In the words of Nelson from The Simpsons - "HA HA". What a great start to this news, as much as I love Apple (I'm rocking along with the new iPad and I've been loving it so far, there are issues, but it's overall a nice product) the 4G iPad is a huge misleading mess in Australia. When I went down to grab mine, you could see 4G signs and talk of it around the store, and it's just simply pathetic.
Apple are now finding themselves in a pickle in Australia, where Australian consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accused Apple of misleadingly calling its new iPad as 4G-capable. The ACCC have said they will be applying to the Federal Court of Melbourne for an order against the company and is moving for the court to impose fines and injunctions against sales.
The ACCC is saying that labelling the new iPad as 4G-capable is misleading to customers in Australia. Yes, 4G LTE networks are available here in Australia, but they run on an entirely different band to what the iPad is compatible with. 4G services in Australia provided by Telstra run on the 1800MHz frequency band, which makes them completely unusable on the new iPad. The new iPad only works on the 700MHz or 2100MHz frequency bands for its 4G LTE connectivity.
Samsung's 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone has been doing surprisingly well for the South Korean-based company, having shipped over 5 million units in just five months. This is quite the achievement considering its one of the larger screened smartphones on the market today.
5 million units shipped, and the 5.3-incher doesn't even include Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, this is quite the achievement for Samsung. We should expect Samsung to released their Premium Suite of apps, as well as Android 4.0 in the near future.
Until then, the GALAXY Note is still an amazing looking phone. I personally wouldn't mind checking it out, but I'm waiting for some Ice Cream Sandwich lovin' before I get into that gorgeous 5.3-inch display. I really should stop dilly dallying and just get one, shouldn't I?
People are spending up big on Apple's Newsstand app, where a study of Apple's App Store for iPad during just the month of February from market research firm Distimo shows that the top 100 publications raked in more than $70,000 a day. This is just absolutely huge, considering that the revenue is from the United States alone, and is led by News Corp.'s The Daily, followed by The New York Times, and The New Yorker magazine.
Apple don't disclose what individual app makers and content providers earn on ints store, but Apple provide 70-percent of each sale to the content creators, holding back 30-percent for themselves. Publishers can also let existing subscribers view digital editions of content, to which they've already subscribed to. But, they're not allowed to link to outside Web sites where subscriptions can be struck outside of Apple's App Store, that's a naughty no-no.
Transformers, robots in disguise. Well, in the case of Hasbro, it's "tablets in disguise." Remember how Hasbro sued Asus over its Transformer Prime tablet because of the name "Transformer?" Well, the judgement came in today in that case. The court decided that Asus can continue selling its Transformer Prime series because it does not infringe on Hasbro's trademark.
The court found that Hasbro's trademark did not cover the Transformer Prime. One reason is because the tablet is not similar in use to any of the products manufactured by Hasbro and the likelihood of them getting confused is slim. Additionally, because the tablet does indeed transform (by way of its detachable keyboard), it was a suitable name for the device to have.
I'm sure everyone reading this has used Google at some point and seen that nifty feature which auto-completes your search query for you based on previous queries other people have placed. It's pretty cool, and sometimes outright outrageously funny with some of the suggestions it provides. But how would you like it to auto-complete your name with suggestions that suggest you committed crimes?
Well, that's just the situation that one Japanese man has found himself in. He says that when he searches his name, it does just that: return suggestions and results that suggest he has committed crimes that he claims he hasn't. He claims he lost his job because of it, and wasn't hired for new ones. After all, almost all jobs do a Google search on a prospective employee.
He requested that Google take it down, but they refused. He then turned to the courts to seek an injunction. On March 19th, the Tokyo court approved the injunction requiring Google to suspend its auto-complete results. Google has refused to comply with the order, and refuses to be regulated by Japanese law.
This isn't the first time Google Instant has brought controversy. Yahoo complained about it taking away its market share. More recently, a man in France had his name tied with the words "satanist" and "rapist" and managed to get Google to remove it. Funny part is he was actually convicted of corrupting a minor. How would you feel if Google Instant tied you to crimes you didn't commit?
Rovio has another studio in its lineup now. Rovio announced today that it has bought Futuremark Games Studio, which is the gaming unit of Futuremark, the benchmark software company. They develop for multiple different platforms and are Rovio's second purchase in less than a year. The main focus of Rovio has been Angry Birds, which continues to be successful, but they are trying to expand beyond.
They are an incredibly talented and experienced team, and we are thrilled to have them on board," Mikael Hed, Rovio Entertainment's CEO, said in a statement. "Rovio's success is founded on the excellence of our team, and Futuremark Games Studio is going to be a superb addition." Hopefully, with some fresh developers, we can expect some new game lines.
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Well, well, isn't this quite the golden nugget of news today, folks! Megaupload co-founder, Kim Dotcom, has admitted that high-profile U.S. government officials held accounts with Megaupload. Not only did people at the Senate, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and NASA hold Megaupload accounts, but some 15,600 members of the U.S. Military did, too.
The MPAA and RIAA may think that Megaupload is predominantly used for piracy, but there are plenty of government officials and installations using it for legitimate transferring of files, that are simply too big to throw over e-mail. Megaupload's team is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) with their MegaRetrieval campaign, where they hope to reunite site users with their data.
Even with the worldwide economy as bad as it is, Intel's market share has held steady and even increased, to where it is now at a 10-year peak. Intel's revenue has gone up 20 percent which equates to $48.7 billion. The next closer competitor, Samsung, only gained 0.6 percent to a total revenue of $28.6 billion.
Intel gained a massive boost from its purchase of Infineon, which allowed it to produce 3G chipsets for a possible Intel phone and for use in the many phones that are powered by its competitor, ARM. AMD gained only 1.4 percent to a total revenue of $6.4 billion, which equates to 12th on the list. Qualcomm came out the big winner, however, with a massive increase of 41.6 percent. This resulted in a total revenue of $10.2 billion.
Today has been a day filled with Microsoft news. First the Xbox Lite rumor, and then the "Smoked by Windows Phone" contest. Well, now we're going to tell you how a couple of Bing promoters got fired. The two's employment ended with a bang. At Sundance, they built a three-story party palace filled with celebs and an open bar.
The two had become known for high power marketing campaigns for the search engine Bing. They painted Bing as something colorful and fun, whereas Google could be seen as plain and simple.
You know what they say, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." But, does this always stand true? Microsoft has been accused of swindling the winner of 'Smoked by Windows Phone' out of his prize. The contest was to "bring up the weather of two different cities." He was required to power cycle his phone in front of the Microsoft employee to prove there were no preloaded apps. Katta had struck gold! He already had two widgets on the home screen displaying the weather in San Jose and Berkley and he had disabled the lock screen. After the countdown, he simply pressed the power button and said "Done!"
The Microsoft employee said he lost because he couldn't have won: Windows Phone "displays the weather right there." A second employee came up and said the weather had to be from two cities in different states, which was never in any rules. Ben Rudolph from Microsoft has since tweeted that he would like to make things right. He has offered Katta the Ultrabook prize, a Windows Phone, and an apology.
A new challenger has appeared. Apple is no longer the only one doing frivolous lawsuits; now, they are at the receiving end of one! Yes, it's true, one of Apple's stores, with its slick and modern design, "caused" an 83 year old woman to break her nose by walking into the glass--guess they use Windex!
As a result of the collision, Grandmother Evelyn Paswall is suing the company for a cool $1 million. Her lawyer explains:
There were no markings on the glass or they were inadequate. My client is an octogenarian. She sees well, but she did not see any glass.
Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd, but on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people.
This will most likely settle out of court, as most lawsuits of this nature due. It remains to be seen if Apple's warning labels will be adjusted to be more visible. Besides, this isn't the first time this has happened: two other customers suffered minor injuries after colliding with the glass. Apple introduced the warning labels after these events.
Social networking site and the first thing people check when they turn on their mobile devices, Facebook, have reportedly purchased 750 patents from IBM, which they hope will help them battle against potential patent infringement allegations, according to Bloomberg.
The patents that Facebook added to their portfolio reportedly cover mostly networking and software, and is a huge increase in their patent portfolio considering they previously had 53 issued patents and 503 files with U.S. Patent applications. Facebook have now paid millions for the patents, where they say the new intellectual property will help them from incoming IP claims, issuing a document on February 1st saying:
We may introduce new products, including in areas where we currently do not compete, which could increase our exposure to patent and other intellectual property claims.
New iPhone (will that be the new name?) development is of course under way, but a massive part of this is the actual production of the smartphone itself. Foxconn are key partners to Apple, but right now, Foxconn's northern plant in Taiyuan, which is in China's northern Shanxi province, may become both a key hub of the new iPhone, as well as a flashpoint for working condition issues.
The China Times reports that the factory was facing a "huge" shortage of workers, to the tune of 20,000 of them, as it got ready for the new iPhone. It is being reported that they would be in charge of producing as many as 85-percent of total orders, or close to 57 million new iPhones. So, we'd be talking about just under a year of stock for one single model.
The problems with the workers apparently stem from Foxconn allegedly promising to raise pay packets for everyone, but then only delivered their promises to mid- and upper-tier workers, which of course, pissed off some employees, rightfully so, too. The raises supposedly reduce the requirement to work overtime in order to get a decent pay, but the managers have been pushing an all-or-nothing attitude toward overtime. Either you work insane amounts of overtime, or you get offered no overtime at all.
Research in Motion were born in Canada, and have enjoyed Canadian's being loyal to RIM, but this has just begun to stop. In 2011, RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerry smartphones, versus the 2.85 million iPhones that Apple sold. Rewind another twelve months into 2010, and we have RIM selling over 500,000 more units than Apple did in Canada.
If we go back a bit further to 2008, RIM sold 500-percent more BlackBerry phones than Apple did iPhones. But, we all know that the iPhone has grown in popularity immensely, and Canadian's just don't want to continue being blindly loyal. Bloomberg notes that Canada-based sales make up roughly 7-percent of RIM's total revenue.
RIM has enjoyed local support in Canada, which would hurt them considerably seeing Apple overtake them on their home ground. Alfred DuPut from research firm Interbrand says that this is due to RIM not investing enough in promoting their devices once the iPhone shipped. If you ask me, it's because Apple have a totally contained system, with hipsters wanting them, grandmas wanting them, great marketing, they just 'work', and are simple enough that a 5-year-old could use it.
T-Mobile have just announced that they will be cutting 1,900 jobs as well as closing seven of their call centers throughout the US as part of a plan that is said to reduce overhead as well as stockpile cash in order to invest in a restructuring plan after AT&T failed on their planned acquisition.
The call centers that will be closed down are: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. For all of the call centers mentioned, they actually house 3,300 employees, but T-Mobile will be hiring 1,400 more workers at the remaining 17 centers.
Some employees are being offered transfers, and those who are being let go are said to be receiving severance pay and two months of healthcare. The cut of 1,700 employees may sound drastic, but it's just a slither of T-Mobile's total workforce, the 1,700 lost jobs represents 5-percent of the total workforce.
Earlier today, we reported the FaceBook issued a statement regarding employers and the like who asked for FaceBook log in credentials. Well now, a senator in the USA is reportedly drafting a bill to make this illegal. The DOJ has already said they believe breaking FaceBook's ToS, which ban giving your password to someone, is a federal offence, but have sated they will not be prosecuting it.
The senator described the requests as an "unreasonable invasion of privacy for people seeking work," adding that the bill would be ready "in the very near future." The practice is akin to them asking to open your postal mail to see if there is anything interesting in there. With everyone up in arms about the practice, it's no wonder someone thought it to be a good idea to write a law regarding it.
The company responsible for hosting the data of the now shutdown Megaupload filed an emergency motion this week in U.S. federal court in Virginia seeking protection from the expense of hosting the data of up to 66 million users. The cost of hosting the 25 million gigabytes of data across 1,100 servers rings up with a $9,000 a day cost.
Carpathia says someone needs to foot the bill or allow them to delete the data. Using the $9,000 figure, it has cost them more than $500,000 since January. Megaupload contends many of its users are legitimate and storing important files on the site. Carpathia said another reason it can't delete the data is because it would "risk a claim by a party with an interest in the data" such as the MPAA who wants it kept for possible civil actions.
We recently reported a story about how employers were requesting the log-in credentials of prospective employees. We have just learned that FaceBook is considering taking legal action against colleges, employers, and governmental agencies that do this. Finally, it feels as though FaceBook is looking out for my privacy, rather than undermining it.
FaceBook issued a statement regarding the issue. "We'll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action" the statement says. There's some major legal risks associated with asking prospective students or employees for their information, the statement also points out. It considers the various legal issues companies and schools could open themselves up to. It seems, at least for the meantime, that FaceBook has your back if someone wants your information. I highly encourage you read the statement if your looking for a job or heading to a college that requires your credentials.
France's President, Mr. Sarkozy, said in a statement, "From now on, any person who habitually consults websites that advocate terrorism or that call for hate and violence will be punished. France will not tolerate ideological indoctrination on its soil." If politicians aren't blaming games for violent behavior, they turn to the internet. It's common political rhetoric, but does this announcement even make any sense?
What caused this? Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old, killed seven French people - three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi. He claimed Al Qaeda inspired him to do so. Luckily, there is a good distance to travel from this statement issued in the heat of the moment to it being implemented in a law. Sticking to this particular case, is there any evidence that Merah visited any of these "extremist websites?"
Besides, as most people know, these videos can be found pretty much anywhere, including sites like YouTube. Also, how would this law be implemented? This is starting to sound like an assault on France's internet freedom. Besides, how do you tell apart a PhD student from a radical? The simple answer: you can't. Let's just hope today's announcement is just more political rhetoric in an election year.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (say that ten times fast), who is kind of equal to the US Secretary of the Treasury announced that the government would make tex credits available to UK-based video game developers in the next budget. Andrew Eades, CEO of UK developer Relentless Software, said in a statement released by The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA):
UK developers have been competing on an uneven global playfield. Today's decision by the government to back TIGA's tax break campaign will help ensure that we can remain competitive in the global market.
We were nearly here before, back in 2010, when the current UK government cancelled plans for gaming industry tax breaks when they came into power in 2010. Critics have said that the cancellations of these tax breaks were pretty catastrophic for the UK gaming industry, where they caused studio closures, impeded the nation's ability to compete internationally, and have caused a brain drain of talent seeking better jobs in countries like Canada.