And so it continues! Samsung have upped the ante on their legal dispute versus Apple over smartphone patents, filing a trade complaint that seeks to block US imports of the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Samsung claim that Apple are infringing on not just one, but five patents, according to a filing with the US International Trade Commission in Washington yesterday. The ITC has the power to halt the imports of products that are in violation of US patents.
This new case adds to the on-going four cases that Samsung have in four countries, as both Samsung and Apple are fighting for the same mobile market, with both companies using the courts to try and get a sneak peek at the competing companies product. Samsung currently have lawsuits against Apple in Seoul, Tokyo, San Francisco and Mannheim, Germany.
The patents in question are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display, according to the complaint.
If the ITC does indeed take the case, a judge would hear arguments within a year and the case would look at being completed within the next 15 - 18 months.
Steve Jobs has proposed a giant, ring-shaped office at the old HP location. I'm guessing he'll get it as I see Steve as the kinda guy who when he wants something, he gets it. Jobs approached the Cupertino City Council to sell Apple's plans to transform the old HP site. The new ring-shaped design is built to hold 12,000 employees and actually looks quite amazing.
During his presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs said that Apple had pulled together "some great architects, some of the best in the world" to come up with the design that encompassed Apple. He added "there's not a single straight piece of glass in this building". Apple was able to achieve this design based on its knowledge of building Apple stores throughout the world and its particular experience in employing large pieces of glass in them.
Hours after Google unveiled their new "Google Wallet" mobile payment system, both online auction site eBay and online payment provider PayPal slapped the Search Giant, as well as former PayPal employees like Osama Bedier with a lawsuit alleging the theft of trade secrets. The court filing reportedly alleged the following on Thursday evening:
By hiring Bedier, with his trade secret knowledge of PayPal's plans and understanding of Google's weaknesses as viewed by the industry leader, Google bought the most comprehensive and sophisticated critique of its own problems available. Google put Bedier in charge of its mobile payment business, virtually ensuring that Bedier would misappropriate PayPal's trade secrets concerning planning and competitive assessments in mobile payment.
Bedier had evidently been drawn to Google at the behest of a Stephanie Telenious, a former eBay executive herself. When a former executive of a company that used to exclusively utilize a payments service from a company of which said executive lures to her current company of employment just in time to launch a service in the exact same domain- yeah, that's pretty dodgy guys, not going to lie.
Senator Ellen Corbett wants to force social network sites such as Facebook to allow parents access to their child's account. Excuse me? I thought I was living in a technology-welcoming, plugged-in liberal utopia here in San Francisco (so liberal in fact, that the public transportation has completely abandoned fascist principles like punctuality and reliability), but evidently I was incorrect.
Parents would be able to request that any content be removed from any social network (Twitter, Foursquare, etc) within 48 hours upon his or her request. More importantly, any social network that would fail or refuse to comply with these requests would be fined $10k for each refusal of compliance. This is a clear case of conservative "well-meaning" protection / governmental "nannying" that would have extraordinarily pernicious consequences for both social network sites and the concept of privacy as a whole. It's understandable that parents would want some kind of oversight over their children's public information, but won't this encourage a demographic backlash of secretive and encoded information? If the kids know the parents are "watching", won't they just find new and different forms of communication within that system to maintain their privacy? When I was a young upset, my group of friends most certainly had codewords for behavior or intentions we didn't want to expose publicly to our parents.
GPU giant meets Baseband & RF superstar, and $367 Million later an acquisition is born. Everyone at both companies is clearly excited about the deal, but nothing will be set in stone until a conference call held between the two companies Thursday, May 12, at 2:00PM PDT. Anyone at all can listen in to the call to find out more details, just dial 706-679-2572- no password or meeting number required! NVIDIA and Icera will also webcast the call, and you can listen in here and here. More details below in the press release.
SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/09/2011 -- NVIDIA announced today that it has agreed to acquire Icera, a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.
Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies' products and technologies, including NVIDIA's Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.
The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days.
After recent troubles affecting the social network turned news & entertainment site, MySpace is on NewsCorp's chopping block. Or rather, on a table at a garage sale. According to the Wall Street Journal, NewsCorp expects around $100 Million for the site, which comes to an 84% loss for the network they paid $580 Million to acquire back in 2005.
NewsCorp evidently hopes to at least scrap the site for parts, so to speak, as they will be accepting offers for select components of MySpace. Reported parties interested in purchasing MySpace (though God knows why) include THL Partners, Redscout Ventures, Criterion Capital (owner of social network Bebo, Chinese Internet holding company Tencent, and even MySpace co-founder Chris De Wolfe.
Isn't that kinda like a furniture craftsman buying back his own work at an antique auction?
Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, founders of YouTube have acquired Delicious. Wait what? Didn't Yahoo acquire Delicious back in 2005 for like $10 million? The answer is yes, but evidently Yahoo is selling off its acquisitions.
Delicious, formerly "del.icio.us" is a social bookmarking site- it allows you to keep track of bookmarks and access them from any computer, thus eliminating the frustration of having to access particular browsers on particular computers. We're not sure about the details of this reacquisition, but it can't an altogether bad thing to be under the auspices of the guys that brought us the most addictive website since.....uh.....ever?
Delcious will continue under Yahoo until July of 2011, and if you're a current user, the transition will be "seamless". Check out their site and/or the press release below for more details.
April 27 2011
YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious
Today, we're pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward.
Providing a seamless...
Last week the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicted 11 defendants involved in American Online Poker sites.
If you don't recall, among the defendants were the founders of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and Pokerstars, and they were charged with conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering, bribery, and scheming with a 2006 legislation proposal that would have made online gambling illegal. The DoJ now wants somewhere around $3 Billion and as many as 65 years in prison for some of the defendants.
In other news, the American Congress might just make online gambling completely legal- or illegal. Only the next few months will tell.
AMD have posted their latest earning results and for the first quarter of 2011 they were up by 2-percent compared to last year. Net income has grown by a very decent 98-percent. First quarter profits were higher than those from the holiday quarter, by 36-percent.
AMD attributes the year-on-year growth to shipments of their APU (accelerated processing units), which "greatly exceeded" their expectations. Most people want to know which of AMD's businesses did best last quarter, microprocessors or graphics? The computing solutions side of things saw a revenue rise of 3-percent compared to last year, despite lower average selling prices. On the flip side, the graphics business was "flat year-over-year" and it also saw prices decrease.
Looking toward Q2, AMD is expecting its revenue to be "flat to slightly down" compared to the results of Q1.
Fraunhofer IPMS announced today a working protoype of the world's first Borg vision. That is, a bidirectional and eye-tracking OLED micro-display. For the layperson, that's transparent screen on which you can see digital content. And it looks like this:
So basically, reflected light that generally assaults your eyes are used to overlay digital information through the eyepiece. Imagine the Monocle function in the Yelp application, but as you are walking around in real-time, without holding your iPhone out in front of you the entire time. Even better, since its an "eye-tracking" piece of hardware, it always knows where you're looking(!), allowing all sorts of interesting uses in the way of photo recognition, facial recognition, natural feature tracking, and social networking.
This bodes very, very well for Augmented Reality development, and if Fraunhofer can make sure this stuff hits industrially before it hits commercially, we'll have all kinds of crazy stuff happening, all in the blink of an eye. Too cheesy? Press release to follow.
Samsung have fired back at Apple after Apple slapped them with a lawsuit saying that Samsung have copied their iPhone and iPad designs with the Galaxy phone and Galaxy Tab range. Samsung provide Apple with semiconductor chips and display panels for Apple's mobile products and have not (to this point in time) sued Apple for infringement but obviously Apple have pushed Samsung over the edge and now they're fighting back saying:
"We have no choice but to respond strongly this time".
What? Apple is redubbing their iPhone 5 as the "M9"?! Nope. But that's probably why Apple's going to sue Meizu as soon as they step foot in the country. According to Electronista, the Chinese tech company is planning on opening an office in California, from which it would market its suspiciously familiar-looking portable products, the M9 (pictured above) and the M8. These phones certainly have the look and feel of a post-pc device, and though Apple hasn't followed up on some patent claims they filed against the M8, but I mean, c'mon Meizu. You're just asking for it.
Apple has already accused Samsung of infringement because the latter makes portable rectangular things that surf the web. What do you think they're going to do when your device, ya know, pretty much looks the exact same.
Best of luck Meizu!
Apple is not happy with Samsung, they've filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung (who have just sold their HDD operations to Seagate btw!) for the Galaxy-branded line of products. Apple is claiming that Samsung have infringed on their rights with the Galaxy S phones and Tab by violating various patents which were assigned to Apple by US PTO.
Apple also think that the Galaxy S phones and Galaxy Tab look like their iPhone and iPad, which is a violation called "trade dress". Apart from sounding like Apple are saying Samsung are cross-dressing, Apple are seriously pissed about this and are claiming that the Galaxy Tab took its design from the iPad with the same aspect ratio, rectangular shape, rounded corners (oh no!) and similar black border - referencing the similarities found in the iPad.
Eleven defendants, including the founders of online gambling sites PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker are the subject of a United States Department of Justice indictment, unsealed today. The indictment charges the defendants with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. Authorities in New York also issued restraining orders against more than 75 bank accounts, and seized five different internet domain names. Damn, that's cold.
Evidently, Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara has charged Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, founders of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, respectively, and nine other defendants with fraudulently scheming to thwart a 2006 antigaming litigation that prevents US banks from processing online poker payments. Bharara said in a statement:
As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits.
This is some pretty serious stuff, poker dudes. I have multiple friends that are professional poker players and spend a good deal of time online. The saddest thing about all of this is that the fallout from some greedy and shady dudes doing greedy and shady things is going to hurt the people that actually ma
Social is just everywhere these days. Yesterday we had news of GetGlue's 1 Million users, and today it's New York City startup SocialGuide announced the beginning of what could be a very promising future with a seed round of $1.5 million from angel investors, including Alex Zubillaga:
With more than half of the nearly 300 million Americans who watch TV having a second screen experience, the market is ripe for a social TV product that connects with consumers and networks. SocialGuide is the only product that is built around the existing social TV behavior that is happening with millions of consumers across the most popular social networks. Consumers now have one place to enjoy their favorite programming, and networks have a way to more deeply engage with their audience
CEO Sean Casey believes that the social TV space is "nascent", and spoke of the pending improvements to SocialGuide's already strong interface and user experience. SocialGuide is essentially a social data collecting service that filters and displays millions of discussions occurring in real time about televised media, and ranks them according to popularity. SocialGuide also makes it very easy to share this type of information throughout your various social networks
If you haven't heard the news today, an upstate New York entrepreneur and convicted felon Paul Ceglia is suing Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for over 50% of the company. Paul, proud owner of the two shiniest, brassiest balls on the planet might actually have a case though. Evidently Zuckerberg accepted $1000 for exchange of half of a company he refers to as "the Face Book" in various email exchanges with Ceglia, who is being represented by reputable international law firm DLA Piper. He is not, as they say, @#$%ing around.
Seven years later, after already having been convicted of fraud for his woodchipper fuel company (I know, right?), Ceglia stumbled upon these emails and contracts while researching his defense for his fraud case. If you want to take a look, the evidence is pretty solid, and DLA wouldn't stake their reputations on evidence that was shoddy.
Facebook, wonder of wonders, is claiming that Ceglia fabricated all of the emails and contracts. Honestly, I'm really curious as to how this one will play out.
Silicon Valley's favorite search engine giant just dropped a whopping $168 million in a new solar energy plant in California's Mojave Desert designed and developed by BrightSource Energy. Google is counting on BrightSource's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) to generate 392 MegaWatts (gross) of minty-fresh clean solar energy. In a blog post today, Google wrote:
That's the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, projected to be more than 25 years.
Which would be no small contribution to our nation's energy qualms, something Google is clearly dedicated to aiding as the tech firm has now invested more than $250 million in the future of clean, renewable energy. Google is investing in the proven technology of "Power Towers", which use fields of mirrors (heliostats) to focus solar rays onto a receiver placed on top of a large tower (seen above in the photo). According to the post, the first use of the technology was the fabled existence of Archimedes' heat ray that used a similar system to focus solar energy to burn the sails...
DigiTimes is reporting that AMD are recruiting talent for the development of Android driver software, AMD is also looking to eventually offer its notebook and tablet PC partners chipset solutions supporting the Android platform. Later this year in June, the Computex Taipei trade fair will run with companies like Lenovo, Fujitsu and Samsung Electronics showcasing a number of tablet-based PCs built on Intel's Oak Trail platform.
Meanwhile Micro-Star Internation (MSI) will begin marketing its latest tablet PCs built on AMD's Brazos APU. Acer was the start of companies using the Brazos platform and with the launch of Brazos-based tablets from MSI, this is a sign that AMD's APUs are finally beginning to lift off.
In an interesting game of cat and mouse, the United States Department of Justice has approved Silicon Valley's most successful tech company's intent to acquire ITA, a travel information search service based in Cambridge, MA.
The DoJ filed a consent decree with the conditions that Google continue to license ITA"s tech to existing clients such as Kayak and maintain the fairness of its current availability. Also in the decree consent were stipulations that Google erect firewalls to ensure that ITA data is blocked from other areas of Google.
Interestingly enough, the DoJ has evidently filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the impending acquisition of ITA if Google did not consent to the conditions. Google really didn't have a choice, especially with the rampant antitrust allegations running around, as recently reported by Bloomberg.
Google was very happy to accept the terms and conditions, and posted the following on their blog today:
It's important to us that ITA continue with business as usual, providing great service to its business partners. We indicated last July that we would honor ITA's existing contracts. Today we've formally committed to let ITA's customers..
AMD and GlobalFoundaries have renegotiated a silicon supply deal which should see AMD switching to a per-die payment method for any chips produced on GlobalFoundaries new 32nm-based manufacturing process. The renegotiated deal replaces the previous method of payment which was based on a per-wafer deal.
In a press statement, AMD said that from now on it's "price for 32nm products will be based on a good die", which implies that AMD was previously seeing too many duff dies per 32nm wafer for its liking and therefore only wants to pay for working chips, which is fair enough.
The National Broadband Network Company's (NBN Co's) head of construction Patrick Flannigan has resigned in the middle of the controversy surrounding the company's decision to halt the bidding process for the network construction tender.
With the NBN hitting roadblock after roadblock, this is yet another set back for the delayed network. With the company saying:
NBN Co is disappointed that Patrick Flannigan, head of construction, has decided to resign. He made a valuable contribution to the leadership team and we wish him all the best in the future.