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It looks like one of RIM's old CEOs doesn't have much faith in the company. Jim Balsillie, one of the co-founders of the once great cell phone manufacturer has dumped all of his 26.8 million shares in just one day according to an SEC filing that was posted this morning. This certainly doesn't bode well for the company.
Those shares that were once worth $6 billion are now worth only about $375.2 million. Obviously, he is trying to jump ship while they still some have value. It's not likely that the price-per-share will ever return to the high that it was at just after the iPhone launched.
Some think that BlackBerry 10 will be able to turn the company around and others disagree. Reviews of the new devices have been mixed. The one clear message that has been sent by the former CEO dumping his stock is that he doesn't believe in the company.
Cloud storage provider Mega has announced that it intends to hold a "pre-IPO investment round" within the next six months. Along with the announcement, they added they could be looking at an IPO within 18 months. These announcements come at a time when Mega is growing rapidly. By the end of January, Mega reported they were hosting over 50 million files.
That number now appears to be closing in on 100 million just 14 days later. "#Mega is not even one month old but already hosting almost 100 million files. We need more servers. Thank you my friends ;-)" They're clearly seeing some success and this could fuel a rapid IPO.
Dotcom is clearly doing something right with this new cloud storage company. They are doing a better job of remaining just inside the law as demonstrated by their shutting down access to a search engine that didn't have a DMCA takedown policy or agent.
It remains to be seen if the US government will accept Mega as a legitimate company, but it so far looks like a good business venture.
It's a hard market for camera right now, and after both Canon and Nikon both had revisions to their forecasts, Olympus have also followed by cutting their full-year sales and profit forecast.
Olmypus have said that they expect sales to tip at around $7.8 billion, down from their first forecast of $8.09 billion. Profits will drop by 25%, too. When most people think Olympus, they think cameras, but Olympus aren't all just about cameras - they have pushed into the medical equipment and endoscope markets, too.
Last year saw Sony buy a $642 million stake in Olympus which was mainly for the medical imaging side of things. Over the past two years, Olympus' main goals have been to focus on their Pen and OM-D interchangeable lends (ILC) cameras, which has caused people to think the company were slowly dragging themselves out of the traditional SLR market.
The government of Iceland is talking about introducing an Internet filter which would stop Icelandic citizens from downloading or viewing pornography on the Internet. The talk of the filter has transpired through fears of the damages porn can do to children and women.
Iceland's Interior Minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, is currently drafting legislation to stop the access of online porn images and videos through many ways - computers, consoles and smart devices. He says:
We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime.
We all know Google scrapes countless amounts of data from anyone who uses their services, which, let's face it, is everyone - but, it looks like it goes much deeper than that.
From what Sydney-based app developer Dan Nolan, has found, each time you purchase an app from the Google Play Store your personal details are sent to that developer. This includes your name, address and e-mail address. Nolan spoke with news.com.au, saying that he wasn't comfortable being the receiver of this information, and that there is no reason that a developer needs to have this - very powerful - information given to them without their consent.
Nolan took to his blog, saying:
Let me make this crystal clear, every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred. With the information I have available to me through the checkout portal I could track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase.
The web has been ablaze today with rumors and reports of Valve conducting layoffs, though the company has not confirmed or denied that layoffs occurred today. However, Gabe Newell has sent a statement to Engadget that says Valve is not canceling any projects or changing any priorities.
We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here.
It's interesting that Valve wouldn't deny the rumors and reports of layoffs if there haven't been any. However, just because they haven't denied it, it doesn't mean that there have been layoffs. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out more concrete information.
Both LinkedIn employees and Apple are probably pretty happy with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner right now. The CEO has rewarded employees for a great 2012 by providing them each with their own iPad mini. This means that Weiner spent over $1.2 million on 3,500 iPad minis. Ouch. We hope he worked out a discount!
The good deed was first tweeted about by Darain Faraz: "We wanted to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of all of our employees in 2012. During today's biweekly All Hands meeting, we surprised our employees with iPad Minis as a small gesture of the company's gratitude for their contributions."
It's these small things that keep employees happy and working hard for a company. LinkedIn pulled in a record Q4 with earnings topping $303 million.
NVIDIA has reported their fourth quarter 2013 earnings and they are up year-over-year. While the earnings are up year-over-year, they've dropped slightly from the records set last quarter. NVIDIA saw a total of $1.1 billion in revenue, which is down from last quarter's $1.2 billion and up from 2012's $950 million.
Profit came in at $179 million, down from $209 million last quarter. For the entire year, NVIDIA's GPU business brought in a total of $3.2 billion, not too bad when you consider that this year hasn't been too great to PC sales. NVIDIA notes that its Tegra business continues to grow:
"This year we did the best work in our company's history," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. "We achieved record revenues, margins and cash, despite significant market headwinds."
If you're interested in the nitty-gritty details, the full PR is available on NVIDIA's website.
Apple is no longer allowed to use the "iPhone" trademark exclusively in Brazil after the Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) has ruled that IGB Electronics SA own the rights to the name. The INPI ruled in favor of IGB Electronics as the company has owned the rights to the name since the very early 2000's.
Apple is still allowed to sell devices under the iPhone trademark, though this could open them up to a lawsuit by the trademark's owner. IGB Electronics could attempt to gain exclusive rights to the name through a lawsuit or could deal with Apple to let Apple pay them royalties in exchange for exclusive use.
Tim Cook had some interesting things to say during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where the Apple CEO touched on a number of topics, including some rumors of a next-gen iPhone including a larger screen.
Cook talked about the user experience, saying that the experience is more important than what cranks along inside of the phone. When talking about a larger screen size on the iPhone, Cook said:
I don't want to say what we will do or won't do [regarding a larger screen for the iPhone], and so don't interpret anything I say along those lines. Let me go back and compare it to the PC industry for a minute. The PC industry over the years, the way that companies competed were two things: specs and price. And so people would want to say, "I've got the largest drive," or, "I've got the fastest processor," or in the camera business people began to say, "I've got the most megapixels."
The truth is, customers want a great experience, and they want quality. They want that "Aha!" moment each time that they use the product. And that's rarely a function of any of those things. These are things that technology companies invent because they can't have a great experience, and so they talk about the spec of something.