Philips has launched a website aimed at audio fanatics, enabling them to train their ears and test their hearing.
Golden Ears, based on a training programme that the company created for its own sound engineers, challenges users at basic, bronze, silver or gold levels.
The website measures users' detection skills for changes to the sound in five elements - timbre, detail/distortion, spatial impression, bass and loudness, and assigns them a score based on how they performed.
Results can be shared via social networking integration, or remain anonymous depending on personal preference.
The training modules take several hours if completed in their entirety, a feat which could see users attain the rank of Golden Ears.
Users can take part in the Golden Ears trials by visiting Philips's official website.
Virgin Media emerged as the big winner at uSwitch.com's annual Broadband Awards, taking three gongs including Best Broadband Provider, chosen by customers.
Sky also enjoyed a fruitful evening, coming away with four awards including Best TV Provider, Best Broadband, TV & Home Phone and Best Customer Benefits.
The operator's Sky Go platform won the accolade for Best TV Streaming Service, while EE took home Fastest Mobile Broadband for its advancements in 4K technology.
Plusnet beat the UK's major broadband players to secure the awards for Best Customer Service and the Best Value Home Broadband, while BT pipped its rivals to Best Broadband & Home Phone.
"Virgin Media and Sky have stolen the show, coming away as the big winners. But with most categories hotly contested, it's all to play for," said Marie-Louise Abretti, broadband expert at uSwitch.com.
"While there is plenty to celebrate within British broadband, there is more to be done, with speed, service and cost still top concerns for bill-payers."
The winners of uSwitch.com's annual Broadband Awards were voted for by 3,000 broadband customers and a judging panel of experts.
South Korea is carrying out tests on a next-generation 5G mobile internet service.
The country's science ministry is investing 1.6 trillion won (£900m) into the technology, with a view to rolling it out by 2020.
The network is said to enable users to download 800MB movies within one second, compared to the 40 seconds it takes on the country's current 4G broadband, The Guardian reports.
"We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010," said a spokesperson for South Korea's science ministry. "Now it is time to take pre-emptive action to develop 5G."
The initiative is expected to boost the South Korean economy by stimulating 331 trillion won in investment into 5G mobile devices and infrastructure between 2020 and 2026.
South Korea's science ministry will begin the trials as early as next year, before thorough testing takes place at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Jan 26 2014
Pinterest has announced that it has added site-wide support for GIF files.
The virtual pinboard service assures users that all clips will include a play button in the bottom left corner, and will not stream automatically.
"There are already tens of millions of GIF Pins and a million people a day see at least one GIF on Pinterest, so there are plenty to choose from," said the firm in a blog post.
"Go ahead and send your friend a bit of midday hilarity or start collecting all your favourite GIFs, so you're armed and ready to unveil them when you're in the mood for a good laugh."
GIF support is currently limited to the web-based version of Pinterest, but will be added to its mobile apps in the future.
Meanwhile, Social analytics firm 8thBridge recently claimed that a Pinterest pin is more valuable to retailers than a Facebook like for marketing purposes.
Apple has insisted that is has no plans to merge its iOS and OS X platforms into one unified operating system.
Marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the company is unlikely to follow Microsoft's lead and merge the interfaces, as he sees a need for both to coexist.
"We don't waste time thinking, 'But it should be one [interface].' How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?' What a waste of energy that would be," he told Macworld.
Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi echoed his colleague's sentiments, pointing out that separate interfaces are needed for touchscreen, and keyboard and mouse inputs.
"The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn't because one came after the other or because this one's old and this one's new," he said. "Instead, it's because using a mouse and keyboard just isn't the same as tapping with your finger."
Microsoft has been working towards unifying its operating systems, with Windows 8 sporting a touchcreen-friendly interface akin to that of Windows Phone and Windows RT devices.
Apple's Macintosh computer celebrated its 30th anniversary today (January 24).
Jan 26 2014
Sony has unveiled a new high-end Walkman called the NWZ-ZX1.
The music player offers high-resolution audio playback and supports all standard audio, video and picture formats.
Backed up by a 128GB hard drive, the NWZ-ZX1 stores and plays music at the same quality it was recorded at, encoding files at up to 24bit/44.1kHz.
A digital upscaler will automatically improve the quality of standard MP3s when they are loaded onto the Walkman.
Sporting a brushed aluminium design with rubber backing, the NWZ-ZX1 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and offers NFC capabilities.
The Sony Walkman NWZ-ZX1 will be available in the UK next month, priced at £549.
Microsoft has announced higher-than-expected profits for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013.
The computing giant reported a record $24.52 billion in revenue and a $6.56 billion profit for the Christmas months, including unexpected growth for its Surface tablet line.
Surface revenue more than doubled compared to the third quarter, rising from $400 million to $893 million, while its two Xbox consoles sold 7.4 million units between them to bump its Devices and Consumer revenue up by 13%.
"We delivered record revenue as demand for our business offerings remains high and we made strong progress in our Devices and Consumer segment," said Amy Hood, chief financial officer at Microsoft.
"These results reflect our focus on execution, cost discipline, and long-term shareholder value as we continue to drive the strategic transformation of the company."
Microsoft's Windows OEM revenue dipped by 3% as the home PC market continues its slow decline, although Windows OEM Pro revenue rose by 12% during the quarter.
A new classroom version of Konami's Dance Dance Revolution has been announced.
DDR Classroom Edition aims to promote fitness in UK schools and fitness centres starting this autumn.
"Dance Dance Revolution Classroom Edition is a logical and groundbreaking next step for Dance Dance Revolution," said Konami strategic marketing director Clara Baum.
"Over the past few years, we've created powerful alliances to get our existing Dance Dance Revolution game into hundreds of physical education classrooms across the nation, and now with new collaborations with Dance Dance Revolution Classroom Edition we are poised to get almost every student in the nation more physically fit and moving to Dance Dance Revolution."
The PC-based interactive game combines physical activity with music and visuals, and can connect with up to 48 wireless mat controllers through one PC.
The system allows teachers to track information about their students' health and progress, such as the number of steps taken, body mass index and caloric burn rate.
Sony Music will be the exclusive music partner for DDR Classroom Edition, bringing licensed tracks from chart-topping artists.
Jan 26 2014
A Spelunky fan has set a new speedrun world record.
YouTube user Latedog beat the PC version of the game in little over two minutes.
Developed by Mossmouth, the action-adventure game follows a nameless character known as the Spelunker, who explores tunnels and tries to gather treasure while avoiding traps and enemies.
It features randomly-generated levels that constantly test the skills of the player.
Spelunky was originally released as an Xbox 360 exclusive, but has since found its way to PC and the PlayStation Network.
The game is an enhanced edition of a free-to-download title developed for home computers by Derek Yu in 2008.
Titanfall will not contain microtransactions, it has been confirmed.
The upcoming first-person shooter won't allow players to upgrade their mech-style soldiers through in-game purchases, based on a tweet made by developer Respawn Entertainment.
Voted by 30 media outlets, the online multiplayer-only title was crowned best game of E3 2013 in the Game Critics Awards.
The game is limited to 6v6 multiplayer and will not feature Kinect support.
It will launch in Europe on March 13 and in North America on March 11 for PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.