Tag - Zynga
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' panel of judges has ruled that a civil suit's wiretap claims, alleging illicit transfer of personal information against Facebook and Zynga, weren't valid. The unanimous panel ruling said that information passed to advertisers by the social network and game maker didn't qualify as the "contents of a communication" under the US wiretap law.
Apple has joined a list of companies that have agreed to donate $500,000 apiece to a San Francisco anti-poverty charity, SF Gives, two sources tell Fortune. In all about 15 companies have signed up for the initiative so far, including Google, Zynga, and LinkedIn. SF Gives was started by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Tipping Point CEO Daneil Lurie; the goal is to have 20 business sign up by Wednesday, leading to a total contribution of $10 million. That money in turn will be donated to local charitable programs.
In conjunction with Zynga's quarterly results, new CEO Don Mattrick revealed that founder Mark Pincus is stepping down as chief product officer at the embattled game producer. Mattrick also announced that Alex Garden, ex-general manager of Xbox Live, has been hired as president of Zynga Studios.
US District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco has dismissed a shareholders' lawsuit against game developing house Zynga. The suit alleged that Zynga misled prospective purchasers of its stock, in both the leadup to the inital public offering and through a series of difficult quarters financially.
Game developer PopCap, known for titles such as Peggle and the Plants Versus Zombies series, is seeing two of its co-founders depart the company. CEO Dave Roberts and chief designer Jason Kapalka are leaving the studio they helped found, effective the week of January 6. PopCap's sole remaining co-founder, John Vechey, is slated to become the new general manager of the development house.
In a letter to staff, new Zynga CEO Don Mattrick explained some recent executive changes. Amidst an executive shuffle, Cadir Lee, Colleen McCreary, and David Ko will be departing the company. Lee was a technical lead, McCreary headed personnel acquisition, and Ko was recently promoted to chief operations officer, following the departure of John Schappert.
In an unexpected corporate move, Microsoft Xbox chief Don Mattrick is moving to embattled game producer Zynga, displacing CEO Mark Pincus in the role. Pincus is willingly vacating the position, but remaining on the board as chairman and the company's chief product officer. Mattrick assumes his new role next week, but will be participating in a discussion with the remaining company employees.
Game developer Zynga today announced that it has commenced laying off 520 employees, and closing offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York, with an estimated completion date of the moves by the end of August. The moves are described as "substantial cost reductions" and "a hard day for Zynga" but "necessary to move forward" according to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.
In an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief filed on Friday by Google, Facebook, and six other tech companies, the unlikely allies have asked the courts to reject all lawsuits based on patents with unclear concepts instead of specific information and applications. Cosigned by, Dell, Homeaway, Intuit, Rackspace, Redhat, and Zynga, the brief implies that there is a great risk to the technology industry if such lawsuits are allowed to continue.
Facebook and social game developer Zynga have revised terms of a partnership that gave Zynga preferential treatment on the social network. The modification of the deal was noted on regulatory filings from the two companies earlier today. Zynga has been given more flexibility to sell its own games by the agreement, but makes the game developer subject to the same rules as other game makers, if it wishes to publish on Facebook.
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Netflix iOS app now offers cell-data controls
In a new update to its iOS app on Thursday, subscription entertainment service Netflix has introduced new user controls for streaming over cellular networks to prevent overages, throttling, or other usage issues caused by the high data rate of streamed HD video. Users can choose from a given amount of streaming video that "costs" 1GB of cellular data, which lowers video quality to allow as much as four hours of video per GB (the "automatic" setting provides three hours, while higher quality settings reduce the time to two hours, or one hour at the best setting). In addition, the updated app now offers more 3D Touch options from the app icon, beyond the "peek and pop" previews for video. http://apple.co/24AD1vR
Bentley launches app for Apple Watch
Carmaker Bentley now offers an Apple Watch app for its Bentayga SUV -- a vehicle with a starting price of $229,000 -- that offers some advanced automotive functions not previously seen in other car apps for Apple's wearable. The app allows Watch wearers to control various seat adjustments, environmental controls (including seat massage), and the entertainment system. In addition, various vehicle stats are available at a glance, including distance traveled and vehicle speed. The app is available free on the App Store. http://apple.co/24AyXvs
Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY
YouTube Unplugged OTT service coming 2017?
As part of the continuing YouTube evolution, the video streaming service is reportedly considering a paid subscription service that would provide users "over the top" cable TV service. According to sources familiar with the matter, the service has been in the works since 2012, has already made changes to accommodate the live video feeds, and could debut the offering as soon as 2017. http://bloom.bg/1rvx8BW