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Facebook issues apology over banning user for posting gay marriage picture

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 1:32 am

Oops. Facebook has had to issue an apology to Murry Lipp after the social networking giant banned the user for uploading a picture of a gay marriage. Lipp founded the Gay Marriage USA Facebook page and uploaded a picture of a mixed-race gay couple. Other users commented on the picture, with some calling it "vile."

 

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Facebook didn't seem to have an issue with these comments, though they removed the picture that had been reported as "offensive" by users. They also banned Lipp for a week. The spokesperson, speaking on behalf of Facebook, agreed that the picture "did not violate [Facebook's] terms." The comments should have been removed instead of the picture. "We apologise for the error," he added.

 

Facebook has said that they are reviewing the way the report button works, as it clearly is being misused and not working properly currently. However, it would be impossible for Facebook to have enough staff to review all of the reports it receives as the site sees thousands of complaints every day.

Apple, Google, and others agreed not to poach during mid-2000s

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 1:02 am

Some bad news, at least for the companies involved, has come out thanks to a court case brought against Apple and Google by five workers. The case alleges that they are due lost wages as the companies involved tried keeping wages down by agreeing to not poach employees from each other.

 

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Apparently, this non-poaching agreement extends beyond Google and Apple to the likes of Intel, Adobe, Pixar, and others. Judge Koh, made famous by the on-going Apple vs Samsung battle, is overseeing this court battle. This could end up being very bad for the companies involved, with the plaintiffs arguing that the damages could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

For instance, an e-mail sent to Eric Schmidt by Steve Jobs: "Eric, I am told that Googles new cell phone software group is relentlessly recruiting in our iPod group. If this is indeed true, can you put a stop to it? Thanks, Steve." Another e-mail, this one sent by Paul Otellini of Intel, reads, "we have nothing signed. We have a handshake 'no-recruit' between eric and myself. I would not like this broadly known."

 

Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar all settled with the Justice Department in 2010 over these non-poaching agreements by agreeing to end them. This should be interesting to keep your eyes on over the next few weeks and months and we'll be sure to keep you updated on any breaking news.

THQ being broken apart and games sold to different studios

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 12:02 am

Gaming studio THQ announced in open court today that the company is being broken apart and its major gaming titles will be getting sold off to other studios. While the bankruptcy hearing hasn't officially been accepted by the judge, the ruling seems like it should be accepted, if the judge's comments are anything to go off of.

 

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"I wasn't sure it was going to work, but I'm glad it did" Judge Marry F. Walrath said. The proposed sales are as follows:

 

  • Sega will purchase Relic for $26.6 million, with Zenimax acting as a back-up bidder at $26.3 million.
  • Koch Media will purchase Volition and the Metro franchise for $22.3 million and $5.8 million respectively.
  • Crytek will purchase Homefront for $500,000.
  • Take 2 will purchase Evolve for $10.8 million, outbidding the game's developer Turtle Rock.
  • Ubisoft will purchase THQ Montreal for $2.5 million and South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.265 million.

 

Not all of THQ's assets have been sold yet, but THQ is continuing to look for buyers. If approved, the sales should close this week. Farrell and Rubin expect that most employees will be employed by the new owners, but wouldn't go as far as to promise anything.

Continue reading 'THQ being broken apart and games sold to different studios' (full post)

Netflix Q4 results are in, 2 million new US customers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 11:32 pm

Netflix's Q4 performance results are out and the results are looking pretty good for the company. In the US, Netflix is streaming to 27 million customers. Outside the US the numbers aren't so great with Netflix only seeing 6 million subscribers. All total, Netflix has more than 33 million subscribers worldwide.

 

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Netflix also turned an $8 million profit off of $945 million in revenue. I have a feeling that with Arrested Development and House of Cards coming to the company, subscribers will increase. I know that I am excited for Arrested Development and most of the viewers had an almost cult-like love for the show.

 

The graphic above shows that Netflix believes they are the best when compared to the competition. These stats are based upon its 200 most popular TV shows and movies, of which the competition reportedly doesn't offer more than 73 of.

RumorTT: Samsung Galaxy S4 coming in April, might not be called S4

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 10:49 pm

The latest rumor from the Samsung rumor mill is that the Galaxy S4 is coming in April after a March announcement. Part of this rumor also details the naming and suggests that the next Galaxy S device might not be called the S4. The reasoning behind this is that Asian cultures believe the number four to be unlucky.

 

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Because of this, many companies skip releasing a device with a four in the name. 'Four' in Asian languages is pronounced in a similar way as "death," hence why people believe it to be unlucky. Previously, companies have replaced the word "four" with the letter F, so we could see ourselves getting a Galaxy SF.

 

The rumor places the announcement of the next Galaxy device as roughly a month before the device releases, so sometime in March. The device is said to go on sale between April 15 and April 19. The timing is just about right for the S3 successor to make its debut, so I would give this rumor a little bit of credence. As with all rumors, nothing is confirmed until Samsung comes out and confirms it.

Apple's financial results for Q1 2013 are in, just how well did they do?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: BREAKING STORY | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 9:39 pm

Apple's press release has just hit the webs. Results of $54.5 billion for the quarter makes it a record. Another record, Apple posted a net profit of $13.1 billion. Along with that, Apple announced that 47.8 million iPhones were sold, 22.9 million iPads were sold, 4.1 million Macs sold, and 12.7 iPods sold.

 

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Continue reading 'Apple's financial results for Q1 2013 are in, just how well did they do?' (full post)

Twitter CEO's tweet could indicate Twitter's own hosted video service

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 9:33 pm

Twitter acquired a little known video hosting service that never managed to launch. Known as Vine, the service hosts video clips that loop. From their site: "The best way to see and share life in motion. Create beautiful looping videos in a fun way, then share with your friends and family."

 

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The site also says that the service is coming soon. Evidence from the tweet shows that the service is already functioning, so could Twitter be planning to integrate the service as their own video hosting service? As of late, Twitter has been restricting access to third-party services so that they could better manage advertising revenue and other features.

 

It looks as though Vine may be turned into a hosting service for videos embedded in Tweets. It's not clear, if this does happen, whether or not Twitter will restrict users from using other services to embed videos in tweets. Keep your eye on Twitter as they should be doing some interesting stuff in the upcoming months.

RumorTT: PlayStation 4 to feature AMD GPU, x64 CPU, touch controller

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 9:15 pm

Looking forward to the PlayStation 4? After seeing this set of rumored specifications, I'm thinking about jumping on the bandwagon. Of course, these are rumored specifications, with the source being fairly confident in them, though nothing is solid until the company decides to confirm these.

 

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The system memory is said to be 8GB coupled with an AMD 8-core Bulldozer CPU. Video RAM is pegged at 2.2GB and the GPU is said to be an AMD R10XX. The system will feature 4 USB3.0 ports and 2 Ethernet ports. Sony is, of course, including a Blu-ray drive again. HDD space is said to be 160GB, which seems a bit small, considering the price of storage these days.

 

These specs are said to be the latest for the development kit. A production model will likely have a larger HDD and only one Ethernet port. The controller is said to feature a touchpad surface on the back of the controller, which can accept two-point multi-touch and also be pressed down as an additional button.

 

Things could change before Sony launches the final device, but the current working specifications seem top-notch. What are your thoughts on them?

Take part in the Crysis 3 open multiplayer beta starting January 29

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 8:29 pm

Want to get a sneak peak at the upcoming Crysis 3 game? Well, Crytek and EA are giving everyone just that opportunity by offering an open beta of the multiplayer version of Crysis 3. Starting January 29, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 users will be able to participate in the beta.

 

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The beta is designed to give you just a taste of the full Crysis 3 multiplayer experience, and help the development team collect your valuable feedback.

 

In the Crysis 3 Beta, you'll be able to suit up, team up with your friends, level up to rank 10, and customize your Nanosuit with different weapons, attachments and suit modules.

 

It will feature two beta multiplayer modes: Hunter and Crash Site. The Hunter game mode is best described by the Crysis team: "This multiplayer game mode is all about the survival of the fittest. There are two teams, initially comprised of two permanently cloaked "Hunters", and up to fourteen CELL troopers awaiting extraction. Each trooper slain respawns on the Hunter team to prey on their former allies, building to a frenetic climax. If any of the troopers survive the round, the hunters lose. Whichever way you play, Hunter Mode delivers a heart-pounding test of strategy and survival."

 

The Crash Site mode is the ultimate King of the Hill type game experience. It's just like it sounds: an Alien ship drops a pod at a random spot on the map. Members of each team attempt to gather around the pod in order to capture it and accumulate points.

Continue reading 'Take part in the Crysis 3 open multiplayer beta starting January 29' (full post)

Courts rule ban of Indiana sex offenders on social networks unconstitutional

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 7:14 pm

In Indiana, it has been illegal for some time now for sex offenders to join popular social networks such as Facebook. Today the Associated Press is reporting that the 7th US Circuit of Appeals court has ruled that the law banning sex offenders from social networks is unconstitutional.

 

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In the ruling, the judge writes that the law "broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than targeting the evil of improper communication to minors." The ACLU was behind the case and has fought for such bans to be removed before.

 

Federal judges have in the past barred such laws in other states, and this case sets further precedence for ongoing battles in several states where sex offenders are battling the right to sign up on social networking sites, chat rooms and instant messaging clients.

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