Saturday, 19 July 2014

Unlimited Kindling In The Amazon

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See? Bear gets it!

Subscription-based news today, as Amazon have just announced their new Kindle Unlimited service with this video. For $6.99 a month, 'Muricans can get access to every ebook and audiobook on Amazon's store, which is a damn good deal! There's no word on when or whether it will be coming to other territories, but I'm sure it'll be around the same the Fire TV and their new Prime Music service hop across the pond. Amazon's competitors will be the likes of Oyster and Scribd, but with a far superior and numerous ebook collection plus the added force of audiobooks, it seems like Amazon will trump the competition. I'm sure the likes of Ray Mears and Bear Grylls would love some unlimited kindling on their travels.


Anyways, it seems that Amazon is going out on all subscription-based fronts now. It's Amazon Instant Video service is the Netflix of movies, it's launched a Prime Music Spotify-rivalling service that lets Prime subscribers in the US listen to Amazon's huge MP3 collection, and now it's launched Kindle Unlimited. I imagine that Amazon's next move would be a huge all-in-one package, where you could subscribe to Prime, Instant Video, Music and Kindle Unlimited in one click.

What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to Kindle Unlimited? Or do you love the feel of traditional books? Tell us in the comments below!

Free Means Free (Features Available For A Fee)

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Oh yeah, it's free. It's just you might need a time machine if you don't want to wait for 24 HOURS.

THANK GOD news today, as Google have agreed to not call games with in-app purchases "Free" on the Google Play Store, according to Android Police. This was announced after the European Commission, the law-makers of the EU, forced Google and Apple to give users the full picture of whether an app is completely free or not. While Apple haven't made any agreements yet, Google have fully agreed to these terms, which were probably brought up over the increasing (first-world) problem of children buying in-app purchases and racking up huge credit card bills. To be honest, I feel sorry for the banks. It's like they have no money!

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This change (And many others) will be fulfilled by the end of September. However, there is one law in the press release that looks like it will drastically change apps: "Games should not contain direct exhortation to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy things for them.". This doesn't spell the end for microtransactions, but it does mean that there won't be any annoying pop-ups while you play a game, and it may end up meaning that microtransactions will be harder to find in games. This will only affect Europe, but it will still be a pretty big change for companies like King and Zynga that rely on pop-ups for most of their microtransactions. 

What do you guys think? Is this change for the better? I'll answer for you: YESYESYESYESYES

Sam's Opinion Of... YouTubers And Money.

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Now, I know that I shouldn't really have a say in this debate because our YouTube channel is only tiny, but I've got a pretty strong view on this debate, and it's that only the developers and publishers should get the sales revenue for a game they made. Now, on with the rant...

With the advent of Yogscast's new YogDiscovery program, where Yogscast content creators will get a cut of the sales revenue of a game if a video they've produced helps sales, and the controversy of EA's Ronku system (YouTubers getting paid for saying positive things about EA games) have led to a huge debate: Should YouTubers get a slice of revenue if they help out sales in a game? I believe not. I know it sounds pretty harsh, especially since running a YouTube channel can be costly, but YouTubers make ad revenue from adverts, so why would they need to take money from developers too? If the developers hadn't of made the game, would the YouTuber have made as much ad revenue? Developers, journalists, YouTubers and bloggers alike are all interdependant on each other, so they should be supporting each other, not taking shares of each others money.

One of the things that really angered me about the YogDiscovery program is the quote that this program "negates the financial risk of making a video that isn't guaranteed profit.". The first thing I hate about that quote is that there's apparently financial risks involved. All YogsCasters have enough profit to make a living (And more) and if you take the big guns like Lewis and Simon, they're making millions every year. I don't see why they would need to take money from developers, considering that if games like Minecraft and Garry's Mod hadn't of come along, Yogscast wouldn't be what it is today.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Bye, Buy Button!

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If only there was a place on the internet that I could buy things....

Facebook have introduced a new "Buy" button into their adverts that lets you buy a product (Probably with some sort of discount) without leaving the app. Yep, that's another detail to add to your Facebook profile! Anyways, this is probably in response to Twitter's buyout of CardSpring on Thursday, a company that creates apps that accept credit cards. That is a truly excellent business model.

Anyways, with Facebook's 1.2 billion users, this will probably give Facebook a huge profit boost, as well as giving boosts to smaller business too. It seems that Facebook is looking to be the be-all end-all company, what with it's purchase of Oculus VR, it's new Slingshot messaging app and now the ability to buy products in-app, so the question is this: What will Facebook try next?

My guess is that they will acquire a small phone company and create Facebook phones with their showcased-but-forgotten Facebook OS, with all of their apps built in that seamlessly connect with each other. But what do you guys think that Facebook's next move will be? Tell us in the comments below!

No TV. No Films. Only Games.

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It's official: Yahoo! is now better than a company!

The 2 year old Xbox Entertainment Studios, a company that was designed to provide original content available on Xbox consoles, has been shut down, chief Phil Spencer announced in a memo. XES appears to be the first casualty of the Microsoft restructuring, but some people will be happy to know that the live-action Halo series, the ET game documentary and all of the other shows already in development will still be aired. Because that's teh reason everyone bought an Xbox One: the watch Xbox One exclusive programming for the Xbox One, exclusively on Xbox One.

I could say that XES will be missed, but they've only ever released one program: Every Street United, a Wayne Rooney's Street Striker-like series about finding the next great street footballer. Oh, and they're producing this year's Miss Teen USA, which I'm sure that hardcore, gore-loving shooter fanatics will LOVE to watch.

Anyways, the main reason behind XES' demise is the Xbox One's shift from multimedia box to games console, therefore meaning that the Spencer Revolution was what killed the young company, and, according, was a disorganized company with no business model. Still, if the company had produced gaming-only programming like the GINX TV channel, perhaps it would've been more popular.

What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to the Halo live-action series or any more of XES' programming? Tell us in the comments below!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Yogscast with Money and Failed Games

Let's Play: Bad Ideas Simulator!

Yogscast related news today, as the British YouTubers/Business have made two controversial announcements this week. The first? Their new YogDiscovery  programming, which means  that Yogscast will get a share of the profits of a game if they've done a video on it and sales have increased. Announced as an open letter on Reddit, YogDiscovery is being launched to "negate the financial risk of playing games that aren't guaranteed profit." I'll talk more about this in a opinion piece later tomorrow, but the fact that there's financial risk involved is preposterous. Check out my opinion piece tomorrow. Also give me all your money.

The second is that their planned game, Yogventures, which was being developed by indie studio Winterkewl Games and was funded on Kickstarter, has been canned, and its likely that the developer will shut down. The game was cancelled because, as cofounder of Yogscast Lewis Brindley said in an email to all backers, "The project was proving too ambitious". Instead, fans have been compensated with a Steam key to early access game TUG, but with no option to get a refund. Anyone who ordered physical goods should have got them by now, so if you haven't, email, and if you are due an in-game item, an equivalent will be given to you in TUG. Phew. Yogscast should hire me.

What do you guys think? If you funded Yogventures, are you satisfied with TUG? Tell us in the comments below!

Even More Micro

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Looks like Nadella won't be winning a Nobella anytime soon...

(I really clenched at straws with that one)

Sad news today, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, after hinting at changes within the company last week, sent an email out today to all employees in the company stating that over the course of 2015, 18,000 people will lose their jobs in a company shake-up that aims to make the company more efficient in terms of how it runs and how the management works. Nadella said "The overall result of these changes will be more productive, impactful teams at Microsoft." Presumably, Nadella will be making less management layers so that different divisions of Microsoft can communicate better. I don't have a punchline, which is sad.

The only division detailed by Nadella that was getting cuts was the Nokia Services and Devices team, which will be affected by a huge 12,500 cuts. Ever since Nokia was purchased by Microsoft last year, positions have been shuffled around, but according to Nadella he is only doing this to "integrate the Nokia Services And Devices team in Microsoft.". Also, Nokia's X line of phones that will run on a mix of Android and Windows Phone have been shaken up. "We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows." Nadella said, adding that it would "align our focus on Windows Universal Apps." Because where would we be without PowerPoint on mobile, eh?

What do you guys think about these changes? Will they pay off in the end? Tell us in the comments below!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

OK Glass, Cure My Cold

Pffft, glasses? When is this, 2013?

Cool news today, as Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis have announced in a statement that they are licencing Google's new smart contact lenseseses. Even though they aren't Google Glass smart, they're revolutionary in terms of medical technology, as they can be used to measure someone's glucose levels, eliminating the need for diabetics to prick themselves every time they need to test, and also meaning that sufferers will be able to find out quickly whether their levels are low or not. Who needs doctors?

Still, not only are the lens useful for diabetics, but they are also being used to help the visually impaired. Novaris stated that the lens have "the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye's natural autofocus on near objects". It sounds like these lens will use autofocus tech found in cameras, so here's your chance to shine Nokia! Anyways, this is the first step into the future of Google lens, so what could be next?

What do you want from the likes of Google Glass and smart lens? Tell us in the comments below!

Crash Of The Clans

"You don't understand, we're still using Crash Bandicoot... As a paperweight!" (Activision)

Exciting news today, as Sony's Andrew House (He says, hoping he's there) said in an interview with The Telegraph stated that they were in "discussions" over whether to bring the cult 'coot back. Crash hasn't had an outing since the bland Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2, a boring take on the cult classic that was the original Nitro Kart. Ever since the spin-off game Crash Of The Titans, the series didn't really seem to know where it was going, and the once spectacular PlayStation mascot was hanging in limbo. With former developers Naughty Dog concentrating on the Uncharted series, different game developers have been playing hot potato with Bandicoot, and its time he got the game he and the fans deserve.

House continued, saying that he "definitely wouldn't close the door on that [A new Crash game]" but didn't confirm it. Still, as concrete as the evidence seems, there's one problem: Sony don't own the IP anymore. It's Activision's property now and, although the two companies have worked together in the past, Activision's allegiance seems to be with Microsoft. Still, anything could happen!

What Crash Bandicoot series would you like to be revived? Tell us in the comments below!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Humble Apologies

Hi Guys,

I'd like to hugely apologise about the recent inactivity, its been my birthday week and I've been busy building a new PC. Still, tomorrow the blog will be up and running as per usual, and with my new PC being finished, the return of the CMTS YouTube Channel! Thanks for being the greatest supporters ever!