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.
Surveillance technology has gotten pretty impressive. Camera resolution combined with facial recognition means you can be identified just about all the time, and in many jurisdiction in the United States it is actually illegal to wear a mask in public if it is likely to cause concern. What is the average guy supposed to do to hide from the high tech eyes of a watchful government?
You can always try wearing someone else's face.
I promise it's less creepy than it sounds. Still pretty creepy though. The URME Mask, a realistically detailed 3D printed replica of the creator's face, comes to us by way of Indiegogo. Yes, you read that right, the entire premise of the URME is to make everyone look just like Leo Selvaggio, the Chicago-based artist that that brainstormed the idea.
And he is apparently not alone in thinking this. It's a little disturbing but he has more than doubled his originally asked for goal of $1,000. There are people out there willing to pay good money to wear Leo's skin.
Read More | Indiegogo
I'll be the first to admit that I am not a hardcore gamer. Ok, that's false, many people have said that first, but the point stands. I can never keep track of the differences between core and hardcore and pro gamer and who is playing what. But when I look at my steam account and see that I managed to log triple digit hours in some of those things I don't know if I can say I'm casual either. In fact, there is only one thing I can say with certainty about video games:
I like the free ones.
The majority of the games in my steam library were free. Metro 2033? Free promotional. Red Orchestra? Free steam weekend. And now another, Path of Exile. Another freebie, and at 132 hours it takes second place for play time in my library next to Civilization 5. That one I bought the hard way.
Its one of the expanding genre of free to play MMOs on the market these days and it ranks at the fifth most popular freebie on steam with a pretty solid community rating. Metascore 85/100 is nothing to sneeze at. It got glowing reviews from Gamespot and IGN. It has five million players. I'm willing to bet some of you reading this have that icon on your desktop right now.
Now I'm going to tell you about my experiences with it after 132 hours.
Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3 this morning, and noted that the device would be priced starting at $799. Of course, with multiple configurations and processors available, you're probably wondering what pricing across the entire Surface Pro 3 line might look like. Well, we've got the answer:
- Intel Core i3, 64GB SSD, 4GB RAM: $799
- Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM: $999
- Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1299
- Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1,549
- Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1,949
Here's the kicker, though. Microsoft has positioned the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that can replace your laptop. Well, in order to do that, you need a keyboard. The Surface Pro 3 Type Cover keyboard costs a ridiculous $129.99. So, in other words, that $799 entry-level Surface Pro 3 price jumps to $929 with keyboard. Extra Surface Pens cost $49.99 as well, so, you'll want to not lose the one that comes with the device.
You can pre-order the Surface Pro 3 now. Who's buying one?
On the point that Microsoft tried to hammer home during today's Surface Pro 3 event, that it could replace your laptop:
At $929 with a keyboard it darn well better. At that price you get 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and an i3 processor. The $899 11-inch MacBook Air is a 4 GB / 128 GB / i5 configuration. The Surface 3 has a better screen, but Apple’s base offering is faster, has more storage and is $30 cheaper.
As usual, great point made by John Moltz.
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 has officially announced the next entry in the Halo series in Halo 5: Guardians. Exclusive to the Xbox One, Halo 5: Guardians will star Master Chief as he begins a new journey, which was previously teased at E3 2013.
"Halo 5: Guardians" is a bigger effort than "Halo 4." That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine. Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.
Read More | Xbox Wire
Foursquare has taken the first step in bifurcating its service with the release of Swarm, an app that allows you to easily connect with the friends around you. The company decided to remove the feature that allows you to see which friends are checked in where from the core Foursquare app experience, moving that to the new Swarm app.
Within Swarm is a new feature that allows you to make plans with friends. You can see the events and ideas being shared by those you know - no invitations, just a list of your friends offering up various ideas of things to do, that you can join or not.
The trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has arrived, and we are even more excited than we thought we would be. It's not often that a movie trailer just hints at the main plot lines in a movie without seemingly giving it all away. The movie will feature Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway as a group of space explorer from Earth seek to find a new home in the galaxy where human life can thrive. Interstellar hits theaters in November 2014, and you can check out the trailer after the break.
Over a year ago, Yahoo purchased the blog host Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Today their investment is not looking so good. Rather than seeing growth, in the past six months Tumblr had lost over 7 million users.
Back in December, Tumblr boasted 49 million regular users. As of yesterday, consumer reports showed only 42 million. That's a 15 percent drop in traffic, presenting a problem for Yahoo, which has been trying to attract advertisers for the blogging service in order to monetize it.
When Yahoo first made the purchase, they stated that they would not make changes, and true to their word, Tumblr has remained more or less the same as it has been for years. No overhead policy change can really explain the loss of users (and consequently revenue.)