Xbox One live gameplay broadcast feature could still be months away

By Sean Hollister

xbox vs. playstation

Microsoft couldn’t deliver one of the Xbox One’s key features at launch: the ability to stream your gameplay, live, for anyone on the web to watch. Here’s more bad news: the company behind that feature, Twitch.tv, has no idea when it will launch either. According to a tweet from the company, Microsoft hasn’t yet provided any date, and it could be “a few more months” before it arrives.

 

TwitchTVSupport 8 Jan

Xbox One Direct Broadcasting: There is no ETA at this time from Microsoft. Expect a few more months. If we know sooner, we’ll update.

What’s the hold up? We can’t say, but one possibility is that Microsoft hasn’t yet figured out how to deal with streams of an unsavory nature. Sony’s PlayStation 4, which did ship with Twitch.tv, found itself facing a bit of a controversy when users realized they could filmthemselves doing all sorts of things — including having sex — in the augmented reality demo The Playroom. Sony decided to cut off access to Twitch.tv for that one game as a solution, perhaps something that’s not as easy or even technically impossible with the current Xbox One software.

Also, it’s not like Sony delivered on all of its promises for the PlayStation 4 at launch. The console is still lacking its instant-on mode to instantly resume games from standby, and it won’t stream games from PlayStation Now until summer at the earliest.

CES 2014 Proves That Wearables Are Still A Work In Progress

by  (@drizzled)

CES 2014 Proves That Wearables Are Still A Work In Progress

Before this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, I issued a challenge: I wanted makers of wearable tech to prove to me that the time had come for this category of gadgets. What I was seeking was irrefutable proof there was wearable technology out there demonstrating enough clear and immediate benefit that consumers would flock to it in droves.

That’s not what I found.

Which is to say that nothing I found at CES offered up the kind of ‘love at first sight’ that I had with my first iPhone (an iPhone 3G), my first smartphone of any kind. The smartphone needed no additional argument beyond itself to prove its worth: no discourse on market trends, no explanation of how it will appeal to specific niches, no apologies about its current limitations. Of course smartphones had their doubters, as will any new tech, but simply using a good one was enough to convince most of their worth.

Not so with wearables. CES 2014 was a veritable explosion of wearable tech, with major companies including LG (the Life Band Touch) and Sony (the Core) both debuting activity trackers at the show. Many others also added their respective hats to the ring, including JayBird (the Reign), Garmin (Vivoki and Vivofit) and GlassUp (plus a slew of other Glass-type eyewear). At best, however, each of these devices only edged forward the potential of the wearable space; at worst, they represent a descent into a major growing area of concern with the category.

The new Sony and LG devices serve as the best examples to articulate the inherent problem in wearable tech. The category isn’t popular with OEMs simply because it looks to be a new area where people are willing to spend money – it also represents a tremendous opportunity to continue the kind of consumer behavior tracking and analysis begun with smartphones.

Smartphones have proven a veritable treasure trove of data about the people who use them, and that data is immensely useful in developing a product pipeline, and in attracting content and marketing partners. Sony’s Core is designed not just to track fitness, but to provide a log of essentially every connected AND real-world activity a person undertakes throughout the day. In the right (wrong?) hands, it could provide a near-perfect profile of the average day of actual consumers, which is the kind of data portrait that makes marketers weak at the knees.

That’s why Google created Glass, in case anyone was wondering. The search giant’s first and still most influential success was targeting ads at users based on expressed intent (search ads). Arguably, everything it’s done since then has been designed in some way to gather more info on its users for a more complete picture of what they’re looking for (Android, Google+ are just a few high-profile examples). Wearables is simply the next evolution, and that’s why we’re seeing everyone chase that carrot, rather than any especially huge market opportunity in terms of consumer appetite.

pebble-steel

It’s telling that the most impressive wearable at CES for me was a mostly aesthetic iteration of an existing product. The Pebble Steel is the Pebble I always wanted to begin with, though the underlying software and feature set remains mostly unchanged. In fact, my existing Kickstarter edition Pebble never left my wrist during the show, providing a tether to our coverage team which proved superior to any system we used previously. I think it’s telling that Pebble has never positioned itself as a monitoring or logging device, in the context of the argument above, and that may have a lot to do with its continued success.

I still think there’s a lot of potential in the wearables market, but to explore that potential fully, device manufacturers need to at least couch their salivation over the data vein they have to power to break right open in a very convincing veil of consumer concern. Especially now that the Snowden whistleblowing has shed additional light on the value of our privacy, wearables need to concentrate on showing consumers what they offer, rather than just providing a list of what data they keep track of.

Top image courtesy Richard Stevens 3 of Diesel Sweeties. For the full comic, check out his Medium blog here.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/12/ces-2014-wearables/

Aaron Swartz documentary clip reveals his thoughts on the ‘spying program’ & the NSA (video)

Aaron Swartz documentary clip reveals his thoughts on the ‘spying program’ & the NSA (video)

A screenshot of activist Aaron Swartz from the new documentary about his life and death

by Christina Farr

One year after the death of Aaron Swartz, a group of Internet activists joined up to protest against what they call “mass suspicionless surveillance.”

The effort, dubbed “the day we fight back,” sets out a number of ways for the general public to participate. Technology activist Cory Doctorow, who first met Swartz when he was 14 or 15, writes in Boing Boing that people should get involved “just as we did with the SOPA fight.”

The “day we fight back” will also celebrate the Stop Online Piracy Act’s failure some two years ago.

Doctorow and other prominent friends of Swartz are also featured in a new documentary called “The Internet’s Own Boy.” Funding for the documentaryprimarily came from a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. In a clip shared with VentureBeat, Swartz discusses the fight against SOPA, and he speaks up against the spying efforts of the National Security Agency.

On Jan. 11, 26-year-old Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment. His death was a huge loss for the Internet community. Swartz was credited with co-developing Reddit and RSS, and later, the political action group DemandProgress.

At the time of his death, he was facing 50 years in prison for downloading academic journals from MIT’s servers.

The documentary trailer is well worth a watch, as it contains some prescient quotes about the NSA.

“It is shocking to think that the accountability is so lax that they don’t even have sort of basic statistics about how big the spying program is,” Swartz says in the clip. “If the answer is, ‘Oh, we’re spying on so many people we can’t possibly even count them,’ then that’s an awful lot of people.” He added, “They [the NSA] just came back and said we can’t give you a number at all. That’s scary.”

It also features interviews with academics and Internet denizens who were inspired by Swartz.

“I think Aaron was trying to make the world work… he was ahead of his time,” says World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in the documentary.

full story: http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/12/aaron-swartz-documentary-clip-reveals-his-thoughts-on-the-spying-program-the-nsa-video/