Bitcoins are nominally worth $113 as of this very moment. That means very little in the real world. As Forbes writer Kasmir Hill notes, it’s pretty difficult to go up to the McDonald’s cashier and offer an invisible cryptocurrency that resides entirely on the Internet in exchange for a Big Mac. She’s survived a week using nothing but Bitcoins and, although she’s still alive, her experience wasn’t friction-free.
That’s changing. While I find most announcements that so-and-so website is now accepting Bitcoins to be little more than PR stunts, the fact that Gyft, a gift card site, is now accepting BTC is important. In essence, it allows Bitcoin users to turn their value into store credit and, more importantly, this credit can be spent at places you actually want to spend it.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 20:30
Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola's New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago.
"Key aspects" of how the software is used will be changed when Microsoft releases an updated version of the operating system this year, Tammy Reller, head of marketing and finance for the Windows business, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Referring to difficulties many users have had with mastering the software, she added: "The learning curve is definitely real."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 08:11
Attacks exploiting a previously unknown and currently unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser have spread to at least nine other websites, including those run by a big European company operating in the aerospace, defense, and security industries as well as non-profit groups and institutes, security researchers said.
The revelation, from a blog post published Sunday by security firm AlienVault, means an attack campaign that surreptitiously installed malware on the computers of federal government workers involved in nuclear weapons research was broader and more ambitious than previously thought. Earlier reports identified only a website belonging to the US Department of Labor as redirecting to servers that exploited the zero-day remote-code vulnerability in IE version 8.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 18:33
Should single-player games, Blu-ray playback, and live TV viewing be possible on a gaming console with no Internet connection? Most gamers would say "yes," but they have been worried that Microsoft feels differently; the next generation Xbox has been consistently rumored to require a permanent network connection.
According to an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next Xbox, "Durango [the codename for the next Xbox] is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet." It continues, "There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 18:28
YouTube has been making its own space on multiple entertainment services for a while, but according to a report from the Financial Times, it's now on the cusp of revealing its own subscription services for some of its specialist video channels.
Rumored for several months, according to the FT's unnamed sources it will include up to 50 different channels, with subscription pricing starting at "as little as $1.99 a month."
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 18:27
It did not make sense for Microsoft Corp. to release its second-generation Surface tablets before the set of Windows “Blue” updates for the operating system, but it appears that the new tablets will arrive even later. According to a media report, the 7.5” version of the second-gen Surface will sport rather high-end display by today’s standards, but it will only be mass produced starting early next year.
“From the supply chain side, we are seeing the panel specifications, the touch module, the mass production schedule being made. Mass production is Q1 2014. Apparently, pretty significant volume. Multiple millions. Production could possibly start earlier at a lower level then ramp up to mass production in the first quarter,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, told Cnet News web-site.
Microsoft Surface 7.5” media tablet is expected to use a panel with 1400*1050 resolution and pixel density of 233 pixels per inch. The display clearly outperforms those found on today’s Apple iPad mini (7.85”, 1024*768) as well as Google Nexus 7 (7”, 1280*800), however, it will look pale against updated versions of both slates (which will feature retina-class screens) that will be available later this year.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 12:21