Fully Charged: Apple owes $450M over ebooks, and new Rock Band hardware coming

Grab the evening's top tech news - all in one quick read


Apple owes $450 million for ebooks

Sorry, Apple: it's time to pay up. In 2013, a United States district judge found that Apple conspired with book publishers to raise the prices of ebooks and limit competing retailers from selling them at a discount, which would help Apple's iBooks turn larger profits without being undercut by rivals. However, Apple tried to appeal the proposed settlement.

Unfortunately for Apple, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, and thus the original settlement amount - US$450 million- will be upheld. Some US$400 million of that will be offered to consumers who purchased ebooks during the affected span from the major publishers in question, even if it wasn't through iBooks. The actual per-book payout for approved claims should be pretty miniscule, however.

And the remaining $50 million? Well, that will go to the lawyers: surely the biggest winners in all of this.

[Source: Reuters]

New Rock Band 4 hardware coming

Rock Band 4 instruments by Mad Catz

Rock Band 4 will continue to be updated and enhanced for the foreseeable future, but developer Harmonix will handle that without help from its original co-publisher, Mad Catz. Today, Harmonix announced that it has partnered with rival accessory maker Performance Designed Products (PDP) as a new co-publisher on the game, and that they will launch "new hardware alongside a major Rock Band 4 feature update coming this fall."

Why the swap? Well, Mad Catz announced last month that it would lose more than one-third of its staff after president and CEO Darren Richardson and senior VP of business affairs Whitney Peterson suddenly departed prior to another dismal earnings report. The company previously said that it was counting on Rock Band 4 sales to revive its sagging peripheral business, but perhaps the continued struggles prompted these partners to reevaluate their deal.

Right now, Harmonix is trying to raise money via crowdfunding platform Fig for a PC version of Rock Band 4, with the campaign almost 25% of the way funded after a week. PDP will also develop hardware for Rock Band VR for the Oculus Rift, although it's not clear yet how that will vary from previous Rock Band instrument controllers (shown above) in general functionality and design.

Sennheiser Momentum

Sennheiser has done a neat little overhaul of its entire Momentum series for Indian audiophiles. The Momentum On Ear, Over Ear and Wireless versions all have been upgraded and pack great looks with insane sound.

The whole range is available now via Sennheiser's e-store. The range starts from ₹15,990 and goes all the way to ₹34,990.