Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for March 13th, 2017

PlayStation VR horror title lets friends mess with your game

Posted by kenmay on March - 13 - 2017

Most solo virtual reality games don’t make for great entertainment at parties… not unless your definition of fun involves making everyone wait their turn. Firesprite, however, has a way for your friends to join in. Its upcoming PlayStation VR sci-fi horror title The Persistence will include a mobile companion app that lets nearby friends see the game map. Your pals can make your life easier by steering you toward items, or create havoc by running you toward threats — this is one of the few horror games where the people on your couch may be as much of a hazard as the virtual enemies. There are a few other twists that could help The Persistence stand out. The ill-fated ship is procedurally generated with each new life, so you can’t play the game by memory. And there are accommodations for VR beyond the phone app, too, such as teleportation. If there’s a problem at this early stage, it’s that there’s no known release date. You could be waiting quite a while to see whether the promising concept works well in practice. Source: PlayStation Blog

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Intel buys self-driving tech firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion

Posted by kenmay on March - 13 - 2017

Intel’s recent work with MobilEye on self-driving cars must have gone well, because the chip giant is buying its Jerusalem-based partner for $15.3 billion. The deal was first reported by Israeli business site The Marker but has now been confirmed by the two companies. MobilEye is one of the largest players in autonomous vehicle tech and was in the news recently over a spat with Tesla following a fatal Model S crash in Florida. However, it recently teamed with Intel on BMW’s iNext self-driving platform, which the automaker aims to put into service by 2021. The technology they’re working on isn’t just for BMW vehicles, though. The idea is to build a “scalable architecture” that can be used by any automaker, especially if they don’t want to build their own tech from scratch. As such, it could become a huge business for MobilEye, which may help explain the huge acquisition price. The deal is one of the largest acquisitions of an Israeli-based tech company ever. Despite a recent PC renaissance thanks to Microsoft’s Surface and other devices, desktops are still losing ground to mobile devices. That has affected Intel’s bottom line while benefiting companies like Qualcomm, which makes the chips used in many smartphones and tablets. The situation has forced Intel into other areas like wearables, connected homes and “internet of things” devices, none of which has exactly taken off yet. BREAKING: Intel to acquire Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, or about $15.3 billion. $INTC $MBLY — CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 13, 2017 Autonomous cars, on the other hand, are one of the hottest things in tech, with virtually every automaker, tech company and even peripheral firms like Uber and Lyft working on (and fighting about ) them. Even if fully autonomous cars don’t work out as planned (some critics think it’s a distant pipe dream ), autopilot tech that aids drivers and prevents accidents is available now on Tesla EVs and other cars. Ironically, MobilEye’s early success was due in large part to Tesla, and that partnership dissolved in a not-very-friendly way. Via: The Marker Source: Intel / Mobileye (.PDF)

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Meet Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. He enjoys automobiles, boat adventures, money, and aggravated identity theft. He’s also wanted by the FBI with a bounty on his head of $3 million, the highest ever for a cybercriminal. Seriously, this dude is straight out of an Ian Fleming novel. Read more…

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