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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".
NVIDIA has just posted its Q3 fiscal year 2015 results, which ended on October 26, with some impressive results. The chipmaker has posted a Q3 revenue of $1.23 billion, which is up 16% year-over-year, while revenues are at $3.43 billion, up 15% year-over-year.
The company launched their second-generation Maxwell GPUs in the quarter, with the GeForce GTX 900 series performing, and selling well. NVIDIA's GeForce division also did well, which shouldn't be surprising, with their GPUs being the biggest revenue generator for the company. GPU sales were up 13% year-over-year, and quarter-over-quarter, with GeForce-branded GPU revenue up 36%. Gaming notebook sales are also up, more than double what they were last year. Tesla GPUs and GRID sales were also high, but no exact numbers were released.
NVIDIA's Tegra processor sold well over the three-month period, with a 51% increase year-over-year, with Tegra in vehicles being big business for NVIDIA. The company noted that over six million vehicles on the road right now have Tegra-powered infotainment systems. When it comes to mobiles, NVIDIA had quite a few products on the market with their chips: Shield, Google's Nexus 9 and some Chromebooks are powered by the company's Tegra K1 chip.
Qualcomm has unveiled its fourth quarter and fiscal 2014 results, with some huge numbers to show off to the world. GAAP Revenues for the quarter are at $6.69 billion, which is up 3% year-over-year. Income, hit $1.99 billion, up 25% year-over-year, with its net income being $1.89 billion, up 26% year-over-year.
When it comes to GAAP fiscal 2014 results, the 12-month period saw Qualcomm enjoy revenues of $26.49 billion, up 7%. When it came to operating income, Qualcomm made $7.55 billion, up 4% year-over-year, while net income was $7.97 billion, up 16% year-over-year. Operating cash flow for the year was $8.89 billion.
Now let's talk chip shipments for the three- and 12-month periods: in Qualcomm's Q4 fiscal 2014, the company shipped 236 million MSM chips, a number that is up 24% year-over-year. Fiscal 2014 numbers are equally as impressive, with 861 million MSM chips shipped in the year, up 20% year-over-year. Total reported device sales for the September quarter through June quarter are quite large: approximately $243.6 billion, a number that is up 5% year-over-year.
There will be quite a few of you shocked by this news, but Zalman are finished. The company has filed for bankruptcy in Seoul, after years of its owner, Moneual, bleeding billions of dollars out of the company. But this isn't the only part of the story, it is a full-blown conspiracy with layers of details.
Futurelooks is reporting that former Moneual employees are now dishing out the goss, with these insiders saying that CEO Harold Park, VP Scott Park, and VP Won Duck-yeok working out a deal between them that would see Zalman "produce inflated sales and fabricated export data, allowing the company to qualify for increasingly large bank loans". This worked well for the trio, as over five years, the company were able to secure $2.98 billion in loans under false pretences.
The documentation, which was fraudulent, showed that parts were exported to the US "since the finished product is larger and more expensive" than the parts themselves. This trick allowed the company to false quality for bigger loans, but the ride is obviously over. Zalman Tech Co. Ltd has halted trading of its shares, with the company filing for bankruptcy protection in the Seoul Central District Court.
You might remember Rahul Sood as the founder of VoodooPC, especially when he cut his birthday cake with that first-gen MacBook Air all that time ago. Well, Sood has left his post at Microsoft, to form his own gaming company known as Unikrn.
Sood took to his LinkedIn page where he said that he's leaving a dream job, but adds that "this is the kind of crazy shit entrepreneurs do (or at least I keep telling myself that!". Sood started VoodooPC, something that was purchased by HP in 2008, and has been a part of the gaming community since, even joining Microsoft as the GM of Xbox, but moved over to helping early stage startups.
In his blog post, Sood said that his "gaming past continues to drive unrest inside me, starting with Voodoo, and then advising various companies including Razer and Vrvana, and now...".
3DMark has been a staple of PC enthusiasts all across the world for over a decade, but the company behind it, Futuremark, has just been acquired by Underwriters Laboratories. Underwriters Laboratories is a safety testing organization, based in the US with offices in 46 countries, which analyzes the safety of technological products and their components.
General Manager of UL's Consumer Technology Division, Stephen Kirk, talked about the acquisition: "Embedded software is now an important part of product design. With an increased focus on mobility, we see more and more products being connected, making the Internet of Things a reality. Consequently, software quality is a significant driver of product safety and performance; and we believe that benchmarking is an important way to help our customers to improve the performance of their products". He continued: "This acquisition provides us with an opportunity to build a new business line in testing a wide variety of technological devices so they offer the performance, safety and privacy that consumers expect".
What does UL have planned for future Futuremark products? We should see more professionally-orientated packages, similar to what PCMark's suite offers. Futuremark's Chief Executive, Jukka Mäkinen, said: "In recent years, we've expanded on to new platforms, our software has been adopted by the European Commission and national governments, and we've welcomed more of the world's leading technology companies into our Benchmark Development Program. We've accomplished a lot on our own, but with UL, we're in an even better position to achieve our goals".