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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 251

Verizon shared data debuts June 28, allows extra device, family member for a fee

Verizon had previously announced that shared data would be coming to the network. At that time, they had not announced exactly when or how the new system would work. Today, some new details have surfaced about the cost and when the actual system will go live. Depending on your data usage, this new system could be a good or a bad thing.

 

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The pricing, seen above, seems reasonable. It's not bad until you start tacking on additional devices. For a smartphone, you have to pay an additional $40. A regular phone sees you shelling out $30 for data. A hotspot? $20. A tablet, which is what I really see this shared data as being used for, is $10 extra a month.

 

The new plans become available on June 28 and Verizon is hoping they tempt you away from your current unlimited plan. My advice? Don't give up your unlimited plan if you use more than 1-2GB of data. The new plans are interesting, but a bit overpriced. I think if the prices came down, then they would be a better value and see more adopters.

Google co-founders to face US antitrust regulators for questioning

It looks like the lads that co-founded Google are in hot water once again, where they'll have to appear before US antitrust regulators for questioning. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have reportedly retained counsel, and are expected to give depositions before the Federal Trade Commission sometime over the coming months.

 

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What is it all over? Well, the issue boils down to whether or not Google have been unfairly using its position as the world's dominant search engine in a manner biased in favor of its own products, as well as whether Google has increased advertising rates for its competitors.

 

Google of course maintains that users are free to visit Google's competition, which the search giant says is "only a click away" thanks to the nature of the web.

RumorTT: Sony to acquire cloud gaming firm Gaikai

MCV is reporting that Sony could acquire high-profile cloud gaming firm, Gaikai. It was revealed to MCV exclusively that Sony were looking at acquiring either Gaikai, or OnLive. Either company would bolster Sony's efforts into the cloud gaming universe.

 

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Just yesterday, Gaikai sent out invitations to journalists for what they're calling a game-changing announcement, it reads:

 

Gaikai has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games, game consoles and how we play.

 

Now, one would think that Sony could be pushing itself away from their PlayStation brand, so what would happen to the PlayStation 4? Well, things are changing... 10-year life cycles for consoles just can't be done as the technology is in a stand-still after 2-3 years max. But, a system that could borrow from the cloud, would let Sony dump out a console say, next year, and then 2-3 years from now they'd have this acquired company doing some magic behind the scenes, and maybe the PS4 would end up just being a streamed-to device for your console gaming needs.

 

This is just my opinion, but it's definitely something interesting to think about. Hopefully we see some announcements soon, and an unveiling of the next-gen consoles at E3 2013.

Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed

In a move that should help to keep innovation from being stifled, Judge Alsup, the judge presiding over the Oracle v Google trial, has ruled that sequence, structure, and organization (SSO) is not covered by today's copyright law. This, in turn, allowed him to dismiss the claims by Oracle of Google infringing on their copyright.

 

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Instead of creating a massive precedent by making a wide ruling, Judge Alsup focused very narrowly on specific factors in the case which lead to the decision. This way he didn't create a massive precedent. He has also been very careful throughout the trial. So even though appeals are possible, it is likely his decision will be upheld.

Continue reading 'Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed' (full post)

Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court

It has been confirmed that Activision and Jason West and Vincent Zampella have settled their lawsuit out of court after a brief meeting on Thursday. This settlement brings to an end the two year lawsuit stemming from the termination of their employment. There was a lot of he said she said, but in the end, it seems to boil down to the fact Activision didn't want to pay them royalties.

 

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The settlement terms, as par for the course, were not discussed and are highly secretive. This settlement also settles another lawsuit Activision was involved with. This other lawsuit was over royalties as well. When West and Zampella left, 40 or more developers left shortly after. They too filed a lawsuit saying they didn't get their royalty checks.

 

"All parties have reached a settlement in the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential," said Robert Schwartz, an attorney representing West and Zampella. West was in the courtroom, but only grinned widely as he left. Others in the game industry watched closely as it could produce some new case law that would affect somehow.

 

"This legal battle between the old employees of Infinity Ward and Activision is the most significant in video game history," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. "It's been a major distraction for senior management at Activision at a time when the industry is going through one of its most difficult periods. It will be good for Activision to be able to move past this."

Continue reading 'Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court' (full post)

Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned"

Could those words be any more mysterious? Apple CEO Time Cook when questioned about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS, said "Stay tuned". Considering that Facebook have nearly 1 billion users, and Apple's handshake with Twitter and its integration with iOS, we have to wonder, 'why not Facebook?'

 

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Cook adds "Facebook is a great company, and the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other."

 

When Swisher reffered to Jobs calling Facebook "onerous", Cook responded with:

 

They have their way of doing things, but people say that about us as well. Just because they have a point of view doesn't mean we can't work with each other.

 

Jobs had previously referred to Facebook term's when negotiating the Ping integration as "onerous", which means "involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty". Post-IPO Facebook could be different, knowing that Apple have a considerable amount of power in the industry compared to a few years ago.

 

Facebook and Apple are pretty much the two powerhouse companies right now, with social networking in one corner, and mobile devices in the other. The only competitors to them would be Google and Microsoft. Considering Microsoft has a stake in Facebook, it'll be interesting to see the integration Apple would receive in the future. After all, Windows 8 is nearly here and I'm looking forward to seeing the level of integration the OS offers when it comes to Facebook

Continue reading 'Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned" ' (full post)

Facebook shares dip below $29 per share as authorities begin their investigation into the IPO

Facebook share's are continuing to tank, where they've started to dip below $29 per share, where at the time of writing, they're sitting at $28.19 per share. Considering they started at $38 per share, this is quite the fall from grace for the social networking company.

 

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This drop has pushed their once $100 billion-plus valuation, down to a market cap of just $61.66 billion. This is a disaster considering the confidence in the stock pre-IPO, just over a week ago now. Traders can also now "short" Facebook shares, betting that the price will continue to fall. Sam Hamadeh, founder of analyst PrivCo, said that most of the options were "bearish" meaning that traders were betting on price falls. He also said that popular contracts were putting Facebook's share price in the mid-$20's for June and July, with PrivCo estimating Facebook shares were worth $25 ahead of the IPO.

 

I think we should see shares stabilize at around the mid-$20's mark, as PrivCo states. I think the initial offering was a quick cash-grab for those "in the know", but I'm no financial expert. It really seems that way from everything that is happening with the Facebook IPO.

MegaUpload saga: MegaUpload asks US court to dismiss piracy charges

Attorneys representing the now defunct upload site MegaUpload have filed a motion with the court to dismiss criminal piracy charges due to the fact the US had no jurisdiction. "Megaupload does not have an office in the United States, nor has it had one previously," MegaUpload's lawyers wrote in their motion to dismiss. "Service of a criminal summons on Megaupload is therefore impossible."

 

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The filing came today and is just the latest in a long drawn out court battle between MegaUpload and the United States. The sad part is that millions of legitimate users have been affected and their files, some the only copy, have been put into jeopardy at the hands of the US government. The issue at hand is that MegaUpload has never had a US-based agent or office:

 

Wholly foreign corporations, therefore, may not be prosecuted for alleged violations of federal criminal law unless they waive service In short, a corporation such as Megaupload cannot be brought within the jurisdiction of this Court for criminal proceedings absent its consent.

 

The company's lawyers have once again asked for funds to be released to allow for a proper defense. DotCom and three other managers are in New Zealand where they continue to fight extradition. "We told the court that the United States lacked probable cause to take down the entire site," said Ira Rothken, the attorney leading MegaUpload's worldwide defense.

Continue reading 'MegaUpload saga: MegaUpload asks US court to dismiss piracy charges' (full post)

NVIDIA takes out Best Choice Awards from Computex for GEFORCE GTX 680, Tegra 3

NVIDIA's super-powerful GEFORCE GTX 680 as well as their 4-PLUS-1-sporting Tegra 3 SoC have both taken home Best Choice Awards ahead of Computex in Taipei next week.

 

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The Tegra 3 was part of the Smart Handheld Devices Innovation, with the GTX 680 being part of the IC Components. As NVIDIA walks away with Best Choice Awards, it marks the fourth consecutive year that the company has been awarded.

 

The mobile industry reflects the effectiveness and efficiency of the Tegra 3 chip, which has given smart devices more power, as well as more battery life thanks to its 4-PLUS-1 design. The same thing goes for the GEFORCE GTX 680, which offers lower temperatures, quieter running operation, and of course, high performance all in a single-GPU package.

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