Blue Light of Death & Addressing Early Console Faults

Sometimes you never get it right the first time; the same matter of thinking can be applied to video games. More specifically, it is not unlikely for it to be drawn to the arrival of new consoles. It’s understandable that plenty of hype circulated around the systems of the eighth console generation, Microsoft’s and Sony’s efforts included. In terms of the latter, though, there have been a couple of concerns with the fleet of launch PlayStation 4 consoles.

Following E3 this past June, it seemed as though everyone’s eyes were focused on Sony. They were interested in what the PlayStation 4 had to offer, considering that it was initially able to trump Microsoft’s own Xbox One in many fields, used game implementation and DRM in general included. Of course, Microsoft turned those less user-friendly features around but many gamers would agree that the damage was done. Sony was looking to have a faultless launch but did it happen?

Dan Race, a Sony spokesperson, said that there have been a number of issues reported in terms of PlayStation 4 hardware. The most recent one, from what I have seen, has been dubbed the “Blue Light of Death.” Not unlike the “Red Ring of Death” tied to the Xbox 360 of the past generation of consoles, the “BLoD” would cause consoles to simply not function. Users wouldn’t be able to play through the litany of titles at launch, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Resogun included. Looking at the matter objectively, though, it may not be as tremendous of an issue as the aforementioned “red ring” tied to the 360 a number of years back.

It’s been said that the “BLoD” only impacted less than 1 percent of all PS4s, which isn’t unreasonable when considering the very nature of technology. Keep in mind that most consoles released during the past decade or so have had their problems. Even the PlayStation 3 and its own “Yellow Light of Death,” while unfortunate, didn’t impact consoles on a great scale. Consumers, for the most part, realize that there are going to be technical problems out of the gate. It’s just a matter of either enduring them at the onset or waiting to purchase until they are addressed.

For those who haven’t invested in the PS4 yet, it is easy to say that they are biding their time before making the purchase. The sheer power of Sony’s latest achievement is tremendous and it seems like every social media agency can bring attention to it. However, with such power comes the risk of technical problems down the road. For early adopters, it’s a matter of crossing one’s fingers and hoping for the best.

New iPhones Set To Hit The Market Soon

Reuters announced the reveal of two new exciting choices for tech lovers: the iPhone 5S, complete with fingerprinting technology, and the iPhone 5c, a less expensive plastic option. These phones priced both in the high and low end appear to be more expensive than initially predicted. The 5C will come in pink, blue, green, yellow and white with pricing as low as $99 with a contract in the US market.  However, the 5S will come in 3 colors: grey, silver, and gold, which are priced as low as $199 with a contract in the US market.

The 5c appears to be a lower priced no thrills option for those who want a cheaper phone. The 5S boasts increased processor speeds and the M7 Motion co-processor, which has been noted for keeping track of motion data without heavy strain to the battery. This could prove quite beneficial for users who take advantage of athletic or fitness applications. Due to these announcements, Apple stock rose 11% in the past month.

The various colors of the 5C and its more affordable price help to bring in consumers that maybe otherwise would not buy an IPhone.  They are in fierce competition with Samsung, Huawei Technologies, and others who offer similar products.

I think this is a clever move for Apple. It wants to keep its premium brand image with the 5S and at the same time take market share from competitors with the lower end model. However, they must be careful to offer a product that is affordable, but also meeting both Apple standards and, of course, consumer expectations. I think the introduction of colors is especially brilliant because not every customer wants a black or white phone and shows the creativity Apple embraces.

This announcement does not guarantee that all users will upgrade their phones. However, any users who do not have a smartphone may be inclined to upgrade.

The implications on digital marketing and social media would be significant due to the increased number of users who may enter the smartphone mobile market. Many smartphone users are using mobile social media apps and exposed to mobile advertising. Social media agencies will have an easier time targeting people for mobile app development or mobile ads.

Digital marketing has become an immensely important tool for marketers and a steadily growing industry. Apple’s strong brand name and reputation as an innovator could really convert iPhone fans to iPhone customers, while revolutionizing the way marketers use mobile technology.

A Sneak Peek Into The New Design Behind Apple iOS 7

This fall, Apple will be releasing the new iPhone software, iOS 7, which will enable users do so many things. Online marketing companies all over the world are already buzzing about this new software, praising the new format. The new operating system could be defined by one word: clear.

It’s a clear, new structure for Apple users to identify with. The objective of the new format is to expand the levels of design while still staying familiar to current users. Apple has also redefined many of the apps and features on the iPhone too, making everything as seamless as possible. Having said that, here are the top 5 features of the new iOS 7.

5.) New Air Drop Feature: Apple has introduced a new feature, which is believed to battle Samsung’s “touch-to-share” feature. Air Drop enables users to search contacts close to their current location and share things directly to them. It is sorted by who is the closest and it doesn’t limit you to people you are friends with. If you meet someone and want to share something instantly, simply turn on your Air Drop and share immediately (without touching phones).

4.) Safari’s Makeover: Safari has undergone some significant changes that will make the Internet experience much smoother. Safari will now have full page browsing on all pages. The tab view page will also be presented in a much smoother style, enabling users to see all open tabs in one area, rather than toggle from tab to tab.

3.) Apps: Apple will monitor each app for you. This means that Apple will understand what apps you frequent the most and will automatically keep those apps updated. All of your favorite apps will always be ready to go. iOS 7 will also feature a new app-to-app jump screen, which makes it easier to multitask between apps.

2.) Camera/Photo Album: The new camera settings allow for the photographer to enhance the photo before it is even taken. While framing the shot, users will be able to add filters, effects, and toggle different sizes or styles. Your iPhone will also now categorize your photos based on the time they were taken. The photos will be put into moments rather than albums. This makes sharing select photos from select times much easier for users.

1.) Wallpaper Themes: This is probably the simplest addition to iOS, yet it is by far the coolest. When you change your wallpaper, the phone will recognize the color pallet of the wallpaper and sync every screen on the phone to the same color theme.  This makes every page on the phone have a harmonious relationship with the wallpaper selection, basically giving each phone a custom theme.

Apple will be launching some really cool features and it should be interesting to see how it plays out once people get their hands on iOS 7. Let me know what you think of the new features of the phone by commenting below.

You Can Recycle – and Get Paid for – Your Computer’s Extra Power with CPUsage

It’s a good thing we all learned to share in kindergarten (well, most of us anyway).

There’s a new kind of collaboration going on known as the sharing economy, or collaborative consumption movement. Courtesy of startups like Airbnb and TaskRabbit, sharing your car and divvying up your chores has become a trend.

But did you know you can just as easily share the not-so-materialistic things in your life? Thanks to CPUsage, a startup based in Portland, OR, you can get paid for your extraneous computing power – and watch it be redistributed to someone – or an entire company – who may need it.

Here’s a little more about the endeavor straight from the company’s co-founder, Jeff Martens:

“The idea is that there are so many computers around the world that sit idle most of the day. In the U.S. alone, there are 250 million PCSs – and most of us let those computers sit idle most of the time. And even when we do use them, the average person is using about five percent or less of the CPU’s capabilities.”

According to Martens, CPUsage’s role is to harness the unused processing power of those virtual sitting-ducks and repurpose it by selling it to companies that can use it -  chiefly, those with major performance needs. Data visualization-based businesses is one prime example of a platform that could definitely benefit from your computer’s “wasted” power – simply due to its high-performance requirements.

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Because NASA did. The concept of sharing power was first initiated by a Space Sciences Laboratory project which redirected extraneous power towards searching for extra-terrestrial life! For Martens, however, the idea was a little more down-to-earth: he was working at an electronic design automation company when a colleague of his, who worked at Sun Microsystems, kept whining about how long it took for him to run his simulations. The light when off in Martens’ brain, which spawned the CPUsage startup.

How Does it Work?

CPUsage performs rather easily, with little work required on the user-end of things. Users need only download the proprietary software, install the program and sit back. Their program runs in the background, withdrawing itself to allow that user’s priority programs to run first – and a taskbar displays how much money is earned as well as how much power a software program is using at all times.

The program has been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. It begins running at a computer’s startup, and if that computer goes beyond a particular usage level, it automatically shuts off. So users needn’t ever worry about their computer lagging or freezing due to the extra work it is performing.

Right now, CPUSsage is available exclusively for Windows, but the company has an objective to hit Linux and OS X, too. Currently, there are thousands of users with more on a waiting list, and these numbers are growing, according to the energy-intercepting team.

 

Janice Bevilacqua is a tech content blogger. She writes chiefly for CPS, a tech-device and home appliance warranty provider.