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Gold for Gold for May

If you have an Xbox Live Gold membership, May looks like a good month. There are some platformers that I haven't heard of as well as a Laura Croft title, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and then the complete LEGO version of the Star Wars Saga. Three of the four are worth it in my opinion and that pretty much pays for your annual Gold membership.

On Xbox One, the transformative world of Giana in Giana Sisters: Twisted Dream’s – Director’s Cut will be available May 1 – 31, followed by the co-op adventure Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris on May 16 – June 15, the hit sequel to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Then on Xbox 360, and Xbox One through Backward Compatibility, we have a pair of great Star Wars games for you to enjoy. Starting with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and the return of Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice on May 1 – 15, followed by LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and the opportunity to play through all six classic Star Wars movies in LEGO!

Source: Xbox

Blockbuster Alaska Still Going Strong

Blockbuster in the continental USA struggled for years and then was shut down. For all intents and purposes, it no longer exists. In Alaska, however, it's still going strong. While it may seem odd at first that a state that is so desolate (for the most part) and has such a wide area to cover, still has active Blockbuster outlets, consider the internet. It's not very fast and only exists in major centers. If you want to watch a movie, it's probably faster to hop on your snowmobile and head to town to grab the DVD or VHS. Seriously, it's not that old-school, but it's interesting how it has survived.

Payne owns eight of the last surviving Blockbuster stores in the country, including seven in Alaska and one in Texas, employing about 80 people in total. He first purchased Blockbuster franchises in 2000, just years before the industry as a whole began to decline. At one point his Austin-based company, Border Entertainment, owned 41 stores across the country.

Source: WashingtonPost

Cord Cutters Aren't Flocking to Live-TV Streaming

YouTube and other companies offering live-TV streaming assumed that as soon as the service was available, cord-cutters would be flocking to spend their money on the service. That has proven to NOT be the case however and there are a few reasons why. One of the big reasons the article doesn't cover is the cost. Streaming Live-TV is still pretty expensive and even YouTubes service is pretty limited on networks and the geographical area for the rollout is pretty small. More reasons at the link below.

So why haven’t the many millions of people who have cut the cord, never had a cable connection, or really hate their cable company rushed to give their money to these services that are generally less-expensive than pay-TV, and don’t require contracts or leased hardware?

Source: Consumerist

More Nintendo News

Nintendo seems to be having a pretty good run lately with most announcements they've been making being of the good news variety.

The Switch has been doing pretty well, and those sales might increase a bit more thanks to the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which the guys over at Engadget has dubbed "basically perfect".

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looks set to be the Nintendo Switch's next must-have game. Regardless of the last Mario Kart title you played -- our experiences vary from Mario Kart 64 to DS iterations to the Wii U's original Mario Kart 8-- Nintendo is aiming to make this the most definitive Mario racer yet. To start, there's 48 courses and 42 characters (including some Splatoon additions), as well as an upgraded 1080p mode when you're playing it docked from the Switch and some auto-steering help for younger gamers (or grown-ups who should know better).

Nintendo has also announced their new 2DS XL, a stripped down version of their 3DS XL. The details on the 2DS XL are that it'll be hitting store shelves July 28th and will be selling for the $150 USD price range. Some people were expecting the 3DS and 2DS products might be slowly going away with the release of the Switch but it appears that Nintendo still sees a place in the marketplace for both products for the time being. Arstechnica has more on the new 2DS XL.

Like the look of the Nintendo Switch, but aren't quite old enough to party on a rooftop with impossibly attractive twenty-somethings? Today is your lucky day. Nintendo has unveiled the 2DS XL, a halfway house between the kid- and budget-friendly 2DS and the more expensive New 3DS XL. It hits shops on July 28.

The 2DS XL features the same upgraded hardware and second analogue nub as the New 3DS XL—which means it can handle more technically challenging games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D—but ditches the seldom-used 3D glasses-free functionality that was the handheld's biggest selling point at launch. It also ditches the odd, if robust wedge form factor of the 2DS in favour of a more traditional clamshell design.

PS4 has its best year ever

Sony's PS4 had a good 2016, in fact, it was their best year so far for the PS4 console. Right now the PS4 sales are right around 60 million units, which everyone has to be pretty happy about over at the Sony camp. Sony is expecting the sales to start slowing up in 2017, which I guess is only natural after you've sold 60 million units. The Verge has more details.

Sony shipped 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles in its fiscal year ended March 31st, 2017, the company just announced as part of its earnings report. That’s the best number yet for the system, and brings it somewhere in the region of 60 million units shipped — Sony announced 40 million had been sold through last May and 50 million in December.

The games division was by far the best performer out of Sony’s traditional units throughout the fiscal year, reporting operating profit of 135.6 billion yen ($1.21 billion) off 1.65 trillion yen ($14.7 billion) in revenue. Sales were up 6.3 percent and profit increased by 52.9 percent.

12TB HDD

Western Digital has just announced their new 12TB hard drive, once again taking the "we've got the biggest hard drive" crown again. Rumor has it Seagate is working on their 16TB drive that will be hitting markets next year but until then if you need more capacity in a single drive, Western Digital has you covered. TechRadar takes a closer look at the new capacity king.

Western Digital has announced that it’s now shipping the HGST-branded Ultrastar He12, a helium-based (‘HelioSeal’) 12TB hard disk.

This is a fourth-generation 3.5-inch helium hard drive which is built using PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology and made for supreme reliability, which isn’t surprising seeing as it’s aimed at the enterprise arena – but it gives us a good flavour of what’s coming to the consumer world, too.

The disk boasts an impressive rated MTBF (mean time between failures) of 2.5 million hours.

Nintendo's comeback

Good news for the Nintendo investors who stuck with them during some lean years, thanks to an estimated 121% profit surge it appears that Nintendo is well on its way back thanks to the best quarter they've had in 7 years. In the past year Nintendo has seen their stock go up a cool 60% to go along with the increase in profits, things are looking up over at Nintendo. CNBC has more on the story.

Nintendo's forecasts, however, set it up for a strong year ahead. Its forecast of 65 billion yen of operating profit, if realized, would mark a 121 percent increase. It would also be the biggest profit since the fiscal year ended March 2011. The company is aiming to sell 10 million Switch units. The console, which went on sale last month, has already seen 2.74 million units sold, with 5.46 million units of software sold.

Yahoo's CEO will still get paid

We haven't had a Yahoo story for a couple weeks and I'm sure there are lots of people getting worried that Yahoo's CEO might not get a nice big payout, but worry no more, Marissa Mayer is still on track to get an $186 million dollar payday as she leaves Yahoo. The deal from Verizon to buy Yahoo is closing in on the finish line and I'm sure Yahoo is hoping they can hold it together until then. CBS News has more on the story.

Regardless of how business pundits will eventually judge Marissa Mayer’s tenure as CEO of Yahoo, she’s succeeded on at least one front: reaping rich personal rewards. 

Mayer will leave Yahoo following its sale to Verizon with more than $186 million in payouts, with the bulk of the compensation tied to her Yahoo stock, stock options and restricted stock options, according to calculations by the Wall Street Journal. Included in the figure is her golden parachute payout of $23 million, which largely consists of restricted stock. Since joining the Internet pioneer in 2012, she’s earned far more than $200 million.

Dogs, not Flying Drones to Deliver Goods

Boston Dynamics has been working with Robotic Dogs instead of flying drones and it seems that this technology is closer to completing than flying drones. In fact, they claim that they are 70% through testing and plan to make product deliveries with these four-legged creatures rather than flying drones. While all this is pretty nifty, the last thing we need is a pack of metal dogs running through cities causing havoc. The robots will probably kill us all anyhow, but let's not speed up the process.

The Google-owned firm is well known for its lifelike (read: terrifying) robots, including Spot the four-legged canine-like machine, and at this week's TED2017 conference, its boss revealed Spot has been delivering parcels strapped to its back to employees' front door.

"We've been taking our robot to employees' homes to see whether we could get in the various access ways," said Marc Raibert, founder and chief executive of Boston Dynamics, at the event. "We're doing very well, about 70 per cent of the way."

Source: Wired

Chipolte Is Investigating Data Breach is Payment System

Not only does Chipolte have the unintended effect of uncontrollable diarrhea from their patrons due to e.coli and other wonderful things, they now also have diarrhea in their payment system and it has been spewing customer data. That's not good and may be just another reason you need not to visit the restaurant.

At an investor presentation, Chipotle’s Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said that the company anticipates “notifying any affected customers as we get further clarity about the time frames and restaurant locations that might have been affected”. However, for now, it has set up a dedicated page to provide customers with updates regarding the ongoing investigation.

Source: Neowin

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