It takes billions of years to see all of No Man's Sky
The universe is a pretty big place, and No Man's Sky 's development team wants to replicate its span as best as it can. It's ambitions were grand enough for Hello Games' Sean Murray to say that the universe in No Man's Sky is "infinite" when it was revealed for PS4 at E3 in June . Of course, the game isn't really "infinite," and Hello Games is fully aware of that, and ultimately wants the game to " surprise " players. The developer addressed that late last week with IGN , discussing its previous use of a 32-bit number to automatically generate the planets in the game.
"With that 32-bit number it would take you four or five thousand years to see every planet if you spent only a second on each one," it said. See? Not infinite . However, the developer noted that it is now using a 64-bit number to procedurally produce No Man's Sky 's universe, which means it will take roughly five billion years to see each planet in the game. The still-not-infinite-but-rather-huge universe of No Man's Sky will arrive on PC after it launches on PS4 , though it's unknown just when that will be.
The One User Virality Test Every Mobile App Should Run
Serial entrepreneur and veteran app maker Shane Walker tweaked the Mint.com formula and came up with a way to not only gauge interest, but to gauge an app’s potential to go viral.
Sharp's AQUOS Crystal is all screen
While we've seen plenty of devices before that claim to be free of bezel, the AQUOS Crystal comes the closest to actually fulfilling that claim. There's only the tiniest sliver of silver around the edges. In fact, it felt much smaller in the hand than many 4.7-inch phones. Even my tiny hands were easily able to reach across the display (a feat that's a bit of a stretch on my aging Galaxy Nexus). Sharp's expertise in building LCDs is obvious when you look at the phone. The screen is bright; the blacks are deep; colors are vibrant; and the viewing angles are solid (though just short of what we'd call impressive). Really the only complaint is that the high-gloss coating produced a ton of reflection and glare in even moderately lit environments.
Why Ferguson PD has no video of Michael Brown's death
Police in Ferguson, Mo., say an officer killed Brown after the teenager tried to take the officer’s gun. Witnesses say Brown never assaulted the cop and was actually waving his hands in the air before being shot six times. More than a week after Brown’s death, still nobody knows exactly what happened, because no cameras were rolling. In 2014, with HD video neither costly nor scarce, is this acceptable?
Who Will Be The next Lending Club?
Lending Club is a massive success. In seven years the marketplace for consumer and, more recently, business loans has facilitated more than $5 billion in loans. In the second quarter the number of new loans more than doubled from a year ago, as did the value of lending to $1 billion—the company’s first billion-dollar quarter. Meanwhile, for investors, the median historical return on the platform is 8%. In an era when tech companies too often go public without a business model, Lending Club is an excellent example of a real institution, with an excellent business model that is disrupting finance.
Why the 'Internet of things' is a ticking bomb
IoT devices are so troublesome because they provide intelligence for highly sophisticated “social engineering” attacks, which involve fishing emails and other deceptive tactics. The best way to con people is to have a lot of information about them, and IoT devices help achieve this quickly.
How Microsoft Has Leveraged Xbox Kinect's Technology Into Brilliant New Business Areas
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The Newsletter That Became a $100M Business Selling Stuff to Dudes | Business | WIRED
But today, Thrillist is more than that. It’s a massive online machine designed to stoke the consumerist impulses of young guys across the country and then satisfy those impulses. Basically, it’s a vast network of blogs and email newsletters that will tell you what (very trendy) stuff you want and then shuttle you to an e-commerce operation where you can buy that stuff. In some cases, Thrillist even manufactures the goods it sells. Melding content to commerce, the service creates a potentially perfect—if vaguely insidious—circle of materialism.
Phil Spencer: 'Tomb Raider's' Xbox Exclusivity Isn't 'Evil'
At Gamescom, Microsoft Microsoft made the surprise announcement that “Rise of The Tomb Raider,” the sequel to the excellent reboot of the classic franchise, would be exclusive to the Xbox One (later clarified as a timed exclusive). The forums raged. Microsoft was being a bully, Square Enix was snubbing long time fans of the series, and the entire deal felt backward looking and regressive. These communities already don’t have much love for Microsoft or the Xbox One, and restricting one of the most beloved franchises in games didn’t help.
A Cheaper, Better Accelerometer for Smartphones | MIT Technology Review
Accelerometers are usually made of two chips: a mechanical device that detects movement, and a microchip that makes sense of the signal from the first chip. By integrating those components on a single chip, mCube has not only reduced the size of the device but achieved a higher-quality signal. In fact, the company says its new accelerometer is sensitive enough to replace the gyroscope in a smartphone. This could perhaps bring sophisticated motion-sensing capabilities to even the cheapest smartphones, some of which lack gyroscopes.
Forget Passwords. Now Banks Can Track Your Typing Behavior On Phones
In trials right now, Behaviosec’s algorithms can detect a false user in between 20 to 60 seconds of them picking up a smartphone, says Costigan. That’s probably too long for professionals who want to protect intellectual property, but recent funding from DARPA could bring that time down. Behaviosec’s latest research takes into account how people hold and move their phone — based on data from a device’s gyroscope and accelerometer — to authenticate users even more quickly.
How Much RAM Will The iPhone 6 Have? It Doesn't Matter To The Consumers
There is a lot of talk online tonight about the upcoming iPhone 6 handsets and the size of the RAM that will be in the handset. With conflicting sources citing 1 GB or 2 GB, it’s hard to get a clear picture. I guess we’ll know in due course. What I find interesting is that for all the stories about the RAM size, it’s an issue that Apple has always tried to avoid.
If you're a media company, your mobile competition isn't other news entities, it's Google Now
As Filloux notes in his post , a big part of the risk for news companies is that mobile devices contain so many other apps clamoring for the attention of the user, from Snapchat and Instagram to Facebook and games like 2048. How can a news outlet compete with these kinds of attention magnets? By being as useful as possible, in as many different ways as possible. And if they can’t figure out how to do that, then I expect that Google will be more than happy to show them the way.
Get spaced out with the CraveCast Wednesday at noon PT - CNET
The next CraveCast launches into the endless void of space by sharing some of our more scientific stories. But it's us, so brace for the inevitable silliness and sci-fi references. Mark your calendars!
3 unofficial strategies in Y Combinator's playbook
“To me, this is a mix of their ‘batch’ model and portfolio theory at work,” Shah told us in an email. “No one really knows what’s going to work when things are so early, what’s going to get big, etc. So, what does one do to increase the chances, to ‘farm black swans,’ as [YC founder Paul Graham] famously wrote ? The answer is pattern recognition and filters.”
Should Twitter and YouTube remove images of James Foley's beheading, or do we have a right to see them?
After the beheading of journalist James Foley by the terrorist group ISIS, social-media platforms like Twitter and YouTube are cracking down on the sharing of images and video of his death. But should they be the ones who decide what we can see and what we can’t?
Verizon takes top spot in network quality report, T-Mobile gains ground - CNET
But Moore said the biggest change in rankings came from T-Mobile, which finished a distant third to Verizon and AT&T, in overall rankings. The company, which has been aggressively building its 4G LTE network, saw great improvement compared to the previous report conducted in the second half of 2013. As a result, it overtook Sprint for the third best overall performing carrier in the US. T-Mobile performed especially well in urban areas, where it's service is concentrated. In fact, it topped or tied for speed in 32 of 125 metro markets.
NASA Wants You to Sift Through Its Astronauts' Photos
NASA has a problem, and it wants you to help. Since the 50s, it's amassed 1.8 million images of Earth from space—and it needs your assistance in working out exactly what they're of.
Shaun of the Dead Characters Appearing in Phineas and Ferb - IGN
This isn't the first time Phineas and Ferb has mixed things up with a pop culture icons. The Disney series has previously crossed over with Marvel as well as recently Star Wars . However, those franchises are pretty kid-friendly, while Shaun of the Dead is an R-rated zombie comedy film, so it'll be intriguing to see how the animated series mixes in the characters.
That Controversial App Redesign is Going REALLY Smoothly...
Every time a tech company launches a controversial new app redesign, you KNOW what’s happening behind the scenes…
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Preview - CNET
As mentioned above, B&N is sweetening the deal by including a fair amount of freebies with the purchase of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook -- another distinguishing feature from the Samsung version. Specifically, buyers will get three ebooks ("Freakonomics," "The Wanderer," and "I Am Number Four"); one episode each of "Hannibal," "Orphan Black," and "Veep"; a $5 Nook Store credit; and up to four two-week trial subscriptions to any of 12 magazines, including Us Weekly, Sports Illustrated, and Cosmopolitan, each of which includes access to the dozen most recent issues as well.
Uber launches on-demand product deliveries in Washington D.C.
The experiment mirrors numerous competing on-demand delivery services, including Postmates, the declining eBay Now, and WunWun. It appears that Uber, however, will handle all deliveries by car, unlike its competitors, which largely rely on bike messengers. As a result, the Corner Store launch will not coincide with a D.C. launch of Uber’s Uber Rush bike courier service.
Sam Altman On His Inaugural Batch Of Companies As Y Combinator’s New Head | TechCrunch
“A lot of people ask what’s different this time,” said Sam Altman, who took over Y Combinator from Paul Graham at the beginning of the year. “But the main thing I’m trying to do is keep things running the same way. YC is on this unbelievable trajectory.”
Parallels Desktop 10: Run Windows on Your Yosemite Mac
With Parallels Desktop 10 installed on your Mac, you won't just be able to run Windows on a "virtual machine" within your Mac, you'll be able to do it significantly faster then previous generations. Windows documents open 48% faster, and Office 2013 apps launch 50% faster, the company claims. At the same time, battery life is extended up to 30%, and the Windows "machine" uses 10% less memory.
Gartner's Hyper Cycle For 3D Printing Predicts Enterprise & Medical Application Growth
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The zodiac is the key to unlocking tech's greatest feuds
Unmasking my friends’ relationships made for a fun, if very tense party game, but it also got me wondering. Tech is an industry plagued by disharmony. Could astrology help us understand tech’s greatest feuds, and maybe even help the feuders better understand themselves? I turned to The Verge ’s science editor, Katie Drummond, for counsel. "Definitely," Drummond whispered, as if in a celestial trance. "Let’s make a Hackweek list."
Blast music from Vladimir Putin's head - CNET
Of course if vanity is your thing, you can have Sound of Power customize a bust to look just like you, a family member, or even a pet. The team uses 3D modeling to capture a 3D image of your head, which they'll use to build a white porcelain or 24-karat-gold speaker version of you. This customization is available only for the 3-foot-7-inch bust, and it'll set you back about $165,000. Though for that price you get flown out to Moscow and put up at the Ritz Carlton for a few days so they can prepare your bust, and they'll deliver and install the speaker in person at your home or office.
It's Round 2: Cast Your Vote In Our Coffee Week Championship
Starbucks or Blue Bottle? Rocket Fuel or Mint Mojito? We've collected the signature drinks from 36 coffee purveyors. Now it's your turn to vote on which one is the best.
YC on its ultra-private Alumni Demo Night: “Don’t even think about asking to come”
If this smacks of the exclusivity of an Ivy League college reunion — a comparison YC founders hate — that’s because it is. The process for getting into YC may be meritocratic, but once you’re accepted, you’re a member for life. And that membership affords its attendees special privileges the rest of the startup community can’t tap: a twice yearly chance to hobnob with other former founders, develop relationships, and angel invest in the newbies is just one of the perks of being part of “the family.”
For Billion-Dollar Companies, Venture Deals Outstrip Going Public
Being valued at $1 billion or more once was rare in the industry. Even in the go-go years of the technology bubble, huge valuations for private companies were less common. In 1999, five deals valued U.S. venture-backed companies above $1 billion, and in 2000, 11 such deals took place. IPOs at that time were much more likely to generate mega-valuations. In 1999, 28 companies priced IPOs at a market cap of $1 billion or more, and in 2000, 38 did so.
Researchers get access to behavioral data from Reddit, Imgur and Twitch via the DERP consortium
Three online communities have formed a partnership called DERP, aimed at helping academic researchers get access to data about their users — data that will be ethically acquired and open-sourced, the group says
16 Creepiest Targeted Facebook Ads
Whether they're for T-shirts and hoodies touting the dominance of those who share your last name, or products for a private health issue, it's easy to find ads that know as much about you as your friends and family do. As uncomfortable as this might be, it's a byproduct of data mining and tracking cookies, both of which provide ad companies with ample information to post relevant pitches.
Hospital hack 'exploited Heartbleed'
David Kennedy, chief executive of TrustSec, told the Bloomberg news agency that three people close to the CHS investigation had notified him that Heartbleed had been pinpointed as the vulnerability used to steal names, phone numbers, addresses, and social security numbers from the hospital group's systems.
Don Bluth offered a dark alternative to Disney animation
It’s impossible to talk about Don Bluth without talking about Walt Disney. Bluth started as an animator and director at Walt Disney Animation Studios before founding a rival company that became Disney’s main competitor in the 1980s. During his roller coaster of a career, Bluth produced commercial hits ( An American Tail , The Land Before Time , Anastasia ), cult classics ( The Secret Of NIMH , All Dogs Go To Heaven , Titan A.E. ), and bizarre missteps ( Rock-A-Doodle , A Troll In Central Park ). He’s a magnetic but polarizing figure whose impact on the animation world is understood through conflicting narratives. What is clear, however, is that for two decades, Bluth’s films offered a dark alternative to Disney.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Was Hacked 3 Times in 3 Years
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been hacked three times over the course of the last three years according to a recently published NextGov report .
Twitter to Remove Images of the Deceased Upon Families’ Request
The change gives grieving family members a way to scrub the social media outlet of images or videos of their loved ones–whether the content itself breaches Twitter’s rules or not. The new policy is a slight pivot for Twitter, a champion of freedom of speech since its founding and where sensitive content such as nudity and other graphic images have proliferated compared with other social media sites.
How Thumbtack Plans To Be Your One-Stop Local Services Shop For Plumbers, Chefs And Belly Dancers
Zappacosta, 29, and Swanson, 31, would be the first to admit that Thumbtack wasn’t a result of some personal epiphany after searching in vain for a television repairman. The two have been scheming about starting some kind of big business almost from the moment they met as college policy wonks. (Zappacosta comes with entrepreneurial genes: His father cofounded Logitech.) They first united to start a political advocacy group to push Social Security reform. They both took leaves of absence from school–Zappacosta from Columbia and Swanson from Yale–to move to Washington, D.C. and further their nonprofit. The two eventually landed gigs as West Wing aides to George W. Bush’s economic advisors but spent their nights dreaming up ideas that could be compelling enough to enable them to quit their day jobs. One idea for a personal-finance management tool attracted potential investors, but the September 2007 debut of Mint.com sunk their plans.
Nook Reborn As a $180 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (Update: Hands On)
And then there's the performance. In our brief time with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, it stuttered repeatedly while loading up the store and the library, and only faired a little better (not by too much) inside Gmail and Chrome. It's not a very smooth experience. Swiping through books however, is fine, and text is plenty readable on the LCD screen, but the hitchiness of the Nook apps (which may have been in part due to loading assets on a crowded Barnes and Noble Wi-Fi) and the performance on the whole is a bummer.
Video preview: Bayonetta 2
In the pantheon of video game absurdity, Platinum's Bayonetta franchise stands atop any other series. A witch with guns for shoes and hair that acts as both outfit and weapon trumps pretty much any other crazy concept ever concocted in interactive entertainment history.
Platinum brings its powerful action heroine back later this year in Bayonetta 2 , exclusively on the Wii U. After spending time with the game, Joystiq Editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann recounts the many monsters slain, snapshots taken of Bayonetta in action and puts an age-old debate to rest: long haired Bayonetta or short?
Bayonetta 2 (E3 2013)
Tom Hanks’ Typewriter App Shoots To The Top Of The App Store | TechCrunch
More recently, in an interview with Apple’s @AppStore Twitter account (yes, I know, welcome to new media), Hanks further explained his motivations to create this app, saying that, “I wanted to have the sensation of an old manual typewriter – I wanted the sound of typing if nothing else…cause I find it’s like music that spurs along the creative urge. Bang bang clack-clack-clack puckapuckapuckapucka… I wanted the ‘report’ of each letter, each line.”
Apple ordered to remove Secret app from App Store by Brazilian judge, wants it remotely removed from users' devices as well
That last bit is certainly possible. It’s perhaps not well known, but Apple does keep a list of apps that have been “blacklisted” on their servers, and as iOS-based devices reach out to those servers to check for updates, that list can then flag an app and essentially lock it down from opening again. It’s a remote kill-switch, and it’s something that, as of yet, hasn’t been utilized by Apple, which is why this situation could be significant for the Cupertino-based company.
Data Breach Bulletin: Chinese Hackers Allegedly Steal 4.5 Million Patient Records
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USB Type-C: A Guide To The New, Tiny, Reversible USB Standard
To put this in perspective, a typical 15.4-inch laptop will consume around 60-65 watts on average. This means not only will devices charge far faster, but almost anything can be powered via USB 3.1 and the tiny USB Type-C connector. Consequently printers, monitors, speakers and even laptops could all be powered from a desktop PC and laptops themselves could dump their wide array of incompatible barrel chargers for a single USB Type-C connector which would double as an extra port when not charging.
Vexed in the city: The 'sharing' economy's hidden toll on San Francisco - CNET
Take the "Castro Gem" that Worrell stayed in last summer. The host labeled the apartment as a "vacation condo rental." A closer look shows she has six other properties on Airbnb, a total of four in San Francisco and three in New Orleans. The apartment is also listed on other rental sites, like Vacation Home Rentals and HomeAway, which hosts VRBO. A one-night stay in this apartment costs $195, with a minimum of two days. A week costs $1,365 and a month is $5,788 -- far more than the average San Francisco rent price.
Marvel Releases First Photo of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man
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3 Data Products You Need To Know
Benchmarking is the most common way we use data today. It is also the easiest way. We all know how to benchmark since our first grade. What does an A-grade or a D-grade mean? Nothing – at least as long as you do not view those grades in relation to others. Thus, benchmarking is an old thing; what is new is that we almost can measure every process within a modern company. Call centers measure who picks up the phone faster, online retailers measure everything via A/B tests, and recruiting departments monitor the close rate for applicants over time. Take LinkedIn - at core a data driven company – thus they have several hundreds of different dashboards, all benchmarking numbers in time series, across businesses, countries, and so on.
Netflix is now paying Time Warner Cable for direct access and faster streams
Netflix originally tried to address peering issues by offering ISPs access to its own content delivery network called OpenConnect . It signed deals with some U.S.-based and a number of international ISPs that led to Netflix deploying caching boxes inside the ISPs’ networks. But the major U.S. ISPs argued that Netflix was avoiding paying for the burden its traffic put on their networks and said they didn’t want to support different servers for every different internet service on the market, despite already hosting servers for sites such as Google , Facebook , Amazon and Microsoft in many cases.
Oculus' Carmack to Minecraft creator: 'Say the word'
Earlier this year, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson announced that his game would not be coming to Oculus' Rift due to the company's acquisition by Facebook. "Facebook creeps me out," Persson said.
It seems those heebie-jeebies are starting to subside though, as a different life crisis has come to the forefront: "And about now I'm officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus," Persson recently tweeted . "I'm upset about there being a hole in my favorite sock instead."
John Carmack, co-creator of Doom , Oculus convert and center of a legal battle with former employer ZeniMax, responded enthusiastically. "Say the word, ship the source, and i'll make sure It runs well on you-know-what," he wrote . Sounds nice, but we're not sure how Carmack would make Persson's sock run well on ... oh. Ohhhh .
Nevermind, we just got it. We see what you did there, John.
Watch one hour of The Evil Within, if you can
While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners encounter a mysterious and powerful force. After seeing the slaughter of fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead.
Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what’s behind this evil force.