Recently there was a massive match-fixing and betting ring scandal that rocked the whole North American and Canadian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) scene, seeing numerous players and a manager be banned for life from all Valve major events, ESEA tournaments and more.
In recent news, French-based eSports organization Epsilon has suspended their whole CS:GO division pending a current match-fixing investigation.
Their world-class CS:GO squad has been unearthed by former teammate Robin "GMX" Stahmer, with him stating that his old team purposefully lost a match on the ESEA platform against rivals OverGaming in order to profit from weapon skins. These skins were achieved through bets made against themselves on the popular website, CSGOLounge.
With League of Legends as their game of choice, Robert Morris University (RMU) proudly state that they are "the first college to offer scholarships and create an eSports varsity team."
First announced on Friday June the 20th, 2014 - RMU are offering scholarships covering 50% of tuition and 50% of room and board costing, asking people to email in for applications.
Sponsored by DX Racer, Pwnt Wear, ASUS, Cooler Master and CM Storm, it's exciting to see this kind of advancement being made in the competitive scene. Coming from an eSports background myself, a vast majority of the competitive community is made up of university students, meaning it only makes sense to market to this target audience by sponsors and game manufacturers.
Raptr confirmed that it was hacked, and the company is now recommending users change their passwords sooner rather than later. Some user data may have been compromised in the breach, but Raptr didn't say what type of data may have been stolen.
Raptr Reward Points earned by its members are protected with two-factor authentication and should be protected from any outside tampering.
"Although the potential risk to Raptr users is pretty minimal, we urge you to access any accounts on other sites and services in which you use the same login and password associated with your Raptr account and change the related password(s) immediately," Raptr said in an official statement.
If you were a subscriber of Google Earth Pro, you can put your credit card back down as the Mountain View-based search giant has just removed the subscription fee from the software.
Something that once cost $399 per year is now completely free, something you just need to fill out a form to receive. Once you're got the license, you can download the free Pro client here. The difference between the $399 per year version and now? Nothing, and that's great. The non-Pro version has print images capped at 1000x1000 compared to the Pro version at 4800x3200, and a few other limitations.
The world has been waiting to see what Microsoft would do with the Devices and Services division of Nokia, but it looks like we'll be waiting a little bit longer to see the fruits of that expensive labor.
According to the latest reports, the first Microsoft-branded Lumia smartphone will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress, which isn't too far away. We're being told that the Lumia 1330 will be unveiled, while the more affordable and mainstream Lumia 830 will also be shown off. These will be the first Microsoft Lumia smartphones, with Windows 10-powered handsets rolling out their own devices later in the year.
We don't know much about the new Lumia smartphones except for the fact that they'll be rumored to sport a "3D-Touch" feature that will let you use your smartphone with your hands, without touching the display itself.
Apple is preparing for the launch of its first wearable next month, requesting some of its developers to have their Watch apps ready by mid-February for the big launch.
The company is asking their high profile app developers and close partners to have their Watch-compatible iPhone apps ready to go in the App Store by the middle of February. Even though Watch isn't due until April, Apple is most likely wanting to get things prepared with plenty of time left for testing. Not only that, the apps could be used for promotional material, something we can expect Apple to push in the very near future.
Just how is 4K gaming affecting AMD internally right now? According to Robert Hallock who is part of the Technical Communications division for AMD Radeon graphics, he said that gamers are adopting 4K gaming nicely, but the R&D department for AMD is already planning for the future.
For Hallock, the Radeon R9 290X was a major step in that direction, allowing for gamers to play at 4K with a single GPU. Lower-end parts of the market aren't quite there yet, so GamingBolt asked him some questions where he replied with the future of 4K gaming is an evolution of GPU horsepower, which is something AMD is working on. He said: "If you think back to the launch of the AMD Radeon R9 290X, our video card marked arguably the first time anyone could reasonably expect to play games at 4K on a single GPU. Sure, there were some games that needed two for peak image quality, but one was and is pretty solid for the majority of titles. We were also the first company to offer full support for 4K SST displays in our driver".
"4K adoption is very popular amongst the elite enthusiasts, but understandably slower being adopted in lower-end segments. I couldn't characterize the rates with hard numbers as that's not my area of expertise, but this is the sense I'm getting from interacting with the AMD community every day", he continued. Hallock added: "Ultimately, the evolution of GPU horsepower is the biggest factor in driving 4K forward. Graphics being such an important part of our business, of course, you can count on great progress on that front as the years wind on".
Ye olde trusty wooden pirateship has sailed back! The Pirate Bay, hailed as "The galaxy's most resilient BitTorrent site", is now back online at thepiratebay.se. This long hiatus has come to an end after a Swedish police raids shuttered the site, and employee infighting led to several of the original cast and crew heading for bluer waters.
The latest Pirate Bay saga began when Swedish police raided the servers, which were housed in a converted nuclear shelter in Nacka, Sweden. The Pirate Bay was taken offline and its web ratings plunged from being the 88th largest website in the world to 176. In recent weeks a timer appeared that counted down to the time that the site came online, letting the world at large know that The Pirate Bay may have been down, but it certainly was not out.
The familiar pirate ship logo can still be found throughout the site, but upon resurfacing The Pirate Bay is sporting a new homepage logo with what appears to be a Phoenix, which is unsurprising since The Pirate Bay has once again sprung from the ashes.
Viacom plans to launch a standalone online streaming subscription for its Nickelodeon channel, aimed at children's programming. The media company wants to adapt to changing times before it is potentially left behind as viewer habits continually head to streaming content. Nickelodeon content is currently available on Amazon, while Viacom also released new apps and original series for Internet and mobile users.
"We want to satisfy the demand that is coming from the viewers out there," said Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, in a statement published by the New York Times. "They have an insatiable appetite for great content. They want to view that content on every device that they own."
Cord cutting is becoming increasingly appealing to viewers tired of paying large amounts for cable and satellite subscriptions - and there are a number of standalone streaming services. CBS has a monthly subscription offering, while HBO is expected to release a standalone streaming service later this year.
Islamic extremist groups still enjoy using the Internet and social media to spread propaganda and recruit, but are becoming more skilled in flying under the radar. Intelligence experts are collecting information from previous reckless Internet posts, and that is something the terrorists want to avoid in the future.
To help share propaganda, the groups are largely turning to the Dark Web - and using Skype, WhatsApp, and software that isn't as open. ISIS went a step further by issuing guidelines to its members posting on social media, such as blurring out faces, ensuring geographic tagging is disabled, and being careful what information they are providing on current operations.
"We realize that the people we are interested in are increasingly specialized in computing," said Philippe Chadrys, the head investigator of France's judicial police responsible for fighting terrorism, in a statement to the AFP. "They master encryption software and methods to better erase data. That makes our probes much more complicated."