GamesIndustry International talks to two financial analysts who closely watch the video games industry sector about what they make of rumors that Activision could possibly acquire Take-Two. This rumor began circulating over the weekend after Mike Hickey, an equity researcher for the Benchmark Company, sent a note to investors on Friday claiming that the two companies were engaged in what he categorized an "emerging romance."
UPDATE: Twitch has confirmed that it has been acquired by Amazon.
The White House has backed away from its pick to head the United States Patent and Trademark Office after very vocal opposition from the tech sector in the United States. Two weeks ago Philip Johnson, the top intellectual property lawyer at Johnson & Johnson, was set to be named the next director of the patent office, according to multiple reports.
CVG reports that an unofficial Minecraft convention is being called a scam after the organizer canceled the New York City-based event at the last minute on Twitter and promised to reschedule the multi-day event at a later time. In a tweet (not via email to ticket holders, curiously enough) from its official Twitter account MineOrama organizers said:
In a not-so-shocking conclusion, the panel put together by President Barack Obama and tasked with examining the privacy and legal fallout from the massive National Security Agency spying activities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has concluded in a new 191-page report that the NSA activity was lawful yet "close to the line of constitutional reasonableness."
The National Security Agency's new director, Admiral Michael Rogers, admits that the agency has lost the trust of the American people in the wake of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA’s new director made this statement on Wednesday in his first public comments since taking control of the spy agency.
"I tell the [NSA] workforce out there as the new guy, let’s be honest with each other, the nation has lost a measure of trust in us," Admiral Michael Rogers said at a conference of the Women in Aerospace in Crystal City, VA.
A representative for 7 Entertainment has issued a public apology following claims that the site was reselling game keys acquired from various Humble Bundle promotional sales, according to this CVG report. On Friday it was revealed that several online retailers owned by distributor 7 Entertainment, had been reselling game licenses that had been obtained for as little as $1 through various Humble Bundle promotions.
President Barack Obama is expected to put forward a proposal that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of a huge amount of data on U.S. mobile calls, according to what an unnamed Obama administration official told Politico. The proposal is a familiar one: the NSA would eliminate the database of phone data it stores, instead relying on accessing the data from carriers who would be required to store it for up to 18 months.
Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.
OnLive isn't back because it never left, but it is making headlines today by introducing several new services that it hopes can get it back on top of the video game streaming heap. First the company revealed that former IGN chief Mark Jung is its new executive chairman, and that it has launched OnLive Go and CloudLift. It has been working on this new technology since 2012 when the company fired most of its staff, sold itself to an investment firm and reformed under the same name.
Last week WOW Insider uncovered a level 90 boost on the World of Warcraft store selling for $60 and took a picture before it was removed by Blizzard.
According to a report in the New York Times, the National Security Agency knew in 2013 that the Australian spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), was conducting surveillance on a U.S.-based law firm representing the Indonesian government in a trade dispute with the U.S. government. The dispute was over the United States banning the import of clove cigarettes into the U.S. from Indonesia.
Capcom says that it was "surprised" to hear that Resident Evil: Director's Cut and Onimusha composer Mamoru Samuragochi hired someone else to compose his works and that he may not be deaf. But even as Capcom makes this statement insiders are telling one Japanese publication that it was common knowledge within the company that Mamoru Samuragochi could hear. The 50-year-old composer had claimed he lost all hearing in both ears at age 35.
A NeoGAF thread reveals a bold initiative from Microsoft whereby they'll knock $100 off the price of the Xbox One for any consumer willing to turn in their old PS3 system. The ad, which is reportedly from the official Microsoft Store, lists a number of terms and conditions related to the trade-in deal:
Apple has responded strongly to reports that the National Security Agency claims a "100-percent success rate" in attaching spyware to iOS apps. The revelation about the NSA's targeting of Apple products comes from a recent Der Speigel report featuring leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided to various journalists. The NSA program targeting Apple products is called DROPOUTJEEP, and allows the agency to intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data, and even activate the device’s microphone and camera.
Imagine buying your child a 3DS for Christmas and finding pornography on it... That's what happened to one parent, according to WAVY News 10. On Christmas morning Tom Mayhew's 8-year-old son decided to snap some pictures with his new 3DS. When he went to go look at the photos he'd taken he found a dozen pornographic images saved on the system.
Earlier this week we reported that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, had publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.
A committee put together by President Barack Obama in August to investigate the government's vast surveillance operations and how it goes about collecting information here and abroad, delivered a 300 page report outlining why U.S. surveillance programs are "broken" and what can be done to fix them. The committee was put together following damaging document leaks about the NSA's various secret spying programs from former NSA contractor Snowden.
Yesterday we reported that no one bid on a $50,000 proposal put out by the state of Rhode Island to examine its options if it decided not to pay back the debt related to the $75 million loan given to Curt Schilling's 38 Studios. The state is on the hook for over $90 million or more (depending on who you ask) related to the deal. Well it turns out that - as of yesterday - one firm has stepped forward.
By all accounts online retailer Zavvi made a mistake when it mailed out a PlayStation Vita and Tearaway bundle to UK customers who simply ordered only the PS Vita game, but the company's response to customers is what's making news this morning. According to Eurogamer, the retailer has sent customers who received the PS Vita bundle by accident emails filled with ultimatums and legal threats.
The party is officially over for PS4 The Playroom streaming on Twitch, according to Polygon. The game streaming services company said that it did this because the majority of content coming from the free app was not game related.
"We removed Playroom content from the directory because a majority of it was non-gaming related," the firm has told Polygon.
Is this next story officially the dumbest story of 2013? I don't know but it has to be in the running. Some users who bought Xbox One systems with failing disc drives say you can solve the problem by punching your console. Yes, you've read that correctly: people are so frustrated with the Xbox One that they have decided to, as Wally Cleaver liked to say (an obscure 1950's reference to the show Leave it to Beaver) "Give it the business."
Reuters is reporting that the UK government is threatening to move to stop papers in the country from publishing further leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. According to Reuters, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that his government was "likely" to move towards putting a stop to newspapers from publishing "damaging leaks" from Edward Snowden unless they started to "behave more responsibly."