LG haven't been doing so well in the tablet market which is mainly dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon, but instead of making a constant loss, or barely breaking even, they're completely diving out of the market and concentrating solely on the smartphone side of things.
LG is focused on the smartphones big time, with company spokesman Ken Hong speaking to AllThingsD and being quoted here:
We decided early this year to focus exclusively on building up our smartphone portfolio, which includes the category of large five-inch display and over devices, such as Optimus Vu, which we feel addresses many of the content consumption issues with traditional mobile phones.
Considering the tablet market is pretty much sewn up from the aforementioned companies, unless you have a make-it-or-break-it tablet, why bother, right? On top of this, Microsoft's Surface tablet is sure to shake up the market, and why try to compete with someone like Microsoft? You know what? Personally, I think it's refreshing to see LG Electronics do this. Instead of seeing a company just pour unlimited funds into a market they might not see huge profits from, pull out of a market they aren't strong in, is actually refreshing.
LG, I salute you. I wouldn't mind seeing what you have in the future, but what of the Microsoft Surface tablet? Hong has said "Microsoft's announcement doesn't change anything here at LG". Good. Life is good at LG.
NVIDIA has issued a statement regarding Linus Torvalds harsh words. A little recap: Linus Torvalds said during a conference that NVIDIA is the worst company ever and then said "NVIDIA: F*** you!" He said this because he was a little upset with the Linux support and willingness to work with the open source community.
NVIDIA's PR machine has been at work crafting a statement to respond to his comments and finally issued a statement last night. The short version is that they are committed to Linux support using their own proprietary driver that is common among platforms. This allows for same-day Linux support of GPUs.
They also highlight their work with Tegra in the Linux community. Below is the NVIDIA response:
Supporting Linux is important to NVIDIA, and we understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as we are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience.
Recently, there have been some questions raised about our lack of support for our Optimus notebook technology. When we launched our Optimus notebook technology, it was with support for Windows 7 only. The open source community rallied to work around this with support from the Bumblebee Open Source Project http://bumblebee-project.org/. And as a result, we've recently made Installer and readme changes in our R295 drivers that were designed to make interaction with Bumblebee easier.
Google doesn't appear to be happy with a website that is converting YouTube videos into MP3s and allowing visitors to convert YouTube videos into MP3 files for download. It turns out that they are so unhappy with the website, which pulls in 1.3m visitors a day, that they have sent a letter threatening legal action.
Apparently, this service that the site is providing is against YouTube's Terms of Service and, as such, YouTube has blocked the websites servers from accessing YouTube. Google has only provided the site with 7 days to comply with Google's request or they could face possible legal action for break the Terms of Service.
"We would estimate that there are roughly 200 million people across the world that make use of services like ours and Google doesn't just ignore all those people, they are about to criminalize them. With the way they are interpreting and creating their ToS every one of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google," the converter spokesman said.
It's pretty clear why YouTube can't have people going around ripping MP3s of pop songs posted on YouTube. If they were, record labels would no longer want to put music videos on the site and Google/YouTube would miss out on a large amount of hits and money. But, if Google wants to end all YouTube to MP3 converters, they have a large task in front of them.
After years of being in limbo and being an arguing point to why Australia is crap for 'mature' gaming, the Australian House and Senate have both passed a bill that would see the creation of an R18+ ratings category for video games.
An R18+ classification for games has been a long-standing fight, as the classification is valid for both movies and other media. The lack of an R18+ rating meant that any games deemed more mature than the MA15+ classification, were banned and unable to be sold in Australia.
Games such as Left 4 Dead 2, Mortal Kombat, Syndicate, and the Grand Theft Auto series have either been met with bans, or were edited to get lowered to the MA15+ classification. But not anymore! The R18+ rating goes into affect on the first day of 2013.
Samsung's new CEO wants software improvements in order to continue their leading position in the tech industry
Samsung's new CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun has said that his company needs to beef up their software competence in order to continue their leading position in the technology industry. This isn't the first time the company has talked of their need to inject some improvements to their proprietary software, as over the past year they've talked about it.
Some analysts have shown Samsung surpassed rival Apple in the first quarter where they became the world's biggest seller of smartphones. During his inaugural speech, Oh-hyun said:
A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design, and solutions.
The fresh CEO hasn't teased with how much Samsung would spend on their venture into strengthening their software division, but it would be hefty if I were to guess. Samsung had their feathers rustled when Google acquired Motorola, as they then, and still have, the best of both worlds: hardware, and software.
Intel has agreed to buy 1,700 patents relating to Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE from InterDigital. Last year, there were murmurs about a treasure chest of patents relating to those technologies being up for sale by InterDigital. The cost for these key patents? Only a cool $375 million in cash. Apparently, Intel has been after these patents for a while.
Intel's Senior Vice President, Doug Melamed, had this to say about the transaction: "These patents will support Intel's strategic investments in the mobile segment. The addition of these patents expands our already large, strong and diverse portfolio of intellectual property."
Interestingly enough, InterDigital refers to these as only a small portion of its overall collection of patents. How much more value is included in the other patents that they have? Senior Executive Vice President at InterDigital, Scott McQuilkin, had this to say about the upcoming transaction:
The acquisition of this portfolio of InterDigital's technologies by a global technology leader like Intel affirms the efforts of our research and development team which actively shares our innovations with the worldwide standards bodies, defining technologies that are central to the world's major wireless systems and devices.
The deal should close in the third quarter. These patents will add to Intel's war chest to be used in case of an assault by another technology company's war chest.
Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.
"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."
So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).
Bret Taylor was Facebook's chief technology officer, but won't be for much longer. The CTO was in charge of both platform and mobile development at Facebook. Once he's gone, two of his underlings will take over his two posts, with Mike Vernal taking on platform development and Cory Ondreijka going after mobile.
Taylor is an ex-Google employee, too, leaving the company in 2007 where he founded FriendFeed. Facebook acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and two years later he was donned as CTO of Facebook. Taylor spoke to AllThingsD saying that the time he spent with Facebook "has been among the most fulfilling times of my career".
With the troubled IPO and problems the social networking are having at the moment, one would think this is quite a bad time for Taylor to leave, but his departure is no surprise to Facebook management. Taylor has always said that he "had always been upfront with Mark [Zuckerberg] that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that".
Late last week, a federal Jury convicted Rajat Kumar Gupta of trading inside information in a case that involves industry heavy weights Intel, Apple, and others. He was up on six possible charges, with prosecutors securing four charges, Gupta being acquitted of two.
Gupta was previously a director at Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble, and is the biggest figure yet to be caught in the government's efforts to stop the flow of information into Wall Street. The ex-director of Goldman Sachs was convicted on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for passing along confidential boardroom information about Goldman Sachs to a hedge fund, as well as confidential information on Intel and Apple.
Armed with the information, the hedge fund earned millions of dollars, but its founder is now serving time following an insider trading conviction last year. Gupta was acquitted on two securities fraud charges. Gupta faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charges, and up to 20 years for each of the three securities fraud convictions.
In the continuing MegaUpload saga, a US federal judge has ordered that the FBI being copying all 150TB of seized Dotcom data. It's not clear whether or not the information will be handed over now, as requested by Dotcom's lawyers, but it will have to be handed over if Dotcom and the other executives ever stand trial in the US.
Lawyers for the FBI are complaining that they will be unable to copy the 150TB of data in the 21-day time period given by the judge. To give an estimate of size, they had said it took 10 days to copy only 29TB of data. The judge didn't care and said that the Government had "ample means" to do the work. " ... [T]he expense involved in copying must be dwarfed by the other costs of an investigative and prosecutorial operation of this size."
The judge reiterated that if the defendants come to the United States like the prosecutors were trying for, then the copying of data would not have been a waste of time. Justice Winkelmann has ordered another two-day hearing to determine whether or not the data will be released to Dotcom, or his lawyers, while he remains in New Zealand. More as it continues.
HTC have now confirmed they want to finalise the acquisition of S3 Graphics, where they would get a huge injection of patents. HTC have publicly admitted they see S3 Graphics 270-patent portfolio as an asset. HTC general counsel, Grace Lei, spoke at the annual shareholders' general meeting where they labeled the S3 portfolio as "valid and strong" following the "cautious assessment".
It was only in July last year that HTC scooped up VIA's $300 million stake in S3, with the acquisition of S3 by HTC seen as a great move to improve their graphics processing technology. Apple have the great ability of being capable of customizing its processors, but HTC is believed to view S3 as key to achieving equivalent capabilities.
S3's products are mostly PC-bound, but the company's graphics performance and power-efficiency heritage is considered potentially advantageous in this mobile efficient world.
It's been expected by many analysts and fanboys alike that AMD would eventually either produce their own ARM-type chip or license one of ARM's creations. Today, AMD has finally done one of those options by licensing the ARM Cortex-A5. The Cortex-A5 will find its way into AMD's APU line of CPUs.
It's not actually the processing functions of the Cortex-A5 that AMD is after, however. This is the unexpected part. Instead, AMD is looking to use the security features that ARM has been working on for some time. Dubbed TrustZone, ARM has produced hardware and software which make data transfers and transactions more secure.
The Cortex-A5 was chosen as it is the smallest of ARM's chips and will take up only a marginal amount of space on one of AMD's APUs. If produced on the 28nm process, it is expected the A5 will add about 10-15mm2 of die size. The A5 will take care of all of the security functions for securing online transactions.
"With AMD's support for, and inclusion in, the expanding TrustZone ecosystem, consumers and businesses can rest assured their data and content are secured by an industry-standard security solution that spans a multitude of devices and operating systems," said Wolfe. "This example of AMD's ambidextrous strategy, which leverages our history of x86 and graphics innovation while also embracing other technologies and intellectual property, will help drive a more secure computing experience for our consumer and businesses customers."
If you were among the many who thought that Microsoft would be lowering the price for Windows RT to tablet OEMs so they could produce a lower priced tablet, you would be wrong. It turns out that Microsoft is looking to charge somewhere between $80-95 for an OEM Windows RT license to be used on a tablet.
This is actually slightly unexpected do to the fact the tablet market is growing quickly and Android allows for lower cost tablets. True, it can't do quite as much as a Windows RT tablet would be capable of, but the fact remains that it does most of what people want from a tablet. Couple that with the fact that the iPad can be had for $399 and Windows tablets aren't going to be very competitive.
It would appear as though Intel and Microsoft have decided to focus more on Ultrabooks because with this pricing, the tablets will probably sell for $549-799 and the premium ones could be as high as $899, as much as an Ultrabook. The $549-799 is right where Intel's target spot is for Ultrabooks, so it's likely the tablets won't do very well.
The world is becoming more and more connected and more and more devices are joining the internet. This fundamental idea is the driving force behind the need to change to IPv6. Now even smart meters are connected to some sort of network through which they transmit usage data back to the power company.
An EU watchdog is concerned about the privacy of the data that is being reported back. Due to the massive amounts of data being reported, it's easy to see when people are home or not by watching the power usage. Not only that, but the meter can even report back what medical devices are in use in the house.
It's of the utmost concern to Privacy International, a group claiming that proposed safeguards do not go far enough. The major fear appears to be regarding the ability to deduce if someone is home or not, but there are plenty more complaints about the sheer amount of data being collected.
Third-party companies could theoretically learn about consumers' sleeping patterns, when they watch TV, use certain tools or devices, or even what medical device they may use. "Information about energy usage can have high commercial value," according to the EDPS report. The US has similar devices, and as far as I know, without any of the safeguards in place in the EU.
Verizon had previously announced that shared data would be coming to the network. At that time, they had not announced exactly when or how the new system would work. Today, some new details have surfaced about the cost and when the actual system will go live. Depending on your data usage, this new system could be a good or a bad thing.
The pricing, seen above, seems reasonable. It's not bad until you start tacking on additional devices. For a smartphone, you have to pay an additional $40. A regular phone sees you shelling out $30 for data. A hotspot? $20. A tablet, which is what I really see this shared data as being used for, is $10 extra a month.
The new plans become available on June 28 and Verizon is hoping they tempt you away from your current unlimited plan. My advice? Don't give up your unlimited plan if you use more than 1-2GB of data. The new plans are interesting, but a bit overpriced. I think if the prices came down, then they would be a better value and see more adopters.
Apple has announced that the App Store has surpassed 30 billion downloads and that Apple has paid out $5 billion to developers. The store currently operates in 120 countries and Apple is now adding 32 more. They have 400 million credit cards on record, more than any other store in the world.
It looks like the lads that co-founded Google are in hot water once again, where they'll have to appear before US antitrust regulators for questioning. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have reportedly retained counsel, and are expected to give depositions before the Federal Trade Commission sometime over the coming months.
What is it all over? Well, the issue boils down to whether or not Google have been unfairly using its position as the world's dominant search engine in a manner biased in favor of its own products, as well as whether Google has increased advertising rates for its competitors.
Google of course maintains that users are free to visit Google's competition, which the search giant says is "only a click away" thanks to the nature of the web.
MCV is reporting that Sony could acquire high-profile cloud gaming firm, Gaikai. It was revealed to MCV exclusively that Sony were looking at acquiring either Gaikai, or OnLive. Either company would bolster Sony's efforts into the cloud gaming universe.
Just yesterday, Gaikai sent out invitations to journalists for what they're calling a game-changing announcement, it reads:
Gaikai has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games, game consoles and how we play.
Now, one would think that Sony could be pushing itself away from their PlayStation brand, so what would happen to the PlayStation 4? Well, things are changing... 10-year life cycles for consoles just can't be done as the technology is in a stand-still after 2-3 years max. But, a system that could borrow from the cloud, would let Sony dump out a console say, next year, and then 2-3 years from now they'd have this acquired company doing some magic behind the scenes, and maybe the PS4 would end up just being a streamed-to device for your console gaming needs.
This is just my opinion, but it's definitely something interesting to think about. Hopefully we see some announcements soon, and an unveiling of the next-gen consoles at E3 2013.
In a move that should help to keep innovation from being stifled, Judge Alsup, the judge presiding over the Oracle v Google trial, has ruled that sequence, structure, and organization (SSO) is not covered by today's copyright law. This, in turn, allowed him to dismiss the claims by Oracle of Google infringing on their copyright.
Instead of creating a massive precedent by making a wide ruling, Judge Alsup focused very narrowly on specific factors in the case which lead to the decision. This way he didn't create a massive precedent. He has also been very careful throughout the trial. So even though appeals are possible, it is likely his decision will be upheld.
It has been confirmed that Activision and Jason West and Vincent Zampella have settled their lawsuit out of court after a brief meeting on Thursday. This settlement brings to an end the two year lawsuit stemming from the termination of their employment. There was a lot of he said she said, but in the end, it seems to boil down to the fact Activision didn't want to pay them royalties.
The settlement terms, as par for the course, were not discussed and are highly secretive. This settlement also settles another lawsuit Activision was involved with. This other lawsuit was over royalties as well. When West and Zampella left, 40 or more developers left shortly after. They too filed a lawsuit saying they didn't get their royalty checks.
"All parties have reached a settlement in the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential," said Robert Schwartz, an attorney representing West and Zampella. West was in the courtroom, but only grinned widely as he left. Others in the game industry watched closely as it could produce some new case law that would affect somehow.
"This legal battle between the old employees of Infinity Ward and Activision is the most significant in video game history," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. "It's been a major distraction for senior management at Activision at a time when the industry is going through one of its most difficult periods. It will be good for Activision to be able to move past this."
Could those words be any more mysterious? Apple CEO Time Cook when questioned about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS, said "Stay tuned". Considering that Facebook have nearly 1 billion users, and Apple's handshake with Twitter and its integration with iOS, we have to wonder, 'why not Facebook?'
Cook adds "Facebook is a great company, and the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other."
When Swisher reffered to Jobs calling Facebook "onerous", Cook responded with:
They have their way of doing things, but people say that about us as well. Just because they have a point of view doesn't mean we can't work with each other.
Jobs had previously referred to Facebook term's when negotiating the Ping integration as "onerous", which means "involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty". Post-IPO Facebook could be different, knowing that Apple have a considerable amount of power in the industry compared to a few years ago.
Facebook and Apple are pretty much the two powerhouse companies right now, with social networking in one corner, and mobile devices in the other. The only competitors to them would be Google and Microsoft. Considering Microsoft has a stake in Facebook, it'll be interesting to see the integration Apple would receive in the future. After all, Windows 8 is nearly here and I'm looking forward to seeing the level of integration the OS offers when it comes to Facebook