Microsoft Corporation Has Redesigned Surface Pro For The NFL

Last year, Microsoft and the NFL formed a $400 million partnership that resulted in a redesigned Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet PC becoming the official tablet of the NFL. Part of the agreement stipulation is a requirement for all NFL coaches to use the Surface Pro tablets for the next 5 years.

Surface From MicrosoftThe coaches are using the tablet devices on the sidelines while coaching live NFL games. They have the ability to review high definition images of plays on the tablet screens, which is an immaculate upgrade from the formerly used black and white printed photos.

The redesigned and updated NFL Surface Pro Tablet PCs come with a preinstalled app called the “Sideline Viewing System” or “SVS.” Microsoft apparently developed the app to specifically pick up the exact same digital feed that used to be sent directly to image printers.

The previously used long-outdated printouts have been replaced with high def digital images. The images are being received by the NFL coaches much faster. A process that used to take 30 seconds has now been reduced to about 4 or 5 seconds. The coaches are also now able to utilize the tablet PC’s high resolution touch screen for zooming in on image segments and making annotations.

The NFL surface tablets are not capable of public internet access and the taking of photos and/or videos by the any members of the league’s team personnel is not permitted while games are in session. The Surface Pro NFL version does not include an actual camera function in its design.

Microsoft is hoping that the promotional value of this extended agreement with the NFL will help to increase the tech industry giant’s Surface tablet sales. Since the Surface Pro tablet’s initial release back in 2012, Microsoft has suffered nearly $1.7 billion in losses on the device.

Zombie Cravings During The Holidays? – A History of The Walking Dead

With The Walking Dead taking its yearly Winter hiatus with its mid-season break, fans now have to wait until February before we next see Rick and the gang. In the meantime, for those missing their fill of zombies, how about a delve into the history of the walking dead and how they came to be so popular.

The Walking Dead Cast Ready to FightThe modern zombies have had an illustrious career in Hollywood, from the first onscreen iteration in White Zombie (1932) to of course, The Walking Dead. But the origins of zombies go back way beyond that, all the way to Haitian folklore. Sorcerers, or Bokor, were said to bring the dead back to life and controlled them as slaves. This is where the word zombie came from, the idea that these creatures lost all sense of willpower and merely lived to serve. The zombie has since evolved to a mindless beast left with only their desire to eat human flesh.

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Minecraft With New Standalone Episodic Game Due For Release In 2015

Minecraft developers will be working together with Telltale Games to develop a series of games set in the world of Minecraft, as announced on Telltale’s official blog.

Minecraft story gets an upgrade“Minecraft: Story Mode — A Telltale Games Series” , the episodic series, will be compatible with PC, console and mobile devices. It is reported to be set for release in 2015.

The new game will be “driven by player choice” and will be marketed as a standalone game, not an expansion of Minecraft.

Telltale has a portfolio of popular licensed game titles which include The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Back to the Future. The studio will most likely leave its signature style on the new series. In previous games, Telltale usually let’s players play their favourite characters or new characters and gives an interesting perspective to let elements of the storyline.

“Telltale’s series will mix new characters with familiar themes, in an entirely original Minecraft experience, inspired by the Minecraft community and the game that continues to inspire a generation,” Telltale said.

In Minecraft’s case there are no developed characters to go on. A game comprises of the silent protoganist and randomly computer generated villagers and monsters.

Although this could prove challenging to the writers, it could also prove as an opportunity to further build it into a multi-billion dollar franchise.

Minecraft’s popularity with children has led to partnerships with major toymakers like Lego. Franchises with lovable characters inspire expansion into the TV and movie industry.

Netflix Now Streaming BoJack Horseman Christmas Special

Fans of Netflix original series, BoJack Horseman, have a special holiday gift heading their ways: the BoJack Horseman Christmas Special.

Bojack HorsemanThe animated TV show is ready to stream on Netflix now. It stars the talented voices of Alison Brie, Will Arnett, and Aaron Paul. In Netflix’s own words, the show is “cynical, witty, and deadpan” but not a holiday show meant for kids.

The Christmas special of the Netflix original series is 25 minutes long. It shows BoJack and his dislike for the festive holiday. Following a surprise visit from Todd in his bedroom, BoJack takes a brief trip into his past to the days when he was a star of a 90’s sitcom called “Horsin Around”. The experience nearly softens his heart.

The online streaming service has been adding new content for the holidays. Throughout December, Netflix has been adding a library of new content. More is expected next year including new original series’. A second season of BoJack Horseman is set to release next year as well.

Last Friday, Marco Polo series was launched on Netflix as promised. The TV serial follows the lead character’s adventures in Kublai Khan’s exciting world. All ten episodes are now available to stream on the service.

New WebOS 2.0 For LG SmartTVs In The Works

LG’s newest updated webOS version, WebOS 2.0, will be the smartest and fastest webOS platform yet. Some of its features include: an all new “My Channels” app, and access to an expanded variety of 4K ultraHD streaming options. All “My Channels” app users will be able to customize the broadcast they enjoy the most, be it set-top box channels or cable.

LG Smart TVPalm originally created the webOS mobile operating system to be used on its early smartphone models. HP purchased the company for nearly $1.2 billion and then closed it down the very next year.  Last year, LG brought the platform back to life in its smart TV line. LG calls this latest update “an innovative smart TV solution.”

The vice  president  of LG,  In-kyu Lee stated that  the new, smarter webOS 2.0  features will enable its users to experience an  easier,  simpler, more intuitive than ever before, next-generation smart TV platform. LG considers the new platform to be another example of the company’s “commitment to its leadership role in the next generation TV market.”

LG’s new webOS 2.0 smart TV platform will come equipped with a 2015 “New Magic Remote” for its new smart functions. The new remote will be normal remote-sized and will feature a numeric keypad for manually keying in channels.

This new ultimate remote control will be a universal one, enabling the control of all LG devices. It also has the ability to be stood up on its short end, a feature that may be essentially helpful to those who tend to “lose the remote in the sofa cushions.”

With more 4K content, reduced boot times, faster UI navigation speed as well as a list of other new innovative features, the new platform will be making its initial debut on smart TVs from LG’s new lineup. The company’s new Quantom Dot as well as other LCD and OLED smart TV sets will be running the new platform.

The 2013 CES, was where LG first introduced webOS and over 5 million smart TVs equipped with the platform have been sold since then. According to an announcement made by LG, the company plans to reveal the new and improved webOS 2.0 smart TV platform at the 2015 CES.

UK Spy Agency Makes Cryptography App for Children

To teach secondary students about cryptography, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the United Kingdom has released an Android app which is “fun, free and educational”.

Smartphone appThe Cryptoy app will help children understand basic techniques on encryption and create encoded messages. It does not requires any special permission to access confidential information on Android devices.

The British Government hopes that Cryptoy will help them find the next generation of cyber-spies.
“[Cryptoy is a] creative solution in the hunt for expertise, but with a 21st century spin”, said Francis Maude who is the British Minister for cabinet office.

GCHQ, which is considered the British equivalent of the United States’s National Security Agency, says that an iOS version of the app will be available next year in 2015. As well as revising the history of cryptography, the app covers both the theory and practice of the subject. It targets Key Stage 4 students.

The idea for the app was first developed as a test project for the Cheltenham Science Festival by industrial placement students from GCHQ. However, due to growing interest from teachers, GCHQ was persuaded to make it publicly available.

Examples of cryptography used in the Android app are from an “earlier era”, as stated by the spy agency, but relevant to today’s techniques.

“Building maths and cyber skills in the younger generation is essential for maintaining the cyber security of the UK and growing a vibrant digital economy,” said GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan.

Hannigan described the spy app as a “colourful, interactive way” for students and teachers to explore the complex world of cryptography.

The app is now available to download and compatible with versions of Android 4.1 and above.