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BlackBerry's long and tumultuous journey appears to finally be over after the company announced that it will be taken private by Fairfax Financial Holdings. The announcement was just made and the deal is said to be valued at $4.7 billion.
BlackBerry will agree to pay shareholders nine dollars per share in cash, which is actually more than it is currently trading at. The consortium being led by Fairfax Financial will complete due diligence on BlackBerry's books until November 4, during which time BlackBerry can entertain and accept other offers if it chooses to.
Fairfax Financial is said to be seeking financial backing to complete the buyout from Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and BMO Capital Markets. BlackBerry's decision to go this route was the direct result of a recommendation made by a special committee appointed by its board to seek alternate sales options. Unfortunately, this announcement comes too late to save the jobs of over 4500 employees that the company plans to lay off before the end of the year.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who is responsible for introducing millions, if not billions, of people to video gaming, has passed away today at 85 years of age. Yamauchi headed up Nintendo for more than 50 years and was responsible for transitioning the company from playing cards to a videogame powerhouse.
Yamauchi served as Nintendo's president from 1949 to 2002 and was responsible for many of the games we grew up loving, including Super Mario, Pokémon, and Donkey Kong. He also owned the Seattle Mariners baseball team for a brief period before he sold it to Nintendo USA back in 2004.
Yamauchi was regarded as one of the richest men in Japan and seen as a visionary by much of the country. Even though he was a dropout of the prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo, he proved that anyone could become a leader in their field. Yamauchi passed away Thursday of pneumonia at a hospital located in central Japan. He is survived by Katsuhito Yamauchi, his eldest son, and will be laid to rest on Sunday following a funeral being held at Nintendo.
We're following a breaking story this morning coming out of Wuxi, China, where two DRAM production facilities owned by SK Hynix Semiconductor were destroyed in what is being described as a massive chemical explosion. Hynix is the world's number two maker of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) and, as of the second quarter of this year, had a 30 percent market share.
The fires began around 0750 GMT during a routine install of equipment and quickly spread to other production facilities. While the fire damage was contained within two hours, massive smoke damage throughout both facilities caused the most damage. Manufacturing of silicon at today's nanometer scale is a highly precise science that requires impeccably clean and dust free environments. One can imagine the type of irreversible damage that can be done to a clean-room facility when trillions of smoke particles enter the atmosphere.
With one third of the world's DRAM production suspended, consumers can expect increases in all products that utilize any form of flash memory. The facilities reportedly also manufactured all of the DRAM used in Apple products, as well as a significant portion of the GDDR5 memory used by AMD and NVIDIA in their graphics processing units. With this revelation, this could mean that production of next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony could be affected negatively.
This is a huge rumor right now, so please do read with caution. Citing "impeccable sources" from within Intel who have talked with TechEye, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is set to fire Intel's entire public relations team ahead of Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in hopes of turning the company's public image around.
TechEye's source said: "Tightening up the budget is the motto on the marketing side. The old timers are all gone and we are on track to get back our mojo on mobile. The head of PR will be changed, and then it will 'waterfall'. Brian wants 'open books'." He also said that Intel "isn't the same, anymore" and that Intel has learned that it can get its "ass kicked" by AMD and ARM.
This will be some interesting news, we've reached out to our people at Intel and will edit the story once we get some words on it.
New sources are stating that Edward Snowden has been granted temporary Asylum in Russia for the period of one year. Just a few minutes ago, Snowden's lawyer and the Russian Federal Migration service confirmed that the NSA Whistleblower's request has been approved and that he has left the airport.
Having this request granted means that Snowden can not be handed over to the US by force, but he could be transported there only if he agrees to go voluntarily and by his own free will. Reports say that he departed the airport around 11:30 GMT, which was actually about 30 minutes before his refugee status was official.
"He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority," the attorney explained. "He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer, I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone," he added.
A UK court has ruled that Microsoft's SkyDrive name has in fact infringed on a trademark owned by British media conglomerate British Sky Broadcasting Group. As a result, Microsoft has agreed to change the name of SkyDrive worldwide. Microsoft has said that it will not appeal the ruling and BSkyB has agreed to allow the Redmond-based company to continue using the name until it can come up with a suitable replacement.
SkyDrive is Microsoft's cloud based service similar to Google Drive. It allows professionals, students, and everyday people to upload their Office 365 documents as well as any other files into the cloud for easy access anywhere, anytime. No word has been released yet on what the possible replacement name will be, or when it will be replaced. What do you think a good replacement name would be? Let me know in the comments!
News has just come in that Edward Snowden has accepted a Venezuelan asylum offer. This morning, CNN is confirming that Snowden will be headed to Venezuela after weeks of asylum request rejections.
Snowden is the whistleblower who blew the top off of the NSA's PRISM operative. On Sunday, June 23, 2013, Snowden landed in one of Moscow's international airports and applied for asylum in Russia, which was denied by Russian president Puten. Snowden was detained at the airport and he proceeded to apply for asylum to several countries including Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
Stay tuned to TweakTown for all the latest up-to-the-minute coverage on the Snowden saga. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
This morning, a Google employee just might have leaked info on a possible Android 4.3 launch as soon as tomorrow. Jean-Baptiste Queru posted on his Twitter page that "The future will be better tomorrow" and and a commentator asked if this will be "around 4.30 time" to which he replied "4:30pm is always a great time."
Android 4.3's launch is imminent, that much we know. What is unknown is what day, what time, and how Google will choose to launch it. The 4.3 update will not be a very visual-based update but it will fix several bugs as well as add a few features that most users will never notice. It is, however, a step closer to Android 5.0 which is widely rumored to be a complete OS refresh and will implement many new game-changing features.
Hey folks! We're excited to announce that our very first TweakTown live blog will be starting shortly. We have been hard at working creating a live blog system and section to dynamically display new text and images to you as it happens. We really like the design and the fact that you don't need to refresh the page for updates, they come straight to you as we post them.
Our first live blog is of none other than Google's I/O 2013 keynote. Get ready for all the action brought to you live over at this page. It's due to start soon, get ready for it now.
As this is our first live blog, there may be a few teething issues here and there. If you notice anything wrong, we encourage you to reach out and contact us!
Someone has seemingly gotten their hands on the elusive AMD Radeon HD 7990 dual-GPU video card that AMD is readying for launch. Codenamed "Malta," this GPU features two of AMD's 7970 GPU cores on a single board paired with 6GB of vRAM. The card was first unveiled at the Game Developers Conference alongside Battlefield 4.
We're pretty sure that the auction will end up getting pulled from Ebay, but that shouldn't stop you from bidding on the item. We know that the 7990 does exist, so this card shouldn't be a fake. The card takes two 8-pin PCIe power connectors for a total of 375W TDP.
There are still four days left on the auction, but we doubt it will still be up by the end of the day. If it does end up selling, we'll be sure to report on the final selling price. It's currently at $510, at the time of writing, with 17 bids having been placed. Shipping will set you back an additional $50, but it is one-day shipping.