A new mobile gaming startup that’s yet to release a single game isn’t the sort of thing we’d normally cover ’round here, but the story behind Los Angeles-based Innovative Leisure is anything but ordinary. The man behind the company is the co-creator of the Xbox, Seamus Blackley, and he’s brought with him eleven industry veterans that he calls “the dream team from Atari,” including the likes of Van Burnham, Ed Logg, Rich Adam, Tim Skelly, Owen Rubin, and Ed Rotberg. While those names may not be familiar to everyone, you’ll surely recognize some of the games they were responsible for: Asteroids, Centipede, Gauntlet, Missile Command, Battlezone, S.T.U.N. Runner, Major Havoc and Space Duel, to name a few.
Speaking with VentureBeat, Blackley describes mobile devices as “the new arcade” and 99 cent games as the “new quarter,” adding that he’s aiming to carry on where Atari left off, “focusing on innovation in gameplay.” To help with that, the company has secured backing from THQ, which has reportedly agreed to an initial slate of ten games, seven of which are now in development (with only the iPhone and iPad mentioned as supported platforms so far). Unfortunately, details remain light beyond that, with Blackley only offering late summer or fall as an estimated release date for the first titles. In the meantime, you can find more of the backstory at the links below (THQ’s press release can also be found after the break).
Some of you may have noticed that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus is no longer listed as a supported, official developer device by Google. Despite rumors to the contrary, it doesn’t appear this has anything to do with the kerfuffle over Wallet, but instead centers around technical issues relating to the APK files required for CDMA connectivity and the signing of those libraries. Other devices have also disappeared from the support pages, including the Nexus S 4G and the Verizon-branded Xoom. Google has posted an update explaining that, “for various technical reasons” CDMA telephony is handled by binaries provided by the carrier in newer devices. The result is different signatures being associated with those APKs than a pure AOSP builds and, thus, those essential components don’t function properly.
Google explained the disappearance by saying “we aim to make sure that we are as clear as possible about the degree of support that devices have,” before going on to promise all Nexus devices would continue to have unlockable bootloaders and that as many of the closed-source binaries as possible would be made available. For the complete statement hit up the source link.
Do you wish you had your own personal Jetpack? Well, you may not have to wait much longer for ZTE’s version — the EuFi I890, announced at CES last month — to come out, if its entry into the records of the FCC are any indication. It may not be the kind that you strap onto your back, but at least this one takes advantage of Verizon’s LTE, and it happens to add in CDMA / EVDO and ATT-compatible 3G radios. We knew the 4G-packing MiFi was going to hit stores in “the coming weeks,” so this is essentially just one step closer to achieving that goal — unfortunately, we still don’t have a solid date yet. Hit the source link if you’re into digging through government documents.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/03/verizon-jetpack-zte-fcc/
This is the end, dear PlayBook-admiring friends. That is to say, it’s the end-of-life for RIM’s first unsuccessful stab at tablet computing. Unsurprisingly, the marketing blitzkrieg that saw J.Lo and the Flash Gordon theme awkwardly peddle the flailing tab hasn’t done much to elevate sales or consumer interest, forcing its Canadian overlords to issue Telus an EOL notice. This not unexpected bit of news comes right on the heels of the BB maker’s recently leaked device roadmap, in which a spring bow for a higher-specced, 3G+ enabled iteration is clearly denoted. Whatever Waterloo’s near future plans for the category are, we know for sure they won’t include BB 10 until much later this year. Chin up though, folks. At least we have OS 2.0 to soothe our fraught nerves in the interim.
Sad news to report this Friday. Steve Appleton, the CEO and Chairman of Micron, died this morning in an airplane crash shortly after takeoff from the Boise, Idaho airport. He was the only one aboard, and was piloting a fixed wing, single engine kit aircraft. Appleton started working at Micron in 1983 shortly after graduating from Boise State University, first working the production line and eventually rising through the ranks to become the company’s COO in 1991. He took the reins of Micron in 1994. The plane crash wasn’t Appleton’s first. In 2004, he and a flying partner walked away from an accident, having sustained only scrapes and bruises. He later commented on his life’s passions, which included aircraft aerobatics, “I’m very fortunate, lucky to be able to experience the kinds of things that I do. If my life were to end tomorrow, I’ve had a full life.” Steve Appleton leaves behind a wife and four children. Comments from Micron’s Board of Directors, as well as Boise’s mayor, Dave Bieter, can be found after the break.
The latest version of Apple’s Airport Utility software has arrived, alongside those iCloud-supporting firmware updates for the company’s network hardware, including the AirPort Extreme, the AirPort Express and Time Capsule. Unfortunately, Airport Utility 6.0 doesn’t support pre-2007 models, that is; 802.11g-only devices. As we already know, iCloud support requires the new release, running on OSX Lion and if you’re still clinging onto your MobileMe account, we’ve got more bad news — this won’t work with the new software either. Fortunately, you’ll still be able to configure (firmware-updated) older models with previous AirPort Utility versions. TidBITS has gone into fine detail on compatibility changes, so be sure to check the source if there’s any niggling doubts.
Yahoo may be sliding down the search engine totem pole, but the company is doing its best to climb back up, with a new space dedicated to apps. This week, Yahoo added a new “Apps” tab to its search page, giving users a new portal into both the Android Market and iTunes App Store. Results can be filtered by both price and category, with iOS and Android apps aligned in separate tabs. Once you select an app, you can download it by scanning a QR code, sending a download link to your handset, or by simply clicking through to iTunes or the Android Market. There’s also a “trending now” interface, as well as a full list of Yahoo user reviews, displayed directly within the page. Check it out for yourself, at the source link below.
Hey, office workers — listen up. You know that cheap, god-forsaken fax machine that you’ve come to loathe something fierce? Well, if it’s an HP unit, go ahead and peep the model number on the front — don’t worry, we’ll wait. If it says either 1040 or 1050, in addition to being a pain in the ass to operate (like all fax machines are), there’s also a small chance the cursed thing could catch on fire. Of the 1.1 million units sold between 2004 and 2011, only seven documented cases have (literally) gone up in flames, but the risk has instigated a voluntary recall for both models. If you’re among the affected owners, go ahead and unplug the machine from its power source, then give HP a call at (888) 654-9296 to get a rebate. Also, be forewarned that while it’s illegal to sell a recalled product, we’ve found scads of these units currently for sale on eBay. Like the previously recalled HP products, that’s one smokin’ hot deal we’re inclined to skip.
We were so beguiled by AD’s bamboo-bound smartphone that we had to track down the designer to get some hands-on time with these work-in-progress prototypes. We met up with Kieron-Scott Woodhouse (pun unintended) and he offered to bring along several of the latest prototypes for us to get to grips with. While the finished product will arrive in the lighter bamboo finish, the darker model’s button layout is closer to what we can expect on the final device. The ADZero is still set to launch between the end of 2012 and the start of 2013. Sustainable smartphone fans can browse through our gallery below, or read up on the phone’s journey — and our impressions — right after the break.
2011: the year Smartphones supplanted computers, at least according to the bundle of spreadsheets that just arrived from Canalys Research. Vendors shipped (shipped, not sold) 488 million of the devices, compared to 414.6 million “PCs,” which erroneously includes Tablet PCs of all shapes and sizes. Looking at Smartphones exclusively (IDC’s numbers from yesterday concerned all mobile handsets), Apple remains king of the hill having shipped 93.1million iPhones. Samsung is close behind, with 91.9 million and Nokia is kicking along in third with 19.6 million. For all of the doomsaying around RIM, it’s nestled in fourth, although Canalys chose not to include its numbers. Framing the research as “PCs versus Smartphones” isn’t the wisest, given the fragmentation and hybridization prevalent in the market today. Drilling down into those numbers, we learn that 63.2 million tablets were pushed out last year, cannibalizing netbook shipments (dropping 34.5 percent in a year), but desktop and laptop movements remained relatively stable. We’ve included the full report and the most relevant table of data for your perusal and insight (hint: there’s no points for saying netbooks are on the way out).