Microsoft Changes Its Mind About Xbox One Restrictions & New Echolocation Mapping Technology

Microsoft Changes Its Mind About Xbox One Restrictions: Last month Microsoft announced it would release a new version of its popular Xbox gaming console called the Xbox One. The company announced the new console will go on sale this fall but with new restrictions as to its usage. Microsoft said that Xbox One purchasers would be required to connect their gaming consoles to the Internet once a day and if Xbox One owners didn’t  comply they’d be unable to continue playing games on their consoles offline — the idea being to verify that the game consoling was being used by the registered account user and not someone else.

And at that same press event Microsoft also announced there would be a change in the ability of new Xbox owners to lend and re-sell gaming cartridges. The company intended to let the media companies that manufacture the cartridges to set the rules for their sale and re-sale; and thus the Xbox owners might not be able to re-sell cartridges at all or might only be able to re-sell them with a portion of the re-sell proceeds going back to the cartridge publishing company. Additionally, Xbox users would only be able to lend a cartridge to a friend once.

The changes Microsoft proposed were intended to be anti-piracy measures; however, those measures if they had been implemented would also have greatly curtailed the rights of new Xbox owners to use their consoles off line or to lend their gaming cartridges to friends. And of course the new rules would hinder the ability of Xbox One owners to sell their cartridges back to stores so they could get money to buy new cartridges.

Perhaps needless to say all of these restrictions have not gone over well with Xbox and gaming fans. There has been plenty of negative discussion on Facebook and Twitter about these new locked down rules – and whether it has been the overwhelmingly negative feedback from consumers or the fact that Sony announced on the very same day that Microsoft had its press event – that they would release a new PlayStation gaming console called the Playstation 4 this year and that there would be absolute no restrictions as to how long PlayStation 4 owners could play games on their consoles while off line or how many times they could loan out their gaming cartridges to friends —  oh and by the way PlayStation owners were and will continue to be welcome to sell their used gaming cartridges whenever they want to! Whichever factor was the deciding factor – and maybe both together were — today Microsoft did a complete 180 and rescinded all the restrictions on the upcoming Xbox One console and its attending games which is definitely good news for Xbox fans!

Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject titled “Microsoft pulls a 180, reverses Xbox One always-on DRM and used games policy:”

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57590134-75/microsoft-pulls-a-180-reverses-xbox-one-always-on-drm-and-used-games-policy/

And a second article on the same subject from The Guardian site titled “Xbox One reversal: did Microsoft make the right decision?”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/20/xbox-one-uturn-was-microsoft-right

New Echolocation Mapping Technology: And if it has been a while since you took your last science class– the word “echolocation” refers to the ability of some animals – like bats – to navigate over terrain by using internally generated or bio sonar. And now researchers at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have created a computer algorithm that will do the exact same thing – map a room or other surroundings based upon a computer gauging how sound flows over the objects in a given area or room in. In essence the computer is listening to the room and creating a map of it simply by sound.

And as you probably already guessed I read an article on the subject! The article is from NBC News and is titled “Echolocation technology maps rooms in a snap,” here’s the link:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/echolocation-technology-maps-rooms-snap-6C10382402

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Coldewey, Delvin. (2013, June 20) Echolocation technology maps rooms in a snap. NBC News. Online. Accessed June 20, 2013.

Greene, Jay. (2013, June 20). Microsoft pulls a 180, reverses Xbox One always-on DRM and used games policy. CNET. Online. Accessed June 20, 2013.

Stuart, Keith. (2013, June 20). Xbox One reversal: did Microsoft make the right decision? The Guardian. Online. Accessed June 20, 2013

The New Battle For Your TV, Voice Commands & Internet Connecting Glasses (Like Google Glass) May Be Mainstream Within Three Years

It has been super swamped today in library land thus a shorter than usual Tech Talk posting!

However, I have come across three cool articles I wanted to share!

  1. The New Battle For Your TV: New online/streaming consoles are coming Microsoft and Sony (Xbox One & PlayStation 4) later this year that will have more bells and whistles and do their best to merge the best of streaming boxes like the Roku player and Apple TV with gaming consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation. The tech site The Verge has a neat article on this very subject titled “With Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Microsoft and Sony rekindle the war for your TV” – here’s the link:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4351892/xbox-one-playstation-4-comparison-sony-microsoft-next-generation

  1. Voice Commands: Both Apple and Android tablets and smartphones now have the capability for you to enter voice commands (i.e. Apple’s Siri) and according to CNET this year may just be the year this technology becomes mainstream and integrated into our daily lives.

Here’s a link to the CNET article titled “2013 Is The Year Of The Voice Command:”

http://news.cnet.com/8301-33617_3-57585521-276/2013-is-the-year-of-the-voice-command/

  1. Internet Connecting Glasses (Like Google Glass) May Be Mainstream Within Three Years: And the tech site Slash Gear offers an article on Internet connecting glasses like Google Glass – the article speculates that within three years this technology, like the voice command technology, will become mainstream and be integrated into our daily lives.

The Slash Gear article is called “Wearables like Glass and Flex could be a $50bn industry in 3 years” – here’s the link:

http://www.slashgear.com/wearables-like-glass-and-flex-could-be-a-50bn-industry-in-3-years-21282924/

 

Have a great day!

Linda

References

Davis, Chris. (2013, May 21). Wearables like Glass and Flex could be a $50bn industry in 3 years. Slash Gear. Online.

Parr, Ben. (2013, May 21). 2013 is the year of the voice command: Thanks to Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nuance and a few other tech giants, voice recognition has reached a place where it’s consumer ready. CNET. Online.

Welch, Chris. (2013, May 21). With Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Microsoft and Sony rekindle the war for your TV. The Verge. Online.

 

P.S. And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is!