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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 91

Sony and HTC win battle in patent troll war, prevails in lawsuit filed by WiLAN

Score another one for the good guys. Today, HTC and Sony both claimed a major victory in the patent wars when a federal jury ruled that neither company infringed on any of the four patents that WiLAN had sued them over. Other lawsuit victors include Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

 

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Alcatel-Lucent managed to beat three wireless base station claims, while Sony and HTC also had to face a fourth claim involving handset technology. Both companies said that they believed that WiLAN was greatly over exaggerating the scope of its patent while Alcatel-Lucent stated that it believed the company was stretching the boundaries of its patents.

 

WiLAN is pretty much considered to be nothing more than a patent troll and has been fighting lawsuits similar to this for many years including one in which Intel reportedly agreed to pay a large settlement on. WiLAN said that it was disappointed by the decision and that it still has pending litigation against Time Warner, Comcast, and others with similar claims of patent infringement.

Google's Q2 earnings report will be released this week, just after their stock prices hit a record high of $928

Google seem to be unstoppable, but do did Apple at the beginning of last year, too. But, the Mountain View-based search giant have just seen a record high stock price of $928 today, ahead of their Q2 2013 earnings report this week.

 

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In April of this year, Google's stock price dropped to $765 after they released their Q1 2013 earnings report, but they jumped up to their original price after a few days. Google stock has steadily risen since their Q1 2013 earnings report was released, and it'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.

 

If the stock does drop, I'm sure it'll bounce back and if not, it'll be a few weeks. Google have countless products in the making, and unlike Apple they haven't cut themselves off from the market making their own devices, yet. Products like Glass and Android, as well as the great-selling Galaxy S4 have consumers hearts and wallets, and investors know this.

Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised

I've made my thoughts on the iPhone (and Apple as a company) many times before here on TweakTown, predicting that sales would drop late last year when the iPhone 5 was launching. Apple aren't releasing anything special, or different - the iPhone 5 being the peak of the 'sameish' iPhone game they've been playing for half a decade, except it was slightly taller.

 

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Well, Fortune have now taken a look at consensus projections for how many iPhones Apple sold over the past three months, with analysts not expecting much for the quarter coming. Apple haven't been able to report any year-over-year sales growth for the iPhone, which is a big problem.

 

Their consensus analyst estimates that we should expect somewhere between 26.7 million and 27.9 million iPhones sold over the three-month period, which is only a slither more than the 26 million iPhones Apple sold in the same quarter of 2012. Most people think a cheaper iPhone will help them and while it would help their sales numbers, it won't help their bottom line, or for the company over the long term.

Continue reading 'Apple iPhone sales aren't expected to grow, but we aren't surprised' (full post)

Samsung secures patent for docking a smartphone into a tablet

ASUS' PadFone made waves when it was announced with its ability to dock a smartphone into a tablet, but now Samsung have just secured a new patent that allows the same - a smartphone to be docked into a larger display, making it a tablet.

 

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Samsung gets away with it because the way the smartphone inserts into the dock is different to the way ASUS' works. Patent Bolt found the patent, which shows a T-shape space for a smartphone which allows the smartphone to easily be attached to the dock. The smartphone area looks to have an extra lipped section at the top, which is also different to ASUS' design.

 

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The filings were done in the US and Korea early last year, but there's still no news on when this will arrive from the ovens of Samsung.

HBO files DMCA takedown for VLC Media Player with Google

Earlier today, the website TorrentFreak noticed that Google had been served with a DMCA takedown notice from HBO that ordered them to remove a torrent link for the popular media player VLC. The link was neatly tucked inside a list with hundreds of links to torrent urls for HBO's popular Game of Thrones series.

 

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It is likely that HBO never even reviewed the list which was generated by an automatic search bot that scans the web for torrents that may infringe on copyright holders' rights. There are literally more of these notices filed every month than there are of downloads of the actual torrents. During the last month alone, Google received 14,855,269 URLs which it was forced to remove from its search results under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

 

The URL in question points to the torrent site Torrent Portal, but as you can see in the screen captured image above, it does not point to any copyrighted material as VLC media player is actually an open source project. While this is most likely a mistake, it raises a massive red flag and makes us wonder what other links were removed from Google search results because of an automated process that generates the so-called "bad URLs".

Continue reading 'HBO files DMCA takedown for VLC Media Player with Google' (full post)

Man sees porn on Safari, sues Apple and requests they put all Apple products in 'safe mode' by default to protect people under 18

Chris Sevier, with the help of his attorney, has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US District Court in Nashville, TN last month. Sevier is angry that Apple sell products that allow men to view porn. Yes. This isn't a joke. This is his introduction:

 

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The Plaintiff loves Apple. The Plaintiff believes in Apple, as a company and knows that it has good intent. Since its inception, Apple has always been a pro-family company, Apple has always been an entity that is concerned with the welfare of our Nation's children, while furthering pro-American values. There is no reason for Apple, a private company to overly support pornography online, explicit sexual content which has led to the proliferation of arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives. The Plaintiff respectfully demand that Apple sell all of its devices on "safe mode," with software preset to filter out pornographic content. If the purchaser of Apple's products is over 18, Apple should allow the buyer to take additional step to acquire a password from Apple in order to remove the filter to access Constitutionally protected indecent content. If the buyer is under 18, Apple should not provide the password.

 

I know, you can't believe what you're reading right now and don't worry, I'm sure you're not alone. Sevier is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Apple, all because they sell devices that are capable of viewing porn. Sevier would like to see a porn-filtering "safe mode" made default on all devices and products sold by Apple. His complaint notes that "If Apple agrees to sell its devices 'on safe mode' before trial, the Plaintiff will terminate this litigation."

Hulu won't be sold and will instead invest $750 million to 'propel future growth'

Last minute bids to purchase Hulu were to be locked in on July 5, but it looks like 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company will maintain ownership of the video streaming service.

 

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Hulu were considering a sale, receiving last minute bids from multiple different companies, but the owners are now looking to invest heavily into Hulu. That investment is looking to total $750 million, which is an effort to "propel future growth." Hulu have a lot riding on this, as they push out content to over 400 partners and over 30 million monthly visitors.

 

Even with over four million premium 'Hulu Plus' subscribers, they're still struggling against Netflix and Amazon. This new investment could be a seed that could grow into an even better company, which would be great for everyone involved, especially consumers.

Amazon reach record highs on share prices, are valued at $140 billion right now

Amazon, for the first time in the company's history, has had their shares trade at over $300 last week. Amazon went public in 1997, where their shares were trading at just $2, so this is quite the rise.

 

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On Friday, Amazon shares closed at a record $307 per share. With the current stock price in mind, Amazon's market capitalization stands at $140 billion. Talking market caps, Google scoop up $306 billion with their power, and Apple enjoy a nice chunk of $400 billion. Amazon are far out and away from Facebook, though, who have just $63 billion.

 

During the first three months of 2013, Amazon reported net sales of $16.07 billion, which represents a 22% increase for the same quarter of 2012. Net income fell however, to $82 million, down 37%.

Valve announces 'Pipeline', will help high school students break into the video game industry

Valve have just announced and launched Pipeline, which is a community website dedicated to helping high school students who are looking into a career in the video game industry.

 

 

Pipeline was the creation of a group of high school interns working at Valve, who hope to "establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry." Valve's managing director, Gabe Newell, said in a promotional video for Pipeline: "This website was created entirely be teenagers."

Continue reading 'Valve announces 'Pipeline', will help high school students break into the video game industry' (full post)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to open Center for Innovation this fall to inspire young entrepreneurs

When you're one of the world's richest e-commerce tycoons, there's not much left to do other than fund other projects. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has funded everything from nuclear fusion startups to commercial spaceflight ventures and everything in between. Today, we are learning that his next big venture is a center for innovation built at the Museum of History and Industry.

 

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After more than two years of development and $10 million from Bezos' own pockets, the Museum of History and Industry will open the doors to the Bezos Center for Innovation on October 12. The center aims to help visitors learn about the importance of innovation through many interactive exhibits. It will also showcase Seattle for being the birthplace of so many trailblazing companies such as Amazon. I feel that this Innovation Center is an amazing idea and a perfect way to teach children that bucking convention is sometimes the right thing to do.

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