After resigning from Electronic Arts last year amid multiple problems the company was experiencing, John Riccitiello hasn't made much noise in the last twelve months, until now.
Unity Technologies' founder, David Helgason, is stepping down as CEO of the company, with Riccitiello replacing him. Helgason will stay with the company, but said that Riccitiello is "the right person to help guide the company to the mission that we set out for ourselves over a decade ago: democratize game development!". The founder of Unity also said that the company has been "making some big moves" lately, reiterating that Unity has been investing in new partnerships and technologies.
Helgason wrote: "This is a lot to take on as a company and building it right is going to take a huge effort. We keep our eyes out for the best talent and help wherever we feel we can use it at every level. That's why today, I'm pleased to welcome John Riccitiello onto the Unity team as our new CEO. Sure, that sounds odd, as it also means I'm stepping down from the role, but this is an amazing win for Unity and the community. Many of you are likely familiar with John. He's been in the games industry for a long time, both as COO and later CEO of Electronic Arts. He's also helped fund and guide some notable startups like Oculus and Syntertainment among many others, and is a heartfelt believer in the indie scene and its importance to the overall well-being of the industry".
Wearable device technology looks more promising than ever, especially for medical health tracking, but it still remains a novelty, according to a report from PwC. Samsung, Apple, and other companies heavily involved in wearable hardware development hope to use health technology as a springboard to reach new consumers.
More than 80 percent of those surveyed believe these devices, however, pose a significant risk to their privacy - and that is an issue that software and hardware developers will have to address. As security breaches continue to increase, while also capturing mainstream media attention, companies are trying to encrypt all wireless data.
It seems consumers would be interested in testing wearables if their primary care physician recommends a product and service for them. However, doctors are largely waiting to see how the industry evolves, though partnerships are being created between tech companies and hospitals.
Australian sex offender Scott Robert Hansen recently pleaded guilty in Brisbane to sending obscene pictures to a minor, possession of images of child abuse, and failure to comply with a sex offenders order, and was busted with the help of a virtual girl. The virtual 10-year-old, named Sweetie was a unique effort to find innovative, modern methods to help law enforcement track down predators.
Sweetie was created by Terre des Hommes, a Dutch children's rights group, and was constructed to look like a 10-year-old girl. There have been at least 1,000 adults in 71 countries that have contacted Sweetie, in an attempt to have her perform sexual acts. All chat and video logs are saved and passed along to law enforcement in each country, as the effort to arrest sexual offenders continues to evolve.
The project took place for 10 weeks in 2003, as a team of four researchers were approached by adults looking to engage in sexual behavior with Sweetie.
Chromebook devices are seeing strong growth, with sales increasing 67 percent quarter over quarter, but still have a long way to go, according to ABI Research. Acer leads the current Chromebook market, ahead of Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Dell - but each company hopes to see the low-cost laptops continue to see increased interest from consumers and vertical industries in 2015.
"Consumers are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provides the versatility and functionality of a laptop," said Stephanie Van Vactor, ABI Research Analyst, in a statement. "The growth of the Chromebook market demonstrates a niche that is gaining traction among consumers."
The price of mobile hardware is dropping in price, and Chromebooks are often significantly cheaper than other laptops, so it will take time for the market to develop. Total Chromebook-powered device shipments are expected to tally 4.1 million in 2014, a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 300 million shipments of traditional PCs.
Less than one year after purchasing Nokia's mobile business, Microsoft has decided to drop Nokia branding from upcoming smartphones. Nokia France confirmed it will switch to "Microsoft Lumia," and the rebranding change will continue in other countries, Microsoft has confirmed. Microsoft paid $7.2 billion for Nokia in April, and wants to move forward with its own advertising and marketing efforts without references to Nokia.
As recent as the Nokia Lumia 730 and 830 product announcements made in September, the Finnish brand name was highlighted - but as Microsoft continues an effort to make branding easier - it only makes sense that future products will be referred to as Microsoft Nokia.
Microsoft is desperate for success in the mobile markets, and "Windows Phone" devices are now simply being referred to as "Windows."
Rockstar is reportedly preparing to re-release Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Microsoft Xbox 360 soon, according to Xbox Achievements. The Xbox 360 version is no longer available to download, while the Sony PlayStation 3 version is still available.
October 26 is the 10-year anniversary of when GTA: San Andreas was released, so now would be a fitting time for a game re-launch. The game was originally released in October 2004 for the Sony PlayStation 2, and was later released for the Microsoft Xbox, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows phones.
Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto V will be released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next month, with a PC version set for a January 2015 release.
The city of Chicago is the top market for wireless service in the United States, leading the way in overall performance, with top three positions in speed, reliability and population, according to RootMetrics. Verizon Wireless was the best service in Chicago, followed by Sprint, AT&T, and then T-Mobile, the group also noted.
"Chicago fared better than most other large markets," said Julie Dey, RootMetrics VP of marketing, in a statement. "It came in No. 1 in overall and in data performance, but single digits in the other categories with the exception of texts. I think what that means for Chicago folks is positive. There are many great options for mobile carriers, and all of them are pretty good. It's a good thing for consumers."
In overall comparison, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Lansing, Michigan, Rockford, Illinois, and Spokane, Washington round out the top five.
Peripheral and audio maker Rapoo has launched the wireless KX Mechanical Keyboard, providing vibration feedback so users have a better typing experience. The keyboard uses a 5GHz connection and has a range up to 32 feet, with a standby time of 40 hours. Rapoo also included a Dual-Mode so a micro-USB cable can be plugged into the keyboard - making it possible to recharge the keyboard while it's still in use.
The KX includes three different lighting levels, allowing an enhanced computing typing experience depending on time of day and ambient light. The Rapoo KX Mechanical Keyboard is available now in black and white for $79.99 MSRP, with red, yellow and blue versions of the keyboard available in 2015.
Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular among PC gamers, but have migrated to traditional keyboards for regular PC users.
Since launching in March, Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has more than 20 million players, and will hit Apple iPhones and Google Android smartphones in early 2015. The company is currently revamping the game's interface to ensure it operates well on smartphones, and Blizzard developers are still working out the kinks.
"While we have a build up and running internally, it needs a bit more work, and we don't feel like we'll be ready to share it with you until early next year," according to a blog post published on Battle.net. "It's very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions."
Apple has issued a warning to iCloud users about organized cyberattacks, after previously noting that its servers were not breached. The Chinese government is being blamed for the attacks, but Apple was careful not to finger any attacks based in China.
"We're aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously," Apple recently noted. "If users get an invalid certificate warning in their browser while visiting http://www.icloud.com, they should pay attention to the warning and not proceed."
This is another wave of bad news for Apple, occurring shortly after multiple celebrities had personal images stolen from their iCloud accounts.