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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 122

Game of Thrones director talks piracy, isn't phased by it at all

Game of Thrones is an undeniable hit, so big that it was the most downloaded show of 2012, but how does the director of the show feel being downloaded so many times? David Petrarca, director of Game of Thrones said that you simply shrug your shoulder at piracy, and that illegal downloads don't really matter because your show thrives on cultural buzz.


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When talking to a group of panelists at the Perth Writer's Festival over the weekend, the Game of Thrones director said that shows like the HBO smash hit capitalize on the social commentary they create, adding "that's how they survive." Just how many times was the show downloaded? It was averaging roughly 3.9 million downloads per episode in 2012. The closest downloaded show to this was How I Met Your Mother, with around 3 million downloads per episode.


HBO is unique, as the premium cable channel has 26 million US-based subscribers, and 60 million or so across the world. With that amount of subscribers, they can afford to allow illegal downloads as it gets their show some serious press - not just in the normal forms - but socially across Facebook, etc. The director also talked about other huge shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy, saying that while they do well, they can all be consumed whenever, and wherever.

Auction for Google Glass on Ebay pulled after price shoots past $15k

Unfortunately for those who missed the Google Glass pre-order, there is really only one other way to get a headset before everyone else: buy one from someone who pre-ordered a set. Since the competition to win a chance to buy a pair ends today, you're basically left waiting for the public release or buying a pre-release product from one of those lucky few who have purchased one already.


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One such person put up an auction on Ebay, which has now been pulled. The auction started at $1,500, the sunk price for the headset, though it quickly skyrocketed to over $15,000 before being pulled. It's not clear whether the user pulled the auction or whether Ebay and/or Google had something to do with it.


From the auction's description:


I've been selected as an early adapter for Google's upcoming release. you are buying a brand new unopened pair of Google's Project Glass glasses. i will be personally attending and picking up my pair in either Los Angeles, or New York at Google's Project Glass launch event, which will take place some time after Feburary 27th.


Is it really worth 10 times the asking price? I'd say no, but there are people who have plenty of money laying around that they could drop on something like this.

Cook says Apple looking at new product categories

During Apple's shareholder meeting today, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that Apple is considering new product categories. "Obviously, we're looking at new categories. We don't talk about them, but we're looking at them."


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Rumors of an upcoming iWatch are running rampant and this could be the very category that Cook was thinking of when he made those comments. There have also been rumors of an Apple-built TV, though these have yet to prove to be true. Apple has missed analyst predictions numerous times when it comes to releasing an iTV.


In other Apple news, Cook believes Apple will move into the new "spaceship" headquarters in 2016.

Continue reading 'Cook says Apple looking at new product categories' (full post)

Yahoo CEO bans working from home for Yahoo, builds a nursery in her office

Last week, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pissed off a bunch of her employees by banning them from working remotely. Working from home can be great for some people, but now if you did that at Yahoo, you'll have to completely change your day-to-day life and work at a Yahoo office.


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Jackie Reses, Yahoo's Human Resources boss, sent a memo out, advising that all remote employees would need to be working in Yahoo offices by June. This will mostly affect parents of young children, where working from home can be a massive benefit. Where it gets weird, is that Mayer herself had a child last year, and is a CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world - so how does she do it? How does she balance the trials and tribulations of motherhood, with the responsibilities of being a CEO?


Well, she builds her own nursery in her office, that's how! This will not bode well with mothers at Yahoo who currently work remotely, and so they should be upset. If it's good for Mayer, and not for them, what does that mean for working parents at Yahoo? Why not just build a nursery and staff it within Yahoo to keep everyone happy? I know that's what I'd do - keep your employees happy, at all costs.

THQ has fire sale, sells Darksiders, Homeworld, Red Faction and more

If you thought THQ had sold everything they owned when we first reported on the case, you were wrong, as they still have plenty to get rid of. The remaining franchises that THQ own are now being sold as part of a "court-approved sales process".


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This court-approved sale is getting rid of THQ properties such as Darksiders, Homeworld, Red Faction and Destroy All Humans! If you want to get in quick, the final bids on the properties are due no later than April 15. THQ have said that they've already received over "100 expressions of interest" regarding "various titles" they still hold the rights to. There will be six items to be sold off, with four properties available individually, and two "bundle" deals, one for internal properties, the other for licensed IP.


The games to be sold separately include Darksiders, Homeworld, MX and Red Faction. The internal bundle will include Big Beach Sports, Destroy All Humans!, Summoner and "more". Marvel Super Hero, Supreme Commander, Worms and "more" will be included in the licensed bundle.

Study says illegal music sharing decreased 17% in 2012

According to a study by The NPD Group, the number of consumers engaging in illegal music sharing via the P2P protocol decreased by 17 percent in 2012 from the previous year. Other forms of music sharing also saw a decrease in 2012, which NPD Group attributes to the rise of free alternatives, such as Pandora and Spotify.


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Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD:


For the music industry, which has been battling digital piracy for over a decade, last year was a year of progress. Among other factors, the increased use of legal and licensed streaming services has proven to be an alternative for music fans who formerly used P2P networks to obtain music


The volume of P2P music files downloaded decreased by 26 percent, CD ripping by friends and family fell 44 percent, the number of files transferred via hard drives fell 25 percent, and the volume of music downloaded from digital lockers decreased 28 percent.

Apple stock surges on rumor of a stock split

Douglas Kass, a contributor for The Street, has tweeted that a stock split will be announced at tomorrow's shareholders meeting. We'd caution everyone that this is just a rumor and that he hasn't backed it up with any sort of hard evidence that a split will actually be announced.


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High above the Alps my Gnome is hearing a rumor that Apple will announce a stock split at tomorrow's shareholder meeting


Apple's stock (AAPL) is up 1.38 percent to $448.90 after being down earlier this morning.

Google invites kids to take a virtual tour of how it makes its Doodles

Google, as part of its Doodle4Google contest, is inviting kids to take a virtual tour behind-the-scenes to see how Google makes its famous Doodles. The event, which will be live from the Googleplex on March 1, can be registered for by heading to the event registration page put up by Google.


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Join the talented group of illustrators and engineers LIVE on Friday, March 1st for an exclusive behind-the-scenes view into how Google doodles are created. Two illustrators will even participate in a live doodle-off - determined by your votes!


The broadcast will take place at 1 p.m. ET or 10 a.m. PT.

MasterCard unveils digital banking service, MasterPass, debuts in Australia and Canada next month

We still don't have a one-world currency just yet, so conspiracy theorists (who are becoming conspiracy realists very quickly) can breathe a sigh of relief - but this is definitely a step in that direction. MasterCard have just unveiled a new digital banking service, MasterPass.



MasterPass will continue on from MasterCard's PayPass, with the company confident in the fact that if they can secure enough of the right merchants and technology partners, it can turn the "promise of a digital future" into a reality. MasterCard have also stated that the upcoming MasterPass will be a seamless and secure experience for consumers, making it easier than ever to begin transactions "from wherever they are", and with "any device".


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MasterPass includes support for a bunch of check-out methods including QR codes and NFC. Funnily enough, Australia and Canada will be receiving the service next month, while the US and UK will have to wait until spring and summer, respectively.

New York Times' piece on Tesla Model S causes customers to cancel orders, and more

We reported a couple of weeks ago on the New York Times piece about the Tesla S, where the reviewer had made some shifty moves - but now we're seeing the results of this review rippling through the industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk sat down with Bloomberg TV's Betty Liu on "In the Loop", where he talked about the Model S and the NYT's piece on his vehicle.


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Musk has said that the New York Times review of the Model S might have cost the company as much as $100 million in value, and the cancellation of 'hundreds' of orders from customers. Musk said, "It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million, so it's not trivial." So it looks like Tesla were on the losing end of the Times' piece on their Model S.


Musk continues, saying:


We did actually get a lot of cancellations as a result of The New York Times article. It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million, so it's not trivial...I would say that refers more to the valuation of the company. It wasn't as though there were 1,000 cancellations just due to The New York Times article. There were probably a few hundred.

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