Take-Two delays 'BioShock Infinite' to February
NEW YORK (AP) -- Take-Two has delayed the release of "BioShock Infinite," an eagerly awaited shooter game set in 1912.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said Wednesday that the game will launch on Feb. 26, rather than in October as it said previously. Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games, the developer of "BioShock," said the game was delayed so its creators can get more time to work on it. The development studio is a subsidiary of Take-Two, which publishes the game.
"BioShock Infinite" will be the third installment in the popular series. The first "BioShock" launched in 2007 and was well-received by critics and players alike. It was an early sign that Take-Two was moving beyond its one-hit-wonder status, in which it relies on the wildly popular "Grand Theft Auto" games.
"Infinite" is set in the early 20th century in a city called Columbia, built by the U.S. government as a floating world's fair designed to travel around the world to promote America. It's not that simple, though.
"Unknown to most, Columbia was also a 'death star,' secretly packed with weaponry," the developers explain on the BioShock website. "Political strife caused Columbia to secede from America and the city disappeared. No one knows how to get to Columbia."
Players take the role of Booker DeWitt, a former detective who's sent to Columbia to find a young woman who's been imprisoned there since she was a little girl. DeWitt frees her, but the two still need to escape the city as it falls from the sky.
— Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer
LR-based Windstream making push in data business
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Fast-growing Windstream Corp. plans to spend more than $1 billion this year as it moves from being a landline phone company to a broadband and data services provider.
The Little Rock-based company has been rapidly setting up data centers that provide computing power and storage for businesses around the country and using its phone network as a vehicle for linking business customers to the data centers.
The company was formed in 2006 when it was spun off from Alltel Corp., as Alltel stripped down to a wireless-only company before its acquisition by Verizon Wireless. Windstream still has the greater part of its business in phone lines and residential bundles of phone, Internet and satellite TV services, which reach customers in mainly rural areas in more than two dozen states.
But it's targeting the data end of the market in urban and rural areas as large and small businesses turn to cloud computing and other data outsourcing.
Windstream recently opened a data center in Little Rock and has two set to open soon in Houston and McLean, Va., giving it 21 in all, up from seven less than two years ago.
It also made two major acquisitions to quickly expand its data business. In late 2010, Windstream bought Raleigh, N.C.-based Hosted Solutions LLC for $310 million. Last August, Windstream announced the purchase of New York-based Paetec Holding Corp. for $891 million.
Windstream faces data competition from AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.
A recent tour of the Little Rock data center included a look at the center's capacity for keeping electricity running to the machines. The systems are fully redundant and the building is served by two transformers and has two full sets of generators so that the power to run the systems and keep them cool won't be interrupted.
CEO Jeff Gardner said that with landline usage on the decline, the company quickly started looking for business segments it could grow.
"Our view of the world was simply that we needed to get more enterprise focused and that we needed to invest and focus on businesses that were more growth oriented, and so our natural focus then was on enterprise businesses and the fastest growing space in the enterprise arena is cloud computing," he said.
— Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer
NH House kills bill to outlaw Internet access tax
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The state House has voted to kill a bill that would have outlawed taxing Internet access in New Hampshire.
The House voted 247-93 Wednesday to kill the Senate-passed proposal.
State law currently does not define Internet access and was written before the Internet was widely used. It also was written before the invention of 3G and 4G wireless networks, which allow access to the Internet over smartphones.
The proposal would have modified the 1990 law by prohibiting taxing the charges consumers pay to gain access to the Internet through broadband and wireless connections.
The tax is charged on two-way phone use, other voice communications and text messaging. It's applied to bundled charges when companies don't break out two-way voice and text communications. .