Today in Tech News Digest, Sony sells lots of games consoles (including some defective ones), Apple ratchets up its selling techniques, Steve Ballmer reveals the truth about his exit from Microsoft, Netflix gets a fancy new makeover, Apple’s Phil Schiller accuses Samsung of copying, Amazon and Facebook team up together, and Batkid goes viral on social media.
PS4 Sells Well, Some Consoles Defective
The PlayStation was released on Friday (Nov. 15) and proved to be an immediate hit. Despite some less-than-stellar reviews of the games console (mostly down to the lack of standout launch titles) Sony claims to have shifted 1 million units in North America in the first 24 hours.
PS4 has sold through over 1 million units within 24 hours of the launch in North America!!! :D
— Shuhei BOT Rescue Mission (@yosp) November 17, 2013
Unfortunately some of this first-day hardware has proven to be faulty, with customers complaining on Amazon and a range of forums about defective consoles that have effectively been DOA. Sony claims that just 0.4 percent of units are potentially defective, which is “within our expectations for a new product introduction.”
This won’t be much consolation for those suffering with the problem consoles, especially as replacements may be hard to come by until after the holidays. Still, it’s highly unlikely that Sony is experiencing with the PlayStation 4 anything like the problems Microsoft experienced with the Xbox 360, notorious for the RRoD (Red Ring of Death).
Apple Stores Install iBeacons
Apple is starting to install iBeacon transmitters in its U.S. stores in order to augment the customer experience. The iBeacon technology is (according to 9to5Mac) a kind of “GPS for indoor locations,” with your iDevice able to pinpoint your exact location in relation to transmitters.
Apple Stores are expected to include iBeacon integration soon, with customers receiving notifications on their iPhones about the product they are looking at. While improving the shopping experience is the party line, the truth is more likely to be the hope that the iBeacon technology will help increase sales. Or is that just me being cynical?
Steve Ballmer Talks Of Exit
Steve Ballmer recently announced his retirement at CEO of Microsoft, and he has now given his first interview discussing the effective end of his career to the Wall Street Journal. It’s a fascinating read, with Ballmer revealing the truth about his departure and, more amusingly, admitting, “I’m big, I’m bald and I’m loud.” Meanwhile, the search for Ballmer’s successor continues.
Netflix Enjoys TV Makeover
Netflix is now much better looking for those accessing the streaming video service through its TV app. While the basic setup is the same, the new Netflix has had a complete visual overhaul, with larger images and smoother scrolling. With the mobile apps now way behind the TV app, it has to be assumed Netflix is keen to push us all to watch its content on our television sets.
Samsung Copied Apple (Allegedly)
The legal battle between Apple and Samsung rolls ever onwards, with the retrial related to Samsung allegedly infringing upon Apple’s design copyrights currently taking place. On Friday (Nov. 15) Apple’s marketing guru Phil Schiller took to the stand and didn’t hold back in his criticism of Samsung.
According to Digits, Schiller said of Samsung, “They went and copied the iPhone,” before suggesting that the similar designs of Samsung products “weakens the view that the world has for Apple.” We’re not going to comment specifically on an ongoing legal case, but the Samsung Copies Apple Tumblr certainly makes for interesting reading.
Amazon & Facebook Join Forces
In a move that could herald the beginning of an apocalypse, two huge forces in the form of Facebook and Amazon have teamed up together. Those people who have opted to link their Amazon and Facebook accounts will now find recommendations and reviews from their friends showing up on the shopping site. Which is useful/creepy (delete as applicable).
Batkid Goes Viral
And finally, a little boy named Miles enjoyed the best day of his life thanks to his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish going viral on the Web. The 5-year-old leukemia survivor wanted to be Batman for the day, and thanks to the people of San Francisco his dreams of becoming a comic-book hero came true in the most spectacular fashion. Even President Obama took part with a Vine video. Anyone still doubting the power of social media should remember the smile on Miles’ face when he climbed into the batmobile.