Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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Lasers are the Future of Drone Fighting

I’ve been among the first people to realize how drones can be a major problem for security in the world. In February...

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Nintendo's New Patent Application: No Discs?

September 2, 2015

For most of those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, Nintendo pretty much rule the roost when it came to gaming. And with good reason; Nintendo had the biggest characters, the most fun games, a host of third-party developers well at work, and even a little competition in the form of Sega to help keep it honest. But fate has not been kind to Nintendo, as Sony and Microsoft have stepped in, and a revitalized PC gaming experience has likewise taken a bit of the starch out of Nintendo's sails. A new patent application, meanwhile, has suggested that Nintendo isn't out of the fight yet, and the new console may have something going for it.

The new patent application, which was filed back in February but published only recently, showed a card slot which could accommodate memory cards.

"Time Machine" Offers Us an Early Look at Virtual Reality

September 1, 2015

While the idea of virtual reality has been around for some time, the options of games to be had for it has been a lot slimmer. Indeed, virtual reality has been very light on games, at least for now...but that's a point that may be about to change as "Time Machine" hits early access.

The reports suggest that "Time Machine" can only be played in virtual reality, and it is so far one of the most impressive releases so far in the visual. While there have been some other such games to arrive--just look at the sheer number of Let's Play videos on YouTube to involve the Oculus Rift somehow--this one may be one of the biggest of its time.

"Time Machine" sends users careening across time and space, running into giant animals of uncertain provenance in a kind of strange sort of hovercraft / submarine hybrid. A pre-alpha trailer from E3 2015 proves that E3 is the gift that keeps on giving, showing off an experience that looks about like what we'd always hoped virtual reality would be like.



Want a Free Island? Just Cause 3 May Have One.

August 31, 2015

The headline may sound too preposterous to be believed, but new reports suggest that that's what Square Enix has in mind, offering players of "Just Cause 3" a chance to win their very own island, though there are set to be several strings attached.

The concept is simple enough; 90 days after the game comes out, the game's developers will check the Chaos Points leaderboard to determine who has not only bought the Day One edition, but also done the most damage and raised the most havoc on the island. Chaos Points are awarded for creative destruction of just about anything on the island, so the process should be fun enough for most anyone.

At the end of that, the top player on the leaderboard will subsequently, reports suggest, have a chance at taking an island of his or her very own. But before you grab the tanning butter and start designing a flag for your very own country, there are some fine print issues that may put you off the island life.

First, Square Enix doesn't actually specify just where this island is. Nor does it guarantee that the island in question will be "...inhabitable, developed, or reachable by any means other than a boat." That's disturbing, in its way; what kind of island is this, that floating patch of junk plastic out in the Pacific?





Bethesda's Future Plans Looking Plenty Ambitious

August 26, 2015

With time running out until the big release of Fallout 4--remember what it was like at the start of July, when November 10 looked like an eternity away--it's natural to start wondering about Bethesda's next title. But while the next title isn't exactly clear yet, what is clear is that Bethesda's got some very big plans afoot.

Some have already begun wondering if the next one in the barrel is a new Elder Scrolls, which would be about right given as Skyrim is on the other side of a lot of calendar pages; some might even say the appropriate number, given that it will be five years this November since our last non-MMO romp through Tamriel. But there's certainly room for more, here, and Bethesda's eager to take a bigger bite out of the market.

While talking to MCV, Pete Hines--Bethesda's top gun in the marketing department--noted that the company's ultimate aim was to release "...three or four big titles a year." Hines elaborated that he didn't want to end up like the company did in 2011, when it released four big titles and then "...went super quiet." No, it wanted to get to the point of "regular releases." Not so much eight to ten a year, of course, but rather one big release a quarter seemed about right by Hines' estimation.

Stop and wrap your head around that for a minute. Bethesda wants to bring out three or four games a year.





Wondering About Fallout 4's Story? Keep Wondering, Says Pete Hines

August 25, 2015

There has been plenty of speculation about "Fallout 4." Leaked video, a host of videos on various topics, the official E3 footage relentlessly picked apart and all manner of points discovered in the meantime. But what is the story? What's going on in this game? According to Bethesda's Pete Hines, that's a point we're not going to know until the  game actually releases.

The leaked video appears to have turned out right, in that it's about 20-odd minutes of Lexington, Massachusetts, getting shot up amid a horde of ghouls and raiders going to their collective reward under the withering fire of various Fallout-style weapons.

Techland May Be Ready for Another Crack at Dead Island 2

August 24, 2015

Back when Dead Island first came out, it was said there was a little--or maybe more than a little--friction between its developer Techland and its publisher Deep Silver. That didn't bode well for the creation of Dead Island 2, which at least partially explains why Deep Silver turned to Yager instead. But with Yager filing for insolvency, that leaves Dead Island 2 somewhat in limbo, a limbo that Techland, reportedly, might like to help fix.

Techland producer Tymon Smektala stepped in, noting that he would "...love to go back to Dead Island," and would be ready to serve should Deep Silver call. Smektala even charitably referred to the Yager insolvency as "sad news," not only believing that it could well have been Techland on the bad end of that news, but also hating to see progress halted on Dead Island 2 altogether.

Xbox One and Windows PC Starting to Look a Lot Alike

August 19, 2015

Not so long ago, when talking about the Xbox Preview Program and the games contained therein, I expressed the idea that it was starting to look oddly like a roster of PC titles. As it turns out, my original projection wasn't so far off after all, and some are already saying that Xbox One's Phil Spencer is out to take out the distinctions between Xbox One and a Windows 10 gaming PC, a development we're already starting to see.

First we saw "The Long Dark" and "Elite: Dangerous" make the migration, but there were plenty of others to follow, including "Ark: Survival Evolved" and "We Happy Few." But there were others as well afoot, ranging from "Sheltered" to "Day Z," titles that were formerly seen on PC, but looked to make the jump. The title roster wasn't the only place to see this sort of thing, either, and for the last decade, Phil Spencer has been pushing to make the Xbox One and the Windows PC a lot more interchangeable.

Spencer runs Xbox, and has since 2014, but he's been making mention of Windows about as often as he has Xbox, by some reports. Indeed, some even suggest that he's no longer really the head of Xbox so much as he is the head of gaming at Microsoft.



Catch the Leaked Fallout 4 Video Yet?

August 18, 2015

I think anyone who's been looking at the Fallout 4 situation figured it was only going to be a matter of time. The video being shown behind closed doors at Gamescom and, ostensibly, also at QuakeCon, has leaked, and is showing up in the strangest places.

Looking like it was shot on a potato--to use the common Internet parlance--the video first made an appearance on YouTube. It's not only rather poor-quality video, but it's also hidden behind the shoulders of other attendees. But after quick intervention from Bethesda got the video shut down, it made an appearance elsewhere, out at Pornhub.com.

Naturally, as is commonly the case with video a lot of people care about on YouTube, Bethesda's move to quash it had the half life of molten boron.



No One Cares About the Indie Game? Don't Say That At PAX Prime.

August 17, 2015

With so much going on in the next couple months in terms of gaming--the Paris Games Week expo coming up, a host of releases on tap--it might be easy to overlook one of the newest major forces in gaming, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime event. Held out in Seattle, the home of the original PAX event, it's going to be a huge exhibition for games of all stripes. But for those who think that the independent game may have lost its luster in the face of all those big, shiny, triple-A releases, you can count that right out: the Indie Megabooth is making its return, and showing off a huge slate of titles.

This is actually the fourth appearance of the Megabooth, and contained therein will be over 70 different titles from independent developers worldwide. Nearly half of the games being shown are actually new to the Megabooth, and some are new period, making public debuts at the show.

YouTube Ready to Make a Move on Twitch?

August 12, 2015

An exciting little leak slipped out just recently, and based on that leak's information, by the time the kids go back to school, Twitch will have some newly-minted competition from no less a force in the market than YouTube itself.

The project is said to be called "YouTube Gaming," and while perhaps the least original name the project could have taken, the idea is still more than sufficiently clever. Not only will the channel feature content from the creative community--the raftload of Let's Play videos and the like--but will also offer up live streaming of e-sports events, as well as game reviews and similar content. Users will be able to browse a list of trending games, and there will even be a chat window said to be a parallel for Twitch's now infamous chat system.

Reports suggest that things could be changing from here, and Android users are reportedly currently able to give the system a test drive. So what's known of it so far may not reflect the final product.

This is actually pretty exciting news; we're looking at a competitor to Twitch, which is about the largest name in the game right now when it comes to e-sports streaming, that has the muscle and market power of YouTube. That could be a very big deal, and destabilize the market as it's known today.





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