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Lake Tahoe-area home site sells for $1.6 million in bitcoins

A Silicon Valley resident purchased a 1.4-acre home site near Lake Tahoe, a popular Northern California tourist destination, for $1.6 million in bitcoins. It was the first time the Martis Camp real estate company handled a transaction in bitcoins, but enjoyed a pleasurable experience this time around. The deal closed on August 6 and serves as a significant real estate transaction using bitcoins, with many companies still seeking cold, hard cash.

 

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"We didn't know much about (Bitcoin)," said Brian Hull, Martis Camp sales director, in a statement to the media. "We actually closed in the quickest time frame that we've ever closed on a developer lot transaction."

 

Earlier in the year, the Sacramento Kings NBA team became the first professional sports team to begin accepting bitcoins - as more businesses embrace the sometimes volatile cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, Overstock.com estimates $6 million to $8 million in bitcoin sales during 2014, with the popular e-tailer serving as a major business early adopter.

Continue reading 'Lake Tahoe-area home site sells for $1.6 million in bitcoins' (full post)

Roku Smart TVs coming from HiSense and TCL in weeks

Roku has been making set top boxes with its streaming service on them for a long time now and the company is set to move into a different category with a new product. The new product is a line of Smart TVs that are said to be streaming displays first and normal TVs second.

 

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The TVs are called Roku smart TVs and will come from Chinese makers like HiSense and TCL. Models will ship from both companies in a range of screen sizes and are said to start shipping in a few weeks. When the TVs are first turned on, owners will see options for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go.

 

Access to content from a cable box or TV antenna will also be offered and the setup menu will allow users to change what they see first to input from a cable box if desired. The TVs will also include remotes that have one touch access to streaming services. A 32-inch Roku smart TV will sell for $229 with a 40-inch going for $329 from TCL.

Levi's Stadium is the most high tech stadium in the NFL

NFL football is big business with team owners spending millions and millions of dollars on single players and raking in millions and millions of dollars in profits each year. With so much money made and spent in the NFL, it's natural for teams to want seriously high tech stadiums for their teams to play in.

 

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One of the newest and most high tech stadiums in the league is Levi's Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play. The stadium has a very robust wireless infrastructure that will allow the over 70,000 fans that can fill the stadium to all connect to Wi-Fi and 4G networks.

 

The stadium has 400 miles of cabling inside and 1200 distributed antenna systems for Wi-Fi. The stadium also has an internet backbone that offers 40 gigabits per second of bandwidth, which is 40 times more bandwidth than any other stadium. The stadium also has 1700 beacons to give people directions within the stadium. Other tech features include 2000 Sony TVs and 70 4k TVs in addition to a pair of giant LED displays in each end zone.

Only 8% of PC games sold last year were physical, 92% sold digitally

When was the last time you purchased a game for your PC from an actual retailer? If you're like me, every game you purchase is digital - either through Steam, Origin or even a service like GOG.com. Well, according to DFC Intelligence, 92% of PC game sales for last year were digital, leaving just 8% to physical copies.

 

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Payday 2 publisher Starbreeze saw 80% of its first-month sales of 1.58 million copies being digital. But then titles like DotA 2 and DayZ were completely digital, adding to that huge 92%. Rewinding back to 2010, digital PC sales made up 48% of all PC sales, so we've seen a huge increase of 44% over the last three years.

 

But then powerhouse publisher EA has only seen 20% of its total sales being digital, but EA have titles on virtually every platform available to gamers, with games in both physical, and digital form.

Uber set to test UberMovers moving services in Atlanta and Nashville

If you are familiar with Uber, you will automatically think of a fleet of drivers using their own cars to take people where they need to go. Uber is dispatched by an app that allows users to hail a car to their location. Uber tried out something new in two cities over the weekend.

 

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Uber tied up with Bellhops for a service called UberMovers and provided free and professional moving services for up to half an hour to students in Atlanta between 9am and 2pm Saturday. Nashville residents also had the chance to get the same service on Saturday and Sunday.

 

New Uber users could get service free while existing Uber users were charged by the half hour. Those who took advantage of the service had a pair of Bellhops movers show up and received some free Uber gear as well. There is no word on if this moving service will become a permanent part of Uber's offerings.

Saleen modifies Tesla Model S EV, calls it the FourSixteen

One of the cool parts about an electric vehicle is that all the torque the electric motor produces is available as soon as you step on the pedal. That makes the car perform very well and makes it fun to drive. Tesla makes one of the most popular electric vehicles on the market with its Model S and car modifier Saleen Automotive has taken that vehicle and turned it up a few notches.

 

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Saleen is most known for modifying Ford Mustangs to make them faster and the company is now turning its hand to improving the performance of the Model S. The car gets a new front bumper, hood, a carbon fiber rear diffuser, and a trunk lid lip spoiler. All the upgrades are aimed at improved aerodynamics.

 

The Saleen car is called the FourSixteen and it keeps the stock 416hp power rating the Model S has. It does get a new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for better acceleration and a locking differential to improve handling. The suspension is also changed to coilovers and the car gets new sway bars to help cornering ability. Saleen also gave the car new brakes and changed up the Interior.

Nintendo stock surges on reports Pokemon game is heading to iPad

Nintendo has had a very hard time in the gaming market over the last few years. Sales of the firm's game consoles are down as are sales of game software. Some have been clamoring for Nintendo to support other platforms with its first party games, but so far, Nintendo has refused.

 

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A new report is making the rounds that claims Nintendo and affiliate The Pokemon Co. may be getting ready to put Pokemon onto the iPad. If the report is true, this will be the first time that the Pokemon franchise has been available on iOS hardware. The Pokemon Co has said that an online trading card game will hit the iPad.

 

Word that Nintendo has sold over a million copies of Mario Kart 8 also helped send Nintendo shares up in trading. Mario Kart 8 has become only the second game on the Wii U to sell over a million copies; Super Mario Bros. U was the first game to hit that milestone. The Pokemon game will hit the US and Europe on the iPad, but no official launch date has been offered.

Apple shareholder sues estate of Steve Jobs over Valley poaching deal

An Apple shareholder is suing the estate of deceased founder and CEO Steve Jobs, claiming that his actions compromised the company's value and put stock holders at risk.

 

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In particular, R Andre Klein's complaint lies with Steve Jobs' hiring agreements with other Silicon Valley companies, which essentially amounted to a no-poaching agreement. Critics say that in effect, this secret deal could have stagnated wages and prevented workers from getting what they were due. Klein, who is filing on behalf of all Apple shareholders, says that this behavior violates the US Securities and Exchange act.

 

"Jobs's conduct is a reminder that even widely respected businessmen can knowingly commit unlawful acts in the zealous pursuit of profits," it was stated in court papers. "In this case, Jobs and the other individual defendants knowingly caused Apple to enter into agreements that violated California law and US antitrust laws." The present CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is also a defendant. Klein is seeking a payment from Apple for damages to shareholders, Sky reports.

Twitter upsets some by displaying favorite tweets on timelines

Twitter is experimenting with something that has some users of the service upset. The experiment is making tweets that users favorite display on their timeline, making the favorite tweets act as if they were retweets. Presumably, the change is an effort on Twitter's part to get people more involved with the content.

 

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Many users were complaining that their timelines were cluttered and useless. Twitter hasn't commented directly on the complaints yet, but did point out a blog post where it notes that it has the right to experiment. This change may not be seen by everyone who uses Twitter.

 

The blog post reads, "A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation. We've tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we'll release. These tests are essential to delivering the best possible user experience."

SEGA settles Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit for $1.25 million

SEGA has settled its class-action lawsuit that was taken against it for allegedly false advertising its first-person shooter from last year, Aliens: Colonial Marines, for a cool $1.25 million.

 

 

From the $1.25 million, plaintiffs Damion Perrine and John Locke would see $2,500 each, while their attorney fees would chew up a massive $312,500. Administration fees tick up to $200,000 leaving $735,000 to be split up among everyone in the class-action lawsuit, a number that will not exceed $59.99 per person.

 

How many people clustered into the class-action lawsuit? According to Game Informer, a huge 135,000 people signed up, which should see around $5.44 per person from the $735,000 remaining. While this isn't a huge amount of money, let's hope that it deters publishers and game developers from lying to gamers in the videos and various teasers of their games, and then bait and switching when it hits gamers' HDDs.

Continue reading 'SEGA settles Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit for $1.25 million' (full post)

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