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Earlier I reported that trading had been suspended on OCZ's stock, and it appears that there may be more to the story than just having its stock trading halted. Unnamed sources have told TweakTown that Toshiba has quietly completed its acquisition of OCZ's assets as the company prepares to file for bankruptcy and that the companies closed escrow on most of OCZ's assets yesterday.
In a call just weeks ago OCZ's CEO, Ralph Schmitt, stated that in-house manufacturing was halted and a third-party had picked up manufacturing. Weeks later TweakTown reported from the rumor mill that OCZ and Toshiba were talking. Last week Storage Review displayed a picture of an OCZ Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller in a Panasonic SSD. Panasonic is another company based in Japan and has close ties to Toshiba. Panasonic wouldn't release a new SSD with a controller from a company headed for bankruptcy without some inside knowledge.
Now the events over the last 30 days make perfect sense. When a major investor pulled out due to OCZ's cash burn issues, Toshiba swooped in and made the company an offer it could not refuse. This explains the lack of statements made to investors when things started turning south.
Today it appears that the ongoing saga of OCZ's roller coaster ride on the stock market has finally came to an end. Earlier this morning, weeks of ups and downs in the company's share price as well as rumors of massive financial troubles finally came to a head when trading was halted on the SSD manufactures stock.
Trading was suspended after shares failed to rebound above $1 over the last 30 days, and solidifies rumors that the company is quickly approaching its end of life. I have reached out to several industry analyst, and the general conscious appears to be that the company will either file bankruptcy very soon, or someone like Toshiba will swoop in and buy OCZ for pennies on the dollar. Personally I am expecting them to be bought out, as that makes the most sense at this point.
A few weeks back, our own Chris Ramseyer all but predicted today's outcome in his review of OCZ Vector 150 120GB SSD. Chris poised a question, asking if OCZ would be around six months from now, and I guess the answer has arrived.
Over the last year or so, a war has been waging in east Texas between Newegg.com and the notorious patent troll Erich Spangenberg, and today the war is finally over. Jurors departed the court room and returned the guilty verdict after just three hours of deliberations.
Newegg.com was found to infringe upon all four of the patent assets owned by TQP Development, a patent firm owned by Spangenberg. The patent is said to cover SSL and TLS encryption combined with the RC4 cipher. These are protocols and safety measures commonly used by online retailers to ensure their customers information is protected.
Newegg was ordered to pay $2.3 million which is less than half of the $5.1 million TQP was claiming in damages. So what does this mean for Newegg? I would suspect that Newegg will enter into a licensing agreement with TQP and will continue using the system that is in place. Alternatively, Newegg could develop an entirely new system that it could release into the public domain and forever invalidate TQPs patent.
2013 has been one heck of a year for BlackBerry. In the span of just eleven months, the company has launched its next-gen OS and devices, almost went out of business, and seen its CEO resign after no one wanted to buy the company. Today it appears that BlackBerry is attempting to make the changes necessary to turn the company around.
This morning, BlackBerry announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Kristian Tear, and Cheif Marketing Officer, Frank Boulben will no longer be part of the company. Additionally, the company's Chief Financial Officer, Brian Bidulka, will be exiting the company and will be replaced by James Yersh, a long time BlackBerry Exec. Finally, the announcement says that Roger Marti, a member of BlackBerry's board of directors, will be resigning from the Canadian smartphone manufacturer as well.
This major shakeup in management is widely seen as something that should have happen many months ago when BlackBerry first began to circle the drain. Following the ousting of CEO Thorsten Heins, today's announcement should do well to restore some investors faith in the company. With a fresh injection of $1 billion from FairFax Financial, BlackBerry just might manage to turn things around in 2014.
Samsung seems to be struggling in Japan against its biggest rival, Apple. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung's share in the Japanese smartphone space dropped again last quarter, which makes four quarters in a row of decline.
In the last quarter, Samsung sold just one million u nits, while Apple sold close to four times that. Rewinding back twelve months, Samsung was pushing around 1.9 million units a quarter, but each quarter it has dropped significantly. The South Korean electronics giant is now placed fourth in the Japanese market, with Sony coming in second. Apple is currently holding the number one spot in the market.
We thought it had happened last week, but now Apple has confirmed it has acquired PrimeSense. The company works on motion control devices, so this should be an interesting next few years for the iPhone maker.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with AllThingsD, where it said that it does buy smaller companies "from time to time". The company reportedly handed over around $360 million for the deal, which should cement Apple's future in the motion control space. I did think that Apple would use the tech for its Mac range of devices, which I think we'll begin to see teased in the first half of 2014.
According to Corrinne Yu's LinkedIn page, the Halo 4 Principal Engine Programmer has left Microsoft's Halo team, and joined the developer of The Last of Us and Uncharted, Naughty Dog.
What makes this more interesting, is that she is really leaving Microsoft, for its key rival in the console space, Sony. Yu worked as the Principal Engine Programmer with 343 Industries for five years, and before that she worked at Gearbox Software as its Director of Technology. Yu has some experience under her belt, including Halo 4, Borderlands and I don't want to mention it, but I have to: Aliens: Colonial Marines.
I'm sure Katie Couric was yelling out 'yahoo' when she received the call from search giant Yahoo, regarding a job offer as the role of "global news anchor" for the company.
Couric will host a high-profile interview show for the company, according to sources of All Things D. The deal has reportedly been months in the making, with Couric and Yahoo in talks since August. ABC apparently owns the rights to Couric's digital output, as per her contract. All Things D's source have said that Couric's show will include exclusive interviews with a bunch of high-profile celebrities, and business executives.
Couric was intrigued by the idea of a web-only show after she attended a Yahoo advertising event in the Caribbean last fall. The bigger bet here is from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, as she continues to provide reasons for people to visit Yahoo. Couric, though, is a big fish, and should bring in a slew of new viewers.
Update: It seems that there wasn't 'someone' or a company that purchased these Bitcoins, but rather a transfer of Bitcoins. It could be that Bitstamp possibly moved its own funds around, which made this look (to a Bitcoin novice like myself) a massive transfer worth $150 million, and thus, major news - but it looks like it was not. Apologies.
Bitcoins have been going up and down in price, where we saw it rise past $600 in value just a few days ago, but now the price is beginning to stabilize. Bitcoin has been making the mainstream headlines quite a lot, but this latest transaction should see much more attention paid to the digital currency.
Someone in Germany must have quite a lot of cash on-hand, as they just acquired over 194,000 Bitcoins... which has a value of approximately $150 million. Yes, $150,000,000 in Bitcoins. Even the richest people around don't just have $150 million in cash to just spend, so are we looking at a central bank or government scooping up all these Bitcoins?
Also remember, that Germany has recently recognized Bitcoins as a "unit of account" which means it can be used for private transactions. This means that the German government can now tax owners of Bitcoins, and this new $150 million transaction will have quite the tax bill, won't it? Whatever has happened, and whoever has bought these Bitcoins, some serious money just changed hands.
A federal judge has awarded Apple with $290 million in patent damages from Samsung, which gives Apple a total of over $900 million that will be sucked out of Samsung's bank accounts.
The patent case saw a six-woman, two-man jury hearing the case last week, where Apple claimed Samsung copied its technologies from the iPad and iPhone. Apple argued that Samsung owed them nearly $380 million in damages from lost profits, and from profits Samsung enjoyed while selling the devices that were infringing on Apple's patents, as well as royalties.
Samsung didn't stand there defenseless, so it bit back, claiming that Apple inflated the value of their patents. The South Korean giant also reiterated the important of consumer choice, concluding that damages should not exceed $52 million. The jury ended up deciding that Samsung was indeed guilty of patent infringement on 13 smartphones and tablets, including features like pinch-to-zoom, and bounce back.