee-enabled receiver would use these multiple antennas in a different way to focus only on the user in control, thus eliminating interference from other people.

Source: WiSee