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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)

Samsung purchases smart home firm SmartThings for $200 million

Samsung has made a purchase of a smaller company that makes part home products called SmartThings. The official sales price wasn't disclosed by Samsung or SmartThings, but sources claiming to be familiar with the deal say the purchase cost Samsung $200 million.

 

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Under Samsung, SmartThings will continue to be operated by CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson and the company will operate independently. The company will be relocated to Palo Alto, California and will be part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center, which is located in the city.

 

Hawkinson said, "I think at a high level, it has always been our vision to go really big. It's just scale and reach all around the world - imagine reaching hundreds of millions of consumers and many more developers."

Owner of Tinder buys Ask FM and vows to improve online safety

Following a spate of high profile bullying cases and suicides that were linked by pundits to the service, Ask.fm has been taken over by Ask.com and social dating app Tinder.

 

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IAC, which arranged the deal, said it plans on spending millions on improving the safety of the site, while Ask.fm's founders are due to leave. It will "revamp" its safety policies and procedures, according to an official safety agreement between the new owners and New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

 

Ask.fm, the BBC reports, started in 2010 and has a hefty userbase of 180 million per month - but complaints surfaced after it was linked to the deaths of teenagers and online abuse. But IAC said it will focus on child safety, including by employing more moderators.

German capital Berlin bans Uber from operating in the city

The German capital of Berlin has officially banned smartphone taxi service Uber, effective immediately, over concerns that the company's drivers and vehicles are not officially licensed.

 

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Berlin authorities issued a warning that Uber faces a 25,000 euro fine each time it is found in violation of the city's Public Transport Act. The Act states that drivers must be background checked, as well as own a valid driving licence. Berlin's authorities said that the safety of its citizens takes precedence over Uber's right to operate. "As the supervisory and regulatory body, the agency for citizen's affairs and public order cannot tolerate, that passengers are entrusted to unlicensed drivers or vehicles, and where in the case of an accident they are not insured," a statement said.

 

Uber hit back by claiming the city is preventing its citizens from making their own choices, and insists the only service it is providing is connecting would-be drivers with would-be passengers.

Overstock estimates $6 million to $8 million in 2014 bitcoin sales

Overstock.com has seen $15,000 per day in bitcoin sales, totaling $300,000 per month, serving as one of the leading brands now accepting the cryptocurrency. Accepting bitcoin is reportedly going to add 4 cents per share to the company's financial earnings in 2014, and sales have exceeded $2 million.

 

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The company expects to see anywhere from an estimated $6 million up to $8 million in bitcoin sales this year, with new customers now shopping with the e-tailer.

 

"We're in bitcoin for the long haul, I intend to make it permanent," said Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO, in a statement to Reuters. "Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to be around for as long as the law of mathematics works."

Continue reading 'Overstock estimates $6 million to $8 million in 2014 bitcoin sales' (full post)

Cisco announces restructuring and layoffs with 6000 job cuts

Cisco is one of the largest networking firms in the US. The company recently announced its latest quarterly earnings and along with those earnings announced continued plans for restructuring. The company will lay off about 6000 people, equating to about 8% of its workforce.

 

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This round of layoffs is the largest restructuring action since restructuring began in 2011. The company plans to take as much as $700 million in restructuring charges, with half that amount coming in the quarter that ends in October.

 

CEO John Chambers said in a statement, "I'm pleased with how we are transforming our company over the past several years and that journey continues. ... We are focused on growth, innovation and talent, especially in the areas of security, data center, software, cloud and Internet of everything. Our strategy is sound, our financials are strong, and our market leadership is secure. We have the team in place to deliver and are uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their biggest business problems."

Facial recognition catches child predator on the lamb for 14 years

Way back in 2000 a man named Neil Stammer was accused of sex crimes involving a child as well as kidnapping and other charges in New Mexico. The man was released on bond and then he skipped town and remained at large for 14 years. He was recently captured after facial recognition tech was used on his photograph.

 

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The case was shelved years ago after no new evidence surfaced and the criminal couldn't be located. Things changed earlier this year when the Diplomatic Security Service began using facial recognition tech to crack down on bogus US passports. Authorities ran the facial recognition tech on Stammer's old photo and came up with a match.

 

The old photo matched a photo of a man named Kevin Hodges, who was actually Stammer living under a new name in Nepal. Stammer was teaching English to children there and was described as "comfortable" in Nepal.

T-Mobile to start throttling unlimited data users using torrents/p2p

T-Mobile has announced that it is getting ready to begin throttling users on unlimited LTE data plans who are using the data allowance for things outside the terms and conditions imposed on the plan. According to T-Mobile, users that are using their data for torrents or p2p will begin being throttled on August 17.

 

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The company wrote, "T-mobile has identified customers who are heavy data users and are engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing, and tethering outside of T-Mobile's Terms and Conditions (T&C). This results in a negative data network experience for T-Mobile customers. Beginning August 17, T-Mobile will begin to address customers who are conducting activities outside of T-Mobile's T&Cs."

 

The throttling will only apply to those on the old $70 unlimited or new $80 Simple Choice plans. Those who violate will see their speeds reduced until the next billing cycle.

Comcast puts customer on hold until call center closed for the day

Less than one month after apologizing for an embarrassing and "unacceptable" customer call, Comcast will have even more egg on its face. YouTube user Aaron Spain wanted to have service installed in his new apartment, but after technicians didn't show up on several different occasions, he tried to cancel. Spain was on hold for more than three hours, and was simply on hold until the call center simply closed for the day.

 

 

"I'd also been assured so many times that their service department was 24/7," Spain noted. "No distinction or clarification was ever made by anyone that their 'retention' department closed at any time."

 

Spain did note that the people he spoke with were polite, despite being put on hold until the call center actually closed for the day.

Continue reading 'Comcast puts customer on hold until call center closed for the day' (full post)

Amazon Local Register mobile card reader and app combo launches

Amazon has launched its own card reader and accompanying app to allow small businesses to get paid. The Amazon card reader is called Amazon Local Register and it is aiming directly at Square and PayPal. One of the big features of the Amazon offering is that it has lower costs than Square and PayPal.

 

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Amazon offers a flat charge of 1.75% per payment until the beginning of 2016, which is 1% lower than the fees required by both of the competing providers. On January 1 2016, the fees will increase to 2.5%, which is still lower than both competitors current pricing.

 

The card reader and apps are available for Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices. No monthly fees are charged and the card reader hardware will cost $10. Buyers of the card reader will get a $10 credit in processing fees making the reader free.

Continue reading 'Amazon Local Register mobile card reader and app combo launches' (full post)

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