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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 83

Verizon slams $130 billion on the table, wants Vodafone's stake back

Vodafone and Verizon's business relationship might just improve if a report from Reuters is correct, with the company's working on a deal over the weekend. As usual, people "familiar with the matter" say that the firms' respective boards are voting on a $130 billion buyout.

 

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This would see Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon back in its own hands. Verizon will finance half of the deal with bonds and bank loans, with the other half of the deal seeing suitcases filled with cash being handed over. The Wall Street Journal has chimed in, stating that the deal was finalized behind closed doors, and we should expect an official announcement on Monday morning.

Microsoft poised to be investing in Foursquare, could add to Bing

Today a report surfaced that says Microsoft is in talks with Foursquare over a deal that could see the Redmond, Washington based company investing in the social check-in service. Unfortunately for Microsoft Foursquare, American Express is also interested in investing in the company which could see massive gains and profit over its new advertising business model.

 

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Recently Foursquare was valued at $600 million after it raised $41 million from venture capital firms to aid in the company's expansion. Its new advertising business model would allow companies to place targeted ads directly to the consumers when they check-in at an establishment where an advertisers products may be served. The company has dubbed this new business model "Geo-Aware Advertising."

 

Some people are not a fan of targeted advertising, but I have to say that honestly I don't mind it that much. I would much rather see ads about products that I'm interested in over products I could care less about. This new advertising model actually excites me a little because I feel that it may help introduce me to new things in establishment I frequent.

VP of Android leaves, heads for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi

Big news for the Mountain View-based giant tonight, with its VP of Android product management leaving the company and headed for Chinese cellphone maker Xiaomi.

 

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Barra has been with Google since 2008, but get ready for the juicy part: Barra was rumored to be in a relationship with a Google employee who is now seeing Google co-founder Sergey Brin. AllThingsD is reporting that the relationship issues are not part of why Barra left the company.

 

You might be thinking 'just who in the hell is Xiaomi?' but they are quite the force in the Chinese market right now, recently shipping more handsets than Apple did iPhones in the country, according to Canalys' latest numbers. Google has released a statement regarding Barra's departure, where it said: "We wish Hugo Barra the best. We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem."

Apple wants to trademark the word "startup," application under review

It's no secret that Apple would like to own the IP rights to everything ever created, and a recent trademark filing seems to affirm this. Today, website TMwatch spotted a recent trademark application filed by the Cupertino giant in which the company wishes to obtain exclusive rights to the word "startup."

 

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The trademark was filed with the Australian legal firm Baker and McKenzie at the company's California headquarters. If the trademark is granted, it would prevent future new companies from using the term "startup" to describe their business ever again. It would also prevent the phrase being used in retail stores, being used in literature to describe what your computer does when you press the power button, and even educational settings such as classes and workshops.

 

Fortunately, trademark applications usually take a couple of years to process which leaves plenty of time for individuals and other companies to protest the filing. However, if the trademark application is approved, it could spell major issues for the tech industry as a whole. On a lighter note, could you imagine a world in which Robert Scoble could not use the term "startup" anymore?

ARM's acquires Sensinode, who develops the 'Internet of things'

ARM has made an announcement that its acquired Finnish startup Sensinode, who develops "Internet of things" software. Sensinode has created 6LoWPAN and CoAP standards for low cost low power devices and has been a large part of the IETF, ZigBee IP, ETSI and OMA standardization efforts

 

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ARM believes its acquisition of Sensinode and its 'Internet of things' is the next big thing in terms of the evolution of technology, where devices and appliances used in our day-to-day lives get embedded with sensors that collect data and connectivity to trigger actions. The British semiconductor says it will continue to sell Sensinode's NanoStack and NanoService products to both new, and existing customers.

 

The acquisition will help ARM to push open standards through its mbed project, which is an industry-wide effort to simplify development for connected devices by offering open source hardware and software. This will see ARM's Cortex range of chips being baked into everything from wearable tech devices, to the fridge in your kitchen.

Syrian Electronic Army hits The New York Times and Twitter

Syria is all over the news right now, with a chemical attack happening a few days ago and now it looks like the US is set to intervene in the next 72 hours. But now the Syrian Electronic Army has hit The New York Times, with a Domain Name System (DNS) attack that took down its website.

 

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The Times had to resort to tweeting out direct IP links to its articles, all while Twitter itself is now possibly vulnerable. Hackers have reportedly managed to modify some of the registration data, including the contact e-mail address, suggesting an attack on Twitter could happen any moment.

Is Ballmer's retirement 100 percent voluntary? Some analysts say no

Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement in an aptly named internal memo titled "Moving Forward." The memo depicts Ballmer leaving the company on his own decision, but many industry analysts are speculating that the sometimes wild CEO was actually being forced out by the company's board.

 

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GigaOm journalist Barb Darrow said in a recent article that "Several former and one current Microsoft execs told me that there was no way Ballmer would step down unless Gates withdrew his long-time support" when this is paired with Ballmer's own statement from the memo "My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most." It's easy to interpret Ballmer's retirement as a not so voluntary departure.

 

The article on GigaOm goes on to quote another former vice president who it says is still tightly connected with Microsoft; "Bill must have flipped the bit on Steve," said the VP, adding that the recent reshuffling of most major executive roles--Ballmer's his own--"lined everything up behind Steve."

Continue reading 'Is Ballmer's retirement 100 percent voluntary? Some analysts say no' (full post)

NSA hacked encrypted UN communications, where's the uproar?

Julian Assange. Bradley Manning. Michael Hastings. Edward Snowden. These are all men who are either dead, stuck in another country, in jail or are in the run because they exposed US government secrets. This is wrong, and the reverse should be happening.

 

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These men should be awarded for exposing the lies from within the biggest government in the world, but instead, they're paying the price for exposing things that the Obama administration promised would be more 'transparent.' Now there's news that the National Security Agency (NSA) hacked into encrypted communications of the United Nations' internal video conferencing system.

 

The news is coming from Germany's Der Spiegel, a source we used when we were the first mainstream site to report that a German government official considered Microsoft's Xbox One console a "monitoring device." This even landed us on the front page of Reddit, with multitudes of sites reporting on the story afterwards.

Continue reading 'NSA hacked encrypted UN communications, where's the uproar?' (full post)

Tesla continues to impress, outsells Porsche and Volvo in California

Tesla Motors is continuing to impress, as the electric car maker is currently outselling some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world in California.

 

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The California New Car Dealers Association's latest numbers note that Tesla Motors took a nice 12% chunk of the luxury sports car category in California for the first half of 2013. This 12% cut was enough to pass the Audi A6 and Lexus GS. Tesla Motors' Model S is the car in question, with the company selling 4,714 of the electric vehicles in the first six months of 2013.

 

1,097 of them were sold in June, making this number enough to beat the big boys like Porsche, Volvo, Cadillac, Buick and Land Rover for June, 2013. Tesla Motors' Model S is pretty darn safe, too.

Steve Ballmer's biggest regret while CEO of Microsoft? Windows Vista

Steve Ballmer, the current CEO of Microsoft, has announced he's stepping down in 2014, but what is his biggest regret as his time as Chief Executive Officer at the biggest software company in the world?

 

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Oh, you guessed it already: Windows Vista. Ballmer spoke with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, where he said: "I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was sort of Longhorn to Vista. I would say that's probably the thing I regret most. And, you know, there are side effects of that when you tie up a big team to do something that doesn't prove out to be as valuable."

 

But, from the doom and gloom of Windows Vista was one of Microsoft's most successful operating systems: Windows 7. This was while Ballmer was CEO of course, so he can at least give himself credit for something big.

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