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Sean Kalinich

It seems that Microsoft is not getting the love from former Halo developer Bungie. Bungie is working on a new game that is aimed at next generation consoles, but instead of partnering up with their old buddies Microsoft they decided to focus on Sony instead. Bungie even went so far as to start a beta program for PS3 owners early (today 7-17-2014).

We have talked about how the MPAA, RIAA and others use fantasy math to come up with the figures about how much Piracy hurts them. Usually they use these fantasy number when asking lawmakers for harsher punishments and also to show how malignant file sharers are. These numbers allege that every single download is a lost sale which leads to more revenue lost in concessions and many other non-related areas.

This morning some news flitted across my desk that made me thing of an old TV commercial. In this ad an older man in a suit ask the question: “How do we measure success?” His response is: “One client at a time.” All of this is done in black and white for an even better impression. Now that I have gone off on a tangent I should probably explain what I am talking about. The news in question was a bit of information stating that Xbox One sales had nearly doubled. The reason, Microsoft removed the Kinect from the bundle and cut the price.

They say that competition is good for the soul, and they are right. In just about any area you can think of having a little competition makes you better at what you do. In the computer world this is especially noticeable when it comes to motherboards, even more so now that companies like Intel and AMD control the chipsets and their features. The push now comes down to performance tuning (at a very fine level) overclocking an additional features to entice the consumer into picking up a new motherboard. We have had a couple of Z97 based boards in the lab recently, but all have been from the same company. Now we have one in from Gigabyte in the form of the Z97MX Gaming 5. Let’s take a look and see if competition has driven Gigabyte to a higher standard.

As a kid I can remember one of my brothers bringing home a new game. This game was not like anything I had seen at the time, it consisted of three books (there was a fourth, but that came later) and some funny looking dice. Its name was Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and it ended up occupying a large portion of my youth as we played out adventures in our heads. Dungeons and Dragons has gone through many incarnations and seen more than one competitor since that time in the mid-70s, but it has always stuck around. Even if the rule changes annoyed more traditional players it has always been there (I still have Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes...)

Well, with all of the news about Apple’s next round of products we thought we would chime in with our take on this. Warning Apple fans the following article is not based on analyst WAGs (wild ass guesses), but on information that is available publicly and, well through other means. Right now far too many analyst firms are looking to bolster their portfolios by talking up products from Apple that do not even have firm or realistic specifications attached to them. We are talking about Apple’s rumored iWatch, 12.9-inch iPad and large screen iPhone. All three of these are rumored to hit the market in September as Apple tried to catch up to the rest of the world and offer the same style of product that is already out there.

After hearing from Microsoft that the world would not see the true start menu back until the Redmond team decides to push Windows 9 out the door we are hearing a new rumor that a future update for Windows 8.x will have it. This is surprising as it appeared that CEO Satya Nadella was almost trying to distance himself from Windows 8.x and many of the items that were Ballmer centric pushes.

In the wake of the Nokia purchase Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is taking a hard look at the way Microsoft is organized and will be making some rather drastic cuts in staff. This should not come as a big surprise to anyone that has been keeping up with events at the Redmond based Windows shop. Over the last few years Microsoft has tried to transform themselves from a software giant that owns a successful gaming console department to a devices and services company that looks a lot like Apple.

If you have ever wondered about the veracity of studies (any kind really) done then we have a great article for you. For many people the thought of someone putting in the time to perform a study means they will do their due diligence and seek out the truth of a situation. However, in recent years (really since social media exploded) we have been seeing more and more “studies” that are less than accurate at best.

Monday, 14 July 2014 06:58

Will VR hurt real social interaction?

Recently a comment from former Valve contractor, Fabian Giesen that VR is “bad news” brought up an interesting point. On the surface the technology has some interesting implications for making gaming, multi-media and even social networking more interactive and engaging. However, there is a much darker side to this technology that might escape the eye because of the flashy parts.