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US Diplomat Caught Red-Tongued Dissing EU
February 07, 2014
The United States' top diplomat for Europe was caught saying, "F*ck the EU," in a now-viral recording. The diplomat, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, made the comment in a thought-to-be private telephone call that later was leaked online. She has apologized to EU officials, but her remarks figure to live in infamy online.
AT&T Gives Icy Appraisal of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws
February 05, 2014
Joining athletes and activists, AT&T has rebuked Russia's less-than-progressive stance on homosexuality ahead of this month's Sochi Winter Games. AT&T, the U.S.'s second-largest wireless character, penned a blog post -- titled, "A Time for Pride and Equality" -- in which it declared its "pride in America and everything for which it stands."
Nintendo Makes Health the New Name of the Game
January 31, 2014
Nintendo is planning a new product offering that will take the company beyond traditional gaming and into the world of health, it announced on Thursday. Coming hard on the heels of a grim earnings report that prompted a pay cut for President and CEO Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's announcement was described with only the barest of details at a briefing for investors and media.
Snowden in the Running for Nobel Peace Prize
January 30, 2014
A group of Norwegian lawmakers nominated former NSA contactor Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. Saying that his bottomless pit of surveillance revelations contributes to stability and transparency, the lawmakers submitted the nomination to the Nobel Foundation. President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, meaning Obama and his secret-leaking foil could soon have something in common.
This Is Your Game on Glass
January 29, 2014
Google on Monday announced that it had hacked together five simple games that take advantage of the unique features of Glass. The company presented a brief demo of the five-title mashup as Mini Games Glassware, and it encouraged Glass developers to offer feedback.Google emphasized that voice commands could minimize the time it would take a gamer to get into the action.
US, British Intelligence Scoop Data From Smartphone Apps
January 28, 2014
Don't get angry, but... U.S. and British intelligence agencies have long been mining data from smartphone apps such as the wildly popular Angry Birds. The National Security Agency and its British brethren at the Government Communications Headquarters reportedly have targeted the swell of data moving to and fro on mobile apps, based on previously secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
Microsoft Now Turning Gears of War
January 27, 2014
Microsoft on Monday announced that it had reached a deal with Epic Games to acquire all the rights to existing and future installments in the action franchise Gears of War. Microsoft also will acquire the rights to all entertainment experiences and merchandise for the popular third-person science fiction shooter. Black Tusk Studios will take over its development.
Foxconn Could Be Coming to America
January 27, 2014
Infamous technology manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is considering expanding operations to the United States. The Taiwanese company is a major supplier for Apple's iPhones and iPads, so speculation has already begun that a move to the States would further solidify the companies' already-strong relationship. Foxconn Chairman Terry Guo described the U.S. as "a must-go market."
Glyph Mobile Theater Takes Kickstarter by Storm
January 24, 2014
Avegant's Glyph, which combines high-quality headphones with a retinal display for an all-in-one audiovisual device, has far surpassed its $250,000 Kickstarter goal since its Wednesday launch. The Glyph blew past its target within four hours, and by mid-day Friday had drawn $608,002 from 1,264 contributors. Backers who donate $499 or more earn a fully functional prototype of the device.
Wife of Indian Minister Dead After Exposing Husband on Twitter
January 20, 2014
The wife of Shashi Tharoor, an Indian minister and member of parliament, was found dead in a luxury hotel in New Delhi days after exposing her husband's alleged infidelity via Twitter. The cause of death is not known, but a forensic expert reportedly dubbed it a "sudden, unnatural death." Private messages between Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist popped up on Tharoor's Twitter account Wednesday.
Microsoft May Breathe New Life Into Halo's Cortana AI
January 17, 2014
The hottest rumor for Microsoft Xbox Halo fans is that the voice and text-based virtual assistant service -- code-named "Cortana" and planned for release with Windows Phone 8.1 -- actually might be created with the real-life voice behind Cortana, Jen Taylor. There is no evidence to back up the rumor, but millions of Halo fans will be totally freakin' stoked if it's true.
AMD Unleashes Kaveri APUs
January 14, 2014
AMD is attempting to take computing to a new level with the launch of its 2014 AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units. The A-Series APUs include AMD's Radeon R7 graphics technology and are codenamed "Kaveri." The chips mark the first time that AMD has used the Heterogeneous System Architecture in an APU -- a way to let the chip evenly allocate and give access to certain resources.
Retiring in Sanctuary Belize: Renewed Hope
January 13, 2014
After my Belize retirement update appeared last week, a number of things happened. Most initially were rather painful, but eventually I was placed on the phone with Rod Kazazi, the project CFO who is based in the United States. Since we both had a financial background, he was able to address most of my concerns by informing me of solid programs that ensure the project will be completed.
China Gets Its First Homegrown Game Console
January 10, 2014
Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications outfit best known for its mobile phones and its propensity to spook U.S. lawmakers, announced that it has created China's first videogame console. The timing of Huawei's announcement, coming at this week's CES extravaganza in Las Vegas, is interesting: Just this week, Beijing announced that it would for the first time allow foreign-made videogame consoles.
China Blocks The Guardian's Website
January 08, 2014
The Guardian has become the latest Western media outlet to get blocked in China. For more than a year, China's Web-censoring authorities, unaffectionately known as the "Great Firewall of China," have blocked sites for The New York Times and Bloomberg, each of which published unsavory articles about wealth amassed by family members of Communist Party leaders.
Nvidia's K1 Super Chip Lands in Farmer's Field
January 08, 2014
Nvidia this week announced the Tegra K1, a 192-core super chip that brings its Kepler architecture to the mobile space. Kepler is used in what Nvidia claims is the fastest GPU on the planet, its GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Because the K1 will support the latest PC-class gaming technologies, it will be able to run the Unreal Engine 4 game engine, allowing PC- and console-class game play.
So Now China IS Lifting Videogame Console Ban
January 07, 2014
China reportedly will temporarily lift a sales ban on foreign videogame consoles, reversing a 14-year prohibition. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- which long have salivated over the heretofore obstructed gold mine of Chinese videogamedom -- will be allowed to make game consoles in Shanghai's free trade zone and then sell them in China.
Eye-Controlled Gaming May Be Closer Than It Appears
January 04, 2014
One of the biggest bugbears for gamers has long been the need to use a joystick to both track a target and control the motion of their avatar or weapons, but at International CES 2014 next week, Tobii Technology will demonstrate a new solution. Tobii has teamed up with SteelSeries, the companies announced Friday, to produce what they claim will be the first mass-market eye tracking peripheral for gamers.
Nintendo Toys With Mobile-App Possibilities
December 21, 2013
Nintendo's Wii U hasn't exactly been the smash hit that the company had surely hoped, and a year after the console's debut Nintendo is reportedly exploring a future that could include mobile apps. With Angry Birds, Temple Run and other casual games dominating tablets and mobile phones, Nintendo faces increased competition in the mobile gaming space.
Smithsonian Crowns 2 Video Games 'Art'
December 19, 2013
The Smithsonian American Art Museum this week announced the addition of two video games to its permanent collection: the 2009 title Flower by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of the Thatgamecompany; and the 2010 title Halo 2600 by Ed Fries, former head of Microsoft Games Studios. These new acquisitions will build upon the museum's collection of film and media arts.
NSA Snoops Extend Ops to Online Games
December 09, 2013
The U.S. National Security Agency and British counterpart GCHQ have monitored the activities of online gamers, according to documents published Monday that were leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two agencies gained access to the online Xbox Live console network, the documents suggest, as well as deploying real-life agents into the virtual realms of Blizzard's World of Warcraft and Linden Labs' Second Life.
Ecuador Boards the Internet Freedom Train
December 09, 2013
Ecuador hosted an Internet freedom forum last week, welcoming guests from the pro-transparency community. The nation's president, Rafael Correa, is also funding a new research project designed to overhaul traditional copyright laws. To that end, the FLOK Society, based at a public university in Quito, is exploring ways to liberate Ecuador's Internet from global intellectual property laws.
Xbox One Edges Ahead in US Black Friday Sales
December 02, 2013
Sony's PlayStation 4 may have had a weeklong head start in building sales momentum, but on Black Friday, Microsoft's competing Xbox One appears to have edged out its rival -- at least in the United States. The new Xbox One -- along with the previous-generation Xbox 360 -- together accounted for 61 percent of console sales on Black Friday, compared with 30 percent for Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Steam Machine on Track to Switch Up Video Gaming
November 30, 2013
iBuyPower reportedly is working on prototypes of a commercial Steam machine. Valve recently announced that it was working with multiple OEMs to bring Steam gaming machines to market in 2014. All will run its Linux-based SteamOS. The iBuyPower device is the first Steam machine prototype unveiled by a third party so far, but Valve is said to be working on its own prototype.

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