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Fitbug Sues Fitbit for Trademark Infringement

posted Sunday Apr 21, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Fitbug Sues Fitbit for Trademark Infringement

Fitness products were a big thing at CES this year, and it you don't believe me, look at our interview list. One of the first fitness products I encountered was Fitbit, a company that made a small pedometer that connects to your phone. Initially I thought that the company name sounded familiar, but quickly dismissed the thought. As it turns out, dismissing the thought was the right thing to do, as I was actually thinking of another company - Fitbug.

This company has been around for many years, creating very similar products to Fitbit, including a connected pedometer. Apparently I was not the only one confused by the branding. It has become so common that Fitbug has filed suit against Fitbit, claiming trademark infringement and brand confusion.

It seems that they might have something here. It turns out that Fitbug receives support requests for Fitbit products regularly and even receives Fitbit media inquiries. Adding to the similar names and similar product lines, having a logo that even incorporates the same general shade of blue for the dot over the "I" certainly does not help Fitbug's case. Add to that the fact that their website imagery is almost a direct ripoff and you end up with a nearly slam-dunk lawsuit.

To check out the website imagery comparisons, hit the source link and let us know what you think. Did Fitbit steal Fitbug's brand? Answer in the comments.

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Amazon Lets You Pick Next Big Show

posted Sunday Apr 21, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Amazon Lets You Pick Next Big Show

With Netflix and Hulu continuing to create original content, Amazon Instant Video wants to get into the game. Their approach is a little different than the competitors, however. Amazon has pitched their pilots to YOU instead of the executives in the hopes of finding shows that people want to watch.

There are currently 14 pilots for you to take a look at; 6 for kids and 8 standard comedies. There is definitely something for everyone:

  • Zombieland: Four survivors are killin' zombies and searching for a home.
  • Those Who Can't: The most immature guys at this high school are teachers.
  • Alpha House: They work in the Senate. They live in the house-Alpha House.
If those 3 don't show the variety available in these pilots, I don't know what will. I am most excited about Zombieland and Betas, a show about 4 friends who create a Silicon Valley startup. There's also a music-based show, a space series, a cartoon and even a series from The Onion. How can this possibly go wrong?

Everyone, Amazon Prime customer or not, should check out these shows and vote for the ones you want to see made into a full-fledged series. Only with enough votes will any of these series be picked up for a full season, and from the looks of it, several of them deserve it. Check them out and let us know which are your favorites in the comments.

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Frog Shows Us How to Make Your Entire Room Kinectable with RoomE

posted Sunday Apr 21, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

Frog Shows Us How to Make Your Entire Room Kinectable with RoomE

We've been highlighting really cool things about what you can do with Kinect, even before Microsoft released the developer's kit for the motion-tracking and voice-recognition hardware. This week is no exception, as I spotted something really cool on the Microsoft Blog.

If you ever wanted to know if you could make your entire room Kinectable and totally awesome, look no further than this. Frog designers and technologists, who work with the world's leading companies, to help them design, engineer, and bring to market meaningful products and services, came up with this idea, which they call RoomE. From their description of the video,

RoomE to explore the next pattern of computing. In RoomE, objects and surfaces serve as the interface. This environment offers the opportunity to experience the value of room-size computing and experiment with new interaction models to create an intuitive, humanistic system of control.

In the video, you can see a gentleman demonstrating the different functions of what you can do with RoomE. We see lights being turned on and off with voice, motion or a combination of both, and then he moves on to showing off the entire table in front of him, converted to a SUR40 with PixelSense via a projector. He's then able to give commands to the computer he puts on the table to lookup different information.

It's just another really cool concept and proof that the Kinect technology really is something viable that extends beyond your private workout sessions in your bedroom. The video is after the break and please feel free to share with us other incredible demonstrations of Kinect being used in the comments section below.

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Electronic Arts to Shutter Playfish Social Titles

posted Saturday Apr 20, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Electronic Arts to Shutter Playfish Social Titles

Since its introduction, SimCity Social has been a pretty big hit. Several of us here have been playing since the very beginning, and have dedicated more time than I think any of us would like to admit. This, and other Playfish titles, have all been popular enough that even Zynga was frightened enough to rip them off wholesale.

Former CEO John Riccitiello believed in PC titles enough to say,

Just five years ago people said that the PC game business was in a radical state of decline because NPD said it was down 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, year-in year-out... The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it's growing through subscriptions, through micro transactions and through downloads.

Apparently this doesn't involve Playfish's social offerings, or the company is trying to reverse his decisions. As a result, the company has announced it will shutter all of the Playfish social offerings, including SimCity Social, The Sims Social, NHL Superstars and Madden NFL Superstars. Each game got an identical message, with only the game titles and in-game currency being changed.

The community response has been exactly what any thinking person would expect: outrage. Most people commenting on the Playfish forums are demanding their money back for the diamonds, or whatever currency their game used, they purchased. Many others are saying that they will never play another EA title, or at least another EA online title, if this is going to be how they treat their players. There has also been a lot of references to the recent award that The Consumerist recently gave to EA, Worst Company In America, which they won in part because of the poor support for their products.

There is good news: EA has promised a special offer to affected players to get them into EA's other studio - PopCap. Based on the comments, however, it probably won't matter.

Are you affected by this shut down? Will you transition to PopCap or has this turned you off to EA social titles? Let us know in the comments below.

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Regions Bank Forgets to Renew Domain, Claims Intermittent Issues

posted Saturday Apr 20, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Regions Bank Forgets to Renew Domain, Claims Intermittent Issues

As everyone in the world knows, domain registrations expire annually. Now, you also have the ability to purchase multiple years at a time, making the process easier for the owner. With most registrars you can even setup automatic renewals so that you don't even have to interact with it manually. Somehow, with everything in place to make it easy to avoid, Regions Bank, an FDIC insured bank in 16 states, failed to renew their domain this week.

On Monday, customers began complaining about being unable to access their accounts online and, instead, were being shown a landing page. A spokesperson for Regions Bank said,

We are experiencing an intermittent network issue that is impacting some customers' ability to access our web site…We are working to resolve this issue quickly and apologize to our customers.

Actually, what happened is your domain expired. It isn't an intermittent network issue - it is a billing failure. When it happened, Network Solutions put up a temporary landing page, reminding the company to renew its domain. In the late morning, the company finally renewed with Network Solutions, hours after the initial issues were reported.

If you are a small business or an individual, the possibility of a domain expiring are a little more expected. This, however, was a bank - the people with the money who control ONLINE BILL PAY that forgot to PAY their ONLINE BILL. All of this is pretty impressive. At least we have another 10 years before this is a problem again, and there is almost no chance they will still be called Regions in a decade.

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LulzSec Hacker Who Breached Sony Pictures Website Gets One Year in Prison

posted Wednesday Apr 17, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

LulzSec Hacker Who Breached Sony Pictures Website Gets One Year in Prison

LulzSec, the group responsible for part of the Sony server breach in June of 2011, is in the news again this week. The hacker Recursion, or legally known as Cody Kretsinger, pleaded guilty in April of last year for conspiracy and illegal impairment of a protected computer. He told the court that he was the one responsible for accessing the Sony Pictures website and then passing the information over to the heads of LulzSec, who then posted the data on Twitter and LulzSec's website. One year later, and it's time for sentencing.

Thom Mrozek, the spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, said that the 25-year-old has been sentenced to a year in prison and then home detention immediately after his time served. Kretsinger was additionally sentenced to serve 1,000 hours of community service upon his release from jail. Mrozek also said that Recursion, along with LulzSec as a whole, has cost Sony over $600,000, and with his guilty plea, he will have to pay $605,663 in restitution. No word on if Kretsinger's punishment has been reduced from him agreeing to work with authorities to give up others who are part of the organization as well.

This all comes on the heels of one of the leaders of Anonymous, Sabu, being caught by the FBI and the agency being able to flip him to provide information of other guilty parties in exchange for a lesser sentence. Sabu pleaded guilty to several charged all related to hacking and then gave up the names and addresses of those he knew were directly related to other Anonymous operations. Hector Monsegur, his real name, faces up to 124 years in prison for all of his wrongdoings, however because of the agreement, he is said to only serve a portion of that upon sentencing. His final hearing will be in August of this year, a year after his original sentence hearing was scheduled, only to be adjourned twice.

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