Today in Tech News Digest, Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift bring virtual reality back, Unreal Engine 4 debuts, Flappy Bird is returning, Firefox 28 drops Metro, Google Docs phishing, and Mongolia tries to ban swearing on the Web.
Project Morpheus For PS4 Detailed
Here’s hoping Project Morpheus does better for Sony than this little guy did for Nintendo… pic.twitter.com/DjiM4C9JEY
— Tim Bradshaw (@tim) March 19, 2014
We mentioned Project Morpheus in yesterday’s Tech News Digest, but more details have emerged that make it worth taking a second look. Especially as the level of interest in this virtual reality system for the PlayStation 4 has been higher than predicted.
Firstly, it has been revealed that Project Morpheus will not be launched anytime soon, with The Verge getting confirmation directly from Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios. Yoshida stated, “As of today, we are not talking about a final product. But what I can say, what we can say, is because we are still working on the tech, we can safely say that we will not be releasing the product this year.” Which suggests interested parties have a long while to wait yet.
Meanwhile, both The Verge and Engadget tried out the Project Morpheus prototype. What’s clear, despite the differences in reporting, is that this is an early version of hardware that will (have to) be vastly improved before it’s ready for the mainstream.
Which is also true of the Oculus Rift…
Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 Arrives
One year after releasing the first Oculus Rift development kit, the second, Oculus Rift DK2, has been announced. After using Kickstarter to fund the original dev kit, Oculus VR is taking direct orders for the second dev kit, which is priced at $350 and will start shipping in July.
This isn’t the Oculus Rift that will one day be made for consumers. However, Oculus VR suggests that the “fundamental building blocks” are all there, and that “all the content developed using DK2 will work with the consumer Rift.”
We have a host of Oculus Rift articles worth reading, including a review of the original Oculus Rift dev kit, a roundup of amazing Oculus Rift demos, and an exploration of how the Oculus Rift could change gaming forever.
Unreal Engine 4 Available, For A Price
Epic Games has lifted the lid on Unreal Engine 4, its next-gen, cross-platform game engine. Developers can use Unreal Engine 4 by subscribing for $19-per-month, with Epic Games also receiving 5 percent of the gross profits made on any game that gets commercially released.
This change in business model comes with developers being granted full access to the C++ source code and support for OS X. Epic Games is also working on support for HTML5, Linux, Steamworks, and the Oculus Rift.
Flappy Bird Is Returning
@painfullpacman Yes. But not soon.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) March 19, 2014
Flappy Bird is set to return, it’s just a matter of when. This is according to the man himself, Dong Nguyen, who, as can be seen in the tweet embedded above, assured us all that Flappy Bird would be coming back. The question is, with so many Flappy Bird clones now available, does anyone care about the original?
Firefox 28 Arrives, Metro Free
Mozilla Firefox 28 has support for VP9 video. Quite reasonable to put 4K resolution cat videos online now.
— Chris Neale (@onion2k) March 18, 2014
Mozilla has released Firefox 28. Support for HTML5 standards has been kicked up a gear and volume controls have been added to the Web browser. However, Mozilla has pulled support for the Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8 users, citing a low adoption rate.
Beware Of Google Docs Phishing Scam
Google Docs phishing scam is making the rounds. I’ve seen it twice in two days. Don’t give up your identity. http://t.co/QUF3xh6Iyw
— Phil Yanov (@thinkhammer) February 19, 2014
If you have a Google account — and let’s face it, you probably do — then you need to be aware of a new phishing scam that uses a fake Google login screen with Google Docs as the bait. With most of us savvy enough not to fall for classic phishing techniques these days, it seems cybercriminals are seeking alternative ways of catching us out.
Mongolia Bans Swearing On The Web
Mongolia’s ban of 700 online words include bugs, idiot, clumsy, gay, hog and guts. Hollywood’s backlist in trouble. http://t.co/q7fgoxK3sj
— Christopher G. Moore (@cgmooreauthor) March 20, 2014
And finally, Mongolia is attempting the near-impossible, trying to ban swearing on the Web. To help its citizens know what is and isn’t acceptable to say online, the Mongolian government has released a list of terms that should be avoided at all costs.
The list includes a mix of English, Russian, and Chinese words and phrases, some of which are rude, some of which are extremely mild. As an example: “Goshdarnit, you’re all drunk female hygiene accessories,” would be heavily censored. And rightly so.