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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 257

Facebook acquires photo startup Lightbox

Social networking site, Facebook, in the midst of their IPO roadshow, have just acquired Lightbox. Lightbox is a predominantly Android-based photo sharing startup, which shares quite a lot with the recently-scooped-up Instagram.

 

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Lightbox will be closed by Facebook, and the company will most likely use staff developers for Android-based development. No terms of the deal have been announced. Just after the announcement, Lightbox stopped accepting new users, with existing users having until June 15 to conclude business and download all remaining photos from the service.

 

Existing photos will not be transferred to Facebook, which is a bummer. Lightbox's founders are quite happy with the deal, where they've said they are:

 

Happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we'll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook's 500+ million mobile users.

 

On a good note, no layoffs have been announced, nor are they expected.

US Customs stop HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE shipments at ports, the reason? Pending "investigations" of Apple patent claims

US Customs have stepped in and stopped some of the shipments of HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones as a result of an earlier ITC order won by Apple. The ordeal is over a patent lawsuit for "data tapping" (context-sensitive text-based actions) in the browser and messaging apps on some HTC phones.

 

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HTC have said that these features have been removed from the One X and EVO 4G LTE, where HTC are "confident" that it is in compliance with the ruling:

 

The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.

 

The ITC order was quite broad meaning it allowed US Customs to seize any HTC handset imported into the United States purely on the suspicion it might violate Apple's asserted intellectual property rights. Let's hope it's all sorted out soon enough.

Thieves allegedly rob an internet cafe after forgetting to log out of Facebook

Some would be criminals have been apprehended thanks to the fact that they forgot to log out of Facebook. It seems as though Facebook has become so intertwined with life that people just plain forget to log out sometimes. Two men now stand accused of robbing an Internet cafe after using their services to check out the latest hap's on the social network.

 

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After they finished stalking the profiles of their friends, they decided it might be fun to rob the place. As such, they then decided to make like they were going to pay, but instead allegedly attacked the shop owner. After robbing the place, they hopped onto a motorcycle that also happened to not belong to them.

 

The police, when they arrived, happened to notice that one of the criminals had remained logged in on Facebook. This led to the arrest of the one person, who I'm sure proceeded to squeal on the other. This isn't the first time would-be criminals have been caught thanks to Facebook. Previously, in 2009, a house robber became so comfortable in the house that he logged onto Facebook and forgot to log off before leaving.

Google patents Project Glass augmented reality glasses

You know those augmented reality glasses being developed by Google that everyone is going crazy over? Well, Google was just granted three patents covering the technology behind them. Google isn't the only one working on the technology, but they are the only ones to have gained patents for it which should give them a leg up on the competition.

 

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The patent numbers, in case you should want to look them up, are D659,739, D659,740 and D659,741. They are for a "wearable display device" and a "wearable display device frame." The device first made an appearance in an online video last month and made its rounds around the internet, including here on TweakTown.

 

The patents were filed October 26, 2011, which shows that the technology has been development for some time. What's more is that they are being tested by Google executives which shows the support for the project is coming from the top. With that support, it is all the more likely that these will eventually hit store shelves.

Facebook increases IPO by 25%, could raise $16 billion

In the latest news about Facebook's imminent IPO is that they have increased the opening amount of shares by 84 million, which is about 25% more than what was originally planned to be on sale. These new shares, however, won't be coming from the company itself. Rather, the new shares will be on sale by early investors.

 

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The strong demand by investors for stock in the social networking giant has prompted the change in plan. The additional 84 million shares brings the total number of shares up to 421 million that will be on sale when the company goes public on Thursday. It's possible that not even the increased amount of shares will be able to meet demand.

 

Originally it was expected that the IPO of Facebook would raise somewhere around $10.6 billion, depending on investor interest. With the increase of shares and interest, it is now expected that the IPO could raise $16 billion. Mark Zuckerberg will retain 55.8% of the company, which will give him a small majority.

Samsung takes back top cell phone maker title, Apple not far behind

Another research firm has confirmed that Samsung is the top cell phone maker in the world. With 86.6 million handsets sold in the first quarter of 2012, Samsung has reclaimed the title from Apple. That 86.6 million sold is 25.9 percent higher than last year's first quarter and helped give Samsung a 20.7% share of the market.

 

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Of the 86.6 million handsets sold last quarter, 38 million of them were smartphones. Samsung's 38 million smartphones account for more than 40% of Android phones in the world. That number is huge considering not a single other handset maker has captured more than 10% of the Android smartphone market.

 

Nokia was thrown out of the way as Samsung flew past. Nokia, now in second place, sold 83.2 million handsets, a decrease of 22.7% from last year's quarter. "Smartphone sales are becoming of paramount importance at a worldwide level," Gartner principal research analyst Anshul Gupta said in a statement. "For example, smartphone volumes contributed to approximately 43.9 per cent of overall sales for Samsung as opposed to 16 per cent for Nokia."

 

Apple came in third with only 7.9% market share. That figure was boosted by iPhone 4S sales, which contributed to increasing Apple's handset sales by 96.2%. RIM is still at the bottom of the heap with only 2.4% market share.

Continue reading 'Samsung takes back top cell phone maker title, Apple not far behind' (full post)

Facebook IPO price range could be between $34 and $38 per share

AllThingsD is reporting that with sources close to the situation, investors are being told that the IPO price range for Facebook is between $34 and $38 per share. This results in the highest valuation being over $100 billion, fully diluted.

 

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Last month, the predictions per share were at around $31, in filings related to its pending acquisition of photo-sharing start-up, Instagram. Recent ranges have put the social networking site at between $28 and $34.

 

Other reports have put the price between $35 and $40, so $34-$38 per share doesn't seem out of the question. The higher price is an indication that some of the reports from last week saying there was weak investor interest... but they were obviously wrong. The official pricing for the IPO for Facebook will arrive on Thursday, with a public offering on Friday under the "FB" ticker symbol on the Nasdaq market.

Kodak kept a secret nuclear reactor underground for over 30 years

Kodak, in recent times, has not been doing very well, but apparently they have managed to keep a secret for over 30 years. Back in 1974, Kodak acquired a small nuclear reactor and has been maintaining the device in an underground bunker for over 30 years. The nuclear reactor was filled with 3.5 pounds of weapons-grade enriched uranium and was kept in a bunker with 2-foot thick concrete walls.

 

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Incredibly, it seems as though very few people knew of the reactors existence. The reactor is one of only two ever made and known as a Californium Neutron Flex multiplier. The bunker in which is was located is in Rochester, New York and seemingly never caused any sort of problem through radiation leaks or other ways.

 

Apparently, Kodak used the device to conduct years of research. It was also used to check materials for impurities and to perform neutron radiography testing. Kodak continues to claim the device is safe and couldn't explode since it wasn't a power plant. The device had been mentioned in some research papers, but was never publicly announced.

 

Incredibly, it would appear that Kodak never alerted the local police or fire departments that the reactor was located there or even existed. The company decommissioned the reactor with the help of federal regulators six years ago. The uranium plates were placed in protective containers and removed in November 2007.

Apple vs. Motorola, HTC suit combined has been moved back to 2014

The lawsuit between Apple against Motorola & HTC has been moved back, with the judge consolidating the disparate trials, which are made up from patent infringement claims by Apple against both Motorola and HTC, with both companies counter-claiming against Apple.

 

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The new combined trial has been pushed back until April of 2014. Federal Judge Robert N. Scola of the Southern District of Florida approved Apple's consolidation request, in spite of the objections from both Motorola and HTC. Now that the case has been rescheduled to 2014, Motorola have lost their chance to enforce any patent suits against Apple in the short term.

 

Within the lawsuit, Motorola are being accused of violating 14 Apple patents, and at the moment, they have a six patent counter-complaint. Motorola gains the ability to add six other patents that it had filed a separate lawsuit for against Apple in regards to the iPhone 4S and iCloud, which potentially brings their counter-claim total to 12, from 6. HTC on the other hand benefits from the rescheduled lawsuit, as the trial is later than Apple's proposed date of December 2013, and long after Motorola's date of March 2013.

Continue reading 'Apple vs. Motorola, HTC suit combined has been moved back to 2014' (full post)

Blizzard and Valve reach a deal regarding the DOTA trademark

With DOTA 2 being a 'new kind of free-to-play', the problems with the DOTA trademark still hovered over the heads of Valve, and Blizzard. But this is all sorted, thankfully.

 

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Valve will come off with the better part of the deal, where they get to keep the name for their upcoming DOTA 2 title. Blizzard on the other hand will change the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which Blizzard say "ultimately better reflects the design of our game". Blizzard's EVP of Game Design, Rob Pardo, said that both studios recognize that "players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to".

 

This is a great move, and pissing off your fan-base is not how you get return customers. Blizzard must have known if they fought with Valve, they would look bad to their player base. At a time of launching Diablo III today. On the other hand, Gabe Newell, president of Valve says:

 

We're pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one.

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