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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 95

Ex Apple CEO tells BlackBerry to forget hardware and focus on software

There are not many companies in Silicon Valley that would take advice from former Apple CEO John Scully. After all, he was responsible for almost killing what is now one of the largest companies in the world. The lack of people listening is not stopping him from offering up advice.

 

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In an interview with Bloomberg, the former CEO said that BlackBerry is at the point where it can still turn around, but it must stop building hardware. Sculley said that BlackBerry can "come back if they drop hardware and focus on secure messaging," although he also cautioned that "the clock is running out" on the company.

 

At this point, I'm not sure if anything can save BlackBerry. Instead of taking the proven road and developing a smartphone around Android and incorporating their corporate and messaging features, the decision to go it alone and create their own operating system most likely will be their downfall.

Google wins appeal, Second Circuit Court orders judge to rule on fair use

Google has been battling the Authors Guild in a class-action lawsuit that was filed by the Guild when they sued Google to stop scanning world libraries way back in 2005. The battle has been hard-fought with a judge in 2011 allowing every registered author in America to sue Google as a collective whole, a decision which Google quickly filed an appeal to.

 

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A new ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned that decision and ordered the presiding judge Denny Chin to directly rule on whether Google's book scanning activities are considered fair use under the law or in violation of copyright law.

 

The process to determine whether the activities are fair use consists of a four-part test that will look at issues like the purpose of the scanning and how it directly and indirectly affects market sales. Google has already scanned more than 20 million books and asserts that doing this helps bring forgotten and hard-to-find books to the general public.

Intel CTO steps down, passes an age-related law of Intel - is too old to be a corporate officer

Intel has a strange age-related by-law, that requires all corporate officers to be aged 65 or under. This has forced Intel's Chief Technology Officer, Justin Rattner, out of his position as he is now 65 years old.

 

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Rattner joined the company in 1973, becoming Intel's first Principal Engineer in 1979, the fourth Intel Fellow in 1988 and one of the first Intel Senior Fellows in 2001. He has participated in more Intel keynotes than any other Intel presenter, and has four important patents with his name stamped to them: a data processing system; a hardware scheduler/dispatcher for said data processing system; an interprocessor communication system, and a programmable I/O sequencer for use in an I/O processor.

 

Rattner will step down from his position with Intel Labs, and report to Intel's President, Renée James, in the meantime. It has worked out well, as his departure is straight away, with Intel stating that a "pressing family matter" has happened, and he needs to take an unspecified amount of personal leave from Intel. Upon his return, he will be an a non-officer role.

Samsung to invest $84 million in India in order to boost their mobile production

The Press Trust of India reports from industry sources that Samsung is set to invest more than $84 million in India in order to boost their mobile production capacity.

 

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The Next Web talked to a Samsung spokesperson who said that the South Korean company are looking to strengthen their manufacturing presence in India in order "to fulfill growing needs in the market." Not only that, but it looks like the Indian government have been approached by Samsung who hope to use incentives that the Department of Electronics and IT have been dishing out.

 

India is a huge emerging market, and with Samsung sitting right there producing handsets, it can only be win-win for all involved.

Nokia purchases Siemens' share of joint venture in Nokia Siemens Networks for $2.2 billion

Bloomberg are reporting that Nokia have just confirmed they're taken full control over the joint-venture they had in Nokia Siemens Network, buying out their partner Siemens for $2.2 billion.

 

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Nokia Siemens Networks was unprofitable, with both Nokia and Siemens attempting, but failing to sell it to private investors last year. They cut 17,000 jobs (nearly 1/4 of their entire staff) and have seen earnings jump slightly. Nokia Siemens Networks posted a profit of $1.2 billion during Q1 2013, which was a nice 117% increase year-over-year.

Microsoft loses the SkyDrive trademark to BSkyB in Europe

Jumping over to the UK for this piece, where Microsoft have lost a trademark case over their branding for cloud storage service SkyDrive. The ruling, which covers both the UK and EU, stated that Microsoft infringed on British Sky Broadcasting's trademark of the Sky brand with SkyDrive.

 

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The ruling saw that it is possible for consumers to confuse the two brands, somehow. Sky, from BSkyB, offers their satellite broadcasting service, mobile apps and streaming to customers, and previously a cloud storage product but it fell under the name of Sky Store & Share. Microsoft have of course thrown in a counterclaim to invalidate four Sky trademarks "on the grounds of descriptiveness for cloud storage services."

Samsung dominates the iPhone when it comes to phone subsidies

Samsung have done quite well for themselves over the last couple of years, fighting against the near-invincible iPhone. How does it compare to Apple in regards to phone subsidies, something Apple usually have the most control over?

 

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Samsung are actually out and ahead, according to market research firm ABI Research and their latest report. They've said that the average implied carrier subsidy for a Samsung smartphone in the US is around 84%. What this means is that phone carriers cover 84% of the up-front costs of a Samsung phone when a consumer buys one on a contract.

 

The carrier then makes the money back on the two-year contract you've just signed through various fees and monthly charges. HTC see a subsidy of around 80%, with the iPhone sitting at 74%. ABI analyst, Stuart Carlaw, says: "Samsung continues to squeeze its competitors at every turn. The Samsung [Galaxy S4] is now considered on a par with Apple's iPhone 5. Coupled with better subsidy, the breadth of its device portfolio, increasingly savvy marketing, and its excellence in channel execution, it is little wonder Samsung is dominating the mobile handset market from top to bottom."

Gamers in Sweden get slapped with 'LAN party tax', costs organizers thousands for a 'permit' to hook PC's together for fun

My fondest memories as a kid growing up was growing up through the network area of connecting PC's together for some Quake, Duke Nukem, Command & Conquer and good old file sharing - but those days could be ending in Sweden, where there is now a "LAN party tax".

 

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From now on, organizers of LAN parties will have to pay a fee of up to $5,000 so that they can receive a "permit" that will allow them to connect together PC's or gaming consoles. The ruling was made legal by the Gambling Board, who are the supervisory authority for gaming and lottery and in accordance with the liberal government's revised slot machine regulation of last year.

 

Now video games fall under this umbrella, and LAN gamers and organizers are only going to suffer. General Counsel at the Gaming Board, Johan Rohr, has said that "in the eyes of the law, these are slot machines." Not only will the LAN organizers be slapped with a fee for the "permit", but they could also be up for paying extra for an inspection fee if the Gambling Board decide to check the party out.

 

What do you think of these laws? Are they utterly ridiculous or what?!

RumorTT: TSMC will become Apple's main supplier of in-house A-series processors

Just what will Apple do to get their A-series processors pumped out in enough quantity to keep up with consumer demand on their next-gen iPhone and iPad? Well, you ask for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to lend a hand.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple are working with TSMC, which will see the Taiwanese company become the lead supplier of Apple's in-house designed A-series processors, with a ramp up expected in early 2014 with 20nm SoC processors. TSMC have been an Apple supplier for years, but have had trouble keeping up with Apple's strong standards on increasing the speed, power and quality of their processors.

 

The WSJ has said that the two companies have been talking about a deal since 2010, where at the time Samsung was Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series processors, but this will change as Apple wants to distance themselves from their main competitor.

BlackBerry misses its sales mark, shares decline more than 27%

BlackBerry reported its earnings and sales figures today. Unfortunately for the company, those numbers were lower than expectations. Because of this underwhelming performance, BlackBerry shares declined by over 27 percent today. The price per share for BlackBerry now sits at around $10.46, or the lowest they have been since November of last year.

 

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Many analysts expected BlackBerry to sell around 3.5 million BB10 devices this quarter. Instead, the company managed to sell just 2.7 million. To put this figure in perspective, Nokia sold nearly double the amount of devices as BlackBerry, which still isn't saying much. BlackBerry sat at an operating loss of $84 million, or 16 cents per share. This is quite a bit better than this quarter last year in which BlackBerry lost of $500 million. Revenue was also up 9 percent to $3.1 billion.

 

BlackBerry still has quite a bit to do if they want to stick around. Some have called for the company to split its hardware and software business, something that the company says it isn't planning to do. Do you think BlackBerry has a chance at sticking around?

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