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Semiconductor maker, Elpida Memory Inc. have filed for bankruptcy protection according to the Japan Times. After receiving some Government-backed funding, with efforts of a rebuild failing, they've given up. Japan's sole manufacturer of DRAM had liabilities of $5.5 billion.
President of the company, Yukio Sakamoto is said to resign because of this, as they file for protection with the Tokyo District Court. Elpida was founded in 1999 as NEC Hitachi Memory Inc. and have since produced DRAM products since 2000. The company also founded three wholly-owned subsidiaries, Tera Probe, which conducted wafter probe testing, Akita Elpida Memory Inc. which handled the back-end processes of DRAM production and finally, Rexchip Electronics Corp, which handled the front-end.
A fall in prices and the global recession of 2006 is said to have pushed them up against the wall, where they required a Government-backed loan of around $372 million. This injection of cash was used for investment and research and development, but with the strong Yen and the Thailand flooding last year, they were forced to come clean about their finances, and now the dirty laundry has aired.
I can't quite wrap my head around these numbers... Google announced today that they are seeing an astounding 850,000 activations every single day, and have now passed the 300,000,000 mark. 300 million Android-based devices in the wild, that is some impressive work. 850,000 activations every day though, that's insane.
At last year's Mobile World Congress, Google were chuffed to have more than 150,000 apps on their Android Market. Those numbers today? They've eclipsed 450,000, and have experienced over one billion app downloads per month for a while now. To celebrate these numbers, Google have installed "app pods" into their Android stands at MWC.
Most of the featured apps demonstrate the latest Android innovations, such as Android Beam, which lets you share content like web pages, videos, directions and apps - by just tapping two Android-based phones back-to-back. Google are proud to boast there are over 100-plus Android devices on show at MWC on the conveyer belt bar, which is just a small part of the 800-plus Android devices that Google have launched to-date.
This is a subject quite close to my chest, our current financial system. Without getting into a personal post, I'll keep this as professional as I can and leave my opinion out of this and just post it as a pure news post to try to get this as viral as possible. I've noticed this post on Reddit about a $15,000,000,000,000 ($15 trillion) fraud case that was bought up to the UK House of Lords by Lord James of Blackheath.
He has noticed three separate transactions of $5 trillion each, starting with a $5 trillion transfer to HSBC in the UK, seven days later followed another $5 trillion to the HSBC, and three weeks later another $5 trillion. This is a total of $15 trillion, which has entered into the hands of the HSBC, and onward transit to the Royal Bank of Scotland. This is a serious, serious amount of money, and this story should be on every TV, Radio, Cable, Internet channel and everything in between.
Where did $15 trillion come from? Who has that sort of disposable money, without having to loan it? And if you did loan it, what kind of bank loans out $15 trillion? You have to have some very valuable assets in order to just borrow, or lend out, $15 trillion. Let's delve into this more. Lord James of Blackheath has done his research and claims that the money is the property of what some people have called "the richest man in the world", Yohannes Riyadi.
Owners of Samsung TVs filed a class-action lawsuit, which has finally reached settlement. Within the settlement, Samsung have promised to pay for the bills of owners repairs, reimburse for already-paid-for repairs, or hand out up to $300 to customers who no longer own their once-faulty TV, once they prove ownership.
The fault only affects the model numbers in the above picture, where it's possible that up to 7 million TVs were affected. The problem is related to an errant capacitor in the power circuit that stops the TV turning on, makes it slow to turn on, produces a "clicking sound" or makes it cycle on and off.
A Samsung spokesperson has said:
Approximately 1 percent of Samsung televisions sold in the U.S. from 2006 to 2008 have experienced some performance issues caused by a component called a capacitor. Since originally confirming this issue in early 2010, Samsung has voluntarily provided free repairs for U.S. customers with affected televisions. Recently, a nationwide class settlement covering all affected televisions in the U.S. was reached in Russell, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Oklahoma County in the U.S.
We've covered this story quite a bit since it broke, with an editorial, and multiple news pieces as things happened. Even when it was declared he was knocked from his No. 1 spot on COD: Modern Warfare 3. Today, marks a new direction in the case of Megaupload's founder Kim Dotcom. He has received bail, and now has some fairly strict conditions put upon him.
Within the North Shore District Court, we had Justice Dawson, Kim Dotcom, and a bunch of suits. Once it was all done and dusted, Kim Dotcom received the following conditions: he is completely banned from the Internet. Justice Dawson stated that he shouldn't have access to the Internet as he has "the ability to use it for wrong purposes".
Intel are expected to launch their Ivy Bridge processors for second-generation Ultrabooks sometime after May, and have demanded that data read/write speeds reach a certain level through adoption of SSDs or hybrid hard disk drives, according to a new report from Digitimes.
Most vendors are expected to adopt hybrid HDDs in order to cut costs, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Intel will reportedly promote Ivy Bridge in a different way, by slashing prices by US$60-70 on average, according to said sources. Storage devices within notebook production costs suck up around 10 to 15-percent, so vendors will obviously want to cut prices where they can.
Samsung Australia have just inked a deal with Blockbuster, where they'll allow thousands of Blockbuster movies to their new range of Smart TVs, as well as Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets. Paul Uniacke, CEO of the Franchise Entertainment Group (who owns the rights to the Blockbuster brand in Australia) says that "the Samsung deal is a brilliant deal".
This will allow Australians to have access to thousands of movies that can be streamed directly to Samsung-branded products such as Blu-ray players, Smart TVs, tablets, smartphones and more. The new deal will also allow Samsung to push Blockbuster movies onto Samsung-branded notebooks and Ultrabooks.
According to "Samsung sources", the content deal struck with Blockbuster will not be announced until the second half of 2012, where global Samsung plans to launch their Blockbuster offering in the USA, UK, and Europe in the first half of 2012, with Australians getting access to the content as early as September.
The Windows Team Blog, and more specifically, Principal Director of User Experience for Windows, Sam Moreau, have unveiled the new redesigned logo for Windows 8. Before we get into it, check it out below:
First impressions? Personally? I love it. It looks much more professional and "now", and would look great on a new Windows 8-based device (such as the tablets, or Ultrabooks ready to hit this year). Microsoft put the call out to a few agencies to work with them on the project of redesigning their logo and ended up with Pentagram.
Pentagram were called into the conference room over at the Microsoft campus, where a meeting with Paula Scher, Michael Beirut and Daniel Weil of Pentagram attended, as well as a few designers and marketing leaders from Windows and across Microsoft. The team of people spent an entire day sharing some of the Metro style design philosophy; the Windows brand history and values as well as graphic design and technology industry trends.
Intel's upcoming 22nm-based Ivy Bridge processors are set to be delayed by a few months, because Sandy Bridge-based notebook inventories are not moving as fast as notebook makers, and Intel, want. Mass shipments of Ivy Bridge were expected in April, but may be pushed along until June, according to DigiTimes.
First-tier notebook vendors are having problems pushing their Sandy Bridge-based notebook inventories, and because of the weak global economy, this won't go away anytime soon. Intel is also troubled by it Sandy Bridge processor inventory, which means they have plans to delay the mass shipments of Ivy Bridge-based tech in order to minimize the impact.
Now that the launch schedule has changed, notebook vendors are shuffling plans for new Ivy Bridge-based products. These plans are still shaky, even with the delay, because of the impending release of Microsoft's next game-changing OS, Windows 8. The PC replacement trend won't catch on until Windows 8 is released, which is my opinion, and seems to be the opinion of notebook vendors, too.
Sony and Ericsson now split, Ericsson keeps the cars, Sony takes the house and renames it Sony Mobile Communications
Sony and Ericsson's split is now finalized, with Sony taking over Ericsson's 50-percent stake in the former joint venture. This move has reportedly cost $1.37 billion to complete and with it now being fully Sony-owned, Sony have renamed Sony Ericsson to "Sony Mobile Communications".
The agreement was completed today, and has Sony absorbing the broad IP cross-licensing agreement, among others, which now makes Sony Ericsson a "wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony". Not that this news is exciting, but it'll be interesting to see where Sony takes their Sony Mobile Communications to, from here.
Will they try to compete much harder against Apple, Samsung, and others? Will they choose to continue with their Android-based products, or will they diversify and move onto Windows Phone 7 in the future, or Windows 8 devices? Time will tell, I guess.