Archive for November, 2010
It’s been reported that News Corp. will announce a new daily digital newspaper called simply, The Daily, with an announcement at the end of November. The project has reportedly been secretly under development for several months, and will target tablets such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Although the Guardian’s puts Apple front and center in its headline on the story, it’s unclear from the original source of the story if Apple is that deeply involved. WWD mentions the iPad only in terms of one of the possible tablets supported by The Daily, and doesn’t mention Apple CEO Steve Jobs until the last few sentences of the article.
The Daily would have no Web or print edition. Instead, as noted, it would be delivered to tablets through an app, and cost 99 cents per week. The Daily will launch in beta form sometime around Christmas, and will be publicly introduced in early 2011.
Still, this is going to be a tough sell. As noted by one WWD commenter (slightly paraphrased), “why would anyone pay for a general interest daily online, when there are multiple news aggregators with links to every paper in the country that DON’T make people pay??”
The Daily will be initially managed on the 26th floor of News Corp.’s New York City offices with at least 100 staffers. Later, they will move to their permanent home on the ninth floor.
WWD has one doubtful comment in their story. They say that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a major fan of Murdoch. While the two may have been in conversations about the project, and Apple engineers have to be helping on the technical side of things, Murdoch also runs Fox News, which far from being “fair and balanced,” has been accused of being far right and eschewing any balance at all.
Meanwhile, Steve Jobs has been and always will be a liberal. As such, there is no way that Jobs is a fan of Murdoch. If he stands on a stage with Murdoch announcing The Daily, it will be strictly business.
The latest episode in the Facebook – Google dust-up over data acquisition and sharing between the two companies appears to be here. In the Friends section of your Facebook account, you no longer have the ability to add a friend via Gmail.
This all started when Google made a tweak to its Terms of Service that requires any service that accesses Google’s Contacts API to offer reciprocity. Facebook doesn’t, so the fight was on.
Since then, things have progressed in a sort of back-and-forth fashion. This is just the latest event in the saga.
TechCrunch also reports that the Gmail contact import button has disappeared from Friendfee, which is a Facebook property.
You might remember Parrot’s AR.Drone Quadricopter which was released back in September. Well, the first in what is hoped to be a string of augmented reality (AR) games is about to be released by Parrot.
It’s called AR.Pursuit and it is a two-player pursuit game. One player, as it sounds, “has to escape from the other one, as in the game of cat and mouse.”
The “pursuer” has virtual missiles and machine guns to slow down or take out the “pursued.” Once hit by a missile, the “pursued” becomes “pursuer” and vice versa. The game is time limited, and at half time, the roles are automatically reversed. The winner is the player who has the longest “escape time” during the entire game.
The AR.Drone lasts 12 minutes on a single charge of its batteries. It does have swappable batteries, however. It comes in three colors: orange with either green, blur or yellow accents. Each model comes with two hulls, one of them for indoor use, with protective loops around the rotors. The device creates its own wi-fi network which the iDevice connects to in order to control the Quadricopter.
It’s certainly not a toy, at its MSRP of $300. The game, however, will appear in the App Store on or around Nov. 26, and will be a mere $2.99.
Read the full press release below, following a video.
AR.Pursuit: The first game in Augmented Reality especially developed for the AR.Drone
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 18, 2010 — Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile phones, announces the availability of AR.Pursuit, a game in augmented reality that takes advantage of the exceptional technical and flight capabilities of the Parrot AR.Drone.
Available end of November in the Apple App Store, AR.Pursuit enables players to measure and challenge their piloting skills.
The rules of the game
AR.Pursuit is a two-player pursuit game, where a player has to escape from the other one, as in the game of cat and mouse.
The “pursuer” has two kinds of virtual weapons to reach its opponent:
- Automatic machine gun: as soon as the frontal camera detects the pursued AR.Drone, bullets are automatically sent in order to slow it down. When it is hit, the AR.Drone will physically ‘react’ to the attack and the escape maneuvers will be more difficult for the pilot.
- Missiles: when the opponent is locked on the screen, the pilot of the pursuer AR.Drone has to shake his/her iPhone/iPod touch/iPad to send a missile.
When it is hit by a missile, the “pursued” becomes “pursuer” and so on. At half time, the roles are automatically reversed. The winner is the player who has the longest escape time during the entire game.
A technological first
Once the Bluetooth of the iDevice is on, each player connects to his/her AR.Drone in Wi-Fi and launches AR.Pursuit.
One of the players selects the “create” option on the main menu and indicates his/her opponent’s color and type of hull (indoor or outdoor).
The second player selects the “join” option in the main menu and also indicates the characteristics of his/her opponent. Then the game can start.
Each player can see on the screen of his/her iPhone/iPod touch/iPad what the AR.Drone is seeing. Each action, a shoot received or launched, will also be visualized on the screen via the magic of augmented reality.
Note: If the game is played with indoor hulls, players should place the colored stickers (sold with the AR.Drone) on it.
AR.Pursuit is an enthralling game that makes the most of the extreme maneuverability and stability of the AR.Drone, and which dives the players into a world where real and virtual are mingling… A first!
* Game time: 1 to 9 minutes (3 minutes by default)
* The roles of each player are arbitrarily defined at the beginning of the game.
* Game available around Nov. 26 in the App StoreSM
* Price: $2.99
Google Street View just recently launched in Germany. It’s possible to opt out of Street View, and in Germany, 244,000 did, asking Google to remove their residences from the service. Not, however, this naked guy in a car trunk.
This image appeared shortly after the service launched, in 20 German cities. Although being posted around the Web as “Naked German Guy in trunk,” it’s possible it was just a hot day and he got on skimpy shorts or swim trunks.
Later, Google blurred the image out. The dog in the picture probably was happy, as his owner was embarrassing him.