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."
Joshua Howard, the lead producer of Crytek's free-to-play first-person shooter Warface says that the development teams decision to add female soldier skins to the game with "unrealistic proportions and revealing uniforms," was the result of player feedback and represented a certain "cultural relativism."
A Wisconsin teen has managed to get himself officially banned from playing video games. According to multiple reports, Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch ordered 17-year-old Jeffery A. Ehlers of Mount Pleasant to pay a $250 signature bond and ordered him to not play video games or have "violent contact" with his family. Ehlers made his first court appearance on Monday answering charges of disorderly conduct. He is being charged as an adult.
If you want to fan the flames of a pending console war where fans and developers alike malign each other in the name of brand loyalty, then this Edge article on which console has more power will do the trick.
Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.
"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Google and Russia's biggest search engine Yandex are voicing their opposition to a new bill that would block sites accused of hosting (in some way) copyrighted material. The new bill, which has already passed Russia's State Duma, is being called Russia's version of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill gives intellectual property holders the ability to sue a web site that they claim is hosting copyrighted materials. The accused site then has 72 hours to remove the offending material (without the option of reviewing the claim).
The very first porn-related app for Google Glass has been banned by Google, along with any other applications that someone might think of in the future. The application created by software developer MiKandi called "Tits & Glass" allowed Google Glass users to record videos and take pictures of sexual partners and share them with other users of the app who could then rate them.
A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.
Liberal-flavored site Burnt Orange Report sheds some light on a Texas bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans in the House that gives law enforcement in the state broad powers to look at private Internet data without much justification.
The bill was sponsored by Texas Republican Reps. John Frullo, Allen Fletcher, and John Carona; and Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson. House Bill 2268 is described as follows:
In one of the most bizarre stories we've heard this week, Capcom's UK Marketing department will fill a swimming pool full of blood, gore and other body parts to promote the release of its next Resident Evil game in London.
The "first ever blood filled swimming pool" can hold about 55,000 gallons of water and will feature (fake, of course) human torsos as floatation devices, intestines as lane markers, and all kinds of gruesome objects floating in the water including bloody bandages, eyeballs, tendrils and blood clots. Zombie lifeguards will also be on hand...
Polygon is reporting that Silicon Knights still exists, though it is down to just a handful of employees. The company reportedly unloaded its office equipment and game assets, and has closed its offices in St. Catharines, Ontario. Last summer the company reportedly laid off most of its staff and then a core group of Silicon Knights employees including SK founder Denis Dyack created a brand new studio called Precursor Games.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seem to agree that requiring online retailers to collect sales tax is a great idea. A bipartisan coalition from both parties easily passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69-to-27. The bill was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who fast-tracked the bill and avoided any committee that might have had oversight over the bill.
Update: A representative for Activision points out that Bloomberg has updated its original story, and that because Activision is a public company it has to account for compensation in the year it is granted, even though the amount of performance-based compensation Kotick would receive under the new agreement he signed in 2012 would be vested over a five year period. Here's the update from the Bloomberg story we sourced: