Archive for June, 2012
It’s hard to believe, but the last the last time we covered a major firmware update for Canon’s 7D DLSR the iPhone 4 was still fresh in our minds. Now, nearly two years later, Canon is offering up a bevy of new features for the camera with its soon to be released — and free — 2.0.X update.
To start, folks who shoot RAW will be pleased to know that they can shoot up to 25 continuous frames (17 in RAW + JPEG) in burst mode — that’s up from just 15 previously. You’ll also be able to edit images captured in the format straight from the camera, as well as set a maximum limit of 6400 (up from 3200) for its Auto ISO mode. If that wasn’t enough, Geotaggers should know that Canon is also going to make its GP-E2 GPS module (originally introduced with the 5D Mark III) 7D-compatible.
Lastly, videographers are getting a nice bump in the audio and multi-camera shooting departments; you’ll be able to manually control the mic-input with a choice of 64 volume levels (like the Mark II) and an updated sub-menu interface will allow the first four characters of your videos’ file names to be changed. The update won’t be available until early August, but you’ll find full details and a video demo at the source link below.
SOURCE via Canon
The Phoenix Frankenprogram to harvest the corpses of expired satellites and cobble together new ones seemed like one of DARPA’s more daft ideas, but this one has actually kicked off its first phase of development. The plan is to first launch a service craft — replete with robotic arms and enough processing horsepower to work independently if needed — followed by the tiny base-unit skeleton satlets. The service mothership would dip into an orbital area called the “graveyard”, grabbing pre-chosen cadavers and picking off usable parts, especially valuable antenna arrays, with its robo-limbs. Those parts would be jury-rigged to the bare-bones units, creating usable Pentagon satellites and saving the $10,000 per pound launch cost. So far, a $2.5 million contract to develop the needed technology has been put in place, and bids for the no-frills satlets went out last week. Plenty of dirty work is still needed, so check the video after the break to see if the overly-elaborate plan can un-moot $300 billion of orbiting cold metal.
Creating machinima with a video game engine usually requires accepting one of two truths: either that it will require a lot of fudging or that it will have all the sophistication of playing with action figures. Valve Software isn’t very happy with that dichotomy, which is why it’s posting its very own movie-making tool, Source Filmmaker, as a public beta. Any game that runs on the Source engine, whether it’s Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 2 or another in the family, can have gameplay run-throughs edited and dissected right down to custom facial expressions. As Valve expounds in the video after the break, throwing a gaming-grade PC at the task gives directors the advantage of seeing exactly how any changes will look in the final scene; there’s no rough wireframes or pre-rendering here. Budding Francis Ford Coppolas can sign up for an invitation to the Filmmaker beta at the project page. If you’d just like to see how far someone can go with the end results, we’ve also included the latest Team Fortress 2 character profile video, Meet the Pyro, after the jump.
The word “run” in the headline is chosen very carefully. Developer Christina Kelly managed to get Swords and Soldiers up and running on the Nexus Q, but the game is not actually playable. Without a touchscreen or any other way to actually control the title, there’s not much to do besides look at the splash screen. Still, the fact that in under 24 hours Google’s new streaming appliance has already made to fire up unapproved apps bodes well for its future with the hacker community. Once the device gets in the hands of more devs we imagine it’ll only a matter of time before someone figures out a way to get Hulu or Netflix running on it, with your Android phone acting as the remote.
SOURCE via Slashgear
Asus’ Chairman Jonney Shih and Google’s head of Android Andy Rubin have revealed that the Nexus 7 is being sold at cost, and was built in just four months. “Our engineers told me it is like torture,” Shih tells All Things D. Asus was told that the Nexus tablet was to be ready in four months, must be high-end, and should not cost over $200. “They ask a lot.”
Rubin says that only Asus could move that fast: “we went from zero to working product in four months.” He admits to being frustrated at the lack of Android tablet sales in the past, but says Google now has a full ecosystem in place that will allow users to consume media on one of the company’s tablets. “I think that was the missing piece.”
It’s clear to all that Google is pitching its tablet as a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. However, unlike the Fire, the Nexus 7 has a quad-core Tegra 3 SoC and a 1280 x 800 laminated display — so how is Google selling it at the same price? “When it gets sold through the Play store,” says Rubin, “there’s no margin, it just basically gets (sold) through.” All Things D elaborates that Google is also absorbing the marketing costs associated with the device. When asked if he thinks this cost structure will make life difficult for other Android manufacturers to sell tablets, Rubin insisted there is “plenty of room left for Android tablet innovation.”
SOURCE via All Things D
Instagram has expanded its web presence with the introduction of more interactive features from the app onto the browser version. It’s now possible to like and comment on photos, and you can log in to edit some more profile options, a major shift for the service. It’s also got a new blue-and-white look that’s more reminiscent of the app, instead of the dark theme users saw before. Despite this, there’s still not feature parity between app and web. Photo browsing is limited, as is your user profile, and we don’t see most of the updates that were recently brought to the iPhone version. Still, it’s another move forward from Instagram as it shifts from an iOS-only experience to one that increasingly works across all devices, and it’s likely it will be expanded more over time. It’s also good to see the updates keep rolling out post-Facebook acquisition.
SOURCE via Maykel Loomans (Twitter)
You know all those lawsuits swirling about in the tech industry? Yeah… Qualcomm is looking to avoid some of the weighty implications of courtroom battles with an air gap strategy that will restructure its R&D division into a new, wholly owned subsidiary known as Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI). While the parent company will retain the company’s existing patent portfolio, QTI will be responsible for product development and the existing semiconductor business. Interestingly enough, it’s also said that the subsidiary will ramp up its use of open source software, and it’ll strive to avoid the patents of parent company, Qualcomm. It’s also said that the restructuring will help the business bring its products to market more quickly, and if the company is able to avoid just one lawsuit / injunction, it may be very correct with that assertion.
SOURCE via Reuters
Traditional console makers have often sworn up and down that mobile doesn’t make money for game development. That might still be true for some developers, but you’ll get a very different answer if you ask Epic Games. Co-founders Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein have collectively described the currently iOS-only, Chair-developed Infinity Blade as the “most profitable game we’ve ever made” when considering the amount of money and time invested relative to the money coming back. Yes, that includes even the Gears of War series, which most consider Epic’s primary cash cow. Sweeney, like his long-time competitor Johh Carmack at id Software, is also taken aback by the power stuffed inside the latest generation of mobile devices — a 2012 iPad is nearer the performance of a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, he tells Gamasutra, and the pace is only picking up. Even more insights await in the interview with Sweeney; click below if you want a hint of what one of gaming’s pioneers has to say about where your tablets, phones and (yes) PCs are going.
SOURCE via Gamasutra