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Starting your work week off with a rumor is always a good thing, right? Book retailing giant Barnes & Nobel is reportedly refocusing resources from its Nook hardware development and diverting them to licensing its content to other device makers. To further complicate things, B&N founder Leonard Riggio has expressed interest in buying the companies retail and online business.
In a war similar to the MP3 player hardware races of the early 2000's, the E-Reader game is beginning to see casualties. Barnes & Nobel's Nook saw less than stellar holiday sales, while competitors reported record sales. Now we are hearing that the company might be looking to part off its Nook Hardware division all together.
A filing this morning with the SEC read:
"On February 25, 2013, Mr. Riggio notified the Board of Directors of the Company (the "Board") he plans to propose to purchase all of the assets of the retail business of the Company. The retail business would include, among other things, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. and barnesandnoble.com; and would exclude NOOK Media LLC.
On the heels of HP's announcement that its upcoming Slate 7 will be running Android, the company has decided to dump its once popular WebOS. Reports are coming in that LG is in the process of acquiring WebOS for use in its future Smart TV products.
Now, HP is selling the entire WebOS conglomerate to LG, including the source code, documentation, engineers and websites. LG has announced in the past its intentions to use the OS as the controlling operating system for its Smart TVs, and this move to buy the technology affirms that statement.
Opera seems to be making headlines on a weekly basis in 2013, A couple of weeks ago I reported on the companies adoption of Webkit, then a few days later, covered the layoff of over 90 employees. Now Opera is announcing the formation of an entirely new subsidiary.
Over the last few months Opera has made a few strategic acquisitions with the intention of bolstering it's mobile advertising business. The company has spent in excess of $100 million snatching up companies like AdMarvel, 4th Screen Advertising and Mobile Theory and has announced today the formation of Opera Mediaworks.
Opera Mediaworks is a fully-owned subsidiary, which is being touted as the world's largest mobile ad platform. The new arm of Opera includes ad mediation and exchange services AdMarvel and Opera Mediaworks, mobile advertising networks Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, and the Opera Mobile Store and Opera Payment Exchange to monetize ad solutions.
LG wants life to be good throughout 2013, as the company plans to sell 40 million smartphones this year. The South Korean company wants to depart from the usual entry-level handsets and shift into higher gears - this comes from the Head of LG's Mobile Communications Division, Park Jong Seok.
LG shipped 26.3 million smartphones last year, so if they want to meet their 40 million smartphone goal they'll need to nearly double their efforts this year. From what MWC 2013 has shown so far, this might not be as hard as you think. LG have some great devices coming out, and I think we're going to see them meet their 2013 goals.
Apple are looking for someone in Australia for a new position, the position open is for a 'Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist'. This position has been up for a couple of days, and comes just months after Apple's Maps app failing to provide correct mapping data in Australia.
The position will check "changes to map data, provide feedback on unique local map requirements, collect ground truth information, and evaluate competing products." But what is 'Ground Truth'? Well, that is information collected on location versus the data being collected remotely, such as data from satellites.
Google is looking to get a "fully-polished" version of Glass on sale by the end of this year. The search giant has said that the augmented reality headset will cost "less than $1,500" when it eventually goes on sale. The headset has already been available for pre-order for $1,500, though those versions aren't the same as what will be released to the general public.
As with all technology, the early adopters end up paying a premium to remain an early adopter. The Project Glass headset was announced last year and got a demonstration at Google I/O. The headset will be able to record pictures and video, provide directions, and much more, all controlled by your voice.
Google has announced that registration for Google I/O will open on March 13 at 7a.m. PST. Last year, the event sold out in just 20 minutes, so you'll need to be on top of registration to make sure you reserve your spot at the event. Last year, Google unveiled the Nexus 7 and other products.
This year's I/O will take place May 15 to May 17 in the Moscone Center, located in beautiful San Francisco, California. To register for the event, you'll be required to have a Google+ account and Google Wallet buyer account. Prices remain the same at $900 for general attendees and $300 for academic attendees.
More information can be found on Google's I/O page.
A couple of Google's office buildings in Mountain View, California are having issues with toxic fumes that are likely the result of the previous owners of the land. Buildings QD6 and QD7 were found to have high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic solvent used in the manufacturing of electronic chips.
The previous owners of the land were Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, Raytheon, and other chip makers. These companies dumped thousands of gallons of THC into the ground, which has contaminated the water. Google installed air filters when they moved in and conducted air quality tests.
Readings as high as 8 micrograms per cubic meter were recorded. Normal exposure is 5 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA has said that it would take decades of exposure to cause problems, not the few months that Google employees experienced.
Google released a statement, saying "The health and safety of our employees is Google's number one priority, and we take several proactive measures to ensure the healthiest indoor air environments possible."
We just heard about IGN's layoffs that will affect many gaming sites, and now in other gaming layoff related news, EA have announced an unknown amount of layoffs in their Los Angeles, Montreal and "smaller locations".
The news is coming directly from EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said:
Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.
It looks like IGN have been slammed with mass editorial layoffs today, which will see 1UP, UGO and Gamespy shutting down. A company spokesperson told Joystiq:
We are focusing on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen. Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the decision to close sites and restructure our teams accordingly.
What now? There's only a few big gaming sites out there now - what are your thoughts on that?