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The US Marshals plan to auction another lot of 50,000 bitcoins, worth around $19 million, which were seized when the federal government shuttered the original Silk Road. The second auction is scheduled to run for two weeks, and a winner will be announced on Dec. 5. The second auction takes place five months after a lot of 30,000 bitcoins were sold off by the US Marshals.
The first auction was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper, and the value of bitcoins have dropped from $647 down to $384 - but should still draw fierce competition from bidders able to pay the required $100,000 deposit to the US Marshals.
The bitcoin cryptocurrency is becoming more appealing for businesses looking to accept additional payment methods from customers. However, widespread adoption by consumers and financial investors remains unknown, as bitcoins have a high volatility mixed with problematic acceptance of state and federal regulators.
Even so, a growing number of bitcoin-focused startups and businesses indicate a growing legitimacy that cannot be simply overlooked. The current value of a single bitcoin is $391.74, a fraction of the all-time $1,130 value it reached in December 2013, but investors urge potential investors to not lose faith.
"In terms of purchasing bitcoin for investment, we need to remember that bitcoin is still early in its adoption cycle," said Trevor Murphy, CTO of the BitStash bitcoin storage solution company, in a statement to TweakTown. "So, a portion of the current price of bitcoin reflects the future value and potential of bitcoin, and as such that value can and will fluctuate with sentiment, regulatory changes, and investor demand."
The volatility of bitcoin might frighten some investors, but the growing addition of consumers and businesses willing to shop - and receive payment in bitcoins - will give investors a chance to invest in a potential Internet goldmine.
As many musicians and music industry executives are still worried about Internet piracy, longtime artist Rob Zombie isn't overly concerned about the problem. Just a few years ago, Zombie mentioned how piracy could hurt indie bands, not the major artists, but admits he feels "freed" by the current state of the music industry.
"I don't care about any of that stuff," Zombie recently said. "In fact, in a funny sort of way the fact that nobody buys records doesn't bother me. In fact, I feel like it's freed me. I never did anything to sell records, per se, but when you take that pressure away 100 percent, I swear to God you get more creative because it doesn't matter anymore."
Instead, Zombie has a more glass half-full approach: "That's really been the case, I'm happy to give it away for free. I don't care. I just want to make it, play it, get crazy with it. I hear a lot of musicians crying about it but for me, it's re-energized us."
The battle between online streaming service Spotify and Taylor Swift continues, with the CEO of her Big Machine record label, Scott Borchetta, recently speaking out. Borchetta says Swift has received less than $500,000 in the past 12 months for US Spotify listeners enjoying her music - despite Spotify saying Swift could be paid upwards of $6 million in 2014.
It appears Swift's cut will be $2 million for the past 12 months globally, with that number expected to grow as more users sign up for Spotify.
Unfortunately, it seems Swift and Borchetta are both forgetting who truly is missing out in this ongoing war of words: the music fans. Millions of Spotify users listened to Swift's music, and while they are no longer able to via Spotify, they are either going to purchase the music, or find an illegal way to download her music.
This is my third Ubisoft article for the day, and I'm only just beginning it - the developer has spoken with the BBC, telling the UK news outfit that it will be changing the way it works with game reviews, and gamers themselves.
A spokesperson for Ubisoft told the BBC: "We are working to adapt our services and communications with consumers accordingly, both by changing the way we work with reviewers and by offering customers open betas or other early access to some games, all so that they have the information they need and want". The spokesperson said that the issues are coming from the launch of Assassin's Creed: Unity, where we saw late embargoes for the reviews - most likely to stop the negative press from getting out and affecting the launch, but as my 3-year-old daughter says: "too late".
The spokesperson added: "Having the online elements available and having populated world's is essential to creating a representative and complete experience for reviewers. Achieving this prior to launch is incredibly complex, which is why some games are being reviewed much closer - or as was the case with Destiny, even after - the game launches".
It seems that my week has been busy with bashing at my keyboard writing up various articles about Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed: Unity, but it's for a good reason: the world needs to know what's going on, and this sh*t needs to stop. Gamers are able to walk away with their hard-earned money, and not purchased the game, but the company's just blame piracy when this happens.
Well, Ubisoft might wake up when their stockholders start to notice sharp drops in their stock prices - with a massive 9% drop in Ubisoft stock after the launch of Assassin's Creed: Unity was met with a truck load of negative reactions and feedback across the world. We can see that the stock was alright up until the morning of Wednesday, 12th of November - and then it dropped harshly, just like the frame rate in Assassin's Creed: Unity.
Now we need to see if this will continue, or stabilize and return to norm. Gamers are pissed, and so are people like me, where I don't think Ubisoft should be able to get away with this. Promising something so grand, building Assassin's Creed: Unity from "the ground up" on next-gen consoles, and then launching the game - which was obviously not ready by any means - to gamers, at a very decent premium.
Earlier this morning, Google's ad service, Doubleclick, experienced some downtime. During this couple of hours of downtime, Google and publishers across the world would've lost millions upon million of dollars in lost ad revenue.
The simple fact is: Google's ad service is an important, and very integral part of the infrastructure of the Internet itself. Most websites, no matter what content they post, rely on Doubleclick for monetizing their content, so when it goes down, it is felt. The outage affected Doubleclick's publishers for around two hours this morning, before Google jumped on the problem and fixed it up back.
Google says that all forms of sites were affected, from video, display, native and mobile. The outage is rumored to have even affected YouTube ads and Google's Adsense platform, but there were no further details on what exactly caused it.
Most people don't know it, but Samsung and NVIDIA are currently battling it out in the mobile space and in the legal space - with NVIDIA filing a class-action lawsuit against some of the biggest players in the market. Why? Because it says it kinda invented the mobile GPU. Samsung has hit back recently, but NVIDIA was prepared for it.
Samsung claimed that NVIDIA is falsely advertising its Tegra K1, and that it's not the fastest system-on-chip (SoC) on the block. NVIDIA was more than happy to provide benchmarks that show just how right they are, showing its Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet, versus Samsung's Exynos 5433 in the above shot.
NVIDIA filed the lawsuit against Samsung and Qualcomm a couple of months ago now, claiming the two companies used GPU technology that NVIDIA had created, without providing sufficient compensation. NVIDIA filed its claim with the International Trade Commission and Delaware District Court, but it has taken Samsung these last couple of months to come up with a counter argument. Samsung is now slamming NVIDIA with six alleged patent infringements, as well as hitting another company, Velocity Micro, with eight alleged patent infringements.
Popular music artist Taylor Swift decided to pull her music from streaming service Spotify earlier this month, and now Spotify is firing back. In addition to paying more than $2 billion in music royalties for the right to stream music, Spotify says Swift - and other top artists - "are on track to exceed $6 million a year," with that number expected to double next year.
"Lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist," said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. "As I said, we've already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that's a big problem."
When Swift announced she was pulling her music from Spotify, it seemed like a rather curious choice. Ek also said that 80 percent of subscribers started as free users, and a music track that is played more than 500,000 times pays between $3,000 to $4,000 in royalties.
Microsoft has officially acquired Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, for a truly massive $2.5 billion. After announcing the deal in September, all the required paperwork is now done, with the deal now complete.
Minecraft earned around $326 million in revenue last year across all of its game sales, ports and merchandising. Markus "Notch" Persson, Minecraft's creator and company co-founder, has left the company, as he said he wanted to "go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments".