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As Rant4u continues its improvement on exploring new ideas, we came up with a new possibility, that is going to be available for everyone.  Learning and studying for graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students.  This page is going to be dedicated for questions regarding any type of study.  If this idea works for the community of Rant4u, we will later change the page into a suitable selection.  For now, if you have a question that you want to ask, relating to school of any type, feel free to ask.  If you have a response to a question feel free to respond.  Lets teach our community that learning is important and the backbone for the world.

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Continuous Improvement

As Rant4u continues its improvement on exploring new ideas, we came up with a new possibility, that is going to be available for everyone.  Learning and studying for graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students.  This page is going to be dedicated for questing regarding any type of study.  If this idea works for the community of Rant4u followers, we will later change the page into a suitable selection.  For now, if you have a question that you want to ask, relating to school of any type, feel free to ask.  If you have a response to a question feel free to respond.  Lets teach our community that learning is important and the backbone for the world.

Activision Soars After Accord to Buy 0ut Vivendi Holding

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) and a group led by Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick agreed to buy most of Vivendi SA (VIV)’s stake in the company, the biggest U.S. video-game publisher, for $8.17 billion. The stock soared.

 The maker of “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” will take on debt to purchase shares held by Paris-based Vivendi for $13.60 each, or $5.83 billion. Kotick and partners including co-Chairman Brian Kelly, Chinese game maker Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700), Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners, will pay $2.34 billion, according to a statement yesterday.

The accord ends five years of control over Activision by the French media and telecommunications company, and months of uncertainty for the Santa Monica, California-based video-game company as its departing parent sought ways to reduce debt. Activision and Kotick are buying out Vivendi at a 10 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price and said the terms would lead to faster profit growth this year.

“We tried to construct a transaction that rewarded our public shareholders and this structure accomplishes that,”  Kotick said in a telephone interview. His group will own 25 percent of the company, according to the statement.

Activision soared to an almost five-year high, gaining 13 percent to $17.21 at 12:10 p.m. in New York after reaching $17.76. As of yesterday, the stock had risen 43 percent this year, giving the company a market value of $17 billion. Vivendi added 0.6 percent to 16.07 euros in Paris. Tencent climbed 3.9 percent to HK$347.40 in Hong Kong.  Read More

Huawei Unveils Super-Slim Ascend P6 Smartphone

Huawei Ascend P6

Huawei on Tuesday unveiled its new super-slim Ascend P6 smartphone, though it is currently only scheduled to be released in China and Western Europe.

Huawei said the 4.7-inch P6 is the “world’s slimmest smartphone,” measuring at just 6.18mm. For comparison, the similarly sized LG Optimus L9comes in at 9.1mm while the HTC One is 9.3mm. It slimmed down thanks in part to an LCD in-cell display, which merges the touch and display circuitry layers.

That display, however, is boosted by “MagicTouch,” which provides enhanced screen responsiveness when you’re wearing gloves.

The Ascend P6, housed in a metallic body, will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, as well as a 1.5-GHz quad-core processor.

There’s a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which Huawei said is “perfect for selfies.” On the back, the P6 features an 8-megapixel camera that also supports 1080p full HD video recording and playback.

“With Huawei’s proprietary IMAGESmart software, the Huawei Ascend P6 turns even the most novice photographer into a professional, with contrast and color enhancement, auto scene recognition, object tracing focus, and instant facial beauty support,” the company said.

New to Huawei’s Emotion UI, meanwhile, are panoramic shooting options and facial recognition. With AirSharing, the device can also be connected to other devices to share documents or connect for gaming.

Huawei also promised battery performance that is 30 percent better than batteries on similar smartphones.

The Ascend P6 will come in black, white, and pink with a matching color case. It will debut in China this month and expand to Western Europe next month, where it will be sold via Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, H3G, O2, Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk, Media Markt & Saturn, TIM and online via Amazon and CDiscount.

Read More

Zynga at a Crossroads in Mobile Quest

By 

 Zynga has been on a monumental losing streak. Hits have been rare, profits nonexistent and crucial employees are fleeing.

The story of the company, which developed the notion of social gaming and persuaded tens of millions of people to try it out on Facebook, illustrates how suddenly the fortunes of hot Internet companies can shift. Two years ago, as Zynga was first being talked about for a public offering, it was said to be worth $20 billion.

By the time the offering took place, a little over a year ago, it was for about $7 billion. And Zynga has spent most of the time since then sliding downhill. The value of the company Tuesday, as it released mediocre but nevertheless better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, was about $2 billion.

In the next few months, Zynga faces a critical test that will determine if even that sum is excessive: can it successfully put its most popular Web games, starting with Farmville, on mobile devices?

“Do I wish that we would have gone all-in on mobile and made a bigger commitment to it earlier?” Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview after the earnings release. “Yes.”

Mr. Pincus called 2013 “a year of investment and transition.”

“While we are excited about the long-term growth opportunity on mobile, and the opportunity to make games even more accessible to people in more parts of their day, we need to build a compelling network around it,” he said.

That is because social gaming on mobile is not necessarily social.

“It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it?” Mr. Pincus said. “You’re holding a phone, an inherently social device. Yet the experience we have is a more fragmented one.”

The pain accompanying Zynga’s transition to mobile was evident in the earnings report. Revenue was $311 million, flat with the year before. Daily users of the games were down 6 percent from the third quarter, a clear measure of flagging interest. More casual users dropped as well.  Read More

Both Nintendo and Microsoft Drop Console Prices Ahead of Holiday Season

The holidays are undoubtedly one of the most aggressive times of the year for game retailers, with multiple consoles competing for a place in your living room. This year is perhaps going to be one of the most aggressive, especially with the Nintendo Wii U hitting the market in November and rumors surrounding Microsoft and Sony’s next consoles circulating. Along with the anticipated holiday bundles, both Nintendo and Microsoft have announced price cuts for their respective consoles. While the Wii andXbox 360 are pushing 6 and 7 years respectively, the price cuts are an effort to ship more units of the ageing hardware. Any sort of a price reduction is welcome, but you’ll still notice a huge contrast in prices between the two systems.

For Nintendo’s part, they are bundling together a black Wii system and two games, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, which will be packaged on one disc. The price reduction is  $129.99 US, which is $20 less than most retailers are currently selling the system for. The value of this new bundle will depend on how much you enjoy the Wii Sports titles, as this will now be the default pack-in game for the console. The previous bundle retailed for $149.99 and included New Super Mario Bros Wii, which on its own still retails for $60.  In that respect, the price drop is not as grand as it might initially seem. Having said that, you would be hard pressed to argue that the Wii is still the more affordable system when compared to its competition.  Read More

How Nintendo’s Social Play is a Big Deal

By:  Colin Campbell
Is Nintendo’s Miiverse a reflection of the company’s relative sluggishness in grappling with the social networking problem, a ‘Mii-too’ play? Or is there something much, much smarter going on here?

Nintendo is one of the biggest entertainment brands in the world but unlike many of its rivals, it didn’t embrace Twitter and Facebook. Here is a company with a long and notorious history of splendid isolation, of doing things at its own speed and eschewing much of what goes on outside its own direct interests. Witness the company’s incredible tardiness in modern online play and the move from cartridges to disks.

However, at E3 Nintendo showed us a few glimpses of Miiverse, its online social community for the Wii U, and planned also for 3DS and even (in some capacity) non-Nintendo devices.

In a recent interview with Kotaku, Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata spoke about his vision of Miiverse, and it’s clear that he and his cohorts have been doing what Nintendo does best – thinking hard about how people like to play and about how they connect emotionally with games.

In the past, this was a one-on-one transaction; we each bonded individually with Nintendo characters, games and mechanics. Playing with other people or talking about Nintendo games on, say, the school bus were ancillary social activities, connected tenuously with the activity of playing.  Read More

Vivendi Seeks Buyers for Activision

Vivendi SA VIV.FR -1.23% is working with two investment banks to explore the sale of videogame giant Activision Blizzard Inc., ATVI -0.25% in which the French conglomerate owns a majority stake, people familiar with the matter said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays BARC.LN +0.82% PLC are helping Paris-based Vivendi assess its options around Activision Blizzard, which has a market capitalization of about $13.4 billion. Vivendi owns a 61% stake through a 2008 merger of its gaming unit, Blizzard Entertainment, with Activision.

image

Attendees visiting the Activision Blizzard display at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles last month.

Vivendi is focused on finding a buyer for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based maker of popular games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” and bankers have reached out to a range of suitors, including other gaming companies and private-equity firms, the people said.  Read More

How Can Leap’s New Motion Controller Top Kinect PCs?

Leap Motion Motion-Sensing Peripheral

On Monday, motion recognition company Leap Motion emerged from stealth mode, prepared to offer a cheap motion-sensing peripheral into a market that should, by rights, be dominated by Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral.

Coincidentally, Microsoft on Monday also released the Kinect for Windows 1.5, designed to woo developers with improved skeletal tracking as well as Kinect Studio, a tool that will let developers record how users use the Kinect peripheral.

Leap, meanwhile, demonstrated its $69.99 USB peripheral running on a Mac monitor, perhaps a subtle message that it might be for the Mac what Kinect might eventually end with on the PC.

In a blog designed to lure developers, Leap described its peripheral as a “revolutionary piece of hardware no larger than your iPod that’s two hundred times more accurate than any product currently on the market,” the company said. “We believe that with The Leap, tomorrow we will no longer be tethered to hardware. With The Leap, imaginations will run wild, and possibilities will be endless. Cheesy marketing speak, you say? Perhaps. But at Leap Motion, we believe strongly and passionately that software can change the world. We believe you shouldn’t have to break the bank to make powerful software using powerful technology. We believe in possibility. And we cannot wait to see what the future will bring to the world of natural user interface and gesture control.”

Leap claims its technology is accurate down to a 1/100th of a millimeter, tracking movement through 8 cubic feet, according to the company. The device is sensitive enough to determine the presence of fingers and hands, as well as handheld objects such as a pencil. A demonstration video, embedded below, shows that the Leap can be used from anything from navigating maps to even playing first-person shooter games.  Read More

How to Stay at No. 1

Niklas Hed is co-founder of Rovio Mobile, the Finnish company behind the hit smartphone app Angry Birds. The game, released in December 2009, has been downloaded more than 200 million times.

In May of last year, Angry Birds finally became the best-selling app in the United States. Slash from Guns N’ Roses later tweeted, “Angry Birds is like a drug, only cheaper.” I listened to their music a lot as a kid, so I thought, If he says that, now I actually believe it.

I was very positive that the game was able to do what it did, but I was nervous and felt we needed to keep this going and not lose the pace. I’ve become paranoid in a way. How do we keep it fresh? What is the next move? How do we stay No. 1? Read More

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