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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 111

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.

Google ordered by Australian courts to identify "libelous" bloggers

Online anonymity has been dealt yet another hard hitting blow, this time by Australian courts. In a case of defamation, the courts have ordered that Google relinquish all relevant evidentiary material about several bloggers who allegedly defamed businessman Shane Radbone.


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The former footballer along with his wife want to sue the bloggers on accusations of defamation and up until now, the problem was that the bloggers were just anonymous faces behind a blog. The courts have given Google a total of 21 days to comply with the order, which states that Google must hand over email addresses, telephone numbers and the IP addresses provided by the person or persons who created the blog.


Google declined to comment on the case, but we know that the company has handed over details in criminal cases and criminal investigations before. It is unclear whether Google has handed over information in civil legal proceedings before, though.

Apple loses VP of retail, could indicate Apple close to hiring new SVP

Apple's business hasn't been doing well as of late. It's stock is the lowest its been since February of last year. Now, Apple has just lost their Vice President of Retail, Jerry McDougal. McDougal is said to have left the company to "spend more time with his family," though this seems a bit fishy.


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One theory is that Tim Cook passed him over for the position of Senior Vice President of Retail, a position that hasn't been filled since the firing of John Browett back in October. This could indicate that Tim Cook is getting close to nominating a replacement candidate.


Apple has replaced McDougal with Jim Bean, current VP of Finance and someone who has been with the company for 15 years now.

Analyst estimates that Microsoft sold just 1 million Surface tablets last quarter

It's a fairly gloomy outlook for the Surface RT tablet. An estimate by analyst Brent Thill places the number sold around one million for last quarter. This is down from a previous estimate of two million. To put that estimate in perspective, analysts are expecting Apple to have sold around 20 million iPads during the same period.


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That means that Microsoft has been estimated to have sold just 5 percent of the number of tablets that Apple did. Now, when you add in tablets running the Android operating system, Microsoft's share of the tablet market is even less.


Surface Pro could help Microsoft's weak numbers. Since it runs Intel chips, it would give corporate users an alternative to the iPad, though numerous other Intel-based tablets are coming out as well.

Judge rules news outlets improperly used pictures tweeted over Twitter

Agence France-Presse and The Washington Post are in a bit of hot water after using pictures that were tweeted by a photo journalist. The story goes something like this: after the Haiti earthquake back in January 2010, AFP and The Washington Post used pictures tweeted by photojournalist Daniel Morel. Morel accused AFP of copyright infringement, so AFP sued Morel to get him to stop.


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Morel countersued and the court battle has ended in a ruling saying that AFP and The Washington Post improperly used the photos. AFP argued that because the pictures were provided publicly, Twitter's terms of service allowed those pictures to be used. While Twitter's terms do allow some use of the pictures, such as retweeting them, Twitter maintains that users own their content.


"As has always been our policy, Twitter users own their photos," a Twitter spokesman said. There are still more issues to be settled in a trial, though the judge has limited damages that could potentially be recovered by Morel. The main takeaway is that you should not use Twitter pictures commercially without first obtaining permission to do so.

Comcast invests $150 million in Arris, maker of set-top boxes

Comcast has purchased a stake worth $150 million in Arris, a set-top box maker. Cable still relies on users having set-top boxes, so it's probably not a bad investment for Comcast to be making. In return for the cash, Comcast will receive around 10.6 million shares of common stock in the company.


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Comcast's purchase will close along with Arris' purchase of Motorola Home from Google. The value of Motorola Home is valued at $2.35 billion. Both Comcast and Google will end up with roughly a 7.85 percent stake in Arris once the deals are complete.


"We are very pleased that Comcast has agreed to make this significant investment in Arris," said Bob Stanzione, CEO of Arris. "We believe this investment by one of our largest customers is a strong indication of customer support for the Motorola Home acquisition and its potential to accelerate innovation to the benefit of the industry and consumers."

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