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Senator wants Visa, Mastercard to 'recommit' efforts to fight piracy

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wants Visa and Mastercard to "recommit their efforts" in the evolving fight against illegal activity online. And the focus isn't on counterfeiting or gambling - it's dedicated to online copyright infringement.

 

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Following the demise of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the RIAA and MPAA have gone back to the drawing board in their continued fight against Internet piracy. Political lobbying remains an active objective that won't go away, with the group's calling upon politicians to continue pressuring companies.

 

Here is what Leahy said (via press statement): "In recent years, strides have been made to help reduce online infringement-and payment processors have played a role in that progress. But more can and should be done.

Continue reading 'Senator wants Visa, Mastercard to 'recommit' efforts to fight piracy' (full post)

Slumping enterprise demand hurts Hewlett-Packard's Q4 revenue

Hewlett-Packard saw a 2.5 percent drop in its Q4 revenue, as it saw lackluster sales for enterprise computing hardware to businesses. The company's revenue fell from $29.13 billion earlier this year to $28.41 billion in Q4, with net income dropping from $1.41 billion down to $1.33 billion year-over-year.

 

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Despite the drop, HP continues to show pride in its businesses: "I'm excited to say that HP's turnaround continues on track," said CEO Meg Whitman. The company says "we stabilized our revenue tractor, strengthened our operations, showed strong financial discipline, and once again made innovation the cornerstone of our company."

 

The US economy is recovering, but the PC market has struggled - and while HP does have tablets it offers to consumers and business users - the company has struggled to compete against the Apple iPad and Google Android-powered devices. As such, HP relies heavily on its value-added resellers (VARs) to drive sales of PCs, servers, software, and other products to their business partners.

Sony plans to cut TV, smartphone roll outs, focus on PlayStation

Japanese electronics company Sony will try to cut costs by reducing TV and smartphone product lineups, and spend more in its PlayStation game console line and invest more in image sensors. Sony wants to push its PlayStation video game division, hoping to ramp up sales up to $13.6 billion, as the console industry continues to heat up.

 

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We're not aiming for size or market share but better profits," said Hiroki Totoki, Sony's chief of mobile, recently noted in an investor conference. Sony will sacrifice sales while trying to ensure its TV and smartphone businesses are able to turn a profit.

 

The electronics company has struggled - especially as the Japanese and US economies suffered in recent years - but is taking a closer look at its financials.

Continue reading 'Sony plans to cut TV, smartphone roll outs, focus on PlayStation' (full post)

Tesla, BMW reportedly in partnership discussion for battery tech

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company is chatting with German automaker BMW, with the two companies discussing a potential partnership to develop batteries and lightweight components. The two companies met earlier in the year to discuss charging stations that can support electric vehicles, and as electric vehicle development increases, sharing research would be able to benefit both sides.

 

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"We [Tesla and BMW] are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations," Musk said in the Der Spiegel magazine.

 

Tesla isn't against working with other automakers, as the US company has partnered with Toyota to research electric SUVs, and currently collaborates with Mercedes-Benz.

Continue reading 'Tesla, BMW reportedly in partnership discussion for battery tech' (full post)

Redbox raising DVD, Blu-ray, video game rental prices by 25% soon

Rental kiosk service Redbox will increase daily rental fees on December 2, and parent company Outerwall expects to see an "adverse impact" on rental volumes. Daily DVD rentals will increase from $1.50 up to $2 per night and Blu-ray movies will rise from $1.50 to $2 per night. A video game increase from $2 up to $3 per night will go into effect on Jan. 6, 2015.

 

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"I would expect consumers that continue to use Redbox to adjust their usage patterns with reduced basket sizes and/or holding periods along with being more aggressive with promotional-offer usage," said Eric Wold, B. Riley & Co. analyst, in a research note.

 

I don't mind paying extra for movie rentals, but hope to see extra kiosks - and less issue with downed kiosks - if everyone is going to have to pay more. Redbox offers enough free rental codes, or rent one, get one free rentals - but this could reduce the number of rentals a person may get month-to-month.

FCC commissioner slammed on Reddit over net neutrality rulemaking

Popular image board Reddit has made their "Ask Me Anything" platform an extremely popular way for celebrities, politicians and persons of interest to talk to members of the public through an 'ask and tell' type scenario. However, there are times when this simple instance of self-promotion can go extremely wrong, or very right. The last time we saw such a blowout in /r/IAmA was that of Woody Harrelson's PR agent pretending to be him, which was a massive contrast to hilarious offerings like lil Jon's "sleep or police".

 

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As described in a wrap-up Reddit post by Reddit user Fluffy017, "it goes about as well as you'd expect". The general population of Reddit can be seen as 'internet activists', with many instances being reported of them achieving things such as financing Kickstarter campaigns all the way to getting a NASCAR car sponsored by their popular 'Doge' meme.

 

Net Neutrality is a hot topic among this online board and defined as defined as "the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication." Basically meaning, certain companies could receive an unfavorable advantage simply due to their positioning. market share or who's income they decide to supplement.

Continue reading 'FCC commissioner slammed on Reddit over net neutrality rulemaking' (full post)

Samsung wants the US government to block GeForce GPU shipments

The legal battle between NVIDIA and Samsung is really heating up now, with Samsung firing back at NVIDIA with a lawsuit, complaining to the US International Trade Commission to block sales of NVIDIA's GeForce and Tegra products.

 

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We don't know which parts Samsung took under consideration, but the dispute does name many third-party device makers that sell GeForce-powered goods. Video card designers would be hit first, with companies like EVGA now in hot water. Tegra-based devices would be affected too, which isn't as big as the GPU side of things, but it's still going to affect NVIDIA if it happens.

 

Bloomberg spoke with NVIDIA, which said that it hadn't looked at the complaint just yet, but the company "look[s] forward" to going to the ITC with its own dispute.

Activision announces Call of Duty franchise has generated $10 billion

Activision has announced that Call of Duty has generated over $10 billion in sales worldwide, with the company saying that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year".

 

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It had been previously reported by analysts that the Call of Duty franchise was in decline, but Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has said that "Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product". During the announcement earlier today, Hirshberg said: "Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous".

 

Activision also added that the new Call of Duty is the highest-selling digital launch in console history, too.

Apple requests Foxconn builds a new $2.6 billion factory

It looks like Apple has requested Foxconn, which is the largest device manufacturer in the world, to build a new $2.6 billion facility just for the production of displays for its various iDevices.

 

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Apple reportedly wants to have its hands-on an Innolux factory, the display portion of Foxconn, to only make displays for its iPhone, iPad and other popular-selling products. Innolux has been a company that Apple has reportedly been tapping to make the 4.7-inch displays for the iPhone 6. Sophia Cheng, a Public Relations representative for Foxconn's Display Unit, Innolux Corp., said: "Equipment installation will commence next month with mass production of panels to start by the end of 2015 after an urgent request for exclusive capacity".

 

Cheng wasn't aware if the deal had been signed or not, and Apple is keeping its mouth firmly shut about the deal. Considering Foxconn already has a couple of Apple-dedicated facilities in China, this would still be a first for the company; to have a factory making components exclusively for products for a single company.

Intel will soon merge its mobile divisions with its CPU division

Intel may be struggling in the mobile market, but things could change with the news that the chipmaker will soon combine its mobile divisions with its CPU-making division.

 

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Bloomberg is reporting the news, after speaking with Intel's spokesman, Chuck Malloy, who said: "The lines are blurring between PCs, tablets, phablets and phones. The idea is to accelerate the implementation and create some efficiency so that we can move even faster". With Intel close to its goal of shipping 40 million tablet processors in 2014, the company still isn't hitting its stride when it comes to profitability in the mobile market, mainly because of its big subsidies to have them on-board in the first place.

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