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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 79

Yahoo picks up Xobni, looks to create smarter contact books

Yahoo continues its acquisition binge by acquiring Xobni in a deal estimated to be worth $30 to $40 million, though some have said the deal may be for some $60 million. Just yesterday, Yahoo acquired Qwiki. Before that, Yahoo acquired Tumblr. This latest acquisition could help Yahoo out in revamping its e-mail and social services, something it is currently in the process of doing.

 

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Xobni has stopped taking new paying customers. They've also pulled their Xobni app on BlackBerry and their Smartr Contacts app on Android. Most of Xobni's services are scheduled to be shut down on July 2, 2014, or a year from yesterday. Neither Yahoo or Xobni have stated what they are planning on creating together, but we assume Xobni's technology will be integrated into Yahoo Mail.

 

Which company do you think Yahoo will acquire next?

Huawei scoops up ex-Nokia sales head

Huawei have announced that they're hired ex-Nokia employee Colin Giles, who was with the Finnish company for over 20 years before making the jump to Huawei Technologies.

 

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He will become Huawei's new Executive Vice President for their Consumer Business Group and will be in charge of global marketing, retail and open channel development. Giles' biggest task will be changing the perception of Huawei in Western countries, such as the United States.

Research firm, Gartner, predicts global IT spending will rise 2% this year to $3.7 trillion

Research firm Gartner have pushed out some predictions on the future of global IT spending, where they predict it will reach $3.7 trillion by the end of the year. This would be a 2% year-over-year increase from 2012's total of $3.6 trillion.

 

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While this is a 2% increase, it's down from the 4.1% growth that Gartner estimated just three months ago now. Gartner do have several reasons as to why the predictions are lower, with the biggest factor that the US dollar has decreased in the last couple of months. Most IT hardware manufacturers have HQ's in the US, so spending will be done with the US dollar, hence the reduction.

 

Mobile devices are also continuing to hit into PC sales, which are expected to drop 10.9% this year. Gartner predicts the other side of the race, estimating a 38.9% increase in tablet sales, and cell phone sales increasing by 9.3%.

A petition to allow Telsa Motors to sell directly to the public passes 100,000 signatures, the White House has 30 days to respond

An online petition wants to see the White House allow Tesla Motors to sell their electric vehicles directly to the public, with the petition smashing through 100,000 signatures.

 

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It passes the 100,000 signature mark within 30 days of creation, meaning that the White House is forced to issue an official response. The petition was launched by a Tesla fan by the name of Ken, who believes that states shouldn't be restricting automotive companies from selling their vehicles directly to consumers.

 

Ken doesn't work for Tesla Motors, but does claim to hold stock in them. It will be interesting to see what the White House has to say about this petition.

Android leads the European market with 70%, leaves Apple with just 17.8%

Google have a huge lead over Apple in the European market, where Android takes a huge 70.4% of the mobile OS market. This leaves Apple with just 17.8% and Windows with 6.8%, these numbers are thanks to the latest OS barometer figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

 

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The big reason behind Android's dominance is thanks to Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones, which makes up over half of all smartphones sold across Europe. Android should continue to keep this dominance going into the future, as I don't think Apple can do anything in the short term to swing things around. This is something that Google have on their side for once.

Yahoo acquires Qwiki for a rumored $50 million

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.

 

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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:

 

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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.

Ex Apple CEO tells BlackBerry to forget hardware and focus on software

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.

 

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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 wins appeal, Second Circuit Court orders judge to rule on fair use

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.

 

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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 CTO steps down, passes an age-related law of Intel - is too old to be a corporate officer

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.

 

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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.

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