Maxis announces The Sims 4

It’s only been a couple of months since the launch of SimCity and the debacle that followed (which still lingers today), but Maxis and EA want to cleanse your palate with a new addition to the Sims franchise: The Sims 4 is coming to PC and Mac in 2014.

Electronic Arts
If The Sims 4 requires an Internet connection to play, the eyes of EA will ever be on your house.

EA writes on their blog: “The Sims franchise is fueled by the passion and creativity of its millions of fans around the world. Their continued devotion to the franchise ignites the fire of creativity of the team at The Sims Studio, driving them to continually improve and innovate on one of the world’s most successful simulation game that has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.”

Before the SimCity boondoggle, the announcement of a new Sims game would barely be newsworthy. But in a post-SimCity world, any new EA game is worth scrutinizing: Will a constant connection be required? Will multiplayer features be shoehorned in? Will extravagant features be promised but then redacted until further notice? Or will it all come together smoothly, and redeem EA in the eyes of an audience still smarting over the belly-flop that was the SimCity launch? I guess we’ll find out in 2014. And no, I’m not bitter at all!

(Okay, I’m a little bitter.)

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Twitter needs to grow up and take responsibility, some say

Twitter, the increasingly popular microblogging service, has come under quite a bit of criticism in the past few weeks. Users of the platform, which describes itself as an “information-sharing network” are struggling with what to do about false information being spread around.

It may not sound like a big deal for individual users to let a white lie slip about some status update. But during the past few weeks there have been some more concerning examples of misinformation spreading across the social forum.

For example, Twitter users (as well as those on other popular sites such as Reddit.com) were quick to identify certain individuals as possible culprits of the Boston Marathon bombings days after the attacks, including a Brown University student who had been missing and was later found dead with no connection to the Boston incident. Rumors about whether suspects had been captured or arrested streamed through Twitter users timelines as breaking news unfolded after the attacks, some of it true and some not.

After the commotion of the marathon incident seemed to have settled down a week later, another black eye for Twitter popped up when the Associated Press’s Twitter account was hacked, and perpetrators sent out fabricated updates from the venerable news agency’s Twitter feed reporting that the White House had been attacked and President Obama injured.

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Windows RT tablets already may be doomed, analysts say

Windows RT tablets grabbed just 0.4 percent of the tablet market in the first quarter, a dismal result that led some tech experts to urge Microsoft to scrap the platform that’s in its six-month infancy.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they do streamline and do drop [Windows RT],” said Brian Proffitt, an adjunct instructor of management at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business , in an interview. “Microsoft is going to remain heavily invested in its Surface tablet strategy, but that doesn’t preclude them from making changes and cutting. Cutting Windows RT would be a smart move, unless the number of shipments suddenly improves.”

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, was more blunt: “I believe Microsoft would be much better off killing RT and going with one unified tablet OS [with Windows 8]. The need to support ARM [processors] was why Microsoft went with RT. But it never really worked that well.”

IDC said last week that just 200,000 tablets running Windows RT, including Microsoft’s own Surface RT, shipped in the first quarter, which was 0.4 percent of the total market of 49.2 million tablets. Windows RT tablets first started shipping late last October, although Samsung early on decided not to ship a Windows RT tablet in the U.S.

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Cyberattack affected US defense contractor over three-year period

Most, if not all, of the intellectual property of a U.S. defense contractor whose forte includes spy satellites and drone aircraft, was apparently compromised over a three-year period by Chinese hackers.

Traces of the hackers’ work was found in many of the divisions of the contractor, QinetiQ (pronounced “kinetic”) and across most of their product lines, a former senior vice president at Verizon Terremark told Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg reported that QinetiQ breach may have compromised information vital to national security, including the deployment and capabilities of the U.S. combat helicopter fleet.

[See also: Mandiant report on Chinese cyberespionage used as bait in spear-phishing attacks]

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A telecom landmark gets wired for the cloud

The Pacific Bell tower in San Francisco, the high-rise headquarters of the phone company through eight decades and several name changes, was a monument to copper.

When the 26-story skyscraper was built, Pac Bell’s business was connecting people through a technology that many were starting to use for the first time. Phones were catching on all over the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco, and Pac Bell was buying up small carriers as part of the budding nationwide Bell System. The communications arteries that fed this growing trend were thick trunks of copper wires, each with a capacity that seems positively petite by today’s standards.

But when the tower reopens later this year after a nearly two-year restoration, it will be the newest office hub for a booming local tech scene that worships at the altars of fiber and wireless. And the technology advances that have revolutionized telecommunications over the past century have allowed the building’s new owner to pave the way for almost limitless connectivity to each tenant. Watch an IDG News Service video of the building, here.

Stockbridge Capital Group and developer Wilson Meany acquired the building and an adjacent garage from AT&T in 2007 for US$117 million. A plan to convert it to condominiums fell through, but soon San Francisco’s commercial real estate market boomed and the strategy shifted to office space. The graceful Art Deco tower, designed by famed architects James Rupert Miller and Timothy Pflueger, will house up-to-date office space with historic features such as exposed brick walls and opening windows.

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A telecom landmark gets wired for the cloud

The Pacific Bell tower in San Francisco, the high-rise headquarters of the phone company through eight decades and several name changes, was a monument to copper.

When the 26-story skyscraper was built, Pac Bell’s business was connecting people through a technology that many were starting to use for the first time. Phones were catching on all over the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco, and Pac Bell was buying up small carriers as part of the budding nationwide Bell System. The communications arteries that fed this growing trend were thick trunks of copper wires, each with a capacity that seems positively petite by today’s standards.

But when the tower reopens later this year after a nearly two-year restoration, it will be the newest office hub for a booming local tech scene that worships at the altars of fiber and wireless. And the technology advances that have revolutionized telecommunications over the past century have allowed the building’s new owner to pave the way for almost limitless connectivity to each tenant. Watch an IDG News Service video of the building, here.

Stockbridge Capital Group and developer Wilson Meany acquired the building and an adjacent garage from AT&T in 2007 for US$117 million. A plan to convert it to condominiums fell through, but soon San Francisco’s commercial real estate market boomed and the strategy shifted to office space. The graceful Art Deco tower, designed by famed architects James Rupert Miller and Timothy Pflueger, will house up-to-date office space with historic features such as exposed brick walls and opening windows.

Please like or comment below

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A telecom landmark gets wired for the cloud

The Pacific Bell tower in San Francisco, the high-rise headquarters of the phone company through eight decades and several name changes, was a monument to copper.

When the 26-story skyscraper was built, Pac Bell’s business was connecting people through a technology that many were starting to use for the first time. Phones were catching on all over the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco, and Pac Bell was buying up small carriers as part of the budding nationwide Bell System. The communications arteries that fed this growing trend were thick trunks of copper wires, each with a capacity that seems positively petite by today’s standards.

But when the tower reopens later this year after a nearly two-year restoration, it will be the newest office hub for a booming local tech scene that worships at the altars of fiber and wireless. And the technology advances that have revolutionized telecommunications over the past century have allowed the building’s new owner to pave the way for almost limitless connectivity to each tenant. Watch an IDG News Service video of the building, here.

Stockbridge Capital Group and developer Wilson Meany acquired the building and an adjacent garage from AT&T in 2007 for US$117 million. A plan to convert it to condominiums fell through, but soon San Francisco’s commercial real estate market boomed and the strategy shifted to office space. The graceful Art Deco tower, designed by famed architects James Rupert Miller and Timothy Pflueger, will house up-to-date office space with historic features such as exposed brick walls and opening windows.

Please like or comment below

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A telecom landmark gets wired for the cloud

The Pacific Bell tower in San Francisco, the high-rise headquarters of the phone company through eight decades and several name changes, was a monument to copper.

When the 26-story skyscraper was built, Pac Bell’s business was connecting people through a technology that many were starting to use for the first time. Phones were catching on all over the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco, and Pac Bell was buying up small carriers as part of the budding nationwide Bell System. The communications arteries that fed this growing trend were thick trunks of copper wires, each with a capacity that seems positively petite by today’s standards.

But when the tower reopens later this year after a nearly two-year restoration, it will be the newest office hub for a booming local tech scene that worships at the altars of fiber and wireless. And the technology advances that have revolutionized telecommunications over the past century have allowed the building’s new owner to pave the way for almost limitless connectivity to each tenant. Watch an IDG News Service video of the building, here.

Stockbridge Capital Group and developer Wilson Meany acquired the building and an adjacent garage from AT&T in 2007 for US$117 million. A plan to convert it to condominiums fell through, but soon San Francisco’s commercial real estate market boomed and the strategy shifted to office space. The graceful Art Deco tower, designed by famed architects James Rupert Miller and Timothy Pflueger, will house up-to-date office space with historic features such as exposed brick walls and opening windows.

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Amazon accidentally leaks world’s first small-screen Windows 8 tablet

The first-ever small-screen Windows tablet made a brief appearance on Amazon.com today, before quickly being yanked from the online retailer’s e-shelves.

While Acer was busy showing off a smattering of large-screen Windows devices in New York Friday, the 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3-810-1600 was briefly available for perusal in the digital realm. Why does that matter? Because all Windows 8 tablets released thus far have packed 10-inch or larger displays, as Microsoft’s operating system was engineered before diminutive tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire became all the rage.

Oops! (Click to enlarge.)

Microsoft has tweaked a bevy of features and specs since the release of Windows 8 to create a friendlier environment for smaller slates. The OS’s hardware certification program recently dropped the minimum allowable screen resolution for Windows 8 tablets from 1366-by-768 down to 1024-by-768, while leaked builds of the impending Windows Blue update sported a Snap feature that works just fine on tiny tablets. (Previously, Snap only worked on displays with that 1366-by-768 resolution.)

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Amazon accidentally leaks world’s first small-screen Windows 8 tablet

The first-ever small-screen Windows tablet made a brief appearance on Amazon.com today, before quickly being yanked from the online retailer’s e-shelves.

While Acer was busy showing off a smattering of large-screen Windows devices in New York Friday, the 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3-810-1600 was briefly available for perusal in the digital realm. Why does that matter? Because all Windows 8 tablets released thus far have packed 10-inch or larger displays, as Microsoft’s operating system was engineered before diminutive tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire became all the rage.

Oops! (Click to enlarge.)

Microsoft has tweaked a bevy of features and specs since the release of Windows 8 to create a friendlier environment for smaller slates. The OS’s hardware certification program recently dropped the minimum allowable screen resolution for Windows 8 tablets from 1366-by-768 down to 1024-by-768, while leaked builds of the impending Windows Blue update sported a Snap feature that works just fine on tiny tablets. (Previously, Snap only worked on displays with that 1366-by-768 resolution.)

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