MOGA: The Evolution Of Mobile Gaming Controllers

MOGA, the mobile gaming controller for Android phones from PowerA, is the next evolution of mobile gaming controllers. It snaps right on to any Android smartphone, giving you full control over the games you play. Playing games on your phone can be tons of fun, but we think most people would agree, when the game's UI takes up half the screen, it can be a little frustrating. That's exactly where MOGA comes in. We got the chance to give the device a whirl at PAX Prime 2012, and you can read on to see our thoughts.

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Amazon Announces Kindle Paperwhite


Posted September 6, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

Amazon Announces Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon has announced the Kindle Paperwhite. The new 7.5 ounce tablet will feature an onboard front light to make E-ink easier to read, as well as a ton of new features and improvements. The basic version will cost $119, and the free-3G version is $179. Both are shipping today.

The Paperwhite is "thinner than a magazine," according to Amazon, and features a newly invented display that is 25 percent brighter than previous Amazon tablets, and with 62 percent more pixels. It's also got eight weeks of battery life and cloud functionality, so all of your books and other reading material will be saved for free in the cloud.

An interesting new feature for the device is a "Time to Read" app that keeps track of the speed of your reading and estimates the amount of time it will take you to finish reading a chapter or book. There's also the X-Ray "Bones of a Book" app that scans all the passages across a book for topics that may interest readers and pulls up more information on the subject with data sourced from Wikipedia 

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Tags: Tech, Toys

If you're looking for something cool to do with your Kinect, I suggest you use it to make 3D models of yourself and your living room.

Website Kinect@home has all the details, but basically, you take video of yourself and your home, and then send them to the site, where "robotics and computer vision researchers" who need "vast amount of images from everyday environments" will use you and your environment improve their robots' algorithms. They basically stitch together your images and create a 3D mode. You can import the 3D images into 3D editing software.

Here's the basic instructions. Get to work!

Ars Electronica Futurelab has created something truly amazing. The European collective launched 49 Quadrocopters into the night sky, and created a video that is truly magic. Click play!

iPhone 5 Pictures Leaked? Apple's New Taller, Slimmer iDevice

Leaked images and video of the iPhone 5 have hit the net. We're not able to confirm whether or not the images are real, but they look pretty authentic. The video, from Chinese tech site Vgooo.com, shows the relative size of the new phone compared to an iPhone 4s, as well as an attempt to boot the new phone, but a warning that the device is not associated with a registered developer account keeps it from starting up.

Apple is holding an event in San Francisco next week on September 12 where they'll announce the iPhone 5 and all of its features. We'll have to wait until then to see how legit this footage is. If it does turn out to be real, what do you think of the look of the skinny iPhone 5?

For more photos, hit the break.

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X-Play's Tech Junkie segment has a new test subject: the Google Nexus 7 tablet. This tablet PC runs Android 4.1 and fits perfectly in your purse or your murse. Convenient size, and a convenient price, but is the Google Nexus 7 tablet better than an iPad? Morgan Webb and Blair Herter weigh in.

Tech Junkie - Google Nexus 7 Tablet »

Tags: Tech, Videos

Apple Tablet Mockup

Nefarious hacker group AntiSec says it has boosted over 12 million Apple UDIDs from an FBI agent's laptop.

The group claims it hacked into the laptop of an FBI "cyber security expert" and lifted a list of "12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc."

To prove that their claims are legit, the hackers have released 1,000,001 UDIDs, with the personal data stripped.

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Cloud Gaming Powering The Future Of Gaming -- From The Web To The PS4 And Beyond

Cloud gaming looks a lot less like “pie in the sky” this month, as Sony bought on-demand gaming service Gaikai for an impressive $380 million. What’s even more impressive than that figure, however, is the technology behind Gaikai and the game-changing possibilities cloud gaming could bring to future consoles like PS4 and Xbox 720.

Currently, Gaikai’s cloud gaming service can stream full, console-quality games through browsers: FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer -- they’re all compatible. This accessibility is convenient, but it isn’t what has us most excited about the venture. No, the revolutionary part comes into play when you realize that cloud gaming could eliminate both the weight and the wait. Goodbye bulky hard drives needed to fill up GBs worth of game data. Goodbye the time spent idling in front of a progress bar while the entire game downloads.

Gaikai (pronounced “guy-kai”) is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “Open Ocean.” Like the name suggests, there’s plenty of untested waters to explore when eliminating a user’s need for high-end hardware without sacrificing quality gameplay and graphics. Let’s take a look at both the bright and sunny and the stormy future of cloud gaming.

Pros: Gaming On Cloud 9

Cloud Gaming Powering The Future Of Gaming -- From The Web To The PS4 And Beyond

As Easy As YouTube
Gaikai says that it makes “playing a game as easy as watching a video on YouTube.” True enough, I was able to instantly play Bulletstorm -- on my MacBook Pro Late 2008 model. This hardware isn’t prime for gaming, especially not the action-intense gaming brought to you by the teams at Epic Games and People Can Fly. On top of that, Bulletstorm isn’t even on Steam for Mac. Yet with an Xbox 360 controller plugged into my outdated, non-gaming OS, I was able to start shooting my way through this really fun FPS game within thirty-seconds.

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Back To School Tech Checklist -- What You Need To Survive College Life

College-bound students, you have enough stress on your hands right now, packing up your belongings and saying goodbye to family, hometown friends, and pets. One thing that you don’t have to say goodbye to, however, is your favorite cutting-edge technology, which is becoming increasingly important on modern campuses regardless of your major. To alleviate some of that decision-making anxiety, we put together a checklist of the best tech a student could ask for this semester.

Here are ten gadgets and gizmos that’ll set you on the right foot academically and make your college peers’ dorms seem inferior.

How James Bond Takes Notes

Back To School Tech Checklist -- What You Need To Survive College Life

LiveScribe Echo
The LiveScribe Echo smartpen is the note-taking tool that I wish I had as a journalism student. Having to listen to speakers and quickly jot down exact quotes while maintaining consciousness of the next thing they were saying was a chore. Likewise, carrying around a clunky digital recorder was a hassle. Hours after the event (the first problem), I was searching an old-school Windows Media Player timeline back in my dorm not knowing where that perfect quote was in an hour-long discussion (the second problem). The LiveScribe Echo eliminates the complications of both methods. The smartpen records audio as you take normal ink-based notes on a normal-looking (though special) paper notebook. The genius is in the pen’s hidden IR camera and the notebook’s micro-dotted paper. You can go back, tap anywhere on the notebook and play back what was said at the moment you wrote it down. This works flawlessly in all sorts of situations on campus and can actually ease the amount of notes you take, as the audio can pick up the details for reviewing later on.
Price: $130

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Tags: Features, Tech

Apple iPhone

The verdict in the infringement lawsuit between tech giants Apple and Samsung has been reached. The California jury found that Samsung devices infringed on Apple patents, including multi-touch gestures, scroll, zooming and other navigation features.

The damages: $1,051,855,000.

Samsung's counter-claim that Apple infringed on Samsung's technology were all denied, so no damages will be awarded to Samsung from Apple.

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Tags: iPad, iPhone, Tech

Tech Junkies -- Razer Mamba Mouse

The Razer Mamba mouse is a utilitarian wireless mouse with flashy packaging, a host of special features, and excellent battery life. While not being ambidextrous it fits well in a wide range of hand sizes and is designed after some of Razer's most successful mice. As with most of their new mice, the Mamba can be used both wirelessly and also in a wired mode if you suddenly find yourself running short on juice.

This time Razer has removed the wireless/wired mode switch leaving the bottom of the mouse clear of any extra or unneeded buttons. If you want to charge your mouse just place it gingerly on the base. I didn’t find myself having to charge as often as when using the Naga Epic though so it has exceptional battery life.

As mentioned there are a two buttons on the bottom of the mouse. A power slider makes sure that if you’re traveling with the Mamba it isn’t waking itself up with every time you take a step or hit a bump in the road. There’s also a connect button which will allow you to sync the mouse to the base, but this is usually only needed once when setting the mouse up for the first time. On the side of the Mamba are three red/green LED diodes that note battery level and optical sensitivity. Using the two extra buttons at the top left of the mouse allowed me to change sensitivity on the fly and I could immediately see which level I was at by watching the LED diodes go up or down.

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The Pitfalls of Kickstarter - When A Good Idea Goes Bad

CW&T had a great idea: make a stainless steel high-quality pen so small that it fits into a custom ruler. This two-person team only needed a little dough to turn their dream into a reality. Enter the Kickstarter campaign that well exceeded their expectations nearly a hundred times over. Over 4,000 people agreed with CW&T that the world needed a high quality pen. And for only $50, backers were promised their very own pen that would later retail for nearly double that amount. You would have been a fool not to send them your money.

At this point, the story should have gone something like this. All that idea-supporting money goes into processing, delivery expenses, and making sure that everyone at the company doesn’t starve until they can get the product into retail stores. Backers receive their pens soon after the first batch is made, money exchanges hands, and capitalism lives for yet another day. But in the case of Pen Type-A, CW&T, and all of their backers, this is far from what actually happened.

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Tags: Features, Tech

Tech Junkies -- Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard And Razer Mamba Mouse

The Razer BlackWidow keyboard line has now gone through 2 iterations and almost 7 separate models. While it is the only mechanical keyboard that Razer currently offers, it’s also one of the most well made out of their entire line. Some of the changes to the 2012 version include an expanded anti-ghosting set of keys, faster polling rate, and a branded upgrade to the back lighting.

Let's start with ghosting. When you press multiple keys at the same time on a standard keyboard, the computer can read only one key at a time. You can try it on almost any keyboard and see the limitations right away. Hold down two keys, only one survives. During gaming you might be strafing in a first person shooter using WSAD or queuing actions on the number keys in World of Warcraft.

The most extreme example is of course when a player is participating in a RTS game like StarCraft where the number of key inputs per second can often overlap one another. In these situations you will press multiple keys at the same time. The anti-ghosting technology has been extended to 10 simultaneous key presses, which means the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate can discern between 10 individual fingers/keys when you've got them all pressed down at the same instance.

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Star Wars 1313 Revealed And It's All About Bounty Hunters

Right now, in Orlando, Florida, thousands of Star Wars diehards are gathered at the Orange County Convention center, celebrating everything Lucas at Star Wars Celebration 6. Billed as the "biggest party this side of the galaxy," the Star Wars Celebration roster of celebrity appearances include Kevin Smith, Anthony "C3PO" Daniels, Carrie "Princess Leia" Fisher, Ian "Emperor Palpatine" McDiarmid and many more.

If you can't make it to the show, don't worry: We have a photographer on the ground, taking a ton of photos of everything Star Wars at the show, and we'll post some galleries for you soon.

Personally, I look forward most to retailer ThinkGeek's yearly line of ingenious Star Wars themed products. Right now, you can check them out in the flesh at ThinkGeek's Booth #303. If you're not at the show, you'll have to content yourself with the images below:

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Tags: Tech, Videogames

Microsoft Rolls Out New Logo


Posted August 23, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

Microsoft Rolls Out New Logo

The image you see above is Microsoft's brand new logo. As you can see, it's clean, professional and features a windows-grid referencing Microsoft's most well-known product. It is meant to "signal the heritage but also signal the future — a newness and freshness."

Here's the previous Microsoft logo:

Road to E3 2011: The Microsoft Report Card

The company has gone through a number of logos over its 25 year history, including the "Heavy Metal" version from the 1980s you see below:

Microsoft Rolls Out New Logo

Click the "Read More" tag for a look at Microsoft's "disco period" logo...

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