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The latest news surrounding the numerous problems plaguing the SimCity launch is that EA has changed its mind about refunds. A post authored March 5 by EA Global community manager Marcel Hatam said, "If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can - of course - request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us."
Numerous Redditors have said that they were receiving refunds as late as yesterday afternoon. Currently users are reporting that Origin CSRs are saying that they cannot provide a refund. The original post, seen above, has been amended to point users to the return policy. Origin's Twitter account also tweeted the following:
Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations
The return policy states: "As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin."
Over the last several months Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has managed to gain a little momentum, but its adoption rate is nothing like its competitors. With Nokia being the largest adopter of the platform, they had to bite off quite a bit in licensing fees for the Windows based mobile OS.
Nokia released a statement yesterday that it still owes Microsoft more than half a billion dollars ($650 million) in licensing fees for Windows Phone. Shareholders need not start a revolution though as the total platform support fees that Nokia has received or will receive from Microsoft will exceed the licensing fees.
This means that the gamble Nokia took on Windows Phone will not be a loss at all, and we may even see some next-generation Windows Phones from the Finnish phone manufacturer. No information on when the $650 million bill is due, but we are sure that Nokia will pay in full right on time.
According to an email acquired by the Wall Street Journal, Motorola will be laying off 10% of their workforce. The email says "while we're very optimistic about the new projects in our pipeline, we still face challenges."
Motorola are forced to make the cuts due to high costs and losses in a very competitive market. A spokesperson told the WSJ: These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned and we're committed to helping them through this difficult transition."
The 10% cut will see around 1200 employees laid off, but we should see Motorola begin to turn themselves around with Google behind them now. I'd bet that twelve months from now they'll be a completely different direction.
Apple are in the middle of getting their music streaming service ready, and are in discussions with various record companies. The Cupertino-based giant is pushing the companies to lower their rates to Apple for every 100 songs streamed.
According to The New York Post's unnamed sources, Apple wants to pay just $0.06 per every 100 songs streamed. This is quite cheap considering Pandora are paying $0.12 per 100 songs, and Spotify is paying a premium $0.35 per 100 songs. This might sound unfair, but the latter two companies don't have the same kind of pull that Apple does.
The Post's sources have said that this move "could tap a whole new revenue stream for them" with their own music service.
Razer adds Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC, to their ranks as an advisor to their board of directors
Rahul Sood, known as being the founder of VoodooPC, has joined Razer's ranks as an advisor to the board of directors. Sood says that he sees the gaming-focused company as the spiritual successor to VoodooPC's previous work, with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan feeling the same. Tan says:
In fact, it was his work at VoodooPC that inspired us to enter the systems business, and I believe his advice will be invaluable to us here at Razer.
Sood will help the company with everything from product development to sales, so we should expect to see a touch of his magic on Razer's products in the coming months and years.
Amazon has stopped selling the electronic version of SimCity after numerous problems with the launch. The physical copy of the game is still for sale, and the digital one should return once the connectivity problems are resolved by EA and Maxis.
When either copy is selected for purchase, a warning is displayed:
Important Note on "SimCity": Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information.
The SimCity launch is starting to match the scale of problems that the Diablo III launch underwent last May. This should be yet another nail in the coffin for always-on games and DRM, but we doubt it will have much effect. EA has disabled certain non-critical features to help with connectivity problems and plans to bring more servers online. They've also said customers can request a refund, though not everyone is having success at getting one.
All eyes are on Google as a report says that they are the ones responsible for tipping off the EU that Microsoft's Windows 7 no longer gave a choice of browser after Service Pack 1. Google, in conjunction with Opera, are said to be the responsible parties for causing the investigation that led to Microsoft being fined $730+ million.
Of course Google and Opera had lots to gain by Microsoft being forced to promote their browsers. What company wouldn't want their product being promoted when a competitor's product was installed? Furthermore, Google and Microsoft haven't been on the best of terms as of late. Looking at Microsoft's Gmail smear campaign, one doesn't have to wonder why.
Many people are upset by the launch issues that SimCity has suffered from since its release on Tuesday. Some have gone so far as to request refunds, though EA doesn't seem to want to issue them, despite a statement from EA's global community manager saying that users could request one.
Of course requesting a refund doesn't mean that a user will get one. "If you regrettably feel that we left you down, you can of course request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us, though we are currently still in the process of resolving this issue."
One extremely unhappy customer posted a transcript (see above) of his chat with Origin support. The support agent declined his refund request, to which he suggested he might ask his bank for one. The chat agent responded that disputing the charge would result in an Origin account ban.
EA is working on fixing the problem by patching servers and bringing more online, though it's not clear to what effect these patches have had. We'll keep you up-to-date on the ongoing SimCity launch problems.
Reuters is reporting that Apple has approached Intel about taking over the production of its A series of processors. This move would bolster Intel's contract manufacturing business and would lessen Apple's need to keep rival Samsung around.
The actual date and time the meeting took place is still a bit of a mystery though, with the report citing that the meeting took place sometime within the last year. It is also unclear if any deals were struck or terms made. We are sure that we would have heard something by now if anything was written in stone.
Should this switch in manufacturing take place, you should not expect to see any Clover Trail+ Atom processors in next-generation Apple mobile products. Intel would produce ARM-compatible Apple A series chips for use in its iPad and iPhone lines. Although, an X86 based iPad could spark renewed interest in a lot of techies who have moved on to other OS based tablets.
After just six months on the job as CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has received a tidy $1.12 million bonus as part of a compensation package she received when she took the job. Mayer's annual salary is $1 million, and she's also eligible for a $2 million bonus annually, based on meeting certain performance goals set by the Yahoo board.
Mayer has also received numerous stock and options compensation, which are worth a mammoth $56 million, including $14 million to make up for the fact she left Google and lost wages in the process. Other bonuses are possible, and it all comes down to the results she can provide. Considering Yahoo shares have increased by around 50% since she took control of the company, investors wouldn't be complaining about her bonuses at all.