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It was only a few days ago that the now privately-owned Dell opened up another payment option: bitcoin. Now the company has announced that its subsidiary arm, Alienware, also accepts the digital currency as payment for its custom-made goods.
Alienware took to Twitter to announce the news, with @Alienware saying: "Alienware now accepts Bitcoin! For a limited time, get up to $150 off when using this payment method! http://www.alienware.com/". As you can see, Alienware is actually offering $150 off any purchase on its goods when using bitcoin, which is a nice way of attracting some new customers.
Amazon is doing very well with its Prime service that offers free and discounted shipping on thousands of items on its website. Amazon also offers Prime subscribers access to streaming video and recently added free music streaming to the mix.
Amazon has announced that it has now added hundreds of thousands more songs to its music library to address one of its main drawbacks at launch. When Prime Music launched it lacked song selection and a mix of current hits. The expanded offerings include artists new to Prime music and additional tracks from artists already available.
Among the new artists added to the catalog are David Guetta, Al Green, Miles Davis, Kendrick Lamar, Linkin Park, Shakira, Deadmau5, Ella Fitzgerald, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neil Young, DJ Snake & Lil Jon, Young the Giant, A$AP Rocky, Elvis, Oasis, Kacey Musgraves, Ray Charles, Panic! at the Disco, Wyclef Jean, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Skrillex, and John Coltrane among others. Many of those aren't exactly current, but more music is a good thing. Amazon still has no deal in place with Universal, which is the home of some of the most popular artists of today.
There are plenty of items on the market today that promise to track your sleep and help you sleep better so you are more rested and functional the next day. A new sleep tracking device has surfaced called the Sphere that was designed by a Brit named James Proud. Proud happens to be a Theil Fellow and received a $100,000 grant from Peter Thiel to work in technology in the US.
The Sense is the first product that Proud has developed and it is an orb that sits at the bedside and records data on sleep. It can be pre-ordered on Kickstarter now for $99 and aims to ship in Q4 2014.
Sense is able to measure temperature, light, motion, humidity, sound, and particle counts for pollen and dust in the air. Sphere also has a sleep pill that clips to your pillow to record your movements during sleep without having to wear a wristband. The gadget syncs to your iPhone to hare data and can tell you when you tossed and turned and what the cause for that was.
On April 1st (of all days) just before dinner time, Jay Georgiou and an unidentified assailant broke into the flat of three men based in Tenterden Close, Eastbourne. The pair of criminals had weapons, tying up the residents of the flat, demanding drugs and money.
19-year-old Georgiou had enough class during this time to take a call from his probation officer, discussing a missed appointment. The victims kept quite during the phone call, but the criminal pair didn't notice that the residents of the flat they broke into were playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 online with a friend in Brighton at the time.
The friend was able to hear everything that was happening in his friends flat, so he contacted the authorities. Less than two hours after Georgiou broke into the flat, he was arrested by police. The second assailant has yet to have been apprehended, but is said to be a white male between the ages of 20 and 25, with ginger hair. He was wearing a ski mask or balaclava at the time of the incident. Georgiou was sentenced to eight years in prison, and was ordered to pay £120, or $204 in damages.
Crytek is really bleeding talent right now, with the Producer of both Ryse: Son of Rome on the Xbox One and Crysis 3 leaving the studio, according to The Escapist.
The Escapist is reporting that Read's updated LinkedIn profile doesn't list Crysis as his current employer, and his Twitter bio also points to the same fact, stating that he is a "former producer" at Crytek. This isn't the only talent the studio has lost lately, with the Lead R&D Graphics Engineer of Crytek leaving for id Software not long ago.
Not only that, but the studio has reportedly not been paying its staff on time, with some of Crytek's UK-based staff no longer going to work. The director of Homefront has also resigned, which is leaving the studio in a very vulnerable position.
Facebook has just posted its second quarter earnings and the company trounced Wall Street expectations by boosting revenues 61 percent, strengthened by its mobile advertising business.
Mobile ad revenue made up a stonking 62 percent of all ad revenue in the three months quarter ended June 30. That's up from 41 percent from the same time last year, and steady growth from 59 percent in the company's prior quarter. Total revenue was at 2.91 billion dollars, topping the Thomson Reuters expectation of 2.81 billion. Its income was posted at 791 million dollars, up enormously from 333 million for the second quarter of 2013.
"We had a good second quarter," Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Our community has continued to grow, and we see a lot of opportunity ahead as we connect the rest of the world." Since going public, Facebook had some trouble monetizing despite it being by far the world's largest social network, now putting its users at the 1.32 billion mark. Clearly mobile has an even bigger role to play in the future of Zuckerberg's once fledgling social media project.
Google is offering a new prize for anyone who can build a better power inverter. The price is a cool $1 million and it is being offered as part of the little box challenge. To win designers need to build a better small-scale power inverter than is available today.
What Google and the other firms backing the prize are looking for is a kW-scale power inverter with a density of at least 50W per cubic inch. Some believe that a power inverter of this type will allow the unlocking of billions of dollars of commercial value from the electric grid.
Google says, "We believe that inverters will become increasingly important to our economy and environment as solar PV, batteries, and similar power sources continue their rapid growth. More broadly, similar forms of power electronics are everywhere: in laptops, phones, motors drives, electric vehicles, wind turbines, to give just a few examples. We expect that the innovations inspired by this prize will have wide applicability across these areas, increasing efficiency, driving down costs, and opening up new uses cases that we can't imagine today. It also doesn't hurt that many of these improvements could make our data centers run more safely and efficiently."
Electronic Arts posted its results for the first quarter of the fiscal 2015 year (the three-month period that ended on June 30) where the company saw a net revenue of $1.21 billion. This is an 8% increase compared to EA's revenue in the previous quarter, which was $1.12 billion.
When comparing to year-over-year results, it's an increase of 27.9%. The company has also increased its digital revenue by a little over 9% in the last three months too, increasing this revenue from $491 million to $536 million. EA's net income dropped 8.7% for the last quarter, dropping from $367 million in Q4 of fiscal 2014 to $335 million.
If we compare it to the same quarter of last year, EA's net income has increased by a whopping 50.9%. The company took the time to announce two delays for two of its biggest franchises, with Dragon Age: Inquisition being pushed back a month into November, and delaying Battlefield: Hardline into 2015.
Starting next year, the British government will decriminalize online video game, music and movie piracy, as well as totally removing harsher punishment plans after it has considered them unworkable. In 2015, file sharers will be sent four warning letters telling them of their activity being illegal, but after the fourth letter, no more correspondence will take place.
The British government has called this new scheme the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), and has arrived after many years of discussions between ISPs, British politicians, and the movie and music industries. This has involved the UK's biggest providers - BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky - with each of them signing up for VCAP, leading the way for the smaller providers to soon join them.
The newly installed scheme will replace anti-piracy measures that are already in place across the country, which included cutting users' Internet connections, as well as creating an ever-growing database of known file sharers. Chief Executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor talked about VCAP, where he said that: "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection". He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice".
That infamous hawker of hype and high-price handsets, Apple Corporation, has just posted its quarterly profits - of 7.75 billion dollars, up a very respectable 12 percent compared to the same time last year.
It claimed the runaway success of its latest iPhone models is to thank for the strong growth, as well as a swelling of its business in China, where revenue was boosted 28 percent to reach 5.9 billion dollars. The company brought in over 10.3 billion in operational cash flow, it said. "Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can't wait to introduce."
For now it looks like the hype train is showing no signs of stopping, as the entire blogosphere speculates on what's next for the iconic iPhone. What's a little less on everyone's lips, though, is the iPad - sales of which happened to plummet for a second quarter in a row, down by a pretty substantial nine percent to 13.3 million.