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Google have released some financial results that might interest some, with Q4 011 and fiscal year ending December 31, 2011 being released. CEO of Google, Larry Page, says:
Google had a really strong quarter ending a great year. Full year revenue was up 29%, and our quarterly revenue blew past the $10 billion mark for the first time. I am super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally - well over double what I announced just three months ago. By building a meaningful relationship with our users through Google+ we will create amazing experiences across our services. I'm very excited about what we can do in 2012 - there are tremendous opportunities to help users and grow our business.
$10 billion revenue for Q4 is very impressive, up 29-percent. Google reported revenues of $10.58 billion for the quarter ending December 31, 2011, an increase of 25-percent when compared to the same quarter in 2010. Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.29 billion, or 69-percent of total revenues. This is an increase of 15-percent year-over-year. Google's partner sites generated revenues of $2.88 billion, or 27-percent of revenues. This too is a 15-percent increase year-over-year.
International revenues made outside of the United States came to a total of $5.6 billion, representing 53-percent of total revenues for Q4 2011, compared to 55-percent in the third quarter of 2011, and 52-percent from Q4 2010.
Bit of a mix-up for the news today. The SOPA protests are on today, and have been for quite a few hours now, with Wikipedia, Google, Reddit and other sites all either showing a protest, or completely going dark for 24 hours.
The protest is of course in regards to SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act which Congress were debating. On top of this, there is PIPA, the Protect IP Act. Today marks a big day for not only the Internet, but you, me, and everyone in between. If SOPA is to get in, it is more or less the end of the Internet as we know it. It would still exist, but it would be heavily modified. Think of it like, if the Internet servers were in two places, North Korea and China, with a huge firewall, and if the dummies in Congress were the managers, and the MPAA gave out some requirements.
Yes, that's a little over-exaggeration, but it's pretty close. This news is just a "we here at TweakTown oppose SOPA/PIPA and any other stupid bill Congress want to push upon the people", and a bit of a tip in case anyone has missed previous news posts in regards to SOPA and PIPA on our site.
Nielsen have just posted their latest figures on smartphone sales in the U.S. and it shows that Apple's latest iPhone 4S helped claw back some much needed ground against the constant onslaught of Android-powered phones. In the last three months of 2011, roughly 45-percent of U.S. shoppers who purchased a new smartphone, chose an iPhone.
This is up 25-percent from the previous quarter. Android sales were 47-percent, down from a smackdown of 62-percent in the previous quarter. Apple's sales numbers were slipping as people were waiting for the new iPhone to launch, where Google were seeing strong sales thanks to Samsung's Galaxy S II. Apple also dropped pricing on the 3GS to zero up-front when purchase on contract, and introduced an 8GB iPhone 4 for just $100.
RIM's BlackBerry is still here, taking third spot, but seeing its share drop from 7.7-percent to just 4.5-percent in Q4 2011. This is quite worrying as RIM just released the Bold, Curve and Torch models.
Symantec has acquired archiving company LifeOffice, in a deal worth $115 million. Symantec increases its cloud-computing power to fight the battle and be more of an on-premise and software as a service (SaaS) company. Most traditional enterprise-software companies are scooping up cloud-based companies, with SAP purchasing SuccessFactors, and Oracle taking RightNow.
Symantec said in a statement that it will use LiveOffice to bolster its information-governance unit, as LiveOffice provides a cloud-based archiving system. LiveOffice and Symantec were partners before the deal, which it has now fused into one.
Research in Motion, which I'm sure you are aware are popular for their BlackBerry devices, have been going through some rough times lately. I'm sure virtually everyone working at RIM hate Apple and Google for coming in and creating something which took off quickly, and continues to grow at unprecedented rates. I'm talking of iOS and Android-powered devices.
RIM have slowly been sinking and it's been reported that they are eyeing off every single option they can think of, "in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors," says BGR. RIM have reportedly favored an all-out purchase of one or more divisions, or even the entire company. RIM want Samsung to do it, but just after the story went to air, Samsung denied it.
Samsung didn't just slap RIM and walk away, as they are considering licensing RIM's software, or purchasing a portion of RIM's assets. This is better than nothing for RIM.
[Update: Changed the title, now less confusing.] When you visit Google tomorrow, and let's face it, we know you will, you'll see that they will have posted a link on their home page notifying users of Google's opposition to the controversial anti-piracy bills being thrown around like candy in Congress.
Google confirmed in a statement that they will join other popular sites such as Reddit, and Wikipedia, as well as other influential tech sites in staging protests of varying kinds against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, and Protect IP Act (PIPA) which are (of course) backed by big entertainment and media interests.
A Google representative has said:
Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue Web sites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page.
Apple is at it, again - files design suit against Samsung in Germany, wants to ban 10 Samsung smartphones
Apple is at it again, this time it has filed another suit in Germany, where they seek to ban sales of various Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S Plus and S II. The suit was filed in the Dusseldorf Regional Court, and is based from Apple design rights in Europe, according to a phone call Bloomberg had with court spokesman Peter Schuetz.
Apple didn't stop there, they've also launched a separate suit against five different Samsung tablet computer models related to a September ruling banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Last month, the Dusseldorf court said that it is unlikely to grant an injunction against the Galaxy 10.1N and an appeals court also gave doubts about the reach of Apple's European Union design right that won the company the injunction against the Galaxy 10.1.
The new suits aren't filed under emergency proceedings, and allow Apple a new procedure against both models. Apple did initially win with their successful September injunction, but have since then, hit roadblocks against Samsung. Back in December, Apple failed to convince an Australian court to reinstate a ban of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.
Samsung is looking to issue its first overseas bonds since 1997 in a move to expand the production of processors used in mobile devices such as Apple's iPhone. Samsung have sent requests for proposals to banks to borrow as much as $1 billion in order to expand production capacity at it's Austin, Texas-based plant.
Samsung joins cash-rich technology companies such as Google, by entering the bond market as borrowing costs plummet. It's cheaper for Samsung to raise funds to meet surging smartphone demand than go into their own pocket, where they have nearly $20 billion in cash.
Samsung are also planning to increase investment in 2012 to boost production of not just mobile chips, but next-generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display panels. No detailed investment plans for 2012 have been stated by Samsung.
The expansion should be a great thing for Texas, and America as a whole. Creating jobs in a struggling economy, and a struggling country.
SOPA may have been stalled, but the fight is not over, yet. Wikipedia have announced that they are joining in on the Black Out protest which is scheduled for January 18, just mere hours away.
Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, made the announcement through Twitter today, saying that Wikipedia will be unavailable for 24 hours beginning midnight EST of January 18 (4pm AEDT). Instead of Wiki entries, users will get to the site, and get redirected to a page with a banner saying "The Internet Must Remain Free".
Wikipedia is just one of a number of sites that will suspend operations on January 18, these sites include Minecraft, Reddit, Major League Gaming and the entire Cheezburger network. These black outs and protests are to raise awareness for SOPA and PIPE bills. Hopefully this begins to catapult SOPA and PIPA into the mainstream, and the House drops it. Let's hope they don't rename it, add some spice and throw it in with another bill without anyone knowing. It's not like they would be capable of doing that, again.
THQ have had a rough couple of years, its share price five years ago sat very pretty at $33.73, and in 2011, dropped to just 66 cents. Operating costs also kicked them, hard. They used a significant chunk of their cash closing down two Australian studios, costing nearly $40 million total.
Out of that $40 million, $4.4 million of it went to severance packages and other wage-related issues. $17.5 million of it was spent on costs related to the "cancellation of two unannounced titles in development" at THQ Studios Australia and Blue Tongue. But, we're not finished yet.
THQ paid a flat fee for a license for The Avengers, where THQ had to just write off after the cancellation of the game that was in development at THQ Studios Australia. What did it cost THQ for that? A cool $16 million. Thrown away, burnt, just washed their hands with it. For $16 million already spent on The Avengers game, I'd like to know how it made financial sense to can development of a game already in development.