Analysis of social media activity between Q2 and Q4 of 2013 show that Instagram and mobile are growing rapidly, but Facebook rules the roost — and teens aren’t really leaving it quite yet. Social media diversity, it seems, is key. Read more »
When your big console is a bust, where do you go? Nintendo is answering some hard questions after the Wii U flopped last year. Read more »
Ars Technica revealed a report that showed Microsoft had an “astroturfing” deal with Youtube gaming empire Machinima. What does it all mean for gaming journalism ethics? Read more »
On the eve of his 40th birthday, Mega creator Kim Dotcom gives a taste of his new music operation, Baboom. Read more »
ABC’s brutal restriction of next-day online episodes to cable customers and Hulu Plus subscribers only may have led cord-cutters to turn to pirated content sites. Read more »
Michael Sippey, Twitter’s VP of Products, announced on Friday that he would be stepping down to an advisory role at the company. “Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with Dick and Ali about what I want next in my career, and what Twitter needs at this stage of its life,” Sippey said. “And I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on.”
Blueprint Health’s Winter 2014 class offers enhanced communication and efficiency for everyday tasks at hospitals, clinics and care facilities. Read more »
The Wii U is a flounder, forcing creator Nintendo to slash sales and take a loss on the console for the third year in a row. Read more »
A study of 9 million words and phrases within fundraisers on Kickstarter says that there are words that will get you ahead — and ones that lead to a dead end. Read more »
Education startup Curious released its first app today for iOS, focusing on its small, skill-focused courses. Read more »
Game video and live streaming service Twitch’s year in review shows staggering numbers for the platform, including the user base on Sony’s PlayStation console doubling in just one month. Read more »
Rumor has it that Windows 9 will be announced soon, but it’s got some big decisions to make if it wants to be any better than Windows 8. Read more »
Ed-tech marketplace Udemy is expanding its reach with a new Android app, available today. Read more »
Offering a library of books for $9.95 per month, Oyster will get an expansion thanks to a big influx of cash. Read more »
Users will now be able to hook up their Oculus Rift to their Steam Client to enjoy VR games. Read more »
After eight years on the job, Automattic CEO Toni Schneider will switch positions with founder Matt Mullenweg. Read more »
Apple’s sales of the iPhone continue to do very well domestically, with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c boasting record numbers last year, but the Cupertino company struggles to bring its products to countries that are just now embracing smartphones. A feature in the New York Times on Sunday showed the intricacies of Apple’s iPhone sales in India, employing monthly plans and special discount deals to sell phones — key in an area where incomes can be just a few hundred a month. It’s a good glimpse into the brand’s attempt to crack developing markets and gain crucial users.
Target’s massive data breach, which occurred in mid-December of last year, has affected millions of customers, but the company has remained quiet about how personal and financial information was leaked. But CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s interview with CNBC yesterday finally shed some light on the attack, and it’s not pretty: the information was lifted via malware distributed directly through Target’s point-of-sale systems, and the company waited four days before disclosing the attack. That’s probably not very reassuring to the 110 million customers potentially affected by the attack.
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 »