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Apr 16 2014 8:27AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom holds court while bathing in the pool of a sprawling New Zealand mansion, fist bumping and chatting with some of the 700 guests gathered to celebrate the political party he launched last month to promote Internet freedom.

Apr 16 2014 8:08AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's surprise surge in revenue and its upcoming IPO present a great opportunity for investors to load up on Yahoo Inc's shares, analysts said.

Apr 16 2014 7:27AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, is likely to be liquidated after a Tokyo court dismissed the company's bid to resuscitate its business, the court-appointed administrator said on Wednesday.

Apr 16 2014 7:17AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - BTC China, one of the country's leading digital currency exchanges, has installed China's first bitcoin ATM and launched an online app allowing individuals to buy and sell bitcoins using mobile phones, skirting local banking regulations seen as increasingly hostile to so-called crypto-currencies.

Apr 16 2014 6:44AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - BTC China, one of the country's leading digital currency exchanges, has installed China's first bitcoin ATM and launched an online app allowing individuals to buy and sell bitcoins using mobile phones, skirting local banking regulations seen as increasingly hostile to so-called crypto-currencies.

Apr 16 2014 6:10AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd will launch a Chinese version of King Digital Entertainment Plc's explosively popular "Candy Crush Saga" game in China, as the UK-based mobile games maker looks to woo new users to support flagging sales in the United States and Europe.

Apr 16 2014 3:44AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's revenue growth accelerated in the last quarter of 2013, a timely lift for the Chinese Internet company as it prepares to file a prospectus next week for its highly anticipated initial public offering.

Apr 16 2014 2:26AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to file the prospectus for its U.S. initial public offering next week, sources said on Wednesday, moving closer to what could be the biggest-ever listing by a technology firm.

Apr 16 2014 2:05AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has given up plans to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and has asked a Tokyo court to allow it to be liquidated, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Apr 16 2014 1:44AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's new Galaxy S5 smartphone should outsell its predecessor and defy predictions that the South Korean titan's latest model will struggle in a tough market for high-end handsets, a top executive said.

Apr 16 2014 12:55AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to file the prospectus for its U.S. initial public offering next week, sources said on Wednesday, moving closer to what could be the biggest-ever listing by a technology firm.

Apr 16 2014 12:38AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Few games have seen as many downloadable content additions as Borderlands 2, but the today that long string of releases over the course of 18 months comes to an end with today's release of Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax. And just as with the previous 13 content releases, we Mac players get to play it at the same time as our PC cousins.

Developer Gearbox mentioned at PAX East last weekend that Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax would be the last content update for the game, but that they would continue to update the game with bug fixes and the like.

Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax marks the fifth installment of the "Headhunter" series of content updates, which has generally focused on holiday-themed encounters delivering around one to two hours of fun. In the latest release, you join Brick, Mordecai, and Lilith as they venture to Wam Bam Island in what's reportedly the "biggest Headhunter add-on in the series."

Gearbox's declaration that this will be the final content update for the successful shoot-and-loot adventure means that it's most likely focusing all of its attention on the coming "Pre-Sequel," along with unannounced games specifically designed for the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles. So far, it's not clear if these new games will come to the Mac as well. You can pick up the content add-on for just $2.99 on Steam.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apr 16 2014 12:32AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Up until now we've generally only seen renderings of what the next iPhone could look like, but a new photo from China's Weibo (via 9to5Mac) may have given us one of our first clear glimpse of the device's actual front panel. For comparison, whoever took the photo also held up an iPhone 5s next to the supposed iPhone 6 panel within the confines of what looks like a factory setting.

All of the trademarks characteristics of an iPhone panel are there--including the home button, the front facing camera, and speaker--but the panel also features a thinner bezel and a larger screen in line with previous rumors. The images follow on the heels of other rumors, most notably the "leak" of an image of the molds allegedly used for the device.

Not long after the image surfaced, another blurry photograph depicting a powered iPhone 5 or 5s set alongside the alleged iPhone 6 panel appeared on Weibo (via MacRumors), clearly showing how the 4.7-inch screen compares to the screens for the existing models. Neither of the pictures appears to depict the much larger 5.6-inch model that's also expected to appear this year, most likely a few months after the rumored release of the 4.7-inch model.

The iPhone 6 is expected to hold some surprises inside it as well, including a faster A8 processor, a better camera, and possible integration with the similarly rumored "iWatch" through iOS 8. As we learned yesterday, all these new features are reportedly enough to make Apple want to raise the price on its signature smartphone by $100, but carriers are apparently resistant to the idea.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apr 15 2014 9:44PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc, China's leading internet search provider, has launched a mobile payment and wealth management platform after its main domestic rivals launched similar products.

Apr 15 2014 9:34PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - When the Atlantic hurricane season opens June 1, national forecasters will roll out a new feature: color-coded and broadcast-ready maps to graphically show the potential for flooding from storm surges.

Apr 15 2014 9:28PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

If you approach Trials Frontier as a Trials game (capital “T”), then you’re in for disappointment. Although the game broadly echoes its console counterparts, its soul has been ripped out and replaced with the festering guts of a stinking freemium business model, and then spray-painted in mobile-friendly colors and cuteness. Yes, this is still a physics-oriented bike-balancer, set across ludicrously difficult-to-traverse tracks, but it lacks refinement and elegance. Also, it’s now largely about taking on missions from demanding cartoon characters, larger-than-life, over-the-top, hazard-filled courses (with explosions and fire and more explosions), and that encroaching sense that if you don’t spend some money on in-app purchases very soon, the game’s going to slam the door shut in your face, often and repeatedly.

For anyone who’s never gone near a Trials game, this is a trials (small “t”) effort that at first holds up fairly well against existing similar iOS titles that beat the series to the App Store. The controls balance on a knife-edge between irksomely twitchy and reasonably solid (and so are probably quite well suited to the genre), levels are short, and the game has a decent amount of character lurking. Initially, it’s quite good fun—if frustrating—nursing your cartoonish bike to the end of cartoonish courses, in order to appease the cartoonish demands of cartoonish folk lurking in the game’s central hub, a cartoonish saloon.

But even the most enthusiastic newcomers are likely to soon feel ground down by Trials Frontier. Races require fuel, which is initially in plentiful supply but after a couple of hours’ play becomes scarce, unless you’re willing to fill up the tank with acquired gems—or, of course, just buy more gems with real money. Occasional head-to-head races against robotically scripted A.I. require powerful enough bikes, and upgrades cost coins and take time to add. Again, loosening your wallet can alleviate grinding, but a few hours in, the costs become prohibitive to all but the most obsessive players.

Worse, though, is the fact that success in missions requires specific items to be acquired, and these are "won" by way of a spinning wheel at the end of each race. Fundamentally, then, you’re forced into a kind of Groundhog Day scenario, racing the same tracks again and again in order to secure a prize on the basis of pure luck—and not whether you heroically managed to cross the finish line within the tight time limit demanded to win a gold medal. 

Eventually during testing, one of the saloon people cheerily mentioned there was a new object outside to investigate. We had a look and it was a slot machine, adding yet more randomness to the game and coming with its own countdown timer. It was at about this point that we realized Trials Frontier is presumably just a big joke, trolling iOS users en masse. 

The bottom line. If you can deal with the business model, or are happy to waste a few hours before abandoning the game entirely, Trials Frontier is pretty, fairly playable, and reasonably fun. But stick around and the veneer is soon stripped away to reveal endless, soulless grinding to appease cartoon simpletons.

Review Synopsis

Company: 

Ubisoft

Contact: 

Price: 

Free

Requirements: 

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.1 or later

Positives: 

Decent graphics. Well-designed courses. Plenty of missions for people prepared for the long haul. Mobile-friendly approach.

Negatives: 

Truly miserable business model. Prizes and progression depend heavily on luck. Overtly twitchy throughout.

Score: 
2 Weak

Apr 15 2014 8:40PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc again posted anemic quarterly revenue growth as the Internet company's advertising business continues to lag its rivals, nearly two years into Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer's comeback effort.

Apr 15 2014 7:39PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - When the Atlantic hurricane season opens June 1, national forecasters will roll out a new feature: color-coded and broadcast-ready maps to graphically show the potential for flooding from storm surges.

Apr 15 2014 7:32PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As, is going after more eyeballs, and advertising, by allowing members of its passionate community to post their own news more quickly and easily.

Apr 15 2014 7:25PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp's first-quarter net profit exceeded Wall Street's estimates as the chipmaker wrestles with slow demand for personal computers and its chief executive officer said an ambitious goal to stake out market share in tablets was on track.

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