MediaFile

Rovio set to launch its next mobile game “Amazing Alex”

There won’t be birds, eggs and green pigs but Rovio is all set to release its next new franchise after a hugely successful run with “Angry Birds.” “Amazing Alex,” a physics-themed puzzle game, is coming to iOS and Android devices July 12.

The trailer released by Rovio shows a little blonde boy experimenting with a Rube Goldberg-like machine. The game will have 100 levels and players can build their own.

The Finnish mobile game maker’s new game is a revamped version of “Casey’s Contraptions,” an IP it acquired in May from developers Mystery Coconut and Snappy Touch. The original “Casey’s Contraptions” game was available on the App store.

With over one billion downloads since December 2009, Rovio created a strong brand with its “Angry Birds” franchise that has become a pop-culture phenomenon. We’ll soon find out if “Amazing Alex” will follow suit.

Tech wrap: Kodak files for bankruptcy protection

Eastman Kodak, the photography icon that invented the hand-held camera, filed for bankruptcy protection and planned to shrink significantly after a prolonged plunge for one of America’s best-known companies. The Chapter 11 filing may give Kodak the ability to find buyers for some of its 1,100 digital patents, a major portion of its value. According to papers filed with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, Kodak had about $5.1 billion of assets and $6.75 billion of liabilities at the end of September. Kodak now employs 17,000 people, down from 63,900 just nine years ago.

Kodak’s long decline can be traced back to one source: the former king of photography’s failure to reinvent itself in the digital age, writes Ernest Scheyder. Kodak’s film dominated the industry but the company failed to adopt modern technologies quickly enough, such as the digital camera — ironically, a product it invented. ”Kodak was very Rochester-centric and never really developed a presence in centers of the world that were developing new technologies,” said Rosabeth Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School. “It’s like they’re living in a museum.”

Apple unveiled a new digital textbook service called iBooks 2, aiming to revitalize the U.S. education market and quicken the adoption of its market-leading iPad in that sector. The move pits Apple against Amazon.com and other content and device makers that have made inroads into the estimated $8 billion market with their electronic textbook offerings. Apple has been working on digital textbooks with publishers Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a trio responsible for 90 percent of textbooks sold in the United States.

Tech wrap: Is RIM circling the drain?

A months-long delay in Research in Motion’s new BlackBerrys and a dreary quarterly report sent RIM shares tumbling again on Friday and pushed some analysts to sound the death knell for the mobile device that once defined the industry.

Zynga shares opened as much as 10 percent above their offer price on Friday but then rolled back below the IPO price, showing that investors were still concerned about its dependence on Facebook and its growth prospects and that demand for hot tech IPOs may be waning.

The news has not deterred the creators of “Angry Birds,” who are said to be considering a stock market flotation in Hong Kong.

Kids will be kids, even those of vid game executives

Bobby Kotick — CEO of Activision, “Moneyball” actor --  stopped by the Reuters Global Media Summit on Monday to give us his take on Black Friday (Anecdotally: a success, though Saturday not so much) and to throw some cold water on rival  EA’s upcoming release of “Star Wars.”

But it was what his 9-year-old daughter dressed up as for Halloween that really caught our attention. (Hint: Not Brad Pitt)

If you are betting person, you would likely throw some dough that she donned a costume involving one of Activision’s popular games. Perhaps a character from Skylanders? The game aimed at 6-to-10 year olds involving toy monsters.

Tech wrap: Sony’s new security setback

Mere days after Sony began restoring access to its PlayStation Network, the company said it had discovered a security flaw on one of the websites set up to help the millions of users affected by April’s massive data breach reset their passwords.

The “security hole“, as Sony spokesman Dan Race termed it, could allow the hackers who perpetrated the April breach to access the accounts using the data they had stolen. Sony shut the webpage down in response. No hacking had taken place prior to taking down the page, Race noted.

Hacking occupied the minds of executives at the Reuters Global Technology Summit as well. Mobile hacking in particular was a hot topic of discussion, with executives at software giants and startups alike expressing their desire to cash in on ways to help smartphone users protect themselves as hackers increasingly target mobile devices.