Sega is cementing itself as a premiere PC strategy game publisher with its acquisition of Endless Space developer Amplitude Studios today. The company already owns Total War developer Creative Assembly (CA) and as of more recently, Dawn of War developer Relic Entertainment.
The studio commented on the deal on Amplitude community site Games2Gether.com, noting its relief in not having to deal with sales and marketing anymore.
"What we want to do is to focus on making games; that is why we created Amplitude. But with the pressure on sales and marketing we found that more and more time was dedicated to everything else - everything that we didn't have the size and scale to deal with. So we decided to look for the best partner we could to protect us from these distractions so that game development did not become a chore, but remained a passion."
When AMD flew out the technology press to Macau for its huge unveiling of the Radeon RX family, including the Radeon RX 480 which we reviewed yesterday, one of the more exciting things was something I couldn't talk about... until now.
AMD teased that it had acquired HiAlgo, and while HiAlgo sounds like some random little company of no significance - it is of the utmost significance when you begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together. First off, what does HiAlgo do? HiAlgo, as it explains on their website; "developers apps for 3D games that improve [the] gaming experience". There are three different products HiAlgo has created; BOOST, CHILL, and SWITCH.
BOOST is a utility that HiAlgo says will make your "gameplay smoother, with smaller lag" during those intense moments. BOOST will lower the rendering resolution which in turn, improves the performance of the game. CHILL is a smart framerate limiter that prevents both the CPU and GPU from hitting its maximum temperature, while at the same time it saves power and provides a few additional minutes of battery life to your gaming notebook. SWITCH on the other hand is very interesting, as it allows you to change the game resolution from 100% to just 50% with a single push of the button, providing an instant performance boost.
While Windows 10 is a fine operating system, it's drawn a lot of ire from those not yet ready to upgrade to it (and even some from those who have) in light of Microsoft's aggressive tactics. Late last week, there was a win for the people when California resident Teri Goldstein sued Microsoft when her failed Windows 10 upgrade reportedly rendered her system unusable and customer service couldn't help her. Goldstein won the case and was granted $10,000 for lost time and the cost of a new system.
While $10,000 is chump change to Microsoft, the win provides a precedent for potential future cases.
The software giant appealed the initial judgment but later dropped it, which it claims was to avoid the expense of further litigation (no doubt increased exposure was a concern as well).
Peter Chou was the CEO of HTC until last year, when he was replaced with Cher Wang, after the negative early reviews of HTC's One M9 smartphone. Wang replaced Chou as CEO, with Chou moving into the lead role of the HTC Future Development Lab.
According to the latest reports, Chou left his position at HTC in September, when he became the chairman of visual effects company co-founded with Avatar director James Cameron, Digital Domain. It's now owned by Hong Kong's Sun Innovation, with HTC confirming in a statement: "HTC can confirm that Peter Chou retired from the Company after assuming the chairmanship of Digital Domain in September 2015, although he was retained as an Advisor to enable HTC to leverage his extensive experience. We thank Peter for his long-term commitment to the business and wish him well in his retirement".
With the position and change of job titles after being dethroned at HTC, it looks like Chou could've been in firing limbo, bouncing around HTC. HTC could've ended it quickly, but he was provided with time to find a new position, and leave the company without a big fuss in the media.
In 2009, Intel was penalized by the European Commission with a $1.2 billion fine for achieving an unfair market advantage against AMD when it provided rebates to manufacturers in exchange for purchasing 95 percent of chips for their computers from Intel. Additionally, the remaining 5 percent from AMD were said to have had "restrictive conditions" imposed on them by Intel.
Intel appealed the ruling two years ago, which was rejected; now it's making a final attempt. Intel lawyer Daniel Beard says the Commission did not analyze "all relevant circumstances" to definitively determine whether the rebates in question did indeed shut out AMD.
Meanwhile, the Commission's lawyer Nicholas Khan maintains the position that Intel intended to "[marginalize] or even [eliminate] its only competitor."
Over the last two weeks, I've been addicted to doing Facebook Live videos for TweakTown - and that's something I will be doing much more of, but there are dangerous sides to Facebook Live video, too.
Chicago man Antonio Perkins was doing a Facebook Live broadcast and was shot to death during the stream in an "otherwise normal evening" reports Engadget. Facebook didn't take down Perkins' video, and while the social network usually removes videos that sensationalize violence, it's leaving Perkins video - and others like it on Facebook, as the social network believes it will help awareness of violence, and its dire consequences.
The video above, shows that Perkins was shot at multiple times, with his smartphone hitting the ground, with the audio continuing. Screams followed, with "Oh, my God!" and "Call the police!" as well as "Tony! No!". Perkins was pronounced dead shortly after at the hospital. Police said that Perkins was a "documented gang member", with no arrests made at this time.
AMD has been in the headlines virtually every day this week, and here we are again with some even better news - AMD's stock continues to drive upwards, rising 9.8% yesterday. The reason? Zen and Polaris.
AMD has been pushing its upcoming Zen architecture for CPUs and APUs, and from what we've seen it is impressive. Then we have the bigger part of the puzzle; Polaris, which is the new GPU architecture from the newly-formed Radeon Technologies Group. Polaris will debut later this month with the Radeon RX 480 4GB model at $199, while the 8GB variant is $30 more expensive at $229.
Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, has been chatting with various financial groups, TV appearances and her appearance at E3 2016 to debut the Radeon RX 460 and RX 470 - Su has been reiterating AMD's multi-year investment program, something she talked about during her chat with CNBC yesterday.
Twitter earlier this year invested $70 million into SoundCloud, both companies have confirmed. Combined with other investments, the audio-sharing service is expected to value at an estimated $700 million.
"Earlier this year we made an investment in SoundCloud through Twitter Ventures to help support some of our efforts with creators," said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "They've been great partners of ours over the years and their community-supported approach mirrors ours in many ways."
Meanwhile SoundCloud says the investment will help them with new initiatives like its subscription service SoundCloud Go.
E3 2016 - In the midst of E3 2016, Microsoft has just announced its plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The deal will see the creator of Windows acquire the work-focused social networking giant in an all-cash deal, with LinkedIn's share value at $196 each, a 50% premium over LinkedIn stock before the deal.
LinkedIn will remain independent within Microsoft, keeping its own branding with existing LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner included in the acquisition, and will now report to Microsoft boss himself, Satya Nadella. Nadella said: "The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet." Microsoft is planning to close its acquisition later this year, and the deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies".
This is Nadella's first big acquisition since he took the CEO position over two years ago, with Microsoft now positioning itself as the "world's leading professional cloud" now mixed together with the "world's leading professional network". With over 433 million LinkedIn users, Microsoft now has a company that was letting those near half billion users network, find employment, and reconnect with old colleagues, and so much more.
Lenovo's $3 billion 2014 acqusition of phone maker Motorola hasn't worked out well, according to the company's latest financial report. In it, Lenovo states that "integration efforts did not meet expectations" and that its China sales and product transition efforts in North America were "not successful." The hope was for Motorola to become the big third in the smartphone market, a position Huawei has since occupied.
On the bright side, the company says it's learned, which is why it's appointing two co-presidents, one with a strategy for China, and one with a strategy for everywhere else. The plan is to refocus its efforts in China on the affordable yet potentially powerful Zuk brand and to "get the US business back on track with a competitive product portfolio." The first step in the latter case is the latest Moto G launch. The second: the Moto Z, which is expected to feature a radically different approach to be revealed next month.