Google Pays Up In AdWord Settlement

Google has agreed to pay $500 million in order to settle a legal argument with the U.S. government. This comes over allegations that Google allowed online Canadian pharmacies in use its AdWords system to advertise prescription drugs to U.S. consumers, resulting in illegal importation of the medicines into the U.S.

“The forfeiture, one of the largest ever in the United States, represents the gross revenue received by Google as a result of Canadian pharmacies advertising through Google’s AdWords program, plus gross revenue made by Canadian pharmacies from their sales to U.S. consumers,” said the U.S. Department of Justice in a statement.

The DOJ contends that Google was aware of illegal prescription drug shipments, primarily from Canada, as a result of their ads as early as 2003. However, they contend that Google didn’t modify its practices until it was being investigated by the U.S. government in 2009.

“While Canada has its own regulatory rules for prescription drugs, Canadian pharmacies that ship prescription drugs to U.S. residents are not subject to Canadian regulatory authority, and many sell drugs obtained from countries other than Canada which lack adequate pharmacy regulations,” the DOJ statement reads.

Google asserts they stopped selling Canadian pharmacies ad space a while ago, but added, “However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we shouldn’t have allowed these ads on Google in the first place. Given the extensive coverage this settlement has already received, we won’t be commenting further.”

Google admits improperly assisting Canadian online pharmacy advertisers as part of the settlement. They will also agree to various reporting and compliance measures to ensure that these activities don’t happen again.

Source: PC World

Summer Vacation Leads To More Media Consumption, Says Poll

A Harris poll recently revealed that between 40 and 50 percent of parents of children 17 and younger report that their children consume more media of all types during the summer. On average, 57 of parents loosen their media consumption rules for the summer while 26 percent do not; 17 claim they have no media consumption rules for their children.

Source: AdWeek

Razer Promises PC Gaming Not Dead

The whole “PC gaming is dead” argument has been around for a while, and Razer is tapping into that for their latest ad. The peripheral maker has taken out full page ad in the Wall Street Journal laying out a manifesto of sorts.

The ad points says that something will be revealed on August 26, 2011. Some believe it will be a new line of PC gaming desktops while others believe it will be the Razer Switchblade.


Minecraft On Xperia Play ‘Fantastic’ Says Sony Ericsson Exec

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play has not had any sales numbers released, though its perceived as having underperformed in the market. Still, Sony Ericsson’s head of content marketing & strategy Tim Harrison says that games appealing to a broad demographic are key, like with Minecraft.

“It’s a timed exclusive, so it will be coming to other devices, it’s certainly Android exclusive to Xperia Play for a period of time. I think probably Mojang themselves can give you more information on that. Notch seems to be quite happy to talk at conferences about stuff,” said Harrison. “Obviously we’ve only just launched at the moment, but what we’re trying to show with Minecraft, and what we’re trying to demonstrate with Xperia Play is that it’s really not just for hardcore gamers. Minecraft is a sensation at the moment, an unexpected sensation. The opportunity to have an exclusive on Xperia Play was fantastic for us.”

“Obviously Mojang are a Swedish company too, which is very nice for us and our Swedish colleagues. They pretty much want to launch on this device because they love the control mechanism – they could see that the game would translate very swiftly to that mechanism,” he added. “We’re really pleased with that association.”


Android In Over Half Of U.S. Mobile Phones Sold For Q2 2011

The NPD Group is reporting that Android was installed on 52 percent of smartphones sold during the second quarter of 2011. At the same time, iOS devices saw a slight increase to 29 percent, Blackberry fell to 11 percent and Windows Phone 7 and WebOS retained five percent.

“Google’s acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, on Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola. “Android’s momentum has made for a large pie that is attractive to Motorola’s Android rivals, even if they must compete with their operating system developer. Much as it did in the feature phone market in the RAZR era, Motorola is experiencing increased competition from Samsung and LG in the smartphone market,” said Rubin. “Closer ties to the heart of Android can help inspire new paths to differentiation.”

“Android is also leading the charge in the rapidly growing prepaid smartphone market,” Rubin said. “This was once a key segment for Motorola that the company has an opportunity to reclaim as prepaid carriers build their smartphone portfolios.”

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Releases To The World

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is almost certainly Square Enix’s biggest title of the year, and everything suggests that the game will live up to the legacy of open-ended gameplay and world-spanning conspiracy theories the series is known for. Adam Jensen narrates the launch trailer, brushing over the trials and tribulations that stand before him.


Can You Fly Like The Fox?

Nintendo has launched a new teaser website for Star Fox 3D with the promise of the full site coming soon. Fans can sign up for Nintendo News, view the trailer or pre-order now. A Facebook contest has also been launched {link no longer active} where fans can enter for a chance to win a real-life fighter pilot experience. Enter to win a real-life fighter-pilot experience at Air Combat USA. One lucky fan and their friend will get to experience the thrill and excitement of flying a light attack fighter in air-to-air combat. After a briefing by an Air Combat USA Pilot on Tactical Fighter Maneuvers, the lucky pair will get to engage in lifelike dogfights in the air. Flight experience will be recorded and a post-flight debriefing will occur.