Steam review

Steam is your one-stop shop to purchase, download, and play a large variety of video games. Featuring a creative community, massive library of games, and unique design, Steam is a revolutionary program.


Large, contributive community: We logged on to Steam and observed that over 5 million individuals had used the program within the last 48 hours. This community discusses current events on message boards and uploads images, videos, and game modifications, constantly.

Appealing, sleek design: The layout of this application is organized and attractive, featuring a dark, contrasting color scheme that makes video game thumbnails stand out. You will … Read more

Microsoft teases unveiling of DirectX 12 later this month

Game developers' long wait for the next iteration of Microsoft's DirectX will apparently come to an end this month.

Details of the DirectX 12 game programming interfaces will apparently be released March 20 during the Game Developers Conference, according to a Microsoft teaser page. Microsoft's page includes the logos of AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, suggesting they are partners that will support the new suite of APIs.

Anuj Gosalia, a development manager on Windows Graphics at Microsoft, is scheduled to lead a presentation at the conference, according to a GDC program page:

For nearly 20 years, DirectX has … Read more

Appeals court considers Oracle's Java copyright claims

A US appeals court on Wednesday considered whether Oracle should be afforded copyright protection over certain portions of the Java programming language in a case that is being closely watched by software developers.

The appeal, being heard by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, is the latest chapter in the company's long-running patent and copyright battle over Google's use of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android. Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging that Google's use of 37 Java APIs in its mobile operating system constituted patent and copyright infringement.

Google … Read more

Chrome beta disses plug-ins, speeds tapping on Android

Google released a beta of Chrome 32 on Thursday, fulfilling a promise to block many plug-ins and speeding up some tap operations on Android.

And Imgur fans will be eager to know that the new release also brings support for animated WebP images, a feature already added to Google's image format but that had to overcome hurdles before finding a place in Chrome, too. Some advocated for a shift to plain old video, but animated GIFs have attained newfound popularity. Google promises smaller file sizes with animated WebP as an alternative, said Urvang Joshi, the Google programmer who championed … Read more

Google automates wireless networks' use of TV white space

In June, the US Federal Communications Commission certified Google to operate the national database detailing which particular patches of "white space" spectrum were usable for wireless communications. Now, the company has opened a service that lets programs tap into that database, an automation step that Google expects will make it easier to squeeze as many bits as possible into the country's unused spectrum.

The tricky thing about white space -- electromagnetic spectrum reserved for TV broadcast but not actually in use -- is that the unused spectrum varies from region to region. Google already operated a database … Read more

Android signs up for official default setting for texting

The underlying code that powers Android text messaging is about to get a makeover, and that could have far-reaching changes for how people text each other on Android 4.4 KitKat and beyond.

For non-developers, the changes will be practically unnoticeable. As the screenshot above indicates, soon you'll be able to choose a default SMS (Short Message Service) app through the Android operating system itself. Currently, the SMS app developer must make it an option in the app's settings.

The changes to how KitKat will handle text messaging involve altering its application programming interfaces. Google said in an … Read more

The 404 1,358: Where we watch the time with the founder of Pebble (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- CNET's review of the Pebble Watch says it's a work in progress.

- Some of the winning projects from last weekend's Pebble hackaton at MIT.

- The sticky situation that delayed the Pebble Watch.

- Check out Eric's recent Pebble AMA on Reddit.

- Pebble smartwatch goes on sale at AT&T on September 27.

- What's next for Pebble, as of July 11, 2013.… Read more

Chrome Packaged Apps gaining Android powers

The foundation for making Web apps as powerful as native code is slowly sliding into place, as Google announced new back-end support for its Chrome Packaged Apps in a Chrome dev update on Monday.

The new support, expected in the stable version of Chrome in around six weeks, allows Packaged Apps to use a new set of APIs (application programming interfaces). Packaged Apps are a variant of Web sites, like Gmail, that are designed to load flawlessly even when not connected to the Internet.

These include the In App Payments API that's built on Google Wallet; the Identity API … Read more

Falcon Pro updated with workaround for Twitter tokens

Falcon Pro is a popular Twitter client for Android users. So popular, in fact, it's reached the 100,000-user (or token) limit implemented by Twitter on two separate occasions. The first time the developer, Joaquim Verges, reset the tokens, thus disabling the pirated copies that were a large part of the reason the limit was hit.

The second attempt at resetting the key resulted in Twitter disabling any new users from using the app. Not everyone was able to reauthorize the app after the second token reset before Twitter took action. It wasn't (still isn't) a good … Read more

Twitter officially axes TweetDeck for Android, iOS with new API

Twitter has officially pulled the plug on TweetDeck for Android and iPhone, as well as the Adobe AIR desktop version, with the retirement of its API v1.

The microblogging site, which announced API v1's fate this spring but delayed the move by a month, confirmed the disconnect Tuesday in a company blog post.

"Today, we are retiring API v1 and fully transitioning to API v1.1. Given the array of blackout tests, blog posts, Tweets and other updates, this should (hopefully) not be a surprise," Twitter's Taylor Singletary wrote in the post.

The transition means that … Read more