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Amazon is getting a little scary as we shift into 2014, with a new patent for "anticipatory shipping". This patent will allow the US giant to sent items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes that particular item will sell well.
The new shipping scheme should slice delivery times down, as well as putting Amazon much higher up on the food chain than it already is. The company plans to box, and ship products it expects its consumers will buy preemptively, based on previous searches and purchases, wish lists, and how long the user's cursor hovers over an item online.
Amazon wants to go a step further, by having the products "speculatively shipped to a physical address" without knowing if the customer wants it. This would eventuate in returns of unwanted deliveries, but Amazon is willing to take that risk. Amazon stated in its patent: "Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill."
According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, cloud storage giant Dropbox has just secured itself $250 million in additional funding. A BlackRock investment group is leading the new investment charge, but both Dropbox and BlackRock aren't confirming these reports at the moment.
With the $250 million secured, it would see Dropbox valued at $10 billion. Considering the cloud storage outfit was founded in San Francisco in 2007, and with over 200 million users, it should come as no surprise to see such a giant evaluation. It should see Dropbox better compete with other cloud storage services and the companies behind them, such as Box, SkyDrive, Google Drive and more.
Nintendo had a stellar 2013 with its 3DS console, but overall, sales of its hardware are not impressing anyone. The Japanese gaming giant expects to post an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million) for the year ending March 31, 2014.
It did have a projected operating income of nearly triple that, according to its full-year financial and dividend forecasts. Nintendo projected net sales of 920 billion yen and profit forecast of 55 billion yen for the current financial year. These numbers have been reworked now, dropping to 590 billion yen in sales, and a net loss of 25 billion yen.
Nintendo has said that the operating loss is thanks to a "significantly lower" holiday season of sales than it had originally forecasted. This is mostly due to hardware sales not meeting internal targets, and the year-end sales season "constitutes the highest proportion of the annual sales volume."
Intel did plan on opening up a new plant in Arizona that would've manufactured its 14nm technology, but has been put on hold, indefinitely. The facility was meant to open up at the end of last year, but was put off.
The facility was announced all the way back in 2011, with President Obama visiting the Intel facility in Oregon. Obama highlighted the fact that Intel was manufacturing in the US, and that it was a great thing for the US economy. Intel has shrugged the facility off, with the chipmaker stating that its fab utilization remains at 80%, and that it doesn't need to spend money on a new facility right now.
Intel spokesperson, Chuck Malloy, said: "If we can maintain that 80 percent capacity with the existing space, why spend the additional capital?" Intel will now use its existing fab space in Arizona to spin up its 14 and 22nm processes simultaneously. The new space won't be put to waste, with Intel using it in the future, but Malloy didn't hint at when this might be.
Some parents' kids racked up some massive in-app purchases through iOS-based game, which ended up in a Federal Trade Commission complaint. This complaint has ended with Apple having to hand over $32.5 million.
The FTC's complaint alleges that Apple failed to tell parents that by entering a password, they were allowing single in-app purchases, as well as additional purchases that their children could make without the parent intervening again. FTC chair Edith Ramirez said: "This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."
The FTC had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized purchases by parents of children who used their iOS devices. One consumer saw a massive $2,600 bill from a game called Tap Pet Hotel.
Online radio aggregator, Radionomy, has acquired both Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL. A source close to TechCrunch has said that Radionomy paid somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.
The deal included a 12% stake in Radionomy for AOL, too. AOL purchased Nullsoft, the creator of Winamp and Shoutcast, for $80 million back in 1999. So to sell them for close to 10% of that must hurt. Acquiring Winamp and Shoutcast is a boon for Radionomy, as it will make them one of the bigger competitors in the online radio business.
The rise and fall of digital currency Bitcoin, has been interesting to say the least. But now we have Seeking Alpha contributor, Robert Wagner, chiming in with a new piece, calling out the digital currency, where he expects the bubble to pop.
Wagner says that Bitcoin's "first flaw is its very foundation", citing that one of the reasons people wanted a new digital currency was to get away from the central bank, fiat-based dollar. Wagner goes into some incredible detail, which you can read all about right here, but do you agree? Do you think the great Bitcoin crash will happen, soon?
Nest was one of the hottest companies in 2013, and wowed tech insiders world wide with the release of its smart smoke alarms and thermostats. Based in Palo Alto, California, Nest was in the center of silicon valley and had attracted the attention of some of the biggest investors and companies in the business, one of which has just acquired the company.
Google has just announced that it has acquired Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion in cash, which now adds Google's name to yet another market space that directly affects our daily lives. Nest will further Google's push into the so-called "Internet of Things," and will further allow it to continue its growth into the home automation realm.
"We're thrilled to join Google," Fadell, 44, said in a statement. "With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world." Google CEO Larry Page said "Fadell and his Nest co-founder Matt Rogers had built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family."
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has confirmed he will remain with the U.S. automaker and not become the next Microsoft CEO, which will be vacated when Steve Ballmer steps down. Last August, Ballmer said he would resign - and leave within 12 months - but is trying to help the company ease into the transition. However, that's going to be difficult when there is uncertainty about the company's short-term stability.
"I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford," Mulally told reporters. "You don't have to worry about me leaving."
Microsoft's hunt for Ballmer's replacement has been extremely difficult, as there are only a handful of skilled candidates seeking the job. Microsoft is currently considering both internal and external candidates as the company needs to buckle down and find a new leader.
We've already seen Microsoft change its "Metro" name for "Windows 8-style UI" with all those problems when Windows 8 launched, but now we're seeing a new name, "Mod", which would be the new, new name for the UI.
The news is coming from ZDNet, with Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft applied to trademark the word "Mod", which Foley thinks the software giant will use to refer the new modern design in future iterations of Windows. The company has also filed for more words with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with the following words: "Windows Mod", "Office Mod", and "Microsoft Office Mod".