Within 24 hours of a game update that changed currency exchanges in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet is converting the system back to normal. Before the change, players were able to exchange gold for gems used to purchase items while in the Black Lion Trading Company store. Unfortunately, the change made the lowest price of a gem bundle to 400, and gamers looking to purchase smaller amounts immediately became extremely vocal about it.
Despite the public outcry, it's impressive that ArenaNet was so quick to respond to vocal criticism. The team ultimately decided to listen to its gamers - and explained that the change was made to help gem store shopping experiences.
In light of your feedback, we will update the Currency Exchange so that you can decide how much you want to use it," said Galie Gray, ArenaNet communications lead, in a post on the game's official forums. "We will keep the new streamlined system and also offer a new 'Custom' button on the panel that you can use to exchange any increment of gems or gold. We anticipate rolling this out soon. Stay tuned!"
Sony continues to struggle in the smartphone market, and plans to drop its low-end smartphone offerings in China, Central America, South America, and additional select emerging markets. Looking ahead, Sony wants to focus on high-end devices sold in the United States, Japan and Europe, according to the unnamed sources.
The Japanese company might cut its smartphone sales target again in 2014, with a Q2 earnings call scheduled for October 31. The company previously said it hoped to sell 50 million smartphones throughout the year, but that figure was cut to 43 million in July.
The technology world has evolved at a rapid pace, and Sony has largely been unable to keep pace with rivals. Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi all surpassed Sony device sales, as the cheaper Chinese rivals provide cheaper phones that have risen in popularity.
Microsoft is pulling the plug on its free ad-supported Xbox Music streaming service on December 1, as the company plans to transition to a paid subscription plan. Users will be able to purchase songs and can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Music Pass.
"Effective December 1, 2014, the free Xbox Music streaming feature currently available on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and over the Internet will be discontinued in all countries where it is offered," Microsoft confirmed.
Xbox Music Pass will still be available on Windows PCs, tablets, smartphones, the Internet, and through the Xbox - with the cloud-based service also providing free streaming radio.
Nintendo is reportedly prepared to begin development of a 3DS and Wii U successor, hoping to recruit a new senior software architect position that is located in Redmond, Washington. This is a unique change since the posting is for a US-based job instead of a position in Japan - but Nintendo was careful to use rather generic terminology for a future-facing project.
The company has previously said there were no immediate plans for a new console platform, but the rumor mill has been in overdrive. If you're interested in applying for the position, you'll need the following requirements: "The ideal candidate will have had experience working directly in a GPU architecture and design team with significant responsibilities. Low power and SoC design experience would be a plus." And a bachelor's degree is required, though a graduate degree in computer science/engineering or electrical engineering is preferred. Also, at least five years of lead or architectural role experience wouldn't hurt, according to the job posting.
Chinese electronics company Xiaomi plans to begin migrating some data of overseas customers out of Beijing-based servers, as there are concerns related to privacy concerns. The effort will see data shifted to servers located in the United States and Singapore, Xiaomi confirmed.
Here is what Xiaomi said on its official Facebook page: "Our primary goal in moving to a multi-site server architecture was to improve the performance of our services for Mi fans around the world, cut down latency and reduce failure rates. At the same time, it also better equips us to maintain high privacy standards and comply with local data protection regulations. This is a very high priority for Xiaomi as we expand into new markets over the next few years."
While Xiaomi plans to move customer data outside of China, Apple iCloud data of Chinese users is being moved to China Telecom servers located inside of the country.
Danny Boyle is preparing to sit in the directors chair for a new biopic on Steve Jobs, on which we've just heard that Christian Bale from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, and American Hustle, will star as Steve Jobs.
The news comes from Aaron Sorkin, who is writing the script for the movie, in his recent interview with Bloomberg Television. He said: "We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that's Chris Bale. He didn't have to audition. Well, there was a meeting". Bale wasn't the only one on a list of 'who should play Jobs' with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck (also Batman), Bradley Cooper (also from American Hustle) and Leonardo DiCaprio in the run for the role of Jobs.
The film still doesn't have a title, but will be based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography on the late Jobs, with shooting on the movie to start in the coming months. Sorkin isn't worried about Bale's acting chops, adding: "He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. There isn't a scene or a frame that he's not in. So it's an extremely difficult part and he is gonna crush it".
After Tesla was banned from selling vehicles in Michigan, there has been growing amazement why the company continues to focus on direct sales instead of working with car dealerships. It doesn't appear the automaker is interested in working with existing franchise owners, or bother working with new dealership owners, and wants to sell its luxury vehicles directly to customers - entirely cutting out the middleman.
"I think Elon wants to have full control of having the cars retailed through a system has total say over," said Karl Brauer, Kelley Blue Book analyst. "And, two, I think he enjoys the concept of upsetting the apple cart; he enjoys knowing that he's breaking existing conventions on every level."
Musk wants his company to have complete control of sales, rather than handing over control to dealerships, allowing the company to handle customer service problems quickly and efficiently. This ensures potential customers don't have a sour experience trying to work with a dealership looking to potentially strong-arm car buyers.
The large volume of cyberattacks aimed at U.S. infrastructure, including banks and private sector companies, has finally led the U.S. Justice Department to begin showing interest in prosecuting cyberattack crimes. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin is spearheading the project, with a more realistic emphasis on cyber security efforts.
"We need to develop the capability and bandwidth to deal with what we can see as an evolving threat," Carlin recently noted. He is building a team around him able to understand the seriousness of state-sponsored cyberattacks, especially by the Chinese and Russian governments.
Instead of worrying about rogue hackers, the government wants to work to dismantle organized hacker groups that victimize US companies - and consumers, with millions of victims racked up. This is an important step by the federal government, which tried to bury its head in the sand, though that not surprisingly hasn't worked.
Naughty Dog has some serious games under its belt for Sony, with PlayStation exclusive titles like Uncharted and The Last of Us, with the latter recently going through a Remastered edition on the PS4. The Last of Us: Remastered was running at 1080p and 'mostly' 60FPS, with an option to enable 30FPS if you really wanted to.
When asked about hitting 1080p and 60FPS for its upcoming games, including Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Naughty Dog's Community Manager, Arne Meyer said: "I think that's what we want to push for with anything we're doing on this generation. That's sort of the mandate from when we were building the PS4 engine. Let's see if we can do this and hit it. We hit it with The Last of Us Remastered, so why not stick with this?".
Uncharted 4 will soon hit the PS4, and with near confirmation it'll be running at 1080p and 60FPS, fans of the original three Uncharted games have wondered of a remastered version of the popular games. Meyer talked about those rumors too, where he said: "I personally think it would work well, because there's a lot of attention on the studio between the success of Uncharted 2, 3 and The Last of Us. It'd be nice to give players the opportunity to go back and play the older games, and people who are new to the PlayStation platform". What better way to drum up to the launch of Uncharted 4 on the PS4, than with a remastered Uncharted trilogy released?
Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers is the latest to speak out against former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, saying the American - currently living in Russia - should be charged with murder. Rogers currently is the chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, and also described Snowden as a traitor to the United States.
"The [US] government has pressed charges on Mr. Snowden," Rogers recently said. "We are treating him, as I would argue, the traitor that he is. And by the way, and this is important, I would charge him for murder."
Although Snowden isn't popular among US lawmakers, Rogers took it a step further by saying Snowden's actions will end up causing American or British casualties on the battlefield. Other politicians already said enemies are changing their strategies to avoid being noticed by US and British intelligence agencies.