Report: Google wants to get into the health data game with ‘Google Fit’

Report: Google wants to get into the health data game with ‘Google Fit’

Everyone wants a piece of the fit tech action these days, and Google, it seems, is not immune to Fit Tech Fever. According to a new report from Forbes, the company plans to introduce its own fitness data aggregation service called Google Fit at this month’s Google I/O conference.

According to the report, Google Fit “would mark a direct challenge” to Apple’s recently announced Health app and HealthKit developer framework, which will be included in this fall’s iOS 8 release. As is the case with HealthKit, third-party apps would be able to share data with Google Fit, which would provide data from various fitness apps and devices in one place. 

The report goes on to state that Google “will also announce partnerships with wearable device makers at its I/O conference.” Forbes also notes that “it’s unclear if Google Fit will be a service build into the next version of Android, or a standalone app that Android users will be able to download independently.”

The wearables and fit tech markets are heating up in a big way, so it isn’t unexpected to see companies like Apple and Google incorporating support for such devices.

According to a TechCrunch report from February, market research firm Canalsys estimates that companies will ship 17 million wearables in 2014, with that number growing to 45 million in 2017.

Meanwhile, a late-2013 survey from the Consumer Electronics Association shows that interest in purchasing fit tech wearables is growing quickly, quadrupling over the course of 2013 alone. With that in mind, we’re sure to see more companies hop on the fit tech bandwagon over the next couple years. 

Medal of Honor: Warfighter PC System Requirements Revealed

Medal of Honor: Warfighter PC System Requirements Revealed

EA and Danger Close has revealed PC system requirements for their upcoming shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The details was revealed on game’s official website.

Medal of Honor: WarfighterMedal of Honor: Warfighter is schedule to launch on October 23 in US, and on October 26 in UK for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Check out the PC System requirements below.

Minimum PC Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista SP1
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 2.7GHz Athlon X2
  • RAM: 2GB RAM
  • DVD: DVD-ROM drive required for DVD installation only
  • Hard Drive: At least 20GB of free space
  • Video: NVidia 8800 GTS 512MB VRAM or better / ATI Radeon 3870 512MB VRAM
  • DirectX: DirectX 10.1
  • Network: 1Mbps DSL or faster Internet connection

Recommended PC System

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1
  • CPU: 3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad / 3 GHz AMD Phenom II X4
  • RAM: 4GB RAM
  • DVD: DVD-ROM drive required for DVD installation only
  • Hard Drive: At least 20GB of free space
  • Video: NVidia GTX 560 1024 MB VRAM or better / ATI Radeon 6950 1024MB VRAM
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • Network: 1Mbps DSL or faster Internet connection

Anti MS-settlement groups make case

Anti MS-settlement groups make case

The US federal appeals court will hear arguments from two trade groups that are opposed to the antitrust settlement negotiated by the Department of Justice and Microsoft.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIAA) late last year filed a motion to intervene in the settlement appeal with the courts.

In January, District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the groups’ motion to intervene in the Microsoft antitrust settlement, ruling that they failed to prove the settlement deal impairs their ability to protect their interests or that the settlement did not adequately represent them.

The groups, which are backed by some of Microsoft’s top rivals in various markets, argue that the settlement is not stringent enough and does not serve the public’s interest. They appealed Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling.

The appeals court now says it will hear arguments from the groups “en banc,” meaning that all of the Court of Appeals judges will hear the matter rather than just a smaller panel of them hearing the case.

Final briefs in the appeals case are due in August, with oral arguments set to begin November 4. The appeals court will hear arguments from Massachusetts and West Virginia, which refused to sign off on the settlement deal, on the same day as the trade group arguments are heard, according to the CCIA.

Microsoft releases Windows Vista RC1

Microsoft releases Windows Vista RC1

After several delays, it appears that Microsoft may get the next version of its Windows client operating system to customers according to its current schedule.

The company has made Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) available, which means the OS is in its final round of bug fixes and tweaks before it will be ready for release to the general public.

Windows Vista RC1 is already available to TechBeta and Technology Adoption Program (TAP) program subscribers, but MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and TechNet subscribers won’t get the OS until next week, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has said since March that Vista will be available to business users in November and consumers in January 2007.

With the last major upgrade to Windows, Windows XP, it was about two months between RC1 and the product’s release to manufacturing. If Vista follows a similar schedule the release to manufacturing – and a release to business customers – could happen as soon as early November.

OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) typically need about six weeks to get the OS installed and tested on PCs before putting those machines on the market. If Windows Vista makes it to manufacturing by the end of November, it could hit its January release date for consumers.

Online retailer is already taking pre-orders for Vista, and has listed availability of the OS as 30 January 2007 on its website.

In a letter to TechBeta subscribers, Jim Allchin, Microsoft co-president of the Platforms and Services Group, thanked them for their support and feedback, and mentioned several improvements to the OS that have been made since Beta 2 was released in May.

“We’ve made some UI [user interface] adjustments, added more device drivers and enhanced performance,” Allchin wrote in the letter. He added that Microsoft will continue to work on Vista’s “application compatibility, as well as fit and finish” until its release to manufacturing, which is yet to be determined.

Allchin also advised independent software vendors to use RC1 to certify applications to run on Windows Vista, and asked for more feedback from testers to improve the OS before its final release.

“Windows Vista is going to touch hundreds of millions of lives all around the world,” he wrote. “Thanks for everything you’re doing to help us give them the best experience possible.”

Apple pays $3 billion for Beats in the company’s largest ever acquisition

Apple pays $3 billion for Beats in the company’s largest ever acquisition

Apple has bought Beats Music and Beats Electronics for US$3 billion in a bid to boost to its streaming business.

Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of US$3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately USD2.6 billion and approximately USD$400 million that will vest over time.

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The deal is less than the $3.2 billion first reported by the Financial Times.

The deal is Apple’s largest acquistion to date.

Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as part of the deal.

Apple chief executive, Tim Cook, said music held a special place at Apple.

“That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

Iovine said he had always known in his heart that Beats belonged with Apple.

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“The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology,” he said. “Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”

Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue, said the addition of Beats would make the companies music lineup even better

“From free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years.”

Subject to regulatory approvals, Apple expects the transaction to close in fiscal Q4.

Beats was founded in 2008 by producer Dr. Dre and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Jimmy Iovine,

Beats Electronics (Beats) comprises the Beats by Dr. Dre family of premium consumer headphones, earphones, and speakers as well as patented Beats Audio software technology and streaming music subscription service Beats Music.

Beats Music is a subscription streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalised music experience.

Doom’s launch trailer is filled with blood, gore, and explosions

Doom’s launch trailer is filled with blood, gore, and explosions

Doom officially launches next week, and to celebrate its upcoming release, Bethesda Softworks has just released the game’s official launch trailer.

The Doom launch trailer is filled with a little over a minute of gameplay footage, which as you’d expect consists mainly of blood, gore, and explosions. The trailer also gives us a sneak peek of a number of weapons we’ll be wielding in Doom, including the iconic chainsaw, double-barrelled shotgun, grenade launcher, and more.

Doom will release on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 13, 2016.

Elder Scrolls Online Will Be on PS4 and Xbox One | The Elder Scrolls: Online

Elder Scrolls Online Will Be on PS4 and Xbox One | The Elder Scrolls: Online

The Elder Scrolls will be playable on consoles! What?!

Official sources confirm that The Elder Scrolls Online will in fact be on both the PS4 and the Xbox One! Check it for yourself on the BethBlog.

This is VERY interesting and says a few things about the game. First of all, the game will be much more of the Elder Scrolls and much less of an MMO. Fans have been worried that the game would be too…MMO-y and succumb to WoW syndrome. Console means the game will stick to its simple roots and be playable on a controller.

The news raises and interesting question: What will the subscription model be? Console raises some interesting payment options for MMOs and I’ve got a feeling that the game will be a one-time purchase and not a monthly subscription. Why would console users, already paying Xbox Live and PS Plus subscriptions, go for another subscription? Bethesda is smarter than that!

Another interesting question: will The Elder Scrolls Online be cross platform compatible?

We’ll find out more answers as we get closer to the release date and the beta. The Elder Scrolls Online is slated to be released in Spring 2014

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 confirms a return to the series’ roots

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 confirms a return to the series’ roots

It’s been teased for a while, but the rumors are now reality. There is indeed a new Tony Hawk game in the works. However, the time for open-world missions, silly exchanges with Bam Margera, and actual skateboard peripherals is over. Activision and Robomodo look to be going back to basics and, thus, the next game in the series is being called Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5.

Game Informer revealed the story earlier today. Pro Skater 5 will return to the format of the previous Pro Skater games, focusing on individual stages with their own objectives. The game will feature competitive and co-op multiplayer, with online features allowing friends to seamlessly jump into each other’s game sessions. Players will also be able to build custom skate parks and share them online.

New gameplay ideas are also set to be introduced, such as power-ups and projectiles. Projectiles will be used for select missions and while that may sound strange on the surface, it’s still less strange than playing with an actual skateboard peripheral.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is set to release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are set to release shortly thereafter.

Android, not iOS, is tops in mobile ad traffic for first time

Android, not iOS, is tops in mobile ad traffic for first time

Devices running Google’s Android operating system have dethroned Apple’s iPhones and iPads as the biggest drivers of worldwide mobile ad traffic, according to a new study from Opera Mediaworks.

Almost 43% of all mobile ad impressions came from an Android device in the first quarter of 2014, the latest State of Mobile Advertising report found. That compares to about 38% for iOS, 5.8% for Symbian, 1.14% for BlackBerry, and 0.18% for Windows Phone. (The other 11.84% came from minor operating systems.)

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Apple’s idevices are still more profitable, however iPhones and iPads between them accounted for more than 52% of mobile monetization in the quarter, according to the study.

About 60% of impressions served to Android devices went to Samsung-built smartphones, Opera found. Competitors like LG, Motorola and HTC trailed badly, at 11%, 5.7% and 3.3%, respectively.

The study tracked statistics provided by Opera’s mobile advertising platform, which, the company said, serves 64 billion impressions per month, to half a billion global users.

The type of app involved made a clear difference in term of ROI and impression rates. Social media saw the most impressions served, at roughly 27% of the overall total, but apps in the “arts and entertainment” category drove the most revenue, at about 17%. Music and video apps, sports apps, and social media were also major revenue drivers.

The U.S. drove a little more than half of the world’s mobile ad impressions during the quarter, followed by Asia at just under 23% and Europe at 13%.

Android’s growth in mobile advertising numbers mirrors the platform’s increasing market share dominance, having long since surpassed iOS in terms of sales nearly four out of five smartphones sold around the globe in the fourth quarter of 2014 were Androids, according to IDC.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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Gears of War Xbox One remaster gameplay videos leak

Gears of War Xbox One remaster gameplay videos leak

It was just a few days ago when we heard rumors of a Gears of War: Ultimate Edition listed on the Brazilian Advisory Rating System website. Today, more evidence has been released in the form of gameplay footage.

The leaked gameplay videos were originally found on the XboxDVR website, although they’ve since been pulled. Fortunately for the Internet, they’ve been made available on other platforms and can currently be downloaded for your own viewing pleasure. The videos appear to be taken from a beta build and highlight a multiplayer session on a map taken from the original Gears of War.

Additional footage has made its way onto YouTube a Spanish beta tester uploaded. We can see him playing Gears of War on what we assume is the Xbox One since we can see its Kinect in the video. In his gameplay video, he claims the Xbox One version of Gears of War will run at 60fps.