• A preview is seen on a screen for Halo 4 during the Microsoft Xbox press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Galen Center on June 4, 2012.As promised, there was no mention of the new Xbox gaming system at Microsoft's keynote presentation at E3 2012, but they still managed to bring a number of exciting new games and interactive experiences to the Xbox 360.

    One of the most highly anticipated games of this E3, Halo 4, kicked off this year's press conference. Although a new studio will be tackling the Halo franchise for the first time (Bungie has handed off the reins to 343 Industries), the short video highlighting both gameplay and cinematics shown at the expo offered promise of new alien foes and the guaranteed return of Master Chief in a jungle environment.

    Here's a brief look at some of the Halo 4 footage shown during the keynote:

    TechBytes: Halo 4, MicrosoftHalo 4 builds well on previous versions of the game.

    Canada's own Ubisoft Toronto, formed just a few years ago, premiered the new Splinter Cell game. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Black List takes place along the Iran/Iraq border, allowing the player to step into the

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  • It's no secret your mobile phone has evolved into a device capable of a lot more than just making calls.

    In fact, talking on the phone seems to be one of the less popular activities these days — compared to email, instant messaging and texting, web surfing, playing games, listening to music, watching video, taking pictures, accessing social media or getting directions.

    Much of the fun things you can do on a smartphone today require "data," therefore requiring a monthly data plan with your carrier that gives you a certain number of megabytes or gigabytes to use up by the end of the month.

    If you find yourself going over your limit -- and thus incurring overage charges -- take heed to these following 10 ways to better manage your data usage.

    1. Try to save the activities that eat up a lot of data — like streaming video — for when you're in a wireless network at home, a café, airport lounge or hotel lobby. To make sure you're using Wi-Fi, you might consider temporarily turning off

    Read More »from Ten ways to save money on mobile data costs
  • A Facebook logo. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel photoThanks to a vocal group in Europe, Facebook is allowing users to vote on its policies before changes are made, turning the social network briefly into a miniature democracy.

    It's the second time that Facebook has allowed such a vote to take place, the first occurring when it was a smaller website with only 200 million users back in 2009. According to Facebook's policies, a minimum of 7,000 comments must be made on a proposal for the site to consider putting changes to a vote. If the vote takes place, a minimum of 30 per cent of Facebook's active users must agree to the change for it to take place.

    Max Schrems, the organizer of Europe vs. Facebook, encouraged members of his group to paste messages to Facebook's Site Governance page, Tech Crunch reports, and managed to reach the required 7,000 comments to trigger the vote (although by the time the feedback period concluded, there were over 42,000 comments). Now, Facebook has opened a one week voting period to approve policy changes it

    Read More »from Facebook allows users to vote on privacy changes, but it may not happen again
  • The highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III will be coming to Canada this summer, allowing us to get our hands on what some are calling the biggest Android phone of the year.

    Samsung has confirmed that as of June 20, Canadians will be able to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S III through Rogers, Telus and Quebec's Videotron, Mobile Syrup reports.

    The Canadian iteration of the device will vary slightly from the European version, BGR said in an article, instead featuring a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM. The U.S. version will also use the dual-core Snapdragon processor, but it is unclear yet if it will also get double the RAM like the Canadian version.

    Mobile Syrup reports that Telus is offering a deal at launch for those hoping to get their hands on the new device, waiving the $35 activation fee when you purchase the phone for a three year term. Customers can purchase either a 16GB model for $159.99 or a 32GB model at $209.99. The Samsung Galaxy S III will be available in marble

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  • Two McGill University students have developed a new way to provide healthcare in remote areas, all through the use of a Windows 8 app and some strategically-placed workers.

    As part of Microsoft's Imagine Cup Canada 2012, Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan have developed Project Neem, Gizmodo reports, which provides workers with basic medical training and a Windows phone in villages that would otherwise be without sophisticated medical care.

    The worker scans the patient's national ID card and, using a custom app for the phone, the patient's information is saved in cloud storage, allowing specialized medical professionals in urban hubs access to the information. The concept is to allow these specialists to intervene in cases where they would not normally be able to access the patient or their information.

    The app was developed with India in mind, where, according to Microsoft's GoDEVMental blog, over 72 per cent of the population lives in villages, and 43 per cent have no access to

    Read More »from McGill students develop healthcare solution using Windows 8, Windows Phone
  • A freedom of information request has given some unique insight into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    The list of words used by the department to monitor online activity for signs of terrorism or threats against the U.S. has been made publicly available. There are plenty of words on the list that you would expect to see there, like "Al Qaida" and "dirty bomb," but it's the inclusion of seemingly mundane terms like "bacteria" and "Mexico" that has piqued the interest of some.

    A 39-page PDF document called "Analyst's Desktop Binder" that highlights all the words Homeland Security watches for in online usage is now available online for perusal, The Daily Mail reports. Department chiefs insist the list is not intended to look for general negative remarks about the government, but it serves as a tool to make them aware of potential threats against the country.

    The list was requested, obtained and posted by a privacy watchdog called the Electronic Privacy Information Center, who sued

    Read More »from Don’t say ‘flu’ or ‘subway’ online if you want to avoid Homeland Security
  • A recently published patent suggests Apple is working on stylus support for future touch devices, the second rumour in as many weeks to directly conflict with the thoughts of the late Steve Jobs.

    Rumours of an iPad Mini began to heat up when Apple reportedly hired two LCD panel suppliers to produce 7.85-inch touchscreens. It was no secret that Jobs did not support a miniaturized iPad, nor was he a fan of including stylus support with Apple's mobile devices.

    But according to a CNET report, Apple has all but officially begun production of the iPen.

    "Despite the late Steve Jobs' mockery of a stylus, Apple has been tinkering with the notion of an iPen complete with haptic feedback," writes Roger Cheng in the report. "That's according to a newly published patent application unearthed by enthusiast site Patently Apple."

    Competitors such as Samsung and HTC have released mobile devices that feature stylus control, but the reported iPen is expected to advance the capabilities of this popular

    Read More »from Apple patent hints at advanced stylus for iPhone, iPad
  • Can't decide what to get for your first (or next) tattoo?

    You could flip through books at your local parlour or check out your friends' ink for inspiration.

    Or, why not design your own with Instattoo for Apple's mobile devices?

    Dubbed the world's first tattoo generator, Instattoo ($2.99) can display a number of designs, divided into one of 13 core styles -- ranging from stars and tribal patterns to Asian imagery and hieroglyphs to floral designs and shaded drawings with greyish tones.

    By swiping your finger on the screen, you can rotate the design wheel to create something truly unique. Plus, you can also select from one of five different modes per style, adjust the size (from extra small to extra large) or tap the Variate button to see other kaleidoscope-like spins on the same design.

    If you're feeling lazy, you can tap the ying-yang symbol for a randomly generated design, until you find something you'd like to go with or tweak. You can also pinch to zoom in or out of your design at

    Read More »from Design your own tattoo with new app
  • Approximately 400 employees working for former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling were notified yesterday they would soon be out of a job.

    Since then, their fellow gaming industry professionals have rallied to find them new jobs as soon as possible.

    The news broke yesterday that 38 Studios, the studio behind the game Kingdom of Amalur: Recoking, would be laying off all employees at its Rhode Island studio and at the Maryland subsidiary Big Huge Games, The Verge reported. As of March 15, 379 full-time staff worked for the company.

    38 Studios' troubles have been ongoing for some time now; the company moved from Maryland to Rhode Island with the promise of a $75 million loan guarantee from the state, in hopes it would create high-paying jobs, The Boston Globe reports. The studio missed the May 1 loan payment to the state of $1.1 million and was unable to meet its May 15 payroll, ultimately emailing employees the following on May 24 (as quoted by Joystiq):

    "The Company is experiencing

    Read More »from Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios lays off entire staff, gaming industry rallies to help
  • Samuel L. Jackson loves Siri, and Zooey Deschanel is quite the fan herself. But the brass at IBM aren't exactly singing the praises of Apple's voice-activated personal assistant.

    IBM CIO Jeanette Horan recently revealed the company has banned all employees from using Siri on company-issued iPhones.

    "Siri has had her visitor badge revoked at IBM," writes Michelle Maltais in the L.A. Times. "Apparently she can't keep quiet about what she hears."

    According to the Times, voice-recognition services such as Siri will transmit what they hear to a database. This is an effort to improve the service by making it smarter, growing its vocabulary and knowledge of different accents. But this kind of documentation, however benign or innocent in nature, has become a cause for concern at IBM.

    "We're just extraordinarily conservative," revealed Horan in a Christian Science Monitor piece. "It's the nature of our business."

    Siri's banishment has generated quite the buzz online, but Jacqui Cheng from Ars

    Read More »from IBM bans Siri over information leak concerns

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