Google had their quarterly earnings release today and along with it they've announced their top-level management structure, with co-founder Larry Page replacing Eric Schmidt as CEO as of April 4th.
Page will handle the day-to-day operations while Schmidt will become Executive Chairman and focus on business deals, partnerships and outreach. Co-founder Sergey Brin will use his power for new and strategic product efforts.
Infamous Wii-hacker Johnny Chung Lee has left Microsoft after working for them with Project Natal (now known as Kinect). Johnny worked for Microsoft for three years working on human tracking algorithms for the Kinect within the Microsoft Applied Science group.
He has jumped ship to Google and is taking a position as a "Rapid Evaluator" - what this is, I do not know, but it could be a big win for Google's rumored Gaming portal.
Found this video on my daily troll of websites, a behind the scenes look at Lexar (a division of Micron) and their production process. Micron is the only chip manufacturing plant in the US and more specifically it's in Ohio.
The video is great, little facts amaze me like, the plant's clean room is 100 times cleaner than a hospitals operating room. Crazy fact! It also shows just how much work can go into something so small.
It looks like Apple CEO Steve Jobs is off to battle another nemesis, and it's not the PC or competing tablets. Jobs announced to his employees this morning that he is taking a medical leave of absence from Apple, leaving Tim Cook to handle the day to day operations at Apple.
You can say what you want about Jobs, but you can't say he isn't tough. His previous medical history includes a bout with Pancreatic Cancer in 2004 and a liver transplant in 2009, both of which he fully recovered from. No specifics were relased about the reason for the latest leave of absence, but more may be released during Apple's Q4 and 2010 earnings release tomorrow.
NVIDIA and Intel are now playing nice. I'm guessing this is because AMD is about to open up a can of whoop ass on them (all the pun in the world intended there, you may remember the tattoo, etc).
NVIDIA and Intel have announced a new six year cross-licensing deal that will have Intel coughing up $1.5 billion over five years to NVIDIA, to gain access to their technology, while NVIDIA gain access to some of Intel's patents.
AMD has just announced that CEO Dirk Meyer has resigned. Currently there is no official reason for his resignation, except that he reached a "mutual agreement" with the company's board.
Current CFO, Thomas Seifert will be the temporary CEO whilst a new one is found. Bruce Claflin, Chairman of AMD's Board of Directors and head of the CEO Search Committee said "Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GlobalFoundries, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market."
Sometime in the next 24 hours, Motorola will stop trading as (MOT) and will be replaced with Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) and Motorola Solutions Inc (MSI).
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (MMI) will cover smartphone/set-top boxes as well as sporting the new red logo that you see above, where Motorola Solutions Inc (MSI) will cover public-safety radios and handheld scanners.
Last night Facebook was held on the shoulders of the internet, being bragged that it was worth $50 billion. But it has woken today from it's post-party hangover and not only realised a tooth was missing, a tiger was in the room and that they were about to be punched in the face by Mike Tyson - but Apple had taken over as the new cool kid on the market cap block, now valued at over $300 billion!
This move now makes Apple the second public company with such a high value, second only to Exxon Mobil. Twelve months ago Apple were at the $213 billion market cap, which at the time were only $40 billion behind the great Microsoft. Now they're $60 billion in-front of Microsoft, which is obviously a great achievement.
It's no secret that online shopping is becoming more and more popular, especially during the holiday season where people (like me) prefer doing their Christmas shopping from home instead of battling traffic and crowds at the mall. The U.S. saw a significant increase in online holiday spending, reaching a new record of $30.81 billion for the first 56 days of November to December.
This was a 13% increase over last year, with the week before Christmas netting $2.45 billion and a 17% increase all by itself. Computer hardware, which includes items like tablets, e-readers, and laptops in well, saw a healthy 23 percent increase over 2009 and even books and magazines came in second on the list with a 22 percent increase in sales. All in all, it was a good time to be an online retailer.
Apple predicted just recently that it would hit the one million sold milestone before Christmas, and it is now confirmed by Apple that they managed this. How long has it taken them to get there?
Three months. It's impressive for something that Apple doesn't push as hard as the iPhone, iPads, etc. Haven't used one myself, but they do look hawt.
With today being Christmas Eve you might think shopping has pretty much ended, you would be wrong. There are still hoards of people out there that wait until the last minute and then hit the malls. If you are expecting to get a gift card or gadget from Best Buy and it happens to not work or not be the one you wanted Best Buy will be opening early on December 26.
The store will open at 7AM so you can return, exchange, or blow that Christmas loot Santa left in your stocking. Best Buy will be offering some good deals that day too. You can get an HP AMD Turion notebook with 3GB of RAM and 320GB of storage for $399.99. If you got a bunch of home theater gear an all the remotes are making your head swim, you can get a deal on a cool universal remote too.
Best Buy will have the Harmony One from Logitech for $159.99, which is $90 off. That is one of the best remotes on the market. If you got a new iPhone 4 you can save 50% on some cases and certain Blu-ray movies will be offered for $12.99. Merry Christmas!
Toshiba seem to have not had quite the run with Cell processors as they had planned. Back in 2008 they purchased the Nagasaki manufacturing plant for $90 billion yen ($835 million) and are now selling it for $50 billion yen ($597 million).
Making a loss, but Sony seems to be smiling with promise here. Rumor has it that Son might use the plant to build more CMOS chips for its high-end camera range. Sony have also said they will use the facility to produce HD image sensors for cameras and smartphones.
Terry "CatalystMaker" Makedon might require a new nickname, maybe "FusionMaker" will suite him well? Terry Makedon is moving jobs within AMD (as posted about yesterday) but in January he will start as software marketing manager for Fusion APU's.
He has said to KitGuru: "As of January 1st I will be changing jobs within AMD. I will switch from being the manager of software product management for Radeon to being the software marketing manager for Fusion APU's (Accelerated Processing Units). I am looking forward to working on the brand new and exciting market of APU's."
Google have dropped $1.8 billion like it's hot (shout out to Snoop Dogg!) on a new office in the concrete city where dreams are made of (wink Jay-Z), New York City.
They've spent the $1.8 billion on 111 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. Google will also be leasing out the building to continuing and new tenants. Google have also said:
Intel and AMD have a lot in store for us tech-junkies. Intel's Sandy Bridge launches, as well as AMD's Bulldozer and Bobcat ranges, plus AMD's Llano APU's!
According to DigiTimes, Taiwanese notebook and motherboard manufacturers have their bets placed with AMD. Those anonymous (bah!) Taiwanese firms have predicting AMD's notebook market share will swell from it's current 11% in 2010 to 15% in 2011. With their server and desktop market shares increasing from 20% to 25%.
AMD's Terry "CatalystMaker" Makedon, who is the Catalyst Product Manager is changing roles within AMD in around two weeks time.
Terry has said on his Twitter page that "Catalyst has been a great ride for me with alot of ups and downs."
Facebook may seem like it's a worldwide phenomenon, but there's actually a huge chunk of the world left out as the website is blocked from use by China. Facebook founder recently met with the head of China's largest search engine Baidu for a tour and lunch to discuss the current state of the internet in China.
According to Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo, that the meeting with Baidu chief executive Robin Li "makes sense -- he is interested in the Chinese Internet, he's made that very plain. Obviously this is one of the big dark spots for Facebook because it is blocked here in China." Zuckerberg played off the trip as a cultural experience: "I'm trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset -- it's just such an important part of the world." Obviously, since it's one of the few parts of the world not addicted to FarmVille.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say restocking fees suck. We all know it doesn't really cost companies 10% or more of what the purchase price of a gadget is to restock them. Those fees are just a way for the company to help talk us into keeping the gadgets we really don't like and would return if we didn't have to pay a fee. Best Buy has announced it has finally stopped being such a douche and eliminated restocking fees.
The fees were killed off on December 18 and the store will even refund you that restocking fee if you made a return in the 30 days or so prior to the 18th and were charged 10% or 15%. The old restocking fees were 10% of the price on an iPhone and 15% on other electronic devices like notebooks, TVs, GPS devices and more. Those high fees could add up to some really big losses for the consumer.
Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks is set to be freed on bail today. The bail has been set at £220,000 before he can even step foot into the normal, free world.
Once Assange is out on bail he will be staying at a 600-acre country estate owned by support Vaughn Smith, a former Arm captain who founded and runs The Frontline Club for journalists - Assange himself has made regular personal appearances there and where he stayed prior to the cause being brought.
Twitter has received $200 million more in funding from bid winner Kleiner Perkins who beat out DST - this was from a valuation of $3.7 billion.
Not only does Twitter have more coin, they've also added two new members to their board, Flipboard's Mike McCue and DoubleClick's David Rosenblatt. The latest addition in funds increases their total funding to around $360 million.
The rumblings have been going around for a couple months now, and now it looks like the Yahoo! Downsizing is official. The big time web company is laying off around 4% of their workforce, making the fourth time in three years that Yahoo! Has downsized their staff.
Around 600 people lost their jobs, but reports are showing that the severance packages were fairly lucrative. Reports of six week vacations and job placement have been reported, but that can't soften the blow of losing your job during the holidays much. Yahoo! has been losing their battle for search supremacy to Google and even Facebook.