Sony, LulzSec Honored with Pwnies

August 5, 2011 -

At the annual Black Hat hacker convention that happened in Las Vegas this week Sony earned a dubious distinction of the security breach that took several of its services down for nearly two months. The awards are called "Pwnies" and - unless you are a hacker - you don’t want to be "honored" with on. Sony earned the "Most Epic Fail" award for the massive security breach that brought down the PlayStation Network and related services for nearly two months earlier this year.

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EEDAR: PSN 'Welcome Back' Program Boosted PS3 Sales

July 12, 2011 -

It may have taken longer than expected but Sony's various services related to the PlayStation 3 are back online all over the world. As part of an apology by the company, it offered a number of free games to PSN members such as Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Dead Nation and WipEout through a "Welcome Back" program. Sony will be delighted to hear that the program has been called a resounding success by research firm EEDAR.

EEDAR, referencing IGN GamerMetrics data, said that all four Welcome Back titles were in the top 25 of consumer reported title acquisitions in June 2011. Additionally 17 percent of IGN users indicated that they acquired a PSN digital title in June 2011, up from 13 percent in March 2011 before Sony had to take down PSN.

But the most interesting data point in the report indicates that the Welcome Back program may have boosted PS3 game sales as well. From the report:

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Sony: Full Services Return This Week in Japan

July 5, 2011 -

Sony announced that it will have "full PlayStation Network services" in Japan sometime this week. This will bring all of its services online in the region nearly two and a half months after being attacked by hackers. Later this week Sony hopes to have its PlayStation Store back online, allowing Japanese PlayStation Network users access to its games marketplace and online music.

The attack on Sony’s data centers in San Diego compromised more than 100 million customer accounts and will cost an estimated 14 billion yen ($173 million) for the company this fiscal year.

Most of the delay in Japan was due to a Japanese government request in May to institute "preventive measures against data breaches," and to ease customer worries over having their information stolen. Apparently Sony has finally satisfied these requests, as well as requests from credit card companies who were seeking details on its new security measures.

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Sony: CEO Took 16 Percent Pay Cut Last Year

June 29, 2011 -

Sony CEO Howard Stringer took a 16 percent pay cut last year, the company announced at its shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Sony said that Stringer's salary and bonuses fell to right around 345 million yen, or roughly $4,268,807 (according to currency conversion site XE.com). Earlier in the week shareholders asked Stringer to resign from his post as CEO. Obviously Sony and Stringer are not entertaining that idea at all.

The shareholder anger is directly related to the security breach in April, Sony's handling of the situation, and the inevitable price tag, which the company estimates at $14 billion yen.

Stringer tried to console investors by saying that since the PlayStation Network came back online, around 90 percent of its subscribers have returned and he apologized for how the company dealt with the security breach.

Source: BBC

 

5 comments

Sony Apologizes for Continued PSN Downtime in Japan

June 24, 2011 -

Sony of Japan has issued a small statement on the continued downtime of the PlayStation Network and its Qriocity services in Japan. The company had said that it would relaunch both at the end of last month, but that never happened. Sony's new statement offers Japanese players apologies for the long wait and that it needs more time "to make adjustments with the various related parties." The company offers no timeline for when these services will return as it attempts to appease customers, the Japanese government and credit card companies.

The hold-up relates mostly to Sony meeting the strict demands of the government and credit card companies. So far it has not managed to convince either that everything is safe and secure. Further, the government wants Sony to explain how it will give customers confidence again that its services are safe.

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Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN Security Breach

June 10, 2011 -

According to a New York Times report, Spanish police have arrested three men they claim were involved in hacking Sony's PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store. Police also claim that the trio are part of the hacktivist group Anonymous. The three men were released on their own recognizance pending formal charges but are expected to be charged with "forming an illegal association to attack public and corporate Web sites," which carries a maximum sentence of up to three years.

The official Twitter feed for the hacktivist group does provide some confirmation that the three are somehow connected to the group:

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Sega's Alan Pritchard Talks Used Games, PSN Security Woes

June 10, 2011 -

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Sega's executive vice president of marketing Alan Pritchard talked about used games, the PlayStation Network security breach, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. The more interesting topics relate to Sony's security woes and what the Sega representative thinks about the effects of the used games market.

On the topic of how the PSN security breach affected Sega financially, Pritchard said:

"I don't think we can allow it to affect our relationship, regardless of what we think (laughs). We need to work with Sony. And we do have a good relationship with Sony. It has affected us because if it's down, we can't sell games. Sega's rapport with Sony remains unchanged following the PlayStation Network outage."

When asked about a specific monetary figure Pritchard declined to answer:

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Kaz Hirai: We May Never Know Who Hacked Us

June 9, 2011 -

It's E3 week and that means that top executives make the rounds to as many media outlets as possible. Sony's Kaz Hirai is no exception, speaking to a number of publications in North America and Europe this week. In an interview with the BBC, Hirai admits that Sony has not been able to catch whoever breached the PlayStation Network's security in late April, and it is not exactly sure what they might have taken. All they really know is that they accessed user data and took some of it.

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Kaz Hirai: Hacking a Threat to the Very Fabric of Society

June 9, 2011 -

In a recent interview with UK paper  the Guardian, Hirai said that the recent PlayStation Network security breach is a global crisis that "isn’t something that is a Microsoft issue or a Sony issue or limited to one or two companies," but "actually a lot bigger than that." Noting the recent hack attempts against the FBI and Nintendo, Hirai feels that the problem is "large enough to the extent that we're talking about any and all companies, organizations and entities that deal in the online space."

"It's a threat, not just to Sony or a couple of other companies, but to the very fabric of society," he said. "Therefore it requires individuals and companies to be very vigilant, which goes without saying, and we need help from various government, various enforcement agencies and legislation in certain instances as well. And this needs to be a worldwide effort."

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PlayStation Network 'Welcome Back' Content Now Available

June 3, 2011 -

Sony's Welcome Back program content is now available to PlayStation Network users. For the PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store being down for nearly a month, Sony is offering consumers an apology in the form of two free games for the PS3 and two free games for the PlayStation Portable. Here's the message Sony posted on its PlayStation blog:

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Security Expert: Sony, Microsoft Should Hire Hackers

June 2, 2011 -

Ligatt Security International's Gregory Evans says that both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live remain vulnerable to cyber attacks and that both companies should consider hiring hackers to test security.

"Most big corporations have what’s called an annual security audit and they go out and hire outside security companies," Ligatt Security International's Gregory Evans told Industry Gamers. "But they’re nothing but a bunch of IT managers who went out and got a bunch of certifications and now they come in to see if your system is truly hacker proof. These IT managers who take the test to become a certified computer hacker or a CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional) have to work in a lab and hack into a system that’s in a controlled environment."

PlayStation Store Overload Causing Connection Errors

June 2, 2011 -

If you try to log on to the PlayStation Store this morning, you may encounter some technical difficulties. Apparently the massive amounts of traffic slamming the network is spitting out an error message to some users. Sony says that this is entirely due to extremely high traffic volumes and that this should ease up as the day goes on.

"There are so many of you accessing the store at the moment that due to the excessive load, it is a little slow," said SCEA's Nick Caplin. "We are improving it as I write this, so you will see improvements in speed as the day progresses."

This sort of thing is to be expected considering that the store dedicated to PS3 and PSP has been down for well over a month.

Source: Destructoid


It's Alive: PlayStation Store Returns with Massive Content Update

June 2, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America has relaunched the PlayStation Store and unleashed a massive update, offering lots of new games, downloadable content, demos, special discounts, and more for both the PSP and PS3. The "Welcome Back" games are not available yet but Sony plans another update to the system on Friday, June 3. The PlayStation Store has been down for over a month so you can expect that - in order to play catch up - SCEA will be releasing a ton of new content over the next two to three weeks.

You can check out all the new content on the PlayStation Blog. The most exciting thing for PS3 fans may be the release of the InFamous 2 demo, which is available now.

We'll let you know when the free games that Sony promised are available. We expect to see them on the PlayStation Store soon.

1 comment

PlayStation Store Returning By Week's End

May 30, 2011 -

Sony Japan announced today that the PlayStation Store will be back online sometime this week in most territories. The company said that it will be restarting "full services" for all territories except a few in Asia - Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Most other regions will be ready to go by week's end.

“We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “We appreciate the patience and support shown during this time.”

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Japanese PSN Reboot in May Still Planned, Says Sony

May 26, 2011 -

Citing a news story in Japanese publication Mainichi Digital, the fine folks at Adriasang report that Sony still plans on relaunching the PlayStation Network and other associated services in the month of May - even as the clock runs out on the month. With the last day of May coming up fast next Tuesday it is still a possibility but a fleeting one.

During its earnings briefing yesterday Sony of Japan said that they have not yet given up on a relaunch in May. Mainichi Digital reports that Sony officials said of the Japanese service, "We have not given up on a May restart."

Nikkei reported last week that Sony was planning to relaunch by the end of the month, but the company has been struggling to deliver information on security requested by the Japanese government and credit card companies.

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Survey: Consumers Stick By PS3, Sony, and PlayStation Network

May 24, 2011 -

A survey conducted by GameSpot reveals that consumer confidence in the PlayStation 3, Sony, and the PlayStation Network has not been diminished by the three week downtime of the network that caused a serious breach in security. GameSpot surveyed 2,285 of its members to find out if they planned on sticking with the console. A majority of those users said that they would stick with the PS3, while nine percent said they were jumping ship to Xbox 360.

When asked how the recent security breach impacted how they felt about Sony and the PlayStation Network, 14 percent said that they no longer trust Sony or the PlayStation Network; 35 percent said it had not changed their opinion; 23 percent said that they would trust Sony going forward because the security breach forced the company to add stricter security measures; and 28 percent said that they would change how much information they share with Sony.

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PSN Maintenance Today, But No PlayStation Store

May 24, 2011 -

Sony announced via its PlayStation Blog today that the network will go down for scheduled maintenance from 1:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET. Obviously, during that time users will not be able access the registration and account management system or the password reset process. But the real story is that the rumored restart of PlayStation Store will not happen today. Sony did say that it should be back online "this month." Considering that t"this month" ends next Tuesday it is likely that the PS Store will be back up by at least week's end. Full message below:

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Sony Memo To Developers Claims May 24 PS Store Return

May 19, 2011 -

According to a Gamasutra report, Sony is telling its publishing partners that the PlayStation Store will return on May 24. The report is based on a leaked memo sent to developers and publishers. Of course they say that the relaunch of its its digital marketplace will come back barring any new developments or technical problems.

"We thank you for your patience as we work to resume service of the PlayStation Store," wrote PSN content manager Jack Osorno to developer partners.

Sony also sent partners a tentative schedule that confirms two content publishes a week for the next couple of weeks to get all caught up on previous and new releases that were put on hold during the security breach that lasted three weeks.

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UK Chancellor Talks About PSN, Online Security Importance

May 17, 2011 -

The second most powerful man in British politics says that Sony's massive security breach should be a wake-up call for online services everywhere. Chancellor George Osborne told a London audience yesterday that all online services in the UK need to learn a lesson from the PlayStation Network troubles: security should be the top priority.

"The hacking into Sony’s online PlayStation Network, and the theft of millions of users’ credit card details, is a high profile example of the need for robust online security," Osborne said.

Osborne added that "this age of digitized public services creates challenges alongside opportunities – the challenge of ensuring the security of personal data and financial information."

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Sony Defends Welcome Back Appreciation Program Offerings

May 17, 2011 -

Sony announced its "Welcome Back appreciation program" for PlayStation Network users, and while some found the free game offerings for PS3 and PSP exciting, many in the community are not happy with the selections. While Sony understands PSN user frustration, the company defended the free baubles it is offering gamers.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Head of communications Nick Caplin told Eurogamer: "We've tried really hard to put together a list of high quality BD games, rather than simply offering cheaper PSN titles. The average metacritic rating for these games is over 84 percent, so these are high quality games."

PlayStation 3 owners are each entitled to choose two games from a list of five, which includes Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP owners choose two games from a list that includes LittleBigPlanet (PSP), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and Killzone Liberation.

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Sony Reveals 'Welcome Back Appreciation Program' Details

May 17, 2011 -

Sony announced via its PlayStation Blog details on the games it will offer for free as part of its "Welcome Back appreciation program."

North American PlayStation Network users will get to choose two games from a list of five games, which Sony claims are BD compatible. They are:

-Dead Nation
-inFAMOUS
-LittleBigPlanet
-Super Stardust HD
-Wipeout HD + Fury

These games will be available for 30 days (to download) after the return of the PlayStation Store, which Sony plans to relaunch soon.

PSP owners with a PSN account can download two games from a choice of four, which will also be available for 30 days after the relaunch of the PlayStation Store: They are:

-LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
-ModNation Racers
-Pursuit Force
-Killzone Liberation

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Sony Services on Hold in Japan

May 16, 2011 -

While the PlayStation Network has launched in North America, Europe and other regions, the relaunch of Sony’s services in Japan has been held up by regulators in Japan. According to a Dow Jones report, the PSN will not be relaunched in Japan until Sony provides assurances to the government that it has added additional security to its network services.

"We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them," said Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

"The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," he said, although he refused to provide exact details of the measures for security reasons.

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PlayStation Network, SOE Services Back Online

May 15, 2011 -

By the time you read this the PlayStation Network should be back online in most regions in the United States. After three weeks of being offline, the service slowly started going back online after Sony issued a new firmware update to deal with firming up security and allowing users to change their passwords.

The first phase of the network restoration will include online play, video streaming, friends lists, PlayStation Home, and Qriocity. Unfortunately the PlayStation Store is still offline. The v3.61 is mandatory and is available now.

And on a related note Sony Online Entertainment's various online game services are coming back online this weekend as well. From the SOE Site:

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Rumor: Sony Considering Reward for Information on PSN Hackers

May 9, 2011 -

C|Net is reporting that Sony is considering offering a reward for information leading to those hackers responsible for breaking into its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment networks that lead to both services being taken down nearly two weeks ago. According to the report, the company has been kicking around the idea of a reward for a while, but has not yet come to a final decision on the matter. Apparently, they are still weighing the pros and cons of offering such reward. If they do agree on it, the report claims, it will be brought before the company's top executives for approval.

CNET's report adds that any reward would have to be offered in cooperation with various law enforcement agencies around the world investigating the security breach including the FBI.

Sony has not publicly commented on this story.

Sony Stock Takes Hit on Tokyo Exchange on Security Worries

May 6, 2011 -

It should come as no great surprise that Sony shares have taken a beating since the massive security breaches a few weeks ago. The prolonged downtime of the PlayStation Network is also weighing heavily on investor confidence. Sony shares dropped 3.7 percent on Friday following this week's announcement that Sony Online Entertainment has been hacked and the ongoing struggle to get PSN back online.

Tokyo's financial markets were closed for national holidays Tuesday to Thursday, but reacted negatively to news on Friday morning, according to a Reuters report.

Analysts are also voicing concern about Sony's current situation, and with rumors of a third attack this weekend it is a recipe for more declines in its stock price.

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Howard Stringer's Open Letter and Identity Theft Protection for PSN Users

May 5, 2011 -

Sony is busy today, putting up no less than three updates on the official PlayStation Blog, to discuss preparations for the restoration of the PlayStation Network, a letter from Sony CEO Howard Stringer, and details on the new AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection program offering.

First up is a post from Sony Sr. Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold about preparations to restore the PlayStation Network. According to Seybold, Sony's global network and security teams have begun the "final stages of internal testing of the new system." Seybold said that all of this is an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. Full post below:

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Sony Security Problems Could Hurt Hackers Too

May 5, 2011 -

As hard as it is to believe, hackers may actually suffer from Sony's massive security breach that has seen 102 million users worldwide compromised. According to a New York Times Bits blog report, the massive amount of credit card numbers being flooded into the lucrative black market could bring the price of illegal credit card sales down dramatically.

According to the NYT, hackers who resell personal info and credit cards do not look kindly on what will happen if those responsible for Sony's security breach decide to sell all of it on the black market. Typically stolen credit card numbers sell for around $5 - $10 each (according to an anonymous source familiar with the black market). If millions of new card numbers flood the market, it could bring the value down to a paltry $1 - $2 each.

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Ontario Court to Decide First Class Action Suit Against Sony in Canada

May 3, 2011 -

Toronto is the location of the latest class action suit against Sony launched on behalf of one million Canadian consumers for security breaches of the company's PlayStation Network and Qricoity. The class action alleges a breach of privacy and negligence on the part of Sony. The class action suit is seeking in excess of $1 billion in damages and is fronted by plaintiff Natasha Maksimovic, a 21-year-old Humber College student. Maksimovic describes herself as an avid PlayStation player and Sony e-reader user.

She filed her suit because she was concerned that Sony's security breach would have a dramatic impact on her privacy and her finances.

"I’m very loyal to Sony," she said in a phone interview with the Star. "I buy a lot of their products. I trust their brand. It’s kind of disappointing. I’m disappointed in the company to have something like this happen."

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Australian Government Planning Law in Response to PSN Security Breach

May 3, 2011 -

According to a report in newspaper WA Today, the Australian government announced plans to create a law forcing companies to disclose privacy breaches to the public. Newspaper WA Today reports that 1,560,791 Australian accounts were affected as a result of the attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, along with 280,000 credit card details. A timeline for the introduction of this proposal was not revealed, but the government seems to be serious about it. In addition to planning a new law to deal with events like Sony's, the government has criticized the company over the way it has handled its security problems.

Privacy minister Brendan O'Connor recently said that he is "very concerned" over the data loss, but Sony isn't the only company he is concerned about when it comes to security and privacy issues.

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Sony Denies Reports That Hackers Offered to Sell Credit Cards Numbers Back

May 2, 2011 -

Even as Sony's online gaming services were being taken down this morning, the PlayStation Blog was updated denying reports that hackers tried to sell back millions of stolen credit cards to the company. Sony's Patrick Seybold said that the reports were false and that no one in the company recalls such an event occurring. The seedy underbelly of the internet where credit cards are bought and sold every day probably disagrees, but that's Sony's official stance on the subject. Of course, if such an offer were made it would not make much sense to buy back a list that would obviously be copied and resold anyways. From the PlayStation Blog:

"We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list."

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Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenNor I. From a content producer's perspective, almost every change Google implements makes the service more cumbersome to use. It's why I set up a Facebook fan page in the first place; it was becoming too difficult to connect with my viewers on YouTube.07/24/2014 - 4:50pm
Sleakerwonder if anyone is going to try and compete with google, I'm not a huge fan of the way they manage their video services.07/24/2014 - 4:41pm
Andrew EisenIt happened. Google bought Twitch. http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/24/googles-1b-purchase-of-twitch-confirmed-joins-youtube-for-new-video-empire/07/24/2014 - 4:28pm
 

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