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US Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) recently introduced the H.R. 5777 "Cryptocurrency Protocol Protection and Moratorium Act," which would effectively treat bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as real currency. The moratorium would also prevent state and federal bitcoin regulation for five years - Stockman hopes investors and support for bitcoin will increase if lawmakers are unable to keep the government from interfering on a frequent basis.
Here is what Congressman Stockman recently said: "It's too early to be talking about that. Just imagine if Steve Jobs had to deal with this, or anybody starting an Internet company having to hop through the obstacles they're putting up."
US lawmakers are paying more attention to cryptocurrencies, but might be too eager to create new legislations - without thinking of long-term consequences - especially if the industry cannot flourish naturally.
Sony is not having a good week, with the hacking scandal reaching Sony Pictures Entertainment employees, and their families. Employees of the company have received e-mails from these hackers, directly threatening their families. Sony has reportedly told these employees to turn off their smartphones after receiving the e-mail.
It has been two weeks since the company was hacked, with hackers releasing passwords, e-mails, details on cast and crew members of Sony's productions, business documents that included salaries, and media files from employees' computers, and much more. A poorly-written e-mail was sent to Sony Pictures Entertainment employees, saying: "Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below. If you don't, not only you but your family will be in danger".
The "Guardians of the Peace", or GOP, are the hackers behind the scandal, but we don't know their identities yet. North Korea has been a suspect for a while now, with the malware that broke into Sony's network looking like malware used in an attack in Seoul last year, as well as the Shamoon "wiper" malware.
Rovio has announced that it is laying off 110 staff from its Tampere, Finland-based studio, and then closing the studio itself down. The developer of Angry Birds previously said it would lay off around 130 employees, but it has been able to lay off a little less, as it is opening up a few new positions.
This lay off of 110 employees represents around 16% of Rovio's global workforce, but the company isn't as powerful as it once was. Angry Birds was next to unstoppable, and while it might still be by branching out into different brands like Star Wars and Transformers, interest for the bird-flinging game is coming down.
Rovio's CEO, Mikael Hed, said in October: "We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized. It is never easy to consider changes like this, but it is better to do them sooner rather than later, when we are in a good place to reignite growth". Angry Birds still enjoys over 200 million active players every month (as of September), but this is down from the 263 million active players it had back in 2012.
Culf of Android is reporting that there's a new report out of Samsung's home country of South Korea, that in order to get Samsung back on track after the "failure" that was the Galaxy S5, they had to fire three of the top executives from the company.
Lee Don-joo, the boss of the Mobile Business Unit's Strategic Marketing Office, Kim Jae-kwon, who is the Chief of the Global Operations Office, and Lee Chul-hwan, who was the previous boss of the Mobile R&D Office, look like they're all about to be cut from the company. Hong Won-Pyo, who used to be Samsung's Media Solution Center boss will replace the boss of the Global Marketing Strategy Office.
It was previously thought that Samsung's Business President, Shin Jong-kyun, would lose his job, but it looks like he will stay in power for now. Samsung has really tripped over on the Galaxy S5, with projections being missed by quite a large 40-50%.
The actor hired by Nintendo to wear a Donkey Kong costume at an event held at the Los Angeles Zoo is now suing, claiming the suit led to physical problems. Parker Mills wore the suite to help promote the Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D game for the Nintendo 3DS, and the event was held on May 24, 2013.
Mills' attorneys say he wasn't give appropriate break time and didn't get to have an ice pack to help cool him down in the giant suit.
"It created a very stressful environment," said one of Mills' attorneys, as the lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Nate Wells, the Art Director behind Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, has left the developer for the arms of Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind Tomb Raider.
The news is coming from Wells himself, where he took to Twitter to announce the news. He was previously working Giant Sparrow, and before that he had 13 years under his belt over at Irrational Games, before leaving for Naughty Dog in August 2012.
The legal war between Philips and Nintendo is now over, with both companies creating a new patent license agreement to cross-license select portions of their intellectual property portfolios. Philips originally dragged Nintendo into a legal battle over the Japanese company's use of motion and gesture-tracking systems.
Philips originally filed a complaint against Nintendo in May, saying the game company infringed on two patents it owns in the United States. Later in the year, a UK judge ruled the Wii, Wii U, Wii remote, Nunchuk, Wii Motion Plus controllers, Balance Board, and GamePad violated Philips-owned patents in the UK.
"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Nintendo," said Brian Himnan, Philips Chief Intellectual Property Officer. "It demonstrates that both companies recognize the importance of intellectual property rights. It also shows the value of our extensive IP portfolio and our commitment to protect our significant investments in research & development."
The Australian government is again showing concern that organized crime groups have turned to the bitcoin cryptocurrency to help commit money laundering and collect payments. Australian law enforcement want to crack down on all links related to bitcoins being used as part of organized crime, but it's a slippery slope that is difficult to track.
"We know that virtual currencies including bitcoin are used as payment methods to facilitate illegal trade on the darknet," said Judy Lind, Australian Crime Commission Executive, in a statement to Reuters. "Organized crime groups continue to make use of darknets to harbor trading in illicit commodities, including child exploitation material, illicit drugs and firearms, stolen credit card and identity data, and hacking techniques."
National governments are still largely baffled into potential bitcoin regulations, but if there are signs of criminal groups using the cryptocurrency, the fight could end up getting ugly. In October, a bitcoin ATM was seized during a $2.6 million drug raid in Queensland, the state's first bitcoin ATM machine, and officials believe it was used for criminal activity.
Microsoft has confirmed that it has acquired Acompli, a mobile e-mail startup, with neither party confirming the acquisition cost. Some have heard that the deal might have set Microsoft's bank accounts back by some $200 million.
The Redmond-based everything giant was most likely interested in scooping up the mobile e-mail startup as they offered early adopters support for Exchange, one-tap calendar integration and simple access to e-mailed files and contacts. Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365, said that the acquisition of Acompli was part of the company's effort to help people get more out of their mobile devices.
Jha added that the decision to acquire Acompli is to provide people with a great cross-platform application that supports the variety of e-mail services that people use daily.
Cyber Monday deals are here - many companies are putting up stellar pricing across many different models, technologies, fields and brands. If you're in the market to purchase a new smaller-size tablet, we've got a possible solution for you.
Barnes & Noble are putting up Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK for $129.99, featuring an Android interface and $200 worth of free content from the NOOK store, you'll also grab $5 starter credit towards any NOOK purchases. NOOK provides you with the ability to purchase bestselling books, popular TV shows, magazines and applications. This sale is limited only to the first 10,000 devices and a total of 5 per customer.