Keep your seat belt fastened for Tuesday's tech news roundup:
Airline passengers may soon be able to use their smartphones and tablets during flights with fewer interruptions.
The Federal Aviation Administration has formed a committee to reconsider its policy on when electronic devices can be turned on during a flight.
"With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement released today. "Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight." … Read more
To avoid permanently getting rid of plants, zombies, jewels, frogs, or worms, gaming company PopCap announced today that it has to lay off 50 employees at its headquarters.
The social and mobile gaming arm of Electronic Arts that's known for games like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies said it had to reevaluate its costs in order to keep up with the digital gaming world.
Don't call it a comeback.
"The Simpsons: Tapped Out" made its quiet return late last week after suffering through one of the more embarrassing meltdowns in app history when Electronic Arts pulled the game from Apple's App Store just a few days after its first launch in March. Simpsons fans had overwhelmed the server, causing connection problems, while massive bugs made for a terrible playing experience.
The incident is a lesson for any developer looking to launch a game with any amount of anticipation: be sure you're ready for the demand. Also, don't rush … Read more
With each passing day, Best Buy appears headed for a family feud.
Richard Schulze, the founder who was on the outs with Best Buy's board when he resigned his seat in June, continues to try to persuade directors to sell him the company. Schulze today sent the board a letter saying he would pay up to $8.8 billion for the floundering big-box electronics chain, according to a New York Times report.
"I am deeply concerned about the direction of the company," Schulze said in the letter. "As Best Buy's largest shareholder, I cannot simply … Read more
A deluge of SimCity news came from EA and Maxis at the massive Gamescom gaming expo yesterday in Cologne, Germany.
Interested architects can check out the SimCity closed beta sign-up Web page that gives anyone with an Origin account the chance to get an early preview of the urban planner. The page does not, however, list when the beta occurs or how long it lasts.… Read more
Monday's top-story rundown knows where you live:
Just when you think it's safe to tweet, here comes WeKnowYourHouse.com. The site is a social media experiment designed to show how easy it is for tweets to be used against you. If a Twitter user has location turned on, and they send a message with the word "home" in it, then the site will display it along with a Street View image of the location. Similar to PleaseRobMe.com, it showcases how some users may not be aware of how much information they are sharing.
But you … Read more
Electronic Arts expects sales of digital games to surpass those of boxed games in the coming years.
"There will come a point, whether it is two or three years from now, when we say: 'We are doing more in digital media now than we are in physical media,'" EA Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore told Reuters.
As a result, the maker of "Battlefield", "The Sims 3," and "Crysis 3" is likely to increase its range of mobile and free-to-play games.
EA will serve up more than 40 social mobile and free-to-play games … Read more
Samsung has already sprung into action in response to accusations that its HEG Electronics supplier is forcing underage children to work under harsh conditions.
The Korean handset maker is sending a team this week to the HEG Electronics factory in Huizhou, China, to conduct its own investigation, according to The Verge. This would be Samsung's third probe of the facility; the first two failed to turn up any issues.
HEG Electronics, which makes DVD players and mobile phones for Samsung, has been accused by China Labor Watch of employing children under 16.
A new report from CLW found that … Read more
You don't need any accessories to catch up on Friday's top tech stories:
A new service called Dyle picks up live, local TV signals to watch on your mobile device. The first with this service is the MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G. But if you rather not drop $460 right now for a phone, iOS users may have another option this fall when Dyle attachments are expected to go on sale.
No price has been set, but the attachments could cost, at most, $150. And the service from then on is free. Would you pay for an … Read more