Plus, how the next Xbox could take control of your TV.
By Jason Imms on April 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is a weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of AMD’s belief that there will be no Direct X 12, fancy Google Street View videos, and how the next Xbox could take control of your TV.
According to AMD, there will be no DirectX 12
According to a report over at TechPowerUp, which is in turn quoting an interview posted on German site heise.de, Roy Taylor vice president of global channel sales for AMD has stated that the company does not believe that there will be a DirectX 12 API, at least as far as AMD can tell. Taylor’s assertion does hold some water, given that both AMD and Nvidia are expected to be releasing new GPU architectures by the end of 2013, and that new architectures are usually made to take advantage of new releases of DirectX. If a new version of DirectX has not been provided to the two major players in GPU development, it stands to reason that their next generation GPUs will be integrated with other technologies. It is unknown what this means for the future of Windows-based GPUs, and their ability to achieve high levels of performance thanks to the close relationship between Windows and the Microsoft-developed DirectX APIs.
Apple set to adopt “5G wireless” – 802.11ac potentially available before the end of 2013
The ever-turning rumour mill has made yet another revolution, turning coarse rumour-grain into refined rumour-flour that could make for a super tasty Truth Loaf, at least according to a report over at 9to5mac. The early adoption of 802.11ac by Apple has been rumoured for more than a year now, and has been shored up by the recent uncovering of code references to 802.11ac in the latest public release OS X. Files in the WiFi-Frameworks folder make clear references to the upcoming wireless standard, which has been scheduled for ratification in late 2013. Now, it seems that Apple’s rumoured hardware adoption of Broadcom 802.11ac chips has been backed up by software readiness. According to a Broadcom press release, 802.11ac is set to vastly improve WiFi reliability and speeds, “Broadcom’s 5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously. The increased speed enables consumers to download web content from a mobile device faster and quickly synch large files, such as videos, in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode faster, which results in significant power consumption advantages.”
Virtually get from A to B in style with Hyperlapse
Hyper-lapse photography is a captivating form of time-lapse, which combines fixed points of interest with dynamic camera movements in order to produce surreal, exciting videos of the chosen subject. Well, design firm Teehan+Lax Labs has come up with an automated method for producing Hyperlapse videos using Google Street View imagery, without requiring the user to spend hours editing and stitching together photos. Users can input their own Google Maps routes, and the Hyperlapse system automatically produces a looping trip from point A to point B. Whether you’re using the tool to relive old well-trodden routes, or to vicariously experience a location you one day hope to visit, Hyperlapse produces some stunning results.
The next Xbox may be able to control your TV, take over from your set top box
According to a report at The Verge, “multiple sources familiar with the company’s Xbox plans” have revealed that the next Xbox will include features that will allow it to take control of a cable TV box, and overlay Xbox user interface elements. The feature passes-through a cable box signal via HDMI, and provides controls to the user via the Xbox interface. It is assumed that this will work in a similar fashion to Google TV. Given the language used in the report, it would be fairly safe to assume that these features will likely be irrelevant to Australian consumers—at least at launch—as they seem to rely heavily upon each individual cable provider. Whether or not the features will be made to conform with our Freeview specification remains to be seen, though it is worth noting that specifically Australian SKUs needed to be produced before TiVo could release products here, which has resulted in significant delays between the launch of US and AU TiVo products.
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs stepping down before end of 2013
After a two year stint as CEO of Mozilla, Gary Kovacs is stepping down in favour of “something more commercial,” reports All Things D. Kovacs is credited with having brought about serious change during his time at the company, including “adding staff, opening global offices and, most of all, doubling down in mobile.” He has also been the spearhead of Mozilla’s Firefox OS, a move designed to reduce Mozilla’s reliance on desktop software, and thus their lifeline deal with Google to make their search engine the default for Firefox, one of Mozilla’s primary revenue streams. It remains unclear who will step into the role, especially given the challenges inherent in Mozilla’s for-profit and nonprofit duality. Kovacs has committed to work through the search for a new CEO, and to remain on the board of directors after stepping down from his current role. In his memo to staff, he closed with “Please keep going! We have momentum, we have a great vision and mission, and we have tremendous support from all of our partners and users for what we are doing. We cannot let up — not for one second! Stay focused, keep going, and keep rocking the free Web! The world is expecting nothing less!”