Spotify has acquired leading music data platform The Echo Nest for an undisclosed amount.
The Massachusetts-based company provides music services to developers and media companies including some of Spotify's competitors such as Rdio, Twitter #Music and eMusic.
The Echo Nest's biggest asset is its database of some 30 million song fingerprints used for identifying tracks, which third parties use to offer recommendations and generate playlists.
Spotify has reassured developers who use its free API that the service will remain free and continue to be supported.
The business will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Spotify and will continue to function out of its headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts, and its offices in San Francisco.
"We've been fans of The Echo Nest for a really long time and are honoured to have their talented team join Spotify," Spotify's founder and CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement.
"At Spotify, we want to get people to listen to more music. We are hyper focused on creating the best user experience and it starts with building the best music intelligence platform on the planet."
He continued: "With The Echo Nest joining Spotify, we will make a big leap forward in our quest to play you the best music possible."
A representative for Spotify added that it will "meet all contractual obligations" of its customers for the time being, even if they are a competitor.
"In the few cases where The Echo Nest does work with direct competitors we will work with them to understand these relationships and determine the next business steps. The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers."
Microsoft has accidentally leaked its Windows 8.1 update ahead of release.
The update was meant to be gradually rolled out until it eventually made its way to the public by early April.
However, instructions appeared online detailing how anyone could download six update files from Microsoft's own servers.
Alternatively, making some tweaks to registry, users were told they could enable the update via Windows Update.
The links are thought to have been meant for Microsoft employees to test internally.
Users are not advised to attempt the tricky procedure - although Microsoft has now closed off the Windows Update loophole.
The update is scheduled for official release on April 8.
Watch Dogs will allow a maximum of eight players to roam the game's open world multiplayer mode, it has emerged.
Responding to a tweet, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin confirmed the number.
Answering other questions, Morin confirmed that the game will have side quests and safe houses.
On Thursday (March 8) Ubisoft confirmed that Watch Dogs would be released to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PS3 on May 27 after several delays
The Wii U version has been further delayed to focus resources.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch shipments have passed one million copies worldwide.
The PlayStation 3 role-playing title has shipped over 1.1 million units since its Western launch in January 2013.
In addition, the complete Ni No Kuni franchise - which includes the Japan-exclusive Nintendo DS version - has shipped over 1.7 million copies.
The game has received a total of 69 awards and 145 nominations, according to Namco Bandai.
The publisher previously confirmed that more than 710,000 copies of the title were sold outside Japan.
Retro Studios has explained why Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze lacks online cooperative play.
Speaking with GameSpot, CEO Michael Kelbaugh said the developer didn't want to 'shoehorn' the feature into the Wii U platformer.
"If we're going to create an online component for Donkey Kong, we really need to do it right and not shoehorn in, 'Oh, let's play Dixie remotely.' That just wasn't an objective for Tropical Freeze," Kelbaugh said.
"So if we were really go back and create an online environment, I think we owe it to the fans to do it better than just making online co-op. We really need to put some thought and resources into doing it the right way."
He added: "If we were to make a full online experience, I'd want to spend time to do it and make sure that we stay true to the franchise and incorporate this new feature in the right way.
"And I'm not sure that this game is the right way to start Donkey Kong Country Online [laughs]. I'm really a purist at heart, especially when it comes to Donkey Kong Country, and I'd want to approach it the right way."
The game does, however, contain online leaderboards - allowing players to compete for the fastest run times.
Mar 08 2014
Sony has announced PSN maintenance on Monday, March 10.
The PlayStation Network maintenance is scheduled for 16.30-22.00 GMT, it was revealed on the official European PlayStation website.
For the duration of the maintenance, users will be unable to log into Account Management and the PS Store. PS Home will also be unavailable.
Online gameplay will be available to those who have recently signed into their SEN account and have had their authentication details cached.
Users whose details are not cached will not be able to sign in or begin an online gaming session.
Sony warned that there may be some additional downtime after the initial maintenance period for testing purposes.
Infamous: Second Son pre-orders have outpaced those for The Last of Us in 2013.
Sony has "high expectations" for the PlayStation 4 exclusive.
The Sucker Punch game will be the highest-profile release of 2014 so far.
"We are excited by the level of pre-orders which are exceeding that of The Last of Us at this point in the run up to its launch," SCE UK product manager Josh Walker told MCV.
"We can already see it benefiting from the goodwill and of buzz surrounding the PlayStation 4 and expect Second Son to be the biggest game in the Infamous series to date."
2013 blockbuster The Last of Us sold over 3.4 million units between its release on June 14 and July 3 of last year, making it the fastest-selling new franchise in the console's history. At that time, it was also the quickest-selling PS3 game of 2013.
The upcoming action-adventure title is set in a locked-down Seattle, where character Delsin Rowe is given superhuman abilities that make him capable of fighting back against the oppressive Department of United Protection (DUP).
Throughout the adventure, players witness the consequences of their actions as they affect the city and people within it.
Infamous: Second Son will be released globally on March 21 alongside a new hardware bundle.
Google Play Store has kicked off its 'Big Birthday Savings' promotion to mark its 2nd Birthday.
The virtual app store is offering discounts and freebies for a limited time to celebrate two years since the service was rebranded from The Android Market on March 5, 2012.
On the UK Play Store, users can get up to 75% off selected in-app purchases and some are also being offered for free.
Google Play's Big Birthday Savings hub reads: "Enjoy Google Play's second birthday with discounts on in-game purchases for some of our most popular titles."
Among the freebies, Bejeweled Blitz is offering a Cat's Eye and Moonstone Rare Gem, and Heroes of Dragon Age is giving away a free hero Bartrand Tethras.
Asphalt 8: Airbone is also cutting 50% off the price of a selection of cars that will rotate during the promotional period, while Sims FreePlay is also halving the price of Adopt a Toddler.
Elsewhere, Google Play Movies & TV is giving away Tom Hanks's 1988 fantasy comedy Big for free. Hundreds of other titles including 21 Jump Street, The Conjuring and We're The Millers have had their prices slashed.
In music, Pink's most recent album The Truth About Love is on sale for 99p, while books and the Newsstand also have added reductions.
Europol has warned users of free public Wi-Fi not to send sensitive information as it may be intercepted by hackers.
Europol's cyber crime centre head Troels Oerting told BBC News that people should only send personal data through networks they trust amid a growing number of attacks.
"We have seen an increase in the misuse of Wi-Fi, in order to steal information, identity or passwords and money from the users who use public or insecure Wi-Fi connections," Oerting explained.
"We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure Wi-Fi internet [connection]."
Oerting said that Europol is currently helping several European countries with the problem, and claimed attackers tend to trick users into connecting to superficial hotspots that look like those used in public places such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.
He continued: "They should do this from home where they know actually the Wi-Fi and its security, but not if you are in a coffee shop [or] somewhere, you shouldn't access your bank or do all of these things that actually transfer very sensitive information."
Getty Images has opened its extensive photo catalogue to the public with a new embed option.
The photo provider's content can be used on non-commercial websites, blogs and social media channels free of charge.
Embedded images will include photographer attribution as well as a link back to Getty's website where the image can be licensed for commercial use.
It's the first time Getty has made its images available without the need to pay legally and will include everything from the latest pictures in news, sports, celebrity, music fashion, digital photo and rich conceptual images.
"Innovation and disruption are the foundation of Getty Images, and we are excited to open up our vast and growing image collection for easy, legal sharing in a new way that benefits our content contributors and partners, and advances our core mission to enable a more visually-rich world," said Getty CEO Jonathan Klein.
WireImage celebrity photographer and co-founder Kevin Mazur added: "You have to adapt to survive. Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry."