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Google continues to shake things up as they have announced that they are splitting up their maps and commerce divisions into two separate businesses. Google confirmed that the current head of maps and commerce will be shifting over to Google's X unit, the division that is currently working on self-driving cars.
"Jeff is an extraordinary executive," Google said in a statement. "He just finished his first decade at Google -- having worked on some of our most complicated issues like ads, apps, payments and geo -- and now he is eager to work in more of a start-up like environment."
The mapping division is moving under the search team. The commerce division will be absorbed by the advertising group. It's not clear what led to this change, but we could see even more integration between maps and searching now that they are part of the same team.
We wish Jeff Huber the best at his new position with Google X. I'm waiting for another moonshot.
The courts haven't been very nice to companies accused of infringing other people's patents. While this award isn't nearly as bad as the Apple v Samsung case, $30.2 million isn't something companies like to hand out. A jury has awarded $30.2 million to a former Sony employee who claimed Nintendo infringed upon his patent for glasses-less 3D technology.
Seijiro Tomita didn't get quite as much money as he felt he should. By his calculations, he should have received roughly $10 per console sold, which equates to just under $300 million. His actual award came in at just 10 percent of that, which still works out to be a lot of money.
"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Tomita's lawyer said in a statement. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention."
Nintendo said in a statement sent to Kotaku that they feel confident that the award will be set aside:
Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others.[/quote]
After Apple launches a new product, it often takes a few months before they are able to build up enough stock of defective and returned products to start selling refurbished versions. Apple has apparently collected enough stock of the latest iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad as they are now available through Apple's online store.
Stock of the refurbished products is still constrained. Customers are limited in selection as the WiFi-only iPad mini is only available with 32GB of storage. The WiFi + LTE is available with only 16GB of storage. Moving to the fourth-gen iPad, users can only select 16GB or 32GB versions of the WiFi-only and WiFi+Verizon LTE models.
Furthermore, the discount offered by buying refurbished isn't that great. On the 32GB WiFi iPad mini, users only save $40, or 9 percent. On the 16GB WiFi+LTE, users only save $30, or 6 percent. It's up to you to decide whether these savings are worth buying a refurbished product.
We just can't get enough Apple rumors around here and there seems to be no way to stop them from floating around. The latest rumor out of the rumor mill is that Apple is turning to TSMC for their next processor. According to DigiTime's sources, TSMC will be taping out the processor sometime this month.
We're always a bit wary of what DigiTimes reports, but it does make some sense. We've heard rumors that Apple is looking to move away from rival Samsung's fabs. We've also heard rumors that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, could be launching as soon as June. The A7 would likely be ready for commercial products in early 2014, meaning we could see it in the iPhone 6.
TSMC is said to be expanding production capabilities at 14-fab, investing around $16.87 billion. Sources added that this is where they expect the Apple A7 to be produced. We'll keep our eyes out for more A7 news and bring anything worthwhile to your attention.
Since its release, the iPhone has been solely manufactured by Foxconn, but that is about to change with Apple's next-generation iPhone. A well connected KGI Securities analyst named Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple will be splitting the manufacturing of its upcoming iPhone 5S between two companies.
Apple will diversify its manufacturing between Foxconn and Pegatron. While Foxconn will still get a bite of the iPhone pie, Pegatron will handle 75% of the FDD-LTE version of the upcoming entry level iPhone, and 55% of legacy hardware.
In his research notes, which were picked up by website Apple Insider, Ming-Chi also estimated that Apple will ship 35.8 million iPhone 5S handsets in 2013 and 53.4 million entry-level iPhone devices.
BlackBerry might not be doing so well, but when you have a mystery partner snap up a cool one million BB10 devices, you can't help but celebrate. The company announced on Wednesday that an "established" partner had agreed to buy one million BlackBerry 10 devices.
This deal is somewhat of a big deal, as it is the largest-ever single purchase order in BlackBerry's history. The company won't talk about who the partner is exactly, with BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery telling AllThingsD: "We are bound by confidentiality and cannot disclose our partner's name."
Google acquires DNNresearch Inc, will help the company on their speech and image recognition software
Google are looking to give their image and speech recognition software a nice boost, so they've acquired DNNresearch Inc. DNNresearch Inc was a startup out of the University of Toronto's computer science department, and now a part of the Mountain View-based giant.
The startup was founded by University professor Geoffrey Hinton and two of his graduate students last year, with Google interested in the company's research on deep neural networks, which will assist the company on improving their speech and image recognition software. Professor Hinton will now continue his work with the University, as well as continuing his research with Google.
Mega founder and boss, Kim Dotcom, has said that he will never see the inside of a US jail. He was at the South By Southwest conference in Austin this week, through Skype of course, where he talked about his ongoing legal fisticuffs with the US government.
Dotcom has said that he is confident that his upcoming trial will see him victorious, and that serving jail-time in the US just isn't going to happen. He said: "I will never be in a prison in the U.S., I can guarantee you that." He also added that he doesn't expect the Obama Administration to send a drone over his mansion, either.
Samsung's Galaxy S IV is being launched in 24 hours, so it is about time Apple's marketing chief, Paul Schiller, came out on damage control. Because, you know, they make the devices that everyone else copies.
Well, the Apple marketing chief has had some interesting things to say about the Android user experience, and how it is not a pleasant experience. Schiller yet again attacked Android's continued fragmentation problems, describing it as "plain and simple". He took a big jab at Android, saying: "Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone."
That wasn't all, Schiller also attacked Android for a lack of integrated software solutions - something I personally laughed out loud over - where he said:
When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with. They don't work seamlessly together.
Google is looking to double the size of its Kirkland, Washington complex. The offices, which are just down the road from Microsoft's headquarters, will play home to more engineers. The current complex comes in at roughly 180,000 square feet. The expanded space will be leased from SRM Development.
SRM Development owns the land next to Google's current space and will start construction on the new buildings in January. The new space is expected to be complete sometime in 2015.
"We are excited to expand our presence in Kirkland, where we have one of the largest engineering offices outside of our headquarters in Mountain View," Google said in a statement.
Google already has more than 1000 employees in Washington state. The Kirkland office is home to the engineering teams responsible for Google+ and Chrome and should remain a purely engineering complex.
The new space will consist of two buildings. Underneath the two stories of office space will be two levels of parking garage. The two buildings will be connected with an atrium.