In case you weren’t already convinced, Nintendo has a favorite console, and that would be its successful 3DS line of mobile handhelds. In a press release on Friday, the Japanese company boasted that more than 11.5 million units of the 3DS console line (including the 3DS XL and the 2DS) have sold in the U.S. alone since its release in 2011. In addition, the company sold roughly 16 million units of software — both physical and digital — for the year 2013. It’s definitely a positive note for Nintendo, if a bit glossy: Despite extolling the virtues of the 3DS, the still-struggling Wii U was not mentioned at all.
The university is launching a flagship course for a new professional-focused online program. Read more »
Target’s data breach will not quit — personal information like email addresses and phone numbers were also lifted in the December attack. Read more »
Apple is swelling with potential to heat up the gaming world, but it relies on products out of its hands. Read more »
Up to 2 million European Yahoo users may have received malware from ads on the company’s homepage that turned computers into bitcoin-mining zombies, according to the Guardian. Malicious bitcoin-mining software is a rising trend among malware distributors, and the Guardian article stresses the ease with which the software was installed through Java exploits. Yahoo has stayed silent on how the malicious ads made it onto the site in the first place — repeating the same old mistakes and risking brand damage that the malware could never do.
The Steam Machine line may have access to virtual reality very early in its life cycle. Read more »
Health insurer and 2014 Crunchies finalist for “Best Health Startup” Oscar will soon announce a $30 million funding round, led by the Founders Fund, according to the New York Times. The latest round brings the startup’s overall funding to more than $75 million — quite a chunk of change considering it was formally founded in July of 2013. Serving New York City as well as a few other counties in New York state, Oscar provides healthcare, along with some very startup-y perks, including one-on-one communications with doctors and a search database that also shows how much a provider will charge for a given procedure.
It’s a little late to the party, but Kickstarter has finally released its 2013 year in review. According to the company’s own internal numbers, roughly $480 million went to 19,911 projects last year. That’s a big increase over 2012, which saw $319,786,629 and 18,109 projects. Unfortunately, that’s the most information Kickstarter is willing to give. Despite turning over a wealth of information about how individual categories performed in the past years, 2013′s report is relatively light on numbers in favor of spotlights on popular Kickstarter products. It’s no doubt a successful year for the platform, but the lack of details doesn’t make the review a very interesting read.
If there was a belle of the proverbial ball at CES 2014, the Oculus Rift might actually be it. And this year, creator Oculus VR not only trotted out a sleeker version of the Rift, but also a new prototype. Wired got a hands-on with the new device — Crystal Cove — which utilizes both VR and motion tracking to monitor a user’s movements in real time. It makes sense, especially considering the increased sophistication of motion technology and Oculus VR’s stated goals of total immersion. But the real magic moment, I believe, will come when the company can greatly reduce latency.
Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant, will release a games platform alongside its other mobile offerings to tap into the country’s deep market. Read more »
The holidays are over, and both Microsoft and Sony have numbers on how their latest-gen consoles have fared. In a blog post on Monday, Microsoft said that it sold more than 3 million Xbox One units by the end of 2013. And onstage at CES on Tuesday, Sony exec Andrew House said the company passed 4.2 million PlayStation 4 units sold on December 28. While it appears that Sony has the upper hand, there are a lot of factors in play to make it too early to call it the winner of these so-called “console wars.” However, it does show how hot both consoles have been running since their November debuts.
The Twitter and Medium co-founder has brought his latest project out of stealth mode — an app that invites users to ask questions about what they see. Read more »
What a difference a year can make: at CES 2013, so-called “Steam Boxes” were gossiped about but not really seen. Now, at CES 2014, with Steam Machines fully announced, Valve has 14 third-party hardware partners on display, including Alienware and Falcon Northwest, according to The Verge. It seems like the only one missing is the prototype machine distributed late last year, a proof-of-concept that won’t make it to store shelves. The price tags on the consoles range from $499 to $6,000, and show off Valve’s vision of a diverse hardware system to support Steam.
The eccentric, drug-loving McAfee is happy that his company is rebranding to Intel Security. Read more »
In a move designed to ease the growing tensions between deep-pocketed Silicon Valley workers and activists on behalf of lower-income communities forced out of their homes, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee announced Monday that tech shuttle buses will now be subject to a fee based on the number of public stops they frequent, according to SF Gate. The tech shuttle buses have borne the brunt of the struggle over the income disparity within the city, and some have been vandalized during protests. The move may take some of the heat off of tech workers’ transportation choices, but it’s unlikely that tensions will dissipate completely.
The acquisition grants Pinterest access to VisualGraph’s object recognition and search tactics. Read more »
Ubuntu will add a new default scope set for Unity to allow users to conduct BitTorrent searches directly from the desktop, according to TorrentFreak. The feature, developed by Ubuntu software developer David Callé on Google+, is designed to “embed free culture” directly into desktop UI — and Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth called it “super-useful.” Ubuntu Linux’ status as an open-source OS makes it a natural home for torrent searching, but embedding that capability into the Unity GUI does dip into murky legal territory. However, it is a practical and important tool for many, despite ISPs’ complaints about it, and it will likely make many open-source advocates very happy.
LG is once again flirting with fitness tracking, unveiling the Life Band Touch at CES 2014. Read more »
With the dawn of wearable technology, games are sure to become an important part of the experience. But if it’s the same old games on smart watches and glasses, I’m already over it. Read more »
After nearly a year of being mobile-only, Vine users finally have a web platform of their own. Read more »
Good news, sports fans: Variety reports that NBC, CBS and FOX will be offering online live streams of the NFL postseason and Super Bowl XLVIII, with most content freely available. NBC’s wildcard games, as well as coverage of the Pro Bowl later this month, will be streamed live for free. Similarly, CBS’s coverage of all AFC playoff games will be free to watch online via CBSSports.com for the first time ever. As for FOX, Variety says that NFC games will be free behind a “TV Everywhere” paywall (Fox didn’t confirm), but will offer the big game, including the halftime show with Bruno Mars, online and via mobile at no cost.
2013 may have had the big console releases, but 2014′s gaming trends are poised to make big impacts. Read more »
Today, the New York Times editorial board formally asked the U.S. government to consider a plea bargain for NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is on the run from charges of espionage and theft. After tallying the instances of surveillance abuse that Snowden’s information uncovered, the Times editorial board states the NSA contractor had no choice but to do what he did, as official channels had failed: “In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not.”
The Syrian Electronic Army strikes again — this time voicing an anti-surveillance message through Skype Read more »
Well, it looks like Winamp won’t die after all: AOL will sell the pioneering music service along with server program Shoutcast to Belgian radio aggregate service Radionomy, according to TechCrunch. The details of the deal are not final, but TechCrunch says that the specifics should surface tomorrow. It seems like Radionomy’s DIY audio philosophy jives well with both Winamp and ShoutCast, especially as both have supported many homegrown radio stations over the years. However, whether Winamp will exist as a standalone product remains to be seen — Radionomy might benefit deeply from integrating the service directly into its current offerings.
After getting acquired by Google in September, former high-flying app Bump has announced its shutdown at the end of the month. Read more »
On the last day of 2013, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg announced that their website, AllThingsD, would be shut down in the wake of the September deal breakdown with owner Dow Jones. Then, at the stroke of midnight, the pair popped up with their newest venture, Re/code, to launch at midnight on January 2. Not much is known about the venture, or if it will differ much from ATD’s format. Speaking of ATD, its domain name now redirects to the Wall Street Journal’s new tech offering, fittingly titled WSJ.D, and is currently subject to the paper’s paywall.
4.6 million usernames and phone numbers have been scraped from Snapchat’s database and dumped online. Read more »
The massive Black Friday data breach that caused Target to keep call centers open on Christmas to support the 40 million customers affected might not be over just yet. CNNMoney has announced via Twitter that debit card PIN data was also stolen in the attack. This means that customers who purchased items in Target stores between November 27 and December 15 could have their entire bank accounts compromised, not just debit/credit transactions. It’s not the news Target customers want to hear, but it does show how deep this breach really goes.
Nintendo’s eShop merger has not gone as smooth as planned — resulting in Nintendo UK to announce a planned blackout of the service. Read more »
Do you know how much apps can drain on your phone? This website will help you find out. Read more »
Looking for something new to play this holiday? QuizUp and Ski Safari are good bets that are less than a dollar. Read more »
Disney has a new face among its board members: Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey Read more »
In an attempt to jump on the solar trend, many homeowners in Oahu plunked down an investment on rooftop photovoltaic systems — but the response was so overwhelming, Scientific American reported, that the local electric company couldn’t manage the scale. The solar grid by Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) was not built to withstand the level of solar energy surging through it, meaning that residences will have to foot the bill for an upgrade. Scaling solar is a complicated issue fraught with many costs — but how much will everyday citizens have to pay to make green energy accessible?
If you wonder how the Steam Controller works out of the box, check out this Youtube series with some helpful demos. Read more »
PKPKT utilizes iPhone technology to enable players to “steal” game money from each other. Read more »
Are you ready for bionic super-strength? Scientists have made a breakthrough in artificial muscles. Read more »
Can an algorithm successfully predict great stock moves? That’s the premise behind Honey Badger Hedge Fund a super-secret Twitter stock-picker that, its founders told Wired, was put together with a little economics know-how and some exploring with Python. So far, the 7 recommendations the algorithm has made have been profitable, producing a 9.38 percent return rate — not bad for something that was made during 12-week programming bootcamp Hack Reactor. Co-creators Andrew Delikat and Tae-Hwan Jo are taking advantage of their handiwork to fund their next startup venture.
In what Fortune described as an “uncommon move,” Square CEO Jack Dorsey has voluntarily given back 10 percent of his shares in Square back to the mobile payments company. Dorsey currently owns 30 percent of the company, so the shares add up to 3 percent of equity or as much as $150 million. The move greatly increases the pool of shares available in Square, and Fortune attributed the move to Dorsey’s interest in rewarding his company’s 700 employees. Dorsey’s stake remains at roughly $877 million.
On Friday, News Corp announced that it acquired social news agency and “open newsroom experience” Storyful for €18 million (approximately $25 million USD). According to the press release, Storyful will continue to act as an independent entity within News Corp, and will likely execute deeper partnerships with the news umbrella’s original programming — including WSJ Live and BallBall in Asia. It’s new territory for News Corp, which has made its money on traditional and broadcast news, but Storyful could help with the pesky task of verifying information from Twitter and other social media platforms — an increasing asset in the breaking news world.