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If you haven't heard of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), then I suggest you do some serious reading, because last week the House Judiciary Committee discussed it, and the results of SOPA would not be good, at all.
There was an abrupt end to the markup session on Friday, with a new hearing date set for this week. Opposition to SOPA is growing, with the General Manger of Reddit stepping in and saying that the bill would "almost certainly mean the end" of Reddit.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will continue discussing SOPA to decide whether the bill should move to the full House. Until then, lobbying groups for and against the bill continue with their efforts to influence the votes of committee members.
AT&T have decided that the merger with T-Mobile won't be happening. AT&T blames the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice and states that the actions of two government bodies "do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry."
AT&T also added that the merger would have been an interim solution to the spectrum allocation issue that is currently hurting the industry, and that without the merger, "customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled." An FCC staff report was released just hours after AT&T and T-Mobile withdrew their merger application, with the staff report calling into question the claims that the merger "would serve the public interst, convenience, and necessity."
Apple's patent trolling has striked once again today, with the ITC siding with the Cupertino-based company. HTC was on the other side of the stick, where they will have certain models of their products either banned from sale, or imported.
The ITC found that HTC violated a pair of patents held by Apple regarding the formatting of data (such as phone numbers) in otherwise unstructured documents (such as e-mails) allowing users to interact with them.
The ban isn't set to strike until April 19th of next year, which gives both HTC and Google enough time to work through it. In the meantime of this news going to air (or to keyboard), HTC have said that they have a plan in place to not face the ban. The ITC did not find that HTC violated two other patents that were in question, which related to real time signal processing and would've been much harder for HTC to circumvent.
His Aunty didn't throw him in a cab and send him to Bel-Air, but Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, has invested a cool $300 million in social-networking site, Twitter. Alwaleed is one of the richest people in the world, ranked at No. 26 on Forbes' billionaire list, with a net work of $19.6 billion.
He made the investment through his 'Kingdom Holding Co.', where it was announced through a press release, and confirmed by Twitter. Twitter's last round of funding, valued the company at $8.4 million and was led by Digital Sky Technologies (DST) of Russia. DST founder Yuri Milner, has stakes in Twitter, Facebook and Zynga.
CD Projekt, developers behind the successful currently PC-only game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is going after pirates. The game has sold over one million copies so far, and while they are confident behind these sales numbers, they are also confident in going after pirates of their hard work.
CD Projekt are going after pirates, claiming that only people who they are sure downloaded a copy of the game illegally are receiving a threat of legal action. Michal Nowakowski, CD Projekt's VP of Business Development says:
We're addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove. We are not worried about tracking the wrong people. As this is the trade secret of the company working on this, I cannot share it. However, we investigated the subject before we decided on this move, and we aware of some past complications. The method used here is targeting only 100% confirmed piracy cases. No innocent person was targeted with the letter so far. At least we have not received any information as of now which would indicate something like that.
We all know Skyrim has enjoyed a very successful career in just six weeks, but just how successful? Well, firstly, it has shipped over 10 million copies since it's 11/11/11 launch, with "Large retail reorders across all platforms and record-breaking digital sales reflect the ongoing global demand by consumers excited to explore this extraordinary fantasy epic," the company said in a statement.
Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media has said:
We are gratified that Skyrim continues to garner high review scores and accolades around the world. We are most grateful to our fans for their support and enthusiasm for the game, and their love of the hundreds of hours of gameplay it offers. We continue to strive to deliver the highest quality entertainment experience for everyone. 2012 will be another huge year for our fans, with the release of the Creation Kit, as well as exciting DLC which will add to the richness of this epic adventure.
Three Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) workers, Young Keun Park, Sang Hun Kim and Sik "Daniel" Hur will face jail time after pleading guilty to fixing optical disk drive prices, according to the US Department of Justice. Throughout 2005 to 2009, the three employees suppressed competition by rigging bids for optical disk drives sold to both Dell and HP, in addition to fixing prices for devices sold to Microsoft.
Under the plea agreement, Park and Kim will serve eight months in prison, while Hur will experience seven months in jail. All there will have to pay a $25,000 fine. The three executives will also be charged with multiple violations of the Sherman Act, which covers antitrust and anticompetitive activities. Each count of the Sherman Act comes with a statutory fine of up to $1 million, (and more if the damages are large enough), and up to 10-years behind bars.
AMD's chief marketing officer (CMO) Nigel Dessau, is leaving the company. Rory Read, CEO of AMD, has been making some "aggressive" changes to the company in a mission to turn AMD into a lean, well-oiled, profit-making business that it should be.
Read has recently laid off a bunch of AMD staff, with a number of them reportedly from the marketing department. These people are most likely the ones who snuck out with the 800 million missing transistors from AMD's Bulldozer platform.
Dessau had joined AMD in 2008, and previously served as CMO for StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and IBM. He will leave in January, but will stay with AMD until their new Radeon HD 7000-series of GPUs have been unveiled.
Nintendo's 3DS has endured quite the weird launch, with it seeing genuine success at launch, but post-launch numbers have fallen off, considerably. Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata did have a hunch last week that sales would pick up, and it appears he was right.
Japan's biggest video game magazine, Famitsu, has said that the 3DS sold a whopping 378,114 units between December 5 and 11. Nintendo reported 371,326 units sold in the first two days after launch in Japan, but the last week was the most successful one for Nintendo since the launch of the 3DS.
We can see from the chart below, that it launched with nearly 400,000 units, then spiked again with the price drop, spiked again with the launch of Mario Kart 7 and has continued this rise with Monster Hunter 3G. Monster Hunter 3G is basted on the Wii game Monster Hunter 3, and is the first 3DS title in the fantasy action RPG series. According to Famitsu, the game had a very successful 48 hours, selling 471,055 copies on December 10, and 11.
Samsung is Apple's strongest competition right now, and the way it's worded, you'd think Apple have sold more. Well, in Q3 of 2011, Samsung beat Apple by 65-percent in unit sales, to take over the global lead. But, it was Samsung's greater phone lineup, which consists of so-called "feature phones", which are just the traditional cell phones, that Samsung were celebrating in their recent press release.
Samsung now have to look at Nokia's 2010 market, where they moved an astounding 453 million devices, compared to Samsung's 280 million. Samsung have not revealed precise numbers, but sales of "over" 300 million would indicate at least a 7-percent growth.