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27Apr/150

Nokia says it’s not going to start making phones again

We hope you weren't counting on Nokia reviving its phone business. The Finnish firm is now bluntly denying claims that it's planning to return to making phones -- there are "no plans" to make or sell any, Nokia says. That's not surprising given both the company's expansion of its networking efforts and an agreement with Microsoft that it won't make phones until at least 2016. Simply speaking, Nokia wouldn't have the cash or permissions to build these devices in the near future. With that said, the company mentioned this fall that it was considering licensing its storied name to a third party handset maker. If you don't mind buying a Nokia-approved phone, there's still a chance (however small) that you'll get your wish.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/nokia-denies-return-to-making-phones/?ncid=rss_truncated

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27Apr/150

‘Gears of War’ looks like the next game to get an Xbox One remaster

Like it or not, ports of classic games to the latest consoles are still all the rage... and Microsoft appears eager to cash in on the trend. Both Kotaku and Polygon report that Microsoft, Black Tusk Studios and Dirty Bomb's Splash Damage are working on a remastered Xbox One version of at least the first Gears of War game. It's not certain just how far this update to the cover-based shooter will go, but it supposedly includes both improved in-game graphics (such as sharper textures and improved lighting) and "reworked cutscenes" courtesy of animation studio Plastic Wax. This sadly wouldn't be a genuinely new game, then, but it wouldn't be surprising if the leaks are on the mark. Gears of War was one of the big money-makers for the Xbox 360 in the console's heyday, and it'd likely attract plenty of gamers with fond memories of blasting Locust drones.

Microsoft Xbox One

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


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    The new Xbox is coming!

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/gears-of-war-xbox-one-leak/?ncid=rss_truncated

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27Apr/150

Jay Z says his Tidal music service is doing just fine, thank you

Jay Z re-launched Tidal with a lot of fanfare, but how well is his artist-owned streaming service doing so far? Just fine, if you ask the man himself. As part of a flurry of Twitter posts, Mr. Carter revealed that Tidal has "over 770,000" subscribers to date. He also scoffs at the idea that Tidal is solely about pampering wealthy artists who want a larger cut -- the rapper argues that Tidal's $60 million in equity value pales in comparison to the billions in musical net worth at rivals like iTunes and Spotify. Every artist on Tidal gets a 75 percent royalty rate, Jay Z says, not just those with a direct stake.

Of course, the stats don't tell the full story. It's not clear how many of those customers were around before Tidal's star-studded reboot, and how quickly the company is growing. And while 770,000 users is respectable number for a fledgling operation, it's a drop in the bucket compared to incumbents. Spotify has 15 million paying customers at last check, for example. Jay Z isn't fazed by the numbers, though. He's quick to note that it took years for the established online music services to get as big as they are today, so there's little doubt that he's in the streaming business for the long haul.

[Image credit: Elsa/Getty Images]

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/jay-z-talks-tidal-subscribers/?ncid=rss_truncated

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27Apr/150

Interactive exhibit honors women in game development

There's a new interactive video game exhibit at The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in California, and it's not showing off just any game-related material. No, it's putting a spotlight on the accomplishments female game developers -- eight women who worked on influential titles, in particular. Those include Roberta Williams (King's Quest), Yoko Shimomura (Street Fighter III) and Kim Swift (Portal). According to the museum's announcement, the exhibit aims to raise awareness about women's contributions to the industry, as they can be easy to overlook in a male-dominated field. "Women are not some oddity in the video game industry," MADE founder Alex Handy told Kill Screen. "We hope this exhibit helps to highlight that fact for the next generation of game developers." The exhibit has been open since the 12th and will run throughout the summer.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/made-women-in-game-development-exhibit/?ncid=rss_truncated

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27Apr/150

Someone got Android Wear running on Samsung’s Gear 2 watch

Don't despair if you bought Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatch, only to realize that you wanted the Android-powered Gear Live instead -- there might be a solution in the works. XDA tinkerer biktor_gj has successfully loaded Android Wear on the Gear 2 after four months of work. It's in a very rough state, as you might imagine. Only touch and rudimentary Bluetooth support are working right now. Android Wear doesn't have an open source project the way that regular Android does, so any support for audio, the motion sensor and other features will likely be tricky to implement. Biktor is hopeful that he'll get those working, however, and even this crude port is proof that your smartwatch isn't necessarily limited to its original software.

Google Android Wear

27Apr/150

Scientists spot runaway galaxies

It's well established that runaway stars and planets are a cosmic reality, but runaway galaxies? Yes, amazingly enough, those exist. Scientists have discovered at least 11 galaxies moving so quickly (up to 6 million miles per hour) that they're escaping the gravitational tug of their host clusters. Most likely, these wayward celestial bodies are the result of three-way interactions -- a small elliptical galaxy tied to a larger counterpart will fly off into space when another big galaxy gets close enough. It could take a long time before astronomers have a better sense of how common stray galaxies might be, but it's already apparent that the universe is messy at its grandest scale.

[Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team]

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/27/scientists-spot-runaway-galaxies/?ncid=rss_truncated

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27Apr/150

Recensione Bloodborne: un capolavoro limitato

GAMEPLAY

Il gameplay, sin dai primi trailer di gioco, era la cosa che più ci premeva provare poiché si mostrava dinamico, veloce e molto più punitivo di quello dei Souls. Iniziamo con l’elencare le analogie tra il gameplay di Bloodborne e quello di un Souls: gli attacchi base sono pressappoco gli stessi ( R1 attacco leggere e R2 attacco pesante). Si corre e si schiva con Cerchio, con X si interagisce e con Quadrato si usano gli oggetti. Iniziamo ora ad illustrare le differenze: la cosa che ci ha fatto penare all’inizio è stato ricordare che ci si cura con il tasto Triangolo e non con il Quadrato ( questa cosa ci ha fatto consumare tantissimi oggetti nelle prime fasi di gioco). Premendo il tasto L1 si trasforma l’arma, il che equivale a prendere l’arma a due mani in un Souls. Avremo un attacco più potente, ma saremo più lenti nell’eseguirlo e non potremo fare parry. Il parry è un’altra cosa che ci ha intrigato e divertito da pazzi, poiché esse si performa con un’arma da fuoco. Sparare ad un nemico mentre questi sta per colpirci farà si che il nemico si inginocchi e sarà pronto a subire il nostro terribile repost ( contrattacco ). Fino a qui sembra tutto normale, vero? Cambiano i tasti, ma le meccaniche sono sempre le stesse, tranne che per un particolare: si può passare dall’arma a una mano all’arma a due mani nel mezzo di una combo e creare un attacco intermedio. Oltre che alla spettacolarità dell’azione, questa cosa serve anche a inserire un ulteriore attacco se ci accorgiamo che non facciamo molto danno con l’arma a una mano, una meccanica che abbiamo apprezzato tantissimo. I nemici sono molto più aggressivi rispetto ai Souls e fanno davvero molto molto danno. il che ci ha fatto morire molte volte, è vero, ma ha anche affinato in fretta le nostre doti da cacciatore. Per quanto riguarda la componente GDR è la classica di un Souls, anche se le statistiche hanno nomi differenti, così come le classi iniziali. Basti sapere che le classi di un tipico gioco di ruolo ci sono tutte e toccherà a noi capire quale sia il guerriero, il mago o il ladro. Ogni arma avrò, poi, requisiti di caratteristiche particolari per essere impugnata; per usare un cannone ( si, in Bloodborne è presente un mini cannone da braccio) oltre alla Forza, servirà anche una buona dose di Abilità. Per quanto riguarda crafting e potenziamento delle armi, il tutto non differisce molto da un Souls. Trovare materiali particolari ci permetterà di potenziare le armi fino ad un certo livello fino a che non troveremo altri materiali più potenti per aumentare ancora il livello della suddetta arma. Nuova introduzione, che va a sostituire gli anelli dei giochi precedenti, sono le Rune, che permettono di donare capacità particolari al nostro protagonista, e le gemme, che incastonate nell’arma aumenteranno alcune statistiche. Tutti questi fattori danno un’enorme profondità a Bloodborne e ci fa anche capire perché gli equipaggiamenti sono tutti molto simili nelle loro difese ( avendo ovviamente le dovute eccezioni) . La differenziazione si hanno soprattutto nel modo in cui si può modellare il proprio attacco per il PVE o per il PVP. La componente online è stata migliorata e ora sarà possibile essere invasi da un altro cacciatore solo se se ne è evocato un altro, in modo da non rendere il gameplay troppo sbilanciato. Infine parliamo dei Chalice Dungeons. Nel gioco troveremo dei calici che ci saranno utili per creare dei dungeons procedurali nei quali raccogliere materiali rari da usare per aprire altri dungeons. In questi luoghi il gioco si fa molto duro, poiché è tutto puro gameplay. Più dimestichezza si prende coi controlli di Bloodborne e più lunga sarà la sopravvivenza in questi livelli e forse, chissà, riuscirete anche a a battere il boss del piano ed avanzare al prossimo livello.

Article source: http://www.tecnocino.it/2015/04/articolo/recensione-bloodborne-un-capolavoro-limitato/61505/

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26Apr/150

Google pulls the Nexus 7 tablet from its online store (updated)

In case you were on the fence about grabbing one of Google's affordable Nexus tablets, you'd better jump off it pretty soon. The Nexus 7's been pulled from the Google Store, as spotted by TalkAndroid, and it almost assuredly isn't coming back -- especially since the Nexus 9 exists. That means if you still want one of the consistently updated 7-inch slates you'll have to hit places like Amazon while supplies last or wallow in regret for all that could've been. Namely, owning a tablet that (to me at least) is more comfortable to hold than the IPad Mini 2 and is essentially just as capable.

Unless you go for the most expensive configuration -- 32GB with LTE -- most models will run you less than half what one of Google's newer, bigger tablets will, too. That sound you hear? It's opportunity knocking. We've reached out to Google for additional info and will update this post should we hear back.

Update: A Google spokesperson tells us that there's still "some inventory" in stores and at carriers, but its emphasis is on the Nexus 9 "at this time." In short, you'd better act fast if you find a Nexus 7 available... it probably won't stick around for much longer.

ASUS Nexus 7 2nd-gen

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    "The iPad is just a big iPod touch"


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    Taking photos with a tablet

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/25/google-waves-goodbye-to-nexus-7/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Apr/150

Your Tor-based email isn’t as secure as you think

A recent security breach just provided a painful reminder that Tor's anonymity network isn't completely foolproof against truly determined intruders. The email service SIGAINT is warning users that someone recently launched a sustained attempt to break into its servers and snoop on messages. While that direct attack wasn't successful, the culprit also tried setting up malicious exit nodes (where data reaches the normal internet) in hopes of spying on messages the moment they left Tor. The chances of actually connecting to one of these rogue routers was slim (about 2.7 percent), but you clearly wouldn't have enjoyed winning this lottery.

The kicker? The campaign was probably avoidable. SIGAINT doesn't encrypt its normal website, which let the perpetrator get away with the impersonation necessary for this campaign. The service tells Motherboard that it doesn't lock this site because it's both a hassle for users and ineffective against fake security certificates, but that's not much consolation if you're affected. SIGAINT hasn't said exactly what it will do, but it's looking at either encrypting its page or pulling the public Tor link to reduce the chances of this kind of assault.

It's not clear who's responsible, and there's no clear evidence that this was a government agency trying to spy on drug dealers and terrorists. Given the low odds of intercepting any useful messages, the attack could just as easily be the work of criminals hoping to get lucky, or even someone holding a grudge. Whoever's at fault, the incident suggests that you'll want to be careful about sending sensitive messages, no matter how secure you think a service might be.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/tor-email-service-faces-attack/?ncid=rss_truncated

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26Apr/150

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Chevy’s concept car, LED bulbs and solar lanterns

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

Tesla made headlines again this week with the official (sort of) announcement that it will be unveiling a battery that can power your entire home at the end of the month. In autonomous vehicle news, some of the biggest automakers are starting to roll out self-driving concept cars. Just a few weeks after Mercedes-Benz revealed a self-driving concept, Chevrolet has now rolled out the FNR, a futuristic autonomous concept car of its own, at the Shanghai Motor Show. In other automotive news, automakers from around the world are continuing to roll out more efficient electric vehicles and hybrids. Volvo has announced plans to release hybrid versions of its entire lineup, beginning with the 2016 Volvo XC90 SUV, which is slated to hit the road with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

In a coup for electric vehicles, Motor Trend has named the sporty and compact VW Golf family (including the e-Golf electric car) its Car of the Year. In Montreal, Mayor Denis Coderre wants to create an electric vehicle-sharing program, with the goal of putting 1,000 EVs on the road by the year 2020. In other green transportation news, Japan's maglev train broke the world speed record when it traveled at an astounding 375MPH on a test track. To put that in perspective, Amtrak's Acela service from Washington to Boston tops out at 150MPH. And after a three-week delay, the Solar Impulse airplane has launched the sixth leg of its round-the-world journey. The solar-powered plane departed from Chongqing, China, on April 21st, and is headed for its final stop in China before crossing the Pacific and heading to Hawaii.

Could bacteria-grown materials be used by the construction industry in the future? Designers Stefan Schwabe and Jannis Hülsen think so. The duo has been using bacteria to grow materials that are very strong, moldable and that have the ability to hold water. In other green tech news, lighting company Philips announced it will begin selling the most affordable LED lightbulb ever, with a retail price of just $5 for a two-pack, and solar lantern company SolarPuff launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for its ingenious portable solar lanterns. The Finnish company Solar Fire Concentration has launched a campaign to build solar concentrators around the world, which use solar thermal devices to power stoves.

An unlikely person has stepped in to try and solve California's water woes -- William Shatner. The man who played Captain Kirk has proposed building a $30 billion pipeline from the Pacific Northwest to funnel water to the increasingly thirsty Golden State. We also saw a petition making the rounds across the internet calling for the ban of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, which has been linked to both cancer and autism. Refrigeration has radically changed the way we eat, but it takes a ton of energy to keep a fridge running around the clock. To address the problem, a Dutch company has created the Groundfridge, a modern take on the root cellar, allowing you to keep your produce fresh without traditional refrigeration. And on the 3D-printing front, Disney has partnered with Cornell and Carnegie Mellon to build a 3D printer that uses fabric as an alternative to plastic. Disney will use the printer for its own purposes, and while it's unlikely that this technology will come to market any time soon, it's another example of how 3D printing is quickly evolving.

On the green architecture front, design firms Snøhetta and SANAA have won a competition to design the Budapest National Gallery/Ludwig Museum -- one of the largest museum developments in Europe. Snøhetta's original proposal called for joining the gallery and museum under one cascading roof that would function as a public terrace. In Australia, Make Architecture has created a playful, new gable-roofed extension for a family in Melbourne, transforming the house into an architectural icon. In a different home-renovation project, design firms March Gut and Wolfgang Wimmer renovated and enlarged an Austrian home, transforming it into the face for Clemens Strobl, an Austrian boutique winery. The sleek, contemporary house contains a large wine cellar in the basement.

Milan Design Week wrapped up last week, and Inhabitat was on the scene to check out some of the top green furniture innovations at the show. Among the showstoppers on display was Japanese designer Kappes' mesmerizing Continuum lamp, an ethereal light animated by the movement of small wires. Some of the best new lighting designs in the world were on display at Euroluce, Design Week's annual international lighting exhibition. Inhabitat took it all in and rounded up the top 15 lighting innovations at the Euroluce show. Other green lighting and furniture designs were also on display at Milan's Brera Design District. That show featured lamps made from recycled plastic cutlery and chicken wire. And finally, the Spazio Rossana Orlandi show was a lesson on how versatile recycled and upcycled materials can be. Looking beyond Milan Design Week to the upcoming Milan Expo 2015, new reports have raised concerns that pavilions won't be completed in time for the May 1st launch.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/26/chevy-concept-led-bulbs/?ncid=rss_truncated

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