Amazon is trialling a new marketplace for service providers, something it calls Selling Services, which wants to hook buyers up with professionals who can install, or perform services.
This will have shoppers buying a product that requires installation, like a wall-mounted TV, after which they'll be offered the opportunity to look at an approved list of local service providers. If you do find an installer that can do what you require, click the Add the Cart button and it'll be included with your purchase. The Amazon-approved installer will be covered by a money-back guarantee, with the e-commerce giant running a business background check for any and all service providers, and personal background checks on technicians.
Amazon will take 20% of the service fee on jobs worth up to $1000, while jobs over $1000 will see Amazon taking 15%. Background checks will cost $50 per business, and $40 per participating employee. Amazon is trialling Selling Services in over a dozen cities and surrounding areas across the United States.
Last week we reported on Thimbleweed Park, the "true spiritual successor" to the super-awesome Maniac Mansion, which hit Kickstarter with a funding goal of $375,000. Well, one week later, it has been met, and isn't stopping.
At the time of writing, they had $407,384 raised, with 22 days to go. If funding keeps up at this pace, they'll have a couple of million dollars to play with. Stretch Goals are now within reach, with $525,000 unlocking an iOS and Android version of the game. If the team reaches $625,000 they will provide "Talkies" with the team explaining "considered witchcraft and a fantasy of crazy people back in 1987, we'll be adding full voice acting to the English version of Thimbleweed Park. Hmmm... that's good thespian".
It'll be interesting to see backers flying past that $625,000 stretch goal soon, and even more interesting if we see new stretch goals introduced, or additional funding on their website ala Star Citizen.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection has launched with its fair share of problems, which doesn't seem to be any different to all the other games launching in the last month, with developer 343 Industries pledging to make it right.
After two weeks of multiplayer matchmaking problems, 343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross took to a letter to fans, writing: "On November 11 we released Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The goal being to create a tribute to Halo fans around the world, and to celebrate the Master Chief's debut on Xbox One. With the initial release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, however, we have not delivered the experience you deserve. I personally apologize for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved".
"While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we've done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans," she continued. She closed her letter with: "Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the delay and for the negative aspects of your experience to date. We're doing everything in our power to resolve it as quickly as possible".
Self proclaimed as "Australia's Largest Retailer", Kogan is well known amongst tech savvy Aussie locals as providing a cheaper alternative for devices such as TV's, monitors and camera hardware. However, in latest news they've just released a Windows 8.1 operational laptop for just $329 AUD with decent specifications.
Named the Kogan Atlas X1510 Laptop, this $329 bargain will be released to the public on December the 15th - said to be just in time for Christmas. Based around an Intel N3540 quad-core processor running at 2.16GHz, it comes coupled with 4GB or DDR3L RAM and a 500GB HDD. The display comes in the form of a 15.6-inch screen displaying at 1366 x 768 pixels and sees the device measure at a total of 274mm long, 259mm deep and 2.1kg in weight. Although well-priced, it's not a particularly small object, but it does offer the user a reported 9.5 hours of battery life.
Connectivity is fairly standard on this device, offering up a HDMI port, VGA capabilities, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, a headphone and separate microphone port, full-sized SD card reader and provides you with the ability to connect through 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Reportedly being released with a $15 discount for Office 365, this laptop looks good so far - we're interested to see what the build quality, feel and actual operation are like however.
Ubisoft is on a roll today, with a patch being released to fix up the performance issues in Assassin's Creed: Unity, warning gamers about early reviews of The Crew, and now, patching up Far Cry 4 to version 1.4.0.
The latest version, according to a post on Far Cry 4's official website: "The new patch should solve the problem causing users to encounter a black screen upon attempting to launch the game, as well as providing a remedy to those who saw a grey screen when reaching the end of an Outpost Master Mission".
More patches being worked on for the game will fix the odd black shadows, key bindings and mouse acceleration.
Valve has just updated their rules for trade of Steam gifts, said to hinder key re-seller businesses looking to on-sell keys in the form of gifts. New game purchases as a gift will be stored in the buyer's inventory for 30 days before it can be sold or traded - meaning that if you're looking to buy a new game and sell it on, or maybe lend a helping hand to a mate, maybe you should forget about it.
Tony Paloma from Valve has just announced this new ruling, stating: "All new games purchased as a gift and placed in the purchaser's inventory will be untradable for 30 days. The gift may still be gifted at any time. The only change is to trading. All new games purchased as a gift and placed in the purchaser's inventory will be untradable for 30 days. The gift may still be gifted at any time. The only change is to trading."
This is a bold move by Valve, basically barring any re-seller websites looking to make a living out of key trading - but on the other hand it's a nice move in the fact that many people get burned year after year, purchasing dodgy keys only to have them revoked without refund. Major websites like G2a or Kinguin have not commented on the change as of yet, but they are expected to be hit hardest by these changes.
Public service announcement: Ubisoft doesn't want you trusting day one reviews of The Crew, with the company taking to its official blog to warn gamers that they should wait a while before reading, or trusting reviews.
Ubisoft said: "While we fully anticipate that you might see some reviews immediately at launch - largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas - they won't be based on optimal conditions or reflect the finished game". The company continued, adding: "We sincerely hope everyone will take the time to customize their ride as they progress through all five regions, explore every corner of the map solo and with friends, dive into our competitive and cooperative mechanics, race to the end of the main campaign, choose a Faction and compete with your crew in Factions Wars, and so much more".
The company added that The Crew is a social game, which requires servers full of gamers to enjoy the game at its best. Ubisoft added: "The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it's only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world. And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players - something that can't be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press".
Adobe has alerted the public of an urgent update that has just been pushed - designed to patch a major vulnerability that is being exploited by hackers. This isn't the first time that we've seen reports like this issued in 2014, we're happy to see Adobe quickly on the ball to neutralize these threats.
The issue comes through arbitrary code execution due to a but in how a de-referenced pointer to memory is handled and has been rated as a critical issue. Adobe's new update covers Windows, Linux and OS X platforms, claiming that they are now provided with "additional hardening" against the flaw known as CVE-2014-8439 which was uncovered and patched in the past.
Exploit kits are designed to deliver Malware to website visitors through methods of deception or taking advantage of vulnerabilities. Kafeine discovered this Flash flaw in October this year, with this method becoming implemented in two more exploit kits named Astrum and Nuclear. Microsoft users have received an automatic patch update, through security advisory 2755801 and Chrome has applied this update personally. OS X users should update their Flash Player to version 220.127.116.11.
Ubisoft are trying to fix the various problems in Assassin's Creed: Unity as fast as they can, with an upcoming patch that will fix some 90 crashes, bugs, performance issues and more across the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of the game.
The patch rolls out later on today for the PS4, with the Xbox One and PC getting patched up soon after. Ubisoft has detailed the patches on their forums, some of them strangely mission-specific. Specific framerate drop improvements include:
- Improved general Framerate on PS4 by lowering the priority of the online services thread
- Fixed FPS drops while Arno climbs on the RHP building of Palais de Justice
- Fixed FPS drops when in climbing and pressing the Left Stick towards somewhere that is not climbable in certain areas
- Fixed FPS drops in Sainte Chapelle
On top of that, there is another patch that will be released that will improve the frame rate even more .
Apple has become the first company to jump over the $700 billion milestone, thanks to a rise in shares pushing them to this evaluation earlier today.
Apple shares experienced an almost-one percent rise this morning in the US market, seeing them now valued at $119.75 and meaning their market capitalization was made equal to around $701.7 billion.
This marks a massive 48% rise in 2014, with constant improvement seen since April. Reportedly due to Apple claiming they will go to extra measures to boost their share price, they announced its first stock split in nine years - claiming it would buy back another $30 billion in stock. This coupled with a quarterly dividend raise has shown massive success for the tech giant.