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It's about time that T-Mobile got a legitimate iPhone. Currently, T-Mobile only has AT&T iPhones that have been unlocked. CNET has confirmed that T-Mobile will be talking iPhone at tomorrow's Uncarrier event. Tomorrow's Uncarrier event will be used to talk up the changes that T-Mobile are undergoing as they move towards a more European model.
T-Mobile is ditching the whole two-year contract model. Along with that, T-Mobile is doing away with phone subsidies, though they are replacing subsidies with a similar option of paying a down-payment and then a monthly payment until the device is paid in full.
We expect T-Mobile to launch its 4G LTE network tomorrow with the iPhone 5 being the showcase device for the new network. We'll bring more T-Mobile news tomorrow as the Uncarrier event unfolds.
HTC has a lot riding on the HTC One. This device will make or break the "Quietly Brilliant" company. HTC Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho wants to make sure that the HTC One makes the company. That's why HTC is retiring their "Quietly Brilliant" tagline and will be taking a more aggressive approach to advertising.
"We have a lot of innovations but we haven't been loud enough," Mr. Ho said. We've already seen some of HTC's more agressive marketing. Outside the Galaxy S4 launch event, HTC employees demoed the new One device. They directly attacked the Galaxy S4 with the Twitter hashtag #theNextBigFlop.
We'll keep an eye on HTC to see if the new marketing strategy pays off. HTC really needs to come up with some great ads to help sell their devices. Making a great device doesn't hurt either.
Streaming music provider Spotify is looking to move into the mainstream with a new series of TV advertisements. The first campaign kicks off with a spot during NBC's "The Voice." This particular advertisement will feature complementary Wed and social media components to increase engagement.
This advertising campaign likely comes as a result of, at least partly, complaints by major music label executives that Spotify hasn't done enough to expand in the US market. In December, Spotify announced that they have one million paying subscribers in the US. It's worth noting they've only been in the US for a year and a half.
We all remember that fateful day last year when Facebook had its IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange. I'm sure most of us recall some of the difficulties associated with the IPO and how the price plummeted from its list price of $38. The estimated loss to investors due to the glitches suffered by the NASDAQ stock exchange is $500 million.
NASDAQ will be paying out just $62 million to those affected. The United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) have agreed with this payout. Investors who had orders not completed or who were not correctly notified of buys or sells successfully completed are among the eligible.
The Megaupload and Kim Dotcom saga just won't end. The latest from Mega's founder, Kim Dotcom, is that they are readying a lawsuit against the Hong Kong government over the raid of his business back in January 2012. He says the raid on his headquarters and freezing of his assets were illegal.
We were in the process of preparing a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the valuation of our company was over $US2 billion. Fortunately, the US government will have to indemnify Hong Kong for any damages awarded to us.
So far, Dotcom's legal adventures have been fairly successful. He has won the right to sue New Zealand over the raid on his mansion and has yet to be extradited to the United States. We will have to wait and see if his legal successes continue to come.
Dotcom plans to keep his headquarters in Hong Kong due to the tax benefits. "It involves some US artists as potential shareholders and they want a more tax-friendly jurisdiction. That's why we looked at Hong Kong and Singapore."
Last week FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announced that he would be stepping down from his seat at the FCC. McDowell was one of the biggest opponents to the Net Neutrality rules that were adopted by the FCC in 2010.
In 2010 the FCC approved net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service providers from blocking lawful traffic and banning discrimination against competitive services running over the ISP's networks. This was seen as a major win for internet lovers across the nation.
The controversy came when Wireless carriers were deemed to not be subject to those rules. McDowell opposed the net neutrality rules stating "I just think it was needlessly disruptive and a diversion of FCC resources." When asked to elaborate, McDowell had the following to say:
First of all, I've been a strong advocate for a free and open Internet. What I opposed really focused on, first of all, there is no market failure that needed to be addressed. Second, the FCC did not have the statutory authority to do what it did. Third, if there had been a problem there were laws already on the books that would have addressed the problem.
There wasn't a problem before the rules and there's not a problem with any danger of a closed Internet in this country after the rules. For those who think the rules have preserved an open Internet, that's sort of like a rooster taking credit for the sunrise.
If you thought Dell would just fly off into the night and go public without anyone else bidding, well, you were wrong. The Blackstone Group submitted a preliminary offer before the original deal deadline on Saturday for Dell to go private for $24.4 billion.
Under the terms of the "go shop" clause in the agreement, it allowed Dell to seek other suitors. A second offer was received by investor Carl Icahn who purchased a bunch of shares a couple of weeks ago. There's no concrete details on Blackstone's deal, but they are offering between $13.65 and $15 per share in a deal that will see shareholder participation. Blackstone have invited GE Capital and others in order to help them out with financing the deal.
Icahn have previously demanded Dell pay $15.7 billion in special dividends above the buyout price or risk a proxy fight. Icahn's proposed dividend of $9 per share sees a 67% premium to existing shareholders over the current $13.65 offer that is currently at play with the buyout from Michael Dell, Microsoft and investment company Silver Lake.
There are thousands of people, myself included, saddened by the news that Google are shutting down Reader in a couple of months. Why did they do it? News is now coming out that the Mountain View-based company closed Reader due to the hidden costs of keeping users' data private.
This is coming from an unnamed source of AllThingD, who said that the closure of Reader is at least partly due to Google's reluctance to build out the staff and infrastructure needed to deal with the legal and privacy issues related to Reader. The source added that Google are trying to position themselves so that they stop getting into expensive lawsuits, by adding dedicated staff to deal with legal issues to each of their teams.
When Google announced the closure of Reader, they didn't even have a project manager of full-time engineer dedicated to it. Google reportedly didn't want to spend the money building the service into a full-blown app, and on the flip side, didn't want to sell it to a third-party because of its deep integration with other Google Apps.
Apple have reached 100% renewable energy usage at all of their data centers, with their corporate facilities not far behind with 75% renewable energy. Considering the company was at just 35% renewable energy for their corporate facilities two years ago, this is a swift, and great change:
Our goal is to power every facility at Apple entirely with energy from renewable sources - solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. So we're investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows.
Our investments are paying off. We've already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple's corporate facilities worldwide, we're at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won't stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have put up a $100,000 of initial funding for someone who designs the "next generation of condoms." The money won't stop there, as the funding will expand up to $1 million for whoever is capable of delivering the next-gen contraception.
Considering that the basic form of contraception hasn't received many changes over the years, it is used by an estimated 750 million people across the world for both reducing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. The Foundation's description of the challenge explains it as: "The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom."
A next-gen condom might give men more sensation, pushing them to use them more often, for the good of global health. When it comes to female condoms, "suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts."