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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 286

Apple strikes again, patents Slide to unlock

Apple's patent trolling has gone on for a while now, stopping Samsung from selling their products in multiple countries, but they've gone too far now. Apple has received a confirmed patent for the "slide to unlock" control in use on every Android phone and tablet that exists.

 

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Every Android device has a slide to unlock feature, where the device is unusable until a slider (or something similar) is slid to a boundary, unlocking the gadget. That simple procedure has now been patented by Apple, removing it from the available design pool to anyone else. This new patent they've successfully achieved, will allow Apple to target any Android device maker it wants and most likely, succeed in court.

 

Even the Windows Phone devices, sliding the lock screen up to access the phone functions, would probably infringe on Apple's patent. This could even extend out to Windows 8 as the preview builds used the same control to unlock the devices. Apple did file for the slide to unlock patent before the original iPhone was released and just received confirmation of the patent. This now puts every Android device ever made into the targets of Apple's crosshair.

Steve Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear war" with Google

Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs is set to hit next week, and within, we find out more details of how Steve Jobs was absolutely furious about Android "ripping off" the iPhone. Of course, multiple smartphone makers and OS builders have "copied" the iPhone, but its not to say that Apple did it first.

 

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Apple bought something to the market that had been attempted before, but just did it better. Google were hot on the heels and have innovated multiple times within their Android OS, where Apple's iOS has not really grown outside of its initial iPhone launch. Yes it has been upgraded with more features, etc, but an actual change in the way it works, no. It still features the same tile-based icon layout, and has only seen "Notifications" in the last iOS 5 upgrade - something from Android.

 

But Steve Jobs hated, hated, hated Android. With a passion. To the point where he wanted a "thermonuclear war" with the company because they "ripped the iPhone off". Isaacson has written that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features found on the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-filled rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft".

Continue reading 'Steve Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear war" with Google' (full post)

RumorTT: Is Google looking at purchasing Yahoo?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Inc. has talked to at least two private-equity firms about potentially helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.'s core business. This would be a very strategic move for Google, which would push them right against Microsoft in its bid for the company. The move is of course still in "early-stage discussions" with no formal bid put together. The Journal has a few words as to why the move could be a huge win for Google:

 

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Google is interested in selling some advertising across Yahoo's websites-something Yahoo largely does on its own today-according to people familiar with the matter.

 

Any deal involving Google could also bring other opportunities, such as bring Google's social-networking service Google+ to Yahoo's audience of nearly 700 million unique visitors a month, these people said.

 

Yahoo also has relationships with many so-called premium content publishers such as ABC News, which provides video and other content for Yahoo sites and for which Yahoo currently sells ads. Google is interested in having deeper business relationships with such publishers, one of these people said.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Is Google looking at purchasing Yahoo?' (full post)

Netflix shares have fallen 61%, also lost 800,000 subscribers

Netflix have had a very bad time lately, with them admitting on Monday that they lost more customers than expected in the third quarter, which stems from an issue to divorce rentals of DVDs from streaming video services, and they've also predicted that subscriptions for DVD delivery will sharply decline in the current period.

 

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Netflix have also projected that they'll begin to lose money for a few quarters starting in the next period, because of costs associated with their expansions in both the UK and Ireland, also announced on Monday. Investors... not so happy. It was a near-instant reaction with share prices dropping once again. They had already fallen 61-percent from their all-time high in mid-July, falling 26-percent more in after-hours trading Monday, following the quarterly report.

 

Netflix's market value was $16 billion and has now plummeted to just $4.6 billion, all in the space of three months. Netflix have also stated they've lost roughly 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter, which ended with 23.8 million U.S. customers, this is after years of a steadily increasing subscriber base.

Continue reading 'Netflix shares have fallen 61%, also lost 800,000 subscribers' (full post)

Microsoft's YouTube channel was hacked over the weekend

Microsoft's YouTube channel was hacked over the weekend, the results of which, all of their videos were removed. The unknown attacker changed the background on the channel to one that included the titles "Predator Cinema" and also a message saying "I DID NOTHING WRONG I SIMPLY SIGNED INTO MY ACCOUNT THAT I MADE IN 2006 :/".

 

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The entire archive of videos on Microsoft's YouTube channel were replaced by short clips titled "We are sponsoring!" and "Make us a background to get a Subbox!!!". There was another video that also showed a scene from the video game LA Noire, with one character shooting another in the head.

 

Microsoft of course confirmed the attack yesterday afternoon saying:

 

We have regained control of the Microsoft channel on YouTube, and we are working to restore all of the original content. We will continue to work with YouTube to ensure safeguards are in place for the future.

Continue reading 'Microsoft's YouTube channel was hacked over the weekend' (full post)

Microsoft now collecting money on half of all Android devices sold

A growing list of mobile device manufacturers are now handing Microsoft sweet, sweet cash every time they sell a smartphone or tablet running Google's Android or Chrome operating systems. Compal is the latest in a long list to pay Microsoft royalties, the Taiwanese-based company signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft that will see them paying an undisclosed amount of money to Microsoft to avoid being sued for allegedly infringing on its patents.

 

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This is the 10th Android-related licensing agreement Microsoft has signed in the past 18 months. It has now evolved into its own beast and is becoming a serious revenue stream for the company. According to some estimates, Microsoft will collect roughly $444 million in fiscal 2012 from Android device makers compensating it for use of its patent portfolio.

 

Microsoft stated today that it now has patent license agreements with companies accounting for more than half of all Android devices.

 

Wow. Well, at least they're not just suing other companies because they're strong competition, huh?

WikiLeaks is on the verge of shutting down

WikiLeaks is pretty close to a cliff right now, unless they can overcome blockades put in place by US financial institutions. Founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said on Monday at a news conference in London that WikiLeaks needs $3.5 million over the next year just to continue normal operations.

 

 

WikiLeaks is powered solely on supporter donations and if those backers are unable to throw enough money at the organization, Assange says "we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the year." With both MasterCard and Visa halting donations to WikiLeaks in December 2010, it did not help the situation one bit. Several others have followed suite, including Bank of America, eBay, PayPal and Western Union, which when put together, represented 95-percent of WikiLeaks' revenue.

Continue reading 'WikiLeaks is on the verge of shutting down' (full post)

Google expands Mountain View office complex, costs $100 million

Google has reportedly just thrown $100 million on a Mountain View office complex, continuing its real estate expansion. Google paid $100 million for a 240,000-square-foot office near its HQ. A Google spokesperson confirmed that they purchased the space, known as The Landmark at Shoreline. But, declined to disclose the purchase price.

 

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David Radcliffe, Google's vice president of real estate and workplace services, said in a statement:

 

As we continue to hire it's important to find space for our new employees. The Landmark is strategically situated adjacent to our offices and we look forward to incorporating it into our campus.

 

The new Mountain View complex still adheres to zoning rules, which allows Google to employ 960 workers at its new office. The Google spokesperson declined to say just how many employees would eventually work there. So far, Google have spent roughly US$225 million for fifteen other properties, all existing buildings, creating a unique campus outlay.

Microsoft earnings call: record Q1 revenue of $17.37 billion

Microsoft have had a very first... er.. first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2011. Microsoft posted a quarter revenue of $17.37 billion, a 7-percent increase over the same period of last year and a tad higher than the expected $17.26 billion.

 

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Office was the standout, though; Office accounted for $5.62 of that income, with Windows staying flat and actually falling below expectations. Microsoft's net income of $5.74 billion was a decent jump of 6-percent over the same time last year.

Continue reading 'Microsoft earnings call: record Q1 revenue of $17.37 billion' (full post)

eBay's Q3 revenues are up 32%, meets analysts expectations

eBay have met expectations of analysts in Q3 with revenues increasing 32-percent to $3 billion compared to the same period last year. eBay's net income sat at $490.5 million, or 37 cents per share. Non-GAAP revenues, which eliminates the impact of several recent multi-million dollar acquisitions, totaled $682.2 million, or 48 cents per share, meeting analyst expectations perfectly.

 

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Revenues estimates were high, with them ranging from $2.25 billion to $2.9 billion which is according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Just before the earnings were released, eBay's stock was down 80 cents, or 2.4-percent to close at $33.07, and in after hours, the stock continued the downward motion dropping another 4.3-percent. Reasoning behind this isn't 100-percent, but it could be its revenue outlook for Q4, which should be its busiest because of the holidays.

Continue reading 'eBay's Q3 revenues are up 32%, meets analysts expectations' (full post)

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