Today in Tech News Digest, an Xbox One disc drive fix is revealed, the Xbox One swearing ban is publicized, the Xbox One enjoys a teardown, free Xbox One games are up for grabs, the library with no books is revealed, Apple is found to have invented the smartphone, YouTube battles back against commenters, the “OK, Google” voice command comes to Chrome, Twitter seeks user feedback, and Microsoft attacks Chromebooks as part of its ‘Scroogled’ campaign against Google.
Xbox One News Aplenty
How to fix the Xbox One disc drive… and it actually works! https://t.co/idZP9iZlYs
— GamesRadar.com (@GamesRadar) November 26, 2013
In an extraordinary day for Xbox One news, we have four stories concerning Microsoft’s next-gen games console…
As seen in the Vine video in the tweet embedded above, one possible solution to the Xbox One disc drive issue that has plagued a percentage of launch units, has been found. You simply turn your Xbox One upside-down and punch it hard above the disc drive. It’s far from guaranteed to work, and it’s really only meant to be a temporary fix while you wait for Microsoft to send you out a replacement console, but it’s still a damn good old-skool solution.
Regardless of whether the punching trick fixes your broken Xbox One or not, if it’s a disc drive issue then you’re entitled to a free game. According to Polygon, affected owners will receive a free digital download of either Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, or Zoo Tycoon. Which really isn’t a bad deal.
Meanwhile, according to BBC News, Xbox One gamers who curse or use otherwise inappropriate language in videos uploaded to the Upload Studio may have their Xbox Live account suspended or otherwise lose some privileges. While Microsoft assures users their private communications are not monitored, anything shared with the public is monitored for rule breaches, which includes swearing. So don’t f**king do it.
Finally, IHS has conducted a teardown of the Xbox One hardware and found that the whole thing (including the controller and Kinect) costs Microsoft $471 to make. With the Xbox One retailing at $499 this leaves Microsoft with a tiny profit margin on each one sold. In fact, the same kind of profit margin as the PlayStation 4.
The Library With No Books
Calling a building which contains no books whatsoever a library may sound like a misnomer, but it’s exactly what has happened with the Bexar County digital library in San Antonio, Texas. BiblioTech, as it’s also labeled, is the first public bookless library in the United States. Tablets, e-readers, Internet access, and technology lessons are the order of the day, with books having been consigned to history. Tell us what you think of this development in the comments section below.
Apple Wins Smartphone Patent Challenge
It’s looking increasingly as though Apple is untouchable when it comes to smartphone patents. Having recently won one round against Samsung in their ongoing legal battle, Apple has now won against NetAirus Technologies LLC. The company’s owner Richard L. Ditzik was arguing that Apple infringed on his patent for a handheld device when it created the iPhone. The jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict but a majority verdict ruled in favor of Cupertino. Again.
YouTube Addresses Comment Controversy
YouTube has finally spoken up about the controversial changes made to the video-sharing site’s comments system earlier this month. YouTube has admitted that the changes led to an increase in “spammy comments” and is taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Unfortunately, the blog post addressing the issues makes no mention of the Google+ integration, which is the main source of complaint from dedicated YouTubers. The message clearly being, like it or lump it.
“OK, Google” Comes To Chrome
Google has added automatic voice search to the Chrome browser for desktop. After downloading the Chrome extension, simply uttering the phrase, “OK, Google” will trigger a search for whatever words you immediately follow up with. Voice searches have been available on Google for some time, but this replaces the need to actually press a button to begin the process. As long as you’re comfortable talking to your computer then this is a fantastic addition to Chrome.
Twitter Seeks User Feedback
Twitter now has shareholders to please and appease, but the company that ignores the will of its users does so at its peril. Hence the assumed reason for #birdsignals, an effort by which Twitter hopes to gain invaluable feedback from its userbase. Currently only open to UK users, #birdsignals should, if Twitter is sensible, make its way to the rest of the world in the future.
Microsoft Attacks Chromebooks
And finally, Microsoft has ramped up its ‘Scroogled’ campaign against Google by launching a direct attack on Chromebooks and Chrome OS. Redmond recruited the History Channel’s Pawn Stars for the online video attack (ironically posted to YouTube, owned by Google), which takes a mocking approach to the new form factor.
Microsoft has also added a new page to the ‘Scroogled’ website detailing what it suggests are “Chrome OS Cons” and “Chromebook Can’ts”. This suggests one indisputable truth: Microsoft feels threatened by the competition Chromebooks offer to Windows laptops. Hence, Google should be celebrating right now.
When you're more focused on bashing the competition than building better products, you've lost. Badly. http://t.co/9YVxlWmII7
— Mike Masnick (@mmasnick) November 26, 2013