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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 91

SimCity debacle forces possible government intervention through petition

As a huge fan of SimCity, who pumped countless hours into as a kid, I haven't purchased it yet personally and I'm sure you know it's for good reason - the huge amounts of issues. We've posted many times about it, not just once, or twice, but even three, four, and now five times. There is now a petition against DRM, with a strong title of 'Institute an industry-wide return policy for video games that rely on remote servers and DRM to function properly.'

 

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Check the full story for the petition.

Continue reading 'SimCity debacle forces possible government intervention through petition' (full post)

AT&T perfectly happy to unlock your smartphone provided you're out of contract

The White House and FCC aren't the only groups that are advocating for the legal unlocking of smartphones. AT&T has authored a post on their blog explaining that they are perfectly happy to unlock your device as long as the customer is paying his or her bills and they have fulfilled their service agreement commitment.

 

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While we think the Librarian's careful decision was reasonable, the fact is that it has very little impact on AT&T customers. As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment. If the conditions are met we will unlock up to five devices per account per year. We will not unlock devices that have been reported lost or stolen.

 

If you're an AT&T customer who meets the requirements above and have tried unlocking your device to no avail, let us know! We'd love to hear your story in the comments. If you'd like to read AT&T's full blog post detailing their unlocking policy, you can head over to AT&T's website.


EA has suspended marketing for SimCity in light of launch problems, asks affiliates to 'stop actively promoting game'

EA has decided to stop marketing SimCity for right now due to all of the launch troubles that the game has experienced. In addition to stopping their own marketing, EA has e-mailed its marketing affiliates asking that they stop actively promoting the game as well.

 

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In an email sent out to EA's marketing affiliates, obtained by Polygon, EA says it has "deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being."

 

To be clear we are continuing to payout commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game. We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation.

 

This is just the latest in the on-going saga that is the SimCity launch. To read more about our coverage of the SimCity launch, check out all of our content tagged with SimCity.

EA changes its mind about offering refunds for SimCity customers

The latest news surrounding the numerous problems plaguing the SimCity launch is that EA has changed its mind about refunds. A post authored March 5 by EA Global community manager Marcel Hatam said, "If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can - of course - request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us."

 

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Numerous Redditors have said that they were receiving refunds as late as yesterday afternoon. Currently users are reporting that Origin CSRs are saying that they cannot provide a refund. The original post, seen above, has been amended to point users to the return policy. Origin's Twitter account also tweeted the following:

 

Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations

 

The return policy states: "As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin."

Continue reading 'EA changes its mind about offering refunds for SimCity customers' (full post)

Nokia still owes Microsoft $650 million in Windows Phone licensing fees

Over the last several months Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has managed to gain a little momentum, but its adoption rate is nothing like its competitors. With Nokia being the largest adopter of the platform, they had to bite off quite a bit in licensing fees for the Windows based mobile OS.

 

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Nokia released a statement yesterday that it still owes Microsoft more than half a billion dollars ($650 million) in licensing fees for Windows Phone. Shareholders need not start a revolution though as the total platform support fees that Nokia has received or will receive from Microsoft will exceed the licensing fees.

 

This means that the gamble Nokia took on Windows Phone will not be a loss at all, and we may even see some next-generation Windows Phones from the Finnish phone manufacturer. No information on when the $650 million bill is due, but we are sure that Nokia will pay in full right on time.

Motorola to layoff 10% of their staff, would affect employees in the US, China and India

According to an email acquired by the Wall Street Journal, Motorola will be laying off 10% of their workforce. The email says "while we're very optimistic about the new projects in our pipeline, we still face challenges."

 

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Motorola are forced to make the cuts due to high costs and losses in a very competitive market. A spokesperson told the WSJ: These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned and we're committed to helping them through this difficult transition."

 

The 10% cut will see around 1200 employees laid off, but we should see Motorola begin to turn themselves around with Google behind them now. I'd bet that twelve months from now they'll be a completely different direction.

Apple bargains with record companies, wants to pay just half of what Pandora do to stream music

Apple are in the middle of getting their music streaming service ready, and are in discussions with various record companies. The Cupertino-based giant is pushing the companies to lower their rates to Apple for every 100 songs streamed.

 

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According to The New York Post's unnamed sources, Apple wants to pay just $0.06 per every 100 songs streamed. This is quite cheap considering Pandora are paying $0.12 per 100 songs, and Spotify is paying a premium $0.35 per 100 songs. This might sound unfair, but the latter two companies don't have the same kind of pull that Apple does.

 

The Post's sources have said that this move "could tap a whole new revenue stream for them" with their own music service.

Razer adds Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC, to their ranks as an advisor to their board of directors

Rahul Sood, known as being the founder of VoodooPC, has joined Razer's ranks as an advisor to the board of directors. Sood says that he sees the gaming-focused company as the spiritual successor to VoodooPC's previous work, with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan feeling the same. Tan says:

 

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In fact, it was his work at VoodooPC that inspired us to enter the systems business, and I believe his advice will be invaluable to us here at Razer.

 

Sood will help the company with everything from product development to sales, so we should expect to see a touch of his magic on Razer's products in the coming months and years.

Amazon has stopped selling the digital download version of SimCity after numerous launch problems

Amazon has stopped selling the electronic version of SimCity after numerous problems with the launch. The physical copy of the game is still for sale, and the digital one should return once the connectivity problems are resolved by EA and Maxis.

 

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When either copy is selected for purchase, a warning is displayed:

 

Important Note on "SimCity": Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information.

 

The SimCity launch is starting to match the scale of problems that the Diablo III launch underwent last May. This should be yet another nail in the coffin for always-on games and DRM, but we doubt it will have much effect. EA has disabled certain non-critical features to help with connectivity problems and plans to bring more servers online. They've also said customers can request a refund, though not everyone is having success at getting one.

Google tipped off the EU about Microsoft's browser choice bug that led to huge fine

All eyes are on Google as a report says that they are the ones responsible for tipping off the EU that Microsoft's Windows 7 no longer gave a choice of browser after Service Pack 1. Google, in conjunction with Opera, are said to be the responsible parties for causing the investigation that led to Microsoft being fined $730+ million.

 

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Of course Google and Opera had lots to gain by Microsoft being forced to promote their browsers. What company wouldn't want their product being promoted when a competitor's product was installed? Furthermore, Google and Microsoft haven't been on the best of terms as of late. Looking at Microsoft's Gmail smear campaign, one doesn't have to wonder why.

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