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What SteamOS Is, And Why It Matters
23 sep 2013 12:41

In the first of three announcements Valve is running this week about gaming in the living room, they showed their usual modesty and restraint and announced an entire freaking operating system that can stream your entire game library. So what, precisely, is SteamOS? And why is it a big, big deal? What It Is SteamOS is basically a custom operating system built on Linux, that streams games on Steam, that Valve is giving away for free. A good analogy is to think of it as the Android of gaming PCs; Valve has publicly declared they’re handing it out to anybody who wants it. This is important for two reasons: One, it means the operating system isn’t limited to one set of hardware. Unlike your PS3 or your Xbox 360, both of which are difficult to get running outside the environment specifically tailored for them, basically SteamOS is built to work on anything. Secondly, SteamOS gets around some pretty severe problems with PC gaming in the living room by just streaming your games. That in of itself practically sells the OS to a lot of people. Why It Matters Because essentially it’s what will likely be the first step to making gaming genuinely hardware-agnostic. Valve is essentially trying to leapfrog to where the game industry is heading anyway. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One are, in essence, streamlined PCs. That’s not exactly a coincidence; they were built, from the ground up, to make developing and publishing games cheaper and easier by making the architecture more PC-like. Part of the reason Sony is cuddling up to indies and Microsoft is talking up the sports and television aspects is that there isn’t going to be much different between the two in terms of actual games. This trend isn’t going to reverse any time soon. AAA game development is costing more and more and there’s less and less return. And that isn’t just a problem for developers, but also for the people who sell video games. You know, like Valve. Will It Work? Let’s see, a free operating system that you can just throw onto pretty much anything with a processor powerful enough to take it, and boosts the value of your device? Yeah, that’ll do pretty well. Gaming PCs will probably ship this standard, and remember, Valve isn’t done with announcements yet; the next one comes on Wednesday.

In the first of three announcements Valve is running this week about gaming in the living room, they showed their usual modesty and restraint and announced an entire freaking operating system that...

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The Government Wants You To Unlock Your Phone
18 sep 2013 13:16

A few months back, we told you that Obama had paid lip service to a petition about being able to legally unlock your phone, but that nothing was going to happen from the sound of things. Apparently, we misheard the sound of things, because the White House is actually pushing the FCC to do something. Specifically, the White House has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to make phone unlocking at any time completely legal. It’s currently illegal because of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Explaining why would take forever, and not even the government can offer a good reason. Will the FCC do it? Considering who’s running the joint, odds look pretty good: Before resigning earlier this year, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the commission would examine the issue “to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones,” adding that a ban on unlocking “raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns.” Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Genachowski, said during a nomination hearing in June that he supported lifting the ban. Needless to say, there’s the usual mindless panic among people who insist that this will bring to an end to subsidized phones. Which it won’t, because most of those subsidized phones are tied to a contract anyway, and it makes far more sense to buy the unlocked version of a phone than eat an early termination fee. Now, contracts themselves are increasingly an endangered species, but that’s due to market forces and phone hardware update cycles, not government intervention. Unlocking phones means we can get more use out of them, and that we can choose more easily what network we use when communicating. The White House views it as giving consumers the tools to vote with their wallets, and really, that’s what it is, in the end. Besides, considering how many phone ads we see now, it’s not like wireless carriers will have to shell out more for marketing.

A few months back, we told you that Obama had paid lip service to a petition about being able to legally unlock your phone, but that nothing was going to happen from the sound of things.

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iOS 7 Download Is Out, And You Should Update Right Now
18 sep 2013 13:15

Just a friendly reminder: iOS 7, probably the most compelling product Apple talked about last week, is out. If you’ve got an iDevice capable of running it, you need to get it. Why? Glad you asked! Not for the graphics finishes; people will be having a nice rabble rabble about that for days, and it couldn’t matter a bit less. No, what matters is what’s under the hood. The Notification and Control Centers are probably my favorite feature. The Notification Center is a very clean, simple way to look at your stuff in one place, something that iOS could use a better form of. The Control Center, meanwhile, is something Android will swipe in the next update: Essentially it puts all the settings you could want right at your fingertips. The camera software has also gotten an overhaul: While I find the Instagramming of every piece of camera software on every phone to be almost as nauseating as the gold iPhone 5S, I’m forced to admit Apple’s filters were actually designed to make a photo look better. That’s as close as I’m going to get to a glowing recommendation, but if you have to use filters, Apple’s gone out of its way to make some good ones. Finally, the most subtle change is the best. Apple has dumped the whole “Oh, you’ve never used a smartphone before” attitude in favor of designing the OS to just make sense and flow naturally. Everything is more sensible, smoother, more logical. In some ways, iOS 7 shakes off some unnecessary cruft in favor of being more user-friendly in general. In short, it’s easily the best thing Apple’s rolled out this year. Go get it!

Just a friendly reminder: iOS 7, probably the most compelling product Apple talked about last week, is out. If you’ve got an iDevice capable of running it, you need to get it.

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GODZILLA First Look From the New Movie?
11 sep 2013 18:04

This is a licensing Expo poster for the Gareth Edwards directed reboot of Godzilla. A lot of other movie sites seem to believe that this is our first real look at the creature, but I'm not fully convinced. I think they just used that image to slap on a licensing poster, but I don't think it's the real thing. Back at San Diego Comic-Con an up-close image of a face of Godzilla leaked out which you can see here. This looks like a similar design. The thing is... we were told that Godzilla design was not the final design for the actual film. I think this is just another temporary placeholder design to help get people excited, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

This is a licensing Expo poster for the Gareth Edwards directed reboot of Godzilla. A lot of other movie sites seem to believe that this is our first real look at the creature, ...

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SKYRIM: INTO THE VOID - Awesome Fan-Made Film
19 aug 2013 19:06

Skyrim: Into the Void. The production quality of the short is actually really impressive, and it has a good amount of action. It was directed by Warialasky, and here's the synopsis: Dovahkiin, the noble dragonborn hero, is cursed in a fight with a vampire. He spends a considerable time wandering the realm before being captured by the Dark Brotherhood, who offer him a deal. Dovahkiin agrees to help the Brotherhood save a captured member from the Necromancers, in exchange for a cure to his vampirism. It's great for a fan-made film, and I thought it was really entertaining. I think fans of the game will enjoy it. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Skyrim: Into the Void. The production quality of the short is actually really impressive, and it has a good amount of action.

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Great New Images From BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS Featuring Batcave
19 aug 2013 19:03

In anticipation of an "exciting reveal" for 'Batman: Arkham Origins' later this week, Warner Bros. Games Montreal has released a few new screenshots from the game, three of which showcase the Batcave. Mind you, this is the first time the Wayne Manor Batcave has been featured in these Arkham games, and it looks just as cool as you would imagine in this universe.

In anticipation of an "exciting reveal" for 'Batman: Arkham Origins' later this week, Warner Bros. Games Montreal has released a few new screenshots from the game, three of which showcase the Batcave.

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New Hi-Res Photos from Darren Aronofsky's "NOAH"
19 aug 2013 19:01

For those of you who are interested in seeing more of Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic "Noah", here are a few high resolution photos from the film and the set showing off several of the characters in the film. Aronofsky is a crazy talented director, and the fact this is Aronofsky's dream project tells me it's going to be one of his greatest creations. At least that's what I'm expecting! The movie tells the epic biblical story of a prophet who is told by God to build a giant boat that can carry two of every animal from the earth to save them from a giant flood that will destroy every living thing on Earth so that they could have a new beginning. God flooded the world because of its wickedness. The film has an incredible cast of actors as well that includes Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Saoirse Ronan, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Durand, and Mark Margolis. It comes out on March 28th, 2014.

For those of you who are interested in seeing more of Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic "Noah", here are a few high resolution photos from the film and the set showing off several of the characters...

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