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World of Warcraft user base continues to tumble PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Flacy   

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Thursday, 10 November 2011 10:13

World Of Warcraft Subsriber Numbers Falling

While MMORPG players are rapidly adopting free-to-play games like DC Universe Online, the World of Warcraft subscriber base is continuing to bleed players.

Reported during a recent Activision Blizzard conference call,  the subscriber base of the MMORPG World of Warcraft fell by another 800,000 players over a three month period. This constitutes a much larger decline than the lost 300,000 players that quit the game during the second quarter. The total user base now stands at approximately 10.3 million subscriptions, a large drop from a peak of about 12 million players during October 2010. Activision Blizzard attributes the decline to canceled subscriptions in Asian countries rather than North American players quitting the game. The company also hopes that the upcoming Mists Of Pandaria expansion pack will help bring veteran players back to the game as well as encourage new subscribers to sign up.World of Warcraft

While the ongoing success of Modern Warfare 3 is certain to keep investors in Activision Blizzard happy with the company, after hours trading of the stock is down by about three percent following the World of Warcraft news. During the fourth quarter, the World of Warcraft player base faces a possible increase in defections to games like DC Universe Online that have been made free-to-play as well as new MMORPGs like Star Wars The Old Republic when it launches in December. Beyond the planned panda-themed expansion for World of Warcraft, company officials are looking into speeding up the development time between expansion packs to keep players interested in the game. 

After going free-to-play, Sony Online Entertainment’s DC universe Online has skyrocketed by 1,000 percent. The player base that previous had about 30,000 players has grown to over 300,000. However, new players have been faced with long queues to access the game as Sony merged 26 servers down to a single server during August 2011. While certain restrictions limit players that want to play the game for free, players that continue to pay for the service get all all DLC packs for free as well as a larger number of inventory and character slots.

 
Man threatens to blow up Best Buy over Modern Warfare 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Flacy   

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Thursday, 10 November 2011 10:07

Modern Warfare 3

Likely going to end up as further ammunition used by opponents of violent video games, a man in Colorado thought it would be a brilliant idea to threaten death over the lack of the new Call of Duty game at his local retailer.

After 31-year-old Loromin Sar was informed that his local Best Buy in Aurora, Colorado ran out of copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, his first thought was to inform store employees that he would be back to blow up the store with some sort of explosive device. He also informed several Best Buy employees that he would return as they got off work in order to shoot them. Sar had preordered the game earlier in the day and was expecting to pick up a copy at the midnight release of Activision’s eighth installment of the Call of Duty franchise. He became irate at the customer service desk before launching into his promises of murder.

Shortly after the threats were made, Best Buy employees called the police to the store’s location and Sar’s Infinity sport-utility vehicle was pulled over by police near the store. Sar received a summons for misdemeanor disorderly conduct for his actions at Best Buy. Aurora police detective Bob Friel threw some wit in the official police statement which read “Investigating officers issued a criminal summons to a man who threatened to carry out his own version of Modern Warfare at the electronics store. Fortunately, this situation did not end in violence.” According to police, Sar doesn’t have a record for previous crimes, but has several traffic violations. 

While Sar was only concerned about a single copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, authorities in France are dealing with two separate robberies in which thousands of copies of the game were stolen valued at over one million dollars. The thieves in the first robbery used knives and tear gas to remove the driver of the delivery van and take control of the truck.  The second robbery involved three masked men, one of which was wielding a loaded handgun.

 
Computer programming legend Dennis Ritchie has died PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Couts   

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Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:13

Dennis Ritchie, father of the C programming language and UNIX operating system, died this weekend at the age of 70.

The father of the C programming language and the UNIX operating system, Dennis Ritchie, died this past weekend at the age of 70 following a long illness

News of Ritchie’s death was publicly reported by software engineer Rob Pike, a friend and former colleague of Ritchie’s, who posted the sad news to Google+.Dennis Ritchie

“[Ritchie] was a quiet and mostly private man, but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind,” wrote Pike.

Known in the computer science community by his username “dmr,” Ritchie spent most of his career at Bell Labs, one of the nation’s largest phone companies, where he began working in 1967. It was at Bell where Ritchie met Ken Thompson. The two aimed to create a more efficient operating system for the fledgling minicomputer. And by 1971, Ritchie and Thompson, along with a few other Bell colleagues, released the first version of UNIX.

In 1973, Ritchie and Thompson recoded UNIX entirely in C, which greatly expanded the potential of UNIX. That version went on to have many iterations, and has since become one of the most important foundations of modern computing, and is the basis for popular operating systems, like Linux and Apple’s Mac OS X.

Ritchie is quoted as saying that, “UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand its simplicity.”

Currently, C is the second most-used programming language in the world, and led to the creation of the popular C++ language and Java.

Throughout his career, Ritchie won a number of prestigious awards, including the Turning Award, which he and Thompson received in 1983 for their development of generic operating system theory; and the National Medal of Technology, which the pair received in 1999 from President Bill Clinton for their invention of UNIX and C.

 
Apple wins temporary ban on sales of Samsung tablet in Australia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Trevor Mogg   

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Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:08

Samsung's hopes of bringing its Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the Australian market before Christmas were dashed on Thursday when the country's Federal Court granted a temporary ban on the sale of the device. The decision comes following Apple's claim that the Korean company's tablet infringes on patents related to its iPad tablet.Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung was told by Australia’s Federal Court on Thursday that it will not be allowed to sell its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the Australian market – at least for the time being.

The decision comes following an accusation by Apple that Samsung’s tablet infringed several of its patents and “slavishly” copied various aspects of the iPad’s design.

The two technology giants have been filing various patent lawsuits against one another in nine countries across four continents since April.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Justice Annabelle Bennett as saying that “Apple had a prima facie case that Samsung had infringed two of its patents relating to touch-screens and the gestures that control them.”

Samsung had agreed to withdraw its Galaxy Tab 10.1 device from the Australian market at the start of August until the patent dispute was resolved. Following Bennett’s ruling on Thursday, it will remain off the shelves of Australian stores.

The decision by Australia’s Federal Court is a temporary injunction, with no date yet fixed for the subsequent full hearing, although it is unlikely to happen this year. This means Samsung’s tablet will miss out on the lucrative Christmas market.

In a statement on the ruling, the Korean company said: “Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple’s claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers.”

If Samsung fail to get the injunction overturned at some point in the future, the only way it’ll be able to get its Galaxy 10.1 tablet on the Australian market will be to modify its design. 

Thursday’s decision follows a ruling by a German court last month that said Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet “too closely” resembled Apple’s iPad. As a result, the court granted a permanent injunction on the sale of Samsung’s tablet in Germany.

 
Steve Jobs Has Passed Away PDF Print E-mail
Written by Max   

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Thursday, 06 October 2011 08:39

Steve Jobs Has Passed Away

 

According to a statement just issued by Apple’s Board of Directors, company co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs has passed away.

Apple has also put up the following website in memory. They’re asking for “thoughts, memories, and condolences” to be shared by way of this email address:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

It was only a little over a month ago that Jobs stepped down as CEO saying at the time, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”

Jobs remained Chairman of the Board at the company, as well as director and an Apple employee. He recommended that company COO Tim Cook take his place as CEO. Yesterday, Cook gave his first keynote address as CEO, unveiling the new iPhone 4S.

While that device had been the focal point of Apple’s website for the past 24 hours, Apple.com is now simply dedicated to Jobs, using a famous picture of him (above) that will also grace the cover of his upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson due out next month.

Jobs had battled cancer, and in 2004 had an operation related to the disease. In recent years, illness had forced him to step back from his role as CEO of Apple on separate occasions. He also had a liver transplant in 2009 during one of those medical leaves.

But after each battle, he came back and continued his amazing work at Apple. In 2007, he unveiled the iPhone. In 2010, the iPad. His last appearance on stage was at Apple’s 2011 WWDC event in San Francisco. There, he laid the groundwork for Apple’s latest innovations including iOS 5, OS X Lion, and iCloud.

That performance as well has his announcement that he was stepping down as CEO of Apple for the final time, led to two of my favorite posts that I’ve ever written. Both were about Jobs:

“It Just Works.”

One More Thing…

Steve Jobs was 56 years old. Rest in peace, Steve.

The release from Apple:

Statement by Apple’s Board of Directors

CUPERTINO, Calif. — We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

The Statement from Jobs’ family:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees:

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing
human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

TimMessage On Apple's Web Site

www.apple.com

 
Amazon unveils $199 Kindle Fire tablet, Kindle Touch for $99 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Saul   

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Wednesday, 28 September 2011 18:13

Amazon's newly announced Kindle Fire tablet measures 7-inches, runs a modified version of Android and will cost $199 – less than half the price of an iPad 2. Unfortunately, 3G connectivity and a camera are not included.

Amazon announced today its new Kindle Fire, a 7-inch Android-based tablet that will cost $199. In addition, the e-commerce giant also unveiled the the Kindle Touch, which will run $99 and a standard Kindle for the reduced price of $79.

The Fire has an IPS display with 169 pixels-per-inch resolution. Super-tough Gorilla Glass protects the screen, which can support the display of 16 million colors. Inside, the Fire comes loaded with a dual-core processor, and the device weighs just 14.6 ounces. As expected, the Fire closely resembles the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Software-wise, the Kindle Fire runs Android, but a heavily modified version. Kindle Fire customers will receive a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which gives subscribers access to the company’s movie and TV streaming library and free two-day shipping on products purchased through Amazon.com. Amazon has also loaded the device with a custom “Amazon Silk” browser, which CEO Jeff Bezos calls a “split” browser, meaning it gets half its computing power from the device, and the other half from Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing servers.

Read more...
 
Samsung Galaxy S II global sales reach 10 million PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoff Duncan   

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Monday, 26 September 2011 17:13

Samsung is trumpeting that sales - not shipments - of its Galaxy S II smartphones have totaled over 10 million. And they've yet to really launch in North America.

Samsung may be in the midst of ramping up its legal battle with Apple, but the company is also taking a little time out to toot it’s own horn: the company announced today that global sales of its Galaxy S II smartphones have passed 10 million units. The company is careful in its release to note the figures represent channel sales, rather than merely units shipped to retailers—Samsung got in trouble earlier this year over its characterization of Galaxy Tab sales.samsung galaxy sII

“Since its launch in late April 2011, the Galaxy S II has seen continued sales success, demonstrating Samsung’s industry-leading capabilities in—and commitment to—the smartphone market” said Samsung’s president and mobile communications chief JK Shin, in a statement. “In just five months the Galaxy S II has seen tremendous growth, reflecting its tremendous popularity with customers around the world, who in selecting the Galaxy S II as their device of choice have driven the device’s strong market position globally.”

Selling 10 million units in nearly five months is a considerably achievement for almost any handset on the market—unless that handset is the iPhone 4, which sold more than double that number in the third fiscal quarter of 2011. However, Samsung’s sales figures are impressive because they seem to indicate a continued strong demand for the Galaxy S II—the company managed to sell 5 million unit during the phone’s two months of availability, and a similar number during the second two months. Furthermore, the Galaxy S II is not yet a significant contender in the United States market, which could give it plenty of room for sales expansion—assuming Samsung can sidestep Apple’s request for an injunction.

The Galaxy S II is one of a selection of Samsung phones that may be barred from sale in Europe by a temporary injunction granted to Apple: that injunction is scheduled to go into effect October 15. Interestingly, that injunction applies to the devices’ use of Android 2.3, and wouldn’t hold if the phones shifted to Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

 
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Warning: strftime() [function.strftime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/London' for 'BST/1.0/DST' instead in /var/sites/p/pcmaczone.co.uk/public_html/libraries/joomla/utilities/date.php on line 250