virtualization

ManyCam review

ManyCam lets you operate multiple Webcams simultaneously, including both real and virtual Webcams, and customize them with a variety of effects and filters like flames and cartoon eyes. ManyCam can keep multiple video chat sessions open, monitor home security cameras, stream videos, and display still images when you want to chat but don't want to show yourself. ManyCam 4.0 is freeware; a Pro upgrade is available.

Pros

Easy setup: ManyCam more or less sets itself up, identifying and accessing our video feeds, including our live Webcam, and displaying them in a busy but feature-filled interface.

Broadcasting: ManyCam lets … Read more

Hotspot Shield review

Hotspot Shield is a free tool and service that lets you connect to the Internet via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Hotspot Shield is mainly geared toward those who want a more secure connection when accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Pros

Value: Hotspot Shield is one of the largest free VPN services in the world. Though the free version is ad-supported, the paid Elite tier comes at an affordable price, with cross-platform support.

Customizable: Hotspot Shield allows you to connect from other countries. This not only helps to shield your connection origins, but it also potentially lets you access … Read more

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

GDC 2014's virtual-reality highlights

Eddie Cho looks at the latest developments in immersive gameplay, including the second version of the Oculus Rift dev kit, Project Morpheus, and the Virtuix Omni controller.

Also check out the IGF winners from GDC.

Sony's Project Morpheus makes big bet on body tracking

There's one pivotal difference right now between the two most promising, best developed virtual reality headset prototypes, forming a simultaneously technical and philosophical barrier.

Oculus VR, while exclusively focused on smooth tracking and optics, has made an open-source darling out of its Oculus Rift headset, turning a radical crowdfunding idea into the face of an emerging industry. Its openness has spawned a movement with a wide breadth of third-party spinoffs, from the Virtuix Omni to countless motion-tracking suits and handsets. Its final, relatively affordable development kit -- announced Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco ahead of … Read more

Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 now on sale for $350

Oculus' vision of virtual-reality gaming took another step closer to reality on Wednesday with the public availability of its second Rift Developer's Kit (DK2).

Game makers can purchase the headset for $350 today from the Oculus Web site, with an expected ship date sometime in July.

Oculus said many of the headset's features are ready for the average gamer. These include "key technical breakthroughs" such as "low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking."

The DK2 takes cues from Oculus' Crystal Cove prototype, including a low-persistence OLED to tamp down on simulator sickness … Read more

Join CNET on Tuesday for Sony's PlayStation GDC event

Starting at 5:45 p.m. PT today, we'll find out exactly what Sony has up its R&D sleeve.

Hosted by Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida with Sony Computer Entertainment of America R&D members Richard Marks and Anton Mikhailov co-hosting, the event will focus on "Driving the future of innovation at Sony Computer Entertainment", at least according to the invite Sony sent to the media for the event.

The inclusion of Marks and Mikhailov have led many to speculate that Sony will be announcing some type of virtual-reality solution for … Read more

Apple patent points to next-gen Siri with sensors

Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, could be due for a dramatic overhaul, if a recently acquired patent is to be our guide.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published patent 8,677,377, "Method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant," which describes what is essentially a higher-end Siri that can provide automated assistance to people in a wide array of circumstances.

According to Patently Apple, the technology relies on software and a combination of sensors to identify where people are. In one embodiment, the patent shows how Siri, using information gathered from … Read more

Japan: 'Bitcoin isn't a currency'

The popular virtual currency Bitcoin isn't actually a currency, according to the Japanese government.

The country's cabinet approved an official document on Thursday that stated, "Bitcoin isn't a currency" and therefore won't be regulated as such, according to The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, commercial banks are forbidden from providing the digital currency to customers.

The main rub for the Japanese government is that Bitcoin isn't regulated by any official body. And, it's unclear which ministry would provide oversight of the cryptocurrency and how that ministry would go about putting regulations in place.… Read more

Police probe death of Bitcoin exchange's young CEO

Autumn Radtke, the young CEO of a small Bitcoin exchange, was found dead last week in her home in Singapore. The circumstances or her death are still unknown.

Radtke, 28, joined First Meta as CEO in the beginning of January 2012 to help build a "next generation" exchange for virtual currency. The company posted a statement on its Web site regarding Radtke's death.

"The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke," the statement reads. "Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends … Read more