Like Sony before it, it seems that Microsoft is benefitting from next-gen hype: the company said that more than a million Xbox One consoles were sold in less than 24 hours after launch last Friday — a feat that apparently shatters the initial sales record of the Xbox 360. However, its important to note that the Xbox One had a worldwide release while the similar sales numbers of the PlayStation4 were limited to the U.S. and Canada. But the strong reception both consoles have already received is a sign that next-gen fever will hit holiday shoppers hard.
After years of evangelizing, John Carmack has finally jumped to Oculus VR full time as CTO — leaving behind his decades of work at id Software. Read more »
The PlayStation 4 has only been in out in the U.S. and Canada for less than a week (and done gangbusters in that short time), but Sony is already sweetening the deal for U.K. customers with a bundle pack offering both the next-gen console and a PS Vita, according to IGN. While the advertisement IGN points to does not have any price listed, there’s no doubt that it’ll be of significant value, especially when considering the Vita’s remote play capabilities with the PS4. There’s no word on whether a bundle like this will be available Stateside for the holidays, but it could be a game-changer for Sony.
French streaming service Deezer might be ready to make some moves into the US, as long as it has the right partner beside it. Read more »
Tired of airplane mode? The FCC is circulating a proposal to make phones usable above 10,000 feet. Read more »
It looks like those buzzy rumors floating around earlier this month are true: The Wall Street Journal reports that the streaming music platform has raised another $250 million in new funding, led by Technology Crossover Ventures. This latest round of funding means that the Swedish company is valued above $4 billion. According to the report, the money will likely go into the expansion of new markets like Japan, adding to the 32 markets the company already serves. Spotify has yet to comment on the deal.
The free “picture a day” drawing challenge app is now available portably, thanks to a new version for iPhone. Read more »
Earlier this month, Acer announced a hard reset: With unexpected, staggering losses in Q3, the company would move forward without CEO JT Wang. At the time, it was understood that Acer President Jim Wong would take over Wang’s responsibilities, but a report from Reuters says that Wong has stepped down, to be replaced by founder Stan Shih. Shih has also been elected the new chairman, and will likely oversee the company’s promised “Transformation Advisory Committee” in hopes to get back on track. The role of CEO has apparently gotten the axe as well — concentrating all the power to Shih for the company’s next moves.
Can a dollar buy a useful to-do list? Here are two apps worth trying out. Read more »
The Xbox One is about to be released, but what will you be getting when you open that box? Read more »
Brookhaven National Lab is chasing a piece of history — recreating Tennis for Two, regarded as one of the oldest video games. Read more »
The New Jersey Attorney General has fined online video gaming company E-Sports Entertainment for exposing its players, who utilize the service to play “anti-cheat” CounterStrike competitions, to code that turned their computers into rogue Bitcoin miners, according to Wired. The Attorney General’s statement said that the malicious code came in an update package, infecting up to 14,000 computers and allowing ESEA to monitor gamers’ computers and use them to mine a total of 30 Bitcoins. In addition to the Attorney General’s fine, the company faces a class-action suit in California.
Open source mapping has come a long way, especially when drones get involved. Read more »
Well, that was fast. About a month after Twitter unveiled the ability to direct message someone who is not following you, Time reports that the feature is now missing from the Settings section. My colleague Mathew Ingram told me that he noted the change a few days ago, and sent a message to Twitter about it — only to be redirected to the company’s blog post on experiments in September. So, it’s likely that the feature was an experiment that has now been put to bed , perhaps to the benefit of Twitter’s celebrity user base.
A futuristic sci-fi computer may be just one crystal — and plenty of light — away. Read more »
Some argue that the Xbox 360 controller was the greatest one ever made. Perhaps concerned that it was resting on its laurels, Microsoft poured $100 million into developing a new controller for the Xbox One, according to a VentureBeat four-part exclusive. The company researched tons of wacky features: a built-in projector, speakers and even the ability to emit smells. But the end result actually has just a few tiny tweaks from what made the 360 so successful — though those tweaks apparently cost millions in their own right. I guess it’s a small price to pay in the quest for perfection.
How do you bring people into an open source community? Mozilla developer Brian Bondy has taken ideas from online education to create a training curriculum for Firefox. Read more »
Last month, the FBI was able to find and arrest Ross Ulbricht, the man behind Darknet ecommerce site (and popular online drug trafficking haven) Silk Road, and Wired has published a detailed post-mortem on how it all went down. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the raid on Ulbricht (along with nearly a dozen well-known Silk Road vendors) was a plan years in the making — built on the backs of smaller, low-profile arrests. And, it seems like they aren’t done: Law enforcement told Wired that they’re not only looking to take down more Silk Road sellers, but also those who offer Bitcoin currency conversion services as “unregistered money transmitters”.
The PlayStation 4 has arrived: Within just 24 hours of its release in the U.S. and Canada only, the console already sold more than 1 million units, according to Sony. To put that in perspective, Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, has only sold 3.91 million units in its year-long lifetime. It’s unclear whether the sales count the company’s exclusive Day One preorders (which sold out over the summer), but Sony considers it a major win and, according to the AP, has set its sights on 5 million units sold by the end of March. Your move, Microsoft.
To celebrate Candy Crush Saga’s first birthday, developer King has shed some light onto the game’s uber-popularity. Read more »
Just a day after announcing Data Science courses with Cloudera, online educator Udacity has added a completely new facet of learning to its programs: paid training courses. Beginning January 2014, users will be able to take tech-focused, on-demand online courses developed by Cloudera, Google, and other companies in the Open Education Alliance. Unlike Udacity’s free programs, users will gain access to tutor-like Udacity Coaches and advisory help to schedule classes. The courses only result in certificates, not a degree as many were speculating, but its job-focused bent may be a better fit for Udacity’s platform overall.
Got an event coming up? iPad app Makr wants to customize it for you. Read more »
Udacity and Cloudera have a new partnership to bring online Data Science training to the masses Read more »
Perhaps in an effort to gain a little more buzz (and holiday sales), Laptop Magazine reports that Intel will be opening a series of pop-up stores this month, starting in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood on November 23. Intel has yet to disclose exactly what will be shown off in the stores, but the company has already stressed that the locations will be temporary — they are all set to shut down on January 14 of next year. It may be just a publicity stunt, but it’ll be interesting to see how another computer company does retail.
While the stock gods may have smiled upon Twitter, textbook rental website Chegg saw no such luck Wednesday, tumbling off more than 20 percent from its IPO price on its first day trading, according to Forbes. With an initial price of $12.50, the stock peaked in immediate trading only to fall into a steady decline and close at $9.68 at the end of the day — a total drop of 22.6 percent. It’s a big blow to the company and to the tech IPO boom overall, which has been eyed by many wary analysts for its instability.
Rosetta Stone is going mobile, and tapping into the youth market with the second installment of their Spanish/English app program. Read more »
The PlayStation 4 is about to be released, but what will you be getting when you open that box? Read more »
Not a great photographer? You can doctor those photos up with AfterLight and HDR Camera+ Read more »
Today’s lunch read from the Wall Street Journal dropped a big bombshell, stating that Snapchat turned down a Facebook proposal for an acquisition — to the tune of $3 billion. That figure, which is three times higher than what the social media giant paid for Instagram, was shooed away because, according to “sources,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel won’t consider investment or acquisition until early 2014. Of course, these closed-door deals have not (and likely will not) be confirmed by either party, but it does give a glimpse into the lengths Facebook will go to stay young and fresh for teens — or Snapchat’s desire to be seen as valuable.
After raising $41 million in debt financing to produce a “smarter” Foursquare with a more robust ad platform, Foursquare has a casualty of its dramatic change: Head of Product Alex Rainert announced via his blog that he is leaving the company. AllThingsD reports that the longtime employee will not be replaced. Instead, CEO Dennis Crowley has split up Rainert’s work between Ad Product exec Noah Weiss and Marketing VP Jon Steinback. Rainert assures the departure won’t shake up the product, which continues to expand this month to more iOS users.
This year has seen many product refreshes for Apple (a aapl) — including the super high-end Mac Pro — but the Apple TV system has been suspiciously absent from the proceedings. But it’s coming soon, if an analyst report spotlighted by 9to5Mac is on target. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that in 2014, Apple TV will use an A7 chip, but that the long-term goal is a set-top box in 2015 or 2016. Both products are reasonably predictable — the A7 upgrade is an easy one to make, and Apple already has patents for a set-top box in place — so it’s worth keeping in mind.
Twitter has released a new feature for power-users: Custom Timelines. Read more »
MakerBot is bringing a 3D printer to every classroom — with some help from the public and Donors Choose. Read more »
Apple has opened sales for its much-awaited new tablet, but you better get it quickly, as supplies are rumored to be low. Read more »
It appears that there’s one last hitch in Fab’s final transition to become a design-focused ecommerce hub. After big layoffs in the summer, then again in the fall, followed by the departure of co-founder Bradford Shellhammer, Fab might also be losing Chief Operating Officer Beth Ferreira, according to Bloomberg. The shakeups seem to be tied to over-expansion during the company’s two-year rapid growth period. CEO and co-founder Jason Goldman has yet to make any personnel announcements, or hinted towards adding fresh blood to the C-suite, but this news still isn’t too fab for Fab.
Everyone is well aware of how much late-night binge-watching has affected our television viewing habits, but Brian Stelter is pointing out in the New York Times that it’s popular for kids, too. Disney is capitalizing on the binge-watching trend by releasing some series early before they hit live TV, a possible boon for kid loyalty in the digital era. What’s more, kids often watch the same one episode over and over. Is it true? Just ask my three-year-old niece: she has demanded to watch the Alice in Wonderland episode of PBS show Super Why every day for the past two weeks.
To no one’s surprise, users have expressed outrage at Youtube’s new real-name policy for comments. Is the video sharing site damaged forever? Read more »
Sundays have been a relative wasteland for postal services since the free mail service was instituted in 1863. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has developed a partnership with USPS to furnish Sunday deliveries, beginning with New York and Los Angeles. Beginning November 17, Sunday deliveries will be eligible for any Amazon shipments and will soon expand to cities like Dallas, New Orleans, and Houston. London will also get Sunday delivery, albeit without USPS involvement.
Yesterday may have been a boon for Twitter, opening on the NYSE with a stock price of $45.10 (well above its IPO price of $26) and a cool $1.8 billion in cash from the transaction. But while bullish buyers drove the stock price as high as $50 yesterday, the stock’s second day drew to a close at $41.65 — a 7.24 percent drop. Blame it on the lack of profits, which has led analysts to downgrade the stock.
Xbox has announced its first wave of media apps for the Xbox One, which include participation from network stations. Read more »