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Neversoft, the studio behind the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, is rumored to be closing up shop and moving its staff over to Infinity Ward. The Neversoft name will reportedly be retired, with a full merger with the Call of Duty developer.
The news is coming from an internal memo from Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshburg, which fell into the hands of Giant Bomb. The single, bigger studio will keep the Infinity Ward name, as it has the closest ties with one of Activision's biggest franchises: Call of Duty. Neversoft co-founder and studio boss Joel Jewett and Studio Director Scott Pease will reportedly step down from game development after the merger, but will stay on in an assisting capacity during the merger.
It feels like so long ago now, but Apple claimed that Samsung had violated multiple of its patents, claiming that the South Korean giant owed it $2 billion in damages. The lawsuit is now over, with the jury finding:
- Samsung is guilty of violating patent 5,946,647 (the autocorrect text entry patent) with all devices named in this suit.
- Samsung was found not guilty of violating the 6.847.959 patent (Apple's Spotlight search).
- Samsung was found not guilty of violating the 7,761,414 patent (data synchronization patent).
- Samsung was found guilty of violating the 8,046,721 patent (slide-to-unlock) on some devices named, but not all.
The jury ruled that Samsung is to pay Apple $119.6 million in damages, with Apple found to be violating one of two of Samsung's counterclaims, fining the iPhone giant a whopping $158,400.
AT&T reportedly has shown interest in acquiring satellite provider DirecTV, in a deal that would garner at least a $40 billion price tag. DirecTV is the top satellite provider in the United States, with almost 20 million customers - and would be a major addition to AT&T's TV unit, with less than 6 million subscribers.
After Comcast announced its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable, other companies were unsure how to respond to the news - and an AT&T buyout of DirecTV would put the company on almost equal footing as Comcast. Companies are scrambling to try and lead the industry in how content, especially Web-based videos, will be distributed into the living room.
"I would say we should recognize the industry is changing and further consolidation will be necessary going forward," said Jeff Kagan, technology industry analyst, in a press statement. "Of course that means we must be careful and only approve appropriate deals and not all deals. This AT&T DirecTV deal seems to make sense so far. Now we wait to see if anything actually develops here."
Google has been in hot water with many of its users over the last few months for scanning their emails. Google changed its terms and conditions recently to spell out clearly that it scans emails as part of its advertising process.
The data gleaned about the user from email scanning is used to target ads at the user. When it comes to the educational environment, Google hasn't put ads in its products for a long time. However, it has been scanning the data of those student email accounts. Presumably, that scanning of information could be used to target ads at the students outside of school.
To successfully mine bitcoins, a major amount of computing power is necessary, and the power bills can quickly pile up for cryptocurrency supporters. However, it appears bitcoin companies are interested in the state of Washington, migrating to the central part of the state, including Chelan, Douglas, and Grant counties.
Due to hydroelectric dams and public utility districts with friendly prices to residential customers and businesses, many bitcoin supporters are moving to central Washington. Furthermore, Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties also have public utility districts which provide local residents with friendly utility costs.
Cybercriminals are hijacking everything from PCs and servers to smartphones and tablets, in their ongoing effort to mine bitcoins. Google Android malware designed to hijack devices and mine bitcoins also have found their way into the Play Store, though Google has removed the apps in question.
The Google X team has come up with some pretty incredible ideas and technologies, so with a new Microsoft forming over the last couple of months, Microsoft's Research division has created a new Special Projects Group that has the sole task of creating disruptive technologies that could help both the company, and the world.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley is behind the report, noting a recent job listing that asked for candidates that would focus specifically on hard and interesting problems, such as networking, systems, distributed computing, devices, UX design, cloud, mobility, machine learning / artificial intelligence, data center technologies and big data.
Better yet, Norman Whitaker, who was the former Deputy Director of the Information Innovation Office at DARPA is said to be leading the new division. When he was with DARPA, he was working on self-driving vehicles, and other automated bots.
Microsoft has just announced it is donating $1 billion to US schools, to make sure that kids have the technology required to get online, and learning technology skills themselves.
This isn't the first time Microsoft has stepped up to fund schools, with a new device pricing program that should make PCs much more affordable. The company will be offering sub-$300 systems from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba. Microsoft is hoping the move will see kids becoming loyal Windows fans in the future.
This comes directly from Cameron Evans, Microsoft's CTO of Education, where he added that any eventual sales are secondary to its first goal of improving education.
Samsung has just posted its earnings report for the first three months of 2014, with the company seeing $51.8 billion in revenue for Q1 2014, which is up ever so slightly year-over-year.
As for profits, we have $8.2 billion in operating profits, and $7.3 billion in net profit. Samsung's mobile business did quite well, providing $30.29 billion of the $51.8 billion in revenue, and $6.2 billion of the operating profit - meaning mobile is pretty much everything for Samsung right now. The South Korean-based company saw mobile operating profits jump 18% from the end of last year, thanks to the success of the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 smartphones.
We should see some even bigger numbers in the next six months or so, thanks to the Galaxy S5 already off to a big start. As for tablets, Samsung said that sales on slates remained "solid" with total shipments reaching close to 13 million in Q1 2014.
If you have heard or know about Twitch, then you'll know how big it is - but just how big? Well, according to video solutions company Qwilt, Twitch is leading the live video streaming game in the United States, by a long shot.
Twitch is currently enjoying a massive 43.6% of all live streaming viewership in the US, with its closest competitor WWE only seeing 17.7%. Even Ustream only pulls in 10.9%, while ESPN is struggling with 6.3%. Qwilt describes Twitch as "Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, Madison Square Garden, Estadia Do Maracana and Wembley all rolled into one" on its website. Most would look at that and laugh, but with those streaming numbers, how can you say otherwise?
As it stands right now, a new infographic states that Samsung has sold more Galaxy S5 smartphones on the day of its launch than Apple did iPhone 5S smartphones when it launched last year.
iQmetrix is behind the numbers, measuring the sales of the Galaxy S5 over its launch weekend - from April 11-13, sampling over 15,000 stores across the US, comparing them to sales of the iPhone 5S from September 20-23, 2013. iQmetrix's data says that the Galaxy S5 accounted for 25% of total phones sold in the US and Canada during its launch, while the iPhone 5S only accounted for 18% during its launch.
From here, we know that Samsung had great launch day sales of the Galaxy S5, where it hopes to ship 35 million Galaxy S5 smartphones in Q2 2014 alone. Apple on the other hand, just announced it had sold 43.7 million iPhone's in its last quarter - but those 43.7 million iPhone's are all iPhone's sold - iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, and so on. Right now, Samsung seems to be really putting the pressure on Apple.