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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 125

Facebook founder might owe $1 billion in taxes

Around this time last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made a very hefty $13 billion when the social network went public, and now Zuckerberg could be looking at a tax bill of around $1 billion.


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The founder of Facebook was prepared for the taxes, which could've been why he sold $1 billion of shares on the day - trying to keep his handful of money a little lighter for the tax man. Zuckerberg has also been nice to charity, where he has given around $500,000,000 (that's $500 million!) to the SIlicon Valley Community Foundation, which should offset his tax bill by a decent margin.

Lenovo said to be considering buying NEC's handset business, anyone want a ThinkPhone?

Lenovo is said to be in talks with NEC to buy its mobile phone business in an effort to cut its losses after two years of being in the red. Reuters has confirmed sources statements that the two companies are in fact working on a deal to put Lenovo into the mobile phone game.


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NEC's mobile phone division is a joint venture with Casio with NEC owning a 70-percent stake in the business. NEC is also said to have talked with domestic buyers, but no deal was struck.


While NEC's phone sales make up just 6-percent of the Japanese mobile phone market, Lenovo could parlay this into an enterprise level smartphone company that could rival BlackBerry. Lenovo already has many corporate clients it could push phones onto as well as a vast and loyal consumer following that would snatch up a Lenovo branded smartphone in a heartbeat.

T-Mobile estimated to sell over 3 million iPhones this year

Horace Dediu of Asymco, estimates that T-Mobile could sell around 3.4 million iPhones this year, totaling 10% of their total subscriber base. This might have seemed like a stretch just a few days ago, but with the US-based company's new "UNcarrier" initiative, this could be an easy estimate to beat.


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Dediu's estimates are based off trends from AT&T, Verizon and Spring, as well as the percentage of total subscribers that each operator has been activating. The Asymco analyst notes that the sales patterns are consistent across all of the carriers, and that the longer Apple's iPhone is available, the higher the activation rate.


The analyst also estimates that iPhone sales across the top four US carriers will break through 53 million in 2013, which will account for 17% of the 320 million subscribers, an increase of 14% year-over-year.

Amazon acquires Goodreads, is on the rampage to improve the recommendations for Kindle users

Amazon have acquired Goodreads, who have a platform that is great at suggesting books to users. Amazon have announced previously that they were acquiring one or more popular reading recommendation engines, without any clear plans on what they were going to do with their acquisition.


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We can piece together that the retail giant is looking to help their Kindle reader line, as well as their array of Kindle apps. Amazon's vice president of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti has said "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world -- together, we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike." The two companies are expecting the deal to be finalized in Q2, which isn't too far away at all.

Google begins same-day delivery pilot in San Francisco

Google have begun their pilot scheme for a same-day delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it will potentially open up to other areas in the near future.


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The Mountain View-based search giant are offering testers a six-month period of deliveries from retailers in the area, free to the consumer, with all of the shopping taking place in a single online store. Testers of the same-day delivery service will be able to select from a number of local stores, including the big ones like Target, Staples and more.


The deliveries are then dispatched for a specific time, based upon the consumers' delivery instructions. Google are still reportedly working on a pricing scheme, but this could cost below $70 per year in order to compete with Amazon Prime.


I'd really like to see all of the Google delivery drivers to be wearing Google Glass, using the on-board Maps app for directions and delivery instructions - that would be very cool.

Apple drop Samsung like they're hot, South Korean electronics giant won't be making iPad mini displays anymore

Apple are wanting to move away from their kryptonite slowly, with David Hsieh from NPD Group's DisplaySearch stating on Thursday that Apple will rely more on Taiwan-based firm Innolux, and China's Century Display for touch panels in their next-gen iPad mini.


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Innolux unveiled their plans to ship their first touch panels for smart devices with their touch-on-display technology later this year. DigiTimes has also reports that Apple will shift their reliance away from Samsung, and offering their business to LG Display, Sharp, Japan Display and AU Optronics for the iPad mini.

Samsung executives are paranoid, are playing the market safely and dominating in the meantime

Businessweek have a very interesting piece on Samsung, which goes right into the heart and soul of the South Korean company. We know Samsung are willing to try anything and everything when it comes to smartphone form factors, where we see anything from smaller displays (under 4-inch) right up to the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II.


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But on the flip side, it's not just about offering a multitude of devices, it's about knowing when and how to play them out. It was only a couple of years ago that Android didn't exist, and now we have around one billion Android-based devices in the wild.


One of the parts of Businessweek's article is quite interesting, in that they state that Samsung executives are paranoid - but not in a bad way. Being paranoid means you never stop, like other companies I won't mention, and you continue to innovate in the hopes of keeping your existing customer base, and securing more.

Continue reading 'Samsung executives are paranoid, are playing the market safely and dominating in the meantime' (full post)

Spotify updates logo to be more streamlined, take a look

The new logo, seen below, first popped up in Spotify's new TV ads. The logo has since been integrated on Spotify's website, though Spotify's apps have been updated to use a new logo based upon the new design. Spotify will likely adjust the logo with the next update released to the apps.


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What do you think of the new logo? It's most likely been changed due to Spotify's redoubled efforts to expand its userbase. The new logo is streamlined and cleaner than the old logo and definitely looks more professional. We'll see if it helps Spotify expand in the United States and abroad.

Judge rules mathematical algorithms can't be patented, dismisses lawsuit against Rackspace

Finally a patent judge making some sense. A federal judge has ruled that mathematical algorithms can not be patented, meaning that the lawsuit against Rackspace is no longer valid. Uniloc USA sued Rackspace saying that the processing of floating point numbers via the Linux operating system violated their patent.


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Chief Judge Leonard Davis cited a ruling by the US Supreme Court in which they determined that mathematical algorithms cannot be patented.


Rob Tiller, Red Hat's Assistant General Counsel for IP:

NPE patent lawsuits are a chronic and serious problem for the technology industry. Such lawsuits, which are frequently based on patents that should never have been granted, typically cost millions of dollars to defend. These suits are a plague on innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Courts can help address this problem by determining the validity of patents early and with appropriate care. In this case, Judge Davis did just that, and set a great example for future cases.


Red Hate defended Rackspace in the matter because they supply Linux to Rackspace. Red Hat has a history of standing behind customers.

Google rescinds some #ifihadglass invitations after discovering rules were broken

When Google announced the #ifihadglass competition to win a chance to buy a pair of Google Glass, Google laid out some simple rules. Now that the competition has come to a close, Google has been taking a closer look at those it invited to join the Explorer Program and has found some that broke the rules.


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Google has rescinded invitations for those who they have found broke their simple rules. Google said that it can't award Glass to applicants that "did not comply with our terms and slipped through the cracks."


We need honest feedback from people who are not only enthralled and excited by Glass, but also people who are skeptical and critical of it. As for the rest of you, please keep that feedback coming - it's all in the Explorer program spirit!


Google's rules said that an applicant had to be 18 at the time of submission, have a Twitter and Google+ account that remained active until June 1, and be located in the US. Not too difficult, though we understand why some people might try and get Glass outside the US--they are sweet!

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