Netflix is trying to woo cable companies into a special place on their set-top boxes. Read more »
After announcing its existence at the end of September, Valve has released a video demo of the Steam Controller. Read more »
Want to search without being tracked? TorSearch aims to become the leading search site for the Deep Web. Read more »
While Grand Theft Auto V has broken records in both sales and popularity, its online counterpart, GTA Online, has endured serious growing pains. Rockstar says that technical issues have caused users to lose their game progress, and glitches often left players stuck in missions or tutorials. In order to save its fan base, Rockstar has announced a $500,000 in-game currency “stimulus package” for every player, starting as early as next week. Players will receive the “GTA$” in two installments as long as they play the game at any point in October. Sim City, time to take note.
A press release announced that Swedish fingerprint sensing technology company Fingerprint Cards was acquired by Samsung — which was completely untrue. Read more »
Facebook is following through on a year-old announcement to retire a search privacy feature. Users will no longer be able to hide their profile from search. Read more »
There’s a battle going on in the UK, as the City of London’s newly formed Intellectual Property Crime Unit has begun to target some of the largest torrenting sites in the world. The group has already seized the domain names of ExtraTorrent, SumoTorrent, MisterTorrent and MP3 sites emp3world.com, full-albums.net and maxalbums.com in order to shut down their operations, but the websites are not going quietly. TorrentFreak spoke with ExtraTorrent, the fifth-largest torrenting site in the world, about the fight it plans to wage with the City of London to resist the takeover. This one will be a bumpy ride.
A Chinese tabloid has accused a university of sending its students to “internships” on the Foxconn factory line, and getting compensation for it. Read more »
Creating a reliable and well-cited knowledge source on the backs of an open and anonymous entry system is a challenge, but its to the dedicated credit of core editors on Wikipedia that the information gets (and stays) vetted for the education of the online community. The Daily Dot offers a glimpse into the tight-knit and methodical world of Wikipedia editors with this intriguing story about uncovering hundreds of “sockpuppets” — fake accounts manipulated by a single source. The drama and mystery surrounding the so-called “morning227 network” shows the lengths people will go to get their own Wikipedia presence.
Twitter has formed a partnership with NBCUniversal and Comcast to bring social TV to cable subscribers. Read more »
The popularity of Grand Theft Auto V earned it not just one Guinness World Record, but seven. Read more »
The Gameduino 2 is seeking funding to bring updating gaming hardware and software to the open source community. Read more »
Police are arresting people all over the world with alleged connections to the shut down Darknet market Silk Road, raising concern for former users. Read more »
It’s been two months since secure email service Lavabit promptly shut down, citing ominous threats from the U.S. government. But now that some details of the company’s fight in the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals are public, creator Ladar Levison opened up to The New Yorker about the case. While many suspect Levison was ordered by the FBI to divulge information related to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, that detail remains sealed. But the article gives a look into the months of pressure Levison faced, which ultimately drove him to shut Lavabit down.
Sources tell Bloomberg that Apple is gearing up to expand its iTunes Radio service to more English-speaking countries by 2014. Read more »
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants Airbnb to give over user data for an audit — but the apartment-sharing company will “fight it.” Read more »
A long weekend piece by Wired contributing editor Fred Vogelstein in the New York Times chronicles the unveiling of the very first iPhone during the keynote of MacWorld 2007. Despite a smooth performance day-of, the dirty little secret was that the smartphone really didn’t work. Prone to freezing, dropped calls, and losing internet, the iPhone needed every minute up until its June release date for tinkering, but Steve Jobs required a flawless demo. That seamless, 90-minute presentation has turned into a seminal moment for the smartphone, but the really intriguing story is the tightrope walk to getting there.
In September, Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo finally joined its competitor companies, KDDI Corp and SoftBank Corp, in stocking the iPhone. However, according to Reuters, the company still reported a net loss of subscribers — down 66,800 for the month. The loss is a record monthly drop for DoCoMo, which puts blame squarely on not having enough quantities of the new iPhone available compared to its rivals. While it’s unclear whether the Apple product will be the panacea for DoCoMo’s woes, one thing is clear: telecom companies are confident that the iPhone is a deal-maker for cellular subscribers.
Do you remember those “Bing it On” ads? Microsoft ran advertisements that claimed a pool of 1,000 users “preferred Bing 2 to 1,” and allowed users to try it themselves with BingItOn.com. Yale professor Ian Ayers decided to duplicate the study, with BingItOn.com and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Detailing his study on the Freakonomics blog, Ayers said that Google’s results actually outranked Bing’s 53 percent to 41 percent, on average, but became more equal (48 percent preferring Google to 47 percent Bing) when Bing-suggested terms were involved.
As it turns out, one of the biggest “scares” of NSA’s power over our electronic data — targeting people through cell phone locations — was already launched and scrapped. The New York Times reported that a pilot project to track cell phone locations was enacted in 2010 and 2011 to test the group’s ability to handle data, but officials say no information gathered was used for intelligence purposes. The government is no longer tracking locations under the Patriot Act, but the mere existence of this project shows yet again just how much the NSA was hiding from the public.
After long delays, Android-powered mini-console and Kickstarter success GameStick will finally hit store shelves. But is it too late? Read more »
The long-buzzed about iPad Mini with retina display didn’t make an appearance at the latest Apple event in September, and it’s likely that the world won’t see it until the new year. Reuters reports that delays on display manufacturing in China have crippled production, making it near impossible to do a full roll-out for the holiday season. If the iPad Mini retina does appear, expect limited quantities, long lines, and a bit of heartbreak.
Facebook has released an update to its mobile app ad unit that will appeal to popular brands. Read more »
Handmade marketplace Etsy has experienced a firestorm of complaints from its tired community, and released a slew of new guidelines to ease the tension. Read more »
The social media company has won a suit against a serial cybersquatter that registered domains for over 100 variations and misspellings of “Pinterest.” Read more »
Verizon has been slowly phasing out its unlimited data plan for the last year, but a few lucky customers will continue to reap its benefits for another contract cycle. A glitch in the company’s system this past weekend allowed Verizon customers to upgrade their phones without dropping the unlimited data plan. And, the company told DroidLife that it will honor those plans in spite of the glitch. So, some survivors will continue reaping the benefits of free-flowing data — until the next contract.
Tired of sifting through Facebook conversations? Graph Search has expanded to include status updates and posts. Read more »
Researchers at MIT have developed tools for non-programmers to develop mobile disaster apps — thanks to an old Google product. Read more »
With more than 45 million unique visitors per month, video game streaming website Twitch.tv has netted $20 million in a new investment round. Read more »
Valve has announced the third and final piece to its living room initiative: an open and programmable controller. Read more »
While China could be loosening its grip on social media, the country is definitely lifting a 13-year ban on video games, according to The Next Web. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will be able to sell products in the country for the first time since the new millennium, but in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone only. So, widespread distribution of gaming devices won’t be the new normal, but odds are that the country’s elite will finally be able to enjoy Wii Sports in their free time.
After spending the summer at the top of both the iTunes and Android app stores, UK games company King may be riding that success to cash in on a timely IPO. Telegraph reports that the company has secretly filed its pre-IPO S-1 with the SEC, although very few details about the paperwork (as well as King’s current financial standing) are known. It could be the right time for the decade-old company to go public, but it’s hard to not consider the cautionary tale of Zynga’s own IPO efforts. Will history repeat itself?
After a month of speculation, Beats has finally severed ties with HTC and bought back its own stock. HTC loses the Beats Audio technology but gains some needed cash. Read more »
Fifteen years in the making, Google is still working to make search more sophisticated with an improved algorithm and new features. Read more »
According to Pew Research, a record 85 percent of American adults use the internet in 2013. However, 15 percent of adults still don’t go online. At all. Age is one factor — 44 percent of people 65 and older don’t use the internet– but internet usage is also affected by income and education level. The lower the income and education level, the less wired the household. Interestingly, nearly one in four people who identify themselves as Hispanic do not go online. The reason for not logging on? One in three non-users say they’re just not interested.
The ghosts of products past have come back to haunt Apple, as the Tokyo District Court ordered the Cupertino company to pay ¥330 million (roughly $3.4 million) in damages regarding a patent infringement case over the old iPod click-wheel. That damages amount, which is relatively small compared to the ¥10 billion sought after by plaintiff Norihiko Saito, partially reflects the sales of the classic iPod still on shelves. But, all in all, it’s another one of Apple’s myriad patent cases that is finally put to rest.
Temporary phone number app Burner has announced some big moves: a major iOS 7 overhaul and a $2 million funding round. Read more »
Thanks to its prominence as the go-to image sharing source on Reddit, Imgur now entertains millions of users with its millions of uploaded photos and GIFs. Read more »
Valve has made its second major announcement this week: Steam Machines. And Valve will let its own user pool beta test the hardware. Read more »