JAPANESE SOFT DRINK COMPANY TO PUT FIRST ADVERTISEMENT ON THE MOON

Friv Japanese drink manufacturer Otsuka will be delivering a 1 kilogram (2.2lb) can of its delicious, hilariously named Pocari Sweat soft drink to the moon in 2015.

The can has been specially designed to last 30 years in space, with the company hoping that it will inspire young people to become astronauts so that they one day can travel t

the lunar surface and guzzle down some Pocari Sweat. And just in case you thought this was purely a marketing stunt, Otsuka says it’s not delivering just a dose of Pocari Sweat

powder – the can will also contain metal discs engraved with “children’s dreams.” Up till May 2015, you can submit your own dreams as well via smartphone in time for the October 2015 delivery.

The can-o’-dreams will be delivered to the moon by the Falcon 9 rocket, which has already made three successful supply runs to the International Space Station.

Otsuka is partnering with Astrobotic Technology, whose Griffin lander will be depositing the can on the moon’s surface. With this stunt, Astrobotic is also rumoured to be aiming

for Google’s $20 million Lunar X prize, a reward to the first company to send a device to the moon that can travel 500 metres on the surface send high-definition photographs back to Earth.

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Candy Crush: Addictive Game, Incredible Business, Horrible Investment

Candy crush saga cheats - King Digital Entertainment, the company behind the mega-hit game Candy Crush, has filed its IPO papers with the SEC, offering investors a look inside its massive popularity. And, well, dear God.

Last year the company took in $1.88 billion with $568 million in profits—half $1 billion in profits! To put this in perspective, a mobile gaming company specializing in colored sugar baubles made more than a quarter of Amazon’s lifetime earnings in a year.

Here’s a brisk look at the most insane numbers, using these charts from the IPO as a guide.

1. The players. Start with the top-left graph, which shows 124 million daily average users (i.e.: DAUs). Candy Crush, a free-to-play game, attracts 98 million of those players. So, 100 million people play the same game every day.

That’s about the size of America’s four largest states—California, Texas, New York, and Florida—combined. But the vast majority of these players don’t pay Candy Crush a cent. So how does it make money?

2. The payers. Now to the top-right graph. Candy Crush’s business depends on about 12 million daily players, or 4% of its population, to buy power-ups. There’s nothing scary about a freemium business model so long as you move enough gamers through the door to convert them into payers,

but it’s already clear how challenging this will be for King, who admits in the IPO filing that average monthly payers have already declined by 1 million since the third quarter of 2013.

3. The profit. Now a look the bottom two graphs. First, the astonishingly good news. “Of the 5000 companies in NASDAQ, only 6 have as much revenue ($1.88b) and fat profit margins (30%) as King,” Wall Street Journal buisness editor Dennis Berman tweeted this morning. But take a closer squint at the Q4 figures for revenue, gross bookings, profit, and adjusted earnings: They’re all falling.

King explains that “this movement is as a result of the seasoning of our older games in certain markets among our more occasional customers.” It’s a plausible explanation, but it’s not a good excuse: You don’t IPO into a crowded and competitive mobile gaming market when your consumer base is “seasoning”—which is admirably original IPO-speak for “disappearing.”

4. The platform. Candy Crush’s success might or might not last. But the power of mobile as a business seems pretty durable at this point. Weeks after Facebook and Twitter announced that they’ve figured out the mobile ad game,

King says 70% of its bookings were generated by mobile users—a 7X increase since December 2012. It already has 408 monthly active users—a third as much as Facebook and 70 percent more than Twitter.

5. The problem. King isn’t a diversified business. It’s a viral hit. And the thing about viruses is that they tend to go away after a while. Candy Crush accounts for 78% of King’s total business (and 86% of its mobile biz) and most of its meaningful numbers—paying users, revenue, profits—are already declining. Meanwhile,

the experience of Zynga, Farmville, and Angry Birds suggests that these games are mobile mayflies, bursting into experience and flaming out in the blink of an eye. Candy Crush might be a marvelous game. It appears, for now, to be a slightly less marvelous investment.

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friv – Is The Last of Us 2 in Development at Naughty Dog?

friv - Naughty Dog is allegedly working on The Last of Us 2, despite the fact that the first game remains ongoing, as well as the recent announcement of Uncharted for PS4. Releasing in 2015, according to Omelete, The Last of Us 2 is already in production for PlayStation 4.

Given the studio’s release patterns, a Last of Us sequel next year doesn’t make sense, so take the rumor with a grain of salt. Naughty Dog is still scheduled to release The Last of Us’ expansion on February 14, while many other developers toil away on the next Uncharted.

This leaves few resources for a sequel to The Last of Us, on new hardware no less. Furthermore, given development cycles, it’s unlikely that a project such as this would be out of pre-production and in full development.

Contacted for comment, Sony responded to IGN stating, “Thanks for reaching out. However, we do not comment on rumor or speculation.”

For more on Naughty Dog and all of its games, check out Rising to Greatness: The History of Naughty Dog on IGN.

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y8 games news – The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition Leaked by Amazon

y8 – The Elder Scrolls Online is still a few months away, and Bethesda has yet to officially announce a collector’s edition. But as reported by GameTrailers, Amazon may have accidentally let the Khajiit out the bag a little early. An image appeared on the Dishonored Game of the Year Amazon page briefly, showing the “Imperial Edition” in all its glory.

Click to enlarge.

The image has since been taken down, but its contents are clear. The Imperial Edition includes a 12-inch statue of the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, a map of Tamriel, and a huge 224-page illustrated book.
Additionally, Imperial Edition players will have the ability to play as an Imperial regardless of alliance. And just to sweeten the deal, you’ll get a white Imperial horse, a Mudcrab pet, and a pair of Rings of Mara. The whole set is bound in Steelbook packaging.
Notably, the leaked image includes a PlayStation 4 logo across the top. The Elder Scrolls Online is releasing for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Given the PS4 logo, it’s not immediately clear if the Imperial Edition will be available across all platforms.
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Research Chemicals – New Analysis Sheds Light On the Links Between Chemicals in Our Body and Income

Research Chemicals – A new study published this week has found that the build-up of harmful chemicals in the body is affecting people of all social standings — not just those from economically deprived backgrounds as previously thought.

The research has been led by Dr Jessica Tyrrell from the University of Exeter Medical School’s European Centre for Environment & Human Health, in Truro, Cornwall.

Using data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the team analysed possible links between a person’s socioeconomic status and the prevalence of chemicals in their body.

They found that people across the poverty spectrum were accumulating chemicals in their bodies but, importantly, that it was the type of toxicant that was dependent upon economic status.

Dr Tyrrell and the team were not expecting their findings to contradict the conventional thinking that lower socioeconomic status will lead to a greater prevalence of harmful elements in the body:

“We’ve found that as people become better off, changes in their lifestyle alter the types of chemicals in their bodies, rather than reducing the overall amount. This realisation has a profound impact on the way we treat chemical build ups, suggesting we should move to dealing with groups based on lifestyle, rather than earnings.”

By comparing the results from 6 separate populations, the researchers have been able to show strong associations between 18 different chemicals and poverty ratings.

Individuals with higher incomes had larger amounts of several toxicants, including urinary mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, with diet likely to play a key role in their accumulation.

“The age old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ seems to be true when explaining some of the trends we’re seeing in the data. It’s certainly very likely that fish and shellfish consumption is partially responsible for build-ups in mercury, arsenic and thallium” says Dr Tyrrell.

The use of sunscreen was also found to be an important factor in the accumulation of benzophenone-3, with people from higher socioeconomic groups more likely to use products containing the chemical.

Those with lower incomes were more likely to have build-ups of urinary lead, cadmium, antimony and bisphenol A. Cigarette smoking and a poor diet were amongst the factors likely to lead to the build-up of both lead and cadmium in these groups.

“Long term exposure to chemicals, even in very small quantities, can lead to a number of adverse health effects such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study has produced a robust analysis of how the accumulation of these chemicals relates to socioeconomic status, giving us an important understanding that will help to inform strategies aimed at improving health” Dr Tyrrell concludes.

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Business News – Former British Gas marketer Chris Jansen set for AA top job

Chris Jansen

Chris Jansen, the ex-managing director of British Gas Services and former British Airways marketer, is reportedly set to take the top position at the Automobile Association (AA).

Jansen stepped down from his position British Gas in July this year after a total of six years at the energy company, though the brand stated at the time Jansen would continue to lead a number of campaigns for a short period.

According to Sky News, Jansen is set to become the AA’s next chief executive, which is expected to be announced in the next few weeks. He would replace current chief executive Andrew Strong.

A spokesperson for the AA declined to comment on Jansen’s appointment, stating that the AA “is seeking to recruit a new chief executive and will make the announcement once they have been approved by regulators”.

The spokesperson declined to comment on a timescale for when the announcement will be made.

Jansen announced his exit from British Gas during a period of change at the energy giant, as the Centrica-owned business received a new chief executive from the US side of the company, Chris Weston, to replace Phil Bentley who departed the company after six years at the helm.