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Well, well, isn't this quite the golden nugget of news today, folks! Megaupload co-founder, Kim Dotcom, has admitted that high-profile U.S. government officials held accounts with Megaupload. Not only did people at the Senate, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and NASA hold Megaupload accounts, but some 15,600 members of the U.S. Military did, too.
The MPAA and RIAA may think that Megaupload is predominantly used for piracy, but there are plenty of government officials and installations using it for legitimate transferring of files, that are simply too big to throw over e-mail. Megaupload's team is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) with their MegaRetrieval campaign, where they hope to reunite site users with their data.
Even with the worldwide economy as bad as it is, Intel's market share has held steady and even increased, to where it is now at a 10-year peak. Intel's revenue has gone up 20 percent which equates to $48.7 billion. The next closer competitor, Samsung, only gained 0.6 percent to a total revenue of $28.6 billion.
Intel gained a massive boost from its purchase of Infineon, which allowed it to produce 3G chipsets for a possible Intel phone and for use in the many phones that are powered by its competitor, ARM. AMD gained only 1.4 percent to a total revenue of $6.4 billion, which equates to 12th on the list. Qualcomm came out the big winner, however, with a massive increase of 41.6 percent. This resulted in a total revenue of $10.2 billion.
Today has been a day filled with Microsoft news. First the Xbox Lite rumor, and then the "Smoked by Windows Phone" contest. Well, now we're going to tell you how a couple of Bing promoters got fired. The two's employment ended with a bang. At Sundance, they built a three-story party palace filled with celebs and an open bar.
The two had become known for high power marketing campaigns for the search engine Bing. They painted Bing as something colorful and fun, whereas Google could be seen as plain and simple.
You know what they say, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." But, does this always stand true? Microsoft has been accused of swindling the winner of 'Smoked by Windows Phone' out of his prize. The contest was to "bring up the weather of two different cities." He was required to power cycle his phone in front of the Microsoft employee to prove there were no preloaded apps. Katta had struck gold! He already had two widgets on the home screen displaying the weather in San Jose and Berkley and he had disabled the lock screen. After the countdown, he simply pressed the power button and said "Done!"
The Microsoft employee said he lost because he couldn't have won: Windows Phone "displays the weather right there." A second employee came up and said the weather had to be from two cities in different states, which was never in any rules. Ben Rudolph from Microsoft has since tweeted that he would like to make things right. He has offered Katta the Ultrabook prize, a Windows Phone, and an apology.
A new challenger has appeared. Apple is no longer the only one doing frivolous lawsuits; now, they are at the receiving end of one! Yes, it's true, one of Apple's stores, with its slick and modern design, "caused" an 83 year old woman to break her nose by walking into the glass--guess they use Windex!
As a result of the collision, Grandmother Evelyn Paswall is suing the company for a cool $1 million. Her lawyer explains:
There were no markings on the glass or they were inadequate. My client is an octogenarian. She sees well, but she did not see any glass.
Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd, but on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people.
This will most likely settle out of court, as most lawsuits of this nature due. It remains to be seen if Apple's warning labels will be adjusted to be more visible. Besides, this isn't the first time this has happened: two other customers suffered minor injuries after colliding with the glass. Apple introduced the warning labels after these events.
Social networking site and the first thing people check when they turn on their mobile devices, Facebook, have reportedly purchased 750 patents from IBM, which they hope will help them battle against potential patent infringement allegations, according to Bloomberg.
The patents that Facebook added to their portfolio reportedly cover mostly networking and software, and is a huge increase in their patent portfolio considering they previously had 53 issued patents and 503 files with U.S. Patent applications. Facebook have now paid millions for the patents, where they say the new intellectual property will help them from incoming IP claims, issuing a document on February 1st saying:
We may introduce new products, including in areas where we currently do not compete, which could increase our exposure to patent and other intellectual property claims.
New iPhone (will that be the new name?) development is of course under way, but a massive part of this is the actual production of the smartphone itself. Foxconn are key partners to Apple, but right now, Foxconn's northern plant in Taiyuan, which is in China's northern Shanxi province, may become both a key hub of the new iPhone, as well as a flashpoint for working condition issues.
The China Times reports that the factory was facing a "huge" shortage of workers, to the tune of 20,000 of them, as it got ready for the new iPhone. It is being reported that they would be in charge of producing as many as 85-percent of total orders, or close to 57 million new iPhones. So, we'd be talking about just under a year of stock for one single model.
The problems with the workers apparently stem from Foxconn allegedly promising to raise pay packets for everyone, but then only delivered their promises to mid- and upper-tier workers, which of course, pissed off some employees, rightfully so, too. The raises supposedly reduce the requirement to work overtime in order to get a decent pay, but the managers have been pushing an all-or-nothing attitude toward overtime. Either you work insane amounts of overtime, or you get offered no overtime at all.
Research in Motion were born in Canada, and have enjoyed Canadian's being loyal to RIM, but this has just begun to stop. In 2011, RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerry smartphones, versus the 2.85 million iPhones that Apple sold. Rewind another twelve months into 2010, and we have RIM selling over 500,000 more units than Apple did in Canada.
If we go back a bit further to 2008, RIM sold 500-percent more BlackBerry phones than Apple did iPhones. But, we all know that the iPhone has grown in popularity immensely, and Canadian's just don't want to continue being blindly loyal. Bloomberg notes that Canada-based sales make up roughly 7-percent of RIM's total revenue.
RIM has enjoyed local support in Canada, which would hurt them considerably seeing Apple overtake them on their home ground. Alfred DuPut from research firm Interbrand says that this is due to RIM not investing enough in promoting their devices once the iPhone shipped. If you ask me, it's because Apple have a totally contained system, with hipsters wanting them, grandmas wanting them, great marketing, they just 'work', and are simple enough that a 5-year-old could use it.
T-Mobile have just announced that they will be cutting 1,900 jobs as well as closing seven of their call centers throughout the US as part of a plan that is said to reduce overhead as well as stockpile cash in order to invest in a restructuring plan after AT&T failed on their planned acquisition.
The call centers that will be closed down are: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. For all of the call centers mentioned, they actually house 3,300 employees, but T-Mobile will be hiring 1,400 more workers at the remaining 17 centers.
Some employees are being offered transfers, and those who are being let go are said to be receiving severance pay and two months of healthcare. The cut of 1,700 employees may sound drastic, but it's just a slither of T-Mobile's total workforce, the 1,700 lost jobs represents 5-percent of the total workforce.