Planning on turning on your PS3 for some The Last of Us action tonight? According to a thread on the PlayStation Support forums, if you're prompted to install the latest firmware update version 4.45 then you may want to hold off for now. A number of owners are reporting their systems locks up while booting, although the problem may only affect users with hard drives installed that are 500GBs or larger. According to the changelog, it was supposed to allow users to select whether or not they want an in-game notification when a trophy is earned. If it is tied to user-replaced hard drives, it does remind us of the time v3.41 resulted in a few corrupted PlayStation 3 drives. Check the thread for more details, if we hear more from Sony then we'll let you know when it's safe to press OK.
Jelly Bean has been making its way to ever cheaper phones in recent months, and that's very conspicuous with the launch of Virgin Mobile's new Samsung Galaxy Ring. For $180, you're getting Android 4.1 in a price range where 4.0 is still common. You're also getting a surprisingly capable device under the hood -- while there's no LTE, the prepaid handset carries a reasonably quick 1.4GHz processor, a 4-inch screen, a 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing sensor. We'd still consider shelling out a little more cash for a future-ready 4G device, but Virgin users determined to scrimp and save can pick up the Galaxy Ring today.
Scanadu clearly knows to tap into our collective Star Trek dreams, as the company just reached $1 million in funding for its Scout tricorder. The backing so far comes from people in 91 countries, including luminaries like Eugene Roddenberry (who else?) and Steve Wozniak. That figure is more than symbolic, we'd add -- backers who've paid for a Scout can now get theirs in black rather than a clinical-looking white. Should the new color option prove tempting, it's not necessarily too late; as of this writing, there's still a few days left to make a pledge.
He was nominated to replace Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission a mere six weeks ago, and before he's even got the job, Tom Wheeler's making headlines. Ars Technica reports that would-be chairman Wheeler wants what many (all?) cell phone owners want -- the ability to unlock our phones free from fear of legal retribution. The way he sees things, when folks have bought and paid for their phones and are contract-free, they "ought to have the right to use the device and move it across carriers." Unfortunately, while he's staked out his position on the matter, he has yet to say exactly how he plans to make phone unlocking legal, be it through legislation or other means. The good news is, he's not the boss just yet, so he's got time to address those niggling details while he waits to be confirmed as the new chairman.
The E3 and WWDC news surges have finally calmed, so now we're back into the normal weekly groove. This week, Ben details his time using an Oculus Rift to watch recorded video and Richard attempts to ride out E3 as long as possible with our roundup. All that and more is ready to stream straight to your ears below.
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To use NVIDIA's graphics technology, you've typically had to buy gadgets using NVIDIA chips -- good for the company's bottom line, but not for influencing the industry as a whole. The firm is expanding its ambition today with plans to license some of that technology on a broader scale. Beginning with the Kepler architecture, other firms can use NVIDIA's GPU cores and graphics-related patents for their own processors and chipsets. The deal could affect a wide range of hardware, but it mostly pits NVIDIA against the likes of Imagination Technologies: a system-on-chip designer could integrate a Logan-based GPU instead of the PowerVR series, for example. While it will be some time before third-party silicon ships with NVIDIA inside, it's already clear that the company's in-house design is now just one part of a larger strategy.
Today we had a chance to play with Qualcomm's latest MDP devices (tablet and phone) which pack the company's mighty Snapdragon 800 SoC (MSM8974). The tablet is slightly larger than than last year's and features an 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB of built-in flash storage (with microSD expansion), USB 3.0 support and a 12 megapixel AF rear camera with flash (2MP fixed-focus in front). All of this is crammed into a slim (0.46 inches / 11.7mm) chassis that's powered by a 3400mAh Li-ion battery and incorporates a bevvy of radios (LTE band 17, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4 LE, GPS, NFC) and sensors (including pressure and humidity).
The phone shares most of the tablet's specs but swaps the screen for a 4.3-inch panel (1280 x 720 pixels) and the battery for a smaller (1500mAh) pack. We put these Snapdragon 800-equipped MDPs through their paces by running our usual suite of benchmarks (plus a few more). The results? Prepare for ludicrous speed! More after the break.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it took down 1,400 Citadel botnets with the help of the FBI, and now Ballmer and Co. have divulged just how big of an impact the effort had. According to Richard Domingues Boscovich, the firm's Digital Crimes Unit assistant general counsel, the operation freed at least 2 million PCs across the globe from the malicious code -- and that's a conservative estimate by his reckoning. It's believed that more than $500 million has been stolen from bank accounts thanks to information gleaned from keystrokes logged by computers afflicted with the software. Though the chief botnet organizer is still on the loose and many machines are still burdened by Citadel, Domingues Boscovich says they "feel confident that we really got most of the ones that we were after."
[Image credit: Edmund Tse, Flickr]
The latest move in the standoff between Softbank, Sprint, Dish Network and Clearwire has been made, as Dish stated today it will not submit another bid for Sprint. This comes after Sprint sued to stop Dish from buying Clearwire, which the satellite company called an attempt to deflect attention from its own unfair dealings. If you'll recall, Dish Network jumped in with a $25.5 billion offer to buy Sprint, but after Japanese carrier Softbank improved its proposal slightly, Sprint put Dish on a deadline to respond. That time limit expired today, and Dish is choosing to consider its options on Sprint, while focusing on completing the Clearwire deal. Dish cited some specific changes in the Softbank deal that made it impossible to meet the deadline, including higher break-up fees if the deal didn't go through. so what's next? Softbank's still waiting for FCC approval before it can go through with the acquisition, and reports it expects to close the deal in early July.