TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
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."
Microsoft is appealing a ruling and doesn't plan to turn over customer emails that are stored overseas, after the order was lifted by Judge Loretta Preska, from the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, might lead to the company being found in contempt. The judge previously supported the feds with a ruling in late July, but gave Microsoft time to appeal, and both sides have until September 5 to determine how to move forward.
Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith noted that the company plans to protect user privacy both in the United States and overseas. It's a confusing legal case, especially considering Microsoft keeps data store overseas, but legal experts previously said the data is under the control of a company based in the U.S. - and that's why the emails must be turned over.
"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal," a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters in an interview. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."
Storage giant Seagate has finalized the acquisition of LSI's Accelerated Solutions Division (ASD) and Avago's Flash Components Division (FCD). As the storage industry continues to evolve, Seagate wants to continue to expand its flash storage abilities. Seagate hopes to use the LSI ASD business unit's experience in PCIe flash products to help grow its own market share moving forward.
"There is a growing opportunity for mobile and enterprise flash-based storage solutions, which is why we're excited about this strategic technology acquisition," said Steve Luczo, Seagate CEO, in a press statement. "Integrating LSI's Enterprise PCIe flash and SSD controller products, and its engineering capabilities into Seagate's leading storage technology portfolio and product development will expand our ability to meet a broader base of customers' needs and drive new revenue opportunities."
The storage industry has been extremely competitive - and relatively volatile over the past few years - with a number of high-profile acquisitions. Seagate has remained competitive against EMC, Western Digital, and other companies in the consumer and enterprise markets.
Less than two weeks from its iPhone 6 reveal, Apple has announced that Anand Lal Shimpi will be joining the company. Anand is best known for his tech site AnandTech, a site he opened back in 1997.
Just over 24 hours ago Shimpi posted his farewell letter to his readers, saying that he "won't stay idle forever" and that there are "a bunch of challenges out there." Within hours of posting this, the news broke that he had joined the ranks of Apple in an undisclosed position. The Internet seems abuzz with the news, and it's an interesting move for both Shimpi, and Apple.
A labor rights organization has accused Samsung and Lenovo of working with a Chinese supplier that uses child labor in its factory. The China Labor Watch sent in an undercover investigator that found child labor, overtime and pay abuse of younger employees in the HEG Technology factory. HEG reportedly uses facial recognition software to ensure no underage workers are hired at its facility, and an outsourcing company is used to hire students.
Child Labor Watch previously found a different Samsung supplier using child labor in its factories earlier in the summer, as Korean and western companies receive criticism when these types of reports surface. Samsung is no longer working with that supplier.
Samsung said it would like to do a joint investigation "for more precise verification," also saying: We find it regrettable that CLW issued the allegations today without any mention of our statement."
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Half-Life and Counter-Strike developer Valve, claiming that the company is breaching Australian Consumer Law. The reason? Valve doesn't offer refunds of any kind, and now the ACCC is putting its foot down as these actions are against Australian consumer law.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims explains: "The Australian Consumer Law applies to any business providing goods or services within Australia. Valve may be an American based company with no physical presence in Australia, but it is carrying on business in Australia by selling to Australian consumers, who are protected by the Australian Consumer Law." "It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances, including for gifts and during sales. Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers can insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product has a major fault," Sims continued. "The consumer guarantees provided under the Australian Consumer Law cannot be excluded, restricted or modified."
Valve has since responded, with Doug Lombardi saying: "We are making every effort to cooperate with the Australian officials on this matter, while continuing to provide Steam services to our customers across the world, including Australian gamers."
Where it gets interesting, is Valve's refund policy, which states: "As with most software products, unless required by local law, we do not offer refunds or exchanges on games, DLC or in-game items purchased on our website or through the Steam Client. Please review Section 3 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement for more information." Within that refund policy, it reads "unless required by local law" so in this instance, local law requires a refund if the product is deemed faulty. An interesting turn for Australian gamers, and Valve right now.
Online merchants are embracing bitcoin payments from customers, even though the cryptocurrency has been described as volatile by some financial investors. However, retailers admit that bitcoins still don't amount for much of overall transactions, but expect it to slowly grow as more consumers become familiar with owning and using bitcoins.
Overstock.com estimates that it will see $6 million to $8 million in bitcoin-related sales in 2014, and will continue to support its use. Using online bitcoin wallets from services such as Coinbase or Blockchain allow consumers to have easy access to their bitcoins while shopping. Companies using bitcoins allow a bitcoin payment processor to holding the bitcoins, removing a difficult roadblock that has kept some retailers on the sidelines.
"We don't have to deal with the actual holding of the bitcoin: it's the payment processor that takes the currency risk for us," said Bernie Han, Dish Network COO. "That's what makes it appealing for us and I guess for other merchants as well."