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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 262

Apple's tax evasion issue doesn't affect reputation says new study

When the New York Times ran an article about GE's use of tax loop holes to not pay taxes, GE's brand reputation was significantly hurt and took two months to return to precrisis levels. However, just a month later the New York Times ran a similar story about Apple and Apple did not see the same result as GE.

 

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Apple, as opposed to GE, saw an increase in brand reputation after the New York Times story ran. On YouGov's rating system, Apple went up from a brand reputation of 52 to 58 and is now running at 51. The reputation scores range from -100 to 100 and is calculated off of responses to the question of whether or not they would be "proud or embarrassed to work for this brand."

 

Apple's reputation is "virtually Teflon," in that nothing sticks to it. "The reaction [to the story about GE] was more pronounced and longer: the company's reputation took a steep drop and two months to recover to precrisis levels," YouGov said in a post. It's incredible that the two companies are treated differently, even though they do the same thing.

Apple joins top 20 on Fortune 500 list

Fortune Magazine have released their annual Fortune 500 list, which list America's largest corporations. Last year, Apple placed at a respectable 35th position, but have zoomed right up to 17th for this years list. Apple rank second in technology to rival Hewlett-Packard.

 

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Last year due to the undeniable success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple became the world's most value company, boosting its earnings by 85-percent to $25.9 billion. Fortune have predicted growrth for the technology sector at 3-percent, marking Apple's earnings as a "giant" contribution in the industry.

 

Apple looks to continue this runaway success, with another iPhone on the way, and I'm sure another iPad is being worked on as well as refreshed MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMacs. I'm sure there's things in-between those products, too. As well as their rumored Apple TV, too.

Rovio Entertainment are preparing IPO for 2013, analysts peg their value at $9 billion

The creator behind the immensely popular 'Angry Birds', Rovio Entertainment, are looking to go public in 2013. The company is looking at an initial public offering (IPO) in 2013, in either New York or Hong Kong. What would you think Rovio is worth? Well, analysts pin them being valued at a very respectable $9 billion.

 

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With the popularity seeming to never end with Angry Birds, the IPO should go very well. Angry Birds has smashed over 800 million downloads, and sports 200 million active users monthly, this is by the end of 2011. Angry Birds Space launched to huge numbers, hitting 50 million downloads in 35 days which made it the fastest growing mobile game, ever.

 

Profit-wise, Rovio made $99 in sales last year, and profits before tax was $48 million. Not bad considering 2010's revenue of around $10 million. Mikael Hed, Rovio CEO has said:

 

2012 looks fantastic. We have had some very strong download numbers over four months.

Lenovo investing big in China, plans $800 million for new products plant in China

Lenovo are planning big investments in China over the next 18 or so months, where they'll be investing $800 million in a new mobile products plant in Wuhan, one of the largest cities in China. The Lenovo Industrial Base will cover research & development, production and sales of smartphones and tablets, with a target opening date of October 2013.

 

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The new plant will service both local and global markets, and is expected to generate around $1.5 billion in revenue by 2014, and the company are hoping to hit $8 billion within five years. Job creation numbers are great, with around 10,000 jobs created over the coming years thanks to the new Wuhan facility.

 

Lenovo are wanting to grab more mobile market share, and this move will surely help them do so. Lenovo have said in their press release that they are already a top-three smartphone maker in China. Lenovo's K800 smartphone was one of the first devices to feature Intel's Medfield-based processor, which should be the start of something new for Lenovo. On top of this, they're preparing the IdeaTab S2109 with an unspecified processor, a 9.7-inch display, and 1GB of RAM.

Antitrust investigation launched against Google, but by who? The Indian government, that's who

While Google are busy battling a censorship case with the Indian government, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Competition Commission of India is launching an antitrust investigation of Google, where they'll examine the company's alleged "discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords".

 

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Where did this all stem from? A complaint filed from Consim Info Pvt. Ltd., who is an Indian web conglomerate which apparently requested that the Competition Commission step in to ensure fair competition in online advertising.

 

What the investigation is set out to do isn't 100-percent clear, but the commission will start off by taking a look at AdWords and go from there. Google are in for a treat this year, it seems.

Al Franken believes Comcast is breaking net neutrality rules, sends letter to FCC

Minnesota Senator Al Franken believes that Comcast is breaking its net neutrality agreement that it had to sign to gain approval to merge with NBC Universal. The fear that Franken has resides in the fact that Comcast will not count any direct-to-Xbox streaming against customers' 250GB monthly data cap.

 

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Obviously, Netflix and other internet video providers are upset by this and see it as unfair. They believe it gives Comcast's service an unfair advantage to their own services and that it violates the Net neutrality rules that they had to sign to. These rules prohibit broadband providers from favoring their own content on the open internet over that of their competitors.

Continue reading 'Al Franken believes Comcast is breaking net neutrality rules, sends letter to FCC' (full post)

Jury finds Google infringed on Oracle IP in partial verdict, Google moves for mistrial

Ah, yes, that legal battle between Oracle and Google is still going on. In fact, it's only in its first stages. The copyright phase of the trial ended Friday with the jury stating they couldn't reach a unanimous decision on one of the four questions it needed to. Judge Alsup told the jurors to think about it over the weekend.

 

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Unfortunately, this did not help as the jury as it told the court that an "impasse has been reached." The jury then turned in its partial verdict on the three questions that they were able to agree upon. The jury has found that Google did in fact infringe on Oracle's copyrights by copying the structure, sequence, and organization of the code.

 

They were unable to decide if this use would be covered by fair use. The jury found that Google had not unfairly taken from the documentation associated with the 37 APIs. The jury found Google guilty of infringing by actually copying some specific code from the Java programming language. They were only found guilty on one of the three they were charged with.

 

Google has moved for a mistrial given the results of this trial. The trial has now shifted to the patent portion of the proceedings, even with the unresolved portions from the copyright phase. Both Oracle and Google are preparing briefs on the matter of whether the SSO was copyrightable. The jury has been instructed to continue as if they were.

Continue reading 'Jury finds Google infringed on Oracle IP in partial verdict, Google moves for mistrial' (full post)

Verizon looks to bring 'text-to-911' capabilities to its network

"Like, OMG, I need help NOW!!1!" In a move that the FCC chairman praised, Verizon has selected a vendor to help it implement its first-in-the-nation "text-to-911" service. The "text-to-911" service would allow people to contact emergency services (911) via text message. This opens the doors to providing better access to those with speaking or hearing disabilities.

 

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"Verizon is at the forefront of 911 public-safety innovations, and today's announcement is another step in making SMS-to-911 service available to those who cannot make a voice call to 911," said Marjorie Hsu, Verizon Wireless vice president of technology. "Our company is continuing its long-standing commitment to address the needs of public safety and our customers by offering another way to get help in an emergency by using wireless technology."

 

Verizon is looking to deploy the new feature in select markets early next year. The option will be available to anyone who has a text-messaging-capable phone. FCC spokesperson Tammy Sun said Genachowski "commended the company for offering consumers another way to reach 911 that is consistent with how millions of consumers already use mobile devices in their daily lives."

The legal system works: Judge rules IP addresses are not enough to incriminate pirates

It what can only be described as the legal system actually working, a judge has used common sense and ruled that an IP address is not enough to incriminate a pirate. Judge Gary Brown, a federally-appointed magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York, delivered the ruling in a fresh round of lawsuits launched by Voltage Pictures.

 

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The case in question is one in which Voltage Pictures has sued 2,500 BitTorrent users who have been accused of illegally downloading The Hurt Locker. The movie didn't exactly perform as expected when it hit theaters and the studio is blaming that on piracy and an early leak of the film. Judge Brown spells out his feelings in a 26-page ruling located here.

 

Thus, it is no more likely that the subscriber to an IP address carried out a particular computer function -- here the purported illegal downloading of a single pornographic film -- than to say an individual who pays the telephone bill made a specific telephone call," [...] "Most, if not all, of the IP addresses will actually reflect a wireless router or other networking device, meaning that while the ISPs will provide the name of its subscriber, the alleged infringer could be the subscriber, a member of his or her family, an employee, invitee, neighbor or interloper.

Continue reading 'The legal system works: Judge rules IP addresses are not enough to incriminate pirates' (full post)

Android lost money every quarter in 2010, $97.7m revenue in Q1

Google has never really released any sort of data about the financials of Android. People have been forced to take educated guesses about whether or not Android is making money for Google. Well thanks to the ongoing battle between Oracle and Google, we finally have some hard numbers to go off of, and it's a somewhat bleak picture.

 

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Currently, the lawsuit is in jury deliberations and those deliberations are currently locked. The judge and jury are trying to work out what sort of damages may be due to Oracle, hence the hard financial data that has become available. Judge William Alsup, yesterday, read excerpts from some court documents which showed that Android had a net loss every quarter in 2010.

 

This resulted in a "big loss for the whole year." He also made note that Android only had a revenue figure of $97.7 million for the first quarter in 2010. These figures are important because they go into figuring out how much money Oracle could be due in damages. If Google hasn't made money, they are on the hook, conceivably, for less money. At the same time, one would have to question why they would continue with a platform that isn't making money.

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