National / International News
The Russian president also accused the West of staging the crisis in Ukraine in order to "resuscitate" the NATO alliance.
There's more to buying "Minecraft" maker Mojang than just putting the game in the Microsoft store.
Though playable on multiple platforms — including Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One — "Minecraft" has yet to be made available on Windows 8.
Which, says Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson, gives Microsoft the excuse they need to diversify their company offerings, and could potentially take the company in a new direction.
"When [Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] first took the helm, we heard a lot about cloud computing, business software, enterprise — areas where Microsoft is really still pretty important. But like any big tech company that publishes stuff, Microsoft needs to be diversified," Johnson says. "Buying a company that makes a game like 'Minecraft' might help Microsoft sell people on the Windows Phone, for instance."
Microsoft's track record with buying gaming companies has been mixed. After they acquired Lionhead Studios, the company went on to create games from the "Fable" series exclusively, which garnered positive reviews. But their acquisition of Rare in 2002 was a disappointment; once known for landmark Nintendo titles such as "Banjo-Kazooie" and "Donkey Kong Country", Rare failed to live up to expectations in the years following the acquisition, and was restructured in 2009.
If the acquisition goes through, its success depends on how Microsoft reconciles company culture with Mojang, Johnson says.
"The big question is, how much is Microsoft going to interfere with what [Mojang] does, how much it can continue doing its indie-gaming stuff without Microsoft interfering? Maybe if Microsoft lets this company continue to exist and lets it do what it does best... it might be a pretty sensible partnership."
380 days. That's how long ago President Barack Obama first weighed airstrikes to "deter and degrade" Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. Wednesday night, hours before the 13th anniversary of 9/11, Obama will outline plans for "degrading and ultimately destroying" extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria through airstrikes in the region.
As we wait for Obama's address, here's what we're reading — and the numbers we're keeping an eye on — Wednesday morning.$2 billion
The initial valuation of Mojang — the company behind the cult megahit Minecraft — as Microsoft nears an acquisition deal, according to The Wall Street Journal. The game's fan base is reportedly flabbergasted. The game has sold over 50 million copies, spawned a toy line and even worked its way into the classroom.5 percent
The portion of college and university assets that are invested in energy and natural resources — or, about $22 billion. Schools across the country are facing mounting pressure to divest from fossil fuels, and the University of California system is the latest institution mulling it over. The Wall Street Journal has a breakdown of several schools' endowments and their decisions on divestment.$90 billion
The mobile payment market is expected to quadruple by 2017. With the announcement of its own mobile payment system yesterday, Apple is angling to get in on that action. The tech giant has secured deals with partner banks, Bloomberg reported, giving Apple a cut of the so-called "swipe fees" from each Apple Pay transaction.