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BioShock studio Irrational Games closing its doors

The studio behind the seminal video game series BioShock is "winding down," series creator and studio co-founder Ken Levine announced Tuesday.

Irrational Games, which developed the original BioShock and its successor BioShock Infinite -- two of the most successful and critically celebrated games of their generation -- will be closing after 17 years so Levine can focus on a "smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two."

Irrational parent company 2K Games, itself a subsidiary of publisher Take-Two Interactive, will be laying off all but 15 members of the team. Levine has chosen to hand over the BioShock … Read more

Getting started with iPad note-taking app INKredible

You'd be hard-pressed to find a simpler, more natural-feeling note-taking app for the iPad than INKredible. It feels like a stripped-down version of Paper; you don't get many of the sketching tools and instead receive a small selection of writing instruments that feel like the real thing. The app is free and provides a fountain pen, while three other instruments -- calligraphy pen, wet brush, and ballpoint pen -- are available as in-app purchases for 99 cents each. Developer Viet Tran has a more fully featured paid app, Notes Plus, and created INKredible to show off its vector-graphics … Read more

Take simple notes with simple iPhone note-taking app Noted

I've yet to discover a note-taking app that's lasted me more than a week. Typically, I find they require too many taps to create a note or get in and out of an existing note and I soon return to my trusted method of jotting down notes on an actual pad of paper. The thing is, I often wish I had that pad of paper with me instead of my iPhone, which I carry with me pretty much everywhere I go. Thus, I continue on my search for a simple note-taking app.

Today, I came across Noted by Tack, … Read more

Apple reportedly acquires maps company, note-taking app

Apple acquired two companies in the areas of mapping and note-taking, according to a post 9to5Mac published Monday.

Following a trail of Internet breadcrumbs and citing unnamed sources, the first company mentioned in 9to5Mac's report is BroadMap, which specializes in managing and analyzing mapping data. It's an area that Apple has struggled with in the past -- the tech titan found out the hard way that its mapping feature was not up to snuff. Apple likely acquired Broadmap in the first half of 2013, said 9to5Mac.

The second company is Catch, an Evernote competitor that was acquired by … Read more

Grand Theft Auto V sales top $1B in first three days

Given the overwhelming hype and Wednesday's news that Grand Theft Auto V hit $800 million in its first 24 hours of sale, it's not too surprising to see Rockstar Games' latest title reach another astounding sales threshold. GTA V reached $1 billion in retail sales only three days after its September 17 release.

The news was announced by publisher Take-Two Interactive on Friday and makes GTA V the fastest-selling video game in history. The previous record-holder, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, hit $1 billion in retail sales after 15 days on store shelves last November. That was … Read more

Grand Theft Auto V earns record-breaking $800M in 24 hours

Those ruminating about the record-breaking potential of Grand Theft Auto V sales can stop now. Publisher Take-Two Interactive announced Wednesday that the game grossed an astounding $800 million in just 24 hours.

Those numbers mark the highest first-day retail sales of any title in Take-Two's history, and the game has yet to reach markets in Japan and Brazil. GTA V also happens to be the most expensive game ever made, with a combined development and marketing budget of $265 million, which it's just made back three times over. … Read more

George Takei launches video series to explain technology

George Takei, best known for the role of Sulu on the original "Star Trek," has winning at the Internet down to an art form. His 4.5 million Facebook followers are a testament to that.

Now, he has teamed with AARP for an oddball video series looking at technology topics. AARP says new episodes will appear the first and third week of the month.

The first episode of "Takei's Take" tackles Google Glass, where he drops one-liners about Sergey Brin's plans for world domination and the ease with which Georgi LaForge could get his hands on Google Glass if he wanted to. There are enough "Star Trek" references to keep fans entertained.… Read more

Essential free productivity apps for Android tablets

Nobody's referring to tablets as glorified Etch A Sketches anymore. The devices have proven themselves many times over as first-rate productivity enhancers.

If you use your Android tablet for work, you owe it to yourself -- and your boss -- to give these five free apps a try.

Note that some of the programs are also available for Android phones as well as for the iPad, iPhone, and other devices. Several also have paid versions with more features. I tested only the free versions on a second-gen Nexus 7 running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Lookout scans for viruses, … Read more

Microsoft's Xbox DRM reversal not the first: 12 tech mulligans

Microsoft changed its controversial stance on always-on connectivity and game DRM on Wednesday, a reversal that comes after more than a week of harsh criticism from consumers, press and especially competitors.

The move comes just a few months before the console is set to hit store shelves, and is widely-viewed as reactionary. Rival Sony, which priced and further detailed its PlayStation 4 console at E3 last week, made waves for not having DRM on its games, as well as coming in $100 less than Microsoft's $499 Xbox One.

Of course, it's not the first reversal by Microsoft following … Read more

Review: iFileExpress provides a desktop-to-iOS device file transfer tool

The purpose of iFileExpress is to make transferring files between your iOS devices and Mac or PC easier. However, by requiring tethered file transfers through iTunes or the iFileExpress desktop client, the service lags behind some other wireless options. It is more secure, but the setup and execution of the software will make it a second or even third choice for many iOS users.

The app opens with a full tutorial for how to use it. For the most part, you will need to have already installed iFileExpress on your PC or Mac, or you can set it up in … Read more