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Apple held its annual meeting yesterday, where CEO Tim Cook had some interesting things to say about the company, its products, and its competitors. Investors and Silicon Valley executives are wondering if Apple is able to transform the technology world with a new device, with rivals taking big pieces of its market share away.
Cook said during Apple's annual meeting: "We're working on some things that are extensions of things you can see and some that you can't see". Cook was referring to the 32% increase in research and development spending in 2013. Cook was hit with a question regarding Apple's innovation, but said that the company preferred to not talk about products that are in development, as it didn't want to tip off the competition.
Cook said: "you an see we're getting ripped off left, right and sideways". Cook took some jabs at Google, saying that most Android users are still using older versions of Google's mobile OS, which poses a security threat. Maybe Cook forgot about the hotpot of disaster iOS has been in recently with security. He did compare it to iOS, where the Apple CEO stated that 89% of users on iOS-based devices have the most recent version of the software.
Sony has been having a fire sale of sorts lately in an effort to make up for recent financial losses, and today a new report has surfaced that says the company is in talks with an unnamed buyer with the intent of selling off its old headquarters located in Tokyo. This is the same building where Sony's founders, Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka worked on Walkman and Trinitron prototypes that made the company the electronics giant it is today.
The sell could net sony about $145 million to add to the funds it earned last year from selling buildings in New York City and Osaka Japan, but the move is not popular with Tokyo locals who think that the company should remain in its birth city. This sell off comes just after the company sold its VAIO PC business just weeks ago, and the one thing we should all take from this is that Sony is hurting and this is most likely not the last part of its business we will see sold this year.
We take a grilling seriously here in Texas. Some people prefer charcoal, some prefer gas, whatever you use you need to amok sure you have enough of it. It's easy enough to look in the bag and see if you have charcoal and shake the lighter fluid bottle. It's not so easy to tell if you have enough propane left in your tank.
That means that more than a few grillers end up running out of propane mid cookout and cursing the fact that most grills and tanks have no way to tell how much fuel is left. A new propane tank system called Refuel has turned up that will prevent you from ever running out again.
The tank system is app enabled and the app will tell you how much gas is left in the tank. The system has a waterproof scale that sits under the propane tank and sends data to the Wink mobile app. The app will tell you how full the tank is and how long you can keep cooking based on how much you used in the past.
Mt.Gox was the third largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, and was also the most controversial as well. A few weeks ago the service suspended all withdrawal transactions citing a known bug in the system as the culprit, and just a week later announced that all trading and transactions would return to normal soon. Unfortunately that last statement proved to be noting more than hot air, when the service completely went down a few days ago.
Today Mt. Gox, a Japanese-based company, filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it is more than $60 million in debt. Today in a Tokyo court, officials from the company said that it has lost more than 750,000 bitcoins stored in its system owned by customers and that 100,000 of its own were gone as well. At the current going rate for a single bitcoin ($574.79 via Coinbase.) the a coins lost value at almost $450 million for customers and more than half a billion dollars total.
In the last few days Bitcoin prices have fallen several percent due to the news of Mt. Gox failing. During the court appearance Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpelès said: "There was some weakness in the system, and the bitcoins have disappeared. I apologize for causing trouble." Unfortunately for thousands of customers, simple apologies will not return the millions they lost because Mt. Gox failed to acknowledge a bug in the system that had existed for years. Bankruptcy will save the company from debt, but there should be negligence charges filed in my opinion. To let a devistating software bug exist for that long while making hundreds of millions in revenue is simply unacceptable.
Netflix is one of the most popular subscription streaming services on the planet with a huge number of users. The company has a bunch of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and other places and it has original programs. Netflix's House of Cards is one of its most popular programs.
Netflix recently held its announced Netflix Hack Day. The company says that the Hack Day gives its engineers a creative outlet. Hack Day lets engineers start hacking on Thursday morning and work through the night. On Friday morning, they present their projects to their peers. Netflix says that it often sees good ideas from the Hack Day.
The Hack Day last week brought with it what Netflix calls "spectacular work." The projects this time out ranged from data visualizations, to product feature ideas. Netflix has offered up some videos looking at its favorite hacks that were presented last week.
MWC 2014 - Industry body GSMA named LG the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year at the Global Mobile Awards this week. LG has unveiled quite a few devices at this year's Mobile World Congress, which has pushed it into award territory.
LG unveiled the G Pro 2, G Flex, G2 mini, F70, F Series and L Series. LG's market share is under 5%, so it's great to see the South Korean device maker making waves in the market with various devices. Last year, LG's G2 smartphone beat Apple's iPhone to be named smartphone of 2013 by Stuff magazine. And with 2014 just beginning, and MWC closing up, the year is only starting for LG.
Vice President of LG, Chris Yie, said: "We are incredibly humbled that GSMA selected LG from among the many capable companies in the mobile industry to honour with this award. Innovation has been the key to LG's success. This recognition, in addition to last year's Best Smartphone of MWC 2013 award, is clear proof that our hard work and effort is paying off".
The best smartphone of the year award went to HTC with its One smartphone, Nokia's Lumia 520 was named Best Low-Cost Smartphone, while Apple's iPad Air took the Best Mobile Tablet award.
Fortune's latest list of the world's most admired companies sees that Apple, Amazon and Google continue to take top spots. The survey asks corporate executives to name the companies they admired the most.
Apple, Amazon and Google took out the top three spots, while Samsung, Microsoft and Facebook also found their way into the list. Apple continues to take out the number one spot, a position the company has held of seven consecutive years. Fortune does mention that investors are getting nervous waiting for the company to unveil its "next big thing".
Fortune says that Amazon has used both its "consumer-centric culture and super convenience" to "gobble up brick-and-mortar stores left and right". Fortune continues to gush over Amazon by saying that the company's "ambitions show no signs of abating: it recently jumped into the art market, and has started producing video, music, and literary content".
When it came to Google, Fortune wrote that the company "continues to find ways to make life easier (sometimes creepily so) via mind-blowing Internet products". Fortune also mentioned that Google spends considerable amounts of resources on "moonshot" projects, which has led to self-driving cars, Google Glass, and more.
The Japanese government believes bitcoin regulation needs to be a global endeavor among U.S., European and Asian governments, which will keep it more secure from possible money laundering. Meanwhile, US Congress should look at effective manners to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies, said Janet Yellen, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wants to see how Mt. Gox and other bitcoin businesses or exchanges dealt with cyberattacks, which is a major security concern.
Since the bitcoin currency is unregulated, and no regular financial institutions are involved, there is concern over transactions - and taxes. Bitcoin owner identities also are not public information, so there is a certain underground feel to the still volatile currency.
"It's not just the Ministry of Finance; many other agencies are related," said Jiro Aichi, Japanese Vice Finance Minister, speaking during a recent news conference. "As for its legal position, a currency (under Japan's jurisdiction) would be coins or notes issued by the Bank of Japan. At the very least, we can say bitcoin is not a currency."
A new report from analytics firm Strategy Analytics has been published that looks at the number of Wi-Fi devices that are in use around the world today. According to the report, there are about 4 billion Wi-Fi devices in use globally.
The research firm expects that number to grow to over 7 billion devices by 2017. A more interesting statistic is that Wi-Fi capability is now embedded in 68% of all consumer electronics devices sold in the US. If you look at the number of products with Wi-Fi sold around the world, 57% of all CE devices have Wi-Fi.
The biggest product category for Wi-Fi devices is mobile phones and tablets. Strategy analytics says that 59% of all Wi-Fi enabled devices fall into the mobile phone and tablet category. The second most common category for Wi-Fi devices is in the mobile computer (notebook) category.
Just over a month ago Candy Crush Saga developer King secured the rights to the word 'Candy', which sent the world into a spin. King has now abandoned these efforts, according to documents posted by the US Trademark Office.
A document signed on February 24 states "the applicant hereby expressly abandons the application for trademark registration made". King filed the trademark all the way back in February of 2013, which was approved on January 15, 2014. The trademark would've allowed King to use the word 'Candy' in apparel, video games, computer hardware and much more.
A spokesperson for King has said: "King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP".