Plus, the open-source answer to Google Glass.
By Jason Imms on August 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your 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 the Xbox One controller’s delayed PC support, the crazy-looking Meta Glasses, and the equally crazy-looking Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard.
Microsoft announces Xbox One controller support for Windows, but not until 2014
For many PC gamers, the most exciting thing about the Xbox One is the chance to plug one of those shiny new controllers into their gaming rig. The Xbox 360 controller is widely held as the gold-standard, and the Xbox One controller appears to be a likely candidate to take the top spot. Unfortunately, in a recent statement to the Penny Arcade Report, a Microsoft representative has announced that we will have to wait, as they “expect to have the functionality available in 2014.”
Despite the visual similarities between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, the spokesperson says that the Xbox One controller “shares no underlying technology with the current Xbox 360 controller,” citing software support and optimisation for the “new wireless protocol, combined with the ability to work in ‘wired’ mode, and the addition of features like Impulse triggers,” as the cause of the delay. If you still wish to torment yourself with a closer look at the controller, watch Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb discuss its new features with Xbox general manager Zulfi Alam in the video below.
Microsoft’s new Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard looks weird
Split keyboards are nothing new for Microsoft’s hardware division, but the recently announced Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard takes the concept to a whole new, literal level. Previous examples of split Microsoft keyboards filled the gap with plastic, often adorned with zoom sliders and other accoutrements. As is common with keyboards that mess with the standard key layout, one of the primary disadvantages is that auxiliary page navigation and cursor keys are in non-standard locations, which will require users to retrain their muscle memory. The keyboard will be available as a bundle including a relatively normal-looking, non-ambidextrous mouse, and a separate numpad, with an MSRP of US$129.95. Obviously, expect to pay more in Australia.
Meta “Space Glasses” are the crazy, open cousin of Google Glass
Like Google Glass, the Meta Glasses are a wearable augmented reality device that provides users with an information overlay atop the real world, and that’s where the similarities end. The Meta Glasses provide an open platform with a flexible API, which developers are encouraged to take advantage of in order to stretch the boundaries of what is possible for wearable computing. In the video below, we see what is clearly the vision of the future that Meta would like to see come to pass for their product, but it seems that the reality still has a way to go. TechCrunch has an excitable preview in place that gives some insight into the experience of using the horrendous-looking Meta.01 prototype.
New York financial regulators subpoena Bitcoin companies to answer troubling questions
The Wall Street Journal reports that The New York Department of Financial Services has issued subpoenas to some two dozen companies that deal in Bitcoins, in a bid to answer questions about the unregulated digital cryptocurrency. The enquiry seeks to answer questions related to programs against money laundering, consumer protection, and investment strategies. Coinsetter, BitInstant, and other companies—including some backed by the Winklevoss twins—were reportedly among those to be served. As the Journal notes, subpoenas are legally-enforceable requests for information, and not in themselves indicative of misconduct (via Bloomberg).
How has/will the Internet change the music industry?
Online music streaming services have changed the face of the music industry in recent years, though it’s unclear whether or not that change will ultimately prove to be for the better, or the worse. Spotify, Pandora, rdio, and other streaming services pay an incredibly small amount in royalties to artists, which has caused waves in the industry as notable artists have spoken out against the practice. Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker spoke with Gang of Four’s Dave Allen and other members of the music industry about whether or not artists should be embracing the Internet as a method of music discovery and distribution, or shunning it. The article stands out for its treatment of “the internet” as a complex and unpredictable entity, which many other discussions tend to generalise by discounting its international nature.