Rockstar Games, Take Two seem to back off of PC game modders

 

Earlier this month, Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two angered the PC gaming community after sending a cease and desist letter to the developers of the OpenIV modding tool. OpenIV allowed people to create modifications for GTA IV and GTA V single player, but according to its creators, the letter said their tool could “allow third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two’s rights.” Facing the threat of legal action, they announced on June 14th that they would stop distributing OpenIV.

Now, after revolt by players including a campaign of bad ratings for the GTA games on Steam and a Change.org petition with over 77,000 signatures, Rockstar Games may have worked out a solution. A post on its support forum today said that Take Two has agreed that it will “generally” not take legal action against third party projects as long as they meet certain guidelines.

After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project.

While it went out of its way to say that this is not a waiver, and “is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization,” it may be enough for modders to breathe easy. Rockstar representatives have told PC Gamer and Motherboard that it is in contact with the makers of OpenIV, apparently to try to prevent people from using it to affect the GTA Online multiplayer. There’s no word from the team yet, but today the tool received an updated build.

 

Deal: LG G6 is $150 off in the US

If you are in the US and planning to purchase the LG G6, you might want to check out the deal Amazon is offering: unlocked variant (black and platinum color options) for $549.99.

That is down $150 from the $699.99 price tag the device usually carries there. Officially also, LG has the unlocked variant listed for $700.

The model on offer is compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks, meaning you can use it on all major US carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. No information on when the deal ends. For more details, head to the Source link below.

 

Deal LG G6 will be 50% off at Sprint for a limited time

 

Sprint started accepting pre-orders for the LG G6 on March 17, but the smartphone is only hitting shelves tomorrow, April 7. The good news is that, for a limited time, Sprint will be selling the handset for half the price to “well-qualified customers with 24-month installment billing and eligible upgrade on qualified rate plan, or new line on Unlimited Freedom.” More exactly, instead of paying $29.50 per month over 24 months, you’ll have the chance to pay $14.75 per month – this means that the G6 will cost you just $354.

The free Google Home speaker (which everyone else is offering) is still included with Sprint’s LG G6, if you purchase the phone before May. However, that free 49-inch LG 1080p HDTV (normally priced at $349.99) offered to folks who’ve pre-ordered the handset is no longer available. Even so, at just $354, Sprint’s G6 is a very attractive handset.Deal: LG G6 will be 50 off at Sprint for a limited time

The LG G6 is the first HPUE-enabled smartphone to be launched by Sprint, so it should benefit from extended coverage and faster data transfer speeds. The device will be available via all Sprint channels, including online, in two color variants: black and ice platinum.

Sprint did not say when the 50% off G6 promotion would end, so you may want to hurry up if you plan to take advantage of the deal. More information can be found at the source link below, or in Sprint stores nationwide. Meanwhile, if you want to take a closer look at the new smartphone, make sure to check out our LG G6 initial review.

McDonald’s mobile ordering bet could pay off big

 

[FILE] An exterior angle photograph of a new style McDonald’s Restaurant.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mobile ordering is coming to McDonald’s later this year and Wall Street is ba-da-ba-ba-ba lovin’ it.

Shares of Mickey D’s hit an all-time high on Friday. McDonald’s stock is now up nearly 10% this year.

McDonald’s has enjoyed an amazing comeback since CEO Steve Easterbrook took over in March 2015. He moved quickly to revamp the company’s menu and focus more on technology, such as self-ordering kiosks.

The changes quickly paid off, with McDonald’s reporting solid sales gains for much of 2015 and 2016.

Sales have started to cool off a bit in the U.S. recently though, but investors don’t seem that alarmed. The company’s sales are still sizzling in many overseas markets. And all the talk about mobile ordering has analysts excited.

McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski told investors in March that the company planned to have mobile ordering and curbside pick-up options available in all of its U.S. restaurants by the fourth quarter.

The company is also testing a delivery service in Florida markets via mobile ordering with UberEats — the ridesharing giant’s GrubHub/Seamless competitor.

Two analysts upgraded McDonald’s stock this week, largely due to rising expectations about the company’s mobile push. Several other analysts raised their price targets on the stock as well.

Jeffrey Farmer of Wells Fargo Securities lifted his rating on McDonald’s to an “outperform” — essentially a buy — because he thinks McDonald’s has a leg up on its burger rivals in mobile.

“Restaurant consumers are aggressively gravitating toward concepts that offer the greatest level of convenience and control across ordering, payment and distribution,” he wrote.

Farmer added that McDonald’s is likely to get its digital payment tech out before competitors like Restaurant Brands-owned Burger King, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box.

Bernstein’s Sara Senatore — who also boosted her rating on McDonald’s to an “outperform” — said that it was smart for McDonald’s to embrace mobile ordering, just as other restaurant chains like Panera, Domino’s and Starbucks have.

Senatore did note that Starbucks has had some problems dealing with higher demand for beverages from consumers using the mobile app.

Starbucks even said in its last earnings report that long lines for drinks were scaring off customers who hadn’t placed orders in advance. But Senatore argued that’s a good problem to have — and McDonald’s can learn from Starbucks’ growing pains.

She added that digital ordering will also help McDonald’s because it “allows for greater customization while improving order accuracy and enhancing the customer experience.”

Another analyst, Instinet’s Mark Kalinowski, thinks that mobile could be a big win for McDonald’s as well. Kalinowski surveys McDonald’s franchisees as part of his research and found that many are excited about joining the mobile revolution.

“There’s no doubt we need to be part of the smartphone generation,” said one franchisee that Kalinowski surveyed.

Another said that “younger customers avoid quick-service restaurants due to lack of technology and they don’t like dealing with people so the app will help.”

So McDonald’s clearly has a lot riding on the launch of its mobile ordering app. If technology winds up being the company’s new “special sauce,” then Big Mac lovers — and investors — may continue to flock to the Golden Arches.

HTC shows off HTC U 11 Edge Sense feature

 

HTC U flagship smartphone, which has recently been tipped to be branded as HTC U 11, has appeared in a teaser video revealing the touch-sensitive edges it will be featuring.

The HTC U smartphone was earlier referred by codename “Ocean,” but a new leak shared by Evan Blass has confirmed the smartphone will be called HTC 11 and will come in five different colour variants–white, black, blue, red, and silver.

The handset was also speculated to come with a touch-sensitive frame and HTC’s new interface, Sense 9.

The video given below adds credibility to the speculation. In the video, the HTC U 11 features the touch-sensitive edges on either side of the display. As what is revealed in the video, the edges are designed to perform different actions based on the gestures of the user.

In a twitter post, HTC confirmed to unveil the smartphone on May 16.

In January, HTC launched two smartphone, HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, under its flagship series called “U.” However, the firm hold off the launch of “Ocean” smartphone.  It was speculated that HTC wanted to power the “Ocean” phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, and since Samsung bid on SD835 production until the Samsung Galaxy S8 is announced, HTC had to delay the device’s launch.

Based on the codename “Ocean,” the new arrival is speculated to feature a 5.5-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) displayThe HTC U 11 is slated to be unveiled on May 16

Like the two previously released models, the HTC U could also come with 4GB RAM, offering 64GB/128GB of internal storage option. The internal memory can further be expanded up to 2TB via a microSD card.  In terms of camera, it may also sport a 12MP rear camera with Sony IMX362 and a 16MP IMX351 front camera. Unfortunately, HTC ditched the headphone jack in the “U”, based on which the upcoming model is unlikely to feature a headphone jack.

Additionally, the phone is also believed to house with artificial intelligence called HTC Sense Companion, which will help enhance smartphones’ performance learning from customers’ usage.

HTC says the Sense Companion will help users save battery life by reminding them to charge the phone during the day when it spots a busy calendar, while also suggesting extra clothing and leaving more time to travel if bad weather is forecast.

LG Display shows off 77″ OLED display that’s both transparent and flexible

LG Display just unveiled the largest flexible transparent OLED display – measuring 77”, it can be used on store fronts, smart desks and various augmented reality tasks. While a 77” slab would hardly be portable, this display can be rolled up to a radius of 80mm (just over 3”).

It has a transparency of 40% and a proper UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160px). Curvy, transparent screens struggled for resolution in the early days, but LG has been at this for 5 years (after it beat Samsung Display in 2012 for a government grant).

Things have progressed quickly over that time – in 2014, it showed off a small 18” version (1,200 x 810px resolution), then in 2016 LG brought that up to 55”. Last year, the company demoed some truly bonkers displays – an S-shaped OLED, 139″ in size and 8K in resolution, and a double-sided 55″ display.

 

HTC’s unlocked U11 phone is $50 off until July 1st

HTC just released the red version of its squeezable U11 phone in the US, and now it’s being marked down by $50. You can get it on sale for $599. The rest of the U11 color lineup is also available at the $50 discount, including the silver, black, and blue versions. The deal includes free shipping and is valid until July 1st — tomorrow. You can order an unlocked phone through HTC’s website and enter the code “AMAZINGU11” at checkout.

 

A similar deal was initially available when the phone launched earlier this month. The U11’s most unique feature is its pressure-sensitive areas that respond to one-handed squeeze. You can configure a squeeze to launch different apps, turn on the flashlight, or access Google Assistant. It’s pretty gimmicky, but at least HTC tried to create something novel.