If you live in the world of video gaming, you probably know about Twitch. It's a sound concept. Watch other people play video games. I know I did it when I was nine, there was always a group of us kids around the the guy with the Gameboy playing Mario as we cheered him on.
Now it comes down to watching strangers play over the internet in real time and instead of five guys looking at a handheld console over their friend’s shoulder, it's 43 million people watching a sum total of 6 billion hours of video game coverage every single month.
Those are some big numbers, and if there is one company that has a good nose for big numbers and the internet, it's Google. Now sources connected to Google have let it slip that the internet giant YouTube, owned by Google, is looking to acquire Twitch for $1 billion.
Should the deal go through, Twitch would gain access to Google's nigh-unlimited resources to expand. It also could run afoul of United States monopoly laws, granting Google a majority share of internet video game streaming services.
Twitch alone accounted for 1.35% of all downstream bandwidth in North America in March, with Youtube raking in 18.67%.
It's still in the rumor stage unfortunately, with Youtube and Twitch refusing to confirm talks, naturally. We'll see what banner I'm streaming under when July rolls around.
Microsoft has officially the new Surface Pro 3 during a press event in New York City this morning, just under 7 months after releasing the Surface Pro 2. While the Surface Pro 3 may look similar at first glance, what with the kickstand and all, Surface chief Panos Panay went out of his way to make the point that this device is all about solving the problem of deciding between a laptop and a tablet. The Surface Pro 3, after all, can replace your laptop, claimed Panay.
So what makes the new model so impressive? Let's take a look at a rundown of features. First, Microsoft has increased the display size to 12-inches at a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2,160 x 1,440 resolution. That is the largest Surface display yet, with the highest density to boot. Despite being larger, it's also lighter than the Surface Pro 2 as well, weighing in at 800 grams. Panay made the point by comparing the weight of the Surface Pro 3 against the 11-inch MacBook Air, which has a smaller display without as high a screen resolution.
Microsoft surprised the gaming world this morning with the announcement it will sell the Xbox One without Kinect for $399 starting on June 9th in the U.S. This brings the price of the Xbox 360 in line with that of the PlayStation 4, which should bring the two consoles into even more heated competition.
An odd move (though some might say it was expected in order to compete,) since the company wouldn't stop talking about how essential Kinect is to the Xbox One functionality and gaming direction less than a year ago. I guess Microsoft has been feeling the heat if the PlayStation 4 sales, and had to adjust that strategy right quick.
Everyone knows at least one guy who uses Linux. I don't use it myself, but I knew that one guy. He built all his PCs from spart parts, he knew the ins and outs of programming, he was a little bit of an anarchist (ok, more than a little). He fits the bill of the Linux user stereotype-- the young hobbyist and hacker.
But now Linux has a new user. The United States military. Oddly, if I were to describe the military in a few words, hobbyist and hacker would be the dead last words I picked.
Raytheon makes drone and missile systems for the United States. These systems used to run on the Solaris operating system, but the Navy has asked Raytheon to help make some code switches so that they can use Linux for their upcoming unmanned helicopter project, the Mq-8B Fire Scout.
The move is expected to create more intuitive controls for the new unarmed aerial vehicles and save money in the long run. The military originally held that open source software presented too great a security risk for defense applications. It seems that Linux has changed minds.
How do you feel about the Navy's choice to go open source? Chime in in the comments to let us know.
Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)
Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.
With the smartphone being a huge success, companies like Samsung and Sony got the idea to make it smaller and wrist mounted, creating the Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch lines respectively. Now Microsoft has decided to muscle into the game, registering its patents with the U.S. Government this week.
The application filed with the patent office describes the wearable as a music player, phone, message device, and fitness measuring device. The watchface would be detachable from the wristband so that it can be connected to a charging port.
The features described are still speculation, and no date has been stated for release. Microsoft is up against competition from Samsung, who released their product last year, Motorola, which plans to release the Moto 360 in July, and Pebble, which has already sold over 400,000 units.
For all you Verizon customers waiting on the Glamour Red HTC One (M8) to arrive, it looks like your wait won't be that much longer. The folks over at @evleaks got their hands on a render of the red HTC flagship device, which means that it's likely primed for release, sporting the same 5-inch, 1080p, KitKat goodness that the other three hues (Gunmetal gray, Arctic silver, and Rose gold) are packing.
So specific date has been announced just yet, but it's looking mighty fine, no? As soon as an announcement is made on availability, we'll let you know--or, you can check Verizon's HTC One (M8) page for yourself. In the meantime, check out our HTC One (M8) unboxing video after the jump.
Apple CEO announced that Apple TV sales have now surpassed 20 million during today's Q2 2014 earnings call. As such, the company recently stopped referring to the Apple TV business as a "hobby," as it's done for the past seven years or so.
"I'm feeling good about this business and where it could go," Tim Cook said, further revealing that the company stopped calling the product segment a hobby once it pulled in $1 billion in revenue in 2013. "it didn’t feel right to me to refer to something that brought in a billion dollars as a 'hobby,'"
Now, the Apple TV is an "area of intense interest"--no longer a hobby, indeed. The last major Apple TV hardware release came in 2012. Since then, the company has added many new channels of content over time. Rumors continue to persist that Apple will release a new Apple TV set-top box with expanded functionality, while others say that the company is set to reveal a full-on 4K Ultra High Definition television set of its own.
You can pick up the current Apple TV at a discount on Amazon.
During today's Apple earnings call, CEO Tim Cook announced that 62% of current iPhone 4S buyers, and 60% of current iPhone 5c buyers are switching over from Android devices. The iPhone 4s is currently free with two-year contract, while the iPhone 5c is $99 (sometimes less) with the same term agreement (see our iPhone 5c review.) These numbers bring new light to the question that many ask, wondering why Apple keeps the iPhone 4s around, or why it made the iPhone 5c in the first place. They provide an inexpensive entry point with powerful hardware for users who just want to get started in the iOS ecosystem, without having to spend on a higher-priced flagship Apple device. By that tune, it would appear that the iPhone 5c is a success after all.
Today, Apple announced its second quarter earnings results, with revenue at $45.6 billion, beating the guidance of $42-44 billion that it previously gave, while also soundly beating analyst estimates.
How did Apple make that money? Mostly on the back of the iPhone. Device sales for Q2 2014 include 43.7 million iPhones sold, 16.3 million iPads, 3 million iPods, and 4.1 million Macs. In the same quarter last year, the iPhone sold 37.4 million, iPad 19.5 million, iPod 5.6 million, and Mac 3.9 million. The company also announced that Apple TV sales has now surpassed 20 million.
Apple isn't done yet. During today's earning call, CEO Tim Cook reiterated that Apple has new hardware categories that it's excited to reveal here in 2014. Time will tell if they'll be big enough to garner their own bulletpoint in the quarterly results in the future.
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