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HTC has just announced it will acquire S3 Graphics from VIA Technologies and WTI Investment for a cool $300 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and is currently waiting regulatory approval and would have HTC obtain all outstanding shares of S3 Graphics with the firm's intellectual property and associated patients. Although the patents will technically change hands, HTC will grant VIA free access to the IPs.
VIA are set to receive $147 million and WTI will take $153 million. HTC has not said what they intend to do with S3 but most people believe HTC will use the portfolio of 235 patents as legal leverage against others in the smartphone market. S3 as recently as July 1 filed a patent infringement suit against Apple and an International Trade Commission Judge ruled in S3's favor, determining that Apple infringed on two patents involving image compression and data formats.
PayPal have just announced they have more than 100 million active accounts. PayPal believe that consumers are giving up traditional payment methods in droves, systems such as cash and checks are instead using more modern methods as a form of payment. As more modern ways of payment are becoming the norm, PayPal want to deliver solutions that are better than what is on offer today.
PayPal have acted out on this and have predicted that by 2015 digital currency will be excepted everywhere in the US, from your local store right up to the big chains like Walmart. More specifically, this means PayPal thinks that in just four, short years, that you will no longer need to carry a wallet. PayPal is actually quite confident in this remark, going as far as asking five of its Bay area employees to plunge into the world of a digital lifestyle and use only digital currency to pay for all of their purchases.
And so it continues! Samsung have upped the ante on their legal dispute versus Apple over smartphone patents, filing a trade complaint that seeks to block US imports of the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Samsung claim that Apple are infringing on not just one, but five patents, according to a filing with the US International Trade Commission in Washington yesterday. The ITC has the power to halt the imports of products that are in violation of US patents.
This new case adds to the on-going four cases that Samsung have in four countries, as both Samsung and Apple are fighting for the same mobile market, with both companies using the courts to try and get a sneak peek at the competing companies product. Samsung currently have lawsuits against Apple in Seoul, Tokyo, San Francisco and Mannheim, Germany.
The patents in question are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display, according to the complaint.
If the ITC does indeed take the case, a judge would hear arguments within a year and the case would look at being completed within the next 15 - 18 months.
Steve Jobs has proposed a giant, ring-shaped office at the old HP location. I'm guessing he'll get it as I see Steve as the kinda guy who when he wants something, he gets it. Jobs approached the Cupertino City Council to sell Apple's plans to transform the old HP site. The new ring-shaped design is built to hold 12,000 employees and actually looks quite amazing.
During his presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs said that Apple had pulled together "some great architects, some of the best in the world" to come up with the design that encompassed Apple. He added "there's not a single straight piece of glass in this building". Apple was able to achieve this design based on its knowledge of building Apple stores throughout the world and its particular experience in employing large pieces of glass in them.
Hours after Google unveiled their new "Google Wallet" mobile payment system, both online auction site eBay and online payment provider PayPal slapped the Search Giant, as well as former PayPal employees like Osama Bedier with a lawsuit alleging the theft of trade secrets. The court filing reportedly alleged the following on Thursday evening:
By hiring Bedier, with his trade secret knowledge of PayPal's plans and understanding of Google's weaknesses as viewed by the industry leader, Google bought the most comprehensive and sophisticated critique of its own problems available. Google put Bedier in charge of its mobile payment business, virtually ensuring that Bedier would misappropriate PayPal's trade secrets concerning planning and competitive assessments in mobile payment.
Bedier had evidently been drawn to Google at the behest of a Stephanie Telenious, a former eBay executive herself. When a former executive of a company that used to exclusively utilize a payments service from a company of which said executive lures to her current company of employment just in time to launch a service in the exact same domain- yeah, that's pretty dodgy guys, not going to lie.
Senator Ellen Corbett wants to force social network sites such as Facebook to allow parents access to their child's account. Excuse me? I thought I was living in a technology-welcoming, plugged-in liberal utopia here in San Francisco (so liberal in fact, that the public transportation has completely abandoned fascist principles like punctuality and reliability), but evidently I was incorrect.
Parents would be able to request that any content be removed from any social network (Twitter, Foursquare, etc) within 48 hours upon his or her request. More importantly, any social network that would fail or refuse to comply with these requests would be fined $10k for each refusal of compliance. This is a clear case of conservative "well-meaning" protection / governmental "nannying" that would have extraordinarily pernicious consequences for both social network sites and the concept of privacy as a whole. It's understandable that parents would want some kind of oversight over their children's public information, but won't this encourage a demographic backlash of secretive and encoded information? If the kids know the parents are "watching", won't they just find new and different forms of communication within that system to maintain their privacy? When I was a young upset, my group of friends most certainly had codewords for behavior or intentions we didn't want to expose publicly to our parents.
GPU giant meets Baseband & RF superstar, and $367 Million later an acquisition is born. Everyone at both companies is clearly excited about the deal, but nothing will be set in stone until a conference call held between the two companies Thursday, May 12, at 2:00PM PDT. Anyone at all can listen in to the call to find out more details, just dial 706-679-2572- no password or meeting number required! NVIDIA and Icera will also webcast the call, and you can listen in here and here. More details below in the press release.
SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/09/2011 -- NVIDIA announced today that it has agreed to acquire Icera, a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.
Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies' products and technologies, including NVIDIA's Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.
The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days.
After recent troubles affecting the social network turned news & entertainment site, MySpace is on NewsCorp's chopping block. Or rather, on a table at a garage sale. According to the Wall Street Journal, NewsCorp expects around $100 Million for the site, which comes to an 84% loss for the network they paid $580 Million to acquire back in 2005.
NewsCorp evidently hopes to at least scrap the site for parts, so to speak, as they will be accepting offers for select components of MySpace. Reported parties interested in purchasing MySpace (though God knows why) include THL Partners, Redscout Ventures, Criterion Capital (owner of social network Bebo, Chinese Internet holding company Tencent, and even MySpace co-founder Chris De Wolfe.
Isn't that kinda like a furniture craftsman buying back his own work at an antique auction?
Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, founders of YouTube have acquired Delicious. Wait what? Didn't Yahoo acquire Delicious back in 2005 for like $10 million? The answer is yes, but evidently Yahoo is selling off its acquisitions.
Delicious, formerly "del.icio.us" is a social bookmarking site- it allows you to keep track of bookmarks and access them from any computer, thus eliminating the frustration of having to access particular browsers on particular computers. We're not sure about the details of this reacquisition, but it can't an altogether bad thing to be under the auspices of the guys that brought us the most addictive website since.....uh.....ever?
Delcious will continue under Yahoo until July of 2011, and if you're a current user, the transition will be "seamless". Check out their site and/or the press release below for more details.
April 27 2011
YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious
Today, we're pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward.
Providing a seamless...
Last week the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicted 11 defendants involved in American Online Poker sites.
If you don't recall, among the defendants were the founders of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and Pokerstars, and they were charged with conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering, bribery, and scheming with a 2006 legislation proposal that would have made online gambling illegal. The DoJ now wants somewhere around $3 Billion and as many as 65 years in prison for some of the defendants.
In other news, the American Congress might just make online gambling completely legal- or illegal. Only the next few months will tell.