TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Amazon have reportedly acquired True Knowledge, a company behind a Siri-like voice assistant Evi. True Knowledge are "a British startup with a natural langage search engine developed in university labs" according to unnamed sources, reports TechCrunch.
TechCrunch haven't received confirmation on this just yet, which is why we've stamped it with a RumorTT tag. But, according to TC, Amazon have paid around $26 million to acquire the app, so if this does end up being confirmed, we could see future Kindle products feature a Siri-like voice assistant.
As part of the terms of sale for the Google Glass Explorer Edition, users are prevented from reselling, loaning, transferring, or giving them away. Users who break this rule could see their Glass deactivated and neither person would be entitled to a refund, support, or warranty. Ouch.
You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google's authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.
This is somewhat understandable. This is essentially a pre-release product that Google is allowing people to have and use. However, it's not clear if Google can legally deactivate a user's hardware because he sold it. While it's true that the purchaser agreed to the terms, it seems a bit overbearing and something where the government might step in to protect consumers.
We still don't know when Google will be releasing a finalized version Google Glass for public purchase and consumption.
CEO of Aereo, Chet Kanojia, has responded to the threats issued by CBS and FOX over Aereo not being shut down. CBS and FOX have threatened to move to a subscription platform, such as cable, if they are not successful in their lawsuit to stop the antenna-renting Aereo.
"They're independent businesses, they can choose to do what they wish to," Kanojia said. "Can you disenfranchise over 54 million people over what they can rightfully do today?"
Broadcast TV networks have become major players in the TV game mostly due to their wide--and free--availability. Their wide audiences have also brought in massive amounts in advertising dollars, something they'll be hard-pressed to want to give up. Kanojia believes that this will ultimately result in CBS and FOX staying free broadcast networks.
Apple's stock continues to fall as more and more reports of decreased demand roll in. Today, Apple's stock dropped by almost 6 percent, slipping to under $400 for the first time since December 2011. Apple stock has since rallied slightly and is back at $401.70 at the time of writing.
A major contributor to today's decrease in value is a report by DigiTimes stating that iPad mini shipments could be down by as much as 30 percent quarter-over-quarter. Another contributor is Cirrus Logic, supplier of the audio chips in Apple products, failed to meet expectations, leading many investors to believe Apple's demand is also down.
We'll know just how bad Apple performed when they release their financial results next week.
During Intel's first quarter earnings call, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that Windows 8 touch devices including laptops will see a massive price drop in the coming months when the company releases its new quad-core Bay Trail chip. He said that new innovative designs will allow future touch devices to sink into the $200 price range.
"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultra-thin using [Bay Trail] processors. Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200... Bay Trail is going to be a great product in that segment of the market and enable stunning performance relative to what the competition can bring."
Being billed as the most powerful Atom processor ever, Bay Trail is a complete redesign of the Atom micro architecture and is said to bring Atom chips closer to the performance levels of mainstream Intel processors.
According to a couple of venture capitalists, Apple's reputation is beginning to change and their employees aren't willing to stick around. One investor said: "More generally there is a growing level of dissatisfaction among Apple executives and employees, and a greater willingness to explore leaving".
Another VC told Business Insider that his firm has seen a big uptick in resumes coming in from current Apple employees. Business Insider's source spoke with some of these job-seekers, where they said that the startups are paying more, and that "Apple culture has started to change with the new leadership on top".
A month ago, top Apple reporter and analyst John Gruber of Daring Fireball said that retention has become "the single biggest problem that Apple faces, and almost nobody is talking about it". He added:
I think if there's going to be a problem coming up with big new things I think it's more likely a draining of really bright engineering and design talent at the rank and file level.
Microsoft comes to an agreement with Hon Hai over Microsoft's patents for Android and Chrome devices
Microsoft holds patents that are hurting other companies making products based on Android and Chrome, but now Foxconn's parent company, Hon Hai, has licensed Microsoft's patents for Google's operating systems.
Hon Hai makes many Apple products, and between their many subsidiaries, they are responsible for the manufacturing of 40% of consumer electronic devices in the world. The deal they struck with Microsoft will see them enjoy the licenses of patents for phones, tablets and TVs and will see Microsoft receive royalty payments.
We know the PC industry is in a state of pain, but it looks like the largest chipmaker is hurting, too. Intel have just posted their latest earnings report, revealing that their quarterly profits for Q1 2013 are down 25% year-over-year.
For Q1 2013, Intel made $2.045 billion in profits, down from $2.738 billion last year. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, said in a statement:
Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company. We shipped our next-generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers, and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors this quarter.
Beijing-based firm open position for a 'chief porn identification officer', offering $32k a year for the position
A Beijing-based third-party Internet security company called Anquan, are looking for a "chief porn identification officer", a position they posted on their Weibo account.
The company was started in 2010, with the goal to "combat bad information on the internet" and promote greater control of porn on the web. Anquan have big partners in Baidu and Tencent, as well as government agencies that regulate the Internet in China. Here's a translated version of the job post:
Job Location: Beijing
Salary: 200,000 RMB/year [$32,348.40 annually]
Job Responsibilities: Quickly and accurately identifying pornographic and obscene websites.
- 1. Research and study pornographic videos and images, formulate criteria for determining obscenity.
- 2. Deploy courseware on the standards of obscenity determination, and study materials such as educational videos on pornography.
- 3. Manage and rate pornographic resources (including BT seeds, images, and online videos).
Eric Schmidt has said that the total number of Android activations are set to cross the one billion threshold in "six to nine months." Currently, Android devices are being activated at the rate of about 1.5 million per day, an impressive rate that will likely continue to increase as more developing markets start demanding smartphones.
"Android is by far the primary vehicle by which people are going to see smartphones," Schmidt said.
Schmidt remained somewhat secretive about future Android plans. In regards to the promotion of Sundar Pichai, he added, "Don't confuse organization design and product design." In other words, don't have your heart set on Chrome OS and Android OS becoming one in the same.
A total of one billion Android device activations is quite the accomplishment. It goes to show how popular the Android platform is and how it helps to have an operating system that can be used across a wide range of devices, much like Windows.