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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.
Microsoft has announced its fiscal fourth quarter earnings, and although it's in profit, the company claims it took a hit from Nokia's handset business.
Quarterly profit was $4.61 billion, down from $4.96 billion for the same quarter last year. That leaves it at 55 cents per share, quite a touch short of Wall Street's expectations of 60 cents per share on average. And while the acquisition of Nokia's handset business may have impacted on Microsoft's quarterly profits, revenues reached $23.38 billion, beating estimates of $23 billion, with the company largely having Nokia sales to thank for this. Enterprise also performed well.
"We are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution," Satya Nadella, new-ish Microsoft CEO said. "I'm proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off - our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate." Executive veep Amy Hood said in a statement that as the company enters fiscal 2015, it's "focused on aligning" its resources towards strategic investments - perhaps referring to Microsoft's recent decision to make one of the largest job cuts in the history of the tech industry - of a staggering 18,000 people.
Consumers for electronic goods outside America pay hundreds more than their US counterparts, according to a new report.
British consumer rights magazine Which? found that manufacturers and stores are pushing up the price for tech in the country, including almost 1,000 dollars more for a Samsung TV. Americans buying an Apple Macbook Pro 13in will get their models 600 dollars cheaper than on the other side of the Atlantic, the report claims. Sony's PS4 or Microsoft's Xbox One were 160 dollars cheaper in the States.
Which exec director Richard Lloyd pushed manufacturers to explain why their prices are hiked so much abroad. "UK consumers are getting a raw deal by paying up to hundreds of pounds more for the same tech products on sale in the US," he said. "Manufacturers should play fair and explain why consumers are paying more for buying in the UK."
Gift cards are the go to gifts for many people around the world for birthdays and holidays. Gift cards might be impersonal, but many people like to get and give them. Word has surfaced that Netflix is gearing up to sell gift cards in stores in 40 different countries around the world where it operates.
The gift cards will be available in select stores in the US, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and other places. The gift cards will allow users to pay for Netflix service without having to use a credit card for sign up. A note from Netflix about its gift card plans included an image of a $30 gift card; the service starts at $7.99 monthly.
"In mature markets, gift cards will extend our brand presence and make it easier to access Netflix," the company said in its letter. "In newer markets, gift cards help build the brand and provide an easier alternative for consumers to join Netflix in markets with developing online payments."