GDC 2016: Your Brain on VR, The Psychology of Doing VR Right

Cognitive scientist, programmer, game developer, and senior technical designer for Riot Games and Radial Games Dr. Kimberly Voll took a packed house at the Game Developers Conference into the brain on VR, hailing the tremendous opportunities and flashing potential hazards this new medium presents. As someone who “engineers awesome experiences through understanding humans better, frequently in VR,” Voll’s latest project is “Fantastic Contraption,” a VR update to the popular 2008 building game, that will be shipping with the HTC Vive in April. Continue reading GDC 2016: Your Brain on VR, The Psychology of Doing VR Right

Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

Apple and Google are competing for younger programmers to write the next wave of mobile code. In 2012, Apple lowered the minimum age of attendance at its developer conference from 18 to 13. The company supplies scholarships for those that cannot pay the $1,600 fee for registration. Meanwhile, Google holds a youth section at its developer conference for those between 11 and 15 years old. Tech companies are searching for software prodigies that will develop the next big apps for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

Dish Plans to Launch its Internet TV Service Later This Year

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen announced he has signed new deals with programmers to add channels to the company’s Internet TV service that he plans to launch by the end of 2014. The over-the-top (OTT) service is aimed at young cord-cutters who may opt to forgo an expensive cable package for a cheaper offering of channels that can be streamed on smart TVs and other devices. Dish Network already has a deal with Disney to offer channels such as ABC and ESPN. Continue reading Dish Plans to Launch its Internet TV Service Later This Year

Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Oculus Rift, the virtual technology headset created by 21-year old Palmer Luckey, has developed quite a loyal fan base in a short amount of time. When Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this week, gamers and developers responded with mixed reviews, many disappointed and critical of the move. Luckey responded on Reddit by explaining that he was also skeptical of a Facebook deal at first, but now believes the social giant could help bring virtual reality to the masses. Continue reading Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

Insiders report that Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen recently contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White to discuss a potential merger of the two companies. DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV operator, currently has about 20 million subscribers, while Dish, the No. 2 operator, has about 14 million. Ergen reportedly approached White in response to Comcast’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. However, White is said to be reluctant regarding formal talks out of concern that regulators would block a deal. Continue reading Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

Disney has launched the Future Internet Games Contest with Scotland’s Abertay University in an attempt to find games that blend physical and digital worlds. The contest revolves around three key areas. The first involves consumer products, which includes games based on fashion, toys, etc. The second area is location-based installations that intend to engage visitors with real world objects. The third is citywide games that encourage a large quantity of players to engage with the game in an urban environment. Continue reading Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

BitTorrent Sync Transfers Data Without Help From the Cloud

BitTorrent’s new file-syncing technology, BitTorrent Sync, can synchronize files between computers and mobile devices without copying data to a cloud server. The company is hoping that, in light of the National Security Agency’s controversial harvesting of information stored in data centers, people will be attracted to the new technology. The only way the NSA could gather this data would be by going directly to the source where the information is stored. Continue reading BitTorrent Sync Transfers Data Without Help From the Cloud

Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Google unveiled its Glass Development Kit (GDK) earlier this week at a Glass hackathon in San Francisco, inviting developers to create third party apps for its wearable technology. The company is looking to lure programmers with parts of Glass that were previously unavailable. Developers can now build Glass apps that work offline, in real time, and use the hardware accelerometer and GPS. Until now, developers were only able to work with the Mirror API. Continue reading Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Intel in Talks to Hand Over its Internet TV Project to Verizon

Intel has invested heavily in its plan to stream television over the Internet, but securing access to channels has been a challenge. The company is reportedly now in advanced negotiations to sell all or part of its yet-to-be-launched venture to Verizon, according to a person familiar with the talks. Intel was originally hoping to launch its service by year’s end. Tech companies including Sony and Google have plans to launch similar services, but have encountered some of the same challenges as Intel. Continue reading Intel in Talks to Hand Over its Internet TV Project to Verizon

Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

A significant threat to the video game industry is harassment targeting game developers from gamers. Video game fan obsession has led to death threats among game developers, forcing them to leave their positions or the industry as a whole. Many fault the anonymous nature of the Internet, and others see the immediate availability to voice one’s complaints or gain notoriety. Groups look to support developers as threats become more commonplace. Continue reading Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

The third annual Hollywood Hack Day took place last weekend, bringing a hackathon — a timed collaborative event during which software developers create new apps or Web services — to Los Angeles. United Talent Agency hosted the event and provided increased bandwidth for the 135 developers and designers involved in the 2-day competition. Because the event was in LA, several teams chose to create apps about the art and business of entertainment. Continue reading UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day