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Facebook is used for a million and one things these days, but child trafficking - you'd think not. Misty VanHorn, a mother of two in Oklahoma has tried to sell her two children on Facebook. She was arrested on the weekend for alleged trafficking of minors on Facebook, trying to sell her 10-month-old and 2-year-old for $4000.
VanHorn reportedly offered the kids up for sale more than once, offering her innocent 10-month-old girl for $1000. Alternatively, you could buy a package deal which included both kids for $4000, where she actually had someone interested. VanHorn was dealing with a woman in Fort Smith, Ark., according to The Oklahoman. Because she was dealing across the state line from her home in Sallisaw, she might be charged with a federal crime.
Her Facebook message to the Fort Smith-based woman said: Just come to Sallisaw, it's only 30 minutes away and I'll give you all of her stuff and let y'all have her forever for $1,000. Why was VanHorn trying to sell her children? She wanted the $1000 to bail her boyfriend out of jail, where ironically she's being held on a $40,000 bail. Her kids are now in the custody of the state's department of human services, who alerted the police in the first place.
Cooler Master is waking up this morning to a fresh lawsuit involving its Seidon closed loop liquid CPU coolers. Asetek, the company who licenses similar coolers to companies like NZXT, Corsair and PNY is claiming that Cooler Master is infringing on two of its patents.
US Patents 8245764 and 8240362 are the two in dispute here, both of which provide a very vague overview of a sealed "cooling system for a computer system". Both reference a maintenance free liquid cooling system that is connected to a pump and radiator and "different embodiments of the heat exchanging system as well as means for establishing and controlling a flow of cooling liquid".
These patents (2010 filing) are updated versions of the ones Asetek used against CoolIT in a similar suit which were filed in 2005 which means that they are valid for any product created since 2005. Neither company has released a statement about the suit and both have refused to comment on the matter.
Iran have been in the headlines over the last few months from putting up fences to their Internet access, creating a type of intranet. Popular websites like YouTube and Facebook can only be accessed through VPN, which bypasses Iran's filter.
From now on, this might prove to be an issue as Iran is stopping this "illegal" VPN access. Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard, Iran's head of information and communications technology committee has said "Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked. Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used." Typical workarounds to this will not work, but registered and legal VPN access is still a way to get around it, for now.
Plague Inc. creator, James Vaughan, has been invited by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to speak at their HQ about how video games can be used to increase public awareness of health issues.
If you're not aware of Plague Inc., the game simulates the outbreak of a pandemic disease, with Vaughan saying that it is as "scientifically plausible" as possible. The CDC will invite him in so he could talk and hopefully reach a wider audience with a more casual approach, games. He has said: "They're also very keen on how games like Plague Inc. can be used to inform the public about health issues and raise public awareness of these issues."
As a huge fan of SimCity, who pumped countless hours into as a kid, I haven't purchased it yet personally and I'm sure you know it's for good reason - the huge amounts of issues. We've posted many times about it, not just once, or twice, but even three, four, and now five times. There is now a petition against DRM, with a strong title of 'Institute an industry-wide return policy for video games that rely on remote servers and DRM to function properly.'
Check the full story for the petition.
The White House and FCC aren't the only groups that are advocating for the legal unlocking of smartphones. AT&T has authored a post on their blog explaining that they are perfectly happy to unlock your device as long as the customer is paying his or her bills and they have fulfilled their service agreement commitment.
While we think the Librarian's careful decision was reasonable, the fact is that it has very little impact on AT&T customers. As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment. If the conditions are met we will unlock up to five devices per account per year. We will not unlock devices that have been reported lost or stolen.
If you're an AT&T customer who meets the requirements above and have tried unlocking your device to no avail, let us know! We'd love to hear your story in the comments. If you'd like to read AT&T's full blog post detailing their unlocking policy, you can head over to AT&T's website.
EA has suspended marketing for SimCity in light of launch problems, asks affiliates to 'stop actively promoting game'
EA has decided to stop marketing SimCity for right now due to all of the launch troubles that the game has experienced. In addition to stopping their own marketing, EA has e-mailed its marketing affiliates asking that they stop actively promoting the game as well.
In an email sent out to EA's marketing affiliates, obtained by Polygon, EA says it has "deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being."
To be clear we are continuing to payout commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game. We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation.
This is just the latest in the on-going saga that is the SimCity launch. To read more about our coverage of the SimCity launch, check out all of our content tagged with SimCity.
The latest news surrounding the numerous problems plaguing the SimCity launch is that EA has changed its mind about refunds. A post authored March 5 by EA Global community manager Marcel Hatam said, "If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can - of course - request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us."
Numerous Redditors have said that they were receiving refunds as late as yesterday afternoon. Currently users are reporting that Origin CSRs are saying that they cannot provide a refund. The original post, seen above, has been amended to point users to the return policy. Origin's Twitter account also tweeted the following:
Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations
The return policy states: "As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin."
Over the last several months Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has managed to gain a little momentum, but its adoption rate is nothing like its competitors. With Nokia being the largest adopter of the platform, they had to bite off quite a bit in licensing fees for the Windows based mobile OS.
Nokia released a statement yesterday that it still owes Microsoft more than half a billion dollars ($650 million) in licensing fees for Windows Phone. Shareholders need not start a revolution though as the total platform support fees that Nokia has received or will receive from Microsoft will exceed the licensing fees.
This means that the gamble Nokia took on Windows Phone will not be a loss at all, and we may even see some next-generation Windows Phones from the Finnish phone manufacturer. No information on when the $650 million bill is due, but we are sure that Nokia will pay in full right on time.
According to an email acquired by the Wall Street Journal, Motorola will be laying off 10% of their workforce. The email says "while we're very optimistic about the new projects in our pipeline, we still face challenges."
Motorola are forced to make the cuts due to high costs and losses in a very competitive market. A spokesperson told the WSJ: These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned and we're committed to helping them through this difficult transition."
The 10% cut will see around 1200 employees laid off, but we should see Motorola begin to turn themselves around with Google behind them now. I'd bet that twelve months from now they'll be a completely different direction.