The tech world is reeling from a deluge of new product information coming out of CES.
We love it, but we also have to try and cut through the guff to bring you our handpicked top tech stories of the day for Monday the 6th of January, 2014. As ever we start with the more serious stories and finish off with a look at the culture of science and tech – and we’ve limited ourselves to just one TV, for now.
CyberPowerPC Steam Machine will compete with consoles at $499 – While some of the companies adopting Valve’s living room gaming fomula are simply grafting the SteamOS operating system onto powerful Windows PCs, CyberPowerPC has just announced a Steam Machine designed to actually compete with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for around the same price point.
Starting at just $499, the new CyberPowerPC Steam Machine A will come with a 3.9GHz AMD A6-6400K processor and AMD Radeon R9 270 discrete graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive in a new custom case, and come complete with a Steam Controller and SteamOS when it ships in the second half of 2014.
Pandora is rolling out in-car ads later this month – You’ve been able to listen to Pandora in your car for a few years now, and soon the internet radio company will be launching ads to play alongside your music. Expected to roll out later this month, the new advertising platform will include both 15- and 30-second ads from the likes of Ford, State Farm, and Taco Bell.
“Taco Bell fans are passionate about music,” Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt says. The feature will be available in the 130 car models that currently include Pandora integration, as well as via the many aftermarket devices that let you access the service in your vehicle.
LG’s 77-inch curved OLED TV is its most stunning one yet – One of the best traditions of CES is getting to see the jaw-dropping brilliance of large-screened OLED TVs, primarily from the two Korean giants LG and Samsung. This year has been no different, though LG has cranked things up a couple of notches by curving its 77-inch OLED panel.
The new TV, though it’s taking a secondary position behind the new webOS software and the 105-inch curved IPS LCD, is my personal favorite from LG’s debuts at CES 2014, with its stupendously thin bezels and engrossing picture quality. It has to also be said the curve on the display works much better on such a large scale than it does on the peculiar 6-inch G Flex handset.
Pirate Bay unveils ambitious new software scheme to foil anti-piracy measures – The Pirate Bay has announced a surprising new tool to foil copyright enforcers, moving the entire site to a distributed network accessible only through Pirate Bay’s own unique software. The new system builds on open source projects like LibTorrent, holding all potentially incriminating data in a peer-to-peer client. “The goal is to create a browser-like client to circumvent censorship, including domain blocking, domain confiscation, IP-blocking,” a Pirate Bay insider told TorrentFreak.
Xbox One sales in 2013 top 3 million units across 13 territories – There are approximately 3 million Xbox One owners worldwide as of the end of 2013, according to the latest numbers from Microsoft. That’s up another million since mid-December, and accounts for sales in 13 countries. Not too bad, eh?
Xbox marketing head Yusuf Mehdi announced the new sales number on Microsoft’s Xbox news site, where he wrote, “Since our launch, demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out throughout the holidays at most retailers worldwide. We are continuing to work hard to deliver additional consoles to retailers as fast as possible.”
Audience’s new voice processors offer always-on listening without sacrificing battery life – We’ll admit, the touchless controls on the Moto X have spoiled us. It’s far too enjoyable to jolt the smartphone out of a deep slumber by speaking a keyword-based trigger phrase (for the X, it’s “OK Google Now”) and commanding it to do our bidding. And while Motorola managed to integrate this feature into its flagship smartphone without taking a huge hit on battery life, there’s always room for improvement.
AT&T’s Sponsored Data is bad for the internet, the economy, and you – AT&T today announced a new “Sponsored Data” program that lets developers and brands pay to deliver content to your mobile device outside of your data caps. It sounds great for consumers on its face — you’ll be able to get more stuff without paying for it! — but in reality it’s a huge blow to the free and vibrant market of the internet economy, and the first step towards a new era of carrier control.
Your next phone might protect you from bacteria – Corning today announced that its long-awaited Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass is ready. The company, whose Gorilla Glass adorns many of the world’s smartphones, revealed it was developing the glass last year, but chose to formally announce the product at CES, where it will showcase its antimicrobial properties to attendees. According to the company, “the world’s first EPA-registered antimicrobial cover glass” will inhibit the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria.
Anxious that your smartphone is not connected to your toothbrush? Well, fret no longer… – An app for your toothbrush?
Sure it might seem ridiculous but we are way too far down the ‘everything’s connected’ rabbit hole to get back out now. I admit I’ve never looked at my phone and shrieked “if only there was some god damn way to check my plaque on this stoopid thing’ but to be fair until 2007 I mostly only looked at my phone to see how many missed calls I had from crazy bosses and ex-girlfriends (or was that ex-bosses and crazy girlfriends – the 2000’s was a giddy ride).
You can buy a replica of Adam West’s Batman mask for just $1,500 – If you prefer Adam West’s campy take on Batman and have some cash to burn, there’s good news — you can buy a replica of his Dark Knight mask for $1,500 on Etsy. The cowl is a take on the version worn during the 1966 television series, and it’s been custom-dyed to accurately match the colors from the show.
It even comes with foam inserts to match a variety of head sizes, and the attention to detail extends as far as the color of the eyebrows. And Adam West isn’t just the inspiration, he’s also a customer — according to creators The Chuck Williams Studio, West owns one of the cowls himself, and has called it a “work of art.”
Thanks for reading,
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