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For our happy Friday story, we can report that Zynga and EA have agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other. In a document filed today, both companies agreed to drop their lawsuits with prejudice, which means they are unable to file new lawsuits with the same causes of action.
EA's lawsuit accused Zynga of copying one of their games. Zynga fired back with a lawsuit that accused EA of unfair hiring practices. It's likely that the companies didn't want to air dirty laundry and decided to drop it. Both companies are paying for their own legal fees and there has been no mention of a settlement.
Zynga confirmed the dismissal: "EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California."
While job postings can sometimes be used to predict future products and directions that companies will take, the latest job posting by Apple doesn't reveal much other than the fact they are looking for an "experienced engineering manager to help deliver the next generation features for Apple TV."
The job posting doesn't offer up any details what those features might be, though rumors have popped up suggesting that Apple is planning an event this fall to unveil a new Apple TV SDK.
One of the more interesting components of the job listing is that the project is listed as a "high-priority" project. Previously, Apple has referred to the Apple TV as a hobby. While this could be indicative of the rumored TV analysts say they are working on, it could just be that Apple TV uptake has increased and it has started to become a main venture.
The job listing can be found on Apple's website.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange talked of plans to run for a seat in the Australian senate in December of last year, but now it's official, he will be running for a seat in the senate as part of the WikiLeaks party.
Research from the Australian Labor Party's internal polling company, UMR Research, points to Assange being a competitive candidate in either New South Wales or Victoria. With Assange currently living in the Ecuador embassy in London, to stop his extradition to Sweden, it would be difficult for him to run for the seat. Australian law permits citizens living overseas to run for office at home, though.
What will be harder for the WikiLeaks founder is how it will run the entire WikiLeaks party campaign from the opposite side of the world, or if he were to win the election, how would he assume office? Skype?
Vimeo has acquired the Echograph team and assets. Echograph is an app that is used to turn videos into animated GIFs. Vimeo seems to be banking on the trend of GIFs being popular and wants to make sure they have a piece of the pie. The two services are quite complementary as it will now be even easier to turn Vimeo videos into GIFs for sharing on the web.
In addition to acquiring the team and assets, Vimeo has made the Echograph iOS app a free download. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Echograph creator Nick Alt will become the new Vice President of Mobile at Vimeo. Vimeo's CEO believes his "proven track record of building innovative video apps made it a perfect fit for Vimeo."
You can download the Echgraph app from the App Store.
A rumor has surfaced suggesting that Nokia may follow Apple's lead and ditch Samsung as a component supplier so as to slow down their growth as a company. Apple is working on moving away from components supplied from Samsung as the relationship continues to be tested by ongoing legal battles around the world.
According to the rumor, Nokia is looking into alternative suppliers as well. They don't want to support a company that has become one of their biggest competitors in the mobile market. Nokia is still one of the largest device makers in the world, producing nearly as many devices as Samsung and more than double that of Apple.
While Samsung doesn't make as much profit from the components as it does from finished devices, losing Nokia as a customer would definitely be a blow, especially when coupled with losing Apple as a customer. Of course, this is just a rumor and no relationship has yet been severed.
It looks like one of RIM's old CEOs doesn't have much faith in the company. Jim Balsillie, one of the co-founders of the once great cell phone manufacturer has dumped all of his 26.8 million shares in just one day according to an SEC filing that was posted this morning. This certainly doesn't bode well for the company.
Those shares that were once worth $6 billion are now worth only about $375.2 million. Obviously, he is trying to jump ship while they still some have value. It's not likely that the price-per-share will ever return to the high that it was at just after the iPhone launched.
Some think that BlackBerry 10 will be able to turn the company around and others disagree. Reviews of the new devices have been mixed. The one clear message that has been sent by the former CEO dumping his stock is that he doesn't believe in the company.
Cloud storage provider Mega has announced that it intends to hold a "pre-IPO investment round" within the next six months. Along with the announcement, they added they could be looking at an IPO within 18 months. These announcements come at a time when Mega is growing rapidly. By the end of January, Mega reported they were hosting over 50 million files.
That number now appears to be closing in on 100 million just 14 days later. "#Mega is not even one month old but already hosting almost 100 million files. We need more servers. Thank you my friends ;-)" They're clearly seeing some success and this could fuel a rapid IPO.
Dotcom is clearly doing something right with this new cloud storage company. They are doing a better job of remaining just inside the law as demonstrated by their shutting down access to a search engine that didn't have a DMCA takedown policy or agent.
It remains to be seen if the US government will accept Mega as a legitimate company, but it so far looks like a good business venture.
It's a hard market for camera right now, and after both Canon and Nikon both had revisions to their forecasts, Olympus have also followed by cutting their full-year sales and profit forecast.
Olmypus have said that they expect sales to tip at around $7.8 billion, down from their first forecast of $8.09 billion. Profits will drop by 25%, too. When most people think Olympus, they think cameras, but Olympus aren't all just about cameras - they have pushed into the medical equipment and endoscope markets, too.
Last year saw Sony buy a $642 million stake in Olympus which was mainly for the medical imaging side of things. Over the past two years, Olympus' main goals have been to focus on their Pen and OM-D interchangeable lends (ILC) cameras, which has caused people to think the company were slowly dragging themselves out of the traditional SLR market.
The government of Iceland is talking about introducing an Internet filter which would stop Icelandic citizens from downloading or viewing pornography on the Internet. The talk of the filter has transpired through fears of the damages porn can do to children and women.
Iceland's Interior Minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, is currently drafting legislation to stop the access of online porn images and videos through many ways - computers, consoles and smart devices. He says:
We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime.
We all know Google scrapes countless amounts of data from anyone who uses their services, which, let's face it, is everyone - but, it looks like it goes much deeper than that.
From what Sydney-based app developer Dan Nolan, has found, each time you purchase an app from the Google Play Store your personal details are sent to that developer. This includes your name, address and e-mail address. Nolan spoke with news.com.au, saying that he wasn't comfortable being the receiver of this information, and that there is no reason that a developer needs to have this - very powerful - information given to them without their consent.
Nolan took to his blog, saying:
Let me make this crystal clear, every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred. With the information I have available to me through the checkout portal I could track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase.