News Fuse for August 20, 2013

Gamescom 2013

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 20, 2013:

  1. Big news is spinning out of GamesCon. Microsoft announced 23 titles to launch along with the Xbox One in November, including Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Dead Rising 3 and Peggle 2 among others. Fifa 14 is one that will come free with pre-orders of the Xbox One in Europe. Microsoft also unveiled a developer community, ID@Xbox, that will let “qualified game developers” publish games on the console in 13 markets. Read more at engadget.com.

  2. Because of concerns of privacy and government surveillance, Pamela Jones is shutting down her site Groklaw, which focused on unjust legal action in the tech domain. Jones started her site a decade ago taking on the SCO Group's legal attack on IBM and others involving Linux and Unix intellectual property. "There is now no shield from forced exposure," Jones said in final blog post, and went on to explain that Groklaw depended on collaboration over e-mail, "and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate." Read more at cnet.com.

  3. TiVo made its latest DVRs available starting today. Say hello to the Roamio, Roamio Plus, and Roamio Pro -- Roamio is spelled "r-o-a-m-i-o" as in wandering around because those devices will eventually bring built in Slingbox-like functionality. Recordings on these DVRs will be accessible via your iOS device using the TiVo Stream app even if you're outside your local network. However that function will not roll out until October or November. The Roamio line gives you four to six tuners depending on the model and ranges in price from $200 to $600. That price doesn't include a separate TiVo subscription for an electronic program guide. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  4. Barnes and Noble did an about-face announcing they will continue to make color Nook tablets like the Nook HD along with e-ink readers. Barnes and Noble announced in June they would cease manufacturing the tablets by the end of the year. Instead, BN now promises a new tablet in time for the holidays. Barnes and Noble had a disappointing quarterly earnings report, including a 20% drop in Nook division's sales. Chairman Leonard Riggio also announced he was suspending his attempt to buy out the retail side of the company. Read more at cnet.com.

  5. Google has introduced its first integrations between Google Maps for mobile and its newly owned Waze. The traffic tab on Google Maps for iOS and Android will now include accidents, construction, road closures and other incidents reported by Waze users. Meanwhile, the Waze app now supports Google search, and Waze map editors will have access to Google Street View and satellite imagery. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  6. Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger says that after pressure from the British government, he agreed to allow government officials to destroy hard drives containing data provided by Edward Snowden located in the Guardian's London offices so the publication could continue covering the ongoing NSA story. Rusbridger told BBC Radio 4 that he tried to explain to officials that the data is located in more than one place and destroying the London hard drives would be pointless. Nevertheless, the UK Government Communications Headquarters supervised the destruction of those drives in the basement of the Guardian. Rusbridger says the Guardian will continue to cover the Snowden documents, but not from the London office. Read more at theguardian.com.

  7. EA announced the Origin Great Game guarantee letting its customers return a game purchased online through its Origin service for any reason. Customers have 7 days from the date of purchase (or release date in the case of pre-orders) to get their money back, unless they've launched the game to try it out, in which case they only have 24 hours. Read more at cnet.com.

  8. Phyllis Schneck, a senior executive with Intel's McAfee anti-virus software division has been named the top cyber official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday named Schneck the new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity in the department's National Protection and Programs Directorate. Schneck, chief technology officer for McAfee's global public sector unit, has worked in security and infrastructure protection for more than 14 years. Read more at reuters.com.

  9. Prenda Law, a company used by many media companies to track down copyright violators online seems to have been using a honeypot to catch offenders. As part of discovery in the case of AF Holdings vs. Patel, records were subpoenaed from Comcast for a user called Sharkmp4. The IP address returned by Comcast was associated with the account of Steele Hansmeier PLLC another company name associated with Prenda's John Steele. Prenda could argue that IP addresses are not identities, but then their entire business plan would fall apart. Read more at torrentfreak.com.

  10. Garmin announced a new line of action cameras called the VIRB and the VIRB Elite. Unlike the GoPro, the VIRB cameras come with an always-on 1.4-inch display. Garmin claims you can get 3 hours of 1080p recording out of these ruggedized cameras. The low end model costs about $300, the higher end Elite will cost $400 and will launch in September. Read more at theverge.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 20, 2013.