Digital Crave

Activision’s Bobby Kotick: “I play video games”

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Kotick

In a move that will likely do nothing to stop the hate from video game fan boys, wealthy whipping boy and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick recently revealed he plays video games.

This is contrary to a 2009 article in which he claimed he did not play the games he sells. Why do gamers want one of their own running the world’s most profitable gaming company? You’ll have to ask them, if you can pull them away from Call of Duty and the other best-selling titles they cheerfully buy from Kotick every year.

In other news, a paralyzed woman is now using her mind to control a highly functioning robot arm and Apple has a hit on its hands in Japan.
Here’s some of the week’s best technology news.

The devil plays video games
His shareholders love him, but many gamers take issue with Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. The list of digs at the wildly successful CEO is as long as the ledger of game sales he has racked up during his tenure at Activision – which has surpassed Electronic Arts as the world’s most profitable game company. Still, some gamers say he is more interested in blockbusters than taking chances, which Activision was known for in the early days. Many feel he has contempt for his consumers while he merrily hoses them for cash at every chance. And, much to his horror, it seems any gamer with a working knowledge of Photoshop has posted a pic online of Kotick with devil horns.

Kotick is hoping a new story in The New York Times might change a few minds. He told The Times that he’s been haunted by an interview he did with Forbes Magazine in 2009 in which he said he didn’t play the games he sold. To the contrary, Kotick said he now plays Skylanders with his daughter and that he used to have blisters on his fingers from playing Defender in the 80s.

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iPhone 5

iPhone 5 sells big in China

The iPhone 5 has only been available in China since Friday, Dec. 5, but it’s already a hit. Apple Inc. sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in China in the three days after its launch – making the iPhone 5 Apple’s best smartphone launch ever in China.

However, Reuters reported Apple shares fell on Monday after Citi downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy,” lowering its price target to $575 from $675. Citi cited fading hype around the iPhone 5 and improving competition in smartphones for the downgrade.

Still, the iPhone 5 was highly anticipated in China, which is Apple’s second biggest market. Some analysts believe many iPhone 4 owners in China will upgrade to the new model, a theory supported by initial sales numbers.

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Robotic arm

Mind controlled robotic arm
A research team from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has created a robotic arm controlled directly by thought. The arm is said to have a level of agility closer than ever to a normal human limb.

Irishtimes.com reported the team implanted two microelectrode devices into a patient’s left motor cortex, the part of the brain that initiates movement. The patient, Jan Scheuermann, is a 52-year-old woman who was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder 13 years ago. Paralyzed from the neck down, she was able to operate the robotic arm with control and fluidity. Scheuermann used the robotic arm to give a “high five” and even feed herself chocolate.

Experts are calling it a remarkable step forward for prosthetics controlled directly by the brain. Other systems have allowed paralyzed patients to type or write in freehand by thinking about letters; and researchers in Switzerland recently used electrodes implanted directly on the retina to enable a blind patient to read.

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