AcidAUS writes: Hong Kong-based mobile game maker Animoca Brands is hoping to replicate some of the extraordinary success of Nasdaq–listed Glu Mobile's Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game, signing a deal with Paris Hilton to produce apps featuring the celebrity heiress. The Kim Kardashian game, which has players attempting to become famous in Hollywood, was a breakout hit, pulling in $US43 million ($55 million) in its first three months after its launch last June. It has now been downloaded more than 28 million times.
AcidAUS writes: CAPTCHA tests, used almost everywhere across the web, are frustrating for all internet users. However, for me, and millions of other blind or vision impaired people, CAPTCHA tests prevent us from engaging with the web and government services, because they can't be read by screen reading software — which is why it's time to kill CAPTCHA.
AcidAUS writes: A Port Macquarie surgeon is suing Google for defamation over an auto-complete search suggestion that he believes has cost him clients. Google has been involved in several lawsuits around the world in the past year revolving around its autocomplete suggestions and has increasingly been held responsible for content on its search pages. The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US district court in California, claims that when you type "Guy Hin..." into Google the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claims this is defamatory as he is not bankrupt.
AcidAUS writes: Lonely Planet's popular online travel forum, Thorn Tree, has been temporarily shut down by owner BBC, reportedly after the discovery of paedophilia-related posts. A source said that BBC executives, still smarting from the Jimmy Savile scandal, went into "panic attack mode" after a disgruntled user alerted them to swearing and posts that discussed topics related to paedophilia. The site has not officially revealed why it was necessary to close the entire forum without warning except that "a number of posts" did not conform with the site's "standards". A message on the Thorn Tree page said the forum was closed "temporarily" so the site could apply "necessary editorial and technical updates".
AcidAUS writes: A little over a decade ago, just before the masses discovered the digital universe, the internet was a borderless new frontier: a terra nullius to be populated by individuals, groups and programmers as they saw fit. There were few rules and no boundaries. Freedom and open standards, sharing information for the greater good was the ethos. Today, the open internet we once knew is fracturing into a series of gated communities or fiefdoms controlled by giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and to a lesser extent Microsoft. A billion-dollar battle conducted in walled cities where companies try to lock our consumption into their vision of the internet. It has left some lamenting the ''web we lost''.
AcidAUS writes: On holiday with his family in Sydney, Australia, Bill Gates scotches reports in Fortune that he was considering returning to the helm of Microsoft. Gates said he had made the transition to work full-time at his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "and that will be what I do the rest of my life". He also replies to Steve Jobs' barbs, saying they were driven by the fact that "Microsoft machines outsold his machines by a lot".
AcidAUS writes: Apple escalated a patent dispute against Samsung Electronics and won an agreement that the South Korean company won’t sell the newest version of its tablet computer in Australia until a lawsuit is resolved. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes 10 Apple patents, including the “look and feel”, and touchscreen technology of the iPad, Steven Burley, a lawyer for Apple, told Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett in Sydney on Monday
AcidAUS writes: As virtually the entire consumer electronics industry throws its weight behind tablet computers, Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie said today that he did not know whether the booming new category was here to stay. Speaking at a lunch held in Sydney by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Mundie, who reports directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, said he did not know whether tablets like the iPad would "remain with us or not".
AcidAUS writes: Is piracy really sending the entertainment industry broke or are the claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses and thousands of job cuts just a load of hogwash? The industry is constantly warning of an impending piracy apocalypse but continues to notch up healthy revenues and record box office takings. From bogus figures to highly exaggerated press releases, analysts and academics claim there is no limit to the hyperbole record labels and movie studios will use in their relentless lobbying campaign.
AcidAUS writes: It's one of the world's largest dating sites but its owner has just discovered the relationship from hell. PlentyofFish.com founder Markus Frind claims his site has been hacked and he has been blackmailed. But the accused hacker, Chris Russo, says it was merely a way of exposing bad security of personal information on a dating site with almost 30 million global users, including about 350,000 monthly visitors in Australia.
AcidAUS writes: Patrick Lo, global chairman and chief executive of home networking giant Netgear, has apologised for comments he made yesterday about Apple founder Steve Jobs that some commentators interpreted as making light of his health issues. At a small lunch gathering in Sydney yesterday, Lo referred to a time when "Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away". He attacked Apple's closed proprietary products and Jobs's ego, saying Apple would be in trouble if it did not open up its iPhone and iPad and the iTunes ecosystem that feeds the devices with content and apps.
AcidAUS writes: The global chairman and CEO of home networking giant Netgear has launched into a scathing attack on Apple and its founder Steve Jobs, criticising Jobs's "ego" and Apple's closed up products. At a lunch in Sydney today, Patrick Lo said Apple's success was centred on closed and proprietary products that would soon be overtaken by open platforms like Google's Android.
AcidAUS writes: Few can legitimately boast that an iPhone app changed their life but for 10-year-old Grace Domican, unable to speak due to autism, the touchscreen phone has given her a voice for the first time. Her mother, Lisa Domican, created a picture-based iPhone application to help her communicate and the tool was so successful she is now trialling it in a schools for autistic children.
AcidAUS writes: The founder of WikiLeaks lives a secret life in the shadow of those who blow the whistle. A detailed profile of the Australian founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, by Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.