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Yahoo has been on an acquisition binge as of late. The latest company that Yahoo has acquired is the start-up Qwiki. Qwiki is an app that takes a user's pictures, music, and videos and turns them into short videos, hence the name Qwiki. The purchase price has not been disclosed, though it's rumored to have been around $50 million.
Yahoo has gained a reputation as a company that often kills a start-up after acquiring it. However, this doesn't seem to be the case for Qwiki. Yahoo has said in a blog post that the team will join Yahoo in its New York offices. "We will continue to support the Qwiki app, and the team will join Yahoo in our New York city office to reimagine Yahoo's storytelling experience."
Apple to build a solar farm to power their Nevada-based data center as well as the surrounding community
Apple will be working with NV Energy, a Nevada-based utility company, where they'll build a solar array together. The new solar array will be built next to Apple's Reno, Nevada-based data center, and will power the data center once it's complete, as well as the surrounding community. Apple said in a statement:
All of Apple's data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels. This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137 acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.
The new facility will create around 1,000 jobs in and around Washoe Country, as well as "result in, over a 10-year period, a total of $24.1 million in direct and indirect revenues in Nevada" according to a survey by Applied Economics for the State of Nevada. Apple's goal is to eventually have all of their facilities powered by 100% renewable energy, and at this rate, they'll get there in no time.
There are not many companies in Silicon Valley that would take advice from former Apple CEO John Scully. After all, he was responsible for almost killing what is now one of the largest companies in the world. The lack of people listening is not stopping him from offering up advice.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the former CEO said that BlackBerry is at the point where it can still turn around, but it must stop building hardware. Sculley said that BlackBerry can "come back if they drop hardware and focus on secure messaging," although he also cautioned that "the clock is running out" on the company.
At this point, I'm not sure if anything can save BlackBerry. Instead of taking the proven road and developing a smartphone around Android and incorporating their corporate and messaging features, the decision to go it alone and create their own operating system most likely will be their downfall.
Google has been battling the Authors Guild in a class-action lawsuit that was filed by the Guild when they sued Google to stop scanning world libraries way back in 2005. The battle has been hard-fought with a judge in 2011 allowing every registered author in America to sue Google as a collective whole, a decision which Google quickly filed an appeal to.
A new ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned that decision and ordered the presiding judge Denny Chin to directly rule on whether Google's book scanning activities are considered fair use under the law or in violation of copyright law.
The process to determine whether the activities are fair use consists of a four-part test that will look at issues like the purpose of the scanning and how it directly and indirectly affects market sales. Google has already scanned more than 20 million books and asserts that doing this helps bring forgotten and hard-to-find books to the general public.
Intel has a strange age-related by-law, that requires all corporate officers to be aged 65 or under. This has forced Intel's Chief Technology Officer, Justin Rattner, out of his position as he is now 65 years old.
Rattner joined the company in 1973, becoming Intel's first Principal Engineer in 1979, the fourth Intel Fellow in 1988 and one of the first Intel Senior Fellows in 2001. He has participated in more Intel keynotes than any other Intel presenter, and has four important patents with his name stamped to them: a data processing system; a hardware scheduler/dispatcher for said data processing system; an interprocessor communication system, and a programmable I/O sequencer for use in an I/O processor.
Rattner will step down from his position with Intel Labs, and report to Intel's President, Renée James, in the meantime. It has worked out well, as his departure is straight away, with Intel stating that a "pressing family matter" has happened, and he needs to take an unspecified amount of personal leave from Intel. Upon his return, he will be an a non-officer role.
The Press Trust of India reports from industry sources that Samsung is set to invest more than $84 million in India in order to boost their mobile production capacity.
The Next Web talked to a Samsung spokesperson who said that the South Korean company are looking to strengthen their manufacturing presence in India in order "to fulfill growing needs in the market." Not only that, but it looks like the Indian government have been approached by Samsung who hope to use incentives that the Department of Electronics and IT have been dishing out.
India is a huge emerging market, and with Samsung sitting right there producing handsets, it can only be win-win for all involved.
Bloomberg are reporting that Nokia have just confirmed they're taken full control over the joint-venture they had in Nokia Siemens Network, buying out their partner Siemens for $2.2 billion.
Nokia Siemens Networks was unprofitable, with both Nokia and Siemens attempting, but failing to sell it to private investors last year. They cut 17,000 jobs (nearly 1/4 of their entire staff) and have seen earnings jump slightly. Nokia Siemens Networks posted a profit of $1.2 billion during Q1 2013, which was a nice 117% increase year-over-year.
Jumping over to the UK for this piece, where Microsoft have lost a trademark case over their branding for cloud storage service SkyDrive. The ruling, which covers both the UK and EU, stated that Microsoft infringed on British Sky Broadcasting's trademark of the Sky brand with SkyDrive.
The ruling saw that it is possible for consumers to confuse the two brands, somehow. Sky, from BSkyB, offers their satellite broadcasting service, mobile apps and streaming to customers, and previously a cloud storage product but it fell under the name of Sky Store & Share. Microsoft have of course thrown in a counterclaim to invalidate four Sky trademarks "on the grounds of descriptiveness for cloud storage services."
Samsung have done quite well for themselves over the last couple of years, fighting against the near-invincible iPhone. How does it compare to Apple in regards to phone subsidies, something Apple usually have the most control over?
Samsung are actually out and ahead, according to market research firm ABI Research and their latest report. They've said that the average implied carrier subsidy for a Samsung smartphone in the US is around 84%. What this means is that phone carriers cover 84% of the up-front costs of a Samsung phone when a consumer buys one on a contract.
The carrier then makes the money back on the two-year contract you've just signed through various fees and monthly charges. HTC see a subsidy of around 80%, with the iPhone sitting at 74%. ABI analyst, Stuart Carlaw, says: "Samsung continues to squeeze its competitors at every turn. The Samsung [Galaxy S4] is now considered on a par with Apple's iPhone 5. Coupled with better subsidy, the breadth of its device portfolio, increasingly savvy marketing, and its excellence in channel execution, it is little wonder Samsung is dominating the mobile handset market from top to bottom."
Gamers in Sweden get slapped with 'LAN party tax', costs organizers thousands for a 'permit' to hook PC's together for fun
My fondest memories as a kid growing up was growing up through the network area of connecting PC's together for some Quake, Duke Nukem, Command & Conquer and good old file sharing - but those days could be ending in Sweden, where there is now a "LAN party tax".
From now on, organizers of LAN parties will have to pay a fee of up to $5,000 so that they can receive a "permit" that will allow them to connect together PC's or gaming consoles. The ruling was made legal by the Gambling Board, who are the supervisory authority for gaming and lottery and in accordance with the liberal government's revised slot machine regulation of last year.
Now video games fall under this umbrella, and LAN gamers and organizers are only going to suffer. General Counsel at the Gaming Board, Johan Rohr, has said that "in the eyes of the law, these are slot machines." Not only will the LAN organizers be slapped with a fee for the "permit", but they could also be up for paying extra for an inspection fee if the Gambling Board decide to check the party out.
What do you think of these laws? Are they utterly ridiculous or what?!