The Next Windows Codenamed ‘Threshold’, Designed To Unify Microsoft OSes

windows-8-1

With all of Microsoft’s recent sharing of design traits between Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 and RT, plus the new Xbox OS, it makes sense that the next major overhaul of software would be unified.

Microsoft news veteran Mary Jo Foley received tips from individuals concerning the situation that the next Windows version is currently codenamed ‘Threshold’, and will span the Windows Phone, PC, and Xbox platforms; the goal, to unify the Microsoft software ecosystem, plus feature cross-OS features with single, unified app store and tool sets designed to further entice developers to create applications for all three device categories.

Of course, no one at Redmond is confirming the rumor, but it’s currently expected to be part of a spring 2015 release.

ViaZDNet

Total War: Rome II Gets New Campaign, Dubbed “Caesar In Gual”

Caesar_in_GaulThe upcoming Caesar in Gaul expansion campaign in Total War: Rome II, the award-winning real-time strategy game which depicts playable campaigns and 3D battles of thousands of onscreen soldiers, is all about Rome’s battles in the north.

Players will get the selection of four playable factions: the Gallic Arverni, the Germanic Suebi, the Belgic Nervii and Rome; the whole campaign inspired by Caesar’s Commentarii de bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic war) during 58-51BC. A new campaign map has also been built, with 24 turns per year, rather than 1 turn per year in the base game.

Sounds like fun. The release date is on December 12th, for $14.95 off of Steam.

Via: Total War

Amazon Unveils Package Delivery Drones, Is Called Prime Air

primeairAmazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, is anything but an enterprising man, and his company’s latest creation is nothing different. With Amazon Prime Air, octocopter drones capable of carrying packages up to five pounds will deliver to customer’s houses in less than half an hour. The drones sit at a conveyor belt, and a package meets them, which is then carried to the house of the customer, which can be as far as 10 miles away.

Bezos added the fact that 86 percent of Amazon’s packages are under five pounds, which makes this a viable shipping solution. But it isn’t ready for the holiday season: it will be four or five years from drones being able to deliver small packages, because Amazon has to work with the FAA to make sure it’s legally allowed to run the Prime Air drones.

But, Amazon’s head is optimistic: “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s going to be a lot of fun”, he said.

Check out a video of it in action, after the break.

Via: 60 Minutes, Amazon

A New Text Message Exploit Found Can Reboot Nexus Phones

DSC01326Turns out if more than 30 text messages of a specific nature (a Flash SMS, which can bypass running apps or notifications) can force a Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 phone to completely reboot and not be able to restore a connection to its mobile network. Non-Nexus hardware doesn’t seem to be affected, but it’s a real problem for anyone who has a brand new Nexus 5, then receives a flood of texts, technically causing a denial-of-service attack.

The exploit was presented by IT administrator Bogdan Alecu in Romania, during the DefCamp Security conference. Afterwards, Google told PCWorld that it’s looking into the exploit; meanwhile, there’s no immediate news of an update that patches the exploit, yet.

Via: PCWorld

Google Publishes Hands-Free Search Extension For Chrome

ok-google-desktopGoogle has published the computer equivalent of the Moto X’s Touchless Control feature for Chrome. Starting with Google Voice Search Hotword extension, users can now say “OK, Google” to instruct the browser to search for anything, including measurements, weather, and directions — from any new tab or the Google homepage. Currently in beta, the extension can be downloaded from the handy source link.

Via: Chrome Web Store

Microsoft Can (And Does) Temporarily Mute Xbox One Users Who Use Profanity

xbox-one

Microsoft has been very much in the news lately, but not always for the best reasons. Today’s bit of news from the software and hardware giant is that Xbox One users who upload videos to the Upload Studio, with what the company calls excessive profanity, can receive temporary mutes, restrictions, or complete bans from the Xbox Live service. Which is harsh.

Apparently, to clarify some of the details, Microsoft relentlessly mentions that they don’t monitor Skype calls, but only gameplay clips uploaded through the Upload Studio. It will be interesting to see how far policies like these evolve over time and how gamers respond to them, but for now, it’s rather uneventful.

Microsoft’s complete statement:

To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members.

ViaTechCrunchReddit

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review: The Virtuoso Of Large Phones

DSC01437It is the third Galaxy Note to grace the palms of the world, that are mostly likely smaller than the device itself. Boasting power, capability, and looks than ever before, the Galaxy Note 3 is everything big, made bigger, and really features what Samsung has to offer.

But honestly, is it any good? After all, it is a 5.7-inch touchscreen for a phone phablet.