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Apple forced to pay $32.5 million for in-app purchases settlement

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 9:27 am

Some parents' kids racked up some massive in-app purchases through iOS-based game, which ended up in a Federal Trade Commission complaint. This complaint has ended with Apple having to hand over $32.5 million.

 

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The FTC's complaint alleges that Apple failed to tell parents that by entering a password, they were allowing single in-app purchases, as well as additional purchases that their children could make without the parent intervening again. FTC chair Edith Ramirez said: "This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."

 

The FTC had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized purchases by parents of children who used their iOS devices. One consumer saw a massive $2,600 bill from a game called Tap Pet Hotel.

Steam announced it gained over 10 million new users in three months

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 8:30 am

Steam Dev Days has kicked off, with announcements flowing - we just heard that Alienware will launch its Steam Machine in September - but now we're hearing about some massive growth on Steam.

 

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Over the past three months, Valve has seen an additional 10 million users join Steam, which has seen its total user base climb from 65 million to 75 million users. Breaking this down into geographical locations, 41% of sales come from the US, and 40% from Europe. Russia and Brazil's markets grew the most year-over-year, with Russia's market increasing 128%, and Brazil's market 75%.

 

What about the Steam mobile app? Well, that has a total of 7 million people using it, and a split of 55% and 45% for Android, and iOS, respectively.

Want an Ubuntu Touch smartphone? Probably have to wait until 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 8:00 am

Interested users will have to likely wait until 2015 for the first wave of Ubuntu Touch smartphones, according to Canonical. It was only last month when it was promised the first Ubuntu Touch smartphone, manufactured by an unnamed hardware partner, would be released sometime in 2014.

 

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"Longer-term we would love to see the major OEM/carriers shipping Ubuntu handsets, said Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager, in a statement. "This is a long road though with many components, and I would be surprised if we see anything like this before 2015."

 

The consumer market is extremely competitive with Google Android, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows Phone fighting for users - and seeing the popular Ubuntu Linux OS migrate to the mobile space will help shake things up further.

Google leads the way in U.S. search market, dominating competitors

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 7:27 am

Google led the U.S. search engine to end the year, collecting 67.3 percent of the search market, clearly ahead of Microsoft's search sites which collected 18.2 percent. Yahoo picked up 10.8 percent while Ask Network accounted for 2.5 percent, and AOL trailed with a meager 1.3 percent, according to research group comScore.

 

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During the month of December, there were 18.3 billion core searches, and Google's collection of websites racked up 12.3 billion, while Microsoft sites had 3.3 billion searches, and Yahoo trailed with 2 billion.

 

Google's lead is clearly safe at this moment, but the Silicon Valley-based company needs to continue to be vigilant to ensure Microsoft and Yahoo don't continue to steal market share. As more users continue to go mobile with smartphones, tablets and other devices, Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone have an advantage while Yahoo is left out in the cold.

Alienware's Steam Machine will make first contact in September

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 7:24 am

Alienware has announced that it will launch its Steam Machine in September, but haven't provided any specifications or pricing on its Steam OS-powered PC. We know it will feature an Intel Haswell-powered CPU, with the custom PC maker set to "constantly update" its Steam Machine.

 

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The company announced the news during the Steam Dev Days conference, with the Steam Machines team teasing at Dev Days: "Our goal with Steam Machines has never been to force customers into the living room if they don't want to go."

Xbox One Titanfall Limited Edition Wireless Controller unveiled

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 6:30 am

Major Nelson has just unveiled the Xbox One "Titanfall" Limited Edition Wireless Controller, which looks incredibly sexy. The controller was designed in collaboration between the Xbox design team, and the Respawn Entertainment art department.

 

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Lead Artist at Respawn Entertainment, Joel Emslie, said Respawn's goal was "to create a controller that feels as if it is a piece of military spec hardware transported from the universe of Titanfall and into players hands." The new controller will be made available before Titanfall launches on March 11, 2014 in the US, and March 13 in Europe for $64.99.

Adobe launches new 3D printing feature for Photoshop Creative Cloud

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 5:41 am

Tonight Adobe announced an exciting new feature for its Photoshop Creative Cloud software. The new 3D Printing feature allows users to create, color, and texture their 3D models and then button them up for 3D printing. Photoshop will also build support structure into the model to ensure everything prints exactly as planned.

 

 

As a heavy Photoshop user and avid 3D printing guru, this will definitely be something I try out in the coming weeks. While I think I may still prefer the tested methods of modeling an object and then prepping it for printing using a service such as NetFab, but who knows, Adobe could have just changed the game for experienced Photoshop users who are into 3D printing.

Continue reading 'Adobe launches new 3D printing feature for Photoshop Creative Cloud' (full post)

Next Car Game is now available on Steam Early Access

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 5:33 am

Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game was removed from Kickstarter, but that doesn't mean the game isn't arriving at all. Next Car Game has just pulled up on Steam Early Access, and is available with a 17% discount off its regular $29.99 price.

 

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There are two different versions, the regular version for $29.99 or the Digital Deluxe Edition for $44.99. Both versions are discounted, with the Digital Deluxe Edition enjoying 22% off, reducing it from $44.99 to just $34.99. The Digital Deluxe Edition comes with Next Car Game's soundtrack, a special car, and wallpapers.

Gabe Newell teases Reddit AMA if $500k in donations is reached

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 5:18 am

An interesting thing has occurred on the Internet, and once again, on Reddit. Gabe Newell, the overlord of PC gaming, oh, and Valve, has promised an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, if over $500,000 in donations are made to a hospital for The Heart of Racing.

 

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Newell confirmed the news himself under his Reddit handle of 'GabeNewellBellevue'. Newell said: "I'll do an AMA once we hit $500K in donations to the hospital. How's that?" If there was any AMA to end all AMAs, it would be one from Gabe Newell himself. We all know the question that needs answering most: when will we see/hear about Half-Life 3?

Leaked specs on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 Lite arrive

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 16, 2014 4:33 am

Thanks to a retailer listing a new slate, we should expect the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite to be announced, and released soon. Polish electronics retail site, X-Kom, listed the specs.

 

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We should expect the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite to feature a 7-inch 1024x600-pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal flash storage, a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, 3600mAh battery, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It's modest specs will come with a modest price of just $165 for the Wi-Fi only model, but if you want some cellular 3G action, that will cost you $263 (or so) total.

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