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A company called ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH (ACI) has announced this week that it has filed a patent infringement suit against Google. The suit has to do with Google allegedly infringing on a patent that ACI holds. The patent in question is # RE44,550. The title of that patent is "Method and Device for Pictorial Representation of Space-related Data."
ACI takes issue with how much Google Earth looks like its Terravision service. Terravision is the commercial implementation of the patent at the heart of the case. ACI says that Terravision was developed a decade before Google Earth.
Looking at the image here, it is clear that the Terravision service and Google Earth are very similar in how they look. ACI also says that it has issue with some of the executives at Google, particularly Michael Jones, CTO of Google Earth, and Brian McClendon, VP of engineering for Google Maps.
China Mobile added a huge number of new high-speed data subscribers in January, with over 14 million new customers joining the world's largest wireless carrier. This is mostly thanks to the iPhone, which China Mobile started selling on January 17.
The 14 million new high-speed data subscribers represents a 7.4% growth for the first month of 2014, with the competition - China Unicorn, seeing an additional 3.2% customers for the month. China Mobile was unable to offer the iPhone until late-2013, but it was locked to 3G on the network's TD-SCDMA technology. Now that it has unleashed its TD-LTE 4G network, things are looking up for the world's largest wireless carrier.
The LED light bulb is slowly starting to replace the normal incandescent all around the world thanks to its longer life and green design. Philips is one of many companies that already offer LED light bulbs that can be controlled via a smartphone app. Philips first announced its iOS controlled LED lights in 2012.
The company has been tweaking those lights and has announced a new lighting system for retail stores that will not only light the way for shoppers; it will also help them find what they are looking for. The lighting system is intelligent and works with an app running on the user's smartphone.
The smartphone app knows where the user is in the store at all times thanks to connectivity from the lights in the ceiling. The app can help the user find exactly what they are looking for in the store isles without having to hunt someone who works there. That is a big benefit to the shopper and the lighting system helps the store too by offering the shopper timely discounts and coupons as they shop.
A couple days ago, we mentioned that rumors were circulating that Tesla and Apple had met up. The rumors were thought to indicate Apple wanted to buy the electric car marker. Another possibility was that Apple and Tesla were meeting about a battery factory. Both firms want to drive down the cost of lithium batteries.
Apple isn't the sort of company that will ever comment on rumors, other than to say that it won't comment on rumors. Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the other hand has never been afraid to tell people what he thinks or what is going on. Musk recently confirmed that Tesla had in fact talked with Apple.
Musk wouldn't say what exactly the meeting was about. He noted that he though Apple buying a car company was a good idea, but also said that the chances of Tesla selling were "very unlikely." Musk also noted that he would be willing to talk about selling if that meant his goal of making an affordable mass market EV would be closer to reality.
According to leading market tracker, Jon Peddie Research (JPR), GPU shipments increased in Q4 2013. During this three-month period, AMD lost market share against its rivals in Intel and NVIDIA.
JPR reports that the PC market increased 1.8% quarter-to-quarter in Q4 2013, but declined 8.5% year-over-year. 66% of PCs shipped for the year used integrated graphics, with just 34% of PCs featuring discrete GPUs. Shipments of GPUs rose 1.5% from the previous quarter, but down 2.4% from the same time of 2012.
If we look at the numbers, AMD's overall units shipped dropped 10.4%, with Intel's total shipments increased 5.1% from the third quarter, with NVIDIA's grab increasing by 3.4% compared to Q3 2013. With year-over-year numbers, AMD's market share slipped 5.4%, Intel increased by 5.4%, and NVIDIA also saw an increase, of 0.9%.
Roku has been in the set top box market in the US for a long time now and offers some of the more interesting set top boxes out there. Roku has a number of hardware devices that are all designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite streaming content on the big screen.
Back in December the Roku set top box received an official YouTube app. Roku has now announced via a blog post that it has another new streaming service available for users in the US. The new streaming service is Showtime Anytime. Showtime Anytime allows subscribers to the pay channel to view movies and original shows online or on mobile devices.
The app landing on current generation Roku devices will make it easy to get the popular Showtime content in the living room. Showtime Anytime offers access to past and current shows allowing you to catch up.
Samsung has just inked a new deal with US retail giant Best Buy, where it will see 1,400 new mini shops launched inside of Best Buy's across the United States. The EU doesn't miss out, with Samsung converting over 60 Carphone Warehouse locations through Europe, too.
In Canada, Samsung will open multiple mini kiosks inside Best Buy and Future Shop locations. The South Korean giant will also reportedly push its presence overseas, too, where it plans to open 75 or more retail locations across Europe, which should triple its current presence across the country. With the Galaxy S5 close to consumers' hands, it's perfect timing to be expanding retail reach for Samsung.
Tech giant Google plans to open a new San Francisco office in the Mission District, with the 35,000-square-foot building aimed towards engineers tired of making the tiresome commute to and from the company's headquarters in Mountain View.
The location will be ideal to host 200 engineers, plus support recently acquired startups Google wants to find temporary homes for, including SlickLogin, Nest Labs, and Boston Dynamics. Google's main campus is in Mountain View, along with several office buildings in Silicon Valley, and is expanding its presence in San Francisco - where the company already has a building in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, with plans to open another location in South Park.
Google and other Silicon Valley companies have been highly criticized over charter buses that pick up employees in San Francisco - and other Bay Area locations - then shuttle employees over to the South Bay. In addition, adding offices throughout the Bay Area can better entice top-level tech talent to join Google instead of other companies based in Silicon Valley, with Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and other South Bay regions taking 60-90+ minutes to commute to each day.
There are two basic ways that you can get your hands on bitcoins. You can buy them with real-world money and hope that the value goes up in the future and you can make a profit. The other way is to get your hands on some PC hardware that will allow you to mine your own bitcoins. The mining process is resource intensive and isn't fast, but you can make money if you are successful.
Back in December, we talked a bit about the BIOSTAR mainboards that the company was positioning for bitcoin mining. Another new bit of bitcoin mining hardware has now turned up from a company called CoinTerra.
CoinTerra has unveiled its "affordable" bitcoin mining card called the GSX I. I say "affordable" because the GSX I sells for $1599, which is hardly affordable in my book. Compared to other mining options that can cost many times that $1599, it is affordable though.
Bitcoin is booming right now with the virtual currency worth a significant amount of real-world money. The success of bitcoin is a bit cloudy though with some countries deeming the virtual currency illegal, such as Russia. There have also been some issues with popular bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox stopping withdrawals in some instances.
Mt. Gox has promised that withdrawals are coming back soon. While bitcoin is having some issues, the world keeps moving forwards. The US is set to get its first bitcoin ATMs soon. A company called Robocoin announced this week that it would be putting bitcoin ATMs in place in Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington.
The company says that the bitcoin ATMs will require the user to scan an official ID like a passport or driver's license before a transaction can be made. The ATMs will allow users to swap bitcoin for cash, deposit cash, and purchase bitcoins.