Our latest poll had almost 7,000 people who answered, "Has Apple ($AAPL) seen its best days? Are they now on a downtrend?"
It's rather clear that TweakTown readers believe that Apple has indeed seen its best days, with 78% of readers voting that the tech giant is now on a downtrend. Some disagreed with 14% of our readers answering no to the poll question, while 8% were still sitting on the fence with their judgment on the matter.
According to reports, Nokia's factory in India has been raided over an unpaid tax bill. The taxes owed amount to 3000 Crore INR - or $542 million and have not been paid by the Finnish company to the Indian government.
The news comes from confirmation from two factory employees and a spokesperson, who all confirmed the raid to the Economic Times. The Nokia spokesperson told the publication "yes, raids are on. I will call back". A statement from Nokia that The Next Web received says "operations in Chennai are continuing unaffected. "Nokia's commitment to being a good corporate citizen is firm and unwavering: we always observe applicable laws and rulings in the countries where we operate."
CES 2013 - Panasonic's Live @ CES 2013 event is now live - and we're greeted with the prospects of multiple products being announced by the Japanese electronics giant.
CES 2013 - Samsung are about to start their CES 2013 Press Conference in a matter of minutes and we're here to bring it all to you live. What could they unveil? A new lineup of Ultrabooks? Some new Smart TVs? More of a tease of their new Ultra HD 4K TVs? Something completely new? We'll find out soon enough!
CES 2013 - Sorry for the delay, but we're now live with the press conference!
Intel is talking AIO and the design they just showed features a battery in the back, meaning no wires on the desktop. It can be laid flat on the table and touched from any direction. Intel has dubbed this idea "bringing back family game night."
It looks like Google chairman Eric Schmidt is travelling to North Korea, and will take along former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as well as Google Ideas creator Jared Cohen and Richardson's advisor, Dr. KA Namkung.
The trip is said to be a humanitarian mission, and reports of Schmidt's trip started to pop up last week and the US State Department soon had concerns over the trip where they cited political sensitivities relating to North Korea's recent satellite launch. The entire reasoning behind the trip isn't clear, and we don't know what Schmidt and Richardson will be doing in the country.
No media is allowed on the trip, with Richardson set to offer a briefing to media at the Beijing Airport on January 10th.
Lenovo will split into two new groups - Lenovo Business Group and Think Business Group - effective in April
Ever since its acquisition of IBM's personal computer business back in 2005, Lenovo have done quite well for themselves, but it looks like that's not enough. According to an internal e-mail from CEO Yang Yuanqing, who admitted that despite trying, the Lenovo brand is still only doing well in the mainstream and low-end markets.
The Think brand is the company's best performer in the high-end market, and is the only brand that can compete against Apple in the high-end market. Yang has announced in the same e-mail for the sake of better brand positioning and better efficiency that Lenovo will split into two new groups: Lenovo Business Group (LBG) and Think Business Group (TBG).
The fresh start will begin on April 1st, where LBG will be headed by Senior Vice President of Mobile Internet Digital Home, Liu Jun, who will put all of energies into mainstream consumer and business desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as smartphones and smart TVs. TBG will be have current Senior Vice President of Product Groups, Dr. Peter Hortensius at the helm.
After 36 years on the job, Mike Daniels has left IBM according to a spokesperson from the company. Erich Clementi who currently serves as Senior Vice President for Global Technology Services, and Bridget van Kralingen, who is the current Senior Vice President for Global Business Services will be filling in for Daniels' spot when he leaves.
Clementi and Kralingen will report directly to the CEO. Daniels was once the head of Global Services in the Asia Pacific region, and also acted as IBM's Sales and Distribution operations in the US, Canada and Latin America. Daniels' other positions included responsibility for sales in regards to IBM's IT products, marketing and services. He was also seen by most as an economizer in regards to saving money for IBM, and secondly as a trailblazer in regards to computer management services.
Daniels missed out on the CEO position, but was passed over for Ginni Rometty just over twelve months ago. Rometty ended up becoming IBM's first female in charge of operations.
A shipment from China was seized in Alaska by US Customs and Border Protection agents. The shipment, valued at more than $635,000, was a collection of counterfeit Apple Lightning Cables, complete with logos and everything. The agents say it was easy to tell they were fakes due to the sub-par packaging.
Frank Falcon, a spokesperson for the agency said they were sealed in "cardboard blister packs that were sub-standard compared to Apple's trademark white packaging." This isn't the first time fake Apple products have been seized by agents. Last July, a shipment worth more than $4 million was seized in North Texas.
"We intercepted 281 cartons that contained cell phone cases that included a paper insert that infringed on the Apple Inc. trademark," said CBP spokesperson Yolanda Choates. "The importer would ship these cases out and a consumer would look at the case and see the Apple logo and just assume that it was an Apple product."
At least one major employer feels Windows 8 is the right thing to have in the workplace. The US Department of Defense has signed a new deal with Microsoft to bring the latest version of Windows to 75 percent of its employees. The three-year licensing agreement will see Windows 8, Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013 Enterprise to 75 percent of DoD personnel.
This is Microsoft's biggest deal yet, valued at around $617 million. The Army believes it will save $70 million a year because of the upgrade.
"There's a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the [information technology] world," David L. DeVries, DOD deputy chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service. "We took a long, hard look at it ... realizing that the Department of Defense relies upon the network and upon information technology to do its business."
Is this the start of Windows 8 catching on?
The Megaupload saga continues, this time with Megaupload complaining that the US government lied in order to get a search warrant. According to the motion, a recently unsealed search warrant shows that the US Department of Justice asked Megaupload to keep 39 copies of copyrighted movies on its servers for an investigation.
The part they didn't mention? It was an investigation into Megaupload. They then used the fact that the files were still on Megaupload's servers as primary proof that the company knowingling harbored copyrighted content:
By all indications, the Government tapped Carpathia to convey the June 24, 2010 warrant to Megaupload, thereby planting what the Government would later claim, for purposes of this case, amounted to criminal knowledge that Megaupload was hosting infringing files, while simultaneously lulling Megaupload into thinking it was not a target of its ongoing investigation (which the Government dubbed its 'Mega Conspiracy' investigation) - and, what is worse, affirmatively leading Megaupload to understand from the warrant's sealing order and Carpathia's representations that Megaupload should take no action with respect to the infringing files lest it tip off the ostensible targets. In sum, the Government came to paint as criminal the very course of conduct by Megaupload that the Government had induced in requesting good-faith cooperation with an investigation that was to remain secret. Most incredibly of all, however, the Gover
Two teenagers in the Sacramento, California area were hauled off to juvenile hall after the parents suspected they were drugged. The two teen girls, aged 15 and 16, reportedly offered to get milkshakes for the parents of one of the girls. They then drugged these milkshakes so that they would be able to go on the Internet past 10p.m.
The parents only drank about a quarter of the milkshakes, before deciding they tasted funny and had a grainy texture. The shakes had been filled with prescription sleep aids that were procured by the friend and the parents fell asleep. The next morning, the parents felt groggy and hungover, so they went to the local police department for a drug test kit.
"The girls wanted to use the Internet, and they'd go to whatever means they had to," the police department spokesperson said. "If they were adults, they could be facing prison time."
This appears to be the first instance of something like this happening.
The on-going anti-trust investigation into Google has finally been completed with a 4-1 ruling that Google must stop excluding competitors from using standards essential patents owned by subsidiary Motorola. These patents are what the FTC call the "cornerstone of the interoperability standards that we have taken for granted."
Google is also making two voluntary changes to the way some of its products work:
- More choice for websites: Websites can already opt out of Google Search, and they can now remove content (for example reviews) from specialized search results pages, such as local, travel and shopping;
- More ad campaign control: Advertisers can already export their ad campaignsfrom Google AdWords. They will now be able to mix and copy ad campaign data within third-party services that use our AdWords API.
"The changes Google has agreed to make will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of competition in the online marketplace and in the market for innovative wireless devices they enjoy," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "This was an incredibly thorough and careful investigation by the Commission, and the outcome is a strong and enforceable set of agreements."
Google appears to have gotten off with another slap on the wrist, just like it did back in August, 2012, when it paid out $22.5 million to settle charges of knowingly bypassing Safari's privacy settings.
Eric Schmidt is planning a trip to North Korea, a country where the internet basically doesn't exist. Eric Schmidt will be accompanied by former New Mexicon governor Bill Richardson. However, the US State Department isn't happy with the trip's timing, especially considering North Korea's long-range missile launch just a few weeks ago.
"We don't think the timing of this is particularly helpful," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
Square is taking its partnership with Starbucks to a new level. After getting Starbucks to use Square payments, Starbucks has announced today that they will be selling the Square card reader in their 7,000 locations across the United States. The card reader will set you back $10, but it comes with a $10 rebate for new users, effectively making the device the cost of tax.
The card reader is already available in Apple Stores, Best Buy, and Walmart. Starbucks has been a major funding partner for Square, something that landed Starbucks' CEO join the board of directors. If you need to get a card reader to accept credit card payments, it's even easier to pick one up now.
A Virginia court has lifted an injunction placed against a woman who left a negative review on Yelp and Angie's List of a contractor who had done some work on her home recently. The decision was pivotal because the previous decision had effectively censored Jane Perez's negative review of contractor Christopher Dietz without investigating if her claims were true or not.
The previous ruling stated that Perez had to remove wording from the review that mentioned missing jewelry, and she was to "re-characterize" the dispute between the two over non payment. An appeal by Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union led to the court determining just two days later that "the preliminary injunction was not justified and that the respondents have an adequate remedy at law."
"It shouldn't be easy to take down speech that you don't like," said Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Public Citizen. "You can't get injunction against defamation. If it's really defamation, you get damages."
It's looking like the Federal Trade Commission will, this week, rule on its antitrust investigation of Google. Sources familiar with the matter have stated that the settlement will be quite similar to the one discussed in December.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz is leading the charge for the vote from all five commissioners and is hoping for the gavel to fall late this week.
The push to make a quick decision is no doubt based on the decision by the senate to replace Commissioner Thomas Rosch with law professor George Mason. Rosch's last day on the commission will be Friday.
AMD has picked a new CFO. The internal and external search turned up Devinder Kumar, who will now be a senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective today. Kumar is 57 and will report to AMD CEO Rory Reed. Kumar has served as the interim CFO since September 2012 and as senior vice president since 2006.
"Devinder has been with AMD for more than 28 years and is a talented finance veteran with deep industry knowledge," said Read. "As we accelerate our strategic growth initiatives, Devinder will play an integral role driving the new business model in the near term and strengthening AMD's long-term financial foundation."
Kumar is well equipped for the job: He holds a bachelor's degree from University of Malaya, Malaysia, a master's degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master's degree in business administration from University of California, Los Angeles.
Apple sued Amazon over its use of the term "app store" to describe its online marketplace for Android apps. In a ruling today, a judge has dismissed part of the case, the part alleging that Amazon committed false advertising by using the term.
Judge Phyllis Hamilton said there was "no support for the proposition that Amazon has expressly or impliedly communicated that its Appstore for Android possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple App Store and/or Apple products."
Apple has also sued for trademark infringement, though Apple does not yet own the trademark to "App Store." It has applied for the trademark, though several companies have moved to block the trademark. Microsoft has said in a motion for summary judgement that "Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in 'App Store' is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term 'app store' into a protectable trademark."
Apple argues that "The vastly predominant usage of the expression 'app store' in trade press is as a reference to Apple's extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder."
Should Apple be able to own the trademark on "App Store"? A court will have to decide that at a later date. As it stands, it appears that Amazon will be allowed to continue using the term app store to describe its online marketplace for Android apps.
Polaroid will be opening up 10 retails stores in 2013 that will be called FotoBars. These locations will allow you to edit and print pictures, applying filters if your picture isn't from Instagram. The pictures can then be printed on a variety of materials, framed if you want, and be shipped to you within a couple of days.
From the image, it looks like editing will be done on Apple computers, which are probably used to make the whole experience "hip." Material options will include wood, bamboo, metal, acrylic, and canvas. Users will also have the option to print out a normal photo. According to Polaroid, a "critical aspect of the customer experience" is the ability to see and feel examples of the materials, which sounds very Appleish.
The first location will be Delray Beach in Florida, which opens in February. Further locations will open throughout the year, including New York and Las Vegas.
Chief executive Scott W. Hardy:
Unfortunately, even the very best of those pictures rarely ever escape the camera phone with which they were taken to be put on display around our homes and offices. Why? Because turning those pictures into something tangible, creative and permanent is neither easy nor fun. Polaroid Fotobar stores are going to change all of that.
Avis has tossed its hat into the $400 million US car sharing market by purchasing Zipcar for about $500 million. Zipcar has a reported 760,000 members in 20 major US cities.
The acquisition comes at a 45% premium over Zipcar's closing price on Dec 31 2012 with the transaction set to complete in the spring of 2013. Zipcar was formed in January, 2000 as a way to bring the popular European concept of car sharing to the US
"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO in a press release.