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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 110

Google sits on top of the Fortune 100 list, wonders where Apple is - oh wait, they're not even in the top 100

Google would be popping the Moet right now, as Fortune have released their annual list of the top 100 companies to work for, with Google taking out the top dog, number one position on the list.


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This is not the first time the Mountain View-based company has taken the top spot, but their fourth time riding high on the Fortune 100 list. The explanation as to why Google is the best company to work for, is:


The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of subsidized massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.


The funny thing? Apple isn't even listed in the top 100, at all. Qualcomm takes out number 11, Intel with number 68 and Microsoft at 75. Apple? Nowhere, not in sight, at all. This. Changes. Everything. Again.

Google looks to patent laser keyboard, possibly for use in Google Glass

Google's Project Glass is quite an interesting project. With every new project, new challenges arise. For instance, developers will have to cope with figuring out how to enter data into the glasses without a keyboard. This is where a new patent by Google could come in handy. Pardon the pun.


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Google's patent uses a laser to project a keyboard onto the user's hand, which can then be articulated by gestures. Patent 20130016070, "Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device," is the patent in question. Of course, as we warn with all patents, just because they have applied for it, it doesn't mean it will make its way into a product.


The hand can either be used as a touchscreen or the camera can recognize hand gestures, allowing input by two different methods. It would help solve the problem of input into a device that doesn't feature a physical keyboard. It would also be pretty sweet since it uses laser. We still have a good amount of time before Glass releases to the public, so it's definitely possible it will show up in the final product.

Continue reading 'Google looks to patent laser keyboard, possibly for use in Google Glass' (full post)

Instagram releases monthly active user data for first time after reports of user revolt

Many reports have been claiming that Instagram has been shedding users after the recent terms of service fiasco that took place about a month ago. Instagram has finally come out with its own monthly active user data to counter these reports, the first Instagram has released numbers like these.


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"Instagram continues to see very strong growth around the world," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told AllThingsD. "With many of the product and internationalization improvements we've made, we've been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally."


The company says that at last count, more than 90 million people use Instagram on a monthly basis. Reportedly, that number is up 10 percent, month-on-month, from December to January. As was warned in articles that were relying on active daily users, the data is inaccurate at best, and completely wrong at worst.


It's good to see Instagram finally coming out with the industry standard metric of monthly active users.

Google's Larry Page blasts Facebook, says they are doing a 'really bad job' with their products

Larry Page, in an interview with Wired, has blasted Facebook for doing a "really bad job" with their products. This topic of conversation came up when Larry Page was asked about Google's motivations for competing with Facebook for social networking.


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"They're a company that's strong in that space," he said. "But they're also doing a really bad job on their products." Not much more was said on the topic about which products were especially bad, but this is one of the most direct criticisms leveled by Page against Facebook.


He went on to note how Facebook doesn't need to fail for Google+ to be a success: "We're actually doing something different," Page said. "I think it's outrageous to say that there's only space for one company in these areas." He added: "A lot of it has been copied by our competitors, so I think we're doing a good job."

Sprint LTE coming to 28 more small markets as the company rushes to catch AT&T, Verizon

Sprint users who have access to LTE phones often don't have access to any LTE coverage. I, for one, was one of those left out in the dark ages by Sprint, even though I have the latest LTE iPhone 5. While in Vegas for CES 2013, I was amazed that LTE hadn't hit that market yet, as CES would seem to be a perfect time to light it up.


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However, Sprint is far behind AT&T and Verizon in terms of LTE coverage, so they are rapidly moving to implement LTE across the country and have pledged to cover their entire 3G footprint with LTE by the end of the year. 28 more cities have been added to the list of cities getting 4G in the coming months.


These markets include: Paris, Texas; Decatur, Ala.; Winona, Minn.; Homosassa Springs, Fla.; and Glasgow, Ky. While one would expect Sprint to cover the major cities and markets first, in no way is this bad news. This is progress, though they need to make it at a much quicker rate to keep their pledge.

Larry Page asks how well Steve Job's thermonuclear war is going for them

Larry Page, during a recent interview with Wired, brought up Steve Job's comment about waging thermonuclear war on Android. His response was a simple, yet effective one: "How well is that working?" If you use stock price to judge how well its working, then the answer is also simple: not well.


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The interview then transitioned towards self-driving cars and Google X, known for projects such as the Google Self-Driving car and Project Glass:


You know, we always have these debates: We have all this money, we have all these people, why aren't we doing more stuff? You may say that Apple only does a very, very small number of things, and that's working pretty well for them. But I find that unsatisfying. I feel like there are all these opportunities in the world to use technology to make people's lives better. At Google we're attacking maybe 0.1 percent of that space. And all the tech companies combined are only at like 1 percent. That means there's 99 percent virgin territory. Investors always worry, "Oh, you guys are going to spend too much money on these crazy things." But those are now the things they're most excited about-YouTube, Chrome, Android. If you're not doing some things that are crazy, then you're doing the wrong things.


It seems as though Google isn't too worried about the future.

LG plans on selling 45 million smartphones this year, says that the Nexus 4 has helped them

LG have some grand plans for 2013, and by grand, we mean really grand - the South Korean company are expecting to have a ten-fold increase in sales according to The Korea Times.


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The Korea Times' report also says that LG are looking to sell roughly 75 million handsets this year, with 45 million of those being smartphones. LG also talks about jumping into the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon, with a senior executive from one of LG's partners telling The Korea Times:


We will release quite a number of new Optimus devices this year, and LG also has some new smartphones in the works that will run Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.


The executive adds that this year "won't be as bullish for LG as last year" and that the Nexus 4 and Optimus G have helped the South Korean company make great impressions with major carriers. These two smartphones have shown not only the carriers, but consumers that LG are more than capable of releasing some of the best built, and outright best smartphones on the market right now.

Kansas City has become the center of tech startups thanks to Google Fiber

I've just moved house and I'm stuck with piddly 4Mbit ADSL, which isn't too bad, but nothing quite like Google's Fiber service that has rolled into Kansas City.


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The Associated Press is reporting that thanks to Google's Fiber service, it has turned Kansas City into a huge attraction for tech startups who want to jump onto the fastest Internet access in the US. The AP has reported that several startups have popped up in Kansas City, "working on their ideas for the next high-tech startup".


The AP cites one startup residence, which has been called the "Home for Hackers" that provides entrepreneurs "a deal that allows them to live rent-free for up to three months "while they develop their business plans". The Home for Hackers has three spots specifically reserved for entrepreneurs and an additional bedroom set up for "fiber tourists who want a place for a day or two where they can download anything faster than they could elsewhere."

AMD says ex-employees provided NVIDIA with stolen documents

AMD is on the offensive claiming that ex-employees have provided NVIDIA with stolen documents containing some of AMD's most sensitive trade secrets. NVIDIA hired away former AMD executive Robert Feldstein, a person that was instrumental in getting AMD's graphics chips into the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii.


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"The volume of materials that these three defendants collectively transferred to storage devices, each of which is unaccounted for, as they left to work for AMD's competitor, exceeds 100,000 electronic files," AMD claims.


Not only is AMD accusing these ex-employees of stealing sensitive documents, AMD says that the former VP violated a "no-solicitation of employees" promise when he worked on bringing over other AMD employees to NVIDIA. We're likely to see a court battle where more evidence and details will come out.

Things looking up for Facebook as Bank of America raises price target to $35 thanks to 'innovation' with Graph Search

With the "innovation" of Graph Search, some investors are seeing a brighter future ahead for Facebook. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has revised their target price for Facebook stock, increasing it to $35 from $31. Justin Post, an analyst for the bank, says Graph Search was "an example of Facebook's ongoing innovation to increase engagement and potential to add revenues to the platform."


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Facebook's stock is actually trading down by about 0.8 percent, at the time of writing, which could be investors having some uncertainty about the Graph Search product that was introduced yesterday. Investors are likely not happy that Facebook unveiled something that couldn't be monetized immediately.


Bank of America continues to suggest buying the stock.

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