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Diablo 3 will sport a couple of in-game auction houses to sell items from player to player. One will be run entirely with in-game gold (very similar to the current WoW Auction House), and one will let players sell and buy items with actual money.

During a press event at its headquarters in Irvine, CA last week, Blizzard Entertainment showed off both the Diablo 3 beta and its associated Battle.net service. While most of the Battle.net features were pretty standard (there will be persistent friends lists, cross-game communication, and full matchmaking services for all of the game modes), the auction system stood out.

Yes, Diablo 3 players will be able to spend real money on in-game items, but rather than a traditional item store, Blizzard plans to create a system wherein players sell items to each other — the eBay of Sanctuary, if you will. Players will be able to put items up for sale in each of the game’s various regions around the world (with a different real-world currency for each), and other players will be able to spend real money to buy them, with the real-world money going back to the original item owners.

Blizzard will take fixed fees (as yet unrevealed, though they’ll be “nominal”) out of the sale price both when an auction goes up for sale and when it is actually sold. And when an item is sold, players will either be able to keep earned money in a Battle.net account for spending on Blizzard products and services, or cash out entirely, with another, percentage-based fee through a not-yet-announced third-party payment provider.

As you might imagine, Blizzard’s been thinking about this one for quite a while. Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo shared a lot of thoughts with us, including why they’re going with a system like this, how it will all work, and what this means for the future of Diablo 3, Blizzard Entertainment, and the gaming market at large.

Gallery: Diablo 3 Battle.net services (8/1/11)

Continue reading Diablo 3 to feature player-to-player real money auction house for virtual items

JoystiqDiablo 3 to feature player-to-player real money auction house for virtual items originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 01 Aug 2011 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Have you ever missed an extremely important phone call or text because you were too busy finishing those TPS reports on your personal computing machine? There’s a Chrome add-on for that. We went hands-on with a new extension (and accompanying Android app) called MightyText, a free notification service launched today that syncs your phone’s texts and calls to your computer in real-time. The idea is crazy simple, yet adds unyielding convenience: incoming SMS messages appear on your screen as a pop-up, giving you the option to read and reply to them without touching or even looking at the phone. The full extension will show each conversation thread in its entirety, as well as call logs.

When sent from the computer, texts are still patched through from your phone number, so your colleagues will still see your messages coming through with your name on them. To make the service even more appealing, pop-ups alert you to incoming calls, so you can either hurry to find your phone or just send the caller a canned auto-text reply. It sounds like a great concept, but does it do the job? Head on past the break to learn our first impressions of the program.

Continue reading MightyText pushes messages and incoming call alerts to your computer (hands-on)

MightyText pushes messages and incoming call alerts to your computer (hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google has already made some tough moves to tackle fragmentation, but it’s clearly still wary of the problem. It’s just tweaked the Android Market web store to show users which apps are compatible with which of their gadgets. Of course, compatibility screening was already in place for users who accessed the Market from within their device, but this update should still be of use to those who surf the web store, especially if they’re rocking multiple handsets or a phone-plus-tablet combo.

Android Market web store now checks which apps are compatible with your devices originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 10 Jun 2011 06:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Have you been to Google’s home page recently? Do it, you’ve got less than 24 hours to check out its guitar-inspired doodle celebrating the birthday of Les Paul. The “Google” script is highly interactive thanks to a combination of JavaScript, HMTL5, CSS, and even Flash (providing the audio). Click the compose button at the base of the second “g” and begin recording your own 30 second tribute to one of music’s most innovative pioneers using your keyboard to play specific notes or mouse for virtual strumming. Unfortunately, the recording and sharing aspect appears limited to US Googlers. Impressive stuff from a typically impressive company.

Google doodle lets you play a recordable guitar ditty in honor of Les Paul originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 09 Jun 2011 01:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oh, Sony — not again. We’ve just received numerous tips that Lulz Security has broken into SonyPictures.com, where it claims to have stolen the personal information of over 1,000,000 users — all stored (disgracefully) in plain text format. Lulz claims the heist was performed with a simple SQL injection — just like we saw the last time around. A portion of the group’s exploit is posted online in a RAR file, which contains over 50,000 email / password combos of unfortunate users. We’ve downloaded this file (at our own risk, mind you) and can verify these sensitive bits are now in the wild, though it remains unclear if what’s published matches reality. In addition to user information, the group has blurted out over 20,000 Sony music coupons, and the admin database (including email addresses and passwords) for BMG Belgium employees. Fresh off the heels of the PlayStation Network restoration, we’re guessing the fine folks in Sony’s IT department are now surviving solely on adrenaline shots.

[Thanks to everyone that sent this in]

Sony Pictures hacked by Lulz Security, 1,000,000 passwords claimed stolen originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Jun 2011 17:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ZOZOTOWN Online Shopping Site   New + Improved |

In bold letterings and blaring fonts, START TODAY the parent company of ZOZOTOWN online retail concept, started this morning as an international shopping destination for the very first time.  Already the most popular online shopping site in Japan for fashionable goods, ZOZOTOWN added a new web domain address, ZOZOTOWN.com. The simple alteration also mark additional language supports for Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and English. START TODAY also made the necessary improvements in logistic, product processing, and payment acceptance. Purchases done from outside of Japan can be ship to 82 different destinations worldwide with more to follow.  Meanwhile, direct payment via PayPal help to eliminate credit issues and currency differences. The 500,000+ merchandises from some 700 brands are searchable through either “category” or “brand” methodology.  The retailer also promised fast delivery through air freight, with a 4-day lapse to most places.  The new ZOZOTOWN also means one thing, no shopper have to sit out on buying that rare Japan only Air Jordan.

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Finnish developer Rovio Mobile marked yet another victory in its ongoing plan to bring the incredibly popular Angry Birds to every possible electronic device that human beings use, announcing during Google’s I/O 2011 Conference that Angry Birds is available as an in-browser application. Like … right now!

Like the Android version, it’s free-to-play and microtransaction-supported, but unlike the Android version, a handful of web-exclusive features have been added. Notably, “Chrome bombs” and some “exclusive Chrome levels” are both new additions — unsurprisingly, the pay-per-use “Mighty Eagle” will return. And yes, you can play the game in browsers other than Chrome (and in operating systems other than Chrome OS).

JoystiqAngry Birds launch assault on internet browsers, Chrome OS originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 11 May 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ZOZOTOWN Online Shopping Site Expansion Plan   To Include Chinese, Korean, English Support

What started as a side business selling hard-to-find albums from New York to friends back in Tokyo, Yusaku Maezawa never imagined that his endeavor will not be a multimillion dollar company but also a catalyst in changing his fellow Japanese shopping habits. Now in its 13th year, Maezawa’s entrepreneurial pursuit, START TODAY, and its ZOZOTOWN online retail concept, will begin a new phase in business development. Towards end of this month, May 2011, ZOZOTOWN will add a new online domain address, ZOZOTOWN.com. With this simple alteration, the Japanese online shopping site effectively starts its global expansion with language support for Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and English. START TODAY also made the necessary improvements in logistic, product processing, and payment acceptance. Purchases done from outside of Japan can be ship to 82 different destinations worldwide with more to follow. Payment too, first through PayPal with more options to come at later. No longer just mere “window shopping”, the new ZOZOTOWN expansion means no shopper have to sit out on buying that rare Japan only Air Jordan.

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It’s not quite official but there’s little doubt that Google will launch its Google Music service at its big I/O event later today. While the Wall Street Journal couldn’t get a Google spokesman to admit it, Peter Kafka over at All Things D got Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Android Product Management, to spill the details a bit early. Google’s service will essentially mimic the music locker functionality of Amazon’s Cloud service, albeit without the ability to sell songs direct to consumers. Ouch. Unfortunately, Google’s plans to launch a more feature-complete service were derailed when discussions with the labels broke down. According to Rosenberg, “A couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms.” So, rather than putting the service on hold, Google will launch its music service with the ability to store up to 20,000 of your own uploaded songs for free which you can then stream over the web to your desktop or Android phone or tablet — any device that supports Flash (don’t worry iOS users, your time will come). Amazon’s service, by comparison, offers just 5GB of free storage for about 1,200 songs stored at a mediocre bitrate. Google will also best Amazon with a feature that automatically creates playlists. Google expects to roll out the service to its US users within “weeks” with Music Beta invites going out later today to Verizon Xoom owners (others will be able to sign up at music.google.com). Keep it right here because we’ll be bringing you the announcement live.

Google Music to stream 20,000 songs for free, launches at I/O later today originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 May 2011 02:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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In the midst of a blog post welcoming us to “the future of video” head of YouTube Salar Kamangar confirms that starting today it will add around 3,000 new movie titles for rental in the US, along with reviews and behind the scenes extras. More details are promised to come in another post later today, but right now the video page appears to have the same list of flicks we’ve seen before so the question of which studios will bite is still up in the air. The rest of the post also mentions the YouTube Next program to push new original content on the site with “much more to come” — consider the week of Google I/O underway.

Update: Now we have the additional details, available on the YouTube Blog and after the break — NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. are the new studios YouTube is partnering with to add the 3,000 new and catalog releases, doubling the amount previously available. The pricing is $2.99/$3.99 for movies viewable via PC or Google TV (no other device support is mentioned) and the FAQ notes that YouTube supports resolutions up to 4K but “most” of the new additions are sadly in SD, which is up to its partners.

Update 2: The YouTube Movies page is updated now, as seen above.

Continue reading YouTube adds 3,000 movies for rental from Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. (Update: they’re live)

YouTube adds 3,000 movies for rental from Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. (Update: they’re live) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 May 2011 15:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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