We all know that the era of hard drives is coming to an end, replaced by the quicker, more power-efficient
solid state drives. Between a technology shift and a number of conspiracies and scandals, Samsung and Hitachi have decided to close up shop on their hard drive businesses and sell them off to the competition.
The problem here is that the competition is few and far between. In fact, as of right now, there are only 4 companies manufacturing hard drives: Hitachi, Samsung, Western Digital and Seagate. Because of this, Western Digital has agreed to purchase Hitachi's business for $4.3 billion and Seagate will pickup Samsung's business for $1.375 billion. Clearly the, now, big 2 believe there is still enough of a market to shell out a combined $5.675 billion to lock-in the industry.
Why would they spend the money instead of just letting these guys fail? Hit the break to find out.
Isn't your new HDTV exciting? All of those 1920 pixels of amazingness makes watching television and movies fun again, right? Well, I have some news for you that you should NOT tell to your TV. The ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service has announced that thye have come to an agreement on most of the specs on what Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) will be.
In case you haven't been following the UHDTV discussions, UHDTV is the equivalent of a 33 megapixel photo. When compared to current HDTV, which is the equivalent of a 2 megapixel photo, the picture will have more than 16 times the precision. The added pixels will make for higher clarity, for sure, but will also make the possibility of high-quality glasses-free 3D video a reality, since 3D requires more pixels than standard video. It should also allow for wider viewing angles.
When can we expect to see this in action and when will it be widely accepted? Hit the break to find out.
I would imagine that by now everyone has heard about Apple's
iPhone 4s, and its acquired voice command software, Siri. Siri has been such a hit that Android developer Dextra has released a new app for Android entitled Iris. The company obviously has a great sense of humor because the name is an anagram, which stands for Intelligent Rival Imitation of Siri and is, itself, Siri spelled backwards.
All of the fun being poked at Apple aside, the software itself is a lot more fun than Siri. While Iris may not be as productive, she certainly can hold a conversation like no other artificial intelligence, Smarter Child included. Rather than trying to schedule an alarm when you say something, Iris will respond with appropriate conversational responses. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" results in "A woodchuck could chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck obviously." Even her response to "Who are you" is met with a joke about Siri.
Sure, using voice to do calculations between cities and such is fun, it is definitely not the productive, useful system that Siri is. If you have an Android phone and enjoyed interacting with Smarter Child and his friends on AIM,
give this app a try. If you're looking for something to be productive, however, you might want to look elsewhere.
If you do try it out, let us know your favorite conversation in the comments section.
From their announcement of a
possible IPO a couple of months ago to looking for a new suitor, Zynga has been trying to expand from being just the "Facebook game company." This week, the company decided to officially say that it will be transitioning into a self-sustained machine that will no longer be tied as strongly to Facebook as it was before. Instead, Zynga will start to sell its line of games straight to online or mobile platform users.
With an IPO that could make the company worth $20 billion, Zynga is looking to directly impact the 230+ million monthly users who play their games on Facebook. We have more on Zynga's "it's not you, it's me" attitude after the break.
Given the prolonged economic downtown the U.S. has been experiencing since 2007 it comes as a surprise to me that a Lithuanian company called
Etronika not only seems to have their mind on their money and their money on their mind but also wants to make money fun, like Monopoly, by associating it with Kinect for the Xbox 360.
CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications, this week, Etronika showed off their new Kinect banking application by demoing that it can do all the things you would expect a banking application to do: like transfer money between accounts, view statements for credit/debit cards on file, pay bills, monitor exchange rates and the like. They also showed that you can transfer information from your Xbox 360 to your smartphone with the flick of a wrist... pretty cool. Check out the attached video to see for yourself how Etronika might have single handedly solved the U.S. financial crisis.
With the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment networks
falling victim to some nasty outages caused by DDoS attacks on their lacking infrastructure in April this year, Sony took it upon themselves to completely revamp their systems and gain back the trust of those who had their accounts compromised, which included encrypted billing information. It cost them millions in legal battles and lost revenue along with the cost of revamping their infrastructure only to have it happen all over again 5 months later and this time they don't have E3 right around the corner to smooth things out.
On the 12th of October Sony announced that its networks had once again been breached. The damage doesn't seem to have gone as deep as the previous attacks as there didn't seem to be any outages. The attacks affected 60,000 Sony Entertainment Network and PlayStation Network accounts, as well as 33,000 Sony Online Entertainment accounts, resulting in 93,000 really unhappy users. Sony detected the attack after a huge amount of username and password matches were initiated against Sony's database.
Sony's Philip Reitinger, the chief information security officer, said that the accounts that were breached have been locked and that users billing information shouldn't have been compromised but it is possible unauthorized purchases had been made. They are also sending out emails to owners of the compromised accounts requiring them to verify before access is granted. Everyone on the PSN and SEN will also be required to reset their passwords, for which Sony suggests you use a strong one. At the moment, it doesn't seem like there will be any other reprieves for users. Sony did seem to act quickly when implementing damage control, which is its own reward, compared to the attacks in April so maybe that'll be good enough.