Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Twitch Takes Up Cat Herding With Ban on PlayStation 4′s Playroom

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

How did no one see this coming? The PlayStation 4 has an optional camera accessory, games that use that camera, and the option to stream any game live to the Internet via the popular gaming-video service Twitch . Put those three ingredients together, let simmer for a week, and boom: Naked people , among other things. First, Twitch was banning individual users for inappropriate video content and comments in their livestreams. Now it has removed The Playroom , the fun PlayStation Camera demo game bundled with every PS4, from its directory. Twitch’s terms of service explicitly say that it’s only for game content, and I can’t think of a less-bad option for dealing with users who ignore that. But what happens when games that aren’t just hardware demos come along and are similarly abused? A Twitch spokesperson said content is “always gauged on a case by case basis” according to those terms. A “majority” of users streaming The Playroom were using it for “non-gaming related” content, according to a company statement. But, even if one person using a console has read ( hah! ) and agreed to the terms of service, one of the differences between consoles and personal computers — Twitch’s longtime stomping ground — is that they’re designed to be used by many people in various combinations at different times. Entering the living room and expecting everyone to pretend they’re alone at a desk is not a sound strategy as social gamecasting matures. Although initially planned for launch, as it was on the PS4, Microsoft delayed Twitch streaming on its competing next-gen console, the Xbox One, until Q1 2014.

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Apprenda, Helping Big Companies Embrace the Cloud, Lands $16 Million

November 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Johannes Kornelius There are lots of companies out there that would like to move their existing software applications to the cloud. They work, though they typically required a lot of time and effort and expense to build in the first place. But there’s also a lot of expensive infrastructure tied up in running them that could be eliminated. Modernizing applications is just one service provided by Apprenda, a New York-based startup that offers what it calls a platform-as-a-service solution for building and managing new applications. It focuses primarily on Microsoft’s .NET and Oracle’s Java, which are still very much considered the underpinning of enterprise IT applications. Anyway, if you have older apps built on these platforms, Apprenda aims to help you move them to the cloud. And if you’re still not comfortable running them on say, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, Apprenda, based in Clifton Park, N.Y., will help you deploy them to a private cloud or to a mixed environment where some apps run in private and some in public.

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An iPad That’s Mini in Screen Size Only

November 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s largely accepted that miniature versions must compromise on something. Fancy sports cars lack back seats, snack-size candy bars are missing a whole lot of chocolate and the iPad Mini wants for high quality screen resolution and speedy performance. Until now. Apple’s new iPad Mini, which starts at $399 and became available last week, has virtually the same specs as its big brother, the full-size iPad Air. Both offer the same head-turning Retina display with a super sharp screen resolution. Both have the same new chip for faster processing and improved graphics performance. Both have better technology for connecting to Wi-Fi or cellular networks. And both have improved front-facing cameras that work better in low light. Apple’s iPad Mini with Retina display has a processor that’s four times as fast as the original Mini, which helps with apps like iMovie, second screen from the right. This means you basically just choose what size screen you prefer, the 9.7-inch iPad Air or the 7.9-inch iPad Mini with Retina display, without compromising. I’ve been testing the iPad Mini with Retina display for the past week and a half, and this miniature version doesn’t make me feel like I’m compromising on anything. My everyday iPad is the iPad 3 with Retina display, but I found myself reaching more often for the new Mini, tossing it into a bag to use on the go. I also carried it around the house more than I do my full-size iPad. And in my taxing battery test, it lasted 11 hours and 17 minutes, which is longer than Apple’s estimate of 10 hours. This iPad Mini with Retina display is the second iteration of the iPad Mini

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Analyst: PlayStation 4 Will be this Holiday Season’s Winner Over Xbox One

November 19, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Even before Microsoft launches its Xbox One on Friday, analysts already are calling Sony’s PlayStation 4 the clear victor in the new console war this year. Many U.S. holiday shoppers have picked the video game console they plan to buy this season, with 36% of shoppers planning to purchase a Sony-branded device, followed by 27%... Read more

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After British Criticism, Google Assembled Team of 200 to Fight Child Pornography

November 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Four months after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron called for search companies to step up their fight against child pornography, Microsoft and Google are announcing that they have cleaned up results for 100,000 potential queries, with Microsoft contributing picture-detection technology and Google’s YouTube contributing video identification. Showing warnings to searchers has also reportedly already led to a drop-off of 20 percent in such activity. In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Google put together a team of 200 people in the past three months to address the problem.

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Sony Sells More Than One Million PlayStation 4s on First Day, But Some Are Defective

November 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

More than one million units of Sony’s latest gaming console, the PlayStation 4, were sold within 24 hours of its Friday debut in the U.S. and Canada. The company had previously said that about a million of those units were preordered before launch day. The number makes it seem likely that Sony will meet its year-end goal of three million units sold worldwide — a marked contrast from 2006, when manufacturing problems kept a large number of PlayStation 3s out of consumers’ hands. Some early adopters have reported problems with overheating and TV connectivity , with both problems already receiving derisive nicknames online: The “Red Line of Death” and the “Blue Light of Death,” so-called after the “Red Ring of Death” that plagued early owners of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. We’re awaiting comment from a Sony representative reached via email about the hardware glitches. No clear answers to these problems and no estimate of just how many people are affected have yet emerged. Since Friday, the company line has been that 0.4 percent of the consoles (or 4,000 out of a million) are potentially defective, “which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”

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Some People Take the PlayStation 4 a Lot More Seriously Than Others (Slideshow)

November 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In AllThingsD ’s Q&A with Jack Tretton this week, the Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO explained at length why he thinks the new PlayStation 4 can weather the storm of changing media habits and increased competition in the living room. For the superfans, though, that’s all moot. The gaming world may be a very different place from what it was in 2006, but one thing hasn’t changed: Sony (and, no doubt, Microsoft next week) can still expect the faithful to treat midnight console launches as celebrations. Here’s what happened at Sony and GameStop’s PS4 launch party in San Francisco on Thursday night.: (Photos by Vjeran Pavic)

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Ballmer on Ballmer: His Exit From Microsoft

November 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Steve Ballmer paced his corner office on a foggy January morning here, listening through loudspeakers to his directors’ voices on a call that would set in motion the end of his 13-year reign as Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive. Microsoft lagged behind Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in important consumer markets, despite its formidable software revenue. Mr. Ballmer tried to spell out his plan to remake Microsoft, but a director cut him off, telling him he was moving too slowly. “Hey, dude, let’s get on with it,” lead director John Thompson says he told him. “We’re in suspended animation.” Mr. Ballmer says he replied that he could move faster. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Netflix Gives Most, but Not All, of Its TV Viewers a New Look

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix is giving itself a makeover. The video service has overhauled the presentation most subscribers see when they watch Netflix on TV, using devices like Roku boxes, Sony’s PlayStation consoles, smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The new look is supposed to debut today, but you can get a sense of what it looks like by checking out the screenshot above, or the embedded video at the bottom of the post. Or you can trust my description: Netflix is adding more images, and information, to its screens. It’s all designed to make you more likely to click on a video and watch it. The goal, of course, is to get you to watch more Netflix, so you’ll be more likely to keep paying $8 a month for the service. Netflix executives are proud of the facelift, which they described as the “biggest change to the Netflix experience in our history.” What’s at least as interesting to an outsider, though, are the reasons you won’t see the new look on all the devices that connect Netflix to TVs. In some cases, there’s a technical limitation, though the Netflix folks said they’ve worked hard to design software that’s lightweight enough to work on relatively primitive devices. But the reason Netflix can’t overhaul its look for other devices — like Apple’s Apple TVs, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One — is because the device manufacturers have specific rules about the way app developers can present their stuff on their devices.

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