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Apple's "antennagate" scandal has almost come to a close. Owners of iPhone 4 devices have started to receive their $15 check from Apple, their portion of the settlement fund. The checks are being issued to those owners who did not receive a free bumper for the defective iPhone 4.
The check must be cashed before the date listed, which appears to be 90 days out from the date of issue. For those who didn't submit a claim, you appear to be out of luck. If you miss cashing the check in time, you're also out of luck as Apple will not reissue the check.
The settlement was a total of $53 million, though lawyers got their hands on $16 million of it. The settlement found that Apple misrepresented and concealed material information about the iPhone 4, particularly the antenna and reception quality.
We've covered the legal issues with Aereo in a bit of detail. CBS has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to stop Aereo from streaming the broadcast TV network over the Internet. CBS has now said that they intend to sue Aereo again, this time in Boston as the service launches on May 15.
The new threat came from Dana McClintock, executive vice president of communications for CBS. During a series of tweets between her, BTIG Research, and a Verge editor, McClintock was asked if CBS would sue in Boston or wait until the case in New York ended. The response was immediate and clear:
We will sue. Stealing our signal will be found to be illegal in Boston, just as it will be everywhere else.
It's interesting to note that CBS has so far been unsuccessful in its court challenges.
ARM has had a stellar Q1 2013, with pre-tax profits increasing by 44%, and revenues seeing an increase of 26% to $209.4 million since the same quarter of last year.
ARM is seeing this continued success thanks to their adoption of low-power chip designs, embracing smartphones (who wouldn't?!), mobile computing, digital TVs and wearable technology. Higher royalties per chip are also coming from their advanced technologies baked into their ARMv8, Mali and big.LITTLE products.
Over the course of the first quarter of this year, the company shipped 2.6 billion ARM-based chips, which is a huge 35% increase year-on-year, with embedded hardware up a nice 50% since Q1 2012. ARM's Mali products have exploded, up 500% on shipments versus the same quarter of last year.
The HTC One could be facing another delay, at least in the Netherlands. Nokia has been granted a preliminary injunction against HTC over the latter's use of high-amplitude mics in their latest flagship device. As you can see in the picture below, both the Lumia 720 and HTC One use the same dual-membrane components.
HTC is disappointed in the decision. We are considering whether it will have any impact on our business and we will explore alternative solutions immediately.
Nokia asserts that the supplier of the Lumia 720 part was supposed to be manufacturing the part exclusively for Nokia: "[the] microphone components [were] invented by and manufactured exclusively for Nokia."
This could be bad news for HTC. The One has already faced delays due to component shortages and could again be facing delays. This device is the--pardon the pun--one that HTC needs to turn their floundering company around.
Netflix had a fairly successful first quarter, adding a total of over three million users around the world. In the United States alone, Netflix pulled in 2.03 million new customers. These new additions bring Netflix's total subscriber count to over 30 million, higher than that of HBO for the first time ever.
Netflix pulled in $32 million in profits off of $1 billion in revenue for the quarter. To help increase revenues, Netflix is planning to offer an $11.99 plan that would officially support streaming to up to four devices. The current limit is two, but it doesn't seem to be heavily enforced.
CEO Reed Hastings expects less than one percent of subscribers to move to the new, more expensive plan. In other news, Hastings says that fewer than 8,000 people created free trial accounts to just watch House of Cards and then quit.
Google has been using its Street View cars to snoop WiFi for years and today Germany has said enough is enough. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection has just hit the search giant with a fairly large fine of $190,000.
While that fine may seem astronomical to us, Google will treat it as nothing more than a pin-prick in its deep pocketed leather skin. The fine comes three years after an investigation in which Google was found guilty of pulling WiFi data from open networks that were discovered by its Street View cars.
Personal data including emails, passwords and pictures were all recorded, but Google says that all of the data has since been deleted. While I see where this invasion of privacy is a big deal, with more and more people using Gmail, Google+, Google Drive and Android, Google already has all of our private data stored on its servers anyway.
It has been an awesome year so far for Apple if you only look at their sales numbers, but if you take a step back and let the entire picture come into focus you will see that things are not looking so good for the once largest company in the world.
This year we have already seen Apple's stock drop below $400 from a record high of over $700, a difference of 44-percent. While Apple is expected to post its strongest second quarter sales in its history, the company will report its first decline in profits in over ten years.
Analyst are forecasting iPhone sales of around 35 million units during the first quarter of 2013 with iPad sales in the 17 million range. Mac sales are hovering around 4 million units. Apple is expected to report that the gross margin on these products to be around 47.4-percent which is much higher than the expected 37.5-percent the company was hoping for.
It looks as though Facebook are the ones behind the huge data center construction project which is taking place in the town of Altoona, Iowa. This new data center will be the fourth company-owned data center.
The remaining three are in Prineville, Ore., Forest City, N.C., and Lulea, Sweden. The news comes from a report in the Des Moines Register, who says the data center will span 1.4 million square feet. There's no news on whether the social network would see any tax breaks or incentives for building in Iowa.
Facebook are also said to want some tax credits for using wind power, something that will require a vote by the state legislature. State officials have been quiet about the whole ordeal, but there was some large competition between Iowa and Nebraska to win the deal.
Anonymous don't let down on their promises, and with April 22 starting in some parts of the world, the Anonymous-led Web blackout has officially begun. The hacking collective will lead some 200+ sites who will suspend normal operations in protest of the rights-raping Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that recently passed the US House of Representatives.
Anonymous, along with other groups, have called for the blackout protesters to use the hashtags #CISPAblackout and #StopCISPA. Last year's anti-SOPA blackout had some big support with companies like Google helping out, where the CISPA protest is mainly limited to the hacking and Anonymous circles. Anonymous and Occupy Facebook and Twitter websites have also promised to go silent for the day.
If CISPA passes, there will be a lot of change to users' rights and privacy on the web, we'll make sure to report as much CISPA news as we can.
AMD have just scooped up another Apple employee, who used to work for AMD. Raja Koduri will join the company as AMD's Corporate Vice President of Graphics Business, Visual Computing. Koduri's role at Apple was their Director of Graphics Architecture, something he has done for four years now. Koduri will be reporting to Mark Papermaster, who talked about Koduri joining the AMD ranks once again:
Maintaining AMD's position as a leader in visual computing is the key to our long-term success. As one of the industry's foremost experts in developing leading-edge visual computing solutions, Raja brings exceptional vision and strength to AMD's world-class engineering leadership team. Given his past record of success, Raja will help AMD lead the way in visual and accelerated computing and ensure we continue developing the industry-leading graphics IP that forms the foundation for our future growth.
This is the second person AMD have poached back from Apple, with the first being Jim Keller in August 2012. AMD reacquired Keller, making him their Corporate Vice President and Chief Microprocessor Architect. His position with Apple was as the Director of their Platform Architecture Group.