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22Sep/140

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

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.

Sony PlayStation 3 (late 2012)

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    Assassin's Creed III (3)


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    What are your most anticipated games for this holiday season?


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    Operation Finish all the Games, April 2014

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Sony PlayStation 4

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    So, the PlayStation 4.


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    RE: PlayStation 4 or Xbox One: Which game console to buy this holiday


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    Ubisoft's Upcoming Games and TV Projects

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

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22Sep/140

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?

ASUS Transformer Book

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    Asus, others, try to reinvent tablets at Computex 2012


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    Digitizer?


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    How would you change ASUS’ Transformer Book TX300?

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

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22Sep/140

Almost all the sci-fi spaceships you know are on this massive chart

If you regularly follow geek culture, you've probably seen early versions of Dirk Loechel's spaceship comparison chart, which shows the relative sizes of vehicles from science fiction games, movies and TV shows. Well, it's finished -- and it's even more authoritative than the last time around. Get the full-size version and you'll see Babylon 5's Vorlon Planet Killer, Mass Effect's Normandy and seemingly everything in between. The chart even includes a real vessel, the International Space Station -- at 328 feet long, it seems downright puny next to its make-believe counterparts. Some story franchises have better representation than others (EVE is full of colossal ships), and you won't see moon-sized spacecraft like Star Wars' Death Star, but it's otherwise hard to imagine a more complete view of sci-fi transportation.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/sci-fi-spaceship-comparison-chart/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

Watch a tiny robot fly an aircraft nearly as well as a real pilot

Autonomous aircraft are likely to be the future of air travel, but we're not quite there yet; even with autopilot systems in place, most airplanes are designed with human pilots in mind. South Korean researchers may have a clever robotic stopgap, however. Their tiny PIBOT automaton uses a mixture of flight data and visuals to fly using real controls. It still needs intervention shortly before touchdown, but it can otherwise take to the skies as well as many organic air crews -- it may even be a bit better in a few areas, since it uses its camera to align neatly with the runway on takeoff and landing.

This pint-size machine is only flying a simulator right now, and it's certainly not going to captain an airliner any time soon. However, its creators are only getting started. Besides giving PIBOT enough skill to tackle every stage of flight, they're already translating its skill to real (if remote-controlled) aircraft. It's not hard to envision a future where robots stand in for flesh-and-bone pilots in aircraft that can't easily be retrofitted to fly on their own.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/pibot-the-robot-pilot/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

HTC will mark its return to tablets with Google’s Nexus 9

Rumors of an HTC-made Nexus device have swirled for some time, but only recently have details of a possible next-generation tablet started to become apparent. Not long after NVIDIA inadvertently leaked that the Taiwanese company is linking up with Google to launch the Nexus 9, the Wall Street Journal has added even more credibility to reports by stating that HTC engineers have been regularly flying to Google's Mountain View HQ in order to finalize the 9-inch device. As part of a patent lawsuit against Qualcomm and Samsung earlier this month, NVIDIA revealed that it would be providing the muscle for the Android L-powered slate, which is expected to feature its Tegra K1 processor and launch within the third quarter. However, we're now just over a week away from the end of September, so it looks increasingly likely that we'll see something official next month. Remember, Google has a history of scheduling events in October.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/google-htc-nexus-9/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

EE scoops up 58 Phones4u stores

When Phones4u entered administration, it immediately shut all of its doors and put thousands of employees on notice. It didn't take long for Dixons Carphone to secure 800 positions, with Vodafone sweeping in shortly after to buy 140 Phones4u stores and save another 900 jobs. Now, it's EE's turn. The UK's biggest carrier has just announced that it's reached a deal with administrators to buy 58 outlets and bring 359 employees onto its books. It's moving quick too, confirming that it'll open the majority of stores within the next week. Over a year ago, EE began reducing its retail presence after its stores began saturating high streets, but now that it's joined Vodafone in pulling out of deals with Phones4u, the company will need to move quickly to fill the gaps left by its former partner.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/ee-buys-58-phones4u-stores/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

Researchers create a headset to turn your jaw into a tiny power plant

We're no strangers to projects that try to capture the power of the human body, but here's one with a peculiar twist. A pair of researchers from Montreal's École de Technologie Supérieure have cooked up a headset that, while extremely goofy-looking, can harness the power of your mighty jaw muscles while you chew, gab on the phone and stress-grind your teeth into a fine powder.

The secret sauce here are piezoelectric fibers, strands of material that basically convert physical motion into electricity. Those fibers have been fashioned into a chin strap and are lashed to either sides of a pair of earmuffs, and as your mouth moves, the fibers streeeetch and generate power in the process. Alas, the total amount of juice your face will generate comes out to a whopping 10 microwatts a minute - to put that into perspective, that's just a fraction of a fraction of the amount needed to use a bog-standard flashlight. If we're being honest, it's not like the theoretical maximum is all that lofty either. Assuming a totally pure conversation of the mechanical energy your molars make into electricity, we're looking at 7 milliwatts, tops. Here's the thing to remember, though: piezoelectric fibers aren't exactly new, but scientists almost certainly haven't finished pushing the envelope. This insane-looking contraption might not be terribly useful, but hey -- there's always the chance that it's similarly awkward progeny might wind up charging our phones while we talk on them.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/jaw-power/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

IKEA’s taking its low cost solar panels to eight more countries

Remember when IKEA started selling solar panels in the UK despite its famous lack of sunshine? It must have been successful, because company CEO Peter Agnefjäll has just pledged that eight more nations will get the service in the next 18 months. First up is the Netherlands, which will begin offering the gear on October 28th, while Swiss stores will launch just before Christmas. The company's remaining tight-lipped on the other six locations, but we'd imagine the bulk of them will be in neighboring European countries. At the same time, Agnefjäll also pledged that, by 2020, all of IKEA's plastic products will be sourced from recycled plastic or renewable materials as part of a pledge to save 700,000 tons of CO2 each year. Clearly someone's been listening to those clever folks down at the UN.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/22/ikea-solar-eight-more-countries/?ncid=rss_truncated

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22Sep/140

Come spegnere iPhone anche senza tasto

Volete provare a spegnere iPhone senza tasto perché il pulsante Power del vostro melafonino, in alto a destra, si è rotto quindi entrate nel panico perché non sapete spegnere il device? Prima di andare in un centro Apple per sostituire il vostro iPhone, c’è qualche passo da seguire su come spegnere iPhone senza tasto in questa guida e dovreste quindi spegnere/riaccendere il vostro dispositivo anche con il tasto Power che non funziona più o si è semplicemente rotto.

Prima di tutto, per spegnere iPhone senza tasto, bisogna recarvi nella sezione Impostazioni e accedere al menu Generali e poi Accessibilità. Scorrendo la pagina verso il basso, premete su AssistiveTouch e portate quindi la levetta su ON: in questo modo si abiliterà la funzione AssistiveTouch grazie alla quale potrete avere accesso a delle funzioni direttamente dal vostro schermo touch che, in casi normali, si attiverebbero solo attraverso i tasti fisici.

Premete sul pulsante AssistiveTouch, in questo modo un cerchio bianco compare in una parte dello schermo, e selezionate Dispositivo dal menu. Mantenete premuto il pulsante Blocca schermo per qualche istante e, come per magia, comparirà la levetta per lo spegnimento di iPhone. Basterà spostarla da sinistra a destra e il vostro cellulare si spegnerà, proprio come farebbe se utilizzate il tasto Power.

Tuttavia esiste un’alternativa alla guida che vi abbiamo appena illustrata qui sopra. E’ possibile in effetti spegnere iPhone senza tasto una volta che la batteria non abbia più nessuna percentuale di ricarica (l’alternativa più ovvia) o premendo il tasto Power e, simultaneamente, anche sulla parte alta a destra del vostro iPhone. E’ probabile che in alcuni casi si faccia un contatto con il pulsante e che quindi arrivi l’input ad iPhone e che quest ultimo si spenga. In qualsiasi caso procediate, la riaccensione di iPhone una volta spento si farà collegandolo ad una fonte di energia: o tramite corrente con caricatore, o tramite cavo dock su computer.

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Vedi anche:

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5S: il nuovo non vale la pena

Article source: http://www.tecnocino.it/2014/09/articolo/come-spegnere-iphone-anche-senza-tasto/54445/

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21Sep/140

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.

Oculus VR Rift

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    Unique bomb defusing game with an Oculus Rift


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    Facebook just bought Oculus VR...


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    What excites you about the prospect of VR?

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

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