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Avis has tossed its hat into the $400 million US car sharing market by purchasing Zipcar for about $500 million. Zipcar has a reported 760,000 members in 20 major US cities.
The acquisition comes at a 45% premium over Zipcar's closing price on Dec 31 2012 with the transaction set to complete in the spring of 2013. Zipcar was formed in January, 2000 as a way to bring the popular European concept of car sharing to the US
"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO in a press release.
The Japanese newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Apple is planing on launching fully fledged iBookstores in Japan this year. It is unclear where the store will be open for business.
Japan has been slow to embrace E-books, but with companies like Amazon, Google and Sony retailing the format, Apple had no choice but to follow suit. Apple has reportedly signed agreements with Japanese publishers Shogakukan, Kodansha and Kadokawa.
Manga has been dominating the Japanese E-book market lately, but Apple is banking on the arrival of western book publishers to fuel its fire and help turn its newest venture into something profitable.
Apple's Paris store was robbed on New Year's Eve by armed robbers. The store had only been closed for about three hours when two people broke into the store through an employee entrance and attacked the security guard and janitor inside. The janitor is said to be lightly injured.
The suspects reportedly stole Apple products, with the estimated loss to be around 1 million euros, or approximately $1.25 million. The police won't confirm: "It is too early to give an accurate estimation of the damage. An inventory is taking place to determine the exact amount of the damage," a Paris police spokeswoman said.
The patent wars continue to move forward with the latest move being LG trying to ban the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in South Korea. LG alleges that the Galaxy Note infringes upon three of LG's patents on LCD technology used by the display panel. "Through this action, LG Display seeks to completely stop the sale, manufacture and importation of the infringing Samsung product," LG Display said in a press release.
LG has said that they would request compensation of $933,000 per day of continued non-compliance. This patent dispute started back in September when LG Display sued Samsung for infringing upon seven organic light-emitting diode patents. LG alleges five of Samsung's devices infringe, including Samsung's Galaxy S-series of smartphones.
Samsung counter-sued LG alleging that the latter company lured senior Samsung OLED researchers away from the former company, even though they had contracts preventing the working for a rival firm.
The companies that have been leading the charge against piracy and copyright infringement have been caught infringing upon other company's intellectual property. TorrentFreak, with the help of Scaneye, tracked IPs associated with Hollywood Studios and logged what Torrents the IPs were downloading.
As it turns out, the studio IPs had lots of torrents associated with their IPs. For instance, you can see above that Paramount Pictures employees were downloading several different movies from competing studios. Warner Brothers, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and even Walt Disney had similar lists of downloads.
This shouldn't really surprise anyone. We've known that this occurs for a while now, but it's always good for those advocating against increased copyright laws to be able to show that the companies championing the changes are infringing as well. This new data comes right before the new Six Strikes policy is set to take effect in the US.
This likely isn't the last we'll hear about this.
Earlier this past week, when users typed "Sell" into the search bar on Google Finance, they were directed to the page for Apple's stock. Claiming the result on its algorithm, Google said that there was no secret plot to overthrow Apple.
"This isn't deliberate," the company said in a statement. "Our algorithms seem to be keying off of the words 'sell' and "sells" in the description of this very popular stock symbol. We're working on how to adjust things so it doesn't happen anymore."
Google has since tweaked the algorithm so that typing "Sell" into the search bar on Google Fininance brings up a list of stocks including Selestra, who's Ticker name is SELL.
Yahoo said they'd be reversing out of the South Korean market by the end of this year, and they've now completed this move. Yahoo have posted on their site with detailed instructions to users on when exactly all of their services will stop, with most of them stopping today - December 31.
The company revealed the plans to pull out of the South Korean market back in October, as part of their plan of "reinventing" themselves with Marissa Mayer now in control. The move is said to cost Yahoo as much as $94 million and the loss of 200 jobs. The company said in October:
This decision is part of our efforts to streamline operations and focus our resources on building a stronger global business that's set up for long-term growth and success.
Most of my Facebook feed used to be filled with game requests, until I began blocking all game requests - I'm looking at you, Nanna. But, it looks like Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has started his cost-reduction plan which was announced last month.
Zynga has either shut down or pulled from app stores, stopped accepting new players to eleven games with some of those games turning off today. Zynga will reallocate resources from the games gone or cut down to the titles that are actually doing well, or put them into creating new games.
The company have had a very rocky year after bursting out of the gate to be a huge success, where their share price is down from their IPO launch of $10 to just $2.33 now. Zynga have announced huge cost-cutting measure which will see over 100 employees cut, offices shutting their doors, ceasing to renew deals with contractors, shutting down 13 games, as well as reducing investments into The Sims-style game, The Ville.
Samsung have had an amazing year and it looks like 2013 will be even better again with plans unveiled that Samsung are set to expand their Silicon Valley address with some huge changes:
- A new sales and R&D center, built in the stead of some existing Samsung offices, with floor space totaling 1.1 million square feet.
- A layout that seeks to "encourage interaction among staff" and "foster connections with the community," while ultimately improving Sammy's "soft capabilities"
- A parking garage and an "amenity pavilion" (whatever that is, we just know we can't afford one)
Samsung's new crib will be a little bigger than Apple's latest 3,600-worker expansion in Austin, Texas.
Fujitsu has jumped on the bandwagon with OEMs blaming poor Windows 8 demand for underwhelming PC sales. According to Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto, demand for Windows 8 is "weak." He says this is the cause for underwhelming sales numbers, coupled with the debt crisis in Europe.
"We can't be optimistic about the PC industry," said Yoshihisa Toyosaki, a Tokyo-based analyst at Architect Grand Design "PC makers' bet on Windows 8 has failed, as cheaper tablet computers are taking away customers."
Dell, on the other hand, has reportedly seen strong demand for their systems running Windows 8. "Fujitsu doesn't plan to join its competitors that are discounting" to sustain sales, Yamamoto said.