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The House of Representatives now have access to the music streaming service Spotify. Previously, Spotify had seen itself banned in the House due to an IT rule that prevents peer-to-peer technology when operating on the House's secure network.
To help protect House data, our IT policy generally prohibits the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies while operating within the secure network. While Spotify is currently not authorized, the CAO has and will continue to work with outside vendors to enable the popular services that improve member communication capabilities.
Hopefully some Spotify music will calm the nerves and reduce the fighting between members of the House. May I recommend Why can't we be friends by War?
LinkedIn have announced that they have acquired the company who make the news reader app Pulse for a reported $90 million. Pulse has over 30 million users, and could give LinkedIn an injection of tools as they continue their mission to move from being a socially-enabled site to resumes and business connections to a complete information destination.
LinkedIn took to their blog announcing the news, with the company's senior vice president Deep Nishar writing "We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform - where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content."
We reported the bad numbers of PC shipments in Q1 earlier today, and since then Microsoft stocks have dropped by around 4.4% to $28.93 at the time of writing. Not only that, but other technology stocks have dropped, too.
Dell, HP and Intel were down in stock prices riding the news of Q1 shipment numbers. Research firm IDC had partly blamed Windows 8 for the drop in PC sales, noting that HP's shipments declined 24% year-over-year, backed up by Dell's numbers which dropped 11%. Now several Wall Street analysts have downgraded Microsoft stock, so I'm sure we'll see it tumble more in the coming days and weeks.
NVIDIA announced at today's investor day that they intend to return roughly $1 billion back to shareholders. The money will be returned mainly through a structured stock repurchase program, though some will also be returned through the company's quarterly dividend of $0.075 per share.
NVIDIA said they have already returned $200 million to shareholders since the dividend was first announced in November 2012. Jen-Hsun Huang:
NVIDIA's strategies are gaining traction in the market and make us confident in our ability to continue generating cash. We are now broadening our program of giving back cash to our shareholders and plan to return a further $1 billion by the end of this fiscal year.
More details regarding the buyback plan will be provided next month when NVIDIA releases its financial results for Q1 2014.
Things aren't looking so good for BlackBerry. According to various analysts, BlackBerry's flagship Z10 suffered from weak sales. Now analysts are suggesting that the number of returns are actually outpacing the number of sales. This is not good news for BlackBerry.
"We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before," Detwiler analyst Jeff Johnston wrote.
BlackBerry wishes to respond to media coverage today regarding speculation that there have been abnormally high levels of returns of BlackBerry Z10 devices. This is absolutely false. Our data shows that return rates for BlackBerry Z10 devices both in the U.S. and on a global basis are in line with or better than our expectations and are consistent with return rates for other premium smartphones in the market today.
The most popular Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, has suspended all trading for the next 12 hours amidst massive fluctuations in Bitcoin value. Yesterday we saw Bitcoin's reach a record value of $260, which was quickly followed by a massive crash, that resulted in the virtual currency loosing half of its value in minutes.
When the market reopened this morning, prices quickly recovered to about $190, which was soon followed by another big drop back down to $120. With speculation most likely driving the roller coaster ride, Mt. Gox decided to close trading for 12 hours in hopes that things would settle down.
In a statement, Mt. Gox said:
"Market Cooldown for 12 hours
Orders will not be accepted for the moment as we need to upgrade our database to accommodate the trading volume. However, you may still cancel your pending and open orders. Trading will resume at 11.00 am JST. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve this issue."
"Always-on" tweeter, Adam Orth, is no longer working for Microsoft - Internet pitchforks work, it seems
We heard Microsoft's Adam Orth talking about the always-on debacle that is sure to light up Internet messageboards and social networks across the world in the coming months and years, but it looks like the Microsoft creative director is no longer working with Microsoft.
A close source of Orth has told Kotaku that he resigned from the company, and wasn't fired. Microsoft were asked to confirm the news, with a spokesperson for the company responding with "we do not comment on private personnel matters". Microsoft did apologize because of Orth's comments, hours after his rant on Twitter.
One would gather that all of the publicity he received from the Internet has caused the former MS creative director to resign from his position. I'm sure he'll talk about it soon enough.
If you're a Bitcoin owner, today is certainly not a good day. The value of Bitcoins has declined extremely rapidly, dropping $100 in value in just a few hours. Earlier this week, Bitcoin prices were as high as $260. As of the time of writing, Bitcoins were at $149 after having dropped as low as $105.
Some believe the cause of this crash was an inevitable "downward correction" due to the price rising too quickly. Others have suggested that the Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, is suffering from a DDoS, resulting in significant lag time and a destabilization of the market. It'll be interesting to see if the price rebounds quickly or if it takes a slow, but steady, increase.
We've had several different reports since October of last year that Apple is planning on using TSMC for production of its next processor, thought to be the A7 line of processors. Apple has plenty of reason to avoid using Samsung for its microprocessor producing needs. Probably the main reason, Samsung is one of Apple's chief rivals.
The reports continue to stack up. This time it comes courtesy of the Korea Times who spoke with an executive as one of Samsung's local partners in Korea. According to the executive, Apple is "sharing confidential data" about its A7 processors with TSMC. They add that TSMC has started "ordering its contractors to supply equipment to produce Apple's next processors using a finer 20-nanometer level processing technology."
Of course, this doesn't mean that TSMC is the final choice. It does, however, appear to be a top contender. We'll let you know as soon as we have something concrete.
First Samsung Galaxy S4 commercials posted to YouTube, shy away from Apple bashing, promote features
Samsung has posted up the first advertisements for its upcoming Galaxy S4 device. In the videos, embedded below, Samsung stays away from bashing Apple and Apple followers. Instead, Samsung does what most companies should: focus on the new features present in the device.
The first video, seen above, shows off Samsung's new S Translator.