Ars Technica

Number of articles retrieved: 1710


Preview: Smash Bros., Splatoon ignore Wii U GamePad for the better

Nintendo bowls E3 over with new IP and a multiplayer one-two punch.

In recent years, Nintendo has used the Electronic Entertainment Expo as a platform to preach the word of Wii U multiplayer gaming. Nintendoland, in particular, was the test case for a new era of couch play revolving around the console’s controversial, screen-loaded GamePad. You’ll want to play one-versus-four games all the time with our new tablet-ish controller, the company insisted!

The most shocking thing about Nintendo at this year’s E3, then, is the stubborn company’s choice to publicly kiss that spiel goodbye. Nintendo veteran Shigeru Miyamoto may have whispered about GamePad-centric experiments yesterday, but the company shouted something else by devoting its show floor to two big multiplayer, online-friendly offerings—and tremendous ones, at that.

Third-person shooter Splatoon, a brand-new IP about shooting paintballs and transforming into squids, joined fan favorite series Super Smash Bros. to control over half of Nintendo’s E3 booth space. Our play sessions with both revealed a one-two punch of multiplayer fun that the Wii U desperately needs, unique to Nintendo not because of GamePad gimmicks but because of Nintendo’s design chops.

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Oculus expects to sell “north of a million units” for first consumer Rift

Interview: Headset maker aims for 2015 consumer release, possibly sold at cost.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe (left) says he's not expecting a console-scale market right out of the gate.

With a recent high-profile buyout to the tune of $2 billion, you might think Facebook and Oculus are expecting the forthcoming release of the first consumer-targeted Rift VR headset to be an immediate, multimillion-selling, console-level success. But in an E3 interview with Ars Technica, Oculus CEO Brandan Iribe scaled back expectations, saying that he's conservatively hoping for just north of a million units in sales over the life of the first consumer version of the Oculus Rift.

It's not going to be a console-scale market, Iribe continued, regarding that first consumer unit, which still doesn't have an official price or release window. It always could be, but that's not the goal. The goal is to set expectations low, get the enthusiasts and early adopters to get into the space, get their feedback, get developers making really great content...

It's only after that first consumer version has been out for a year or two that Oculus will be ready to release its second consumer version, Iribe says. That's when he sees VR and the Rift really starting to reach their full potential, market-wise. That's when we'll get these incredible, holy grail games, the killer app for VR, he said. And that's when we think the scale will really goal, and hopefully you'll get many millions of people into VR, playing great games and other stuff.

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Android no longer reveals app permission changes in automatic updates

Change could heighten security risks for users.

Automatically updating Android apps could get riskier thanks to a change Google developers have made to the way the OS discloses new app permissions, such as the ability to send potentially costly text messages or track a user's precise geographic location.

Previously, automatically updated apps displayed explicit details when a new version gained additional privileges. For example, an app that previously tracked only coarse GPS coordinates would warn users if an update would begin receiving fine coordinates. Similarly, a newly assigned ability to send SMS messages would also be disclosed. Under changes implemented through the latest Play store app, neither new privilege is displayed if a user has previously accepted any other permission in the same category as the new permission. In other words, by accepting one permission from a category, users agree that every other permission in that category can be added without notification in future updates.

The change is an attempt by Google to streamline and simplify the process of installing updates. Rather than providing lengthy details many users likely don't understand, the new permission disclosure is much less verbose. Permissions are indicated only by a very general category such as Location, SMS, or Contacts/Calendar. Users who want to track precisely how a permission may have changed must click the category to see if specific new capabilities have been added. As a result, an app update that replaces coarse location with fine location simply shows the location category. End users must manually drill down to learn of the change.

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Amazon flexes its muscles again in new contract dispute with Warner Bros.

As in its Hachette dispute, Amazon resorts to holding back sales.

In a new contract dispute with Warner Home Video, Amazon is flexing its supply muscles and restricting preorders for upcoming releases like The Lego Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire, according to a report from the New York Times Wednesday. Despite those movies having featured placement in Amazon's search results, sales are uncharacteristically low for the highly anticipated releases on the site.

The restriction comes in the midst of another higher-profile conflict over e-book pricing with Hachette Book Group, where Amazon has stopped taking preorders and has dragged its feet on shipping Hachette products. Amazon wrote at the end of May that these contract disputes are normal, and customers who wanted Hachette products should buy from Amazon's third-party sellers or go elsewhere.

Amazon now appears to be in a similar situation with Warner, and customers are complaining in the site's forums that they cannot preorder the above movies, as well as titles like Winter's Tale, Transcendence, and Muppets: Most Wanted. The Times says that the lack of a Lego Movie pre-order might be the hardest blow to Warner's bottom line, as it's one of the biggest releases of the year so far.

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State laws deprive Americans of broadband Internet, FCC chairman says

FCC plans to preempt state limits on municipal Internet, but is taking its time.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has spoken several times about how he plans to preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband networks. In 20 states, there are legal restrictions making it tough for cities and towns to offer Internet service to residents.

Wheeler hasn't yet offered a specific proposal or time frame in which the FCC would take action, but yesterday he spoke on the topic again and detailed how the laws deprive some Americans of broadband Internet service. Wheeler wrote a blog post titled Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband shortly after meeting with Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

EPB, a community-owned electric utility in Chattanooga, offers fiber Internet, TV, and phone service to residents. Mayor Berke and the city’s leaders recognized that today’s high-speed broadband networks will be the indispensable platform for tomorrow’s economic growth and the jobs of the future. That’s why Chattanooga invested in building out one of the nation’s most robust community broadband networks, Wheeler wrote.

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Team Liquid

Number of articles retrieved: 185


SPL KT Rolster Move to First Place at Midway Point

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Code A Cheers and Jeers - Week end recap

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Code A No Country for Old Gods

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Code A Flash steps up to the plate on Day 2

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Through The Eyes of a Hero

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CBC Sports NHL

Number of articles retrieved: 1560


Kings look to finish off Rangers in Game 4


The Los Angeles Kings look to win their second title in three years, while the New York Rangers hope to avoid becoming the first team since 1998 to be swept in the Stanley Cup final when Game 4 goes on Wednesday night (CBC,, 7:30 p.m. ET).

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Sharks forward Logan Couture broke hand in playoff fight

Logan Couture

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has undergone surgery on his hand that was injured during a fight in the playoffs.

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Craig Ramsey joins Oilers as assistant coach author


The Edmonton Oilers confirmed Tuesday that they have Craig Ramsay as an assistant coach.

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Mark Messier on Hockey Night author


Watch on demand as Mark Messier talks to Hockey Night's Ron MacLean about the first Stanley Cup final in New York since he hoisted the trophy as Rangers captain in 1994.

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Inside Hockey: Brad Richards author


Watch on demand as New York Rangers forward Brad Richards of Murray Harbour, P.E.I., reflects on his career, his hometown of Murray Harbour, P.E.I., and the Stanley Cup.

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Scientific American News

Number of articles retrieved: 368


Astronomers Get a Clearer Look at Supermassive Black Holes at Galactic Centers

Many of the astronomers and physicists invited to the meeting feared for their safety. Others felt that the event should be cancelled outright. To hold a conference in Dallas, Texas, only weeks after...

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New Genetic Clue to Lupus Is Found

It was a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup moment in genetic evolution: The end of one gene fused to the beginning of another and, voilà, a new, composite gene was born. In most people the...

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Comet Craft Approaches its Target

Space scientists are used to moments of high tension. They often have just one chance to get things right, and experiments can hinge on the success of equipment that may be millions of kilometers...

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Migrating Birds Use Precise Flight Formations to Maximize Energy Efficiency

Migratory birds coordinate their wing flaps with much more finesse than previously thought, so as to reap the best energy savings from flying in formation, suggests a new study. More

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Obama to Speak Out on NSA Surveillance Controversy

President Barack Obama will address the future of government snooping on our personal phone records and other data in a speech Friday. Ever since the revelations made last year by former National...

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Penny Arcade

Number of articles retrieved: 225


Comic: iPatch

New Comic: iPatch #1

News Post: Double Stream

Tycho: Camera’s on. Watch live video from CWgabriel on Gabe’s Twitchum or whatever it’s called is right here if you want a taste of the least hot chat available online. (CW)TB #2

News Post: Lookouts Comic Bundle

Gabe: Comixology and Cryptozoic have put together an awesome digital exclusive for the Lookouts comic book. This bundle includes all six issues of the Lookouts book plus 50 pages of exclusive content, much of it never before seen. It’s got alternate covers, maps, character sketches and lots more. You can get the entire package for $9.99 over at Comixology right now. -Gabe out #3

Comic: Thanks, Lord

New Comic: Thanks, Lord #4

News Post: Thanks, Lord

Tycho: We’d seen the Kickstarter for Bible Adventures: Call of Abraham mentioned all over, and it reminded us of The Bible Online strip we’d done a ways back. But that was very much in The Far Side vein, single panel type stuff, and I thought there was room to investigate it further. The new game is more of a single player RPG, but we couldn’t leave well enough alone. That’s correct: in our humorous .jpeg, we were less than entirely factual. Call the police. The pitch is poor; we may accurately call the offer they’ve made of Bible Adventures:...

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