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League of Legends is getting bigger by the day, and now American Express are jumping on the bandwagon with a new line of League of Legends themed credit cards. The financial services company will launch the new credit cards on Wednesday, which is all part of a partnership between American Express and Riot Games. In the new lineup of cards, we'll see pre-paid debit cards that will reward cardholders with Riot Points, which is the in-game currency of League of Legends.
Just for signing up for the card, the future League of Legends AMEX owner will receive 1000 Riot Pionds, and will earn an additional 1000 Riot Points for adding $20 to it. After the first 10 purchases on the new AMEX card, the cardholder will receive 1000 more Points. After linking the new AMEX card to a checking account, 10,000 Riot Points will be given to the cardholder.
American Express' general manager for online and mobile in the United States, Stefan Happ, told the New York Times that the new partnership was established to "expand our traditional reach beyond the mass affluent." One of the primary reasons American Express teamed up with Riot Games was because League of Legends features a very strong 32 million player base, and a "staggering one billion hours of game play a month."
WikiLeaks recently launched a defence fund for NSA whistlblower Edward Snowden, which now accepts the virtual currency Bitcoin. The Journalistic Source Protection Defense Fund (JSPD) was set up on August 9 with its goal of providing legal and campaign aid to journalistic sources such as Snowden.
Edward Snowden is the one man responsible for the largest intelligence leak in the history of the NSA, and is the first source of this new fund. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia on August 1, after spending over five weeks in a transit zone at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. In the cover of darkness, Snowden left the terminal for an undisclosed 'secure' location.
Since August 9, there have been--at the time of writing--185 contributors, who have donated $10,715. You can use PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, and other forms of payment for the Journalistic Source Protection Defense Fund.
LG's plans to build a new US headquarters on the banks of New Jersey's Hudson River met some harsh resistance after two lawsuits threatened to derail the plans on grounds of environmental impact. The lawsuits claim that it would obstruct views of the Palisades above the western shore of the Hudson River, but today word has come in that a New Jersey Superior Court judge has dismissed the lawsuits.
The judge's ruling was based on the fact that the economic impact that the new headquarters would bring in far outweighed the negatives. He explains his decision by saying: "LG had met the positive criteria requirements because the project promoted the general welfare by maintaining jobs, promoting green building design, providing adequate light, air and open space, providing energy efficiency, and utilizing renewable energy sources."
While the new headquarters may not be as stunning as Apple's Cupertino spaceship or Amazon's biome in the city, LG's concept art shows off an ultra-modern structure that is not unappealing to the eye. When this is combined with the fact that it will bring thousands of jobs to a struggling economy, one can only see this as a good thing.
HTC is working on a rebranding, where they've acquired the talents of Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. The first TV spot, below, is a 15-second tease of HTC's "Here's to Change" advertising campaign, where Downey Jr. is holding a cat, with HTC standing for "Hold This Cat" meaning that HTC can mean whatever you want it to.
The second TV spot is a little crazier, where Downey Jr. walks into a meeting and says that HTC stands for "Humongeous Tinfoil Catamaran", uh yes - Iron Man - that's what we expected you to say. I don't know about these new ads, they feel a bit rushed. I'd like to actually see Downey Jr. sit down and discuss with the camera for 30-60 seconds on why you should buy a HTC smartphone.
It wasn't long ago that the US government officially recognized professional League of Legends gamers as athletes, but now the first VISA has been awarded to a Canadian League of Legends gamer.
Danny "Shiphtur" Le, received his VISA so that he could fly down to southern California to train for October's world championship, which is being held in Los Angeles. The VISA he holds is a P-1A, which is the VISA for "internationally recognized athletes," according to a spokesman for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The spokesman stated that each candidate would be individually evaluated for a VISA. But, Le is a Canadian, and Canadian's can stay in the US for up to six months without a VISA, so why did the pro League of Legends gamer apply for a VISA? As a business gamer, Le will play in competitions and if he wins prize money, he keeps it - but he cannot earn a salary while in the US. With Le based in California for now, he is earning a salary, which he would like to keep, hence the VISA application.
Apple isn't having a good time in China, with Canalys' latest report showing that the iPhone's market share has dropped to just 5% in the second quarter of 2013. This is down from 9% in the same quarter of last year.
Canalys' China Research Director, Nicole Peng, told Bloomberg that Apple is getting hit by low-cost Android-powered smartphones that are being pushed by vendors such as Lenovo, ZTE and Xiaomi, which have all been pushing super-cheap smartphones with decent internal specifications. Peng said: "Apple is only focused on the high-end segment, and China's smartphone market growth right now is coming from the mid- to low-end. Apple doesn't have any products in the mid- to low-end and that's where Xiaomi has been building their brand awareness."
The world's largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, has close to 750 million subscribers, but Apple will not play ball with them. The Cupertino-based smartphone giant will not accept lower subsidies from the carrier, which is now hurting them, bad. Is this why Apple is reportedly working on the cheaper iPhone 5C?
Microsoft is losing partners left, right and center, with major partner, Acer, looking to shift its business away from the Redmond-based OS giant. The Wall Street Journal reports that Acer is trying to grow its "non-Windows business as soon as possible" by jumping to Android for mobile devices.
Acer's goal is to generate 30% of its re venue from Android-based devices and Chromebooks by as early as the end of 2014, up from the current 10% revenue stream they will see from Android-based Acer goods this year. It would seem like, from the outside at least, Acer is trying to grow itself toward a Samsung-like company.
Acer President, Jim Wang, told The Wall Street Journal: "For the PC industry, I haven't seen light at the end of the tunnel. First, we have to sustain our market share and protect our bottom line...and by doing tablets and smartphones right, we can be prepared for the day after tomorrow."
The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung infringed on two Apple patents, which comes just a few days after the Obama administration vetoed an earlier ruling by the ITC that banned the import and sale of older iPhones and iPads.
In December of last year, ITC Administrative Law Judge, Thomas Pender, suggested that certain Samsung smartphones be banned as they infringed on four different patents owned by Apple. Less than a month after this, the ITC said they would review the decision. This new ruling is the result of the ITC's review of the matter.
The patents that are causing all of these issues are US Patent No. 7,479,949, which relates to a touchscreen and user interface. The second, US Patent No. 7,912,501, which is in relation to detecting when a headset is connected. The ITC ruled that the South Korean giant didn't infringe on the other two patents.
Recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Trenton T. Shavers with running an illegal Ponzi scheme using the digital currency Bitcoins. In the alleged scam, Shavers promised investors that they would receive a 1 percent interest rate per day on their investment. Shavers denied the allegations and claim that regulators had no jurisdiction over the case because he was using Bitcoins and the SEC can only govern transactions that involve real money.
The presiding judge said that the case could move forward as the investments meet the definition of contract, and as such, are securities. Basically what this means is that the $4.5 million in Bitcoins Shavers collected as investments is considered true currency by US law.
Yesterday, Nokia announced that they have officially completed their acquisition of the Siemens stake in the Nokia Siemens Network, a move that was first announced back on July 1. The company says that the Siemens name is being phased out from the Nokia Siemens Network and the new name branding shall now be known as Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN).
Nokia says that the Nokia Solutions and Networks is now wholly owned by Nokia; Rajeev Suri continues as CEO and Jesper Ovesen continues as Executive Chairman of the NSN Board of Directors. The NSN Board of Directors has been adjusted to the new ownership structure and the Siemens-appointed directors have resigned their positions.