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I must've somehow missed this in the hoopla that is New Years, but I'll make it quick. Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Sony Electronics have all followed by example of Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance by kicking the ass of support for SOPA.
This is a good move, as they all know that the land of Internet people will be at their doors with pitch forks if they continued support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. All three of the companies did not make a comment on why they reversed their decision to support SOPA, but the pitch fork image I have in my head does it for me.
Keep in mind that not all of Sony land took their support away, with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Nashville all still appear on the SOPA list. Let's wait to see how this bill goes, let's all collectively hope that it does not pass.
Samsung's Galaxy Note, the uber-large, but curvaceously sexy Galaxy Note, which sports a 5.3-inch screen is a kind of tabletphone hybrid. This hasn't stopped the device from shipping more than 1 million in Europe and Asia, before it even hits the shores of the U.S.
The rapid sales of the device show Samsung that creating a new market for something between a smartphone and tablet PC. Samsung says that the speed of sales should accelerate even further going into the new year when it becomes available in the U.S.
Samsung also note that the Financial Times reviewed the Galaxy Note highly, commenting it as:
A happy medium for consumers who want to carry just one device, rather than both a smartphone and a tablet and whatever other portable gadget they pick up on their way out.
Amazon have had a very Merry Christmas when it comes to Amazon Kindle sales over the holiday season. Amazon customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers. 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family, with one million Kindle devices sold each week.
Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, says "We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle." He continues pointing out the fact that the #1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing.
Three Kindle-based products took the top three spots on Amazon's best seller list, with the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Kindle taking out the top three spots, respectively. Amazon's latest, Kindle Fire, was the most gifted and wished for product on Amazon this season, and was also the top selling product in the UK, France, Spain and Italy. Kindle Fire also took out the best selling product on Amazon's mobile site.
With Newegg in one corner as the second-largest online retailer in the U.S. and the number one destination for tech-savvy shoppers, with Amazon the top U.S. e-tailer in the other corner, both releasing their holiday best-selling item reports.
Neweggs list contains:
Laptops/Notebooks: 15.6" Asus A53E-EH91
Televisions: Sceptre 32" 720p LCD HDTV
Video Games: Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle with Halo Reach and Fable 3
Digital Cameras: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47K 12.1 MP
Software: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Monitors: Acer G235HAbd 23" LCD
CPUs/Processors: Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboards: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 3.5"
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Video Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Sony's NGP, PlayStation Vita, enjoyed a first week of record sales, selling 321,400 Vita units in the first 48 hours on sale in Japan. Second unit numbers, however, are much, much lower.
According to research outfit Media Create, who track the Japanese console gaming industry, Sony sold just 72,479 Vita's during the most crucial shopping week before Christmas. A huge decline of over 75-percent versus the first week.
The numbers were so low that the PS3 actually outsold the Vita, with the PS3 pushing 75,943 units versus the Vita's 72,479. The decline reportedly stems from inventory issues, as well as early reports of issues with the Vita. Sony was quick to refuge the allegations, which ranged from laggy gameplay to crashes.
As of January 1, 2012, and part of a new Xbox Live policy, Microsoft will ban the purchase of any and all gun-related Avatar accessories within Xbox Live. In what seems like a troll from Microsoft, it's actually a 'family-friendly' move by them.
The news came from an Epic Games forum post, where community manager raczilla noted that the Lander and Hammerburst Avatar accessories related to the Gears of War series will no longer be available for purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace in the New Year.
Microsoft debuted Avatars in November of 2008, to copy Nintendo's Mii's on the Wii console, to visually represent a gamer using a cartoon-style character. What I don't understand is, how the hell do Microsoft think they can justify this when Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, with the list virtually never-ending, are all on sale and huge money makers for the company?
It's almost as ridiculous as watching someone get banned on a Battlefield 3 server 'for swearing' when the core game itself, in single-player swears all the time and so do the people within the multi-player itself. It's trolltastic.
There have been plenty of people who have worked for ATI, that have moved onto bigger and better things by packing up their brown box, throwing their personal items inside like a plant or a family portrait (ok, ok, that sounds like a Hollywood cliche, but it's how I imagine it as an Australian) and moving to a better job.
Now former AMD employee, Richard Huddy, has moved onto Intel. His goal with the red team was to form stronger relations with the game developers themselves. Big news, eh? Huddy has pushed through plenty of things for not only the technological industry, but the gaming industry. He worked with one of my favorite games, Max Payne, and ended up with a starring role as the mad professor in the lab. From there, he has helped a tonne of huge games hit the market.
6.8 million Android and iOS devices were activated on Christmas Day, also 242 million apps were downloaded
Christmas Day 2011 must have had stockings filled with electronics, because an estimate from mobile app research from Flurry give details on just how many Android and iOS-powered devices were activated on Christmas Day, as well as the amount of downloaded apps.
Combined, we saw 6.8 million devices activated, an insane 353-percent increase from the 1.5 million average activations per day for the first 20 days of December. This is also 4 million devices higher than the 2010 Christmas record of 2.8 million. Flurry doesn't break down the split of iOS and Android, but if we go with the information of Android chief Andy Rubin saying just before Christmas that Android activations are sitting pretty with 700,000 per day, we know that Apple must be pulling the same numbers.
Foxconn, a major Apple manufacturing partner, are planning a huge expansion of their operations in 2012. The expansion is set to dramatically increase production of iPhones and iPads to meet the never-ending demand.
Foxconn is reportedly working with the Chinese city of Zhengzhou to double the size of its workforce at the facility there, where another 10,000 employees will be hired. This is the same number of employees hired in 2011 alone.
The expansion is valued at $1.1 billion and would make the Foxconn factory the largest smartphone production facility in the world. Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant currently pumps out close to 200,000 iPhones each and everyday. Doubling their workforce and having a larger factory is only going to increase that, by, well, a lot.
I've covered SOPA-related news for the past few days, as it is getting quite serious with GoDaddy being hit hard. It has just been announced that Jimmy Wales decision to find a new home for Wikipedia, away from the SOPA loving hands of GoDaddy.
Wales is quite unhappy with GoDaddy's position on the Stop Online Privacy Act, by announcing the shift in the following tweet:
I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us.
He then updated, and posted another tweet the next day:
Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?
SOPA is starting to snowball into a serious issue, it needs as much airtime as possible.