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  • Hello Barbie talks to children using WiFi, cloud of learned responses

    If you believe a new New York Times report, then your child’s next Barbie will be possessed by the spirit of WiFi. Mattel, Barbie’s rights owner and one of the largest toy companies on the planet, has plans to debut the WiFi-enabled “Hello Barbie” that’s inspired by Apple’s Siri voice assistant. It will use a system developed by ToyTalk, a company specialising in crafting interactive toys, allowing the Barbie’s owners to converse with the human-shaped hunk of plastic. The company’s technology was originally created for on-screen characters, notes the Times, but the technology has been proven to be quite a hit...

  • Apple Store trolls, ‘Life Is Strange’ and Twitch defeats Pokemon: the TGIF Video Roundup

    TGIF, and we really shouldn’t be at work, but that won’t stop us from gandering through the week’s best tech, gadget and gaming videos, now will it? If you missed last week’s roundup, catch it below. Read more: ‘Pixels’, ‘Final Fantasy XV’ and GearVR babies: the TGIF Video Roundup Finally, the long, dreary week has spat out its fair number of glorious videos for us Friday fellows to indulge. Videos this week range from the influence of David Lynch in video games to the latest The Evil Within DLC trailer (which is ridiculously short, mind). Of course, in between all of this...

  • Xbox One April Update: better party chat, voice messages coming to preview

    Hot on the heels of Sony‘s PS4 Yukimura update this week, Microsoft Xbox has launched a preview video of what to expect from the April Xbox One system update. Read more: PS4 ‘Yukimura’ update brings social, UI and practical improvements There are three major updates arriving to the Xbox One experience that focus primarily on the social side of the gaming experience. Firstly, Microsoft has announced that it will now offer dedicated servers for Party Chat, as Xbox head Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb explains in his blog: Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage...

  • ‘Bloodborne’ first impressions: you died

    “Run away, man!” I shouted at the controller as it was callously ignoring my panicked button mashing. Finding the first monster after a mere two minutes of game play is unnerving, and something that you just don’t see in mass-appeal AAA games often. Begin easy, frolic with the gamer hand-in-hand until another deus ex machina joins the party for intermittent words of wisdom — that’s the usual formula. Gaming has really become a bit of a nanny sport, but From Software‘s Bloodborne tells this unwanted tradition to sod off quite emphatically. You’ll be thrown in the deep end immediately, and that’s...

  • WD My Passport Pro 4TB review-in-brief: speedy and stylish

    The WD My Passport Pro does what it does well, but weighing up the three P’s (practicality, performance and price) it only shines through when it comes to two of them. For the heavy-duty Apple Mac user on-the-go, the WD My Passport Pro’s flaws are minor if they’re even worth pointing out at all. For someone looking for a bit of flexibility, the external drive sings a different song. We were blessed with a black and aluminium 4TB model (there’s also a 2TB one available) which weighs a hefty 725g — definitely complemented by its bulky body which can’t help...

  • PS4 ‘Yukimura’ update brings social, UI and practical improvements

    Remember that PS4 update we all wanted prior to The Order: 1886? Well, it’s nearly here, and Sony is really splurging on this one just in time for Bloodborne too. Update 2.5, codenamed Yukimura, brings with it a host of “highly anticipated and requested features” to the PlayStation 4 console. The update is due for launch on 26 March 2015. For your viewing pleasure, we round up each one of these in a bite-sized listicle. Suspend/Resume the console directly in-game This wasn’t possible before, but Yukimura allows users to suspend the console while you’re directly in a game to continue playing said game...

  • ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’ review: facing fears, finding courage

    Every so often rare circumstances come together and give birth to something extraordinary. Be it the alignment of the stars or the direction of the wind, it is an occurrence so uncommon that its manifestation is measured in years. Ori and the Blind Forest is one such extraordinary phenomenon. No matter from what angle you look at it, this title excels on all fronts. It is a game so good I even dare say it is close to perfect. Ori and the Blind Forest is a magical side-scrolling adventure created by an international collective of indie developers operating under the name Moon...

  • KSafe locks away temptation so you can reach your goals

    Storing things for rainy days often doesn’t quite work that well, especially since the storage container is easily accessible, and pries open with a simple flick of the chocolate-craving finger. A Kickstarter project dubbed KSafe is determined to change this though, keeping those snacks (or gaming controller) locked and safe until you damn well reach those goals you set yourself. “We know it is much easier to set goals than it is to achieve them,” notes Ryan Tseng of KSafe. “We can start with the best intentions, but then we become distracted, procrastinate or just lose focus. We turned to research...

  • Virtual noses in VR headsets reduce sickly symptoms, studies suggest

    Virtual reality is cool, and it is the future undoubtedly, but the headsets currently available invariably make users really, really sick. But that could be remedied by using something as simple as a nose. No, seriously. “The problem is your perceptual system does not like it when the motion of your body and your visual system are out of synch,” explains assistant professor at Purdue University David Whittinghill to Phys.org. “So if you see motion in your field of view you expect to be moving, and if you have motion in your eyes without motion in your vestibular system [what most mammals use...

  • Microsoft’s Spartan and Internet Explorer to feature Edge, Trident respectively

    Microsoft has long been lauding its upcoming Project Spartan browser that will take over Internet Explorer’s crown as Windows’ flagship, but Internet Explorer, as we’ve noted before, isn’t exactly set to be shed from Windows 10 altogether. The company has now clarified its stance on the two browsers’ coexistence, which is a bit more confusing than simply having the option of choosing the browser you want to use and using it. Yes, Internet Explorer will be a part of Windows 10, that is pretty much confirmed, but there is one key difference between the legacy IE and the fledgeling Spartan. Read more:...

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