Xbox 180

As details of the next generation of games consoles were revealed at this year’s E3 conference, gamers around the world began to decide which one they will be spending their cash on later in the year. Microsoft confirmed the rumours that the Xbox One would require the console to be constantly connected to the Internet to operate. What’s more, in an attempt to control piracy (illegal lending and reselling of Xbox One games), it was announced that individual codes would need to be entered to play it on separate systems. You receive one free code with the game, so to use on another console you would need to buy another another code.

Sony used Microsoft’s 'Digital Rights Management' policy as a selling point for their own next-gen console, the PlayStation 4. Almost mockingly, Sony bragged about how PS4 users would be able to share and trade games freely whilst retailing at $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. Shortly after the conference, Microsoft reversed their decision to impose strict DRM restrictions after they were chastised by angry gamers.

Removing the unique watermark on games and lifting region requirements means that the Xbox One DRM policy will now fall in line with the PlayStation 4. This is either a sign that the company is considering their customer’s opinions and listening to criticism, or (for the cynics among you) panicking that they will be trounced by Sony in the console wars!

xbox playstation

Snap ‘Appy

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for camera apps. Just as Vine launched their popular video sharing service on Android devices, Instagram upped the ante by launching their own video platform integrated into their (already dominant) picture sharing app. Users of Instagram have not immediately warmed to the introduction of video as well as the app’s creators would have liked. It is suggested that Instagram's popularity is down to the the quick, easy consumption of friend’s media. So once feeds start getting clogged up with videos that take a few seconds to load the fundamentals become diluted. It’s even been argued that this could be the beginning of the end for the hip social media tool.

Meanwhile, Snapchat continues to grow in stature as it has been reported that more photo shares occur via Snapchat than Instagram. There are also rumblings that the phantom-photo app is about to become monetised, currently valued at around $800 million!

Taking A Picture

Privacy Problems

When we sign up to an internet service or register devices we are surrendering a large amount of our personal data without thinking. The issues surrounding privacy came to a head recently with the revelation that the US government have direct access to servers owned by companies like Facebook and Google and are able to request data for investigative purposes.

Other organisations have also been caught up in the privacy row as Google were court ordered to destroy discs containing data 'inadvertently' obtained through their StreetView project. Facebook also had to apologise to around 6 million users as they discovered a complex bug that may have revealed user email addresses and phone numbers without consent.

We’re hearing a lot of words like 'mistakenly', 'accidentally' and 'inadvertently' being used, but the fact of the matter is that tech companies are flouting our private data. Do we accept that the use of certain services require us to give up our information in part payment? In the NSA case, would you prefer that the government have access to your data without your permission, provided it is used for your security? We’re interested to hear what you think; this is an issue that will run and run.