Here’s a recap of today’s tech news:
Steve Jobs’s last words: The eulogy of Steve Jobs by his sister, novelist Mona Simpson, was published in the New York Times over the weekend, offering a touching look into the late Apple co-founder’s life and last days.
The speech, in a few deft strokes, sketches the outline of a man who never stopped learning or trying to move forward. Hours before he slipped into unconsciousness, however, he did leave some enigmatic final words, which Simpson wrote in all capitals letters in her speech.
“Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”
HP TouchPad discontinued, but not gone: Best Buy is selling the 32GB HP TouchPad for its fire-sale price or $149, but only with the purchase of a Hewlett-Packard or Compaq laptop, desktop or all-in-one computer. In a Friday news release, the national retailer said that customers can also get the ill-fated tablet without the bundle but for its original price of $599.99. HP also announced that its online inventory for the TouchPad has been “depleted.”
Mark Budgell, a social media strategist for the company, wrote that “some retailers will have limited stock available” but that the company’s supplies have run dry.
AT&T brings LTE to D.C., Baltimore: AT&T is rolling out LTE service to the District, Baltimore, Boston and Athens, Ga., on Nov. 6, the company said in a Monday news release. It’s also pushing out its first two LTE smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid.
Battery problems with the iPhone 4S: The iPhone 4S has been getting great reviews, but it’s also got a persistent problem: battery drain. Several users have noted that the 4S can run out of juice pretty quickly and, according to the U.K. newspaper the Guardian, Apple engineers have reached out to some 4S owners to try to identify what’s causing the problem. On Apple’s discussion boards, owners have come up with workarounds, which include wiping the phone and reinstalling all user data, disabling some alerts and notifications, turning off iCloud or Exchange updates and, courtesy of the iDownloadBlog, shutting off the auto-time zone setting on the phone.
In terms of the game itself, there are no real surprises here for fans of the franchise: Naughty Dog has stuck to its successful formula of sharp wit, lush graphics and tons of action for this latest installment.
Where the game shines, however, is in the story. It really is like playing a movie. This game focuses heavily on the relationship between Drake and his father-figure partner, Victor “Sully” Sullivan, as they race against old enemies from their past. Every visual and audio element serves that story. The graphics, which not only make you marvel at the interplay of light and shadow but also manage to fill in character histories with just a cheeky grin or well-timed wince, are superb.
“Uncharted 3” does have its flaws. As Eurogamer’s Simon Parkin points out in his much-discussed review of the game, Naughty Dog developers are so dedicated to their story that if you try to take a side path you’ll be guided — sometimes gently, sometimes fatally — back to the task at hand. There was definitely a cut scene or two when I felt like I was watching a movie — and not in a good way, yelling helplessly at Drake to please, please, reconsider his actions. Ironically, it’s not really a game for people who like to explore, which will set it in contrast to Bethesda’s upcoming sandbox-on-steroids, “Skyrim.”
But “Uncharted 3” isn’t trying to be “Skyrim” or “Gears of War” or any of its market competitors, really. It is what it is, and it does that well. At its heart, “Uncharted 3” is a wild ride driven by an engaging story, and one that’s undeniably fun to play.