Consumers interested in purchasing a new game console, take note: Microsoft is offering a promotion from September 7 to September 13 in which any game is available for free with an Xbox One console purchase. Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Toys 'R Us, and other major retailers are expected to support the promotion.
Most free game promotions force gamers to choose from a pre-determined selection, but Microsoft hopes offering more freedom will help boost sales. However, the game must be available during the week-long promo - and doesn't apply to games scheduled for release later this year - and won't apply to refurbished consoles or used games.
Xbox One hardware sales drastically trail the Sony PlayStation 4 game console, but this could help Microsoft close the gap. Also worth noting, Bungie's release of Destiny takes place on September 9, so this could help entice consumers to purchase an Xbox One instead of a PS4.
Catcher Technology, a company based in Taiwan that operates factories in China for Apple, has been accused of labor rights and workplace violations. Catcher Technology manufactures metal casings for the Apple iPad, and employees worked a large amount of overtime and were forced to handle toxic chemicals without proper safety procedures or training.
Apple pointed out worrisome problems in the factory in April 2013, but the problems have only worsened since then, according to a China Labor Watch report. Apple is planning to send inspectors to the facility, located in the eastern city of Suqian, to ensure workplace laws are enforced.
Companies that use manufacturing facilities based in China used to turn a blind-eye to workplace violations - but increased pressure has called for Apple, Samsung, and other corporations to ensure their partners are operating more fairly. However, reports of illegal workplace behavior continue to surface, sometimes at a startling pace.
The use of social engineering, typically leading to phishing attacks, remains a major threat against enterprise networks, according to the McAfee Labs Threats Report: August 2014. Using its own McAfee Phishing Quiz, 80 percent of participants were unable to identify at least one of seven phishing emails - and the human resources and finance departments scored poorly.
Stolen data from compromised websites, especially following Heartbleed, shows how vulnerable unpatched websites can be - only serving as a treasure trove for cybercriminals. In addition, there were a number of new malware attacks and network threats that companies struggle to defend against.
"One of the great challenges we face today is upgrading the Internet's core technologies to better suit the volume and sensitivity of traffic it now bears," said Vincent Weafer, McAfee Labs SVP. "Every aspect of the trust chain has been broken in the last few years - from passwords to OpenSSL public key encryption and most recently USB security."
RAM manufacturer G.SKILL announces it has released the fastest DDR4 3333MHz memory kit on the market, with the Ripjaws 4 series providing a total capacity of 16GB (4GB x 4), offering even faster bandwidth for PC enthusiasts and gamers alike.
The 288-pin SDRAM is rather pricey, currently available for pre-order on Newegg for $579.99, but will be popular among consumers building a new gaming rig. The RAM will be released on September 5 in black, and will be released worldwide shortly after.
The Ripjaws 4 3333MHz has been optimized for the Intel X99 platform and uses an aluminum heat spreader design to help keep the memory cool. XMP 2.0 support makes it easier for consumers to overclock the RAM, along with 1.35V ultra-low voltage to keep an energy-efficient footprint.
The Isis Wallet mobile payment system has changed its name to Softcard as the company doesn't want to share the same name with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. Company officials noted that it was thinking of a name change over the summer, saying it doesn't want any confusion related to the group that has ramped up its use of brutal tactics to scare rivals and attract new recruits.
Softcard is currently backed by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, and hopes to move forward and continue operating normally. The company said the Isis Wallet will work the same following the name change, and mobile users will see the app update without any major feature changes.
"Our search for a new name has been rooted in our founding vision: to use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save," said Michael Abbott, Softcard CEO, in a statement. "But we also wanted a name and visual identity that had the power, flexibility and simplicity to define our category."
Goodwill issued a public update regarding a data breach that was uncovered in late July, with no evidence of malware on retail store point-of-sale (POS) systems. However, a third-party vendor was affected and that opened the door to customer names, payment card numbers, and expiration dates to be accessed by cybercriminals.
The forensics investigation said the malware attack took place between February 10, 2013 to August 14, 2014 - and there appears to be very little fraudulent activity noticed by customers.
"We continue to take this matter very seriously," said Jim Gibbons, Goodwill CEO and president, in a public statement. " We took immediate steps to address this issue, and we are providing extensive support to the affected Goodwill members in their efforts to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future."
Intel has unveiled the My Intelligence Communication Accessory (MICA), a luxury smart bracelet that will be available at Barney's in time for Christmas. The bracelet has water snakeskin and semi-precious gems in a design that features a touchscreen display for wearers to interact with.
The only hardware features currently available from Intel is that it includes a 3G cellular radio. However, it will support SMS messaging, messages sent to the bracelet and calendar reminders from your mobile phone.
"The wearables market currently exists in two categories - sports wearables that track performance and wearables that are pretty much a cell phone crammed into a small space," said Aysegul Ildeniz, Intel new devices VP, in a recent interview. "We have to grow the pie collectively. We need to go after audiences not addressed currently by wearables and make them much more aesthetically pleasing."
The demand for phablets, smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches, will hit 175 million units this year, surpassing an estimated 170 million portable PCs that will ship this year, according to IDC. Looking ahead to 2015, the phablet market should see 318 million units shipped, which will be significantly higher than an estimated 233 million tablets forecasted to ship during the same period.
The phablet market first became a major player in 2012, and has continually carved out its own market share, as Samsung and Xiaomi help drive growth - Apple's looming phone announcement should only help drive phablet growth higher.
"Clearly, mobile computing is a space where consumers are still trying to figure out what mix of devices and screen sizes will suit them best," said Tom Mainelli, IDC Devices and Displays Program VP, in a press statement. "What works well today could very well shift tomorrow as phones gain larger screens, tablets become more powerful replacements for PCs, and even smartwatch screens join the fray."
There's currently a class-action lawsuit regarding the debacle of Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was close to a conclusion last month when Sega agreed to shell out $1.25 million. But, that is all up in the air right now.
A month after Gearbox filed a motion distancing itself from any form of financial obligation, which would see them not paying some $750,000 which would bring the total settlement to $2 million. Sega responded with its own motion, where it said that Gearbox was just as responsible for any payout responsibility. It gets pretty dirty, with e-mails, contracts and much more between the two companies.
There were many letters that saw Gearbox releasing many screenshots, videos and much more details on Alien: Colonial marines that had not been approved by Sega. Sega's thoughts on this had not been good when it got to October 2012, with a Sega PR rep blaming "persistent panel leaking" of game details on "Randy [Pitchford, Gearbox director] doing whatever the fuck he likes."
Where will Tesla Motors build its gigantic battery factory? According to CNBC, the electric car maker will be building it Nevada. A Tesla rep spoke with Business Insider, where they said: "We look forward to meeting with Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and other legislators in Carson City at 4 p.m. tomorrow to announce a major economic development."
Tesla Motors' CEO and modern day Tony Stark, Elon Musk, has said that the Gigafactory is a critical piece of its plans to mass-market a Tesla car, as well as lowering the cost of carbon-neutral power. Musk said he wants to double the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries before the end of the decade, which should see a reduction of power pack prices. Musk has said that Tesla has plans to open more than one Gigafactory in the future.
The electric car maker has already broken ground on a prospective site outside of Reno earlier in the summer, which was done by the name of "Project Tiger." The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is currently home to e-commerce facilities owned by Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Zulily. The new Gigafactory will see Tesla hire over 6,500 workers, estimating to cost up to $5 billion.