Nexus 7 With LTE: Every Bit As Good As The Original


For those of you wondering, the Nexus 7 with LTE still retains every single feature of the existing WiFi model that I reviewed during the summer — the only difference being that Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T will support the use of their micro-SIM cards in the tablet for 4G LTE data connections.

Google was kind enough to send one over for testing, and while this is not a formal review, per usual, I think it’s worth going over slightly.

Troisième Partie: Valve Announces The SteamOS Controller


This is the Steam OS controller. It’s rather unique, as is obvious by its appearance and dual trackpads, haptic feedback and a touch screen — all with the option to be hacked for additional functions. Electromagnetic sensors adorn the two trackpads that you place your thumbs on so that they are not only precise, but like a computer — after all, this is the Steam OS we’re talking about here, with hardware and software partners already taking part.

Also, users who signed up for the hardware beta are also automatically eligible for the Steam controller — it’s all luck from here on out. 2014 is going to be a very eventful year for Valve, that’s the only certainty.

Via: Valve

HTC Has Sold Beats Audio Its Stake Back For $265 Million

IMGP5646It’s official: Beats Electronics will buy back the remaining 25 percent stake it lost to HTC about two years ago, as part of a partnership that was never truly successful. This means, in all versions of this story that could be possibly spun around, one thing will remain the same: HTC no longer has a formal partnership with Beats Audio, but will still remain a partner in other matters.

The next thing that HTC will have to resolve is whether or not they will be authorized to continue engraving Beats Audio logos on their smartphones; in our observations, probably not.

Via: Nasdaq, HTC

Curiosity Makes It Official: Water Can Be Mined From Soil On Mars

MarsIt’s amazing news when it comes to the characteristics of other planets, but doesn’t bolster the idea of life in places besides Earth. It’s confirmed via samples taken from the Mars Curiosity rover under NASA’s control, that water attached to molecules is in the soil — a much more accessible place than the ice caps of Mars, or even closer to the core.

To find out all of this, the Mars Science Laboratory Team used a device known as the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM.

As lead author Laurie Leshin, dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, puts it, a baby aspirin-sized piece of the sample was fed into a tiny cup in Curiosity’s on-board laboratory, then heated to temperatures of 835 degrees Celsius (over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit). The gases that came off revealed the discovery.

There are few caveats, however. First of all, this doesn’t confirm life on Mars — it only tells us that water is technically, in abundance, if we mine it from the soil. Secondly, the sample also revealed the presence of perchlorate, which can limit thyroid hormone production — a manageable risk, but one nonetheless.

But overall, this is awesome.


Valve Announced The Steam Machines Beta, Starting This Year

steam-machinesPerhaps it is the most vague hardware announcement ever, but Valve is doing a good job regardless. Starting in 2014, several manufacturers will produce Steam Machines: living room devices using the Steam OS, based off Linux, and will allow the user to play games, watch videos, and play music — but also having access to existing Steam Windows/Mac game libraries.

As Valve puts it:

Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers,” and continues, stating that: “This year we’re shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing.”

That’s right. Join a Steam Community quest by October 25th, complete a few of the challenges, and become one of 300 beta testers for a device that almost no one knows its appearances or how it functions.

And, that’s all. Valve has made their second announcement this week, out of three — the third is on Friday at 1PM Eastern. This should be interesting.

Via: Steam

Amazon Refreshes: The Kindle HDX Is A Pretty Tablet With A Low Price Tag

kindle-fire-hdxTo be clear, the first bit of new is really only a refreshed Kindle HD: last-gen’s 1.5GHz dual-core processor, the old 1,280 x 800 display, and the abilities of the device remain mostly the same. But, this time it’s priced at $139 and features a new body. Obviously, this is boring. So, move to the next paragraph.

The operating system is where the real inferno begins — Fire OS 3.0, aka “Mojito,” — which aims to to bring several features, like Mayday: tap it within the quick panel and a real human will appear on screen to assist and take full control of your Kindle HDX — the new tablets that take full advantage of the new software. The new Kindles are priced at at $229 for the smaller 7-inch model or $379 for the larger 8.9″. Even the LTE models are inexpensive considering the competition: $329 and $479 respectively and available for Verizon and AT&T.

But Amazon didn’t stop: a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, double the memory, about 2GB, and the Adreno 330 GPU gives it four times the graphics power, 11 hours of battery life — 17 hours if you’re only reading. Jeff Bezos has done well with this one.

Via: Amazon

YouTube And Google+ Merge To Create The New Comment Section


Let’s be honest: YouTube has some of the best and worst (mostly worst) comments on the internet. In order to rectify that glaring issue for a site that gets a billion views monthly, Google has made a simple one-touch button that will link your Google+ account with that of YouTube.

This way, you can comment with your real name, and this allows for more clarity, a bit less spam, and overall a better experience — theoretically.

Things will always be topsy-turvy on YouTube, but this is a stage of resolving that.

Via: Google Blog

Valve Outs SteamOS: The Living Room Operating System, For Games

download (3)Interestingly, Valve has really come through with their own operating system called SteamOS, obviously named after the PC/Mac app by the name of Steam, the world’s most popular way of playing first-rate PC games. Besides having access to a streamed archive of all the current Windows or Mac games, the Steam OS already has major game developers on board with Linux, and will be building triple-A game titles that will run endemically by 2014.

Valve isn’t only focused on games, but music and video, so the creation of a living room operating system is actually a solid concept, in this instance.

There isn’t much else that Valve talked about with SteamOS: it will be used on some sort of device. Which is actually quite neat, because the gaming company has two more announcements this week, which have not been detailed.

Via: Steam