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”

Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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Does Elite: Dangerous' Open World Take Open Worlds Too Far?

January 27, 2015

Open world games are often a lot of fun, with half the joy of such experiences being the ability to wander about the world at will, finding strange new things and having strange new experiences. But “Elite: Dangerous” might well have taken a good thing a bit too far, as new reports have emerged saying just how big the game's world actually is.

“Elite: Dangerous” takes place not so much in a world, or even in a solar system, but rather in a galaxy. More specifically, it's a faithful one-to-one recreation of the entire Milky Way galaxy, which represents fully—get this—400 billion star systems. That is, of course, a whole lot of star systems to visit and trade in and fight over, and a lot of time will be spent in their mapping.

2015: Rise of the PC Gamer?

January 26, 2015

While there are plenty of reasons for console gamers out there to be absolutely enrapt with 2015—it's the year in which plenty of big games are on their way, and likely, when E3 and the various PAX events fire up in earnest, we'll get a look at plenty more—there are some indications that suggest it won't be the consoles that have the best year at all, but rather, the PC. The recent Microsoft event talking up Windows 10 offered up some interesting, and some unusual concepts, and we may well be looking at something of a paradigm shift in 2015.

The concept of the “PC Master Race” was born as part of a review of 2008's title “The Witcher”, in which its writer, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, was originally intending to mock the “elitist attitude” seen by some PC gamers, particularly when same compare themselves to console gamers. Readers, meanwhile, appeared to take it literally and use it as a badge of honor. However, with the recent moves by Microsoft, it may well be that that's a badge that's about to get a lot less ironic and a lot more realistic.

Microsoft, in its PC capacity, has not meant great things for gamers.

Did Microsoft Just Leapfrog Oculus Rift With Hololens?

January 22, 2015

The virtual reality market could be one of the biggest gaming has seen since the console wars got fired up in earnest, and there were no shortage of competitors going after a slice of said market. With Sony and its Project Morpheus and Facebook's Oculus Rift both looking to control major chunks of the market, and a slew of competitors eager for a piece, one of the common questions was “Where is Microsoft?”. Now, we may have an answer with the Hololens, and it may prove to be a leap beyond its competitors already.

The Hololens is a complete holographic headset, due to emerge in the market around the same time that Windows 10 comes out, according to reports from a Windows conference. This is being pushed as beyond a virtual reality headset, going for what Microsoft described as “...holograms mixed in your world” before introducing the whole concept as “Windows Holographic.”

The product of years of engineering, it began with the creation of the Hologram Processing Unit, and from there, the development of an accompanying software kit that allows for hologram creation, as well as the ability to 3D print the resulting holograms on a 3D printer.

Some are calling this just a new spin on augmented reality, while others are wondering if, perhaps, Microsoft may well be farther down the road to a complete holography system years ahead of its competitors, tossing aside one market in favor of control of the next market later on.

Strafe May Be Kickstarter's Most Awesome Game Marketing Yet

January 21, 2015

few minutes on Kickstarter will show users a huge litany of games seeking the necessary cash to get developed. But it may well be Strafe, a new game that's surprisingly familiar, that may well have established the new gold standard when it comes to game marketing. A great trailer, a great pitch, and a great attitude all combine to make something that's a whole lot better than the sum of its parts.

Strafe, a game geared toward PC and Mac—complete with Oculus Rift support—came on the scene just recently, and has most of a Kickstarter run to go. Given that it's already raised nearly 10 percent of its goal with fully 446 total backers, Strafe may well achieve its ultimate goal.

Blizzard Demonstrates Customer Service Edge With 10-Year Premium

January 20, 2015

It's hard to believe that World of Warcraft has only recently cleared the 10 year mark of existence with little in the way of upgrades graphically. A whole generation of consoles has come and gone in that time, and for some, so have a lot of hours playing the same game on a PC. Potentially, even the same game on a succession of different PCs. But the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft didn't just come and go with moderate fanfare, oh no; Blizzard had a special treat in mind for those who stuck with the company over the long haul in the form of a special Orc statue.

Those eligible for the premium in question will be those who set up an account somewhere between November 23, 2004 and February 11, 2005, and then subsequently remained with the game for the intervening period. The statue itself, meanwhile—an Orc in mid-battle—is said to be a small-scale version of the one found on Blizzard's campus.

Some reports suggest that a continuously-active account may not be a requirement, but may instead be a help.

Microsoft Takes December in NPD Group Rankings

January 19, 2015

The recent results of an NPD Group study about console and software sales for perhaps the biggest shopping month of the year--December--had been eagerly anticipated for some time. Not only were they to be possibly validation of some significant moves in the marketplace, but they would likewise possibly set up the next stages of the console wars as we knew them. The news, meanwhile, was about what some expected...but what would be its long term impact?

The news that was expected, of course, was that Microsoft would take the top slot in December's rankings in terms of best hardware sales in the gaming market, and indeed, it did.  While the console-specific sales numbers weren't available, the total was at $1.31 billion in December 2014.

Is "The Order: 1886" About to Make "Cabin in the Woods'" Biggest Mistake?

January 15, 2015

That's a headline that takes some explanation, doesn't it? After all, a lot of people really enjoyed Joss Whedon's big excursion into horror film, and with good reason. Frankly, I was one of them. But here's the thing: there was one big mistake that movie made, and based on some new reports, “The Order: 1886” is about to make the exact same mistake.

First off, just what “The Order: 1886” is planning to do.

Horror Gaming Gets a Spark From Friday the 13th

January 14, 2015

It's been sequeled to within an inch of its life and rebooted once already, with a second hit reportedly set to come by the end of this year. It's a cultural phenomenon, one of the big-three of eighties slasher fare, and one of the most iconic horror figures of all time. And now, according to reports, it's about to get the kind of game treatment that most of us can only dream about in an upcoming title that's multi-versus-solo player. It's "Friday the 13th," and man, could this be a winner.

The reports suggest that the title will be something in the vein of the upcoming "Evolve," in which multiple players will square off against one central beastie, in this case, Jason Voorhees, legendary slasher figure that's both nigh-invulnerable and generally eager to butcher anything that gets in his path.

Virtual Reality Gaming? Try Actual Reality With The Real Time Pac-Man Maze

January 13, 2015

We've heard a lot about virtual reality in recent days, but with the coming of the Super Bowl is a whole new concept in gaming: actual virtual reality. And it's a concept being expressed by one of the simplest games of all: Pac-Man.

The idea is comparatively simple: out in the Fashion District of Los Angeles, a complete Pac-Man maze built in human scale was established specifically for an upcoming Super Bowl advertisement to promote Bud Light. The advertisement known only as "Coin" will start with a man who discovers a message in a beer bottle encouraging him to go outside. When he does, he finds a giant coin that can be used in a huge game of Pac-Man.

It by itself doesn't mean so much; after all, it's not like anyone can head out and take a walk in said maze.

CES 2015: But What About Oculus Rift?

January 12, 2015

While it was certainly interesting to see Razer come out with a new attack on the virtual reality (VR) market, it really, in the end, only served to raise questions about the state of the industry as a whole. The growing number of firms looking to get involved was unusual enough, but where was Oculus VR, the firm that kicked the whole thing off, really? The answer? It was at the recently-concluded Consumer Electronics Show, and in a very big way.

The reports suggested that not only did Oculus have a serious new booth at the CES event—backed up by, in all likelihood, the recent $2 billion acquisition of the firm by Facebook—but it also had a new demo known as “Crescent Bay.” Available reports suggest that this has really stepped up its game in the space since the last release, and that's going to give the company a lot of edge.

But there's still one point that isn't just affecting Oculus, but most every other VR system in the pipeline: release dates.

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