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
Facebook share's are continuing to tank, where they've started to dip below $29 per share, where at the time of writing, they're sitting at $28.19 per share. Considering they started at $38 per share, this is quite the fall from grace for the social networking company.
This drop has pushed their once $100 billion-plus valuation, down to a market cap of just $61.66 billion. This is a disaster considering the confidence in the stock pre-IPO, just over a week ago now. Traders can also now "short" Facebook shares, betting that the price will continue to fall. Sam Hamadeh, founder of analyst PrivCo, said that most of the options were "bearish" meaning that traders were betting on price falls. He also said that popular contracts were putting Facebook's share price in the mid-$20's for June and July, with PrivCo estimating Facebook shares were worth $25 ahead of the IPO.
I think we should see shares stabilize at around the mid-$20's mark, as PrivCo states. I think the initial offering was a quick cash-grab for those "in the know", but I'm no financial expert. It really seems that way from everything that is happening with the Facebook IPO.
Attorneys representing the now defunct upload site MegaUpload have filed a motion with the court to dismiss criminal piracy charges due to the fact the US had no jurisdiction. "Megaupload does not have an office in the United States, nor has it had one previously," MegaUpload's lawyers wrote in their motion to dismiss. "Service of a criminal summons on Megaupload is therefore impossible."
The filing came today and is just the latest in a long drawn out court battle between MegaUpload and the United States. The sad part is that millions of legitimate users have been affected and their files, some the only copy, have been put into jeopardy at the hands of the US government. The issue at hand is that MegaUpload has never had a US-based agent or office:
Wholly foreign corporations, therefore, may not be prosecuted for alleged violations of federal criminal law unless they waive service In short, a corporation such as Megaupload cannot be brought within the jurisdiction of this Court for criminal proceedings absent its consent.
The company's lawyers have once again asked for funds to be released to allow for a proper defense. DotCom and three other managers are in New Zealand where they continue to fight extradition. "We told the court that the United States lacked probable cause to take down the entire site," said Ira Rothken, the attorney leading MegaUpload's worldwide defense.
NVIDIA's super-powerful GEFORCE GTX 680 as well as their 4-PLUS-1-sporting Tegra 3 SoC have both taken home Best Choice Awards ahead of Computex in Taipei next week.
The Tegra 3 was part of the Smart Handheld Devices Innovation, with the GTX 680 being part of the IC Components. As NVIDIA walks away with Best Choice Awards, it marks the fourth consecutive year that the company has been awarded.
The mobile industry reflects the effectiveness and efficiency of the Tegra 3 chip, which has given smart devices more power, as well as more battery life thanks to its 4-PLUS-1 design. The same thing goes for the GEFORCE GTX 680, which offers lower temperatures, quieter running operation, and of course, high performance all in a single-GPU package.
The Megaupload case continues, with Kyle Goodwin, an EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) asking the court to return the files, that were legal, back to Goodwin.
Goodwin lost his files when Megaupload was seized in January, since then they've been to court, both for a hearing and a mediation, but nothing has changed according to the EFF. The problem between Goodwin's files and the court, is that the government isn't helping third parties like Goodwin to get access back to their data. This leaves no choice but court.
On May 24, EFF filed a brief asking the court to order Goodwin's rightfully owned data returned. But the problem is, is that's not just Goodwin'd files, it's the thousands upon thousands of other Megaupload users who had data on their servers, where they thought it was safe.
Even though Facebook are hurting right now post-IPO, where they've seen a huge drop in their share prices since the IPO went live last week, the fresh rumor is that the social networking site is looking to purchase face recognition technology company Face.com.
Tech news blog Newsgeek reports that the deal could be as large as $80-$100 million. Of course, this is all rumor right now, but Facebook are flush with cash right now thanks to the IPO, and $100 million isn't that big of a deal to them.
The rumors of Facebook building a phone would definitely gel with the rumors of the company buying a facial recognition startup. Face.com, founded in 2007, offers accurate facial recognition software that could help Facebook users identify people in photos faster, both on desktops and mobile.
Would you decline $75 million? Heck, $75 for free wouldn't be too bad these days. On the flip side, Apple CEO Tim "Good Guy" Cook has declined a $75 million payout in restricted stock dividends owed to him. Yes, declined.
Apple announced plans last week where they would pay a $2.65 per share dividend on restricted stocks held by Apple employees. This is rare for a company to reward its employee stockholders like this, and even more strange for a high level executive to decline the money they are entitled to.
But, it's not all bad. AllThingsD reports that this could actually benefit both the company, and Cook in the long run. This move gets positive press for not just Apple, but Cook, which could, and most likely will, translate into more stocks sold. It also shows the kind of person Cook is, in this world of increasingly greedy CEOs and executives.
A new report is saying that the manufacturers in the MacBook supply chain are facing a labor shortage due to the demand for the new MacBook. The report says that strong orders from Apple during a typically low demand season is the cause of the shortage. Some manufacturers are even resorting to outsourcing in order to meet the shipment schedule.
The report says that the manufacturers started delivering parts starting back April. They then experienced growth in May and are expecting to see even more growth in June. The launch of the new MacBook is expected to come in July, but that is unconfirmed. I would tend to expect an August or September launch as that is when they usually launch products.
Sources are expecting shipments to increase from 12.79 million to 16.24-19.2 million units. That equates to a 30-50% increase year-over-year. The new MacBook is rumored to take on a wedge shape that is similar to the current MacBook Air. Once again, this is an unconfirmed rumor. People love Apple rumors, so we will keep them coming as they surface.
Back in July of 2011, Research in Motion slashed 10-percent of its global workforce, laying off 2,000 employees as "a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company".
But, it looks like they could be repeating the process according to AllThingsD. They're reporting that RIM will announce another major global restructuring that will include "at least" 2,000 job cuts. A source has told AllThingsD:
RIM has about 16,500 employees worldwide now. That number will be down to 14,500 before the summer's over. ...14,500 or less.
The cuts are expected to not just be a certain section, but company-wide, with everyone from marketing to sales, to legal and operations expecting to have jobs cut. The question is, will this help? Did it help last time? Are RIM cutting the fat from the company, or digging right in and removing the meat?
With the news we reported just hours ago of Facebook wanting to make their own smartphone, this news makes even more sense. Pocket-lint is reporting that Facebook is looking at buying Opera Software, the boys and girls behind the Opera web browser.
This would allow the social networking giant to enter the browser space along with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and even Yahoo, who just launched their own browser not that long ago. If it were to acquire Opera, it would definitely be an even stronger competitor against Google, not just for a browser, but for social networking.
Opera's mobile browser is already impressive, and if Facebook were to acquire them, that's one thing they wouldn't have to bother building from the ground-up, it would just be a slot in, change some things around and go. Opera claims to have over 200 million users across all of their platforms, so that's a nice start for Zuckerberg and co.
We've surely all read or heard about the IPO from social networking giant Facebook, and how it has been a disaster since day one, but ranked as one of the worst of the decade? Well, according to Bloomberg, it is. Bloomberg have declared it as the worst large IPO of the past decade, based on the first five days of trading.
During an interview on Bloomberg TV, markets reporter Sheila Dharmarajan compared Facebook to four other poorly performing IPOs: Blackstone Group, General Motors, Mastercard and MF Global. Given that these companies aren't just run of the mill small businesses, it's a good comparison to the social networking giant. As the picture shows above, Facebook are in quite the pickle, compared to say VISA who were trading very well after a week.
Foxconn recently inked an agreement with Sony to learn how to make the new touch screen for the Apple iPhone. New reports have surfaced that show that Foxconn wants to completely take over the iPhone manufacturing business. Currently Foxconn's Zhengzhou produces about 200,000 iPhones per day which accounts for 70% of production.
If Foxconn has their way, they would like to double that plant's output to 400,000 a day. With this increase comes the risk of damaging workers' health or having to hire additional workers. It remains to be seen just how Foxconn intends to increase the production of this plant. It's current productions account for 52.7 percent of the total exports of the Henan province.
This is great for Foxconn if they are able to. But it's not the best strategy for Apple. Think about what would happen if there were a fire at the plant and all of a sudden there was no iPhone being manufactured. It's unlikely that this would happen as I'm sure there are plans in place to prevent it, but it shows that Apple shouldn't put 100% of production into one company or factory.
This is one of those moments where you just want to know what a person was thinking. But until someone develops a mind-reading machine, we won't know for sure. As an epitome of United States corruption, ignorance, and waste, the Berkeley, California chief of police sent out ten of his officers to track down his son's stolen iPhone.
Guess what! They didn't manage to find the device even though it had tracking software installed on it. The officers sent to find the device weren't just regular officers, although some were. Michael Meehan, the chief, also sent officers from the drug task force to aid in the search. All of this was over a replaceable iPhone that couldn't cost more than $500.
The hunt most likely cost taxpayers a few thousand dollars. It could have potentially cost even more as only some of the officers received overtime pay for their participation in the search. This truly is an epitome of selfishness. Meehan used his position to do his personal bidding while wasting my taxpayer dollars. As a California resident, I'm not exactly happy with this story. Did Meehan cross a line or was this an acceptable use of money? You be the judge and let us know in the comments.
If the current Facebook IPO problems weren't enough of the social networking hitting the screens of computers, tablets, smartphones, TVs and more across the world over the past month or so, then this news won't surprise you: Facebook are opening up an office in Dubai next week.
The social networking site is set to pack a bag of tricks and open up its first office located in the Middle East. The company has not listed any details, and won't do so until after the event, but the office would add to its collection of about 30 outputs that are pegged across the world.
The news of an office in Dubai comes just after four days of the site in the public market. Do you think this will help them? Will it calm investor nerves?
If Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Project Glass, and their push toward hardware design and manufacturing wasn't enough, the acquisition of the industrial design firm Mike and Maaike should be enough to convince most people that Google are in it for the long haul.
Who are Mike and Maaike? They're a studio that worked on the very first Google Nexus phone, and bill themselves as "a progressive industrial design studio" who is focused on "functionality, intelligence, and ease" in the design process for the G1. Mike and Maaike have some rather large clients in Belkin, Steelcase, Microsoft and the City of San Francisco.
Google representatives have commented on the purchase, saying that it was a "natural next step" for the company to get "even more serious and to really for for it" when it comes to mobile device offerings sporting their Android OS.
Apple's third-generation iPad has only been available for two months now, but it has already caught up to the first-generation iPad market share in the US, according to market analysis firm Localytics. The new model is enjoying over 20-percent of all US-based iPad sales, a little over 1-percent more than the first-generation iPads.
The iPad 2, released last year, is ahead of both the first- and third-gen iPads in terms of market share. The iPad 2 has around 60-percent of the US iPad market share, but the third-generation iPad has moved up from the 14-percent it had just after it was released, to the now 20-percent market share, a nice improvement for a very new product.
How have Localytics gotten to these numbers? Well, the market share determination comes from iPad apps that use Localytics for app analytics.
As part of PayPal's effort to move out of the digital world into the real world, PayPal has been courting big retail stores to add the option to pay with PayPal at the point-of-sales terminals. Home Depot was the first to jump on board and has been offering the option of paying with PayPal when checking out since at least March of this year.
PayPal wants to compete with the credit card companies along with other emerging payment systems such as Google Wallet. The announcement was made at a press event today to show the progress PayPal is making with its real world payment system. PayPal still has to convince consumers that maintaining another payment method is worth the hassle.
But, if PayPal makes it simple enough and available at enough locations, it is a viable alternative to credit cards and cash. It would be especially nice if someone were to forget their wallet or not have enough cash with them. Currently, users just have to type in their phone number and a pin to pay which is pretty simple. If they add in the features they are looking to, it will be quite the competitor.
The 15 newly added retail stores include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, Guitar Center, Jamba Juice, JC Penney, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Nine West, Office Depot, Rooms To Go, Tiger Direct and Toys "R" Us.
Apple and Samsung failed to settle patent disputes, even after 48 hours of court-ordered negotiations
After two days of court-ordered negotiations, smart device heavy weights Samsung and Apple have failed to reach a settlement. CEOs from both companies, Choi Gee-sung from Samsung, and Apple's Tim Cook were ordered to meet in San Francisco to negotiate their on-going patent disputes, and hopefully, reach an agreement.
But, an agreement was not met. Both sides wouldn't move from their positions, with Apple insisting that Samsung copied the designs of its iPhone and iPad, and Samsung demanding that Apple pay royalties for using its wireless transmission technology.
The Korea Times reported that both companies could find "no clear agreement" from the talks. There's not much known on whether other options were thrown on the table during the negotiations, but Samsung's mobile division head J.K. Shin did recently propose cross-licensing patents as an option.
Not reaching an agreement isn't too surprising, it was a court-ordered negotiation after all. Where to from now? Both companies will now go back to court with trial set to start on July 30.
The Facebook IPO may now be part of a Securities Fraud Lawsuit, but there's some more interesting news building at the moment. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is not around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Zuckerberg's last public appearance was the day he rang the Nasdaq opening bell, the same day the shares went public and this problem became an issue for thousands across the world.
The only other appearance from the social networking guru is the wedding picture he posted over the weekend. It's been five days since then, and there has been nothing on his Facebook page either. The shares are steady on $32 a piece, and this just adds to the hysteria that is the Facebook IPO.
It seems that the ongoing tanking of the Facebook shares is now getting worse, with the Facebook IPO now the subject of a Securities Fraud Lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in New York. The lawsuit is built upon certain Facebook IPO documents containing untrue statements of material facts and omitted other facts necessary to make such statements not misleading.
But, it gets worse, the fraud lawsuit goes on to say that the Facebook IPO documents weren't prepared in accordance with Federal rules and regulations governing their preparation, thus, violating Federal Securities Laws. But, you might be safe, if you purchased, or acquired shares in Facebook common stock (FB), traceable to the Facebook IPO, on or around May 18, 2012, you can contact the Securities Fraud Attorneys to discuss your rights to recovery.
If you have purchased or acquired shares in Facebook, and want to go through with this, here are some contact details:
- Deadline: July 22, 2012
- Contact: Kenneth Gilman, Gilman Law LLP
- Telephone: (888) 252-0048
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Facebook IPO Lawsuit Consultation Website
Current shareholders of Facebook common stock and current or former employees of Facebook, Inc. may have additional claims.