Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 233
AMD may have had a successful Radeon HD 7000-series launch, but 2012 is not starting off well for their laptop division. Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese company that manufactures laptops for companies such as HP, Dell, Acer, and others, is suing AMD for an alleged breach of contract.
Quanta Computer are claiming that AMD chips used in laptops made for NEC were defective. No specific models have been mentioned, but both AMD and ATI are mentioned in the report, meaning that the complaints could cover GPUs, CPUs or, both. The problem that Quanta have with the chips is heat tolerance issues in a particular laptop line, but again, no models are mentioned.
Quanta claims that it "has suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits" and they are suing for breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud, and interference with a contract.
Imagine you wake up tomorrow, pull your smartphone or tablet from your bedside table, click the Facebook icon and wait for it to load. It loads, and shows you a simple page of "We have taken Facebook down in support of SOPA, if you're against the act, please call X" and with X is your local representative, or whoever Facebook decide to redirect you to.
You think, no wait, there's no way this is happening. You Google the issue. Google's page doesn't load and a similar site is up. Your heart sinks and you think Skynet have finally taken over. A T-101 will step through your door and ask if Sarah Connor lives there, before shooting your home up.
Well, that was a great introduction into what could be the biggest arsenal that the Internet has against the crap that is SOPA. According to Markham Erickson, head of the NetCoalition trade association, there has been talk of a so-called "nuclear option", where Google, Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo! would all simultaneously go dark to protest SOPA and to highlight the fundamental danger the legislation poses to the function of the Internet itself.
HP's TouchPad has gone through a million and one things, and another piece of the puzzle has leaked out that they tried to palm off its Palm/WebOS properties to potential buyers for a very nice $1.2 billion.
That is the same price HP paid for the company back in 2010, and even then, were criticized by analysts for the expensive buyout claiming the deal sorely overvalued Palm and that was over a year ago now. HP tapped the wallets of Amazon, Intel, Facebook and even Samsung to offload Palm. No one was willing to make such a large investment though.
Not only did HP put a $1.2 billion price tag on the property of Palm/WebOS, they insisted they maintained rights to use WebOS in their printers. Most companies would look away once they realised HP were flogging off the property for the same price, with preconditions and stipulations stuck to it. After being unable to rid themselves of Palm/WebOS, HP sent the project to the open-source bin so it can evolve, free of obligations from the company.
The world may be going through some changes, and I really think we're just beginning to scrape the surface of a real GFC, but Taiwanese foundries are talking about slicing prices by 10- to 15-percent for wafters built on mature node processes.
These wafters have lower production costs, so the foundries are passing on the savings to you and me, the customer. The move is said to build consumer confidence in building their inventory after a shaky 2011 in the U.S. and European markets. DigiTimes reports that although there is slow demand for mature process manufacturing, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) continues to see orders build up for the advanced 28nm technology (such as the great Radeon HD 7970 from AMD), according to sources at non Taiwan-based chip suppliers.
This is only a good thing, savings on technology. It also allows vendors to buy cheaper, and pass those savings onto the customer, too. All we need now is a drop in the mid to high-end range of GPUs and I'll be happy. Give me some HD 7970's for under $500 AUD and I'll be a happy chappy.
Samsung's Galaxy Note, the uber-large, but curvaceously sexy Galaxy Note, which sports a 5.3-inch screen is a kind of tabletphone hybrid. This hasn't stopped the device from shipping more than 1 million in Europe and Asia, before it even hits the shores of the U.S.
The rapid sales of the device show Samsung that creating a new market for something between a smartphone and tablet PC. Samsung says that the speed of sales should accelerate even further going into the new year when it becomes available in the U.S.
Samsung also note that the Financial Times reviewed the Galaxy Note highly, commenting it as:
A happy medium for consumers who want to carry just one device, rather than both a smartphone and a tablet and whatever other portable gadget they pick up on their way out.
Amazon have had a very Merry Christmas when it comes to Amazon Kindle sales over the holiday season. Amazon customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers. 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family, with one million Kindle devices sold each week.
Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, says "We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle." He continues pointing out the fact that the #1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing.
Three Kindle-based products took the top three spots on Amazon's best seller list, with the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Kindle taking out the top three spots, respectively. Amazon's latest, Kindle Fire, was the most gifted and wished for product on Amazon this season, and was also the top selling product in the UK, France, Spain and Italy. Kindle Fire also took out the best selling product on Amazon's mobile site.
With Newegg in one corner as the second-largest online retailer in the U.S. and the number one destination for tech-savvy shoppers, with Amazon the top U.S. e-tailer in the other corner, both releasing their holiday best-selling item reports.
Neweggs list contains:
Laptops/Notebooks: 15.6" Asus A53E-EH91
Televisions: Sceptre 32" 720p LCD HDTV
Video Games: Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle with Halo Reach and Fable 3
Digital Cameras: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47K 12.1 MP
Software: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Monitors: Acer G235HAbd 23" LCD
CPUs/Processors: Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboards: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 3.5"
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Video Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
There have been plenty of people who have worked for ATI, that have moved onto bigger and better things by packing up their brown box, throwing their personal items inside like a plant or a family portrait (ok, ok, that sounds like a Hollywood cliche, but it's how I imagine it as an Australian) and moving to a better job.
Now former AMD employee, Richard Huddy, has moved onto Intel. His goal with the red team was to form stronger relations with the game developers themselves. Big news, eh? Huddy has pushed through plenty of things for not only the technological industry, but the gaming industry. He worked with one of my favorite games, Max Payne, and ended up with a starring role as the mad professor in the lab. From there, he has helped a tonne of huge games hit the market.
I've covered SOPA-related news for the past few days, as it is getting quite serious with GoDaddy being hit hard. It has just been announced that Jimmy Wales decision to find a new home for Wikipedia, away from the SOPA loving hands of GoDaddy.
Wales is quite unhappy with GoDaddy's position on the Stop Online Privacy Act, by announcing the shift in the following tweet:
I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us.
He then updated, and posted another tweet the next day:
Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?
SOPA is starting to snowball into a serious issue, it needs as much airtime as possible.
Apple have just completed a deal to purchase Israeli flash memory firm, Anobit. The deal is reportedly worth between $400-$500 million, which makes it Apple's largest acquisition since NeXT which cost $404 million. A tweet from the Twitter account of Israel's Prime Minster has said:
Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your 1st acquisition here. I'm certain that you'll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge.
It is not just exciting for Apple, but for consumers, too. Apple's new investment in Anobit shows their commitment to requiring fast flash memory, as Israel is a country known for technological breakthroughs, such as its early work in mobile phones and instant messaging.
Anobit explains their technology:
Anobit's MSP (Memory Signal Processing) technology is comprised of proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with advanced error correction and innovative flash management schemes, resulting in a dramatic improvement in endurance, performance and system cost. Specifically, MSP enables SLC (one bit-per-cell) endurance and performance with MLC (two bits-per-cell) NAND, and MLC endurance and performance with TLC (three bits-per-cell) NAND, resulting in a significant reduction in cost per-bit.