Also: Barrack Obama compares iOS 7 to buggy consumer choice healthcare software.
By Jason Imms on October 4, 2013 at 12:13 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 Nvidia’s Battlebox program, Google Glass as a second-screen HUD for GTA 3, and Huawei’s SD card form factor 3G dongle.
Google Glass used as a second display for gaming: GTA 3 map
Many Google Glass Explorers tout the head-mounted display’s turn-by-turn navigation as its killer feature, and for obvious reason. Well, Mike DiGiovanni of Roundarch Isobar has brought the concept to gaming by pulling the map from Grand Theft Auto 3 and displaying it in real time on his Google Glass display. As it stands, the app requires the display to always be on while in use, which causes problems for Glass’ meagre battery. DiGiovanni thinks that it would be possible to treat the app in a similar fashion to normal GPS systems, only coming on when something significant is occurring, such as an upcoming corner, or remapping due to the user taking an unspecified route.
Britain’s first Internet-connected highway could be used to automatically impose speed limits
An 80.5km stretch of the A14 highway between Felixstowe and Birmingham is to become the Britain’s first Internet-connected road, thanks to a project that aims to use mobile phones to monitor traffic conditions. In a collaboration between BT, the Department for Transport, and Cambridge start-up Neul, a network of sensors will be placed along the A14 which communicate with mobile phones by sending signals on the TV channel radio spectrum, rather than the mobile phone networks. These transmissions will initially be used to capture metrics on highway usage, but could eventually be used to control car speeds to ease congestion. “Sensors in cars and on the roads monitor the build-up of congestions and wirelessly send this information to a central traffic control system, which automatically imposes variable speed limits that smooth the flow of traffic,” said telecommunications watchdog Ofcom, “This system could also communicate directly with cars, directing them along diverted routes to avoid the congestion and even managing their speed.”
Huawei announce a 3G radio hacked into the body of an SD card
Announced at CEATEC 2013, Huawei have developed a modified SD card that eschews inbuilt storage for an HSPA+ 3G radio and a nano SIM slot, essentially providing mobile data access to any laptop with an SD card reader. This obviously means that users won’t be able to use the SD card slot for storage, but given that the devices provides a 3G connection capable of up to 21Mbps without requiring cumbersome dongles or adaptors, it seems like a pretty fair trade.
Nvidia’s Battlebox certification program to deliver 4K-ready gaming machines
Hot on the heels of AMD’s Mantle initiative, Nvidia have announced their Battlebox program. Battlebox is a certification system that requires system builders to put together machines consisting of GeForce Titan or GTX 780 GPUs in 2- and 3-way SLI configurations, with Intel Haswell i5 and i7 CPUs, advanced cooling, DDR3 memory, and top-tier SSDs for storage. Battlebox-ready PCs will be ready for 4K gaming, and will supposedly be the “next big thing” for PC consumers. “Paired with a powerful GeForce GTX SLI system, brand new 3840 x 2160 ’4K’ monitors raise the image quality bar so considerably that you won’t be able to resist the upgrade to 4K after seeing the night and day difference for yourself,” reads the latest GeForce blog. “4K Gaming is the new cutting edge, and to play this Holiday’s best games at 4K at fluid frame rates, with ultra-high settings enabled, you will need the power of the SLI GeForce GTX GPUs built into every Battlebox.”
Barack Obama compares new healthcare system to iOS 7’s buggy release
During his speech regarding the US government shutdown, Barrack Obama likened a new sleek but buggy system that allows users to shop for health care plans, to the buggy release of iOS 7. “Like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix,” he said in a speech at the White House today. “Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it.”
“I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t,” Obama continued. “That’s not how we do things in America. We don’t actively root for failure.” Apparently, a heavy load of new users paired with some actual defects in the system caused the problems that have plagued the beleaguered healthcare software. Evidently Apple’s mobile operating system has become such a cultural touchstone that it qualifies as a point of comparison in presidential speeches, or at least it’s considered as such by at least one of President Obama’s intrepid speechwriters.