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Well, it's finally settled. Rambus was dealt with a pretty big defeat on Wednesday, as a San Francisco jury rejected its claim in a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor. The IP licensing company lost more than 60-percent of its market value following the ruling, where investors' fear that the company won't be able to sustain its business model.
If you didn't know, the case revolved around allegations that Micron, Hynix and others had engaged in price-fixing to keep Rambus' RDRAM memory technology from gaining widespread adoption. If you remember, Intel used RDRAM with the Pentium III and 820 chipset, as well as the Pentium 4 and 850 chipset. If you remember that, you'll also remember how it was quite expensive at the time and DDR ram was just too much of a bully for RDRAM to take off.
The Australian retail market has always been a funny thing, something available online for say $19.99 (like the t-shirt I'm wearing) is $49.99 here in stores, if not more. It's ridiculous and it seems that even a powerhouse retailer like JB Hi-Fi is feeling that pinch.
Today they very quietly launched an online-only direct sales model, at first just selling DSLR cameras and accessories. These prices won't be offered in-store, with only the online store the only way to take advantage of the super-cheap pricing. The store is dubbed "direct import" and offers DSLR camera, lenses, flashes and grips. Funnily enough, it's undercutting its own bricks and mortar JB Hi-Fi stores in the process.
Now, if I had to fly somewhere in the world to do a story, it would be Google X. Most large enterprises like Google have something similar, Apple has reportedly had their room where Steve Jobs would tinker with unreleased, or fantasy products, but Google X... wow.
Only a handful of people even know where this secret facility is located, and even less is known about the lab itself, or the people involved. Google will no doubt be working on some super secret and mind-blowing creations and concepts behind its closed, air-locked, arm-guarded doors. The New York Times reports that when Google employees were asked about the project, very few knew anything at all about it.
On Thursday last week, a US judge ruled that Twitter must release the details of Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jonsdottir's Twitter account and those of two other Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks.
Jonsdottir learned that in January of 2011, her Twitter account was being watched by the Justice Department because of her involvement last year with WikiLeaks' release of a view showing a US military helicopter shooting two Reuters reporters in Iraq. Jonsdottir believes the US authorities want to use her information to try and build a solid case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Foxconn have gone through their share of troubles over the years, with 17 employees having committed suicide over the past five years. Foxconn have recently announced they are building a $223 million "robot kingdom" in the Central Taiwan Science Park in the Taiwanese City of Taichung.
The research and development center and manufacturing hub is part of chairman Terry Gou's ambitious plan to build one million robots. Yes, build. One. Million. Robots. Last I heard Foxconn weren't called Skynet, so this is a pretty huge development. According to a September report by the International Federation of Robotics (FDR), the world is on track to reach 1.3 million operating industrial robots by 2014.
British research firm Ovum has forecasted that digital game revenues worldwide are sit to break $24 billion for 2011, an increase of 16-percent from 2010. Ovum predict that overall revenues will continue to climb, reaching $53 billion in 2016 as more casual, social and mobile games flood the market, as well as the increasing popularity of the free-to-play (F2P) business model.
Telecommunications companies are going to have to play catch-up with bandwidth demands set to skyrocket with the increasing use of constant connections and data streaming with services such as OnLive. Games will only get bigger as time goes on, which is another factor.
Ovum has noted certain trends that contribute to their forecast such as the "casualization" of hardcore games. Their example uses Kinect, which they feel helped make games such as Forza 4 more accessible to casual games and helped Xbox Live revenues grow 19-percent from last year. Ovum also credits casual games for fueling the growth of mobile games, and they expect mobile gaming revenues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26-percent between 2011 and 2016.
NVIDIA reported their quarterly earnings on Thursday which were ahead of what analysts were expecting. NVIDIA earned $178.3 million, or 29 cents per share, on revenue of $1.07 billion for the three months ending October 30.
NVIDIA were expected to post earnings of around 26 cents per share, with revenues of $1.06 billion, according to First Call. For the current quarter, green-team NVIDIA said it sees its revenue staying roughly flat from the current quarter, give or take a percentage or two. Gross margins are expected to be steady or up half a percent.
CEO and can-of-whoop-ass-tattoo-armed Jen-Hsun Huang said in a statement:
NVIDIA's strategy is coming into its own, as the world becomes increasingly visual and mobile. Our GPU business accelerated in the third quarter, driven by strong demand from gamers and the professional market. And our mobile business benefited from new devices coming onto the market.
Apple are now required to provide Samsung with contracts to Australian mobile phone carriers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone as ruled by Judge Annabel Bennet. The ruling is in relation to an assertion in Samsung's patent lawsuit against Apple carriers are obliged by the terms of the contract to subsidize iPhone sales.
Samsung are still waiting for the source code for the iPhone 4S firmware, which will support its case that Apple are infringing on their patents for wireless transmissions. Apple has handed in over 220 pages of documents in relation to the source code but Samsung have said that the source code disclosure wasn't enough because a single file was missing.
I wonder if you look under the latest Jet, Rocket Launcher or M16 if it would say "Made in China", because at the end of the day - a lot of the parts that go into the high-end military arms are built in China. A story has come about that the US Senate Armed Services Committee said its researchers had uncovered 1,800 cases in which the Pentagon had been sold electronics that may be counterfeit.
In total, the committee has said that they found more than a million fake parts that have made their way into warplanes such as the Boeing C-17 transport jet and the Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super Hercules." The problem with this is, it could be everywhere without the US military knowing, as they also found fake components in Boeing's CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter as well as the Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system.
And so begins the problems for Nikon, again. After having issues at the beginning of the year with the Japanese tsunami, Nikon have been hit again with the Thailand floods. Nikon (Thailand) Co., Ltd., have released a new statement regarding their manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya Province located in Central Thailand.
Nikon state that damages to the first floor of all buildings continues to be submerged. Operations at the factory have been suspended since October 6th with no human "damage" reported. Water levels have reportedly lowered by roughly 40 centimeters from the highest period at measuring points in the Park.
Business-wise, Nikon expect it to hit them quite hard with their estimates of financial damage sitting at 65 billion yen ($830 million) in sales, and 25 billion yen ($320 million) in income. Nikon also deeply apologize for any inconveniences caused by the disaster, and short supply of their products.