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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Google doubles down on open-source support, pledges not to sue users, distributors, developers of open-source software over patents
Google has announced that it signed a new pledge, pledging to not sue users, distributors, or developers of open-source software that may violate Google's patents. Google believes in open systems and will only sue if attacked by the group first. This is a big win for open-source developers everywhere.
The pledge is called the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN) and promises the following: "we pledge not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked."
Of course, Google hopes that other technology giants will follow in Google's footsteps. Twitter, though not mentioned by Google, has a similar patent pledge. Twitter's is actually slightly better as it leaves control of the patents in the inventing engineer's hands.
BlackBerry releases quarterly financial reports - makes $94 million and ships one million BB10 devices
BlackBerry has returned to profit after being in the red last year. This morning BlackBerry released its first quarter financial report and there is some good news for investors - Blackberry is in the black again.
The report shows that the company managed to make a profit of $94 million, despite the fact that the BlackBerry 10 not being available in the US during the first quarter. The $94 million of GAAP income stemmed from a revenue of $2.7 billion.
That is a stark contrast to $125 million net loss the company saw in the same quarter of 2012. BlackBerry says that it has sold one million BlackBerry 10 devices and managed to push out five million of its older phones. 370,000 PlayBook tablets were also shipped during the first quarter. We will have to wait until the second quarter reports are released before we find out how well the BlackBerry Z10 is doing in the US, but so far this points a much better picture for BlackBerry.
BlackBerry released its quarterly earnings report this morning and the numbers look good, but I will save that for my next post. The biggest news to come out of the report is that Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Research in Motion, is leaving the company entirely.
Just 15 months ago Lazaridis stepped down as co-CEO of the company he founded and left all of the executive duties to the current CEO, Thorsten Heins. Lazaridis stayed on with the company as a Vice Chair of the Board, a position that he will vacate on May 1st. In a statement Lazaridis said "With the launch of BlackBerry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the Board... I believe I am leaving the company in good hands."
Current CEO Thorsten Heins said of Lazaridis:
"I admire Mike for his many achievements and for his vision in helping bring BlackBerry 10 to fruition... On a personal level, I am grateful to Mike for his help, guidance and advice during my first 15 months as CEO of BlackBerry. I wish him all the best."