OLED television sets are supposed to be the wave of the future, but early OLED adopters LG and Samsung have found that the future can be very expensive. Bloomberg reports that LG and Samsung’s big bets on OLEDs haven’t panned out so far and the two companies “are now pivoting, with plans to boost output of LCD sets to maintain their dominance of the industry.” The issue for both companies has been how to produce OLED TVs at a low enough cost where they become attractive to consumers. Given that LG’s first OLED television released earlier this year costs around $10,000, it’s safe to say that consumers are looking for much lower price points before they buy in. In the meantime, Bloomberg says that rival manufacturer Sony has the perfect opportunity to swoop in and grab market share while Samsung and LG retool their plans.
Independent game developers who are excited about selling new games on the Xbox One got some bad news on Wednesday. Microsoft confirmed to ShackNews that independent developers cannot self-publish their own games on Xbox Live Arcade, and are instead required to partner with Microsoft Game Studios or a third-party publisher. The policy is completely different from those employed by Sony and Nintendo. Sony embraces independent developers and welcomes them to create and self-publish content on the PlayStation Network. Microsoft’s upcoming console matches up with Sony’s PlayStation 4 on paper, however there are still some questions that have been left unanswered, such as the ability to play used games.
Earlier this year we learned about a patent holding firm that came up with a novel way of making money by threatening to sue small businesses that allegedly infringed upon its scanner technology patents by using scanners in their offices. Yes, you read that correctly: An entity called “Project Paperless LLC” really has been sending out letters to small and medium-sized businesses demanding licensing fees for using office scanners capable of sending PDFs via email. Ars Technica has now provided us with an update to this story and has found that Project Paperless is just one of roughly 40 shell entities owned by a company called MPHJ Technologies that’s been sending threatening letters out to small businesses demanding that they pay $1,000 per employee for the right to use office scanners.
Infinity Ward, the acclaimed developer behind hit games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghost, is looking to bring strikingly realistic models and environments to the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise. The new gaming engine that will debut with Call of Duty: Ghost later this year will deliver a variety of graphical improvements such as enhanced visual fidelity, high-resolution textures and more. The company notes that one of its new technologies, known as Sub-D, greatly improves formerly blocky details by exponentially boosting polygon counts in real-time, allowing for incredibly realistic character models that can show fine hairs, bruising, cuts and even the dirt beneath finger nails. Call of Duty: Ghost is scheduled to be released on November 5th for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. Infinity Ward’s video follows below.
Samsung has reportedly made a major investment in rival South Korea-based smartphone maker Pantech. Yonhap News was first to report the news and it says Samsung spent roughly $50 million for 10% of the company. Samsung’s motives are unclear, though the deal will reportedly “help further solidify bilateral cooperation in smartphone and other business areas.” Pantech is currently the No.3 phone maker in South Korea behind Samsung and LG, and the new investment makes Samsung the company’s third-largest shareholder behind Qualcomm and Korea Development Bank.
Wireless carriers’ data collection and selling practices are increasingly setting off alarm bells among privacy advocates, The Wall Street Journal reports. In particular, the Journal notes that there’s heightened anxiety about Verizon’s Precision Market Insights product that collects, stores and sells information about users’ web browsing habits, their locations and their demographic backgrounds. Verizon insists that it’s anonymizing the data it shows to third parties and is only selling data on large groups of customers broken down by geography and other demographics. The carrier also says that it has always collected this sort of data and has always been willing to hand it over to law enforcement officials if compelled by a search warrant.
As people continue to look for ways to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable services, right now they largely have no choice but to continue subscribing to ISPs’ Internet services even if they cancel pay-TV. Over the next few years, however, that need might fade in many regions. According to new research from ABI, LTE-FDD (frequency-division duplex) will expand to cover 57% of the global population by 2018 while LTE-TDD (time-division duplex) will cover 52% of the population by that point in time.
New details continue to trickle out following Microsoft’s Xbox One unveiling. Some new tidbits answer burning questions and some simply raise new questions, but there are also a few key features being discovered that Microsoft was oddly quiet about during its presentation but happily confirmed after the show. For one example, Forbes’ Matt Hickey was able to learn after the presentation that the new Xbox One will indeed support “Ultra HD” gaming at 4K resolution. “The video and interface portions, absolutely,” Microsoft marketing boss Yusuf Mehdi responded when asked whether or not the new Xbox would offer 4K gaming. It looks like games will be 1080p at launch, though 4K games will certainly be available down the road once Ultra HD TV sales pick up.
BlackBerry announced earlier this month that its BlackBerry Messenger service will be coming to Android smartphones and the iPhone in the coming months. The company was initially criticized for once again being late to the game, with services like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp having taken over the mobile messaging market. BlackBerry cofounder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is optimistic about BBM’s future, however. The former executive told Bloomberg that he believes iPhone and Android users will be quick to embrace the once popular service.
Microsoft is trying to differentiate the Xbox One from rival consoles by giving it several key set-top box features for television sets but that doesn’t mean it’s going to take away your need to subscribe to cable services anytime soon. As AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka notes, Microsoft is limiting the amount of live television content Xbox One users can access without a cable subscription, thus ensuring that cable providers don’t feel threatened.
Copyright © 2011 DroidMasters.com