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When Microsoft first announced it was acquiring smartphone manufacturer Nokia, I knew there was something fishy about the deal. When ex-Microsoft exec and current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was announced as the new head of Microsoft's Devices and Services division, things began to make sense.
Fast-forward to the announcement that Elop would receive over $25 million as part of a payout in which Microsoft would cover more than half of the cost to see the wheels really start turning in my head. Today, a new report from Forbes says that Nokia has admitted to providing misleading information regarding Elop's compensation.
The original statement issued by Nokia said that Elop's contract and compensation package was "essentially the same" as the company's previous CEO, but after some digging through SEC filings, it was made clear that the board had made fundamental changes in Elop's contract.
In what can only be part of Microsoft's master plan, Elop was entitled to immediate share price performance bonuses in the event of a "change of control" situation. This means that Elop would stand to earn a great deal of money if the company was acquired by someone such as Microsoft.
CNNMoney has called Riot Games the third best medium-sized business in the US. The League of Legends creator was donned with the 'award' from a global research and consulting firm called Great Place to Work.
Great Place to Work assembled its list of top businesses with less than 1,000 business, with candidates being chosen for their "unique cultures" and environments on the same level as CNNMoney's 100 Best Companies to Work For compilation. Riot Games employs 846 people, of which some were plucked at random to talk about Riot Games' culture and programs.
Riot Games' statement reads: "This process gave us the opportunity to share Riot culture and stories, but also gave us a chance to take cultural inventory of where we're at and where we still need to go."
Earlier this year amidst its growing financial troubles, BlackBerry announced its plans to sell off its two Dassault Falcon medium-range private jets. The two smaller jets would be replaced by a a long-range Bombardier Global Express Jet. The Bombardier would cost the company roughly $25 million at a time when the company was already struggling financially.
Fast-forward to the past week when BlackBerry announced that it would be leaving the consumer market space as it planned to lay off 4,500 employees. Today the once king of smartphones announced that it will be selling all three of its private jets, including the two Dassault's that it never managed to get rid of after the Bombardier arrived several months ago. Analysts are suggesting that all three jets could be worth a combined $50-65 million, but that depends on the planes condition, and current market value.
"Several years ago, the company bought two medium-range Dassault aircraft," BlackBerry said in a statement. "Earlier this year the company decided to sell both planes and replace them with one longer-range aircraft. The company considered several options and selected a used Bombardier aircraft, which was eventually delivered in July. In light of the company's current business condition, the company has decided to sell that aircraft along with the two legacy aircraft and will no longer own any planes."
HP and NVIDIA have announced a collaboration that has led to the two companies opening up a joint research facility in Grenoble, France. The new R&D facility that will help software vendors and developers solve high performance computing challenges by using the latest technology from both companies.
The new research and development lab is built around 10 HP Proliant SL250s, SL270s and ML350P Generation 8 servers, all which feature integrated NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. NVIDIA is calling this server CPU and GPU mashup "GPU Computing" and says that it improves performance by handing off compute-intensive task to the GPU while the rest of the code is passed through the CPU.
"The goal of the collaborative centre was to enable solution improvements and spur the adoption of HP systems based on NVIDIA Tesla GPUs for HPC," Philippe Trautmann, EMEA sales director HPC for HP. "HPC systems require huge amounts of compute resources to achieve their expected performance, as well as the expertise to integrate them."
Bloomberg Businessweek enjoyed an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook last week, where Cook reiterated that he believes the tablet market will overpass the PC market within 2 years.
Cook said: "We're 24 months away from that" which isn't too far away at all. Cook also said that most of this growth in the tablet market in coming from PC makers who are making low-cost Android devices as a 'defensive maneuver.' Cook also used the time to talk smack about Android tablets, which is something he has done on more than one occasion.
Cook said: "I think if I bought [an Android tablet] and used it, and I thought that was a tablet experience, I'm not sure I would ever buy another tablet. The responsiveness isn't there. The basic touch is really off. The app experience is a stretched-out smartphone kind of experience. It's not an optimized experience."
We should expect Twitter to go public in the next couple of months, but according to a report on Reuters, the social networking site might push its IPO before Thanksgiving.
One source has told Reuters that Twitter could raise over $1 billion in its IPO, and while it may sound like a lot, it is less than 1% of Facebook's record-breaking IPO which smashed through $105 billion. We don't know what Twitter will do when it goes public, but we should expect the biggest Twitter apps to go under the knife and come out looking just a little different. Let's just hope this doesn't happen to Twitter, like it did Facebook.
BlackBerry is drowning, and has been for a while, but diving out of the consumer market because of a $1 billion loss on a single smartphone is a big move. What can help the Canadian phone maker now?
Well, co-founder of BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down from his co-CEO role in 2012, has reportedly approached more than one private equity firm about putting in a bid for BlackBerry. This all comes from a report on The New York Times, who says that talks are simply preliminary right now. Lazaridis might not make an offer, but it would definitely put a big spin on the situation.
Big industry players like Huawei and Lenovo have reportedly been linked to business talks, but nothing is confirmed right now. We'll have more as it happens.
A collective of companies who support the Qi wireless charging standard joined forces to become the Wireless Power Consortium, but industry heavyweight Qualcomm stayed out of it until now.
Qualcomm has become a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which includes over 170 companies who are behind the standard. Considering Qualcomm is a founding member of the WPC's competing wireless charging standard, Alliance for Wireless Power - or A4WP - which has just 60 members. Qualcomm is knee-deep in A4WP, so it's an interesting move to say the least.
Could Qualcomm be wanting to bring the two groups together? Qi seems the bigger of the two, with companies like HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Sony and now Qualcomm all on board. We should see what Qualcomm were up to joining the WPC in the next couple of months.
BlackBerry is about to cut 4,500 staff from its books, which represents the 40% layoff numbers we heard a couple of days ago now. But the news gets worse: BlackBerry is leaving the consumer market.
This is something we've been expecting here at TweakTown, but the news is quite sudden. This all comes from the failure that is the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, which has cost the Canadian phone maker $1 billion in losses in the last quarter alone. BlackBerry says it will take a "primarily non-cash, pre-tax charge against inventory and supply commitments in the second quarter of approximately $930 million to $960 million" due to the Z10.
In the second quarter of this year, BlackBerry shipped only 3.7 million smartphones, most of which were running BlackBerry 7, not the company's BB10 OS that ships on the Z10. BlackBerry didn't reveal how many BB10-based devices it sold in the quarter, which should give us a hint in where those numbers must lie.
Starting next year, the leading American television ratings company, Nielsen, will finally step into the digital age where they will count people watching TV on smart devices.
Nielsen will use a special set-top box that plugs into the televisions of its 10,000 volunteers across the United States, which will monitor what those 10,000 Americans watch. Until September 2014, Nielsen's count doesn't include anyone using digital devices to watch TV, this includes services such as Hulu.
Nielsen's Senior VP of Global Audience Measurement, Eric Solomon has said: "Networks are starving for a number they can publish that really represents their audience not just on TV but across all platforms. I think it will start changing the narrative that 'people are not watching TV shows.' It's that they're watching on different platforms."