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Rovio Mobile, the guys and gals behind the crazy successful Angry Birds, has enjoyed much success with their bird-slinging game. Right up to the point where chief executive, Mikael Hed told the Midem conference in Cannes this morning:
We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products. We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.
Hed explained that Rovio sees it as "futile" to go after pirates through the courts, apart from when it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans. Rovio see piracy as a way to attract more fans, even if its not making money from it. This is where Hed is quoted with:
Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.
Apple products are thrown into such secrecy that the Cupertino-based company sometimes puts new engineers on fake products, until those new employees can be trusted.
In his book "Inside Apple," author Adam Lashinsky, reported the following tidbit in his new book, and was backed up by a former Apple employee who confirmed it when Lashinsky spoke at LinkedIn the other day. This is what the engineer had to say:
A friend of mine who's a senior engineer at Apple, he works on --or did work on -- fake products I'm sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for 9 months. It's intense.
The same employee also says that Tim Cook has the charisma to be President. Not President of Apple, but he could replace Obama as the President of the United States. If this happened, maybe all U.S. citizens could expect an iPhone to help stimulate the people?
Micron Technology, an Idaho-based company, is looking to slap down $500 million to purchase a stake in it's Japan-based rival, Elpida.
Previous reports from Taiwanese Nanya Technology and Inotera Memories have both stated that DRAM makers should consider combining forces to help the industry's sustainable development.
This could mean we will see increases of DRAM prices during this year, as 2011 has been an absolutely amazing year for memory pricing. Will we see an increase in pricing of DRAM, as companies get rid of their over-stocked warehouses, and begin to start the process again.
TweakTownTip: Buy your DRAM now if you want to get it cheap, I see it rising in the next few months and even if it doesn't (by a fair margin), it can't get much lower than it is now.
Elpida have refused to comment on this latest move.
Most of us have heard about the MegaUpload debacle, where founder Kim Dotcom was arrested and is now facing some very serious charges. Since MegaUpload was blocked by U.S. authorities, users have not had access to their precious data.
The data of roughly 50 million MegaUpload users stored on servers from third-party storage providers could actually be wiped, even though MegaUpload's lawyers claim it would compromise their ability to defend themselves in court. MegaUpload's lawyers have argued that losing user data would reduce their ability to defend themselves against the charges, as well as affect millions of users who have data on the servers, who are 100-percent innocent.
Ira Rothken, an attorney for MegaUpload says:
We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done
Reuters is reporting that NEC Corp is set to slash an insane 10,000 jobs, which for NEC is nearly one-in-ten of its workers. The slashing of employees is in a move to cut costs as competition from foreign rivals such as Apple are hurting, very badly.
NEC have blamed their poor performance on weak demand for its smartphones (they had smartphones?) against the can't-be-stopped iPhone in Japan, as well as other foreign rivals who are competing against NEC in the domestic IT infrastructure business and difficulty in NEC expanding overseas.
NEC did have a forecast of a 15 billion yen profit from eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but are now warning of posting a 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) net loss for the year to March 31. As you can see, this is quite the difference, 15 billion to 100 billion.
Most of the employee cuts will be from their mobile phone business, as NEC have cut their annual mobile phone sales projection by close to 25-percent, bring them down to 5 million phones projected to be sold.
Amazon's Kindle Fire may have launched to a small reception, but that has turned into a crowd of clapping and awe. According to data supplied by Flurry Analytics, Kindle Fire has taken a fair amount of market share in just three months.
With data measured in application settings on Android from November 2011 to January 2012, Kindle Fire went from a 3-percent market share to a very nice 36-percent. To compare, Samsung's already-established Galaxy Tab that has been on sale for more than two years, dropped from 64-percent to 32-percent market share.
4 million Kindle Fires were sold in December alone, according to Amazon. These sales were enough to give the tablet nearly one third of the Android tablet market. Kindle Fire does have a $199 price, which would help it, well, quite a bit. Most of the other tablets start at $350, which would explain why people are jumping on to the Fire.
President Obama has made a visit to Intel, which is his second time since in his stint as President. Last year he visited Hillsboro, Oregon, where Intel CEO announced that a new fabrication plant would be built, in Arizona.
Obama loves this, as it creates jobs and pumps money into an unstable economy. Intel were spending $5 billion and creating more than 4,000 jobs, which should put a smile on Obama's dial. Obama forgot to mention during his visit that Intel have built plants in Israel and China, too.
Considering that the chips that Intel make will be shipped to China, put into PCs and servers, and then sent back to the U.S. Obviously this can't be stopped, but we're not going to see Obama admit the bad things regarding Intel and the economy, only the good. You don't report on bad intel.
Twitter, as of today, can and will sensor tweets, if required by law. Twitter have said as they grow internationally, they enter countries that have different ides about "the contours of freedom of expression".
Some of which can be so different to ours, that Twitter cannot exist there. Twitter have said that others are similar but, for historical and cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.
Up until now, Twitter had to remove the content globally. Today brings change. Twitter have given themselves the permission to reactively withhold content from users based in a specific country, while keeping it available to everyone else. Twitter have also built-in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.
Samsung have posted their Q4 2011 official earnings, and they have done quite well indeed. Samsung had an operating profit in Q4 2011 of $4.7 billion from $42 billion in sales.
How did Samsung reach this success? Oh, by selling more than 300 million smartphones last year alone. Mobile accounted for roughly 40-percent of Samsung's sales, and nearly 50-percent of their operating profit, Samsung's semiconductor business also did very well, taking in more than $2 billion in profit over the same period.
Samsung's Display Panel business was improved year-over-year compared to 2010, thanks to LED TVs, with sales up almost 20-percent to $7.6 billion. Samsung expects good things for 2012, with mobile business to grow, LTE and new market segments like the Galaxy Note to drive sales. TVs are expected to continue their rise, with Samsung releasing more Smart TVs, and the 2012 London Olympics will help, too.
Intel have pulled out their credit card today and swiped down a purchase of patents from RealNetworks to the tune of $120 million. RealNetworks Inc. in the agreement hand over a large number of patents, which is set to help Intel's portfolio for streaming media on not only smartphones, but laptops and other devices.
Intel will receive roughly 190 patents and 170 patent applications, as well as next-generation software that allows for the quick compression or decompression of video for streaming. RealNetworks are still allowed to use the patent in current and future products, and will now work with Intel on continued development of the software and related products.
RealNetworks Chief Executive, Thomas Nielsen, said in an interview:
To bring new technology like that [video software] to market requires significant reach into the consumer and business markets. A partner like Intel has the capacity and size to do that.