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An interesting rumor is emerging, that Microsoft will acquire Mojang, the developer behind the super-successful Minecraft. The Wall Street Journal is behind the report, which gives it some weight, which says that a "person familiar with the matter" has noted that the deal is worth over $2 billion.
Other than that, there's not much to report on now, but you can be sure we'll have more to say if and when this happens.
Ebay announced that Braintree, a former competitor of PayPal and current subsidiary, will begin accepting bitcoins sometime in the next few months. There won't be direct bitcoin integration via PayPal or the Ebay marketplace, as Ebay reportedly was able to answer regulatory questions and other issues that had to be addressed.
"We're announcing PayPal's first foray into bitcoin," said Bill Ready, EBay Braintree unit chief, during a recent conference. "Over the coming months we'll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience."
Braintree customers include Uber and Airbnb, and will be able to accept bitcoins if they choose to opt in. It's a curious move that could lead to bitcoin integration within PayPal and eBay in the future, depending how things with Braintree go.
The lure of bitcoins has led to greater interest from consumers and businesses, as bitcoin ATMs begin to pop up for converting bitcoins to cash or cash to bitcoin savings. If ATMs continue to grow in popularity, bitcoin supporters hope to see a major milestone as cryptocurrencies become mainstream.
"Having these machines in stores, especially quality stores that sell quality items, is really going to raise the profile of bitcoin," said Matt Russell, CMO of PYC, a bitcoin ATM operator in New York. "We'd be fools to not think that marketing is a part of this."
Bitcoin ATMs are being launched in metropolitan areas such as, Seattle, Austin, New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas - and companies want to drive adoption into hotels and other tourist locations. Along with U.S. cities, the ATMs are finding their way to Spain, France, England, and other EU nations - but the ATM industry is hoping to see more industry insight for the blossoming market.
Things just got messy between NVIDIA and Samsung, with NVIDIA suing the South Korean giant over alleged patent infringements. NVIDIA has included Qualcomm in its lawsuit, which has been filed with the US District Court in Delaware, as well as with the International Trade Commission.
Bright Side of News' Anshel Sag reports: "NVIDIA is alleging that Samsung's devices that use Qualcomm's chips are infringing upon NVIDIA's own technologies that have been patented. Not just that, but by filing a complaint with the ITC, NVIDIA is seeking that such devices that infringe upon these patents be banned from importation and sale within the United States." What is worse, is that NVIDIA is claiming that Samsung is infringing on their patents on some of hte most popular handset on the market, and some of which were just announced by Samsung a couple of days ago.
These include the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy S4 as well as the Galaxy Tab S and Galaxy Note Pro... that's a lot of Galaxies. NVIDIA continues, claiming that Samsung's Exynos processors violated seven different patents, as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors. The Snapdragon processors in question are include the Snapdragon S4 (using the Adreno 225), Snapdragon 400 (using the Adreno 305), Snapdragon 600 (using the Adreno 320), Snapdragon 800 and 801 (using the Adreno 330), and Snapdragon 805 (using the Adreno 420).
Online travel agency CheapAir became the first in its industry to accept bitcoin, and now has opened up Dogecoin and Litecoin payment options. Since embracing bitcoin in November 2013, CheapAir has generated $1.5 million in cryptocurrency sales, which is why the company has decided to support Dogecoin and Litecoin.
When consumers typically think of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is the first that comes to mind - but Litecoin, Dogecoin, and scores of others are gaining a strong following from consumers and businesses. Customers purchasing via cryptocurrencies can still mix-and-match flights from multiple airlines, and is still supported by the CheapAir Price Drop Payback offering.
"We try to make travel as easy as possible for customers, and letting people pay the way they want to pay is a big part of that," said Jeff Klee, CheapAir CEO, in a statement. "Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin represent promising technologies that can make transacting online faster, easier, less expensive, and more secure. We admire cryptocurrency early adopters and we're thrilled to support them."
Catcher Technology, a company based in Taiwan that operates factories in China for Apple, has been accused of labor rights and workplace violations. Catcher Technology manufactures metal casings for the Apple iPad, and employees worked a large amount of overtime and were forced to handle toxic chemicals without proper safety procedures or training.
Apple pointed out worrisome problems in the factory in April 2013, but the problems have only worsened since then, according to a China Labor Watch report. Apple is planning to send inspectors to the facility, located in the eastern city of Suqian, to ensure workplace laws are enforced.
Companies that use manufacturing facilities based in China used to turn a blind-eye to workplace violations - but increased pressure has called for Apple, Samsung, and other corporations to ensure their partners are operating more fairly. However, reports of illegal workplace behavior continue to surface, sometimes at a startling pace.
The Isis Wallet mobile payment system has changed its name to Softcard as the company doesn't want to share the same name with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. Company officials noted that it was thinking of a name change over the summer, saying it doesn't want any confusion related to the group that has ramped up its use of brutal tactics to scare rivals and attract new recruits.
Softcard is currently backed by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, and hopes to move forward and continue operating normally. The company said the Isis Wallet will work the same following the name change, and mobile users will see the app update without any major feature changes.
"Our search for a new name has been rooted in our founding vision: to use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save," said Michael Abbott, Softcard CEO, in a statement. "But we also wanted a name and visual identity that had the power, flexibility and simplicity to define our category."
There's currently a class-action lawsuit regarding the debacle of Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was close to a conclusion last month when Sega agreed to shell out $1.25 million. But, that is all up in the air right now.
A month after Gearbox filed a motion distancing itself from any form of financial obligation, which would see them not paying some $750,000 which would bring the total settlement to $2 million. Sega responded with its own motion, where it said that Gearbox was just as responsible for any payout responsibility. It gets pretty dirty, with e-mails, contracts and much more between the two companies.
There were many letters that saw Gearbox releasing many screenshots, videos and much more details on Alien: Colonial marines that had not been approved by Sega. Sega's thoughts on this had not been good when it got to October 2012, with a Sega PR rep blaming "persistent panel leaking" of game details on "Randy [Pitchford, Gearbox director] doing whatever the fuck he likes."
Where will Tesla Motors build its gigantic battery factory? According to CNBC, the electric car maker will be building it Nevada. A Tesla rep spoke with Business Insider, where they said: "We look forward to meeting with Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and other legislators in Carson City at 4 p.m. tomorrow to announce a major economic development."
Tesla Motors' CEO and modern day Tony Stark, Elon Musk, has said that the Gigafactory is a critical piece of its plans to mass-market a Tesla car, as well as lowering the cost of carbon-neutral power. Musk said he wants to double the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries before the end of the decade, which should see a reduction of power pack prices. Musk has said that Tesla has plans to open more than one Gigafactory in the future.
The electric car maker has already broken ground on a prospective site outside of Reno earlier in the summer, which was done by the name of "Project Tiger." The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is currently home to e-commerce facilities owned by Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Zulily. The new Gigafactory will see Tesla hire over 6,500 workers, estimating to cost up to $5 billion.
Verizon will pay a $7.4 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end a privacy investigation that accused the company of not informing two million landline customers that their personal information would be used for marketing purposes. The FCC new about the problem dating back to September 2012, and Verizon informed the FCC in January 2013.
If the new Verizon customers received privacy notices in their first bill, they would have learned about their ability to opt out of future marketing promotions. Verizon now is sending opt-out notices with every phone bill to customers.
"In today's increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honor its duty to inform customers of their privacy choices and then to respect those choices," said Travis LeBlanc, FCC enforcement chief, in a statement. "It is plainly unacceptable for any phone company to use its customers' personal information for thousands of marketing campaigns without even giving them the choice to opt out."