Superman Vs Batman, 2015

Comic-Con happened in San Diego this weekend. Unlike during E3, I don’t have a ton of news for you from the Con, but there is one tidbit that’s sure to make geeks everywhere rejoice! Warner Bros has announced that Batman will in the second Superman movie that’s set to be released in 2015.

The movie will be directed by Zach Snyder and Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman. If you don’t already know, Christian Bale is out of the Batman business and no one knows who’s going to play Batman next. However, Christopher Nolan, the man who directed the most recent Batman trilogy, will have some input as an executive producer for the movie.

Superbat

Chrome OS Beta Update

Did you know there was a Chrome OS? I didn’t, but apparently some anti-establishment people out there are choosing to forgo Windows, Mac and Linux-based operating systems in favor of Chrome OS. The operating system is currently in beta and has recently received a major update.

All you Chrome OS users out there – yes, both of you – will now get to enjoy new features like the new “immersive” full screen mode, UI scaling, and wallpaper sync. There’s also a smarter app launcher in the new update. All you Google lovers looking for the full update list will need to follow the source link to find it.

Chrome OS

Speed Enforcement Drones?!

People in the San Francisco area started freaking out when official-looking signs depicting a drone firing a missile stating “speed enforced by drones” started cropping up all over Bay Area highways. However, a local news station, and many more since, has reported that these signs are indeed fake and being removed by the California Highway Patrol, also known as the CHP.

The CHP confirmed that the signs were professionally made with the same materials official road signs are made out of. One even went so far as to use tamper-resistant bolts! Authorities still don’t know who’s behind the prank.

drone sign

Rumor: Nexus 7 Expected to Launch at Best Buy on 30 July

The alleged second generation Nexus 7 tablet is just a few days away. A number of leaks suggest that the device will hit the shelves at the end of this month, 31st July to be specific. Today, a new Best Buy ad has been leaked that is scheduled to run on 28th July, and it clearly mentions that the upcoming Nexus 7 tablet will be available “Next Tuesday”, that is 30th July. It would just a week ahead of the 24 July event where the search engine giant is expected to launch the much awaited tablet.

Best Buy Ad

Xbox 360 Dashboard update pictures and hands-on

Bing search, Metro-styling and more…

Microsoft is set to release its most ambitious Xbox 360 Dashboard update in the six-year-old console’s life to date, and Pocket-lint was invited to a swanky location in the heart of London to test the new features.

Available for download globally from 6 December (tomorrow), the new update is a complete refresh for the user interface and brings the experience in line with the styling of the company’s Windows Phone 7 operating system, and the front end of the forthcoming Windows 8.

It adopts the new Metro-style interface, offering a tiled aesthetic, and splits content categories into tabs that run across the top of the screen. There’s some that are familiar, some not so, and all have been simplified.

Video and Games are still present, obviously, but new to this update are entire categories for Social, Apps, TV and, possibly the standout new feature, Bing. The latter brings about a new way to search for content, whether it be a movie, game, music video or such-like, and it can be accessed or controlled via the joypad or, as we experienced, Kinect – using the microphone and our voice.

In essence, the new Bing search functionality comes across a bit like Apple’s Siri software found on the iPhone 4S, and has already been advertised on UK TV. However, the feature is much more impressive in the flesh. It’s not a fully functioning version of the Bing in-browser search engine, and technically can only find content that’s available to play, download or stream on or to your Xbox 360, but it is revolutionary in the way that you can access it all through speech.

If you have a Kinect plugged into your console, all you have to do is say “Xbox. Bing. Search…” and choose a term. In our demonstration, we performed several searches, including “Xbox. Bing. Search Batman” and “Search Christian Bale”, and both of which came up with plenty of entertainment suggestions. “Batman”, in fact, came up with the game Lego Batman, some of the full length cartoon series and Batman Begins, both available to rent. Additionally, some of the new content partners that come with the update also have content that will be displayed after a Bing search, as well as those that are Microsoft-hosted. And, as more join up, the results will become farther reaching still.

You can search for common titles, actors names and directors, and, like with Siri, half the fun is finding out what works and what doesn’t. The Kinect certainly recognises a hell of a lot of vocal commands, and can now be used throughout the new Dashboard experience too (not just in-game or in a Kinect-specific menu). The same is true for motion control.

The other major non-cosmetic additions to this update come in the form of the aforementioned new content partners. Along with new zones and an easier to understand menu structure, come video apps for Lovefilm, 4OD, blinkbox, Demand 5 (Channel Five’s VOD service), YouTube, Dailymotion and MSN. And, unlike on rival platforms, Microsoft has made a clever move in getting them to ditch their own front ends and user interfaces in favour of the Metro approach. On the PS3, for example, the Lovefilm app looks nothing like Sony’s XrossMediaBar – it uses the same UI as found on Samsung Smart TVs, et al. Not so here.

Instead, while it is the same streamed movie content found on all other Lovefilm streaming platforms, it is a seamless experience, looking like the Xbox’s own new Dashboard with minor colour changes. You’ll still need a streaming-enabled subscription, but you won’t feel like you are leaving the Xbox arena at any time.

The same is true with all of the other content partners, including music service Muzu.tv. Even 4OD shows are offered through a Metro-style interface, although the font has been changed to Channel 4 s.

Remarkably, Pocket-lint was also told that, when it arrives, the BBC iPlayer application will sport the same Metro aesthetic. Seeing as how much the Beeb is protective over its branding and styling, this comes as a massive shock, and much kudos to Microsoft if it manages to pull of such a coup. We were also told that, because of this, and contrary to former rumours, iPlayer will not be available on the Xbox 360 until 2012. The same is true of ITV Player.

The big M won’t end there either. It told us, in our one-to-one briefing, that it plans to release around 15 applications before the end of 2011, and has a healthy roadmap for the introduction of many more throughout the coming year, month-by-month.

Some of those will be social too, although there’s no word at present on Skype integration (considering Microsoft now owns it), but Twitter and Facebook are already present (as before). There will also be new features for social gaming, such as leaving a beacon for friends who are not online. As soon as they log in, that beacon will ask them to join you in a game. Plus, as Gamertag information will be stored in the cloud from now on, rather than locally, you can even log into your account from a different Xbox 360, and play as yourself rather than a guest, with all your achievements and information being accessible.

At this juncture, it’s worth pointing out that some of these new services are only available to Xbox Live Gold members. Silver members still get the new look, the search functionality, and voice and gesture control through a Kinect (if they have one), but will not be able to access a vast amount of the content.

We haven’t been told of an exact time for the Dashboard’s release in the UK, but it is totally on track for this Tuesday. And, given our initial viewing, we reckon it’ll blow your socks off.

No BBC iPlayer for Xbox 360 Dashboard update

Delayed until 2012

The Xbox 360 Dashboard update hits tomorrow (6 December), but while it comes with plenty of new features and applications for content providers, including 4OD and Demand 5, the much-touted BBC iPlayer won’t be one of them. Yet.

Pocket-lint has been told, in a one-to-one briefing, that the iPlayer app is unlikely to be available on the platform this year, with a 2012 release date much more likely. This is because both parties, Microsoft and the BBC, want the functionality and look of the service to be as good as it possibly can be, and to feature complete integration with the new features offered by the refreshed Metro-style interface:

“We are working with them to deliver their application, probably in 2012,” said Pav Bhardwaj, Xbox Live UK product manager. “We are working to make sure that the app that we deliver for the BBC is the best app that we could possibly deliver. That it is seamless. That it is a great consumer experience. That’s what both the BBC and Microsoft want to deliver.”

However, at least this means that the iPlayer app for Xbox 360 will feature search through voice control, for example:

“That’s what’s most important. Rather than rushing it through, we’re going to make sure it’s a quality app,” he added.

“What’s important about the BBC is that they have such rich content. They’ve got so much content that’s it’s really important that we bring the whole Bing experience, the whole Kinect experience, and the whole search and gesture control functionality correctly to that application. And that it works seamlessly.”

Additionally, the company is working with the other major UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV to bring its ITV Player service to the platform in 2012 too:

“They are one of the partners we’re looking to work with,” Bhardwaj said.

Video Game Sales Drop 15%

It’s not really much of a surprise. Every gamer knows that summer is when gaming usually falls off for a bit, but a 15% drop in retail sales in one month is still huge when hundreds of millions are involved. Total spending on video games in the U.S. last month was $1.2 billion, only about 50% of which was made up of physical sales.

Where’d gamers take their business? Mobile games have seen sharp increases in revenue over the last few months, causing many gaming journalists to wonder if mobile gaming is slowly taking over the market. Although the main reason they’re so speculative is because the real answer is much less interesting.

saving money comic