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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 87

Dropbox reportedly acquired Mailbox for 'well over' $50 million

Dropbox announced they were acquiring Mailbox last week, but didn't disclose the amount they paid for the company. Sources familiar with the deal have said the amount paid for such an early-stage company was high, with its price ballooned up thanks to interest from some well-funded companies.

 

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GigaOM and TechCrunch have both claimed that Mailbox was acquired for a price "well over" $50 million, with a bunch of stock that pushes the deal closer to $100 million. Dropbox are worth somewhere between $4 billion to $5 billion, which makes their acquisition of Mailbox for the reported $50 million not sound so large for the cloud storage company.

Nintendo Wii U sales are underwhelming, fails to outperform monthly Xbox 360 or PS3 sales from last 7 years

Bringing you doom and gloom seems to be my job today. Nintendo's Wii U appears to be selling in underwhelming amounts. According to a Macquarie Capital analyst, Nintendo only managed to move 66,000 Wii U consoles in February, though 70 percent of those were the more expensive Deluxe Set.

 

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According to NPD Group, Wii U sales actually went up in February by roughly 40 percent. However, this doesn't account for that many extra units as January's sales numbers were also low. The Wii U's price is likely to blame as it costs as much as, or more than, competing consoles that have extensive game libraries.

 

It's important to note that the Wii U's February sales numbers are lower than the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360's numbers from any month within the last seven years. Nintendo needs to repeat the success it saw with the 3DS after they dropped the price by dropping the price of the Wii U to a more competitive level.


Microsoft Surface tablets sold worse than expected

It's looking as though Microsoft's expedition into the tablet market might not be paying off as much as the company expected. According to people knowledgeable about Microsoft's sales, the company has reportedly only sold around 1.5 million Surface devices, meaning Surface RT and Surface Pro sales combined.

 

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Bloomberg reports that only about 400,000 Surface Pro units and just over one million Surface RT tablets have been sold. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft's expectations which had the company moving two million Surface RT tablets in December alone. The company ordered around three million, so there is quite a bit of stock left.

 

Part of the problem is the high cost of the Surface device. Another issue is Windows RT. There has yet to be a compelling argument for the operating system. Intel continues to push x86 as a viable tablet chip and it's capable of so much more. Microsoft's Surface advertising certainly hasn't helped, either.

 

Microsoft still has a chance to turn it around, but I don't think they will be able to unless they cut the pricing by at least 20 percent.

Casino scammed by player using hijacked security cameras

This is one of those "happy Friday stories" that you always see. For once, the House didn't win. A foreign high roller managed to scam $32 million from Crown casino by using hijacked cameras to gain an advantage over the house. Full details of the scam are not yet known, but we do know the player has been banned from the casino. I wonder why...

 

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The person in question was occupying one of the expensive villas with his family. He managed to gain remote access to the casino's security cameras, which he then used to spy on the dealer's hand. He had someone watch the cameras and somehow relay the information to him so that he could make intelligent bets.

 

His scam was uncovered over the course of eight hands. He and his family were then kicked out of the villa in the middle of the night and instructed never to return. While the casino believes it is likely they will be able to recover most of the $32 million lost, in all likelihood, the player has already returned to his country of origin.

Continue reading 'Casino scammed by player using hijacked security cameras' (full post)

Mike Schroepfer appointed as Facebook's Chief Technical Officer

Facebook has announced that Mike Schroepfer will be the company's new Chief Technical Officer. Schroepfer was formerly the VP of Engineering for Facebook. "Mike Schroepfer's new designation as Facebook's CTO reflects the unique and important role he plays across the company," Facebook said in a statement.

 

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Schroepfer has been with Facebook for just shy of five years, so he has plenty of experience with the company. Prior to joining Facebook, he worked at Mozilla as VP of Engineering for three years. He will likely continue to push for Facebook's "mobile first" strategy. We wish Schroepfer the best in his new position.

Samsung shifts into a multiple-CEO system, adds two new co-CEOs

We've just seen the announcement of the game-changing Galaxy S IV from Samsung, but there was another announcement that gets lost in the waves of the Internet. The company have announced they're switching to a multiple-CEO system, pushing up Presidents Boo-keun Yoon and JK Shin thanks to their great performance.

 

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Vice Chairman, Chairman of the Board of Directors and current CEO, Oh-Hyun Kwon isn't leaving his post, but will continue to oversee Samsung Electronics' component business. Yoon will continue as is, overseeing the consumer electronics division that makes TVs and applications whilst Shin steers the ship that is the IT and mobile phone business - and he seems to be doing a damn good job of it so far.

Seagate continues to show interest in SSDs, looking for hardware and firmware test manager

It would appear that Seagate is furthering its interest in solid-state drives, or at least that's what a posting on LinkedIn would suggest. Seagate is looking for a Hardware and Firmware Test Manager. Curiously enough, they are preferably looking for someone with SSD, SATA, and PCIe experience.

 

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As you can see in the picture above, the position appears to be fairly high up. We know that Seagate already has SSDs for enterprise applications. These devices are known as Pulsar and Pulsar 2. At CeBIT, Seagate demonstrated SAS 12Gbps. It now looks like they may be working on another solid-state drive that will make use of PICe or SATA protocols.

Google continues spring cleaning, splitting maps and commerce divisions

Google continues to shake things up as they have announced that they are splitting up their maps and commerce divisions into two separate businesses. Google confirmed that the current head of maps and commerce will be shifting over to Google's X unit, the division that is currently working on self-driving cars.

 

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"Jeff is an extraordinary executive," Google said in a statement. "He just finished his first decade at Google -- having worked on some of our most complicated issues like ads, apps, payments and geo -- and now he is eager to work in more of a start-up like environment."

 

The mapping division is moving under the search team. The commerce division will be absorbed by the advertising group. It's not clear what led to this change, but we could see even more integration between maps and searching now that they are part of the same team.

 

We wish Jeff Huber the best at his new position with Google X. I'm waiting for another moonshot.

Jury finds Nintendo infringed upon 3D patent with 3DS handheld console

The courts haven't been very nice to companies accused of infringing other people's patents. While this award isn't nearly as bad as the Apple v Samsung case, $30.2 million isn't something companies like to hand out. A jury has awarded $30.2 million to a former Sony employee who claimed Nintendo infringed upon his patent for glasses-less 3D technology.

 

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Seijiro Tomita didn't get quite as much money as he felt he should. By his calculations, he should have received roughly $10 per console sold, which equates to just under $300 million. His actual award came in at just 10 percent of that, which still works out to be a lot of money.

 

"We are thankful to the jurors for their diligence and hard work," Tomita's lawyer said in a statement. "It has been a honor to represent Mr. Tomita and to protect his invention."

 

Nintendo said in a statement sent to Kotaku that they feel confident that the award will be set aside:

 

Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others.[/quote]

Continue reading 'Jury finds Nintendo infringed upon 3D patent with 3DS handheld console' (full post)

Apple finally selling refurbished iPad minis, fourth-gen iPads

After Apple launches a new product, it often takes a few months before they are able to build up enough stock of defective and returned products to start selling refurbished versions. Apple has apparently collected enough stock of the latest iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad as they are now available through Apple's online store.

 

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Stock of the refurbished products is still constrained. Customers are limited in selection as the WiFi-only iPad mini is only available with 32GB of storage. The WiFi + LTE is available with only 16GB of storage. Moving to the fourth-gen iPad, users can only select 16GB or 32GB versions of the WiFi-only and WiFi+Verizon LTE models.

 

Furthermore, the discount offered by buying refurbished isn't that great. On the 32GB WiFi iPad mini, users only save $40, or 9 percent. On the 16GB WiFi+LTE, users only save $30, or 6 percent. It's up to you to decide whether these savings are worth buying a refurbished product.

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