You might say the week is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workweek, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Weekly Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past seven days -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
There are more than a few ways that the corporate world is trying to spread internet across the globe; from Google's Project Loon, to Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org initiative. South Africa, for example, is a country where just 15.6 percent of the population is connected to the internet. Enter Google, Microsoft, Carlson Wireless, Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET) and a host of other powerful entities. These companies are trying to take advantage of TV white spaces -- a low-cost, highly adaptable technology that's poised to bring internet to the next billion people. Read on for more.
Three years ago 5-inch phones were large and unwieldy, presiding in a market mostly dominated by 3.5 and 4.0-inch phones. Now, in 2013, 5-inch screens are the norm and 6.44-inch displays that are considered large, and unnecessary. Such is the case with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which borrows many traits from the smaller Xperia Z while taking on a flatter shape. As it happens, we got a chance to play with one thanks to our friends at Negri Electronics, an online retailer in the US that sells the Z Ultra's baseline model for about $675. So is the phone comfortable to hold? The Z Ultra is a powerful phone with a great display, but your purchase decision will ultimately depend on the price and how well the phone fits in your hand. Click the link above for our full review.
We've got a lot of details about the new and upcoming Xbox One, but its companion, the next-gen Kinect, has largely remained in the dark. This week at Gamescom 2013, we got the chance to go a bit deeper with the always-on, always-listening device. You don't have to use it with your new Xbox, but if you choose to, head on up for our full impressions and hands-on.
This week Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, announced his plans to step down "within the next 12 months." As of now, no direct replacement has been announced, but Ballmer made it clear that he'll be sticking around until one is found. It is certain that whoever does eventually take over Ballmer's role will have a tough road ahead of them, as desktop market shares continue to plummet, and Microsoft struggles to gain footing in the mobile space. Click up for the CEO's farewell letter, and related PR.
Sony PlayStation Vita PCH-2000
Microsoft Xbox One
Sony Xperia Z Ultra