This past Monday, Apple released a commercial depicting what initially appears to be a disaffected teenager ignoring his whole family on a holiday get-together as he stares and thumb-pecks at his iPhone the whole time. In the end, it turned out he was actually shooting footage of his family as a Christmas gift. He edits the footage into a home movie, screencasts it to the living room TV via AirPlay, and the whole family has a Tiny Tim moment as they watch themselves interacting onscreen. Even Grandma is crying tears of joy.
Images and specs for the OPPO R1 have leaked, and the smartphone is looking to be a worthy update to the Chinese electronics company's R-series line of Android handsets. While the R1 will not be OPPO's flagship handset by any means -- those honors go to the Find-series and CyanogenMod-enabled N1 -- the R1 is a step up in most respects from the R819 released in August.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have positively confirmed the long-discussed ability of government entities and private parties to remotely activate a webcam without the warning light turning on. While this privacy vulnerability has already been anecdotally admitted by a variety of sources, this research is the first time it has been proven by an established public-facing organization. The results were published last week in a paper entitled "iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED".
Looking to buy a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 tablet computer in time for Christmas? Don't go to the source. It seems the Surface situation over at the online Microsoft Store is bleak. The online retailer has been out of its two hero tablet models for "the past several days," reports Neowin. But they're out there if you know where to keep digging. "X" marks the spot after the jump.
The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.
Facebook has at last answered your cries for a "Dislike" button, sort of. You will not be able to thumbs-down statuses and other types of posts in news feeds and timelines, but you will be able to send a thumbs-down in private messages via the mobile app. And you will be able to send a whole lot more types of thumbs to express a range of sentiments.
Apple has been bulk-granted 51 new patents, Patently Apple reports, and one of them is a computer with an extreme-angle projector built-in. The patent describes a "desk-free" computer wirelessly connected to all peripherals and using any available vertical surface as a display screen. The computer would, alas, require some presumably non-desk surface to sit on, dashing the hopes of gravity-defying computer aficionados everywhere.
A veritable pantheon of top-ranking emissaries from some of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the United States descended on the White House today to press the Obama administration to move aggressively on reforming the NSA's nearly universal surveillance of US citizens and the world. Their message was clear: Stop the spy agency from forcibly or stealthily seizing and storing bulk data about their customers. The message comes during an ongoing firestorm of public opposition to the agency's bulk data collection programs, ignited and continually stoked by the revelation of Edward Snowden's cache of an estimated 1.7 million stolen NSA documents detailing its ongoing quest for data omniscience.
There's a new free-to-play Star Wars game coming to a system near you. It's a classic dogfighting game based on classic Star Wars fighter vessels like X-wings, TIE fighters and, if the teaser trailer is to be believed, the Millennium Falcon. The game is entering a closed beta selection process right this instant; you can sign up at the Star Wars: Attack Squadrons site.
NVIDIA today announced the latest update to GeForce Experience, and it includes full integration with Twitch. The long-awaited feature is called ShadowPlay Twitch streaming. With it you can broadcast your gameplay from the GeForce Experience interface with a hotkey combination and post it to your Twitch account for all the world to see and learn from. The update is optimized for Kepler-based GeForce GTX GPUs.
The strange and wonderful game known as Ingress has exited beta and concluded its latest storyline, with the promise of another round to come in January 2014. The storyline was called Operation #13Magnus. It came to a decisive conclusion when Ingress Agents were able to physically transport the 13 Shards of self-proclaimed Enlightened Faction leader Roland Jarvis from parts worldwide to Cupid's Span Portal in San Francisco.