Archive for Aug 28, 2013

Metro: Last Light OS X and Linux editions aim to prove 4A Engine flexibility

Metro: Last Light OS X and Linux editions aim to prove 4A Engine flexibility

The team responsible for creating the newest game in the Metro series, 4A Games, have made public their plans to release the title to both Mac OS X and the Linux software environments through Deep Silver in the near future. Suggesting that these releases will prove further the flexibility and power of the studio's home-made 4A Engine on which the game is based, 4A Games chief technology officer Oles Shishkovstov said that both new iterations of Metro: Last Light will be released by the end of the year.

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Google Hangouts go HD with VP8 switch [UPDATE]

Google Hangouts go HD with VP8 switch [UPDATE]

Starting this month, users will be experience an increased bit of quality in their Google+ Hangouts video chat as result of the company switching over to a new form of video codec. The video codec itself isn't new, it having been released all the way back in 2010, but it's new to this Google system, and just as video chat begins to hit the likes of smartphones and tablets with Hangouts, Google has let it be known that they'll be bringing a higher definition to the web as well. Speaking with Janko Roettgers of GigaOM, Google's Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew let it be known that Google is switching from H.264 to the codec known as VP8.

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Wii U price chop shows console wars wearing on Nintendo

Wii U price chop shows console wars wearing on Nintendo

This week the folks at Nintendo have announced that they'll be giving the Wii U a tune-up just in time for the release of both the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft-made Xbox One. This reboot of sorts is not one of hardware, but of price: the Wii U Deluxe Set will be cut down $50 to a total of $299.99 starting on the 20th of September. The company has also made clear that this change is to bring a "greater value" to the market, not mentioning the impending wave of competition they'll be defending against nearer the end of this year.

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Nokia 515 brings premium blend to top-tier feature phone

Nokia 515 brings premium blend to top-tier feature phone

Introducing the Nokia 515 this week, the company has suggested that there's not only room for more feature phones in our immediate future, but there's room for premium features - and the internet - on them as well. This device works with a "classic mobile phone" style and a set of premium materials - like an aluminum frame - along with a back-facing 5-megapixel camera to command high-quality photos the likes of which have never before been seen from a phone in this market. And it comes in black or silver, too.

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Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 becomes first UAV to cross Bosphorus Strait

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 becomes first UAV to cross Bosphorus Strait

It's not often that you hear about a device - what's essentially a high-powered toy - breaking records flying across international waters. That's what's happened this week, though, as Parrot engineers have successfully programmed their AR.Drone 2.0 to fly across the Bosphorus Straight in Turkey - that's more than a kilometer - with a single battery. This device was recently given a bit of a reboot with the release of a new "High Density Battery", so as you can guess, that's exactly what this unit was deployed with.

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Apple acquires AlgoTrim for speedier iPhone data

Apple acquires AlgoTrim for speedier iPhone data

The team behind Apple's acquisitions appear to have picked up another company this week, here with the brand AlgoTrim - a company that makes a mission of compressing data for mobile devices - and perhaps for iOS sooner than later. While the company has been mainly working in Android device software codec for the past several years, they've been in the business since it made sense to work on feature phones - non-smartphones, that is. While they're still being called a "startup" by Rapidus, AlgoTrim has been in business since well before the iPhone.

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Toyota: 5m US hybrid sales goal by 2016 is “friendly challenge”

Toyota: 5m US hybrid sales goal by 2016 is “friendly challenge”

Toyota may have sold 5m hybrids worldwide since the launch of the original Prius in 1997, but the company's next goal is a lot more localized: 5m hybrid sales in the US by 2016. Speaking at the company's Hybrid World Tour, senior vice president of automotive operations Bob Carter threw down the gauntlet to not only Toyota but the car industry in general, highlighting that if as a whole it could achieve the ambitious hybrid shift, it could save three billion tons of gasoline per year.

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Apple patent app turns iPhone into a smart home universal remote control

Apple patent app turns iPhone into a smart home universal remote control

Apple is always out to file a patent on just about any technology its engineers can dream up whether or not it intends to actually put that technology into a product. A new patent application has turned up that was published by Apple recently showing a way to turn a device like the iPhone into a smart home remote control. Home automation is becoming more and more popular as automation systems become cheaper.

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