TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
One has to wonder if EA keeps The Consumerist's 'Worst Company in America' awards somewhere, but the company is up for the award yet again - the third year in a row.
Other contenders include Microsoft, Monsanto, Seaworld and Time Warner Cable. Back in 2012, EA won the Worst Company in America award after the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3, and then won it again last year after SimCity arrived nice and broken. This year, I'm sure the company will take the award home again, as Battlefield 4 has been more broken than SimCity ever was.
One of the most profitable software products that Microsoft has is Office. Office has been around for years and so far, Microsoft has kept it off the iPad. There is a version for the iPhone, but you have to subscribe to Office 365 to get it.
Rumors are swirling that new CEO Satya Nadella might be rolling out a version of Office for the iPad on March 27. According to a source claiming to be familiar with the event, the announcement will happen.
Microsoft has sent invites out to press for the March 27 date promising announcements in cloud and mobile. Some analysts think that Microsoft has been giving up as much as $2.5 billion a year in revenue by not having the productivity suite on the iPad.
To help the Spanish people "break free from their shackles," the new SpainCoin will pre-mine and share 50 percent of Spaincoins to Spanish nationals.
The cryptocurrency is valued around $50 million.
"Using SpainCoin is a way for the individual to get back his freedom and have 100% control over his money and assets, breaking free from the shackles of central banks," the official SpainCoin website notes. "Unlike other cryptocoins, less accessible for the general population, SpainCoin will be distributed among all Spaniards."
The European Union is pushing for a new voluntary adoption of a smartphone charging standard years ago, but is now much closer to that goal. The European Parliament has voted in favor of a draft law requiring that smartphones work with a common charger.
Now the EU needs the Council of Ministers approval, where European Union countries will have until 2016 to get it into their local laws, and smartphone makers have a year more to change their hardware. Most phone makers already support the concept, but there will be some companies who don't want to change, or need a little push to fall into line.
Traditionally coins minted in the US have a very distinctive round and flat shape, but a new release from the US Mint has all but shattered that pattern. A new commemorative design will soon roll out that honors the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th birthday in the form of the country's first curved coin. The round coin takes the profile of a baseball and is featured in both gold and silver mintings.
The coins profile and design are loosely based on the curved shape of the International Year of Astronomy coins minted by France back in 2009, as well as Australia's Southern Cross coins. Designed by California Artist, Cassie McFarland, the coins feature a baseball on the front and a catchers mitt on the reverse. Her winning "Hand full of Gold" design was chosen from a pool of 178 entries and was based off of a baseball glove she used as a kid.
Google Street View is a cool service that shows you what streets and landmarks look like at the level you would see in a car or on foot. Back in 2012, Google took a tour of the Grand Canyon with a Trekker backpack that let you virtually explore trails around the canyon.
Google has now strapped one of those Trekker systems into a raft and explored the Colorado River. The footage is very cool and makes you feel like you are right on the water. The footage required two Trekker cameras attached to rafts shooting images every 2.5 seconds.
The journey down the Colorado River was made in partnership with American Rivers organization that tries to protect endangered rivers. Google worked with Arizona River Runners for the actual journey. Google started at Lee's Ferry and ended at Pearce Ferry.
When it comes to crowdfunding, Paypal is not the most popular of choices when it comes to transaction processing. This is because the company has withheld funds in the past when taking crowdfunding donations on behalf of project creators. This is a problem because the whole idea of crowdfunding is to generate the funding needed to move forward with a project. Paypal is looking to change its image with the crowdfunding crowd by altering its policies on the subject.
PayPal's Chief Risk Officer, Tomer Barel, says that his company now contacts campaign owners early in the crowdfunding process in an effort to better understand the projects goals. Different government regulations apply based on if the campaign is fundraising or simply offering pre-order sales. PayPal also has varying policies based on this as well and says it will not put limits on the account if the campaign is strictly fundraising. Restrictions will apply however if the capaign is strictly a pre-order type project. "We enable their campaigns without interrupting payments under the condition that the campaign owner is explicit and transparent to their contributors that there is no guarantee of delivery regarding the rewards being offered upon contribution," Barel says.
AT&T has been working on an acquisition of Leap Wireless for a while. Leap is a pre paid carrier favored by mobile users that don't like contracts. AT&T's purchase will cost it $1.2 billion and the FCC gave the deal the green light this week.
Leap Wireless is also the owner of the Cricket brand of devices and service. The deal was first announced in July 2013 and no objections were raised by the DOJ against the deal. That meant all that AT&T needed was FCC approval.
The FCC had initially said that the deal raised concerns about competition in the marketplace. However, the FCC later decided that any concerns about reduced competition were offset by AT&T's plans to roll out LTE services on spectrum that Leap is currently using.
I've never purchased anything online from Overstock.com, but I like the fact that the company doesn't just whip out the checkbook when it comes to dealing with patent trolls. Overstock has a history of spending whatever it takes to fight patent trolls to the end.
Back in 2011, Overstock was able to defeat Alcatel-Lucent at trial and even had one of the patents Alcatel accused it of infringing on ruled invalid. That is as big a defeat as a patent troll can be handed. Overstock has now announced that it has defeated two more patent trolls and paid out no money to them.
According to the company, Execware LLC and Eclipse IP LLC have each dropped their respective cases accusing Overstock of patent infringement. Overstock's SVP and general counsel Mark Griffin said that the company prefers to spend its legal budget litigating rather than paying.
Days before the Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off in San Francisco, news has hit the wire that a collective of companies working on virtual reality (VR) technology is rebranding itself.
The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance is now known as the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA), and will continue to "foster a vibrant and diverse industry that content makers can support on a wide scale." The ITA has under its wings: EA, Panasonic Epson, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and smaller companies like Technical Illusions, Gameface Labs and Oculus VR.