Today in Tech News Digest, the PlayStation 4 gets reviewed, Motorola officially unveils the Moto G, the HP Chromebook 11 is removed from store shelves, Yahoo tries to sell some domains, it’s revealed that Snapchat rebuffed an acquisition offer from Facebook, the new Chrome Beta is listening in, Bing gains a musical overhaul, and Google is now bigger than the newspaper industry.
PlayStation 4 Reviews Roundup
The true next-gen video games console battle is about to begin, with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One being released over the next two weeks. Sony is the first to show its hand, with the PS4 being released on Friday (Nov. 15). Some early reviews have made it on the Web, and we have pulled together the most relevant quotes from these to give you an at-a-glance overview of what to expect.
- Polygon states that “right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy.“
- Kotaku suggests that “the PS4 seems like it’ll be a hell of a console, but it’s mostly potential and a bunch of new tools in need of some awesome games for them to work on.“
- Time claims the PlayStation 4 “exudes refinement” that represents “everything Sony’s learned about platform design, honed and polished to something just shy of perfection.“
- Joystiq praises the hardware for being “an attractive device,” and calls the DualShock 4 “one of the most comfortable controllers” ever created, but reserves judgement on the PlayStation Camera.
- Engadget focuses on the games, suggesting they “look significantly better on the PlayStation 4 than even last-gen latecomers like BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us,” and the controller, stating that “the DualShock 4 is a great controller we already feel comfortable heartily recommending.“
It should be noted that some websites are releasing their reviews in several parts as they get to fully explore the PS4, its online capabilities, and the launch titles. So the final verdict is still some way off.
Motorola Unveils Moto G
Motorola has officially unveiled the Moto G, which it claims is a premium smartphone at an affordable price. It features a 4.5-inch display, a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, solid battery life, and stock Android 4.3. The price of the Moto G is extremely attractive, with the 8GB version retailing unlocked and contract-free for just $179. Already available in Brazil and parts of Europe, the Moto G will make it to the U.S. in early 2014. This has to be bad news for Microsoft, which was hoping to dominate the low-cost smartphone market with its Windows Phone handsets.
HP Chromebook 11 Withdrawn
The HP Chromebook 11 is temporarily being withdrawn from sale due to “a small number of user reports that some chargers included with the device have been damaged due to overheating during use.” Google is advising those who already have purchased one to stop using the original charger and instead switch to “any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger.”
We’re currently giving away an HP Chromebook 11, with the giveaway ending on Nov. 22, 2013. Whoever wins the device should heed the advice noted above.
Yahoo Holds Domainapalooza
Yahoo is ditching some of the premium domain names it has picked up over the years, with an online auction between Nov. 14 and Nov. 22 dubbed Domainapalooza. In all over 300 domains are being sold through Sedo, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $1.5 million. So if you’ve got money in the bank and an innate desire to own Sandwich.com, Cursed.com, or Religious.net, this could be the time to live dangerously.
Snapchat Rebuffs Facebook
Snapchat is quite popular at the moment, but is it worth $3 billion? That is, according to the Wall Street Journal, how much Facebook offered to pay to acquire the photo messaging app. Snapchat rebuffed the offer, with the company reportedly hoping to hold out until next year and an improved offer. Because $3 billion isn’t enough money, obviously. And to think we all thought Facebook was mad spending “just” $1 billion on Instagram.
No one rational would have turned down $3 billion for SnapChat. But, no one rational would have built SnapChat in the first place.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) November 13, 2013
Chrome Beta Hears Everything
In what could be an absolute Godsend for those of us who always have multiple tabs open, the new Chrome Beta on desktop has been given the ability to determine which tab a rogue sound is emanating from. Meanwhile, the new Chrome Beta on Android has a new style of Tab Switcher designed to be less power-hungry and easier to use. For those uneasy trying out beta versions of Web browsers these features should make it into future versions of Chrome. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Bing Gets Musical
Bing often gets a raw deal from the majority of Internet users who are far too happy with everything Google Search has to offer to use any alternatives. But music lovers now have a legitimate reason to at least try Bing, with Microsoft’s search engine adding a Music Video Search feature. This instantly reveals music videos from sites including YouTube, Vimeo, MTV, and Artist Direct whenever a recognized artist is searched for on Bing.
Google Bigger Than Newspapers
And finally, Google’s sheer size and scale is sometimes hard to grasp, but the fact that, according to Business Insider, its U.S. advertising revenue now eclipses the ad revenue of the U.S. newspaper industry and (separately) the U.S. magazine industry should clear things up for those in doubt. Google is on course to pull in $60 billion in 2013, which means it could buy Snapchat 20 times over. Facebook schmacebook.