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After 10 years with 2K International, Neil Ralley has stepped down from his position as General Manager. Replacing Ralley is Murray Pannell, who up until now served as PlayStation UK's Marketing Director, and previously he served Senior Marketing roles with Ubisoft, Xbox and EA.
2K President Christoph Hartmann said in a statement: "During his tenure, Neil helped grow our market share and distribution across Europe and beyond, led our international teams in reaching our 10-year milestone as a label, and helped us achieve our recent historic financial results. We are very grateful for his role in the successful launches of our many franchises and the overall growth of our label. Neil has graciously offered to stay on through the end of our fiscal year on March 31st, and to assist with the onboarding of our new VP of Publishing, Murray Pannell.
He continued: "Murray joined on December 17th and comes to us from Sony PlayStation, where he served as marketing director for UK and Ireland. Murray is a proven leader with a wealth of experience at major publishers like Ubisoft and EA, as well as further first party experience at Microsoft Xbox. We are sad to see Neil go, but we are pleased to formally welcome Murray into our management team in time for what we believe will be another stellar year for 2K in 2016".
2K has a big year ahead of them in 2016, with XCOM 2 dropping in February, and let's not forget Battleborn in May.
Due to laws passed in the recent past by the Australian Labor Government, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has gained the ability to start publishing tax figures for companies earning over $100 million annually. With the 2013-2014 financial year just gone being the first opportunity for these figures to be published, the public has learned of some seriously large tech companies that ended up paying nothing, this time around.
Overall there have been 554 Australian public companies and 985 business' that have over 50 percent foreign ownership posted in this report, showcasing that 26 percent of these companies paid no tax in the 2013-2014 financial year. The no-payment list includes big names such as Acer, Alcatel-Lucent, Amaysim, ASG Group, Citrix, Cubic Transportation Systems, Dimension Data, HP, Ingram Micro, Macquarie Telecom, NEC, the Nokia Group, NTT, Verizon and Vodafone, reported iTnews.
A select few of these companies including Ingram Micro and HP posted no tax payments due to making an overall loss, with the ATO outlining that approximately 50% of these no-tax paying companies have been subject, or are currently subject to, official ATO reviews in the last three years.
Australia's big banks are backing the launch of Android Pay in the land down under, with ANZ, Westpacm St George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of South Australia, Bendigo Bank, Cuscal, ING Direct, and Macquarie Bank signing up their full support for 2016, ZDNet reported.
As announced in a Google blog post, this new service is set to be released in Australia "in the first half of 2016," with Android Pay gaining access to girft card storage, loyalty card intergration and select special offers.
Available for phones running Android 4.4 or later, customers will now gain the ability to pay for purchases in brick-and-mortar stores by using their increasingly-hand smartphone, working thanks to NFC. The service will require users to unlock their phone (due to safety concerns) and simply hold it near any contactless payment device, in what Google hopes will be a method to remove the need of plastic credit card payments in the future.
Well, this came out of nowhere - Chinese gaming giant Tencent has just secured the remaining equity in Riot Games - the creators of League of Legends. Riot Games very quietly made the announcement earlier today.
Riot Games said in an update: "Our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games. This allows us to move away from a Riot equity program towards a cash based incentive program that allows Rioters to share in Riot's success". Riot continued: "Riot's approach to compensation has always been about aligning the incentives of the company with Rioters, and also about ensuring that we compensate our talented team of professionals well".
Back in 2011, Tencent secured a majority stake in Riot Games, buying out their other investors for a rumored $400 million deal. Tencent has been a long-time investor in the League of Legends developer, investing in Riot back in 2009, and then signing a Chinese distribution deal for League of Legends back in November 2008. Riot Games added: "We're excited about the flexibility of this new approach to comp and believe it'll help us continue to ensure Riot remains a great place to work".
Google Head of Product Marketing Jeremiah Dillon recently sent out an e-mail to his co-workers in an effort to improve the use of everyone's time in the office. It's a pretty inspired way of thinking about our collective workday, and as such has garnered quite a strong response from employees at Google and beyond. Some even created a concise video version. You can see that below, as well as the full email.
While they won't dry clean in a matter of seconds like Marty McFly's apparel will, ODO's self-cleaning jeans and T-shirts are the next best thing. Currently up on Kickstarter and already sitting at 500% funded with 45 days left, these products claim to be the future of clothing.
Available for an investment of $99 for the jeans or $35 for the T-shirt, the retail pricing of these products will come in at $130 and $45 respectively after release. Repelling liquids ranging from water to honey and coffee, these clothes are quoted as "stain proof and stink proof! Yet stylish, clean and comfortable," on the official Kickstarter page here.
Designed not only to repel exterior liquid influences, these products also contain what ODO calls 'self-clean technology', aiming to eliminate odor by utilizing a silver-infused thread into the jean denim. As for a slightly 'sciency' explanation, the denim fabric is woven with pure metallic silver fibers and works (on exposure to moisture and oxygen) to release positively-charged Ag+ ions, repelling all odors created by your body.
While Samsung had been ordered to pay Apple a large sum in damages due to multiple patent claims, this company has once again entered an appeal process, asking the US Supreme Court to address its rules based around design patents, said to be created 120 years prior.
The case was originally placed due to an alleged breach by Samsung of three design patents, involving the face and rounded bezel of an iPhone and the iPhone home screen's 16 icon design. Found guilty, Samsung was ordered to pay all profit earned by phones relating to this lawsuit, with this company stating in a release that they are "escalating this case because it believes that the way the laws were interpreted is not in line with modern times."
Believing these old laws to be out of touch, Samsung's appeal was expected to take place, as explained by the tech giant previously in 2015.
While TweakTown reported that the inventor of Bitcoin was deduced to being an Australian male last week, further news has come to light that this secretive man had more up his sleeve than just crypto-currency.
In a sale to alleged fraudster Mark Ferrier , Craig Wright is said to have sold his Bitcoin stash in return for gold and software, worth around $61.1 million. However, this sale didn't go as expected for Wright, with it turning sour and resulting in a $60.5m lawsuit hitting the Sydney Federal Court.
Wright's turmoil wasn't limited only to the destroyed deal with Ferrier, reports claim that this man was also on the verge of bankruptcy between 2006-2013 due to "a legal dispute with another business partner that saw Mr Wright have a restraining order issued against him and convicted of contempt of court," as seen on The Australian. While bitcoin is worth an approximate global value of $5 billion, Wright has not yet been officially proven as this currency inventor, but all leads point to him.
If you live in the UK, you might want to be careful of what photos you take... inside of your own house. Thanks to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 ready to roll through, it will include an extended form of copyright for designer objects - you know, like furniture - for 70 years after the designer has died. This means you'll need a license to post photographs of your own belongings.
We shouldn't see the average UK citizen being affected, because a large portion of Britons would be thrown in court straight away. As BoingBoing reports, it's "law that everyone is guilty of is a law that is ripe for abuse, because it allows rightsholders' estates -- often capricious corporate entities -- the right to ruin the lives of anyone they dislike, for any reason".
Who is the law being targeted at? It looks like it'll hit commercial photographers, of which the UK government seems to have "no sympathy for", reports BoingBoing, adding: "The Government considers that photographers and image libraries already bear costs for time and administration when assessing whether they need to obtain clearance when photographing". But more people will be hit by the law, with publishers of books with pictures of design objects, will feel the pain. The Digital Reader had a chat with Natalie Kontarsky, an Associate Director for Legal and Business Affairs at Thames & Hudson, a popular art publisher, where she said: "The government has actually said 'you are collateral damage' in a very sanguine, offhand way. The dark end of the spectrum would be to take books out of circulation and have to pulp. Obviously no one wants to look at that".
Borderlands series developer Gearbox Software has opened a new studio in Canada's Quebec City, an increasingly tantalizing and popular destination for publishers and developers (high tax breaks and a strong talent pool tend to have that effect).
Gearbox has been headquartered in Texas for more than 16 years, and now, following the construction a new home base in Frisco, has decided it wants to expand out of the country. In doing so, it's appointing former business development director at Quebec Media Sebastien Caisse, Ph.D. as Co-Studio Head and Director of Operations at the new location. Meanwhile, former Art Director at Activision Pierre-Andre Dery will serve as Co-Studio Head and Studio Creative Director.