More than 20 million people watched the most lucrative video game tournament ever

The International 2014 already had the largest prize pool ever seen in e-sports, but now it can boast one of the largest audiences too. The Dota 2 tournament, the fourth such annual event organized by the game's developer, Valve, was watched live online by more than 20 million people. At its highest, the number of people watching at the same time was over 2 million, a figure that Valve says...

Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service

If you want to buy your friend a gift card to go stuff themselves at Chilis, you're going to have to do it somewhere else than Facebook soon. The social network today said it's shuttering its gifts service, which let people buy gift cards in the form of digital codes. That was instead of simply leaving the equivalent of the high school yearbook "have a great summer" message scrawled out on people's walls on their special day of birth, and on other special occasions.

You might have to buy your friends real things now

Netflix is now also paying AT&T to improve streaming quality

Netflix has signed another interconnection deal with another ISP: AT&T. The two sides have reached an agreement that should over time result in better streaming performance for Netflix subscribers. Terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, so we don't know how much Netflix paid for direct access to AT&T's network. But it's likely modeled after similar deals Netflix reached with Comcast and...

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The formula that helped the nerds in HBO's 'Silicon Valley' get rich is being used in the real world

HBO's satirical show Silicon Valley begins with a programmer who accidentally develops a radically efficient new algorithm for compressing data. We know the algorithm is great because we are told it achieved a "Weissman score" of 2.89, the highest yet recorded. The thing is, the Weissman score didn't exist until Silicon Valley's production team willed it into being. While the show was being...

Amazon finally explains what it wants from Hachette: lower ebook prices

Amazon is finally providing some explanation for its ongoing dispute with the publisher Hachette, explaining that it's taken issue over Hachette's insistence on pricing ebooks above $9.99. In a note today, Amazon explains that it's not actually looking for a particularly large share of the revenue on ebook sales: it's only interested in taking 30 percent, a fairly standard figure for digital store sales and the same figure that it says Hachette proposed in 2010. Instead, the change Amazon wants to see is for most ebooks to sell for $9.99 or less, with only a "small number of specialized...

Twitter rebounds from earnings slump with strong user growth and unexpected profit

Twitter has had a rough time during its early life as a public company. Its stock had sunk to about half it's peak value after two quarters of disappointing numbers about slowing user growth and engagement. The company's advertising business has more than doubled its revenue year over year, but so far has not been able to turn a steady profit. Over the last three months it went through a big internal shakeup that saw numerous high level executives depart. This quarter the company was hoping to demonstrate it was back on track.

National Security

The Senate's latest, best hope for NSA reform

NSA reform has been building steam for over a year now, but while the courts and even the White House have shown movement, Congress has struggled to come up with a meaningful bill. But that may change this week, as Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduces his version of the USA Freedom Act to the Senate. Even before the bill was public, it was hailed by the New York Times as "a breakthrough in the struggle against the growth of government...

"A breakthrough in the struggle against the growth of government surveillance power." A New York Times editorial describing the bill
  • Even More News

UK police try to spook piracy website users with banner ads

Would an ominous banner ad be enough to dissuade you from illegally stealing an album or movie? UK authorities are apparently hoping so. The City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is plastering ads across known piracy websites in an attempt to make users think...

  • Features

Microsoft offices in China raided over monopoly allegations

Four of Microsoft’s offices in China were raided yesterday as part of an anti-monopoly investigation. China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has revealed that around 100 officials made unannounced visits to Microsoft’s offices in China, seeking information on Microsoft’s...

Watch This

Daniel Radcliffe turns devilish in new trailer for paranormal murder mystery 'Horns'

Harry Potter might be a movie murderer. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the teen wizard in the eight-film series, has moved on to very different roles since his time at Hogwarts ended. His upcoming film, Horns, sees him adopting an American accent and being accused of killing his girlfriend. The movie's latest trailer aired first at Comic-Con, and opens with Radcliffe in happier times, before shifting to show him trying to cope as bony appendages grow out of his head and his life falls apart.


Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can buy the LA Clippers, judge rules

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is clear to move ahead with his $2 billion purchase of the LA Clippers today after a judge ruled against the current owner's objection to the salereports The New York Times. Ballmer brokered his deal for the team with owner Donald Sterling's wife, who was said at the time to have legal standing to sell the team, after her husband was banned for life from the NBA for making a series of racist statements. Sterling argued that his wife did not have legal...

Stackable cells allow you to sleep on top of your friends at music festivals

There may be a much more comfortable and stylish way to stay the night next time you head to a big music festival. Two Belgian design firms have created an efficient new type of campsite that stacks tiny sleeping pods together like a honeycomb. The pods look like they should provide a bit more comfort and space than the average tent — they even have power and a king-size bed — but the overall structure shouldn't take up dramatically more room because it's building vertically, using a short...

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