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Small SimCity Updates Tells Us There's a Bigger Picture in Store for All

posted Saturday Mar 31, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Small <i>SimCity</i> Updates Tells Us There's a Bigger Picture in Store for All

As promised, I bring an important, albeit small update from Maxis and EA regarding their upcoming SimCity title that was announced at GDC a few weeks ago.

SimCity's Facebook was completely redone this week in-line with their Timeline transition and we got to see a new cover photo and a few new status updates. More importantly, Ocean Quigley, SimCity's Creative Director, posted on the fan page late Friday afternoon a message to all fans about how the cities in the new SimCity game will interact and connect with each other. Everything looks to be pointing to another game that will require an active Internet connection to play and keep the game updated.

Of course, users will always be up in arms over a change, and you can read about that on their fan page. However, we have the message and a new screenshot from the game after the break.

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PlayStation 4 Being Called Orbis Internally, No Talk About it at this Year's E3

posted Friday Mar 30, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

PlayStation 4 Being Called Orbis Internally, No Talk About it at this Year's E3

As we talked about on the show a couple weeks ago, Microsoft would not be talking about anything that has to do with a new Xbox at this year's E3. We mentioned how if and when they decided to talk about something new would be about the same time Sony would follow suit.

Well, that kind of has happened this week, as Sony has said you can kill all the rumors about the PlayStation 4 being the highlight of this year's E3 show. However, Sony went into a little more detail about what the future would hold for PlayStation and the brand.

Of course, we have the details after the break.

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AOL Considering Selling Patent Portfolio

posted Sunday Mar 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

AOL Considering Selling Patent Portfolio

Here's a story to put into the "I can't believe it" file: AOL is in financial trouble. Now, I'm not saying I cant believe it because I'm surprised AOL is having financial trouble, but because I'm surprised they are still around. Since their spin-off from the doom that was AOL Time Warner in 2009, they have seen a 29 percent drop in revenue, probably because Time Warner isn't propping them up anymore.

One way they believe they can fix this is to sell off their patent portfolio, which has over 800 active patents in it. One major AOL shareholder, Starboard Value LP, believes the portfolio could be worth over $1 billion in licensing revenue. That is probably a lot more than their 29 percent drop if you ask me.

So, who would be interested in technology that AOL has? Hit the break to find out.

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Kinectable Linux on Its Way

posted Sunday Mar 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Kinectable Linux on Its Way

If you have had an ache to build a motion-controlled application for Linux, have I got some great news for you. Igalia, the people who brought you WebKit, the browser engine that powers iPhone, Android and webOS, comes the next generation of Kinect playground.

Skeltrack is an open source library for interacting with Kinect without using the already pre-made library provided by Microsoft, which would be important if you were using it on Linux. While the purpose is a little unclear, what is clear is the talent this team has. They have managed to replicate the pre-E3 2009 state of Project Natal, tracking a single skeleton and 7 joints.

Personally I cannot see where or how this will have any real-world implementation as Linux's reach outside of the web server realm, where it is also losing ground, and mobile devices, which do not have USB to run Kinect, is one really lonely guy at ZDNet. I suppose the 4 remaining people who are writing Windows apps in Java might also be able to benefit from it, but the vast majority of software these days is written in Visual Studio, where you can use the full-featured, official Microsoft SDK for Kinect.

So, what do you think? Really cool tool or a lot of time spent duplicating something Microsoft gives out for free? Let us know in the comments section.

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LightSquared Takes it Right to the FCC, Claiming Violated Rights

posted Sunday Mar 25, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

LightSquared Takes it Right to the FCC, Claiming Violated Rights

Just when you thought you might have heard the last of the whole LightSquared saga, think again. It seems like those guys just won't go down without a fight, although I can't really blame them considering they were shut down by the same regulation committee who told them to build-out in the first place. After the stop-work injunction was sent to LightSquared by the FCC, the company responded, saying they would fight this shortly before Sprint decided to cancel its relationship with them. That must have been the one thing to send LightSquared over the edge.

The privately-funded company has said this week that the FCC rejection is a violation of LightSquared's rights as a company and that it is now subjected to multi-billion dollar losses and useless spectrum. They also cite the negated T-Mobile acquisition by AT&T and have said that if permanently shut down, it would violate "public interest by eliminating a potential mobile competitor that would sell network capacity" potentially to anybody who would want it.

What will happen now? We have the details after the break.

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T-Mobile Closing 7 Call Centers, Cutting 1,900 Jobs

posted Sunday Mar 25, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

T-Mobile Closing 7 Call Centers, Cutting 1,900 Jobs

Commence the downward spiral of T-Mobile! If you haven't been keeping up with the whole T-Mobile FauxG (4G) network debacle, you have you been missing out. At the end of the day, through T-Mobile saying first that 4G is a niche market, then saying that they have released a fake 4G network (3G+), last month the company said it would be taking the money earned from the failed AT&T acquisition to build their own 4G LTE network. I can't make this stuff up!

You could understand the confusion that customers would have when they hear of all these different things going on with their wireless carrier, and you could imagine that all of this bad and mixed up publicity couldn't be too great for T-Mobile itself. Well, two quarters ago they lost 50,000 customers and this week, T-Mobile will be cutting 1,900 jobs to go with it, which is roughly 5% of its workforce.

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