Qwiki Buyout Takes a Bit Longer & Virtual 3D Thunderstorms – SiliconANGLE News Roundup

They Want Some of That Buyout Money


Days after the announcement that it was set to be Yahoo’s latest acquisition, a lawsuit against the video slideshow app Qwiki has come light. The New York based startup’s pending lawsuit could complicate the deal.

At issue is the alleged non-payment for design work on their iOS app. Qwiki is said to owe the plaintiff, Austin, Texas based Chaotic Moon Studios, close to $170,000 in fees for the Qwiki app, which launched in February this year.

The case is currently being tried by New York City’s Supreme Court. Chaotic Moon says they will not try to change anything about Qwiki’s merger with Yahoo. Instead, according to a company spokesperson, they simply want to be paid for the work that helped Qwiki become successful to begin with.

Xbox Live Beta – Now With Real Money!


Applications for the next Xbox Live beta are open, giving current Xbox gamers an opportunity for early access to a number of new features.

In the update, users will see a switch-over to local currency from the proprietary Microsoft Points virtual currency that has been in place since the Xbox 360 launch. Additionally, several performance issues have been addressed with the update, so users should be rather pleased with the speed improvement.

Users interested in signing up should look for a Beta Program tile on the Xbox dashboard homescreen, rather than Microsoft’s website. The update is an indication that Microsoft isn’t giving up on the Xbox 360 any time soon, despite the fact that the Xbox One will launch later this year. Gamers can expect to get more mileage out of their old Xboxes, with Microsoft promising hundreds of new games over the next few years.

Mega Apps From a Mega Man


Kim Dotcom’s Mega cloud storage service is now mobile. The Mega Android app enables customers to access their files on mobile devices.

Non-Android users need not worry, as an iOS and Windows version are both in the final stages of development.

The app wasn’t developed by Mega, but it was acquired and will be maintained by Mega contractors. The Mega app has a broad feature list, including the ability to browse your storage, upload from mobile, sync your camera, toggle automatic uploading, file indexing, and the ability to make public links to files.

The app can be downloaded immediately from the Google Play store, and iOS and Windows users can expect to see their own versions in the near future.

Reddit – Full of Dudes


According to figures from a new Pew study, Reddit is now being used by about six percent of American adults online.

Though the numbers aren’t as high as sites like Facebook, six percent of online adults is enough to put the self-described “front page of the internet” on par with sites like Tumblr.

The male demographic, aged eighteen to thirty, makes up the biggest user group at fifteen percent. In a survey of 2,00+ users, men were found to be twice as likely as women to be Reddit users, and those under fifty are significantly more likely to use Reddit than people over fifty.

Co-author of the user report, Maeve Duggan commented on the report, saying “Sites like Reddit are part of a larger digital ecosystem that is changing the process of news and information discovery. Content on Reddit is created, edited and shared in an informal process that is user-driven. Like all social media, it allows more direct citizen engagement in shaping the information ecology and produces cultural touchstones outside the bounds of mainstream media.”

HTC: Handling Bad Quarters Like a Champ


HTC just announced the results of their second quarter for this year, and the numbers aren’t looking very pretty.

Despite launching their new flagship smartphone, the HTC One, the company only made forty-one million in profit, which is 83% less than last year. Analysts were expecting to see a stronger performance from HTC, projecting profits to be in the $70 million range, especially after a strong start from the HTC One launch.

The One sold five million units in the first fifty days.

Unfortunately, competition from the much-hyped Samsung Galaxy S4 caused sales to drop. Despite the troubling financial nws, HTC was able to post a profit, even with falling revenues. The company is expected to launch a smaller form factor companion to its flagship, the HTC One Mini, in the coming months.

Samsung Buying Up Like They’re Yahoo


South Korean electronics giant Samsung has purchased movie streaming device company Boxee for a reported $30 million.

A spokeswoman for Samsung commented on the buyout, saying, “Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee. This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.” Boxee was a pioneer in the growing range of products that stream movies and shows from the internet to televisions. Additional features, such as cloud-based DVR functionality, were recently added to the feature list.

The takeover of Boxee is the latest in a series of investments by Samsung, who continues to look for ways to innovate and expand its existing customer base.

Who Doesn’t Like The Sounds of a Looming Tornado?


For people who love thunderstorms, a collaboration between Germany-based Taptanium and Emmy-award winning recordist Gordon Hempton could deliver the sound of a realistic 3D thunderstorm into your living room.

Thunderspace, the new iOS app, serves up an amazing audio experience that’s designed to help users relax, using lights and 3D sound to produce the effect of a thunderstorm all around you.

Users are advised to place their handsets out of sight, close their eyes, and relax, as they see the peripheral flashes of light that accompanies the sound.

Franz Bruckhoff, Lead designer and developer at Taptanium commented on his project, saying, “Stereoscopic 3D audio for headphones is like 3D video for 3D glasses – you have two ears for the same reason that you have two eyes, so you can see and hear in 3D. Our early testers were surprised about the fact that they were able to hear in 3D over stereo headphones, and we engineered it to sound especially great with Apple EarPods.”

Thunderscape is available in the Apple App Store for $0.99.

And that’s all the news we have this week. If you want to continue to catch all the news in tech, be sure to join us every weekday morning at 8:30 central, on NewsDesk with Kristin Feledy.

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