Gamemaker THQ has filed for bankruptcy. Over the past year, they have had issues with cash and have finally decided they can't make it. They have sold their assets to an investor. Clearlake Capital Group purchased the assets for $60 million. The deal looks to shed "legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology."
"The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ's transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios, and THQ's deep bench of talent, said Brian Farrell, chairman and chief executive of THQ, in a statement. "We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible."
The reason THQ has suffered isn't 100 percent clear, though it appears to be a victim of the quick transition from traditional games, such as Xbox 360 and PC, to mobile games, such as Temple Run on the iPhone. The business is set to keep running and customers shouldn't notice any impact during the deal.
I don't quite see what Tim Cook has done for the world to win the award "Person of the Year", but TIME have unveiled their shortlist of people up for the award. Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the list, and so is Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer.
The Person of the Year award is given to "a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine" that has "for better or worse done the most to influence the events of the year". At the end, TIME's editorial team decide the winner. Also making the list, are Malala Yousafzai, who was the young Pakistani activist who suffered a head wound after being shot by the Taliban, second-term US president Barack Obama, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as the three scientists behind the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
Why can't we see something different on the list? Maybe the whole 2012 Doomsday phenomenon, after all that is an "idea" of what could happen and has captured the world over the last few months as we get closer to December 21. I just think that someone who falls into a position like Cook, and has thousands of engineers, marketers and hundreds of departments under him doing most of the actual work, shouldn't win an award with a title of "Person of the Year".
What are your thoughts on the matter? Who would you like to see as TIME's 2012 Person of the Year?
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said that he is donating Facebook stock worth $500 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which is the largest single gift in the history of the local nonprofit and one of the biggest philanthropic donations in the Bay Area this year.
The social network founder told the world the news through his personal Facebook page, saying that he and his wife want to focus their giving on "education and health". This is Zuckerberg's second large donation, where in 2010 he donated $100 million in Facebook stock to Newark, New Jersey public schools.
Later in 2010, he joined the Giving Pledge which is an effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffet, which gets the country's richest people to donate most of their wealth.
Apple want some of the China market for their iPhone, but it looks like they'll have to compete much more than people think. China has become the world's largest single Android market, thanks to the latest data from Informa Telecoms & Media.
The firm notes that two-thirds of all handsets sold in China in 2012 were powered by Android, and that China totaled a third of all Android devices sold this year - crazy. The US is the second-largest Android market with just an 11% share. Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media said:
Despite the economic downturn, the global smartphone market is enjoying healthy growth and consumers are actually spending more to acquire more technologically-advanced devices. It is estimated that around 786 million smartphone devices were sold in 2012 (including the devices powered by non-certified variants of Android that are proliferating in China), which is 45% more than the total number of smartphones sold in 2011.
A warehouse heist just outside of Seattle's SeaTac airport saw thieves get their grubby hands on 7,000 Nintendo Wii U consoles. Not 70, not 700, but 7,000 consoles. ABC News have reported that the heist took place under the cover of a storm.
The thieves entered SeaTac's Seattle Air Cargo warehouse in two semi trucks, used a forklift to load pallets of the Wii U consoles onto the semi trucks, and a third box-truck before driving off with their goodies.
Considering the Wii U goes for around $300 per console, the thieves would have then made off with $2.1 million in hardware - not too bad at all. So expect eBay, Craigslist and the like to have a bunch of Wii U's for sale in the coming weeks and months.
CNNMoney have looked into Kickstarter, and their investigation has found that the top 50 projects on Kickstarter raised $40.3 million in funding with close to 420,000 backers. But, there's some more interesting news to come from this - that 84% of the top 50 most funded Kickstarter campaigns missed their initial shipping date.
All of the projects that CNNMoney looked into had a shipping date of November 2012 or earlier, and just eight campaigns managed to ship projects to their backers in a timely manner. 16 projects still remained unshipped.
26 products that eventually shipped missed their initial shipping date by almost two months - but remember that these stats are only accurate with the top 50 projects, not the rest of the thousands of campaigns.
Penguin, along with several other publishers, and Apple were accused of fixing prices on e-books. Penguin is the latest to join the group of publishers who have settled with the DOJ, leaving just Apple and Macmillan to fight the DOJ's allegations of price fixing. The lawsuit was originally filed last April and accuses Apple and five book publishers of conspiring to raise prices.
Penguin's statement regarding the settlement:
Penguin confirms that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle claims relating to the establishment of agency pricing agreements in 2010. Penguin has always maintained, and continues to maintain, that it has done nothing wrong and has no case to answer. Penguin continues to believe that the agency pricing model has encouraged competition among distributors of both e-books and e-book readers and, in the company's view, continues to operate in the interest of consumers and authors. But it is also in everyone's interests that the proposed Penguin Random House company should begin life with a clean sheet of paper.
Samsung is becoming a bigger and better brand every day. With each new release of a device, the brand name continues to spread, and it has now spread so far that it has overtaken the previous leader, Nokia, who had been positioned there for more than 10 years. Samsung had previously been in second place, for 2011.
This data is based upon worldwide shipments and iSuppli suggests that Samsung will account for 29 percent of the mobile phone market in 2012. Nokia will make up 24 percent, down from 30 percent in 2011. Nokia had been in the number one slot since 1998, the first year it occupied the top slot for the entire year.
"The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was 'live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,'" said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. "Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market-and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung's successes and Nokia's struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies' divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector."
Adage is reporting that Facebook is planning on putting video ads into a News Feed near you. This piece of information reportedly comes from TV advertising industry executives who have been briefed on the plans. It looks like Facebook would like to take some of the massive amounts of money spent on TV advertising.
All of the details haven't been worked out quite yet, but one thing is for sure, according to the report, and that is that it will be launched by April on both the mobile and desktop versions of Facebook. Advertisers will be able to target users with video ads that are said to be set to autoplay, something most people will hate.
"The assumption is that these would be widespread campaigns," one of the execs said. "They are looking to grab big chunks of money ... millions of dollars." The ad execs also are concerned about the autoplay: "There could be serious outrage," one of these people said.
Apple is refused a sales ban by Judge Koh on grounds the infringing aspects aren't what sell Samsung's devices
Apple has been refused the sales ban they were seeking on 26 of Samsung's devices. Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple did not prove that consumer demand for Samsung's products was directly related to the technology owned by Apple. In other words, people weren't buying Samsung's devices because of the rubber-band effect or other patents it is said to be infringing upon.
"Samsung may have cut into Apple's customer base somewhat, but there is no suggestion that Samsung will wipe out Apple's customer base, or force Apple out of the business of making smartphones," Koh said. "The present case involves lost sales -- not a lost ability to be a viable market participant."
A sales ban wouldn't have even hurt Samsung very much, since only three of the devices, out of the 26, are still being sold. A new trial, which contains updated devices, such as the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, is set to go in front of Judge Koh in a trial scheduled for 2014.
Another ruling handed down by Judge Koh yesterday was a denial for Samsung's motion for a new trial based upon the issues with the jury foreman. Apple has declined to comment on the rulings, and Samsung is reviewing the court orders before deciding what to do next.
Ah, Hulu, why won't you launch in Australia? Well, Hulu have unveiled some numbers for their performance over the year, where they've seen a huge 65% boost in revenue placing them at $695 million, a 60% increase over 2011's performance.
Paying customers are helping this huge revenue boost since they launched Hulu Plus in November 2010 which now has over 3 million subscribers, up from around 1.5 million this time last year and two million in April.
Hulu have invested over $500 million in content this year, stacking up over 40% more Hulu and Hulu Plus titles. The company have said that the launch of Hulu Kids is one of the year's biggest highlights, as Hulu enjoys being the only video streaming company around that streams Nickelodeon content.
If there's one thing that the iPhone is, is that it's a very socially-orientated experience. Android is, too, but you hear more about the iPhone as it's a single handset versus the plethora of Android-based devices out in the wild.
The latest news to start ripples across the web is a potential partnership between social check-in app Foursquare, and Apple. The Wall Street Journal has weighed in citing "people familiar with the matter" are indicating that the two companies are in early discussions about sharing data.
What could the future of Foursquare be with a close partnership with Apple? Well, we could see some huge data help from each other, and a much more precise iOS experience. That is, if Apple gets its Maps act together.
It looks like Massachusetts is the first to take action over Facebook's seemingly botched initial public offering. The state has fined Morgan Stanley $5 million over the IPO of Facebook, reportedly for violating securities laws that govern how investment research can be distributed.
One of Morgan Stanley's top bankers reportedly improperly coached Facebook on methods to disclose financial information selectively. This, according to William Galvin, continues the trend of creating "an unlevel playing field" between Wall Street and Main Street.
A $5 million fine really is quite tiny in the overall scheme of things. Morgan Stanley will hardly notice the fine, and it's a tiny amount compared to the valuation and money brought in by Facebook's IPO.
"The conduct at Morgan Stanley was more egregious," he said, in reference to a similar charge against Citigroup in late October. "With it we will get their attention and begin to take steps in restoring some confidence for retail investors to invest."
This is just the first of many likely cases against Facebook and the underwriting banks.
TV advertising rates are based heavily on the Nielsen rating, a rating system that uses a small sample group to judge which shows are the most popular. However, Nielsen has just announced that they are teaming up with Twitter to use tweets as a rating criteria. The new tweet-based rating will be used in conjunction with the old rating method.
The new rating will be called the "Nielsen Twitter TV Ranking" and will be based off of tweets sent on Twitter. The new ranking will become available for advertisers for the fall 2013 TV season. Chloe Sladden, Twitter's vice president of media, said, "Our users love the shared experience of watching television while engaging with other viewers and show talent," Sladden said in the release. "Twitter has become the world's digital water cooler, where conversations about TV happen in real time."
Sprint announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the remaining 50% of Clearwire stock it does not own for $2.97 a share, which equates to a 2.2 billion dollar acquisition. This puts a total value of $10 billion dollars which includes a spectrum lease obligation of $5.5 billion.
Clearwire share holders have to be pretty happy this morning as the sprint acquisition nets them a 128% premium when compared to the day before the Sprint-SoftBank discussions were first confirmed on October 11, 2012.
The newly acquired spectrum will strengthen its position and greatly increase it's competitiveness in the US wireless market. Sprints Network Vision architecture will allow for better strategic alignment, and will no doubt result in improved performance for Sprint's customers.
WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, has revealed his plans to run for a Senate seat in the 2013 Australian federal election. The WikiLeaks founder says that his goal for a political party has quickly gained speed and that there is tonnes of support in his home country, Australia.
Assange will be looking for a Senate seat which will be under his own, new political party named the 'WikiLeaks Party'. Assange requires 500 Australian citizens at a minimum to sign up for the new WikiLeaks Party name for it to be officially recognized. Assange feels that his WikiLeaks Party would be great for an open government and is a requirement these days when they see is an illegal government operating, and spying on citizens.
Assange feels that its his goal to keep personal privacy, personal and says its at stake all around the world right now. I can tell you this much, Assange, I'll be voting for you next year as an Australian.
If you haven't heard of the Internet Archive, they're the non-profit library and creator of the WayBack Machine. The site is trying to raise funds to buy 4 more petabytes of storage before the end of the year hits us.
At the moment, they've only secured 25% of their goal, or one petabyte of additional storage. The service currently stores around 190TB of data per month, and if they continue down this path they'd be looking at storing two more years of data with the additional 4PB of storage. The Internet Archive currently houses 10PB of material, as of October 2012.
The XDA Developers forums are built with some geniuses at work, where this time a user with the name of 'alephzain' who is claiming that they've discovered a hole in multiple Samsung devices that gives access to all physical memory.
This hole can be used to access devices to remotely wipe them, brick the device, or worse, access user data without the user noticing. Alephzain tested the vulnerability out on a Samsung Galaxy S III to root his device, but noticed that the flaw is also on the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note II, the Meizu MX and other devices sporting an Exynos 4210 and 4412 processor, using Samsung kernel sources.
Samsung haven't come out and confirmed the vulnerability, but it is already being exploited. The post on the forum notes the following devices are at risk: Samsung Galaxy S2 GT-I9100, Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-I9300, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE GT-I9305, Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7100, Verizon Galaxy Note 2 SCH-I605 (with locked bootloaders), Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8000, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8010.
Samsung have responded to claims from China Labor Watch over one of their component part suppliers, HTNS Shenzhen, and CLW's underage workers allegations. The South Korean tech giant have rejected claims, of course.
The investigation into the tech giant ended yesterday, where the worker confirmed they were over 18 years old. Two other workers who are now no longer with the company were also found to be 18 years old when hired. Samsung are a massive company who builds and supplies over 90% of their own parts.
Even with their size, they still have to rely on obtaining parts from mainland China and because of the attention this whole story has drawn, the South Korean company have promised to push in new hiring practices, which will include face-to-face interviews, as well as the introduction of electronic devices to detect fake IDs.
Samsung announced yesterday that they had acquired the privately held NVELO Inc. of Santa Clara, California. The company is a pioneer of storage software and Samsung hopes to leverage the company's software with their SSDs to increase performance by intelligently managing and optimizing SSD caching.
"The acquisition of NVELO will enable us to extend our ability to provide SSD related storage solutions to customers. We are pleased with this transaction as the employees of NVELO share our vision to take SSD storage into the next-generation of performance and reliability," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president of Flash product & technology, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.
"The NVELO team is excited to join the Samsung family," said Jiurong Cheng, president and CEO, NVELO. "We look forward to accelerating storage innovation in close cooperation with Samsung storage experts as we help to deliver fully integrated SSD solutions to the market."
No price or other details were shared by either company.
Every season, Google performs a bit of cleaning to keep its product line sleek and efficient. Each season comes with various products being killed off and it's become a tradition that I look forward to. Which of Google's products didn't make the cut for this winter's cleaning? Read on to find out.
Read the full story to find out!