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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 94

Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised

I've made my thoughts on the iPhone (and Apple as a company) many times before here on TweakTown, predicting that sales would drop late last year when the iPhone 5 was launching. Apple aren't releasing anything special, or different - the iPhone 5 being the peak of the 'sameish' iPhone game they've been playing for half a decade, except it was slightly taller.

 

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Well, Fortune have now taken a look at consensus projections for how many iPhones Apple sold over the past three months, with analysts not expecting much for the quarter coming. Apple haven't been able to report any year-over-year sales growth for the iPhone, which is a big problem.

 

Their consensus analyst estimates that we should expect somewhere between 26.7 million and 27.9 million iPhones sold over the three-month period, which is only a slither more than the 26 million iPhones Apple sold in the same quarter of 2012. Most people think a cheaper iPhone will help them and while it would help their sales numbers, it won't help their bottom line, or for the company over the long term.

Continue reading 'Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised' (full post)

Samsung secures patent for docking a smartphone into a tablet

ASUS' PadFone made waves when it was announced with its ability to dock a smartphone into a tablet, but now Samsung have just secured a new patent that allows the same - a smartphone to be docked into a larger display, making it a tablet.

 

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Samsung gets away with it because the way the smartphone inserts into the dock is different to the way ASUS' works. Patent Bolt found the patent, which shows a T-shape space for a smartphone which allows the smartphone to easily be attached to the dock. The smartphone area looks to have an extra lipped section at the top, which is also different to ASUS' design.

 

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The filings were done in the US and Korea early last year, but there's still no news on when this will arrive from the ovens of Samsung.

HBO files DMCA takedown for VLC Media Player with Google

Earlier today, the website TorrentFreak noticed that Google had been served with a DMCA takedown notice from HBO that ordered them to remove a torrent link for the popular media player VLC. The link was neatly tucked inside a list with hundreds of links to torrent urls for HBO's popular Game of Thrones series.

 

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It is likely that HBO never even reviewed the list which was generated by an automatic search bot that scans the web for torrents that may infringe on copyright holders' rights. There are literally more of these notices filed every month than there are of downloads of the actual torrents. During the last month alone, Google received 14,855,269 URLs which it was forced to remove from its search results under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

 

The URL in question points to the torrent site Torrent Portal, but as you can see in the screen captured image above, it does not point to any copyrighted material as VLC media player is actually an open source project. While this is most likely a mistake, it raises a massive red flag and makes us wonder what other links were removed from Google search results because of an automated process that generates the so-called "bad URLs".

Continue reading 'HBO files DMCA takedown for VLC Media Player with Google' (full post)

Man sees porn on Safari, sues Apple and requests they put all Apple products in 'safe mode' by default to protect people under 18

Chris Sevier, with the help of his attorney, has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US District Court in Nashville, TN last month. Sevier is angry that Apple sell products that allow men to view porn. Yes. This isn't a joke. This is his introduction:

 

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The Plaintiff loves Apple. The Plaintiff believes in Apple, as a company and knows that it has good intent. Since its inception, Apple has always been a pro-family company, Apple has always been an entity that is concerned with the welfare of our Nation's children, while furthering pro-American values. There is no reason for Apple, a private company to overly support pornography online, explicit sexual content which has led to the proliferation of arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives. The Plaintiff respectfully demand that Apple sell all of its devices on "safe mode," with software preset to filter out pornographic content. If the purchaser of Apple's products is over 18, Apple should allow the buyer to take additional step to acquire a password from Apple in order to remove the filter to access Constitutionally protected indecent content. If the buyer is under 18, Apple should not provide the password.

 

I know, you can't believe what you're reading right now and don't worry, I'm sure you're not alone. Sevier is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Apple, all because they sell devices that are capable of viewing porn. Sevier would like to see a porn-filtering "safe mode" made default on all devices and products sold by Apple. His complaint notes that "If Apple agrees to sell its devices 'on safe mode' before trial, the Plaintiff will terminate this litigation."

Hulu won't be sold and will instead invest $750 million to 'propel future growth'

Last minute bids to purchase Hulu were to be locked in on July 5, but it looks like 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company will maintain ownership of the video streaming service.

 

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Hulu were considering a sale, receiving last minute bids from multiple different companies, but the owners are now looking to invest heavily into Hulu. That investment is looking to total $750 million, which is an effort to "propel future growth." Hulu have a lot riding on this, as they push out content to over 400 partners and over 30 million monthly visitors.

 

Even with over four million premium 'Hulu Plus' subscribers, they're still struggling against Netflix and Amazon. This new investment could be a seed that could grow into an even better company, which would be great for everyone involved, especially consumers.

Amazon reach record highs on share prices, are valued at $140 billion right now

Amazon, for the first time in the company's history, has had their shares trade at over $300 last week. Amazon went public in 1997, where their shares were trading at just $2, so this is quite the rise.

 

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On Friday, Amazon shares closed at a record $307 per share. With the current stock price in mind, Amazon's market capitalization stands at $140 billion. Talking market caps, Google scoop up $306 billion with their power, and Apple enjoy a nice chunk of $400 billion. Amazon are far out and away from Facebook, though, who have just $63 billion.

 

During the first three months of 2013, Amazon reported net sales of $16.07 billion, which represents a 22% increase for the same quarter of 2012. Net income fell however, to $82 million, down 37%.

Valve announces 'Pipeline', will help high school students break into the video game industry

Valve have just announced and launched Pipeline, which is a community website dedicated to helping high school students who are looking into a career in the video game industry.

 

 

Pipeline was the creation of a group of high school interns working at Valve, who hope to "establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry." Valve's managing director, Gabe Newell, said in a promotional video for Pipeline: "This website was created entirely be teenagers."

Continue reading 'Valve announces 'Pipeline', will help high school students break into the video game industry' (full post)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to open Center for Innovation this fall to inspire young entrepreneurs

When you're one of the world's richest e-commerce tycoons, there's not much left to do other than fund other projects. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has funded everything from nuclear fusion startups to commercial spaceflight ventures and everything in between. Today, we are learning that his next big venture is a center for innovation built at the Museum of History and Industry.

 

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After more than two years of development and $10 million from Bezos' own pockets, the Museum of History and Industry will open the doors to the Bezos Center for Innovation on October 12. The center aims to help visitors learn about the importance of innovation through many interactive exhibits. It will also showcase Seattle for being the birthplace of so many trailblazing companies such as Amazon. I feel that this Innovation Center is an amazing idea and a perfect way to teach children that bucking convention is sometimes the right thing to do.

Two more high-level executives exit from BlackBerry, could this be the beginning of the end

Today, we're getting reports that BlackBerry has lost two more high-level executives in the last few weeks. According to a recent report, T.A. McCann, BlackBerry's vice president of social networking, is said to have left the company two weeks ago, while the senior director of handheld applications, Marc Gingras, apparently left the company around the same time.

 

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The Wall Street Journal says that McCann was responsible for BlackBerry Messenger as well as all social networking applications on the BlackBerry's OS. He first came to the company through its acquisition of the contact management services company Gist back in 2011. Gingras was also the product of an acquisition in 2011 when BlackBerry scooped up the social calendar company Tungle.me.

 

News of these two executives leaving the company comes hot on the heels of yesterday's report that BlackBerry would lay off several thousand employees before the year's end. All of this is the direct effect of underwhelming sales from what can only be described as a failed launch of the new BlackBerry 10 devices.

Lenovo claims throne as largest PC manufacturer in the world

In the wake of turmoil at Hewlett-Packard, it appears that Lenovo has seized the opportunity to claim the throne as the largest PC manufacturer in the world. This claim comes as the latest numbers from the IDC and Gartner are released to the public. It appears Lenovo has managed a 1.7 percent gain in market share in the global PC market over the last year.

 

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While the margins are small, Lenovo managed to ship a little over 200,000 more units than HP's 12.4 million units shipped during the Q2 time period of 2013. Lenovo is sitting at 16.7 percent of global market share, while HP is floundering at around 16.3 percent. The once king of the world, Dell, is roughly four million units behind both companies with a market share of just 11.8 percent.

 

Up and comer Acer shipped roughly half the number of units that Lenovo did in Q2 and holds on to about 8.3 percent of the global sales market. Also notable is ASUS who shipped about 4.5 million units during Q2 and held onto a 6 percent market share.

Continue reading 'Lenovo claims throne as largest PC manufacturer in the world' (full post)

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