Although the cloud is often associated with rapidly building applications and providing access to essential data when on the go, many IT professionals have been unfamiliar with cloud OS technologies until now. Many professionals are used to accessing applications via their browsers, cloud operating systems provide an added layer of security because they allow users to access all their data and applications from a central interface which can be accessed from virtually any internet connected computer. Additionally by using a cloud operating system, users can access all their applications though a single login thanks to single sign on (SSO) technology. Although there are many cloud operating systems available to IT professionals, two of the leading platforms are eyeOS and Jolicloud.
UPDATE 7/1/2014 – TrackingPoint is in the news again, this time with a rifle which can be aimed using Google Glass
High Tech Realm has always been an outlet for business owners and working professionals to gain information and insights on technology that really matters, however today we are going to sidetrack a bit to discuss a very chilling item which made it’s debut at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The TrackingPoint ‘lock and lunch’ sniper rifle is just like your standard sniper rifle, except that it has a built in Linux powered computer which allows the gun to automatically aim at stationary or moving targets simply with the press of a button near the trigger.
What sets the gun apart from most other weapons is that when a shooter looks down the scope, they do not see a physical view of what is in front of them. Rather, a screen inside the camera shows a fairly grainy image (which happens to look like you’re playing the original version of DOOM) – see above – from which the gun provides the shooter with the option to cycle the auto lock on various targets until they find the desired subject to shoot. The gun is so effective that Tracking Point promises, “five times the first shot success rate of traditional systems at targets up to 1,200 yards.” The scope sports a 110 millimeter telephoto lens and 14 megapixel image sensor and it streams video at 54 frames per second.
Of course, the computing power of this gun would go to waste without integrated Wi-Fi and Facebook/Twitter/email sharing of all your kills. When (yes, I said when not if) we have a nutcase get their hands on one of these weapons, they will have the option to showcase their acts in gory detail on the internet, in real time, with little for the authorities to do except feebly attempt to block the spread of such photos. Considering how many people believe that mass shootings occur for notoriety, adding this option to any weapon is a ridiculous feature. Sure a shooter could always use a sport camera to capture their acts, but ultimately the difference between a built in camera and an attached one is the level of precision between the two, since a built in camera can time snapshots to nearly the same exact moment the trigger is pulled and even when the target goes down. More
Just days before Christmas, Steam has made an announcement that will cause virtually any geek to jump with joy. The announcement that after a short two months in closed beta, they are now releasing a Steam client which will run on Linux. Aside from the obvious implication of finally giving Linux users a centralized respiratory of quality applications and games which previously were inaccessible to non-Windows users, this expansion is going to spur innovation like nothing before, considering the fact Valve has been leading the way in game development with their Half-Life series and Source engine which has been out since 1995.
By buying out the studios of individuals who created great modifications to the games, Valve has managed to have the success that today’s triple-A studios can only dream achieving, simply by embracing their community and fan base. This release of Steam for Linux takes Valve’s support of their community to an entirely new level as the client is being released as an open source project allowing the community and Valve staff to collaborate and add features in a unique workflow which has yet to be seen by any other major game studio.
Many of Valve’s games already are filled with modifications and numerous tweaks, however by making the Steam marketplace of games accessible to Linux users a whole new realm is opened for developers as they now will have access to a talent pool which literally follows a culture of hardcore programming like a religion. Additionally the fact Linux is much more customizable than Windows systems makes it likely that we will soon see many customizations never before possible on Windows.
Does this mean that Linux is now going to go mainstream with gamers? Probably not, as Linux usability pales in comparison to it’s Mac and Windows counterparts. Aside from the increased talent pool, Steam for Linux is very significant as it lays the groundwork for the recently announced Valve gaming console, which was envisioned by The Oatmeal back in the Spring of 2012.
In recent times video gaming has been confined to the major console lines owned by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony and also the personal computer. Although the model worked for years, today the industry has been suffering from customers flocking to mobile platforms for gaming, and also many major studios loosing talent as key employees flock to indie studios.
Oyua, a company founded by Julie Uhrman, who has executive experience at Vivendi Universal, IGN, GameFly has recently announced the OYUA which is promoted as “A New Kind of Video Game Console.” The platform stands out from others because rather than running on a proprietary code base, the system is powered by the Android operating system.
Although the choice of operating system might appear to be a bit abstract, one of the biggest strengths of building on Android is how the majority of developers use the Java programming language for development – which is very similar to C/C++ (both of which are the de facto languages for the majority of video game development). For those not familiar with programming – of the pitfalls of C and C++ is their complexity, which is a double edged sword as it provides power and control at the expense of simplicity and rapid development.
For mobile app development, the reason the Apple and Google app stores have flourished is because Objective C (for iOS) and Java (for Android) are both easier to pick up, and also are versatile for the majority of developers. Despite this, Java is a language which has been around for years and has been used in virtually any industry imaginable. From high grade enterprise server applications, to small apps for websites, to online games, and much more; Java is a solid choice for developing the next generation of video games. Additionally by using the Android operating system, developers already have a solid framework to build on which is supported by many developers.
One of the downsides to the Oyua is the hardware specs. Powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, the one that powers the Google Nexus and containing only 1GB of RAM, this console is not going to beat the graphics of your PlayStation 3 or your Xbox. Regardless the console is affordable, and more importantly it can be hacked by hobbyists and professions to do anything they like.
Additionally Oyua will have a dedicated app store for downloadable content, meaning support for Google’s App Store will not be supported. One key feature of this marketplace is consumers will be able to try titles before buying. Additionally it is projected that the idie titles on the market will sell at similar prices as AAA grade games (i.e. hit games made by the major studios) because Oyua is banking that as long as a game is compelling it can command the premium.
Although this project is ambitious, the Oyua is a very promising project because it literally opens the door for a whole new arena of gaming. By allowing indie studios to compete ont the same level as the AAA studios, we will see a whole new avenue of gaming where virtually anything imaginable will be developed and deployed due to the reasonable costs.