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Microsoft Patent Describes a Persistence of Vision Augmented Reality Display

Microsoft has filed a patent for a new type of mixed-reality head-mounted display (HMD) called a Persistence of Vision Augmented Reality Display. The display uses movable screens to simulate a 360 degree field of view. These screens can rotate back and forth, spin around a user's head, or spin in front of the user's eyes. The device isn't guaranteed to ever see the light of day, but hopefully some of the ideas make it into other products.

Microsoft's patent FIG. 4A below illustrates a movement based display device with a movable member configured to rotate about a user's head; FIG. 4B illustrates a movement based display device with a movable member configured to reciprocate in front of user's eyes; FIG. 4C illustrates a movement based display device with movable members configured to spin in front of the user's eyes

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Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 3:17 PM (CDT)

PlayStation Introduces State of Play Broadcast

Last year, Sony dropped out of E3 for fairly nebulous reasons, and canceled their annual Playstation Experience event. The announcement left many wondering what Sony would replace the events with, and today, it seems that the company took some notes from their competition. Mirroring the periodic Nintendo Direct streams and Microsoft's Inside Xbox broadcasts, Sony will debut their "State of Play" broadcast on Monday, March 25, at 4:00 PM Central Time. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

State of Play will give you updates and announcements from the world of PlayStation. Our first episode will showcase upcoming PS4 and PS VR software, including new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage. You can watch live on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook worldwide, and we'll be offering up the VOD edition shortly after the episode airs. And this is just the beginning! State of Play will return throughout the year with more updates and announcements. See you Monday!

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Posted by alphaatlas March 22, 2019 10:38 AM (CDT)

Samsung Introduces Next Generation HBM2E

At NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, Samsung unveiled an even faster version of their HBM2 memory. A stack of "Flashbolt," as they call it, can deliver up to 410 GBps of bandwidth, which they claim is 33% faster than previous offerings, and a single package can hold up to 16GB of memory. Samsung says the new memory is aimed at "supercomputers, graphics systems, and artificial intelligence (AI)" applications, though they didn't mention just what GPUs or accelerators will make use of it in the near future.

"Flashbolt's industry-leading performance will enable enhanced solutions for next-generation data centers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and graphics applications," said Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our premium DRAM offering, and improve our 'high-performance, high capacity, and low power' memory segment to meet market demand."

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Posted by alphaatlas March 20, 2019 9:35 AM (CDT)

Florida Introduces "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"

A senator in Florida is brewing potential legislation making censorship illegal on the biggest social media platforms: Senate Bill 1722, otherwise known as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act," would fine Facebook, Twitter, and other such services with a userbase of more than 75 million $75,000 for deleting content under the guise of hate speech or other "nebulous" reasons.

"Citing this act as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by a social media website user in this state under certain conditions; prohibiting a social media website from using hate speech as a defense; authorizing the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of a social media website user, etc."

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Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 3:05 PM (CDT)

Core Fighters: Free-to-Play Version of Dead or Alive 6 Now Available on Steam

Koei Tecmo Games has released Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters, a free-to-play version of the recently released 3D fighter. This is an ideal way to experience the game for those who quickly grow tired of fighters or merely want to see how good a fighting game can look on modern hardware. It’s also a way to spite the publisher for releasing a game with a $93 Season Pass.

DEAD OR ALIVE 6 is fast-paced 3D fighting game, produced by Koei Tecmo Games, featuring stunning graphics and multi-tiered stages that create a truly entertaining competitive experience. With the help of a new graphics engine, DOA6 aims to bring visual entertainment of fighting games to an entirely new level. The graphics are made to be both enticingly beautiful and realistic, bringing out enhanced facial expressions, such special effects as depiction of sweat and dirt on character models, and realistic hit effects.

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Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 1:50 PM (CDT)

No Mans Sky "Beyond" Update Will Feature Multiplayer

No Man's Sky had a rough launch, to say the least, and most people expected the developers to distance themselves from it as much as they could. Instead, Hello Games has been steadily working No Man's Sky over the years, and the game managed to make a big comeback in 2018. Today, the developers announced what they claim to be the biggest overhaul to No Man's Sky yet. The "Beyond" update is supposedly the culmination of several features they've been planning for some time, as it "will contain those three major updates rolled into one larger free release." The first of those components is a new multiplayer experience, and Hello Games says they'll talk about the other components "in the coming weeks."

No Man's Sky Online includes a radical new social and multiplayer experience which empowers players everywhere in the universe to meet and play together. Whilst this brings people together like never before, and has many recognisable online elements, we don't consider No Man's Sky to be an MMO - it won't require a subscription, won't contain microtransactions, and will be free for all existing players. These changes are an answer to how we have seen people playing since the release of NEXT, and is something we've dreamed of for a long time. We will talk more about each component when we know we can be precise, and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.

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Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 10:16 AM (CDT)

Gaming Display Prices are Dropping

As anyone who recently built or updated a PC probably noticed, memory and GPU prices were conspicuously high throughout most of 2018 and late 2017. But, as we've said before, memory prices are dropping like a rock, while GPU prices are starting to level out thanks to the crypto mining bust. According to a recent report, another important component for any PC is expected to get cheaper throughout 2019. Digitimes claims that competition among "gaming monitor" manufacturers is starting to "heat up" as more Chinese LCD manufacturers enter the market. TV-size panel production is expected to grow as well, and OLED TVs in particular could get significantly cheaper as more OLED factories come online.

However, China's panel makers including BOE Technology, CPC-Panda LCD Technology and China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) have recently stepped into the gaming panel sector, encouraged by government policy support and high profits generated by such products. The growing competition has sent gaming monitor panel prices falling sharply, with models with refresh rates of 144Hz and below being hit hardest, indicated the sources. Prices of 144Hz and below gaming panels fell 10% on average in 2018 and has dropped another 5% so far in 2019, as most China-based suppliers are focusing on this segment, said the sources, noting that the prices of 144Hz models will continue to fall in the second quarter.

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Posted by alphaatlas March 14, 2019 8:47 AM (CDT)

PlayerUnknown Leaves PUBG Development Team

On Twitter, Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene announced that he's leaving the the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team to head up a new division of PUBG corp called "PUBG Special Projects." While he will still be a "creative consultant" for PubG's development, Brendan Green says he's moving to Amsterdam to focus on research and game development. Just what the new division will work on isn't clear, but he says they're tasked with "exploring, experimenting, and creating new technologies, tools, pipelines, and gameplay..."

But for me, it's more than just that. Together with a team of game developers and researchers, we will explore the possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space.

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Posted by alphaatlas March 13, 2019 11:19 AM (CDT)

Whole Foods Cuts Workers' Hours after Amazon Introduces Minimum Wage

Amazon’s $15 minimum-wage increase didn’t turn out so well for Whole Foods workers: one employee claims the retailer has negated wage gains by reducing schedule shifts across many stores, cutting a lot of work. "My hours went from 30 to 20 a week. We just have to work faster to meet the same goals in less time."

The Illinois-based worker explained that once the $15 minimum wage was enacted, part-time employee hours at their store were cut from an average of 30 to 21 hours a week, and full-time employees saw average hours reduced from 37.5 hours to 34.5 hours. The worker provided schedules from 1 November to the end of January 2019, showing hours for workers in their department significantly decreased as the department’s percentage of the entire store labor budget stayed relatively the same.

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Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:20 PM (CDT)

Skyrim Multiplayer Mod Accused of Stealing Code

Skyrim's extensive modding community has added almost everything you can imagine, and more, to Bethesda's single-player RPG, but there's one particular feature they've always struggled with: multiplayer. Neither Elder Scrolls Online nor Fallout 76 quite scratches that "I want to mess around in Skyrim with my buddy" itch, hence demand for a Skyrim multiplayer mod has always been sky high, but previous multiplayer modding efforts like Skyrim Online or Tamriel Online have either stalled or crashed and burned. From the outside, the community's latest effort, Skyrim Together, looked pretty good, but the project stirred up quite a bit of controversy (and bad press) in the past few days. The developers behind SKSE, an extension of Skyrim's scripting engine that's an essential part of thousands of other mods, accused the Skyrim Together team of stealing SKSE's code. More specifically, parts of SKSE's code base were explicitly closed source, and unmistakable references to them were found in Skyrim Together's code. In a recently published response, the Skyrim Together team claims that a few "novice" coders weren't aware of the bad blood between the SKSE team and Skyrim Together, and that they're working on replacing the offending code, but that isn't the end of the program's trouble. The developers have always claimed Skyrim Together will be free when it's ready for the public, but recently, access to the latest mod release wa gated behind a $1 Patreon "donation," and access to higher tickrate servers required an even larger contribution. On top of that, I still don't see any public plans for a private, downloadable server, suggesting Skyrim Together must be played through the developers' dedicated servers for the foreseeable future. The March response partially addresses the former issue, but, coupled with the server issue, I believe this puts Skyrim Together in a legally troublesome spot.

"On behalf of the Skyrim Together team, we wish to direct and apology to Ian and his team behind SKSE. We have confirmed the use of protected code and as such have removed all dependances, associated content, or related code per their request. We will be reconstructing anything that was made possible by the use of SKSE code or considered in violation."

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Posted by alphaatlas March 05, 2019 10:00 AM (CST)

Apex Legends Hits 50 Million Players

In a tweet that Eurogamer spotted, Respawn's CEO revealed that Apex Legends has hit 50 million players merely 4 weeks after the surprise launch. Roundhill Investments has been tracking the progress of Apex Legend's meteoric rise, and notes that it took Fortnite almost 5 times as long to hit 50 million players. Right now, Apex Legends has 160,788 viewers on twitch, compared to about 179,000 for Fortnite and 52,235 for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but how far Apex Legends will continue to rise remains to be seen. Either way, this is undoubtedly great news for Respawn and EA.

While some are pegging Apex Legends as the "Fortnite killer", it seems Epic is still doing pretty great. Thanks to the Marshmello concert, Fortnite had its biggest event ever on February 2nd with 10.7m players, and on February 16th had its biggest non-event day with 7.6m. Fortnite also has the advantage of more platforms, with significant player numbers on Switch and mobile.

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Posted by alphaatlas March 04, 2019 12:17 PM (CST)

Samsung Offers to Supply Foldable Displays to Apple and Google

Sharing is caring: Korean IT news site ETNews is reporting Samsung has provided samples of its foldable display to Apple and Google, which will certainly make it easier for these giants to develop Galaxy Fold-type devices of their own, presuming they care to. MacRumors points out the former has been working on its own iteration of foldable-display technology, but if that doesn’t pan out, Apple can simply do business with Samsung.

Samsung has historically been both supplier and competitor to Apple and other smartphone manufacturers and provides the OLED screens for Apple's top of the line iPhones. According to the report, Samsung doesn't intend to keep foldable technology to itself and is instead working to dominate as a supplier for the technology. Samsung is said to be able to produced about 2.4 million units a year at this time but is considering moving up to 10 million units a year depending on demand.

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Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)