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It's been tough times for Sony, and it's very much aware of it. While we hear all about the company cutting loose unsuccessful parts (whether it's PCs or e-readers), the other side of the coin is ensuring Sony can make another hit. Nikkei has done a deep dive (in Japanese and paywalled, unfortunately) on the electronics manufacturers' bid to drum up new business ideas. The next Walkman or the next PlayStation could well come from the New Business Creation department, first suggested by employee Shinji Odajima last April.

He was then appointed head of it. "There's still plenty of employees in Sony looking for a challenge." An initial meeting for new business idea 'auditions' was set to house 300 employees in June: over 800 turned up. Odajima has now received over 200 ideas -- though he's not sharing those with anyone just yet.

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SoundCloud Team

Often billed as the "YouTube of music," SoundCloud has become the number one choice for up and coming artists looking to share their tracks with the world. However, despite boasting a userbase that's four times bigger than Spotify's, the startup has found it difficult to turn that activity into revenue. The company hopes it can change that with the launch of a new Premier tier for "On SoundCloud" that will bring ads to the service, and also allow artists and record labels to start monetizing their music.

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Google product engineer Ian Webster believes sponsored articles should be more easily identifiable (as they should be!), so he built the AdDetector plug-in in his spare time to make that happen. More and more publications turn to sponsored content or native ads these days (even Tumblr does it), but some of them just add disclaimers at the very bottom of the page or small, easy-to-miss bylines. Webster says the problem is that bad native ads depend on you, readers, not knowing that they're, well, sponsored. So, he designed the plug-in to plaster large red banners on paid article pages whenever it detects unfortunately small sponsored disclaimers, in order to boost transparency on the web. He also hopes that by making paid articles more obvious, sponsors would make an effort to put out better content. You can install AdDetector (and make sure this post wasn't sponsored) for Chrome and Firefox from Webster's website.

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Bing Maps just got much, much better if you're tired of looking at plain old satellite pictures. Microsoft has just added either 3D maps, Streetside views or both to more than 100 cities, many of which you'll definitely recognize. You can now see what it's like on the ground near the Chicago Theater or San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; if you have the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows, you can go on a 3D flight through famous places like Disney World or the Las Vegas Strip. You'll want to hit the source link for the full upgrade list, but most of the additions are in the US. If you've wanted to tour America from the comfort of your couch, you're going to have a field day.

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If you were looking forward to playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the Wii U this fall, well, we have some bad news. It turns out that publisher Activision has made the decision that Nintendo's latest console won't see the futuristic shooter at all. On Twitter, a fan recently asked co-founder of Sledgehammer Games, CoD:AW's developer, if the title was coming to the Wii U and Condry replied that that wasn't happening, and that his team is focused on launching for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. "That was an Activision decision," he wrote. This is despite the fact that CoD has appeared on the Wii U for the past two years and that a version of Advanced Warfare is coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which are similar in horsepower to Nintendo's HD console.

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In case you needed any more proof that we live in the future, just know that we're slowly inching toward the advent of remote-controlled, sensor-laden moths. (Moths, for the record, are constantly being tinkered with.) As it turns out, the rationale for creating a widespread network of connected, flying insects is more nuanced than just "Because we can." North Carolina State University's Dr. Alper Bozkurt says his team wants to know if they can steer moths through the air to help with search and rescue and post-disaster operations, and the first step toward getting there is sticking electrodes into moth pupae before they fully metamorphose. Alas, the team's still a ways off from achieving their dream - at this point, those electrodes are used to wireless collect information about how moths uses their muscles to flutter through the air. Still, Bozkurt is hopeful that by gaining a better understand of how moths fly, the team will eventually be able to learn how to manipulate those muscles and convert a moth into a tiny living drone.

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While Apple hasn't formally announced the iPhone 6 yet, there's few surer signs of an impending new model than a fire-sale to clear out existing stock. How's $0.97 sound for an iPhone 5c in that case? For the next 90 days then, Walmart has your ticket and is discounting the colorful 16GB handset by just over $28. Cupertino's same-size current flagship is dipping in price for the next three months too, but the end result doesn't sound anywhere near as dramatic. The iPhone 5s is now $20 less expensive, going from $99 to $79. All of these prices are with a two year contract through AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular and Verizon. If you'd rather hold out for something new and likely much more expensive, well, September 9th is only a few weeks away.

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ABJREK Las Vegas, Nevada, America

McDonald's is taking on a new strategy to get us to eat more of its artery cloggers -- one that involves ramping up its digital efforts. Golden Arches has just hired its first ever U.S. vice president of digital (former Ticketmaster exec Julia Vander Ploeg) and, at the same time, posted a bunch of relevant job opportunities. By the looks of it, the company wants to form a team of professionals under Vander Ploeg to be able to reach its goals, including offering "a variety of digital music and entertainment experiences" (as stated in its posting for a product director for music and entertainment) to its patrons. McDonald's is also looking for people to improve its mobile website, develop games and, more importantly, release a global mobile ordering app that customers can use anywhere they are. Sadly, the company hasn't elaborated on what its plans are at this point in time. And since you're not the only one wondering if McDonald's aims to release games and downloadable music in the future, we'll keep an eye out for more details.

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paperdude-oculus-rift

Facebook has a storied history of shelling out bounties to whomever manages to unearth bugs in its systems, and according to The Verge now it's willing to pay out cash to folks to find who do the same for Oculus VR's code. Interested? You'll stand to make a minimum of $500 for your efforts, and just how high that reward goes depends on the complexity and severity of the issue you dig up. This sort of bug hunting has the potential to become an awfully lucrative hobby - after all, Facebook didn't shell out billions of dollars to invest in the future of communication only to skimp when it comes to patching potentially critical problems. Here's the thing, though: you probably won't be ferreting out bugs in the Oculus hardware just yet. Facebook product security engineer Neal Poole told The Verge that most of the issues facing Oculus aren't found in the face-mounted VR goggles; instead, they lay dormant on Oculus' website and in the messaging system developers use to keep tabs on each other. Yeah, we know, sort of bummer - just know that Poole didn't completely close the door on more involved bug hunts down the road.

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The passing of actor Robin Williams affected fans from all walks of life, but gamers made a special claim to his legacy. Williams was a game enthusiast and a known fan of games like Portal, The Legend of Zelda and World of Warcraft. Now, the creators of the latter title seem to be working on an in-game memorial for the actor: a NPC named "Robin <The Entertainer>." Wowhead, a site that scours the game code for new additions, picked up three instances of the tribute in a recent update for the Warlords of Draenor beta build -- a male human, a female human and, of course, a blue genie.

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