• PlayStation fans got a peek at what games and entertainment they have to look forward to in the coming year at last night's Sony E3 keynote. Their presentation included an array of games to please hardcore gamers, as well as one less likely offering.

    Sony opened their show with Beyond, a highly-cinematic game by Quantic Dream. Many gamers may be familiar with another title by that company, 2010's Heavy Rain, which was widely praised for its highly detailed characters and game environment. Quantic Dream has taken that one step further by casting a Hollywood actress as their lead character. Ellen Page plays Jody Holmes, a troubled woman who has a connection to a strange invisible force. You can see just how much effort has gone into accurately capturing the nuances of Page's expression in this trailer:

    Fans also got a chance to see the previously announced PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal. The game takes characters from popular PlayStation franchises like God of War and Twisted Metal

    Read More »from Sony showcases ‘Beyond,’ ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘Wonderbook’ at E3
  • Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, speaks during the Microsoft Xbox press conference at E3.In a keynote titled 'Entertainment Evolved,' Microsoft sought to highlight not just video games, but the full breadth of entertainment capabilities offered by the Xbox 360 and the Microsoft Kinect. While Xbox SmartGlass will likely dominate much of the non-gaming entertainment news from the keynote, there were other announcements by Microsoft that are worth noting.

    Continuing the work Microsoft has already done on integrating Bing voice search for movies and television shows, Xbox users will now be able to search by genre. New languages and region-specific content will be added to their media navigation, allowing for more people to use the Kinect-enabled voice command features.

    Microsoft will be introducing more than 35 new providers to its current roster of content suppliers, including Nickelodeon and Paramount, as well as bringing NHL and NBA games to Xbox. ESPN will also be extending its presence on Xbox, giving Xbox 360 users access to 24-hour, seven-day-a-week content from ESPN 1,

    Read More »from Microsoft lives up to ‘Entertainment Evolved’ title with innovations to Xbox media centre
  • Marc Whitten, the head of Xbox Live, demonstrates the new XBox feature XBox SmartGlass.Gaming buzz may be taking a backseat to news of Xbox SmartGlass, a technology unveiled at this year's E3 which integrates movie and television-watching with user tablets and smartphones.

    Xbox SmartGlass connects the Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablet with the Xbox 360 console, allowing for the user to not just watch media across multiple devices, but also interact with it in various ways at the same time. Microsoft executive Marc Whitten described it in his presentation as a way to turn any television into a "smart tv" with devices that you already own.

    Whitten demonstrated to the E3 crowd how you can begin watching a movie through Xbox Live on a Windows 8 tablet, then continue watching the movie where you left off on your television at home by "beaming" it to the system. Presumably this will be done over WiFi, but Whitten didn't offer specifics on the technology.

    When the tablet transfers the movie, the screen will change to provide supplementary information, such as details on the

    Read More »from Xbox SmartGlass premieres at E3, integrates movie watching with tablet, phone
  • 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

    Read More »from Halo 4 premiere leads Microsoft’s game offerings during E3 keynote
  • 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

    Read More »from Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Canada June 20
  • 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


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