Items tagged with Software

The next version of Internet Explorer might look more like the competition rather than a retooled version of itself. Scheduled to debut in Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold), Internet Explorer 12 (IE12) is said to look like a "cross between Chrome and Firefox" as part of a massive overhaul to the user interface that will give it a flatter appearance. According to Neowin, the tabs for each page are rectangles at the top and start at the left of the Windows, similar to both Chrome and Firefox. They also appear above the URL bar, unlike in Internet Explorer 11, in which tabs populate the area to the right of the URL bar. "It really looks a lot like Chrome but with Microsoft's flat lipstick applied,"... Read more...
Whether it's because consumers simply didn't take to Windows 8 the way Microsoft hoped or because there's a genuine like for Chrome OS, Chromebooks have grown to become super popular, especially among students who need a cheap, basic machine for surfing the web. In a way, Chromebooks are the modern day netbooks, and they're about to get a whole lot more functional with the addition of select Android apps. "Chromebooks were designed to keep up with you on the go—they’re thin and light, have long battery lives, resume instantly, and are easy to use. Today, we're making Chromebooks even more mobile by bringing the first set of Android apps to Chrome OS," Google stated in a blog post.... Read more...
There's an age-old warning about putting all of one's eggs in a single basket. It's a lesson Intel is determined not to learn the hard way, hence why you'll find Intel inside Windows machines, Apple systems, and Android devices. In terms of mobile, Android is the most successful at this point (as it relates to market share), and to make it easier to bring Android devices based on Intel architecture to market, the Santa Clara chip maker unveiled its Reference Design Program for Android at IDF today. Intel's aware that making a living building hardware is a difficult task, especially in a fast-evolving market where Android resides. Those who are to be successful are able to capitalize on market... Read more...
There's a new Sims title in town, and it's unlike any previous version you've played before. The Sims 4, now available on PC, lets you create Sims that have their own personalities, and just as in real life, they change over time depending on how you interact with them. According to Electronic Arts, these new Sims are smarter, more relatable, and emotionally aware. "Every Sim is unique in The Sims 4, your own individual creations that come to life with big personalities and endless possibilities," said Rachel Franklin, Executive Producer for The Sims 4. "Who they are on the inside changes the way you play. Your Sims embody the traits and aspirations you give them in The Sims 4, and playing out... Read more...
We suspect quite a few folks will be rejoicing over this one. This week, Google announced that its 64-bit experimentation with Chrome in Windows was a success. Thus, it's planning official, bona fide 64-bit support for Chrome Stable once Chrome 37 hits. As you'd expect, benefits in the departments of "speed, stability, and security" are on the top of the changelog. In graphically-heavy benchmarks, the 64-bit version of Chrome has been found to "improve speed," with the VP9 codec that's used in HD YouTube videos boasting a 15 percent improvement in decoding. Stability measurements from people opted into our Canary, Dev and Beta 64-bit channels have confirmed that "64-bit rendering engines are... Read more...
Tensions are high between the Chinese government and Microsoft right now, with the former banning the latter's Windows 8 software for government use. Taking it a step further, China is said to be building its own operating system, which it hopes to have ready by October. On top of all that, China's been investigating Microsoft over antitrust allegations, and we've now learned that it's Microsoft's browser and media player bundling that are of issue. Citing what Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce told reporters during a briefing in Beijing this week, Reuters says Microsoft hasn't been all that transparent about it's Windows and Office sales, but is willing... Read more...
After Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion back in February of this year, the popular messaging service has gone on to surpass 600 million monthly active users, company founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum announced in a Twitter post today. At the time of acquisition, WhatsApp was nearing half a billion active users. By April, WhatsApp had crossed over the 500 million mark along with a new daily record of 64 billion messages handed in 24 hours, 20 billion of which were sent (inbound) and 44 billion received (outbound) by users. What that boils down to is an additional 100 million members in the course of four months. Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users. Yes, active and... Read more...
GameStop reported a 25.1 percent increase in total global sales to $1.73 billion for its fiscal second quarter of 2014, up from $1.38 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 21.9 percent, and new hardware sales skyrocketed 124.8 percent as demand for Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 consoles continues to be "very high." Looking back, it's hard to believe that there was ever any concern over GameStop's immediate future, but there was. Prior to the Xbox One launch, Microsoft flirted with tying game discs to Xbox Live accounts and leaving the fate of the used games market up to publishers. That didn't happen, and not only is it business... Read more...
It took a few years, but Google has finally come to grips with a real issue: fragmentation. At Google I/O this year, it took steps to unify tablet and phone apps, as well as unify design language for devs moving forward. It has also integrated Google Play Services into the Android framework, which enables it to push smaller, incremental updates to all Android phones without having to push a point release to a carrier for their own approval. Though baby steps are taking place, a new report showcases why it's so vital that Google get the issue under control. OpenSignal just published its 2014 Android fragmentation report, which confirms that there are 18,796 distinct Android devices as of today.... Read more...
September is shaping up to be one heck of a busy month. The kids will be back in school (if not already, depending on where you live), Apple will launch its iPhone 6, and if the latest rumor turns out to be true, Microsoft on September 30th will introduce the world to Windows 9, otherwise known as Threshold, during a press event. This is a tentative date, according to the un-named sources The Verge spoke with. These sources are supposedly "familiar with Microsoft's plans," and since this isn't the first we've heard of Microsoft giving users a glimpse of Windows 9 in September, we're optimistic (albeit cautiously) that the info is accurate. What will Windows 9 look like? Probably not like this,... Read more...
It's pretty tough to create a hit app in today's feverish ecosystem battles, but it's even tougher to have lightning strike twice. The creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen, is attempting to ensure that his sophomore entry into the mobile gaming space is just as addicting and popular as the first. After having a surefire hit on his hands, pulling it from the app store, and then putting it back, Nguyen is already aiming high for Round #2. The dev's next title will be Swing Copters, which showcases the same 8-bit style graphical motif, and the same kind of repeat / addictive gameplay as the original. It's not exactly a follow-on game, but if you dug the first one, you'll almost certainly appreciate... Read more...
Being a teenager is "tough," or so we're hearing from various teenagers within earshot. Little do they know that things could be getting a lot tougher as soon as their parents get wind of Ignore No More. The brilliantly named app was developed by an annoyed and frustrated parent who, like so many parents, could not get their teenager to quickly respond to calls or text messages. Not to mention, the parent is the one paying the phone bill. In an effort to remedy her own situation, Sharon Standifird researched and built an Android application that works as such: if the child won't respond, the parent can remotely lock the phone from doing anything except calling pre-defined people as well as 911.... Read more...
A man in China has been arrested for writing on WeChat that three people carrying explosives were shot and killed by police outside a hospital in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Chinese authorities detained the individual just hours after government officials issued new rules on instant messaging tools, one of which bans spreading panic. This is the first time someone has been arrested in China for such a thing. According to Reuters, this is part of a broader state initiative to squash the spread of rumors and obscene material online, and also to censor political commentary. In this instance, Chinese media reports that the man's claim had been investigated by police and found to be untrue. It... Read more...
Electronic Arts has been in a giving mood lately. After discontinuing support for The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection last month, the publisher decided to give the game away at no cost through its Origin digital distribution service. And through its On-The-House program, EA has temporarily removed the price tags from several games, such as Peggle and Battlefield 3. Now Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger is up for grabs. Like previous titles that appeared on EA's On-The-House program, this one can disappear at any time, so pounce quickly if you want relive those awful cut scenes that we thought were the cat's meow back in the day. Once you claim the game, it's yours to keep until the end of time... Read more...
Going forward, the software you previously knew as XBMC will be called Kodi Entertainment Center beginning with release 14. Why the name change? One of the biggest reasons XBMC is renaming itself is because it has little to do with Microsoft's Xbox gaming consoles as opposed to when the software was released 12 years ago. "Six years have passed since the Xbox Media Center became XBMC, and simply put, 'XBMC' fits less now than it did even in 2008. The software only barely runs on the original Xbox, and then only because some clever developers are still hacking on that platform. It has never run on the Xbox 360 or Xbox One," XBMC stated in a blog post announcing the name change. The developers... Read more...
Good news, gamers! Electronic Arts has decided to donate The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection to anyone and everyone in need of a game to play. That's right -- the title is completely free, provided you claim your copy by July 31, 2014 at 10AM PDT. After that, the freebie promotion disappears, though it probably won't be the last time EA does something like this. So, that's the good news. And the bad? As you probably guessed, you have to claim and download the game through your Origin account. For some, that requirement is no big deal, but if you're turned off by EA's Origin service, this could be a deal killer. We suppose some of you might find that to be a string, but it's understandable that EA... Read more...
LinkedIn has risen to become the replacement for the professional Black Book. It's the de facto place to find and connect with other professionals, either colleagues you work with or folks that you meet quickly at a conference. Over the years, it has expanded quite a bit, from just online resumes to job searching, messaging, news, and now, notifications about the contacts you hold dear. The company has snapped up Newsle, which is responsible for developing software that can constantly be on the lookout for mentions of you (or folks you care about), and then notify you instantly if these names pop up in published articles around the Web. The tie-up seems completely logical. LinkedIn is great,... Read more...
Another end of an era is right around the corner, though attentive drivers could probably have seen this one coming. We're talking about the discontinuation of Microsoft's MapPoint software. After 15 years of service, Microsoft said it's planning to fold up MapPoint for good on December 31, 2014, though you're welcome to purchase the U.S. or European version up until then. In addition to MapPoint, Microsoft is also shuttering its AutoRoute and Streets & Trips software. Competition in this day and age of mobile devices where anyone can look up directions on Google Maps or Microsoft own Bing Maps may have ultimately limited the appeal of MapPoint and related software, though MapPoint is different... Read more...
IT admins would do well to prepare themselves for a rather large collection of security updates that Oracle is planning to release this Thursday. The updates are supposed to fix precisely 113 security vulnerabilities that a apply to hundreds of versions of the company's products, including Database, Fusion Middleware, Solaris, MySQL Server, and many more. "A Critical Patch Update is a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities. This Critical Patch Update contains 113 new security vulnerability fixes across hundreds of Oracle products," Oracle explain in a blog post. "Some of the vulnerabilities addressed in this Critical Patch Update affect multiple products. Due to the threat... Read more...
The cat is out of the bag, folks -- Tekken 7, the first numbered release since way back in 2007, was confirmed by Katsuhiro Harada, game producer and creator of the Tekken series from Namco Bandai. Appropriately enough, Harada made the announcement at the Evolution Championship Series fighting game tournament in Las Vegas. Tekken was first introduced back in 1994. Each major game in the series debuted in arcades before being ported over to consoles and PC devices. Arcades aren't nearly as popular these days as they once were, though it wouldn't be shocking if Tekken 7 followed the same release script. Either way, the game will be powered by Unreal Engine 4, Bandai Namco said. While the company... Read more...
Ah, the delightful double-edged sword known as Steam's Summer Sale is upon us, and it will cut through virtual wallets with big-time savings from now until it ends on June 30. You should know the drill by now -- you stock up on games you'll probably never find time to play, but you purchase them anyway because some of the deals are too good to refuse. It's a remarkable thing -- even though we know what's going on, we willing continue to participate. Well played, Valve. The alternative is to ignore the sale, and that's easier said then done. For example, if you missed out on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, now is your chance to snag it for a mere $3.99, which is 80 percent... Read more...
Futuremark first revealed in May of this year that it was working on a new DirectX 11 test for its popular 3DMark benchmarking program that would focus on gaming laptops and mid-range systems. Now just a few short weeks later, Futuremark is announcing the immediate availability of Sky Diver, which is a free update for all 3DMark users. Sky Diver includes a Demo run, two Graphics tests, a Physics tests, and a Combined test. As you might imagine, the Graphics tests measure GPU performance, the Physics test measures CPU performance, and the Combined test evaluates both the GPU and CPU. Running the Demo (or opting not to run it) doesn't affect the score in any way. The first Graphics test focuses... Read more...
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