Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sony pulls another game from PlayStation Store after new Vita exploit found


Sony's withdrawn Everybody's Tennis from the PlayStation Store after discovering it could be used to hack the PS Vita. The game was was pulled without warning (probably to the consternation of tennis fans) as the company attempts to keep absolute control on its new platform. It's the second title to get the treatment after hacker Wololo discovered an exploit in Motorstorm Arctic Edge that allowed theVita Half-Byte-loader to be launched on the device. It looks like the game of cat-and-mouse betweenmassive corporation and a single individual will continue for a while, with Wololo claiming they've got access to around 10 more undiscovered exploits. Popcorn, anyone?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Man skydives from 13 miles above Earth, isn't satisfied


Your worst nightmares? Felix Baumgartner's breakfast. Determined to cement his legacy in the Pantheon of Daredevilry, the famed skydiver successfully leapt from an altitude of more than 70,000 feet last week -- and that was just a trial. It's all part of Baumgartner's attempt to complete a record-breaking 120,000 foot "spacedive" later this year and, based on early returns, he seems well on his way. His latest jump, completed on March 15th, saw the fearless Austrian carried up to more than 13 miles above the Earth, protected only by a pressurized suit and capsule that hung from a 165-foot high helium balloon. Not long after jumping out, he reached a maximum speed of 364.4 mph, with the entire free fall lasting a little over eight minutes, according to Red Bull Stratos, which is sponsoring the effort. The idea behind last week's run was to test out the balloon and pressurized capsule, though Baumgartner is apparently hoping to complete another jump from about 90,000 feet above ground, before attempting the record breaker sometime this summer. Somewhere, Yves Rossy is furiously polishing off his jetpack. For more details on the equipment used to pull off the feat, check out Red Bull Stratos' video, after the break.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sony VAIO Hybrid lands U moniker in leaked ad, not much else

Remember that Sony laptop / tablet hybrid that we spotted on the CES show floor? Well it appears that it will be sporting the VAIO U label when it hits retailers, along the same lines as the outfit's previous UX ultraportable tag. The folks over at Pocketnow ran across an ad with the transforming device being listed as such -- unfortunately, that's about all the info the graphics offered. If you recall, we discovered back in Vegas that the kit would feature both capacitive touch input and an included stylus alongside a keypad that indicated Windows for the OS. You can rest assured, we're keeping an eye out for further details to slide out from cover.

Square takes on New York taxis with new iPad-based payment system

Anyone who finds themselves in a New York taxi over the next few weeks stands a slim chance of getting their hands on Square's latest experiment. As The New York Times reports, the company will soon begin rolling out the first phase of its new mobile payment system for taxis, which will see 30 cabs equipped with an iPad encased in a metal housing that also includes a credit card reader. That will let folks swipe their card, sign their name on the screen with their finger, and then receive a receipt on their phone either by text or email; taxi drivers are also able to interact with the system, dubbed "Checker," using their own iPhone app. Unfortunately, details beyond that initial roll out remain a bit light, although Square is happy to point out that the system is completely silent and offers no other distractions.

Toshiba outs Qosmio X870 gaming laptop with 3D display, not-too-tacky design

What's this, then? Why, it's what appears to be a brand new, redesigned gaming laptop, courtesy of 'ol Toshiba. Though it hasn't been announced here in the US, UK-based site TechDigest is showing us the first photo of the Qosmio X870, which seems to have a rather reined-in design compared to previous Toshiba gaming machines we've seen (to the extent that a PC with red accents can ever be called staid). According to the site, its specs include a 17.3-inch, 1080p, 3D-capable display; the "latest" Intel processors; unspecified, next-gen NVIDIA GPUs with 3GB of video memory; and up to either 2TB in HDD storage or a (presumably smaller) hybrid SSD. Rounding out the list, the laptop is said to rock Bluetooth 4.0, four USB 3.0 sockets (including two with Toshiba's Sleep-and-Charge technology), HDMI, Harman Kardon speakers, an optional Blu-ray player and that all-important LAN port. Sounds good to us, though as of this writing we've yet to see a press release posted on any of Toshiba's regional or global sites. If TechDigest's report is on the money, though, this thing should land sometime in Q2, which means Tosh has a few months yet to clarify that minor pricing question.

Adobe Lightroom 4 is a 'substantial upgrade' with a 50-percent price drop

Adobe Lightroom 4
Still content with Lightroom 3.5? Check out Version 4, which has just emerged from public beta, and you may decide it's time for an upgrade. The revision brings a long list of new features, including improved highlight and shadow processing, better video support, geo-tagging and a Book Module for self-publishing photo books via the Blurb online service. Then there's the clement pricing: $79 as an upgrade or $149 new. Still not sure? DPReview has a detailed assessment at the link below, so don't be jumping to conclusions til you've read it.

Sony partners with Scion, makes MotorStorm RC free for PS Vita

Getting set up with Sony's latest handheld can be an incredible drain on the wallet, what with the cost of pricey, proprietary memory cards and actual games to play. Consider this then the company's way of tossing early adopters a bone, because for a limited time US-based Vita owners can download MotorStorm RC gratis on the PlayStation Store starting today. Don't send those imaginary thank you cards to the electronics giant just yet; this special promo comes courtesy of a partnership with Scion (Toyota's Gen Y offshoot) and, as such, is pre-loaded with an exclusive, playable version of its subcompact iQ. Yes, you're being pandered to, but who cares? It's free, it's fun and it'll give your thumbs and Nathan Drake a mini-break.