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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 292

Vision Tek could be filing for Bankruptcy

By: Array

Ah the ugly rumor mill is at it again, last year it was that Foxconn would be leaving the channel business as part of an agreement to buy Pegatron (Megatron's little sister). However, this turned out not to be the case.


I hope that the new rumor I am hearing is the same. According to the word on the "Net" VisionTek is heading for bankruptcy. If the rumors are true this would mean that another player in the graphics market would go down.


Back in 2002 the same rumor was floating around but was quickly denied by the company. We can only hope that we hear some good news very soon and that this is just another rumor.


Vision Tek could be filing for Bankruptcy


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Pirate Bay making friend with RIAA and MPAA

By: Array

Ah those clever taunters over at The Pirate Bay may have all their fun taken away by the new corporate "suit".


The Pirate Bay usually greats the RIAA and MPAA with scorn, disdain and more than a little ridicule and humor. However, all that is going to change.


In a very stomach churning statement by newcomer Wayne Rosso we hear that the new man in charge has "gotten friendly with a lot of these guys,". This is a 180 degree turn around from the belligerent behavior of the past.


Of course this is a direction the Pirate Bay will have to take if they really want to go legitimate.


The Pirate Bay is in the works of being bought out by Global Gaming Factory. The potential new owners see money and advantage in the power of the bittorrent networking structure. They want to move away from copyright violating content and move to more honest wares.


In the future TPB will offer paid subscriptions to users with each users subscription discounted based on the amount of computer power they contribute to the community. This discount can extend all the way to 100% theoretically.


Pirate Bay making friend with RIAA and MPAA


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Horrible PR stunts can be fun

By: Array

No one likes a laugh more than I do, (insert long Monty Python skit here). I really did have a clever intro, but in the end what one person thinks is clever ends up being just plain stupid.


However, one person's stupidity is usually great humor for the rest of us.


The UK flavor of GameSpy has a great read posted that I could not resist sharing with everyone. They took the time to cover the best PR Blunders in the world of gaming. I suppose that in some way this could have been inspired by the recent announcement of the inclusion of a pair of working night vision goggles in Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition. After all when presented with an example of how to do something right I imagine that you think about how not to do something.


Take a break and give these a read. I think my favorite is still the beheaded goat by Sony.


Horrible PR stunts can be fun


Have a good laugh here.


Continue reading 'Horrible PR stunts can be fun' (full post)

Microsoft to open retail stores this fall

By: Array

Ah the days of hanging in the Mall, with nothing to do but get free refills at the food court. Just you and your friend Brodie...Um wait no that was a movie. Ok never mind.


No matter the Mall will not be the same as now there will be opposing boutique stores. Microsoft has announced that they will open their answer to the Apple store starting this fall.


The announcement was made at the Worldwide Partner Conference (seems like a lot of interesting things are happening there) by Kevin Turner Microsoft Chief Operating Officer.


Tuner said that some stores would open this fall with more to open in 2010. Tuner is a former Wall Mart Exec and has more than a few years of retail experience under his belt.


Turner even made the statment "And stay tuned, because we're going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall," he said. "Stay tuned, just stay tuned."


Them's fightin words I think


Microsoft to open retail stores this fall


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Apple May have asked Microsoft to stop ads

By: Array

While checking the news tonight I found something both interesting and highly entertaining.


Despite running a very dirty and misleading ad campaign against Microsoft and the PC in general Apple may have quietly asked for the Laptop Hunters ads to be discontinued.


According to Ars Technia, Kevin Turner told the Wolrdwide Partner Conference that Apple's Lawyers called him and stated that Microsoft needed to stop running the Laptop Hunter Ads because Apple had reduced prices on the Mac Books.


Now bear in mind that this is coming from an MSFT exec at a "pep-rally" but if this is true it is one of the funnier stories I have heard.


I do think that the ad campaign has Apple a tad worried as their recent commercials are leaning pretty far over the credibility line as it is. Add to that the success of the netbook and nettop and things can get worrisome.


Apple May have asked Microsoft to stop ads


More information here.


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Misleading ScriptLogic Survey used to spread FUD

By: Array

In a surprising case of Anti-Microsoft FUD there are reports on a survey conducted by ScriptLogic that people are using to claim 60% of businesses will not be upgrading to Windows 7.


The Survey is interesting. Here are some of the facts behind it. ScriptLogic sent out 20,650 questionnaires. Out of this 20,650 they received 1,100 back. This represents about 5.3% of the sampling.


Out of this 5.3% 59.3% said they had no plans to migrate to Windows 7. Now this is a misleading result as the question was:
"Which below represents the most accurate statement about your plans to deploy Windows 7?"


Possible responses were:
We have no plans to deploy Windows 7
We will likely deploy Windows 7 by the end of 2010
We plan on deploying Windows 7 by the end of 2009
We have already deployed Windows 7


Looking at the responses, if you are undecided you get lumped into the "We have no Plans" category and are part of an inaccurate data sampling.


A portion of the 59% may change their minds in the next month, we cannot know. As such this survey gives a misleading impression that a majority do not want to move to the new OS.


The very next question asked what was the biggest barrier to deploying Windows 7 with 42.7% saying Time and Resources, while 39.1% said application compatibility.


Now I am sure you would think these are very telling, but if you asked the same question about ANY upgrade you would get the same answers. This is where the survey fails. To make it valid they would need to ask if the companies in question have any planned upgrades and what are the reasons for/ for not doing them. If they correspond to the same reasons for not upgrading to Windows 7 it is likely that the cause is not the OS but maybe the fact that many companies are on spending holds. In thin economic times it is usually the IT budget that is the first thing to get cut. This could account for more than a few companies not upgrading anything at all in the next few years.


In the final analysis, the ScriptLogic Survey is misleading to say the least and is being used by many websites to show a lack of desire to use Windows 7 in the business community. It is further being spun to show a lack of confidence in MS products in general. Yet these articles often fail to point out that 39.4% plan on upgrading to Windows 7 within the next two years and that pre-sales of Windows 7 were sold out in many areas the same day they were made available.


Misleading ScriptLogic Survey used to spread FUD


Check out the survey here


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Schmidt to talk to Apple board about his role

By: Array

After the announcement of Chrome the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) began looking even harder at the relationship between Apple and Google.


As it stands it is possible that Google and Apple are in violation of Section 8 of the Sherman Anti Trust Act. This section covers shared directors and notes that it any companies that shares directors and have competing products that account for more than 2% or their revenue will be in violation of this section.


Apple and Google compete on many levels but most people do not realize it. They compete in the internet media market (YouTube and iTunes) the Phone OS market, the browser market and now the OS market.


This has sparked new concerns and has even opened up an investigation into whether or not they are in violation of Section 5 for unfair marketing practices.


Today Eric Schmidt has announced that he plans on talking to Apple's board about his role. This is a very timely announcement indeed because if Schmidt leaves the investigation gets dropped and no one gets in trouble.


There is a slight chance that the Section 5 investigation would continue but that is very doubtful.


Schmidt to talk to Apple board about his role


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CA Apologizes for false positives

By: Array

First it was Norton now CA is having issues where their latest AV profiles are targeting Windows system files as malicious code.


It is simply not a good thing when your Anti-Virus starts listing off system files and says they are quarantined. It can really ruin your day.


According to posts at CA's Forum many people were receiving these false positives and causing systems to crash.


File infection: C:\WINDOWS\system32\net.exe is Win32/AMalum.ZZNPB infection. Quarantined


CA users we certainly upset and were told that a fix was on its way when they contacted technical support. Unfortunately the "fix seemed to make things worse.


CA has posted an official statement apologizing for the incident and says that they are working to fix the issue caused by an errant file.


CA Apologizes for false positives


CA's statement can be found here


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Foxconn: "We're not quitting the channel business"

By: Array

During our visit to the Foxconn headquarters in Taipei today, besides looking at new products which the Taiwanese company has been busy developing in recent times, we had to ask a couple hard hitting questions.


We spoke with Andrew D. Ouyang and Sidney Tsai from the channel sales team - that's the folk who are responsible for marketing and selling its range of retail motherboards and othe products.


We asked Foxconn about the rumors floating around that Foxconn is going to quit the channel business of Foxconn branded and marketed products - and the question wasn't met with surprise. The answer we got that was that Foxconn are not quitting the channel business and that "we're still here", from Sidney Tsai.


Foxconn: 'We're not quitting the channel business!'


And indeed they are still here - we had troubles believing the rumors when they first started a couple months ago or so. If Foxconn was quitting the channel business, why would they still be developing and selling new motherboards? Wouldn't they just fire all of their sales, marketing, product managers, engineers and so on, and be done with it?


The Foxconn channel sales group is purely focusing more on sales than marketing at this stage. More effort is being placed into direct sales, and as a result, it might appear as if Foxconn is going under from the outside. Foxconn had a surprisingly small presence at the large Computex Taipei trade show and according to Andrew and Sidney from Foxconn, it was because the head honchos decided to cut down on expenses and only personally invite its customers (distributors) to its private suite at the Grand Hyatt for a more targeted showing, while also keeping some of its upcoming technologies under its belt.


The channel sales group are also in the process of moving from their current office in Tucheng City to Nei Hu City in the next couple of weeks. And yes folks, they will keep making new products there. How about we rest these rumours?


Continue reading 'Foxconn: "We're not quitting the channel business"' (full post)

Legal Blu-ray Copying Gets Green Light

By: Array

Those seeking to make hi-def backups of their Blu-ray videos will have to wait a little while longer, but the option is in fact coming.


Last week the final specification for the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) for Blu-Ray was released, bringing provisions for making legal copies of Blu-ray content. While many have been waiting for the spec to be finalized, they are going to have to wait a little longer for the hardware that supports it.


Legal Blu-ray Copying Gets Green Light


In order for everything to work, three pieces of the puzzle need to fall into place. First is that the AACS center needs to get their authorization severs fully functional. Every copy that is made will have to receive authorization, making sure that only one copy of each individual Blu-ray is permitted.


Second, you will need the software to make this happen. Expect the big names like Ahead and Roxio to be on top of this ASAP and either make it available as a free update or include it with their next version of their software.


Finally you will need a BD play that supports Managed Copy. These aren't expected until mid-2010 and Managed-Copy enable hardware is not something the hardware industry will be forced to incorporate. It is optional for them to include the feature so expect some manufacturers to ignore it completely while others will more than likely only enable it on higher end hardware.


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