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GameSpot reports that while testing out Kinect, the system failed to identify two dark-skinned employees, while lighter-skinned employees were recognized immediately. However, the situation with Kinect’s facial recognition isn’t so black and white. GS’s Brendan Sinclair writes that though system recognized one employee inconsistently and was never able to properly identify another despite repeated calibration attempts, it was able to recognize a third dark-skinned staff member. Though this could be put down to Kinect’s facial recognition software just being dodgy as a whole, Sinclair reports lighter-skinned employees were consistently picked up on the first try.

The situation is reminiscent of.

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[Update] Consumer Reports has done a little test to see if Kinect really is ‘racist,’ as many sites are reporting. The consumer advocate group says that it is similar to the HP webcam problem in that the Kinect cameras need a certain amount of light to recognize faces. CR found that the system had problems recognizing users with both light and dark skin when there was insufficient light in the gaming environment, and added that there wasn’t any instance when one person was recognized and another wasn’t under the same lighting conditions.

Check out what Consumer Reports had to say:

Nokia may have just announced an ambition to make Windows Phone 7 its primary smartphone OS but prior to that, the company had all kinds of plans involving Symbian and MeeGo, the Linux-based OS it developed in conjunction with Intel. Here’s a device that the company filed a patent for last year. 

and just recently published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, the patent sketches portray an N8-like tablet but reveal little about the specs or even the OS of the device. We can see a smattering of ports along one side of the device, but other than that, there’s not much else to see. Since this patent was discovered by Boy Genius Report, Electronista managed to. Also filed in May of 2010, the design of the second tablet is a little different to the first, but again, the filing offers nothing else in the way of information about specifications or operating systems.

It’s very likely these are tablets that have been shelved since Nokia’s decision to move away from MeeGo and towards Windows Phone 7, but you never know.

Further Reading:

All speech is not equal, especially if it’s on YouTube. CEO Susan Wojcicki said at Google I/O that the site is different from traditional media because it serves as a “two-way conversation,” allowing people to interact with those they watch.

Then, product manager Barbara Macdonald stepped on stage and proved that’s not true anymore. She showed off Super Chat, a tool for viewers to have their message highlighted during a livestream and pinned to the top of the stream for up to five hours. It’s not a brand new tool (it launched in January), but the company wanted to show off new APIs to make videos interactive to those who pay.

YouTube says that this makes sure that your chat “stands out from the crowd to get even more of your favorite creator’s attention,” but it won’t be because it’s in bright green; it’s because you paid them.

This also fetishizes YouTubers to a degree that can be uncomfortable. As, it’s somewhat similar to chat systems that live porn cam websites have used for a long time. You’re paying for attention, for a connection that’s not there when the camera shuts off.

YouTube isn’t the only site with a system like this. Twitch, a streaming service aimed at people playing video games, has a system called cheering in which audience members pay for emoticons that draw attention to their messages. It’s kind of gross, but the intent is slightly different — to celebrate during awesome moments (think like a tip jar for headshots in Call of Duty or goals in Rocket League). YouTube’s is purely for attention from the people you admire who make videos.

Earlier this month, Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasioabout people who fall in love with Twitch streamers, and those who took that love further than is appropriate. Surely, there are people who believe they have connections with YouTubers, too, and they’ll be willing to pay to further those feelings.

The whole idea, paying for an e-celebrity’s attention, is bad for the internet and its users. It’s a slow step in making sure the rich’s speech have more influence, and it can help further unhealthy obsessions with celebrity. If this is how YouTube is going to foster “two-way” conversation, it will leave a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines.

The way Logitech sees it, setting up a video-conferencing system for your office shouldn’t be a choice between a high-end system that costs thousands of dollars and a laptop’s built-in camera that everyone crowds around. The latest version of the company’s conference-camera product, the $999 Logitech Group, combines an HD video camera and full-duplex speakerphone.

Slated for an early March release, Logitech Group is designed for conferences containing up to 14 people. Add a $300 set of optional expansion microphones to the setup, and you can fit 20 people in on a conference.

Those participating in a video conference will be staring at a 1080p camera with a 90-degree field of view and pan-and-tilt controls. On-board H.264 with scalable video coding aims to provide a smoother video stream, according to Logitech. The camera connects to an existing Mac or PC via USB, which should simplify installation.

Logitech focuses on the hardware. In terms of software, Logitech Group works with video-conferencing tools your office is likely to already be using. Logitech says its latest conference camera works with Microsoft Lync, Skype, Jabber, WebEx and BlueJeans.

‘We’re trying to create a simple product that competes with higher-end options,’ said Scott Wharton, Logitech vice president and general manager for video collaboration.

Logitech Group replaces Logitech’s previous conference-camera offering, the lyrically named CC3000e. This version promises audio improvements with four omnidirectional microphones instead of just one. The microphones use beamforming and noise-canceling technology for clearer conversations. That expansion microphone option is also new, increasing the range of the speakerphone to a 28-foot diameter from 20 feet.

I briefly got a chance to see the Logitech Group in action. Video looked clean and crisp, even when the camera zoomed in on something in the meeting room. I think offices will be just as impressed with the simple setup process, which is a matter of plugging in the camera and phone rather than going through an elaborate installation routine.

‘You don’t need an IT department,’ Wharton said of the setup process.

What? Huh? There’s Bluetooth in my touchy little iPod Touch? It’s probably a given that many consumers had no idea the device has Bluetooth capabilities, remaining dormant… until now.

In all the hoopla regarding the iPhone and the upcoming 3.0 OS, it’s less-than-loaded half-twin, the iPod Touch 2G (second generation), sat just off stage, wishing it could chime in on some of the spotlight. But, instead of sulking and hanging its head low, the iPod Touch listened, waited, bid its time until someone caught on that the new OS update would unlock a secret treasure laying dormant within. No, it’s not an Alien embryo waiting to burst through the cavity of its slick, touchscreen surface. It’s another blue little demon altogether: the sacred Bluetooth.

For many consumers, the revelation of this feature is quite a pleasant surprise. But for tech-savvy fans who have kept up with the technology powering the device, they may already be aware of the Broadcom BCM4325 wireless communications chip planted within; it was discovered back in September 2008 in a hardware tear-down performed by. To be more specific, the uncovered Broadcom chip was found capable of single-band 2.4GHz 802.11b/g, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g.  Additionally, it had Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support and an advanced FM receiver. Simply put, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities were already present in the iPod Touch, with the latter deactivated via software.

At the time, it was widely speculated that the chip was mainly used to communicate with the Nike+ iPod sensor puck accessory, however some believed that perhaps Apple had other sinister plans for the Bluetooth portion, and just wasn’t in the mood to share the Bluetooth goodness just yet. Evidently the speculators were correct, as it’s now official that the iPod Touch 2G is fully capable of Bluetooth audio and data transmission, able to carry out Bluetooth functions such as wireless streaming 2-channel audio with A2DP, wireless accessory control (perhaps for gaming), and peer-to-peer connections. The upcoming 3.0 OS will enable these features, costing consumers $9.95 to upgrade the current OS to 3.0.

It’s not uncommon to see device manufacturers stuff their products with deactivated components, or locking said components via firmware by the request of the supplier. Many Verizon subscribers have lashed out at the wireless provider, having ‘locked’ the built-in GPS chip in BlackBerry devices from 3rd-party navigational applications. Thus, Verizon Wireless customers must subscribe to its VZNavigator subscription service, shelling out an additional $10 per month just for it use alone (not including any data packages). As it stands, BlackBerry users on Verizon cannot use the real-time navigational features in other applications such Google Maps, Yahoo maps and so on, having to settle with triangulation options instead.

However, for a one-time fee of $10, the 3.0 OS upgrade for Apple’s iPod Touch seems to be worth every penny, offering not only the new Bluetooth features, but other vast improvements that will make the device that much more useful and fun to play. With peer-to-peer connections, gaming will become even more prominent on the device, offering local multiplayer support previously limited to Wi-Fi connections.

Look for the 3.0 OS upgrade sometime this summer.

One of the standout features of Samsung’s latest phablets is their ability to stream to YouTube. With the Galaxy Note 5 or S6 Edge Plus, you can livestream a feed from your phone’s cameras directly to your audience on YouTube, removing the need to hook a camera or your phone up to your computer and setting up the stream there. Here’s how to do it yourself.

The following steps were taken on a Galaxy Note 5, but are the same on a S6 Edge Plus.

1. Open the Camera app.

2. Press the Mode button on the bottom left.

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3. Select the Live Broadcast mode.

4. Agree to the disclaimer.

5. Authorize Live Broadcast to use your YouTube account.

6. Press Sign In to log in to your YouTube or Google profile.

7. Enter your YouTube or Google credentials.

8. Select your two-step verification method.

9. Agree to terms and conditions after reading through and understanding the details.

10. Fill in the title of your broadcast by tapping on the default name generated.

11. Tap Done on your keyboard.

12. Invite people to your stream by tapping the middle button on the left of the screen, or change the viewing permissions to Public by tapping under the stream title.

13. Select the friends you wish to see the stream, then tap Done at the top right.

14. Press the Live shutter button on the right to start streaming. You can change settings such as video resolution, privacy, auto save or screen power saving by tapping the gear button at the bottom left, or switch cameras with the icon on the top left.

15. Tap the shutter button again once you’re done to end your show. While you’re streaming, you can switch between front and rear cameras, as well as share your broadcast link to more friends. You’ll also be able to see how long you’ve been broadcasting and how many likes and dislikes you’ve received.

16. Tap the Share button to upload your video to YouTube, where it will live for as long as YouTube is up.

Playingis generally a blast. Watching other people enjoy VR on the web? Not so much, as viewers are often stuck looking at disembodied hands and a shaky first-person headset feed. 

Fortunately, the folks at VReal are out to change that. A livestreaming platform for, VReal allows broadcasters to immerse their viewers in their VR livestreams, turning fans into active participants rather than bored bystanders.

While I was experiencing VReal natively on the company’s app with a virtual reality headset on, the service also promises to make VR streams more exciting for folks watching on places likeand. VReal users can set up virtual cameras within the game world, meaning you’ll be able to watch the action from angles chosen by the broadcaster, and won’t be stuck watching the first-person perspective coming out of their headset.

Because of this, the company noted, you can essentially have a multi-person camera crew setting up the perfect shots from within whatever VR game or app you want to show to the world. You can already get a taste of how this works on, a weekly Twitch show in which broadcasters compete for high scores in Surgeon Simulator. It’s much closer to a full TV production than the static VR streams you currently see on Twitch.

VReal will be available widely later this year, and will be free to use for both streamers and viewers. As someone who gets most of their entertainment from Twitch and YouTube, I’m very eager to see the kind of immersive broadcasts that come out of the service – from both inside of a VR headset and on my plain old monitor.

Not in the mood to hack the PSP?offers a $90 clone that serves as an emulator, playing old classics found on Sega’s MegaDrive, Nintendo’s Famicom, and other classic consoles.

Called the PXP-900, this Mp5 player isn’t merely a hardware emulator, but offers other features that should have come with Sony’s PSP in the first place. But don’t let its appearance be deceptive: the device doesn’t have the capability to play PSP games, and honestly, it’s a wonder that Sony doesn’t crack down on the manufacturer for mimicking the PSP look and control scheme so close to the original.

According to China Grabber, the PXP-900 has an internal memory capacity of 2 GB, but is also capable of accepting SD cards up to 4 GB. On the video side, the device sports a 4.3-inch QVGA TFT LCD screen (320×240 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio), churns out 25 FPS  during emulation, and also offers a cool TV-out function. Additionally, the PXP-900 has a built-in camera, FM radio, a loudspeaker, and MP3/MP4 drag-n-drop capabilities; Sony’s PSP doesn’t feature any one of these items.

And unlike the PSP, the PXP-900’s specs reveal that a built-in Ebook reader supposedly will read aloud any TXT file in Chinese or English. A movie bookmark feature will allow the viewer to return to the specified place in the movie at any time. There also seems to be a built-in microphone as well, recording sounds in WAV format. However, the lack of network information in the specifications probably means that that the device doesn’t have Wi-Fi capabilities. This means that anything downloaded for the device–whether it’s a console rom or a converted movie–can’t be done across the network, but rather through a USB connection to the PC.

Of course, the built-in emulator is probably the device’s biggest selling point. While the company didn’t offer any specifics, the software is capable of running games from classic consoles including the NES, Famicom, GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and Sega’s MegaDrive; the emulator supports the 32-bit Super Famicom and MegaDrive CD-ROM (aka Sega CD in the States) games as well. While it’s not apparent if the portable emulator will come packed with pre-loaded ROMs, the company did say that gamers can download additional titles. Are these games legal? We assume that’s a ‘yes,’ however China Grabber did not provide additional details on availability, pricing, or method of acquiring the games.

Still, for roughly $90, consumers will get the portable emulator, a user manual, earphones, an AV-Out cable, a USB cable, and a power adaptor. The unit comes in four standard colors–black, white, blue, and red–and is powered by built-in rechargeable lithium batteries (notice the plural). Additionally, the PXP-900 works with Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, 200, XP, Mac OS 10, and Linux 2.4.2 operating systems; the company did not specify Windows Vista or the upcoming Windows 7 OS in the product details.

While we haven’t checked out the device in-house, the specs certainly sound better than Sony’s PSP in certain aspects, especially with the built-in camera, Ebook reader, and console emulator. ON a graphical level, the PXP-900 doesn’t stand up to the PSP–at least not in a gaming aspect. In all actuality, the PXP-900’s cheap price tag means that consumers could have the best of both worlds, especially if they already own Sony’s portable gaming device.

Sony’s PSVita isn’t expected to hit shelves for another couple of months, but that doesn’t mean the tech industry has lost interest in the device. In fact, new information regarding the console is making the headlines every week and this latest tidbit might be one of the most interesting things we’ve heard to date.

Eurogamer reports that Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers recently revealed the new portable can also be used as a controller for the PS3. Rogers revealed the feature while speaking to Develop 2011 attendees:

‘PS3 can send data down to Vita and Vita can display it,’ Rogers is quoted as saying. ‘You could use the unique features [of Vita] – gyroscope, touch front and back – as a control device for a PS3 game.

‘You can run software on both devices and use the network to sync the game states. And that’s pretty good, because you then have the processing power of PS3 doing that work, Vita [doing] fancy graphics – however you want to do it. You’re not sacrificing the PS3’s CPU to be able to have a rich experience on Vita.’

The news of Wii U-like compatibility with the PS3 makes the Vita even more interesting. Rogers said that Vita will also support cross-platform play (Wipeout 2048 being one of the titles that utilizes this feature) as well as other cross-platform features, like scoreboards.

Do all these new features have you itching to get PSVita once they do arrive in stores? Let us know in the comments below!