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RumorTT: Microsoft to invest billions into Dell buyout

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 7:08 am

Well, this was a little unexpected, but could also turn out quite amazing for Microsoft. The latest talk is that the Redmond-based software giant is in discussions with Silver Lake Partners and Dell's CEO to invest between $1 billion and $3 billion in a leveraged buyout of Dell.

 

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The news comes from "sources close to the matter" talking with CNBC. The rumor does make sense as Microsoft is slowly transitioning toward a hardware company after being a full-on software company for all these years. This move could see Microsoft directly compete with Apple in both hardware and software, without having to build it from the ground up, they'd have a huge start acquiring Dell.

 

Talks between Silver Lake Partners and the special committee for Dell's shareholders are set to continue, and we should hear of a deal being reached by the end of the week.

US smartphone sales have Apple leading with over half of the market share

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 6:37 am

Apple are continuing to crank out the huge numbers on US smartphone market share, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech who have monitored American smartphone sales for the past three months ending on December 23.

 

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With 51.2% of sales being iPhone's, they still enjoy just over half the US smartphone market share, for now. This is a drop from the previous 12-week total which saw the Cupertino-based company enjoying 53.3% of the market. The percentage is reportedly part of a "moving average" of the previous 12 weeks, but the reports are actually issued monthly.

 

In November, Apple enjoyed an all-time high share against Android-based smartphones, which saw them take 53.3% for the 12-week period ending in November just as the iPhone 5 began rolling out in better numbers. In the November quarter, the Android market share in the US took a huge dive, dropping to just 41.9% - a huge year-over-year drop of 11%. In December, however, Android market share numbers jumped back up in the US to take 44.2%.

Verizon activated 9.8 million smartphones during Q4, most were LTE-capable

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 5:33 am

Q4 is usually good for most companies, as the holidays are an extremely busy time of the year for most businesses. Verizon have had a stellar Q4, where they've announced they activated 9.8 million smartphones during the quarter.

 

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Better yet, out of those 9.8 million, 7.3 million of them were LTE-capable. Breaking the numbers down once more, we find that 6.2 million activations were iPhone's and around half of them were LTE-capable meaning they were the latest iPhone 5.

 

In the same three-month period, Verizon added 2.2 million more subscribers, 144,000 new FiOS Internet subscribers and 134,000 FiOS video subscribers. Revenues were hitting $30 billion for the quarter, which is up 5.7% from twelve months ago and $115.8 billion for the entire fiscal year. Verizon were able to achieve a total return of 13.2% to shareholders last year.

Continue reading 'Verizon activated 9.8 million smartphones during Q4, most were LTE-capable' (full post)

Google's Motorola acquisition is still in the transitional phase

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 4:34 am

Google had their Q4 2012 earnings call earlier today, with Google executives diving into the Motorola situation. With the current state of Motorola's financials being the subject at hand, we saw Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette answer a few questions.

 

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When asked about the current situation of Motorola's financial position, Pichette said that when Google acquired Motorola, they also acquired their 12- to 18-month product pipeline that isn't easily changeable. When Google purchased Motorola, they also purchased their future product line up that has been promised to customers.

 

Pichette explained that while there have been improvements made within the company in regards to selling the home division of Motorola as well as rejigging their finances, that Google are still only 6 months post-acquisition, and these changes do take a while to happen. Pichette said "it's jsut the nature of the beast when you're reinventing a business".

Func release an ergonomic gaming mouse, the Func MS-3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 3:36 am

Func have announced their latest entry into the peripherals market with the release of their MS-3 ergonomic gaming mouse. Func's MS-3 comes with 10 fully programmable buttons, a clean black rubber coated body and a 'sophisticated and detailed ergonomic design' that includes multiple setting capabilities.

 

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The Func MS-3 features the Avago 9500 laser sensor, which offers adjustable lift off distance, an instant DPI step switch, great tracking abilities and a configurable report rate. Func's MS-3 has onboard memory which will gives gamers the option to store 3 programmed profiles as well as recorded macros. Each button also has its specific designed mechanical switch with individually adjusted pressure force.

 

There's also a sleek-looking LED indicator which is housed under the notch over the thumb buttons, which will tell you which profile and DPI step is active. These LEDs can be configured to be on or off in order to match up with your other computer equipment.

Continue reading 'Func release an ergonomic gaming mouse, the Func MS-3' (full post)

Want to know more about drones? PBS' NOVA premiering documentary 'Rise of the Drones'

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Drones | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 2:31 am

Drones have taken center stage on most news outlets and discussions. But much remains unknown about drones, so PBS would like to dispel some of the myths and get the truth out about drones. PBS' NOVA is working on premiering a documentary called "Rise of the Drones."

 

 

"We've entered an era where we're conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war," Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. "When you're conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you're conducting an equivalent of at least an 'Air War' campaign. But we don't call it that now."

 

If you're interested in learning more about drones, including seeing an interview with the "father" of the Predator drone, you can tune into PBS Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET.

Continue reading 'Want to know more about drones? PBS' NOVA premiering documentary 'Rise of the Drones'' (full post)

Intel ES chip shows up on Ebay, seller claims Ivy Bridge E/EP or Haswell EP

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 2:05 am

A CPU has popped up on Ebay that the seller claims is either Ivy Bridge EP or Haswell EP. The seller says that it fits in his LGA 2011 motherboard, though the system does not boot up. Ivy Bridge EP is said to be a drop-in upgrade to LGA 2011 motherboards, though they will need an update for the BIOS before it will work.

 

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From the post:

A Brand NEW Chip.

Says Q1DF in Qspec Code on the CPU cap.

 

Got this chip by chance, and I know It is either of Haswell-EP chip or Ivy Bridge-EP.

No further info is known unfortunately.

 

It fits to my LGA2011 socket very well but never boots up.

No power signal on the board.

 

The price is currently at $202.50 with $15 for shipping. Technically, this chip is property of Intel and they probably won't be happy with it being sold. That said, if you think you can get the chip to boot up on your system, you can find the auction on Ebay.

Intel looking to leave the desktop motherboard business within 3 years

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 1:33 am

Big news out of Intel today. They are looking to end their desktop motherboard business over the next 3 years. Intel will continue to provide chipsets for third-party manufacturers, but will no longer be producing desktop motherboards. This announcement isn't too surprising, though it was a bit unexpected.

 

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The Intel staff will go to different projects, such as developing the NUC boards and reference boards. Reference boards are often the basis of many third-party designs. Intel plans to stop developing desktop motherboards after the Haswell launch, though all Intel boards will still carry a full warranty and will continue to be supported by Intel.

 

The socketed CPU design will continue to be available past Broadwell in 2014, though the cadence of release is said to be slower than what we are currently used to. Third-party motherboards should continue to be the high-quality specimens that most of us have come to love.

RumorTT: NVIDIA readying GK110-based GeForce Titan card, would retail for $899

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 1:02 am

A new rumor is saying that NVIDIA is readying a GK110-based GeForce Titan card to go toe-to-toe with the upcoming AMD HD 8000 series of GPUs. The new card would consist of a single GPU die and would have performance between the current GTX 680 and GTX 690, which is two GTX 680 dies on one card.

 

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The move is likely to steal some thunder from AMD, who will try to take the performance crown back from NVIDIA. Several sources have said the card will materialize late next month with a price tag of $899. The name comes from the Titan supercomputer, which features 18,688 nodes utilizing NVIDIA's Tesla K20X GPU.

 

The GK110 die powers NVIDIA's enterprise Tesla video cards. The final die configuration will feature 2688 CUDA cores, an impressive number and over 1000 more than the GTX 680. Of course, this is all a rumor, though a lot of it does make sense. The card is likely utilizing chips that weren't quite up to par with the other Tesla chips as these cards have one SMX unit disabled.

South Park Studios not happy with THQ auctioning off rights to 'South Park: The Stick of Truth' game

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 12:29 am

At least one company isn't happy with THQ auctioning off their assets as part of the bankruptcy process. Specifically, South Park Studios is unhappy that THQ is attempting to sell its rights to the South Park: The Stick of Truth game that is currently in production by Obsidian.

 

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South Park Studios asserts that THQ doesn't have the right to sell the contract off. THQ would be required to first pay the $2.3 million it currently owes South Park Studios. South Park Studios is also required to sign off on any transfer of the contract and the purchasing company is required to abide by the contract.

 

THQ, of course, denies what South Park Studios is claiming. THQ also says they do not owe $2.3 million to South Park Studios, though are investigating if they owe any debts. If they do, they plan to pay them accordingly. THQ also plans to find a buyer who would see the game through to the end.

 

There will be plenty more news from the THQ bankruptcy and we will be sure to keep on top of it.

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