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There have been various crowd funded websites talked about over the last year or so, with Kickstarter being the most popular of all. Growth in 2012 has been stellar, with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo becoming massive sources of financing and independent business.
There have been a total of $2.66 billion in projects backed, which is a huge 81% increase over 2011's crowdfunding of $1.47 billion. Most of the money came from the United States, of which US-based consumers invested $1.6 billion in various projects, which is a 105% increase over 2011.
Apple may be lying on the street, bleeding from their various wounds to their stock prices, but this hasn't stopped iPhone's from selling like iHotcakes. According to Canaccord Genuity analyst, Mike Walkley, Apple have sold more iPhone's than expected during the March quarter.
Walkley has now adjusted his full-year EPS estimates to $43.86 from $43.59, and sees Apple selling 37 million iPhone's in the March quarter, up from his previous estimate of 34.5 million.ii
Come this time next year, support is going to end for Windows XP and a few other pieces of software from Microsoft. The other software joining it is Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003, these programs will lose their extended support on April 8, 2014.
Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 will end its support on the same day, but with newer Service Packs, it will continue to be supported. The big issue here is that roughly 38% of people on the Internet are still using Windows XP. Not all of these users will jump over to a new OS in the next year, so we should see a large portion of the Internet continue to get slapped with malware.
I think we'll see Microsoft crumble under pressure and extend the support for Windows XP, unless they were to suddenly have surge of old consumers upgrading to new PCs or operating systems, which is doubtful with the way Windows 8 is performing.
Google have enjoyed their fair share of antitrust accusations in Europe, but now the New York Times is reporting that new anti-competitive allegations have been levied against Android. This new complaint was filed by Fairsearch, whose members include people from Microsoft and Nokia among other companies.
The group are claiming that Google are using Android as a way to push consumers into using Google's apps instead competitors' software. Fairsearch are pushing the fact that Google forces OEMs who use Android to place apps like YouTube and Gmail into hot places on the desktop. This is just the beginning of yet another antitrust lawsuit, so we should see Google respond shortly.
A California court has ruled that it's illegal for drivers to check mapping applications on a smartphone while driving. This does not preclude drivers from using navigation systems that are built in to a car. This ruling comes after a driver argued he was using a phone for directions rather than texting or talking.
According to vehicle code 23123, drivers are not allowed to use a smartphone while driving. The ruling states:
This case requires us to determine whether using a wireless phone solely for its map application function while driving violates Vehicle Codesection 23123. We hold that it does.
Our review of the statute's plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone. That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails.
Drivers are still able to use in car navigation systems. Drivers are also able to use voice controlled systems, so this means iPhone users can use Siri to get directions.
News Corp, owner of the FOX network, has threatened to start charging for the network (i.e. take it to cable-only) if Aereo prevails in its current lawsuit. News Corp, along with numerous different TV networks, sued Aereo over their renting of Internet-connected TV antennas.
The networks allege that this is an unlawful rebroadcasting of their content. The courts, however, ruled that it was legal because Aereo uses one antenna per viewer. News Corp's COO Chase Carey has threatened to move FOX to a subscription model if Aereo wins in court:
We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that's our only recourse.
Virginia Lam, a spokeswoman for Aereo, e-mailed the following statement:
It's disappointing to hear that Fox believes that consumers should not be permitted to use an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television.
The Consumerist, a website dedicated to customers fighting back against companies, hosts a yearly competition to pick the worst company in America. The tournament is ran much like the March Madness basketball tournament with two companies being placed head-to-head and voted on for worst company in America.
64 companies started and we're down to the final two: Electronic Arts and Bank of America. Interestingly, this is the same way the tournament ended last year. EA garnered 64 percent of the popular last year and could end up winning the Golden Poo award again this year.
We've covered the failed SimCity launch in detail, so if you feel EA deserves the title "Worst Company in America," you can head over to the Consumerist's website and cast a ballot up until 9p.m. PT tonight.
Apple has been trying to trademark the iPad Mini name since the product's inception, but up until now the US Patent and Trade office has been denying the request. This morning 9to5mac is reporting that the USPTO has agreed to grant the request on one condition.
If Apple would like to trademark the iPad Mini name, they must add fine-print to the application stating that Apple is not claiming exclusive rights to the term "Mini." This could be the turning point for the US PTO in how it reviews trademark applications. We're hoping that this move by the Patent office is an attempt to punish Apple for what it sees as a useless application.
In a statement the US PTO said:
"The document also holds firm on the requirement that Apple add a disclaimer to its application noting that it only seeks to protect the term "mini" when used as part of the "iPad mini" name. The disclaimer would allow other companies to use the "mini" term in their own product names."
Reuters is jumping out of the gate, with fresh news that former News Corp president, Peter Chernin, who now runs The Chernin Group, has made a $500 million bid to buy Hulu. We heard that Hulu jammed a 'For Sale' sign into their front garden a few weeks ago, but this news is now much more official.
The Chernin Group owns stakes in Pandora Media Inc and the related production company Chernin Entertainment, who has produced films and TV shows such as New Girl, Terra Nova and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Hulu is currently jointly owned by News Corp and Walt Disney Co. Peter Chernin actually had some word in building Hulu back in 2007 when he sat on the website's board.
Reuters has reported that the owners of Hulu "reached out to potential buyers in March [of 2013] after initially contemplating a deal in which one [News Corp. or Disney] would buy out the other. It is not clear whether that transaction is still being contemplated."
The on-going war between Samsung and Apple has hit an interesting point, with Apple looking to jump out in the lead once again. Judge Thomas Pender from the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Samsung devices infringe on a text selection patent owned by Apple.
This is a feature that is available on the iPhone and iPad, with another claim from Apple that is seeking an injunction against Samsung's use of a patented technology for detecting microphones when they are inserted into the headphone jack, which has been rejected. The first claim, of which can be appealed, could see Samsung slapped with a sales ban in the US for most of their smartphones and tablets.
The final decision should arrive in August, but we don't know if Samsung could avoid the import ban through a software update - something that could easily be done between now and then.