Chinese Agencies Demands Result in iBooks and iTunes Shut Down

Apple is one of the few companies that has managed to stay active in China where regulation of digital services is strictly controlled by the countries many agencies. That was until last week when several of Apple’s services were shut down in China.

Apple’s iBooks store and iTunes movies were shut down last week, following the demands of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Apple has since responded saying that they hope to “make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible”, something that implies there is a condition to the services.

Apple managed to launch Apple pay in the country just two months ago, and with it counting China’s as its second biggest market, any services that are stopped would have a huge impact on the company. China is known for the censorship of its technology, with the country hidden behind “the great firewall” while it’s suspected that several groups within the country are behind large-scale hacks in other countries.

Recently Apple denied ever handing over its source code to China, a move that may or may not have contributed to the states less favorable look for the California-based company.

Xbox One Mini Turns Out To Be Just A Rumour

Companies have a trend when it comes to releasing hardware, they will release new a model, a big revelation and then several months later release versions with slight upgrades. They could have larger processors and better memory, or even just be smaller and more compact in size. It has come as no surprise that this continues to be the trend even now as more companies are building hardware for everyday use both in your pocket and your home. Earlier this month a rumour emerged outlining just one of those newer models, an Xbox one which would be more compact, aptly nicknamed the Xbox One Mini. However last night on twitter Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, shut down these rumours in just two words.

With rumours flying around that Microsoft will be using their October launch event to show off several new products including two new models of Lumia phones, the Microsoft Band 2 and the Surface 4. With all this technology being revealed then it would be no surprise to find that there is even more to be revealed in October, some could possibly be about the Xbox or even the next generation of console.

With each iteration of technology getting faster and more usable, it won’t be long until the rumours spread for more compact consoles which contain new features, such as the patent behind Nintendo’s console which contains no optical drive.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tech Radar

Infinite Crisis Closing on August 14th

Infinite Crisis was developed by Turbine Inc and published by Warner Bros and it started out as a highly popular MOBA game – but something must have changed as they’ve just announced that they will be shutting down the game and its servers on August 14th, 2015.

It’s only been out of beta for a couple of months and officially launched on Steam on the 26th of March this year. The short-lived game brought a wide range of crazy characters from the DC Comics Multiverse. The game is packed with heroes and villains alike, such as Nightmare Batman, Gaslight Catwoman, Green Lantern and The Flash.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make. On behalf of the entire Infinite Crisis team we want to thank all of you for your feedback, support and for joining together to create one of the best communities in gaming,” the statement reads.

MOBA is very popular and millions of players taking it out on friend and foes in the PVP battlefields of DOTA2 and League of Legends. But the time doing that with super heroes is almost over.

Any player that bought the Starter Pack or Elite Pack through Steam can request a refund by visiting the official support article.

Anyone can still get a chance to try the game out for free and play it until the servers shut down in August.

The Pirate Bay is Back… On IsoHunt!

Just a week after Swedish police shut down the BitTorrent juggernaut, the Pirate Bay, the site is back, resurrected from an internet grave by torrent search site IsoHunt.

IsoHunt is of course using the tactic to try sway people to use their site, as their service is very similar to that of the PirateBay. However, the Pirate Bay site is back in its entirety at oldpiratebay.org.

“We, the Isohunt.to team, copied the base of the PirateBay in order to save it to the generations of users. Nothing will be forgotten. Keep on believing, keep on sharing,” said IsoHunt in a recent statement.

What’s important about this revival is the effect it has had on the wider industry. The removal of the Pirate Bay was a landmark case for police forces around the world, but despite their efforts, torrent traffic didn’t change and the site was gone for one week.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown after FBI Arrests Suspected Operator

After law enforcement agencies shutdown Silk Road back in late 2013, Silk Road 2.0 sprouted out of the ground and rose to prominence. However, it would seem that the FBI alongside the Department of Homeland Security in the United States has arrested and is holding in custody the owner of Silk Road 2.0. The alleged man behind it all is a 26 year old by the name of Blake Benthall – who is said to have operated under the alias of Defcon. The authorities have said that Mr Benthall was running the site through the anonymity network known as Tor.

It’s alleged than an undercover agent working for the authorities managed to weasel their way into the sites support staff, and was able to access restricted areas and content of the site – which allowed conversation between undercover authorities and Mr Benthall. The FBI is claiming that the site had approximately 150,000 active users, and was estimated to be making sales profits of around $8 million USD per month. Things aren’t looking great for Mr Benthall – he’s since been charged by authorities with with one count of conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, one count of conspiring to commit computer hacking, one count of conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents and one count of money laundering.

Thanks to Wired for providing us with this information.

EA Shutting Down Online Services For 50 Games Next Month

The time to swing ultimate ban hammer is rapidly approaching, EA have revealed that next month they plan to shut down the servers for 50 games for their back catalogue. This new wave of permanent down time will cover several installments of the Battlefield series, spanning a multitude of formats, including the Battlefield 2: Modern Combat PlayStation 2 servers, which I can’t say I’ve used in a fair few years!

“Since GameSpy’s announcement, our teams have been working to evaluate options to keep services up and running. Unfortunately, due to technical challenges and concerns about the player experience, we do not have a solution at this time. Online services for EA games on the GameSpy platform will be closed down at the end of June,” the publisher wrote in a statement.

“We know some of these games are still fan favorites, including Battlefield 2, Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Command & Conquer games. We are still investigating community-supported options to preserve online functionality for these titles, such as multiplayer. Significant technical hurdles remain, and at this time we don’t have anything to announce.”

Some of the biggest news is that Crysis and Crysis 2 on PC will have their doors shut, as well as a wide range of DS titles. No doubt a few of these games will shift to private servers, but for now, the official support is almost gone. Are you sorry to see a game go off of this list?

  • Battlefield 1942 for PC and Mac (including The Road to Rome and Secret Weapons of WW2 expansions)
  • Battlefield 2 for PC (including Special Forces expansion)
  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for PlayStation 2
  • Battlefield 2142 for PC and Mac (including Northern Strike expansion)
  • Battlefield Vietnam for PC
  • Bejeweled (r) 2 for the Wii
  • Bulletstorm for PlayStation 3
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for PC and Mac (including Kane’s Wrath expansion)
  • Command & Conquer: Generals for PC and Mac (including Zero Hour expansion)
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 for PC and Mac
  • Crysis 2 for PC
  • Crysis for PC
  • Crysis Wars for PC
  • Dracula – Undead Awakening for the Wii
  • Dragon Sakura for Nintendo DS
  • EA Sports 06 for PC
  • F1 2002 for PC
  • FIFA Soccer 08 (KOR) for the Wii
  • FIFA Soccer 08 for Nintendo DS
  • FIFA Soccer 09 for Nintendo DS
  • FIFA Soccer 10 for Nintendo DS
  • FIFA Street 3 for Nintendo DS
  • Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers for PlayStation 2
  • Global Operations for PC
  • GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND for the Wii
  • James Bond: Nightfire for PC
  • Madden NFL 08 for Nintendo DS
  • Madden NFL 09 for Nintendo DS
  • Master of Orion III for PC
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for PC and Mac (including Breakthrough and Spearhead expansions)
  • MySims Party for Wii
  • MySims Racing for Nintendo DS
  • MySims SkyHeroes for the Wii and DS
  • NASCAR Sim Racing for PC
  • NASCAR Thunder 2003 for PC
  • NASCAR Thunder 2004 for PC
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 for PC
  • Need for Speed: ProStreet for Nintendo DS
  • Need for Speed: Undercover for Nintendo DS
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 for PC and Mac
  • Neverwinter Nights for PC, Mac and Linux (including Hordes of the Underdark and Shadows of Undrentide expansions)
  • SimCity Creator for Wii
  • Skate It for Nintendo DS
  • Sneezies for the Wii
  • Spore Creatures for Nintendo DS
  • Spore Hero Arena for Nintendo DS
  • Star Wars: Battlefront for PC and PlayStation 2
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II for PC and PlayStation 2
  • THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND for the Wii
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 for Nintendo DS

Thank you CVG for providing us with this information.