AMD's fourth quarter financial results are in and the picture is still gloomy, but they did do better than previously expected. Revenue came in at $1.16 billion, with losses coming in at $473 million. Keep in mind that a large portion of those losses can be attributed to restructuring costs as well as the deal with Global Foundries.
Fiscal Year 2012 revenue came in at $5.4 billion, which is down 17 percent year-over-year. Operating losses came in at $1.18 billion. Losses like this effectively offset the profits that AMD had managed in 2009, 2010, and 2011. This has brought back concerns over AMD's ability to make money and turn a profit.
However, it's worth noting that AMD has been doing quite a bit of restructuring and personnel changes. 2013 could end up being a turning point for the company as we hopefully start to see results out of these new employees.
This morning AT&T announced that it has signed an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network to acquire the company's Alltel holdings for $780 million. The acquisition lands AT&T 585,000 new paying customers, some spectrum space, licenses, and all the Alltel retail locations.
In 2008 Alltel was previously scooped up by AT&T rival Verizon which was ordered to divest subscribers in 105 markets where the US government feared Verizon may grow too large. AT&T had previously secured 79 of those markets with ATNI landing just 26. Today's approval lands AT&T the full 105 markets once owned by Verizon.
AT&T gains spectrum in the 700MHz, 850MHz and 1.9GHz ranges. The big issue lies in Alltel being a GSM carrier, meaning existing customers will have to be "transitioned" to new phones working on ATT's GSM, HSPA and LTE networks. Pending a review by the FCC and Justice Department, the deal should finalize sometime later this year.
AMD has hired two new senior engineers who had previously worked for the company earlier in their careers. Wayne Meretsky was the technical lead for Mac OS at Apple before joining AMD in 1999, then left for a position at a robotics company only to return to AMD in December.
Charles Marar, also a former AMD employee, is returning as vice president of System-on-Chip Development after spending some time at Qualcomm. AMD describes the two hires as an effort to expand into new markets. These hires come on the heels of Apple's Jim Keller who joined AMD as chief architect this past August.
Rumors are floating around that both Sony and Microsoft may be using AMD chipsets in their next-generation consoles set to launch this spring. If those rumors are true, and AMD's Temash tablet processor is a hit, 2013 could prove to be a pivotal year for the company which has seen a downtrend over the past few years.
Thanks to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Al Gore, who sits on the Apple board, recently purchased 59,000 shares of Apple stock. This shouldn't be news, but the following bit will make you realise why: Gore purchased the stock at a rock bottom price of $7.48 per share.
At just $7.48 per share, Gore made a ridiculous amount of profit. The reason he was able to grab the stock at such a low price, is that he exercised his director stock options. Gore's 59,000 shares are worth a very nice $29.5 million, a nice profit as he only paid $440,000 for the stock. Gore was awarded 30,000 options when he joined the board of Apple in 2003 and at the time the stock in Apple was worth $14.95 per share.
Gore purchased 60,000 shares in Apple at the same price back in 2008, when Apple shares were worth $124 or so each. The Apple board member still has 61,574 share options available through his heavy discount options, even after this transaction has taken place.
Atari, a pioneer in the video game industry, has filed bankruptcy in the US. Unfortunately, it seems that the parent company, Atari SA, is debt-laden and this move is a way to free the company from the parent. By doing this, Atari is looking to continue as a company, just on its own.
Atari is selling off assets in the next three to four months, including its iconic logo. The company that emerges from the other side of bankruptcy is slated to be a company focused on the digital and mobile platforms. Atari has already been gearing up towards Android and iOS development since 2010.
Atari has reportedly received a debtor-in-possession investment of $5.25 million so that the company is capable of continuing to operate during the bankruptcy process. The plan is to seek a private buyer after the bankruptcy process, though that could be hard if they have sold off their iconic franchises and logo.
Google-commissioned survey shows that US P2P users buy 30 % more music, another study showing P2P users not bad
As much as the RIAA and MPAA would like to convince lawmakers and citizens that pirates and people who illegally download movies and music are harming the industry, study after study suggest quite the opposite. Take, for example, a study commissioned by Google, which shows that US P2P users buy 30 percent more music.
Google commissioned Columbia University's American Assembly research center to survey Americans on file sharing and copyright enforcement. In the survey, data suggests that Americans are generally against the use of bandwidth throttling and disconnection as punishment for illegal downloading.
The most important piece of information to come from the study is the finding that US P2P users tend to buy 30 percent more music than their non-sharing brethren. More studies are needed, however, but this study can join the pile of others that show file-sharing doesn't harm sales.
Right now 3D printing hasn't taken off into the mainstream, but over the coming years it's definitely going to be leaving a bigger footprint. A Dutch architect is looking at 3D printing a home, where he hopes it'll be constructed by 2014.
Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture is the man behind the idea, and the 3D printed home is his project which is part of the Europan competition which lets architects in over 15 different countries build projects over the course of two years. Ruijssenaars will work with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who is the founder of the D-Shape 3D printer.
The project will use 6x9 chunks of frame, which will be comprised of sand and inorganic binder. After this, they'll fill the frame with fiber-reinforced concrete. The final product looks amazing, which features a single flowing design, and will be a two-storey building.
"The Next Microsoft" was a vision by designer Andrew Kim, and received a bunch of press when it was unveiled last year. It was a minimal rebranding for the company across multiple platforms such as Windows, Surface and Office - but it worked, and it worked well.
Kim has now announced that the Redmond-based software giant has hired him after seeing his designs, countless other companies were after Kim, but Kim says that Microsoft was the most obvious choice. He also promises that he is to create his "greatest work ever" when he starts at the company in a few months time.
Kim will be working within the Xbox division, which is an interesting move considering we've been hearing about the next-generation Xbox launch in the summer. If this happens, we should - and hopefully - see a total revamp of the Xbox brand. It's been a while coming, but let's hope that Microsoft ditch the number and just call it 'Xbox'.
During the week, search and mobile OS giant Google purchased a 2.4-acre plot of land in the King's Cross Central development, where they will begin construction on a new 1 million square foot office based in the UK.
Google haven't announced just how much they invested into the land, but a source close to the deal reportedly told Reuters that the Mountain View-based company are investing around $1.04 billion into the project. By the time the construction is completed at an estimated 2016, the building is expected to increase in value, putting it at $1.6 billion worth.
Construction will begin later this year, and the building will range in height from between seven to eleven stories. Google plan to completely relocate to the complex in 2016. At the moment, Google's UK operations are based out of offices in London's Victoria district, where property prices are much higher.
I knew Sony were in trouble, but is this a sign of serious problems for the Japanese electronics giant? Sony have now announced they're selling their New York headquarters to a consortium led by The Chetrit Group.
After Sony settle their debts on the building, the $1.1 billion sale will see Sony cash in around $685 million in operating income. This will help their Q3 earnings, but it won't help the company in the long run. Rumor has it that Sony are looking to repeat the sell off in Japan, which will see another $1.14 billion enter their accounts.
Do you see this as a sign of confidence for Sony? Or as a sign of things to come? I personally think that if the PlayStation 4 isn't super successful, and by that I mean a total homerun, it'll be lights out for Sony. Maybe not right away, but in the coming 1-2 years, that's my prediction. They need something big and they need it now.
Diablo III's Game Director, Jay Wilson, has announced through the Blizzard forums that he is leaving his post. Wilson has been in this position for seven years now, and is looking to move on as he has "reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new".
Wilson will now move from the Diablo III project and onto something else within the company, so this definitely isn't hit resignation from the company. Wilson cites that he wasn't the only person working on the project and there are still many committed employees of Blizzard tweaking and working on Diablo III to continue to impress fans.
Wilson finishes his post by telling the world that patch version 1.0.7 is on its way, and that there are "many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013". He finishes his post with something personal, and witty:
You are the most passionate, dedicated group of gamers a designer could hope to have. I wish you all the best, and want to thank you for making this an amazing experience for me. Keep your axes sharp, your spell books handy, and that crafty devil in check.
Google sits on top of the Fortune 100 list, wonders where Apple is - oh wait, they're not even in the top 100
Google would be popping the Moet right now, as Fortune have released their annual list of the top 100 companies to work for, with Google taking out the top dog, number one position on the list.
This is not the first time the Mountain View-based company has taken the top spot, but their fourth time riding high on the Fortune 100 list. The explanation as to why Google is the best company to work for, is:
The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of subsidized massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.
The funny thing? Apple isn't even listed in the top 100, at all. Qualcomm takes out number 11, Intel with number 68 and Microsoft at 75. Apple? Nowhere, not in sight, at all. This. Changes. Everything. Again.
Google's Project Glass is quite an interesting project. With every new project, new challenges arise. For instance, developers will have to cope with figuring out how to enter data into the glasses without a keyboard. This is where a new patent by Google could come in handy. Pardon the pun.
Google's patent uses a laser to project a keyboard onto the user's hand, which can then be articulated by gestures. Patent 20130016070, "Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device," is the patent in question. Of course, as we warn with all patents, just because they have applied for it, it doesn't mean it will make its way into a product.
The hand can either be used as a touchscreen or the camera can recognize hand gestures, allowing input by two different methods. It would help solve the problem of input into a device that doesn't feature a physical keyboard. It would also be pretty sweet since it uses laser. We still have a good amount of time before Glass releases to the public, so it's definitely possible it will show up in the final product.
Many reports have been claiming that Instagram has been shedding users after the recent terms of service fiasco that took place about a month ago. Instagram has finally come out with its own monthly active user data to counter these reports, the first Instagram has released numbers like these.
"Instagram continues to see very strong growth around the world," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told AllThingsD. "With many of the product and internationalization improvements we've made, we've been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally."
The company says that at last count, more than 90 million people use Instagram on a monthly basis. Reportedly, that number is up 10 percent, month-on-month, from December to January. As was warned in articles that were relying on active daily users, the data is inaccurate at best, and completely wrong at worst.
It's good to see Instagram finally coming out with the industry standard metric of monthly active users.
Larry Page, in an interview with Wired, has blasted Facebook for doing a "really bad job" with their products. This topic of conversation came up when Larry Page was asked about Google's motivations for competing with Facebook for social networking.
"They're a company that's strong in that space," he said. "But they're also doing a really bad job on their products." Not much more was said on the topic about which products were especially bad, but this is one of the most direct criticisms leveled by Page against Facebook.
He went on to note how Facebook doesn't need to fail for Google+ to be a success: "We're actually doing something different," Page said. "I think it's outrageous to say that there's only space for one company in these areas." He added: "A lot of it has been copied by our competitors, so I think we're doing a good job."
Sprint users who have access to LTE phones often don't have access to any LTE coverage. I, for one, was one of those left out in the dark ages by Sprint, even though I have the latest LTE iPhone 5. While in Vegas for CES 2013, I was amazed that LTE hadn't hit that market yet, as CES would seem to be a perfect time to light it up.
However, Sprint is far behind AT&T and Verizon in terms of LTE coverage, so they are rapidly moving to implement LTE across the country and have pledged to cover their entire 3G footprint with LTE by the end of the year. 28 more cities have been added to the list of cities getting 4G in the coming months.
These markets include: Paris, Texas; Decatur, Ala.; Winona, Minn.; Homosassa Springs, Fla.; and Glasgow, Ky. While one would expect Sprint to cover the major cities and markets first, in no way is this bad news. This is progress, though they need to make it at a much quicker rate to keep their pledge.
Larry Page, during a recent interview with Wired, brought up Steve Job's comment about waging thermonuclear war on Android. His response was a simple, yet effective one: "How well is that working?" If you use stock price to judge how well its working, then the answer is also simple: not well.
The interview then transitioned towards self-driving cars and Google X, known for projects such as the Google Self-Driving car and Project Glass:
You know, we always have these debates: We have all this money, we have all these people, why aren't we doing more stuff? You may say that Apple only does a very, very small number of things, and that's working pretty well for them. But I find that unsatisfying. I feel like there are all these opportunities in the world to use technology to make people's lives better. At Google we're attacking maybe 0.1 percent of that space. And all the tech companies combined are only at like 1 percent. That means there's 99 percent virgin territory. Investors always worry, "Oh, you guys are going to spend too much money on these crazy things." But those are now the things they're most excited about-YouTube, Chrome, Android. If you're not doing some things that are crazy, then you're doing the wrong things.
It seems as though Google isn't too worried about the future.
LG have some grand plans for 2013, and by grand, we mean really grand - the South Korean company are expecting to have a ten-fold increase in sales according to The Korea Times.
The Korea Times' report also says that LG are looking to sell roughly 75 million handsets this year, with 45 million of those being smartphones. LG also talks about jumping into the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon, with a senior executive from one of LG's partners telling The Korea Times:
We will release quite a number of new Optimus devices this year, and LG also has some new smartphones in the works that will run Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.
The executive adds that this year "won't be as bullish for LG as last year" and that the Nexus 4 and Optimus G have helped the South Korean company make great impressions with major carriers. These two smartphones have shown not only the carriers, but consumers that LG are more than capable of releasing some of the best built, and outright best smartphones on the market right now.
I've just moved house and I'm stuck with piddly 4Mbit ADSL, which isn't too bad, but nothing quite like Google's Fiber service that has rolled into Kansas City.
The Associated Press is reporting that thanks to Google's Fiber service, it has turned Kansas City into a huge attraction for tech startups who want to jump onto the fastest Internet access in the US. The AP has reported that several startups have popped up in Kansas City, "working on their ideas for the next high-tech startup".
The AP cites one startup residence, which has been called the "Home for Hackers" that provides entrepreneurs "a deal that allows them to live rent-free for up to three months "while they develop their business plans". The Home for Hackers has three spots specifically reserved for entrepreneurs and an additional bedroom set up for "fiber tourists who want a place for a day or two where they can download anything faster than they could elsewhere."
AMD is on the offensive claiming that ex-employees have provided NVIDIA with stolen documents containing some of AMD's most sensitive trade secrets. NVIDIA hired away former AMD executive Robert Feldstein, a person that was instrumental in getting AMD's graphics chips into the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii.
"The volume of materials that these three defendants collectively transferred to storage devices, each of which is unaccounted for, as they left to work for AMD's competitor, exceeds 100,000 electronic files," AMD claims.
Not only is AMD accusing these ex-employees of stealing sensitive documents, AMD says that the former VP violated a "no-solicitation of employees" promise when he worked on bringing over other AMD employees to NVIDIA. We're likely to see a court battle where more evidence and details will come out.
Things looking up for Facebook as Bank of America raises price target to $35 thanks to 'innovation' with Graph Search
With the "innovation" of Graph Search, some investors are seeing a brighter future ahead for Facebook. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has revised their target price for Facebook stock, increasing it to $35 from $31. Justin Post, an analyst for the bank, says Graph Search was "an example of Facebook's ongoing innovation to increase engagement and potential to add revenues to the platform."
Facebook's stock is actually trading down by about 0.8 percent, at the time of writing, which could be investors having some uncertainty about the Graph Search product that was introduced yesterday. Investors are likely not happy that Facebook unveiled something that couldn't be monetized immediately.
Bank of America continues to suggest buying the stock.