Recently, iPhone users have been encountering error code 53, an issue prevents users from installing updates or just flat out bricks the device. It triggers when the TouchID buttons are damaged or replaced.
Consequently, a Seattle law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit in California against Apple, arguing the behaviour is "abusive" and that Apple failed to warn buyers of what could happen should the sensor be damaged or replaced. It goes on to claim over 62 million units have been affected. For now, class-action status hasn't yet been granted by a judge.
Would you think Opera is worth $1.2 billion, especially against browser giants like Google and Firefox? Well, a group of Chinese technology companies have offered Opera the huge cheque, a 53% premium over what it was trading at prior to the news.
The Norwegian-based company's board of directors very quickly unanimously recommended that its shareholders take the offer, which was a very good decision. The buyout bid comes from mobile gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360, which TechSpot reports as China's top mobile antivirus provider. On top of that, Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management of China which also includes Yonglian Investment, are involved.
If the deal goes through, Kunlun and Qihoo have plans to sell their products to Opera users, and push Opera's mobile advertising platform to Chinese users. Opera says that its mobile ad network has a reach over over 1 billion users, which would make sense for Chinese companies to dive onto it.
Following yesterdays restructuring news, Mad Catz has decided to layoff 37% of their workforce after seeing less than ideal profits.
That is, they had the second-highest quarterly sales for the year, with a 114% increase in profit year-over-year. That, however, was not enough to sustain operations given their primary focus in the peripheral market. Net income, likely due to the investment in Rockband 4 and in the creation of Star Citizen peripherals, which costs considerable R&D capital, was down by 10%. "Rock Band sell-through was lower than originally forecast resulting in higher inventory balances as well as lower margins due to increased promotional activity with retailers," Mad Catz said in their official statement.
The restructuring and layoffs are expected to save them around $5 million by the start of FY 2017. That should significantly increase their profitability, despite the negative impact on the surrounding job market.
Google has announced that its Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing will be abandoning Flash-based ads for HTML5-based ads starting on January 2, 2017.
Advertisers won't be able to upload ads with built-in Flash into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, starting on June 30, 2016. This is great news, as Flash has been a security problem for while a while now, with more and more people moving into the warm embrace of HTML5.
Google moved away from Flash to HTML5 video with YouTube in January 2015, and in February, the company began automatically converting Flash ads into HTML5.
Uber is getting feisty in Foggy London Town, with plenty of London taxi drivers looking at Uber and seeing them as a threat to both their profession, and reputations. Well, Uber has been smartly sidestepping multiple roadblocks in the UK, and wants to work with taxi drivers and the taxi industry as a whole.
The company launched an UberTAXI option, something that helped taxi drivers find new passengers - and today, the company is now waiving the fee that it would take for each Uber-sourced passenger. This fee is 5%, and it will be dropped for the next 12 months.
Uber's Regional General Manager for the UK, Jo Bertram, said: "For Londoners it means they can order a traditional black cab at the push of a button and pay electronically through their phone, rather than worrying about cash. For taxi drivers it's a chance to get a fare when there are no passengers on the street or they're waiting in a long queue at a rank".
The best-paid CEO in the United States is Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, which comes as a surprise.
Pichai received the equivalent of $199 million in stock earlier this month, which increased his stake in Alphabet to $650 million. Pichai won't be able to cash in all of his Alphabet chips in for a while, with his shares vesting in quarterly phases through to 2019.
If we compare Apple CEO Tim Cook to Pichai, Cook pulled in $376.2 million when he sat int the CEO throne at Apple. While a $650 million stake in Alphabet would seem like lifetimes of money to mere mortals like you and I, it pales in comparison to the founders of Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin are worth $34 billion, while ex-CEO Eric Schmidt has around $3 billion in stock. Guys, can I have a loan? I need to buy lots of cans of alphabet soup.
Maybe it's a first world problem, but when you pay through the neck for mobile internet and calls here in Australia - you expect a level of service. Today, the country's biggest network Telstra, which services 16 million customers has dropped the ball in a pretty big way by announcing huge network outages.
We're aware of an issue affecting mobile voice and data nationally. We're working to resolve the issue ASAP. Thanks for your patience.— Telstra (@Telstra) February 9, 2016
According to News.com.au, huge swathes of Telstra's network in capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane went down just after midday, with many customers reporting they're still unable to make phone calls over two hours later.
The company has not issued an ETA on a network fix (which the company call an 'interruption'), but stay tuned to their site here.
There's one app that I absolutely must have on my Android smartphone, and that's SwiftKey. SwiftKey is a predictive keyboard maker, that Microsoft has just acquired for $250 million.
Microsoft paying $250 million for the company will see SwiftKey founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock receive $30 million or more each, which is pretty damn good for eight years of work being pumped into SwiftKey. SwiftKey itself has been installed on over 300 million devices, whether that's the free or paid versions on either iOS or Android.
What is Microsoft's interest in SwiftKey? Well, the artificial intelligence behind its super-accurate predictive text suggestions, which we should see baked into future iterations of Microsoft's mobile OS.
It's only been a few months since Amazon launched its first physical store in the United States, but according to retail sources, they're set to massively expand their presence in the coming months and years.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that General Growth Properties, Inc. CEO Sandeep Mathrani, whose company owns 120 regional shopping malls in forty states, has told investors that Amazon's "goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores."
The house that Bezos built has yet to comment on the reports, but the billionarie founder had previously promised that "we hope this is not our only [storefront]. But we'll see". Looks like we will indeed.
Yahoo has just announced its new "aggressive strategic plan", where it has announced a slew of new products and a new way to tackle Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Wait, no they didn't - their strategic plan involves culling 15% of its workforce (1700 people) and closing down 5 offices around the world.
The company will be closing its offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Milan, with the layoffs leaving the company with 9000 staff by the end of the year. Yahoo's goal is to reduce operating costs by $400 million as we go into 2017. During its recent quarter, Yahoo pulled in $1.27 billion in revenue, but had a massive write-down of $4.5 billion. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in a statement: "today, we're announcing a strategic plan that we strongly believe will enable us to accelerate Yahoo's transformation. This is a strong plan calling for bold shifts in products and in resources".
When Mayer took over at Yahoo, she said the company was full of legacy businesses and a declining revenue stream that had to be stopped. Its Mavens (mobile, video, native and social) side had a revenue source that had an "incredibly fast growth line of business". Mayer also noted that Yahoo needs to engage its users, and double down on its top businesses: Search, Mail and Tumblr.