After two weeks of intense gaming, and the leaking of the strategy of Team DK for DOTA 2, we now know the two teams who will be competing in The International's Grand Final. The Chinese team Newbee, who clawed their way to the final from losing multiple rounds, to not losing a single round in an entire week of play.
The second team, ViCi Gaming, started off strong against Evil Geniuses, with a 16-minute win in-game on, but lost during their second game. In game three they caught up, so that they could compete against Newbee in the final. The two teams will now play a best-of-5 series that will see the winner of The International take home a huge $5 million.
This also marks the first time that The International final has featured two Chinese squads, too.
It looks like Google has made the first move in cleaning up its Play store, where it has made it clearer to know what an actual free game is, versus a game that will feature in-app purchases.
The European Commission has requested Google change the way that it markets apps shown on digital storefronts like the Google Play store, with the company moving forward to keep its consumers better informed. This now includes no longer putting up with apps with in-app purchases to call themselves "free". The Mountain View-based search giant has said that it will install new guidelines for games and developers so that kids won't be encouraged to buy items once they are in the game.
We have been reporting on the still on-going issues over at Crytek, but things just got worse for the developer of Crysis. Tiago Sousa, Crytek's Lead R&D Graphics Engineer has left the company, joining the ranks of id Software.
Sousa is now working as the Lead Rendering Programmer on the new reboot of Doom and the engine that powers it: id Tech 6 game engine. Sousa was with Crytek for 11 years, so this is quite the loss for Crytek. According to Sousa's LinkedIn profile, he has contributed to work on CryENGINE 3, as well as all three Crysis games, Ryse: Son of Rome for the Xbox One, Warface and "undisclosed multiplatform projects".
Considering most of Crytek's UK-based staff have stopped going to work, and the studio isn't paying its staff on time, this is troubling times. This isn't considering that the studio has already lost key staff such as the game director for Homefront: The Revolution leaving, as well as its Development Manager, Ben Harris.
According to the latest research from SuperData, there is some serious money being made from MMOs. The top five subscription-based MMOs in the world as it stands are: World of Warcraft, Lineage 1, TERA: Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Lord of the Rings Online.
World of Warcraft leads this effort when it comes to revenues, with $1.04 billion made last year, securing itself a 36% chunk of the subscription-based MMO market share for 2013. Lineage 1 comes in at second place with $253 million for NCsoft and a 9% share, TERA: Online generated $236 million for NHN Corporation in third spot with an 8% share. Star Wars: The Old Republic sits in fourth place with $165 million made for EA with 6% of the subscription-based MMO market share, and Lord of the Rings Online made $104 million for Turbine, Inc. and secured them 4%.
Revenue subscriptions have dropped every year from 2010, from 30.6 million subscribers to 23.4 million this year. MMO publishers see this decrease in subscribers due to the increased offerings of free content, more payment tiers and microtransactions.
The owner of ConnectZone.com, Daniel Oberholtzer, has been sentenced for participating in conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, receiving 37 months in federal prison. The company must forfeit $716,778 that was collected for selling counterfeit products, advertising the sale of network products that were promoted as Cisco products.
"Innovation and our economy demand that the intellectual property of businesses be protected," said Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney, in a statement. "Here, the defendants used the hard earned brands of others and slapped it on inferior products."
Business owners and law enforcement have stepped up civil and criminal complaints against Internet pirates and counterfeiters. Leaders of organized rings conducting illegal business are being indicted and face prison time if found guilty.
At the height of his hacking career, Shane "Jason" Duffy was making a nice $1,000 per day from hacking League of Legends. The 21-year-old hacker had his room raided by police back in 2011 because of a League of Legends security incident, something that Riot Games addressed in 2012. Duffy's online activity while he was on bail saw police visit him again last year.
During an interview with The Daily Dot, Duffy said he was involved with the brute force hacking of League of Legends accounts, selling character skills from accounts for anywhere between $200 and $800. He also leaked League of Legends: Supremacy through a Riot Games employee's account, and created a service where players could pay to have other players knocked out of League games.
Duffy said that his group had access to millions of League accounts, something he claims he had access to through a senior Riot employee's account. Duffy said that even though Riot Games had noticed a breach, and told its staff to change their passwords, this one particular employee did not. This paved the way for Duffy to create a backdoor on Riot's servers, where he had access to the details of some 24.5 million accounts.
More than half of the malware detected originated from the United States, a 12 percent increase just two quarters ago, according to security company Solutionary. In addition, around half of all malware sent came from 10 Internet service providers and hosts, the company says in its latest quarterly report.
The list as compiled by Solutionary: Amazon Web Services, Akamai, Akrino, Google, OVH, Hetzner Online, GoDaddy, CloudFlare, Website Welcome and CDN. However, GoDaddy - once well-exploited by cybercriminals to launch attacks, saw a decrease in malware hosting activity by customers.
"The findings on hosted malware in the Q2 threat report reinforce our research from 2013 and provide additional insights into the mindset and cunning of today's attackers," said Rob Kraus, Solutionary SERT team director of research, in a statement. "The findings should provide the information security community with a good understanding of the threat landscape so they better understand the adversaries' behavior."
The lure of bitcoins has potential suitors interested in learning about the cryptocurrency, but after losing 45 percent of value in 2013, the slide will continue in 2014, Bloomberg Global Poll respondents noted. The value peaked at $1,100, but dropped, with some financial analysts wondering if the bitcoin bubble popped already.
Over half of survey respondents (55 percent) said bitcoins and other virtual cryptocurrencies have unsustainable currency trades, with 14 percent also saying bitcoin is closing in on a bubble - while 6 percent are optimistic and say no financial bubble is currently forming. The last 25 percent said they are unsure of what's going to happen with the currency.
An assortment of businesses and retailers accept bitcoin for payment, but some financial specialists and government officials aren't drinking the Kool-Aid just yet. It's difficult because bitcoin values have varied in 2014, from a low of $341 up to $900, while currently valued at $623 per bitcoin - and headlines find bitcoin more during controversies than victories.
Thanks to our friends at Icon Film Distribution Australia, we have five copies of the big budget disaster epic 'Pompeii' on 3D Blu-ray to giveaway.
Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator, who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning). As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a surge of molten lava and deadly fireballs, Milo must fight his way out of the arena as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
To go into the running to take one Blu-ray copy home, simply correctly answer the following question:
What happened to the ancient city of Pompeii?
To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown.com before the competition closes on July 25th. The total prize pool is approximately $199.75.
'Pompeii' is available on 3D + 2D Blu-ray combo pack, 2D Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Australian retailers on July 23rd.
Google's CEO Larry Page has slammed Samsung for picking its own Tizen in its smart watches over Android Wear, according to a report.
The Information claims Samsung's chairman Jay Y Lee and the Google CEO held a "tense private meeting" at the Sun Valley Allen & Co conference. Page allegedly spoke to Lee about his frustrations Samsung was heavily pushing Tizen devices like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo over the Android Wear enabled Gear Live, and told Lee how he'd prefer it if the company focused on Android Wear, particularly as the latter is compatible with a wider range of Android smartphones and tablets.
The report, if true, could be indicative of a larger debate about the future of smart watches. As we reported earlier this year, there was some controversy when Samsung appeared to favor its own software rather than Android. Consumer wearable tech, specifically smartwatches, is very much in its infancy - with some of Samsung's own efforts largely being considered a swing and a miss to date. Although Samsung is the top Android manufacturer at the moment, tensions over which direction to take the emerging market could well cause conflict. That is, of course, reliant on if smart watches take off at all.