I’m not a big fan of rumor posts, there’s enough real stuff to actually play with that I don’t like getting bogged down by speculation. This rumor comes courtesy of @evleaks however, and they’ve been pretty good about not engaging in wild speculation regarding gadget leaks…
The timing on this seems pretty legit. We know Microsoft is gearing up for a couple big moves over the next couple months, including dropping a new Surface and the public release of Windows 8.1. Updating Windows Phone with a killer Nokia phablet would fit into that release line up nicely.
More news when we get actual news.
As we move away from cartridges and shiny plastic discs, and towards digital distribution, game mobility becomes an important factor in how our gaming libraries are kept. Not in whether we can play our games on the go, but whether we can share our games or re-sell them. When I was a kid we thought nothing of swapping, borrowing, and trading NES cartridges. No verification, or logins, there was a physical thing we could share.
That gets trickier with digital distribution and cloud gaming. A number of different tactics have been employed to offer gaming services while trying to prevent game piracy, with varying levels of success. Now Steam is implementing a new program aimed at getting gamers invested into their gaming platform through the games friends and family members have purchased.
In limited beta now, Steam Family Sharing allows users to create a list of approved “close friends and family”. This list of people will be allowed to play games on the Steam user’s account, while unlocking their own achievements and saving their own game progress on their own account.
On the surface it’s a great goodwill program, allowing people to share and play, but I think it very savvy that people get to accrue their own achievements. It’s an investment in time that gamers wont want to have to rebuild if they decide they want to own their own copy of the game. They’ll be far more likely to purchase through Steam. Building that kind of community is a license to print money.
Sign up for the Beta on SteamPowered.com
If you’re on Big Blue and looking to shop one of those shiny new iPhones we’ve been hearing all about over the last day or so, AT&T has helpfully created an email alert page just for you. Of course they’ll be carrying the new iPhones, so if you want to make sure a little box has your name on it on September 20th, you will want to be alerted when pre-orders go live on September 13th.
Jump over to www.apple.com/iphone to make sure you’re all signed up.
More news out of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel showed off an Ultrabook powered by a new “Broadwell” processor which utilizes a 14nm construction.
Known as a “die-shrink”, newer processors are refined and made smaller than their predecessors. This improves power management, which should reduce wasted electricity (also reducing wasted heat), and improve battery life. At some point however, we’ll be fighting physics as we wont be able to continue shrinking these parts forever.
While we might hit that manufacturing brick wall some day, that day is not today.
Intel recently released “Haswell” to the market, and its 22nm construction has already allowed for new tablet-like form factors for full-fledged PC’s from Sony, Lenovo, Asus, and other manufacturers. Computers which run full versions of desktop operating systems and programs, but in form factors approaching consumer grade tablets. Intel is estimating that Broadwell based computers will see an almost 30% gain in battery life over current Haswell technology. We could be seeing Windows 8 tablets and hybrids approaching or surpassing iPad battery life by early next year.
Intel also discussed 14nm construction for their Atom line of low power chips used in phones. Those parts should be shipping in actual devices by the end of 2014.
Intel president Renée James also teased future development from the CPU developer, claiming “we have 14 nanometer working and we can see beyond that. I assure you it’s alive and well.” Exciting stuff, especially for future mobility products.
People who track computer sales estimate that nearly a quarter of all computers sold under $300 are ChromeBooks. Google’s browser based cloud OS is eagerly chewing into the market formerly occupied by Windows based netbooks. It’s easy to see why, as ChromeOS runs smoother on lower powered hardware than stripped version of Windows.
Today at the Intel Developer Forum, new ChromeBooks took the stage featuring Intel’s newest processor architecture named Haswell. Haswell takes Intel a significant step forward in offering up powerful mobile solutions which use less power to get work done. They’re already being utilized in the new ultraportable Windows Hybrids from manufacturers Sony, Asus, and Lenovo. Now we’re set to see Haswell parts ship in Chromebooks from Acer, HP, Asus, and Toshiba.
This move should bring a performance boost to the ChromeOS ecosystem as previous ChromeBooks used more tablet-like hardware, but hopefully this increase in power wont come at the expense of battery life.
Hit the Google Chrome Blog for the full scoop!
They say good things come in small packages…
I was a big fan of Ultrapixels on the HTC One, and now they’re making an appearance on the One Mini.What’s missing however is optical image stabilization. Let’s take a look at some samples and see if the One Mini camera can hang with other mid-range handsets.
Microsoft donates about $2 Million worth of software every day to nonprofits as part of their Technology for Good initiative. Now Microsoft is adding Office 365 to their grant initiative, providing organizations free access to business grade document and presentation solutions.
Office 365 now joins Windows 8, Windows Server, and Visual Studio on the list of donation-ware for qualifying organizations, and should be available in over 90 countries by the summer of 2014.
Field Trip is an app which helps users discover fun and interesting things to see in their general vicinity. Chock full of trivia and restaurant reviews, it can be a pretty handy guide aiding, you in your local adventures.
Field Trip Day is coming to Pasadena on September 15th! What is Field Trip Day you might ask? It’s a day where people get together and use Field Trip. Together. Here’s how the Field Trip folks explain it:
Field Trip Day is an afternoon of local discovery, challenges, one-day-only opportunities, and hidden surprises. Armed with the Field Trip app and your wits, an afternoon’s adventure will reveal Pasadena’s secrets – from rocket launches to peanut butter soda, from the man who broke baseball’s color barrier to the man who revolutionized chewing gum, from auditioning for the role of Stanley in “Streetcar Named Desire” to learning the truth about a religious cult… explore Pasadena like never before.
The event is free to participate, but space is limited, so head over to the Field Tripper site to sign up! Who knows… I might even go…