The Game Developers Conference is taking place just around the corner between March 2-6 and we’ll be in San Francisco covering it. There will, of course, be a bunch of game discussions and demos as usual, but we wanted to approach it from a hardware/PC perspective. Having said that, this year is going to be an interesting show for hardware with Valve finally pushing the Steam Machines again along with its VR system. On that notion, expect Valve and VR to be the talks of the show. Seriously, guys, this is going to be the year of VR.
When it comes to watching videos on your PC, there are a number of media players out there that can get the job done. But one of the more popular software happens to be VLC Media Player. The open source video player is popular due to its ability to play all kinds of file formats and its versatility (check out our editorial about getting the most out of VLC). Today, VLC Media Player 2.2.0 was released and includes a selection of new feature, fixes, and mobile support.
Today is a sad day, as the universe just lost Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek. According to reports, he passed away at his home this morning as the result of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy announced last year that he was battling the disease, blaming it on years of smoking, which he had given up around three decades ago.
Pint sized PCs are a thing now. Not that they weren't before, but with increasingly faster and energy efficient hardware coming out of Santa Clara, little boxes like the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) are fast becoming viable candidates for primary PC duties. That's especially true of Intel's fastest NUC yet, the forthcoming NUC5i7RYH equipped with a 5th Generation Intel Core i7 5557U processor.
What a month it's been for Lenovo, the world's top supplier of PCs and generally a well liked company. The OEM put both of those traits at risk by pre-loading adware onto its consumer laptops and desktops, adware that was later discovered to be a serious security threat. We might never know for sure how savvy Lenovo was to the software's nefarious methods of serving up ads, but in the wake of it all, there have been apologies, explanations, a software tool to remove Superfish, a class action lawsuit, and now a promise -- Lenovo wants to be the leader of clean PCs.
Verizon plays you for a fool; hopes you won't dig too deep
Today was arguably a landmark event for the FCC and net neutrality. The FCC successfully passed a vote that classifies Internet service as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act, which makes ISPs become what's otherwise known as a "common carrier." If you want to read the actual rules from the FCC, check this out.
For those who use Outlook.com, they will have to rely on Skype for all of their communication needs. In an email to its users, Microsoft announced that it will be removing Facebook and Google Chat from Outlook.com. It is a move that is unsurprising given how much Microsoft has invested in Skype.
Tesoro today expanded its line of gaming mice with the Gungnir Black, an affordable rodent with customizable RGB illumination. It's named after the magical spear Odin used in Norse mythology, which is supposed to always be able to hit its mark no matter who wields it. See where Tesoro is going with this? The company likens its namesake mouse to the spear, saying that its 3,500 DPI optical sensor "ensures smooth and controlled movements."
As seemed destined to happen, the Federal Communications Commission voted today to reclassify broadband Internet service as a public utility, thus giving the FCC the power it sought to implement strict net neutrality rules. The new rules were approved in a 3-to-2 vote and also apply to mobile Internet service, though the war isn't over just yet -- opponents of the Title II classification are sure to mount a legal challenge, and though it's an uphill battle, they may have an easier time convincing a court to issue a stay on the new rules.