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Mozilla releases Firefox UE3 demo PDF Print E-mail
Written by T3   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 17:56

Firefox Logo 624

Mozilla has released a demo of Epic Citadel for its recently announced Unreal Engine 3 Firefox port.

The game was ported to Javascript using the new browser-based engine.

Significantly, it was the first game to make use of the engine on the iPhone after it was ported to support iOS devices in 2009.

The game will run in any browser, including rivals Chome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, to get the best performance out of it, it is recommended to run it using the latest nightly build of Firefox.

According to Epic, the performance "rivals native" with "stunning" visuals.

Mozilla is looking for more developers to take part in its Emscripten project.

If you want to see how the game runs, your can click here. However, there's no action in the game; it's currently just a scenic tour.

 
Is Google Getting Serious About Gaming? Noah Falstein Hired As Chief Game Designer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve O'Hear   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 17:52

Well, what do we have here? Somewhat under the radar, Google has hired the computer games veteran Noah Falstein to the position of Chief Game Designer. Yes, that’s right, the search giant, not normally known for its games development, appears to have a major gaming project in circulation, at least something that requires someone as experienced as Falstein at its helm. What that might be we can only speculate. A Google Glass-related augmented-reality game seems a possibility, though there could be something even more serious going on, given Falstein’s areas of interest.

For those who aren’t familiar with his work, according to his bio Falstein’s been in the computer games industry since 1980, spanning companies such as LucasArts, 3DO, and Dreamworks Interactive, and is the designer behind a number of hit titles. He most recently ran his own consultancy, The Inspiracy, which offered companies help on game design, development and business, as well as being a regular on the lecture and speaking circuit. Ever influential, so perhaps not so surprising that he’s wound up at Google.

On his LinkedIn profile, his new title is “Chief Game Designer” at Google, joining sometime in April 2013. No further details are provided. Intriguingly, however, an earlier cached version has the position down as “Chief Game Designer at Android Play Studio.”

That, of course, points to something Android-related, even if — as one industry insider noted when I asked around — Google’s mobile OS seems to be doing just fine games-wise without the need for a dedicated Android Chief Game Designer within the company.

Were Google to be working on a new game (or games) led by Falstein, it wouldn’t be an entirely new avenue. It already has the mysterious Niantic Labs, maker of Ingress, a real-time augmented reality MMO for Android, so perhaps there’s a connection there. Or maybe a similar concept but for Google Glass.

Finally, if we zoom out further and think a bit more laterally, a major interest of Falstein is the field of “Serious Games,” which he defines as “Using Games, Game Technology, or Game Industry Techniques for a purpose other than pure entertainment.” The list of Serious Games projects Falstein has been involved in spans anything from using game techniques to improve health and education, to financial projections. In other words, weighty stuff.

Or, dare I say, very Google.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 May 2013 17:52
 
Apple's New Berlin Store Not Short Of Eager Fans! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeevan Vasagar   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 15:26

As thousands of fans queued around the block, with the most diehard sleeping on the pavement for a chance to be the first inside its new store in Berlin, Apple appeared to have lost none of its retail magic at its latest opening yesterday.

apple berlin store

“I was here at 9pm last night,” said Jan Teuner, 46, a civil servant. “It was cold and the ground was hard. But I wanted to be first because I love Apple and the products are perfect.”

Opening in a listed building which formerly housed a cinema, the new store is Apple’s biggest outlet in Germany, where it has 10 other shops. The façade of the building on Kurfuerstendamm, Berlin’s main shopping street, is styled like a Greek temple. Inside, iPhones, iPads and MacBooks were on display on tables made of German oak.

The crowd queuing outside was youthful, largely male, and united in its adoration.

“Apple’s prices may be high but they are worth it,” said Adrian Post, 22, a hospital worker who had travelled in from nearby Potsdam. “I’ve just come to look. I’m not going to buy anything today, but I’d like one of those very flat laptops.”

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Windows 8.1 will bring back the Start button PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sebastian Anthony   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 15:17

Microsoft will resurrect the Start button in Windows 8.1 (Blue), which is due to be released later this year. This follows last week’s news that Windows 8.1 will let you to skip the Start screen after logging in, allowing you to boot straight to the Desktop.windows-8-start8-start-menu

This news comes from The Verge, which cites the usual “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.” Don’t get too excited, though: As it stands, the resurrected Start button will still open the new, tile-based Metro Start screen. For now, there doesn’t seem to be any plans to bring back the old Start menu — for that, you’ll still need to install a third-party Start button/menu app. Who knows, though — if Microsoft has finally decided to back down on its severe Start-screen-über-alles stance to appease Desktop users, then it would make sense for the Start menu to also make a glorious return. We also don’t know if the Start button will be visible by default in Windows 8.1, or enabled via an option that’s hidden deep within the Control Panel.

If Microsoft had opted to kill the Start button or introduce the brand-new Start screen with Windows 8, that would’ve been bad enough. That Microsoft decided to do both at the same time, both alienating the old users and disorienting the new, will remain one of the tech world’s greatest mysteries. There was definitely an argument for removing the Start menu — it wasn’t being used much, and the new Start screen replicates most of its features — but in combination with the other changes it made Windows 8′s learning curve dauntingly steep, leading us to call Windows 8′s interface a train wreck. As the head of Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green, said: it may take up to six weeks until users feel truly comfortable with Windows 8′s interface changes.

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PC Makers: It’s not our fault Windows 8 computer sales are slow PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIELLA MOON   
Saturday, 08 December 2012 19:03

PC makers react to a report that Microsoft blames them and their poor designs for the slower-than-expected sales of Windows 8 computers.

Microsoft might claim to have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses with an upgrade rate outpacing that of Windows 7′s, but according to a recent Wired story, sales of new Windows 8 computers haven’t been meeting the company’s expectations. If Winsupersite’s report is to be believed, Microsoft blames the slow sales on “lackluster PC maker designs and availability,” to which the manufacturers reply something to the effect of: “Don’t blame us.”Windows 8

 

As we mentioned earlier, Reuters reported that a big chunk of the the 40 million licenses sold were bought by PC makers. These Windows 8 computers are almost reaching projected sales, manufacturers told Wired. However, Toshiba America claimed it had lower expectations than previous Windows versions since there are a lot more platforms and devices now. ”In the past Windows was the only game in town, when it was Windows 7 or Vista it was the big event of the year,” Jeff Barney, VP and general manager of Toshiba America, told Wired. ”These days it’s a different environment.”

 

In the same story, Dave McFarland, Sony’s VAIO product manager, said that sales have been meeting the numbers they projected before Windows 8′s launch, but that sales of computers with the new operating system have been comparatively slow. People might have been more eager to switch to Windows 7 from the universally panned Windows Vista, McFarland said, than from the well-loved Windows 7 to Windows 8

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Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Twitter campaign goes horribly wrong PDF Print E-mail
Written by LISA EADICICCO   
Saturday, 08 December 2012 18:53

Microsoft launched a Twitter advertising campaign aimed at getting Android users to complain about their devices. However, the company's ploy flopped.

The Internet can be a breeding ground for drama, especially when it comes to social media. Microsoft seems to have learned that the hard way, as its recent Twitter campaign against Android hopelessly backfired. The long-time PC software maker launched a campaign asking Android users to share their malware horror stories via Twitter with the hashtag #DroidRage. In exchange, these tweeters would get the chance to win a new Windows Phone handset.windows phone 8

 

“Do you have an Android malware horror story? Reply with #DroidRage with your best/worst story and we may have  get-well present for you,” the tweet from the official Windows Phone Twitter account read.

The social media savvy marketing scheme, however, did not go as planned. Hordes of loyal Android geeks defended their mobile operating system and their favorite devices, firing quips of their own and developing the hashtag #WindowsRage.

 

Google’s Director of Open Source, Chris DiBona, fired back at Microsoft with the following:

“Wanna see what Flop Sweat looks like? Follow: @WindowsPhone”

 

Other Twitter users had this to say when it comes to Windows Phone vs. Android.

“Microsoft slamming Android with #DroidRage for malware issues? Have you seen your desktop?” user Apurva Chaudhary tweeted.

 

“I tried to buy a Nexus 4 but the device is so popular to get one! I wish it was less popular like Windows Phone #DroidRage,” user Saif posted to Twitter.

 

“Whoops. Just activated another million devices today. Sorry about that @windowsphone #DroidRage,” Android blog Android Central tweeted.

 

“I once thought about writing malware for a Windows Phone but then I though, aren’t they suffering enough? #DroidRage #WindowsRage,” user Mohammad Tarakiyee tweeted.

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Google to start charging new users for its Apps for Business service PDF Print E-mail
Written by Saul   
Saturday, 08 December 2012 18:41

Google has announced that its Apps for Business suite is no longer free for new subscribers.

Google lovers who plan to use the platform for their business needs better listen up. The search engine giant announced on Friday that users will no longer be able to sign up for Google Apps free of charge.

Google Apps for Business is a cloud-based productivity suite that lets business owners and managers connect with their team members from any where on any device. This includes apps such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and other popular Google apps tailored to a particular business.googleapps business

 

The company’s director of product management Clay Bavor announced via his blog that users will now have to pay when signing up for these enterprise-based services. He explained that Google is putting more emphasis on creating a stronger and fuller user experience for paying customers.

 

“When we launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well,” Bavor wrote. “Both business and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right for either group. Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready.”

 

The paid version of Google Apps will only apply to new customers. Those already using a free account will not be forced to pay the annual $50 fee that newcomers will soon be forking over. Bavor clearly specified the difference between the paid and free version of Google Apps, emphasizing that the latter is aimed toward business needs.

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