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Xbox One price

Pachter: Xbox One price “will never go back up” from $349

The Xbox One had a pretty shaky opening year, trailing its direct competitor, the PS4, in sales for almost the entire year. Thankfully, Microsoft eventually realized that not everybody needed a Kinect, taking that out of the standard bundle, and following that up with a $50 discount, bringing its price down to $349. That price was introduced as a temporary price for Thanksgiving, but on January 16th, a statement was made that “Effective tomorrow, we have a special promotional pricing of $349”. One would think that this is just a continuation of that Thanksgiving deal, but games industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t think so. “It’s not officially a price cut – it’s promotional pricing. This allows the retailer to advertise regularly $399 and now it’s $349, but I have a feeling it will never go back up.” says Pachter And Pachter thinks it’s a lot to do with the way ...

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gaming addiction

A little extreme: Chinese teen attempts to overcome gaming addiction by cutting off hand

Gaming addiction is a huge issue in China – with over a billion inhabitants, it’s not surprising that a small section of its population, estimated to be 14% of the country’s youth, is suffering from the temptation of gaming. China has most famously introduced military-stylized camps to help addicted individuals kick the habit, but often this is at the behest of the individual themselves. One teenager in Nantong, China came to the realization himself that he was addicted to games and sought to rectify this, albeit a little too extremely. The 19-year-old teen, identified only as “Little Wang”, snuck out of his house at night, taking a knife with him, and left a note which read: “Mum, I have gone to hospital for a while. Don’t worry. I will definitely come back this evening.“ The boy then proceeded to cut off his left hand with the knife and called a taxi to take him ...

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Sony Online Entertainment bought by Columbus Nova, to now be known as Daybreak Game Company

Looks like Sony made a quick buck by selling the Sony Online Entertainment division to investment management firm Columbus Nova. The announcement came a few hours ago by way of the SOE news and announcement board. Community Relations, Dexella, outlined that SOE will now become an independent game development studio with plans to now expand into Playstation, Xbox and mobile titles. SOE might not ring a bell as much as some of their titles do. They were responsible for the very popular EverQuest series, Planetside 2 and the more recent H1Z1. With a new financial backer in their pocket comes a new name as well. SOE will now migrate over to Daybreak Game Company. So when you see that name start to pop up all over the place you will know where its roots are from. For gamer’s, nothing will apparently be changing. All current titles from SOE will continue on their ...

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Vine Kids

Vine creates dedicated Vine Kids app to keep it safer

Vine has gone and created a second Vine app, Vine Kids. The app came about from a conversation during a meeting where one of Carolyn Penner’s, Head of Communications and Marketing, colleagues was talking about how much his two year old loved vine, but he wished there was a more kid friendly variant. That sprung up the idea and Vine Kids was born during hack week at the company. Now there is a dedicated kid friendly variant of Vine. My initial thoughts of how this would turn into a trolls dream app were quickly squashed when I discovered the app contains handpicked animated cartoon character Vine’s and not a random collection of Vine’s from general people. That should put many parents minds at ease. They even made the app as simple as possible where you only can swipe left or right to see the next Vine and tap on it ...

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Google Earth Pro now available to all for free now

Google has announced via its LatLong Blog page today that they are making Google Earth Pro free for everyone who wants to pick it up. Previously the Pro experience cost a pretty penny at $400 per year. The Pro feature set though made the yearly price tag well worth it for he right people. Google Earth Pro lets you measure “3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world.” It certainly has a lot more real world uses in construction, real estate and engineering than what an average user might need to be able to do. That doesn’t make it any less exciting to have for free.   To get your hands on Google Earth Pro you will need to first visit Google’s Earth Pro free trial page and fill out the pertinent information. Once complete, Google sill shoot you ...

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GoPro Hero4 Firmware update will bring 720p 240fps slow-mo and more [Video]

The GoPro has really done an excellent job at making their brand a house hold name. Even the less technically people I know have some knowledge of what a GoPro is. For us technical people though, it is all about what it can do beyond knowing it shoots video and is tiny. A new firmware update is being worked on for the Hero4 edition of the GoPro and it is bringing some amazing improvements to what it can do for you. One of the biggest features will be the 720p video at 240fps. That is HD slow-motion ability that lets you slow the action down and catch the detail too. Pretty awesome, right? Beyond the slow-motion aspect, the firmware update is said to also bring in time-lapse video as well. Yes, it did it previously, but now it will take the shots and do its job on the camera versus ...

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Amazon makes life easier for educators with new Kindle Textbook Creator

Education is extremely important. Providing the tools to educate is even more important. In an effort to help educators bring the tools to students, Amazon has announced the new Kindle Textbook Creator. The new segment of the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), now makes it easy for educators and authors to easily prepare, publish and promote their eTextbooks and other educational content to students on a broad list of devices, which include the Kindle line, iPad, iPhone, Android, tablets, PC and Mac. “Kindle Textbook Creator makes it easy for anyone to take any PDF and create a richly featured and widely available eTextbook,” said Chuck Kronbach, Director, Kindle Direct Publishing. “We look forward to seeing how authors use the new tool and getting their feedback to guide us in adding more features to KDP EDU over time.” Multi-Color Highlighting—Highlight and categorize key concepts for easy reference. Notebook—Capture key passages, images and ...

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Facebook Messenger

Facebook testing Voice-to-Text function for Messenger app

Voice-to-Text isn’t a new technology. Many carrier voicemails and third-party voicemail services have been offering it for a number of years. Facebook is now apparently in the testing process of bring the same ability across to the Facebook Messenger app by automatically transcribing received voice notes to text readouts under the clip. David Marcus, Vice President of Messaging at Facebook, made the tiny news announcement via his Facebook page just a few days ago with the attached image. As many of you know, we already offer a feature that enables people to send voice clips to their friends without having to type out the text. Today we are starting to roll out a small test that helps people read the voice clips they receive instead of having to play them out loud. It certainly is a handy feature if you find yourself with voice clips and not currently in a situation ...

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Elon Musk donates $10 million to Future of Life Institute

Elon Musk donates $10 million to Future of Life Institute to keep AI safe

Elon Musk is pretty much on the cutting edge of what is currently technologically possible, so when he spoke about his concerns about the worryingly fast progression of artificial intelligence (AI), the world started to take notice. Sure enough, Musk isn’t the only intellectual afraid of the moment that AI becomes self-aware – Stephen Hawking has previously voiced that AI could end the human race – but thankfully there are people working to make sure that when AI does reach the “singularity” that they will continue to be beneficial to us instead of trying to overthrow us. One such group is the Future of Life Institute, a body that Musk himself has just donated $10 million to aid their research. Speaking about the donation, FLI co-founder Anthony Aguirre said: This donation will make a major impact. While heavy industry and government investment has finally brought AI from niche academic research to early forms of ...

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Twitch announces free Music Library for video game broadcasters to easily utilize copyright free tunes

Streamers, YouTubers and broadcasters work very hard to do what they do. Sometimes that hard work is met with a copyright violation that stops their broadcasts of videos dead in the water. Often times it wasn’t even something that crossed their mind, especially when it comes to showcasing video games. Many high-end titles that have musical scores or licensed artists music in-game will be the ones that get hit and all we were trying to do was show you how  the vehicles control in GTA5. Twitch has made an announcement today that should help broadcasters on the video gaming centric platform avoid getting dinged though, with the all new Twitch Music Library. The Twitch Music Library will give content creators access to over 500 tracks from labels such as Mad Decent, Dim Mak, Spinnin’ Records, OWSLA, Monstercat, Fool’s Gold, and many more. It gives the hard working, and gaming, people music to ...

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