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Amazon launched its Fire TV set top box a while back and the $99 device got a lot of streaming TV fans excited. The big catch was that the device proved so popular that Amazon sold out of Fire TV boxes only a few days after it was announced. That supply issue has now been sorted and the Fire TV is in stock again.
To get people who are interested in the Fire TV to try it out, Amazon has announced a free trial. Buyers can apply an offer that will let them get the Fire TV shipped to their door at no cost and you don't have to pay for the box for a full month.
For a very long time the telephone industry has enjoyed government subsidies designed to help them roll out telephone service into rural parts of the country. The goal was to get people that live in rural America the same sort of communications tech that people in major cities get. As the years pass and fewer and fewer people use home telephone service the FCC has been working to repurpose some of those telephone subsidies.
The FCC announced a plan in 2011 that would use some of the funds from the telephone subsidies to subsidize the roll out of broadband internet access to rural America. Telephone firms pushed back hard against that change out of fear of losing subsidies. The FCC has now won the right to use some of the money from those subsidies to spread broadband in rural parts of the US. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the challenge leveled by telephone companies as unpersuasive opening the doors for re-tasking of subsidies.
Apple just doesn't know when to take it easy, and even with its trial against Samsung over, it is requesting a retrial. Apple wants more damages awarded, up and above the $119 million it was already awarded, and much more.
The iPhone giant wants to see the ban of sales on some of Samsung's most popular devices in the US, which would include current and future devices - such as the popular Galaxy S5 and Note 3 smartphones. Apple has said that Samsung is using its technology for things like slide-to-unlock and word protection.
It looks like Tyrese Gibson and Dr. Dre have smoked themselves into a corner with their bragging about Dr. Dre, Beats founder and hip-hop legend, where they said he would be "the first billionaire in hip-hop". Well, Apple wasn't happy with that, guys.
Gibson said in a video that Dre was "drunk off of Heinekens," something that was posted to Gibson's Facebook page minutes after Apple announced it was acquiring Beats for $3.2 billion. You can understand why Apple isn't happy with this, as it seems Beats apparently leaked the news of the $3.2 billion deal before it had a signature on the dotted line, according to Billboard.
Sony made an absolute killing with the PlayStation 2, with its next-gen PS4 console looking like it might actually get close to those massive sales. Sony has already recouped the hardware costs of the PS4, but now it has the task of hitting the huge sales of the PS2.
Sony President Kaz Hirai has said that the PlayStation 4 was "already contributing profit on a hardware unit basis, establishing a very different business framework from that of previous platform businesses". Considering the PS3 took three years to begin making money for Sony, the PS4 is doing some big business for the Japanese giant.
In Sony's recent full-year earnings, the gaming side of its business had increased 53% thanks to the PS4. It was also helped by Sony's gaming services, with "approximately half" of the 7 million PS4 owners subscribing to PlayStation Plus. It looks like the future is bright for both Sony and the PS4.
Online gambling website BetCoin has unveiled the BetCoin Reels online slot machine, a "provably fair" 5-line slot machine. Much to the dismay of governments already concerned of bitcoin-related money laundering, it looks like gambling will continue to push the cryptocurrency forward.
"The company is not resting on its laurels, however, and new games and new features are already in development," noted BetCoin officials.
BetCoin has four online bitcoin-themed "gaming" products that include instant payouts and 3D graphics, as online gambling websites scramble to accept bitcoin currency payments. There are a growing number of online websites that accept bitcoins, featuring poker, blackjack, roulette, and other popular casino games.
A Canadian lawmaker is spearheading an international group of attorneys, professors, bitcoin businesses and supporters to publish the first bitcoin law book. It's possible Canada could become the first country to create federal bitcoin laws, though volatility, secure monetary exchanges, and criminal behavior must be addressed moving forward.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write about the evolving law surrounding Bitcoin and other digital currencies said Chrstine Duhaime, Duhaime Law partner, in a press release. "As the US Federal Reserve noted only weeks ago, Bitcoin's disruptive technology may force banks and other financial institutions to adapt and change the way they provide services to consumers and it will open new markets for business all over the world. It's important that the law keeps pace with emerging technologies like Bitcoin and we are excited to be a part of the international dialogue on Bitcoin law."
Consumers and businesses are becoming more familiar with bitcoins, but governments are still unsure how to handle the popular cryptocurrency. There are a growing number of money laundering-related cases involving bitcoins, which police authorities are trying to clamp down. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice is working to learn more about bitcoins and any black markets available for drug dealers and money launderers.
The $324.5 million payment that Apple, Adobe, Intel and Google agreed to pay will lead to $4,000 payouts to the workers, depending on their work salaries during the four-year lawsuit. A June 19 hearing in San Jose could lead to the deal being approved by a federal judge, though there already is resistance to the expected settlement.
Top executives from Silicon Valley technology companies created "no-poaching" pacts so employees that argued they were unable to seek higher salaries elsewhere. Intuit paid $11 million and Pixar and Lucasfilm, which are both owned by Disney, paid the remaining $9 million - and that payment has already received approval from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.
Poaching talented rivals from one another is not uncommon in Silicon Valley, and salaries are increasing in value for workers, as job recruitment continues to be intense among tech and biotech companies.
The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, which was the first Sin City casino to accept bitcoin cryptocurrency payment, now has its own Robocoin bitcoin ATM. Customers can exchange U.S. currency and bitcoins, or deposit cash into bitcoin accounts. D Casino Hotel is located off the main strip, and can be found on Fremont Street.
D co-owner Derek Stevens said the number of bitcoin-related transactions is higher than initially considered, though wouldn't disclose exact figures. The popular cryptocurrency is accepted at the D front desk, casino floor, restaurants and in the casino gift shop.
The addition of bitcoin ATM machines in shopping malls and other popular shopping destinations continues to grow - and with casinos fighting for visitors willing to spend money - adding them to the hotel lobby and casino floor makes sense. Bitcoins continue to gain mainstream acceptance from customers, and more stores are showing interest in accepting the currency as payment.
Cox Communications is one of the largest cable TV providers in the US and has recently committed to rolling out ultrafast broadband internet service for residential users. Cox will be rolling out gigabit speed broadband to all of its residential customers starting this year. Cox plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the rollout of the faster service.
Cox is starting with upgrades to its networks in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Omaha, Nebraska. The first customers in those areas will be able to upgrade to gigabit speeds in Q4 2014. Cox is the third largest cable and internet provider in the US behind Comcast and Time Warner.