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Facebook’s Oculus announced its first developer conference, called oculus Connect, will take place September 19-20th at Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. In addition to keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Palmer Luckey, John Carmack and Michael Abrash, attendees can take part in sessions and labs with in-house Oculus engineers. Oculus also acquired RakNet, a provider of a cross-platform C++ game networking engine, and open sourced it under a modified BSD license. You can get it from the oculus GitHub Repo.
TechCrunch reports Gartner published forecasts for global PC, tablet ultramobile and mobile phone shipments for 2014. 2.4 billion units will ship from these categories, 88% of which will be mobile phones and tablets. About half of those will run Android. And tablets only make up 256 million of those. PCs are expected to ship 308 million units. Meaning that tablets won’t quite surpass PCs this year. However Gartner expects that to change in 2015 when they predict 317 million PCs will ship to 320 million tablets. Interestingly, Gartner sees growth in tablets slowing while PC declines are predicted to slow and then reverse.
Daily Tech reports the LG G3 smartphone and the G watch will go on sale in the online and IRL AT&T stores July 11th in the US. The G3 is an Android 4.4 KitKat phone with a 5.5-inch QHD display. The G Watch, on the other hand, runs Google’s new Android Wear operating system.
The Next Web reports South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has introduced new rules requiring Apple and Google to make it easier for users to get refunds for apps. Google has not allowed refunds and must now also prevent apps from automatically charging full price for an app at the end of a trial period. Apple does already allow refunds but will be required to make its policy more visible and doa abtter job notifying customers of changes in its contractual agreements. Google’s changes will only apply in Korea, while Apple is considering making its changes apply worldwide.
Engadget reports the second-generation Kinect sensor for Windows will begin shipping on July 15th. The new kinect was already available for pre-order from Microsoft for $199/£159. Developers can publish Kinect apps to the Windows store.
Reuters reports the US Secret Service arrested 30-year-old Russian, Roman Valerevich Seleznev Saturday on charges of hacking US retail computer systems in order to steal credit cards. Seleznev was indicted in the state of Washington on March 2011 on charges of bank fraud, identity theft and accessing a protected computer.
Engadget reports the mobile payment consortium of telcos and commerce partners called Isis has decided to change its name to avoid comparisons with Sunni militia in Syria and Iraq that has declared a caliphate spanning those states. The new name was not announced yet. One imagines Archer may face the same dilemma.
News From You
Tekkyn00b had our top vote getter today from iMore.com. The United States Transportation Security Administration has ordered new security measures regarding electronics carried on to direct flights to the US. Passengers may be asked to turn on devices like cell phones, and devices that will not turn on will not be allowed through security. The BBC reports the checks may be done at security checkpoints or at boarding gates. Passengers can put dead electronics in checked luggage, try to charge the phone nearby, or opt to use a service to have it shipped. The rules apply to newly-purchased devices as well as broken ones.
spsheridan submitted the verge article noting YouTube has begun durfacinglinks to its Video Quality Report in videos that are buffering or having other streaming issues. A new pop-up bar reads “Experiencing interruptions? Find out why” and links to a page comparing ISPs in your area and ranks them by their ability to stream YouTube. That way informed consumers can look at the report, realize that while their current ISP may not support good streaming they can— despair if you’re in the US or Canada? Well it will work great in countries with ISp comeptition I suppose.
tm204 submitted the ReCode article claiming its sources say Google has set aside as much as $500 million to expand the Google Shopping Express Service nationwide in the US. The service lets customers order items from local retail stores and have them delivered, sometimes the same day. Google wants to tie the service into search ads for products to try to reclaim the product searching crown from Amazon.
Discussion Section: Roamio, Roamio
Pick of the Day: Alesis Multimix 8 via Tom
Message of the Day (as requested by Kudbegud on Twitter)
And Jason Zions of Bellevue, WA says: Finally got around to listening to the July 4 Nerdtacular episode. After thinking about it, I think I understand the visceral hate reaction people have for sites like “buy my parking space” or “pay five bucks for my made-but-unwanted reservation”.
The problem with these services is that they don’t just do arbitrage in a condition of shortage; they actually create or exacerbate the shortage and then extract rent from the situation. (sorry for the economist language; maybe I listen to too much Marketplace and other podcasts)
The problem with stubhub isn’t that it exists; the problem is organized scalping, in which some jerk leverages technology to buy hundreds of tickets solely for the purpose of resale. Tickets sell out crazy fast because of people like this, creating the shortage. Folks who want to go to the show have zero choice but to pay the rent charged by the scalper to get tickets that, had the scalper not acted, would have been available for sale through ordinary channels.
It feels like we’re paying ransom to some evil bastard who hijacked what would otherwise be available.
That restaurant service sounds like some jerk making the rounds of every hot restaurant every morning and reserving tables exactly six months (or one year, or whatever the restaurant booking horizon might be) ahead, such that, should I call later that day, whatever they’re booking ahead is gone. Thus the shortage.
Evil, man. Just evil.